Snow can’t stop the message

September 10, 2017

Three years ago when Hamish Walker was campaigning for National in Dunedin South  he donned skis to continue door knocking when it snowed.

He’s now National’s Clutha Southland candidate and is showing he still won’t let snow stop the message:


National working for and in the south #1

September 19, 2014

Fantastic Fact # 1:
This series has come from the Facebook page of Michael Woodhouse MP who says:

For the past 50 days I’ve been posting my 50 fantastic facts about Dunedin and the South. Why? Because I want to bring some balance to the constant negativity from media and some left wing MPs who say ‘Vote Positive’ but talk negative. Yes there have been some setbacks, but on balance we have negotiated our way through really tough times well. Please vote. But please vote for the candidate and the Party that is working hardest for the South and the Country.

Dunedin people have the chance tomorrow to vote for national which will carry on working positively for the city, the south and Dunedin

They also have the chance to vote for Michael in Dunedin North and Hamish Walker in Dunedin South to get two strong, positive voices for the city.


#teamkey becomes #teamski

August 8, 2014

Campaigning in winter isn’t always easy.

But National’s Dunedin South candidate Hamish Walker isn’t going to let a little snow get in the way of proving to voters that the party is working for New Zealand whatever the weather:
Commitment for team key on skis. #teamski

#teamkey is also #teamski


No sea cold enough

July 22, 2014

Hamish Walker, National’s candidate in Dunedin South received one of those Ice Challenges and accepted it with a twist.

He chose to do it by total immersion in the sea at St Clair,wearing a kilt, with the support of some Young Nats and the accompaniment of the bagpipes.

 

Can't say THANK YOU enough to John BP, Katy H & Liz B who were stupid enough to join me this morning for the Ice Challenge- what commitment to the National Party!

It goes to show there’s no sea cold enough to stop the pursuit of party votes for National and #TeamKey who are seeking #3moreyears.

You can see it on video here – while you’re there you could like his Facebook page too.


Jo Hayes Nat candidate for Chch East

June 13, 2014

The National Party has selected List MP Joanne Hayes as its Christchurch East candidate for the 2014 General Election.

“Joanne has been a valuable member of our caucus as a List MP and will work hard for Christchurch East,” said Regional Chair Roger Bridge.

“National has made the rebuild one of its top priorities. Another Christchurch-based MP will help to keep our city’s voice strong in John Key’s National Party.”

Ms Hayes said she was proud to earn National’s nomination and is looking forward to the campaign.

“National is making real progress on the Christchurch rebuild, building a stronger economy with more jobs, and supporting hardworking families. Christchurch communities are seeing the benefits of a Government that is focussed on what matters and putting the needs of Christchurch at the top of the agenda,” said Ms Hayes.

“There are just three short months until the election on 20 September. I’ll be working hard to get out in the electorate and engage with the issues facing Christchurch East communities,” said Ms Hayes.

Joanne Hayes – Biographical Notes                                                                                      

Joanne Hayes is a National List Member of Parliament. She is of Ngati Porou, Ati Haunui A Paparangi, and Rangitane ki Wairarapa descent, and is married to Pat with two sons and two grandchildren.

Before entering Parliament at the beginning of this year, she held executive level positions in the health, social services, and education sectors, most recently as Director of Community Relations for UCOL Whanganui.

Ms Hayes previously stood for National in Dunedin South in 2011.

Jo has the distinction of being the candidate who won the party vote in Dunedin South which had been regarded as deep red.

Christchurch East is also a very red seat. Jo and her team will be working hard to change that and the electorate will benefit from having another government MP working in and for the city as it recovers from the earthquakes.


Hamish Walker Nat candidate for Dunedin South

May 26, 2014

The National Party has selected Hamish Walker as its candidate for Dunedin South:

Mr Walker is a born-and-bred Dunedinite. He attended John McGlashan College and holds a Diploma in Television and Film from Otago School of Media. His family ties to the city stretch over 160 years.

After completing his studies in Dunedin, he moved to Auckland, completed a degree in accountancy, and in 2012 started his own property management business, which is now being franchised.

Alongside his successful business career, Mr Walker has been a youth mentor for young people suffering Type One Diabetes, and lives with the condition himself. He is also a keen sportsman, and is a first class rugby referee who has refereed games around the world.

“Dunedin is my home and I am passionate about the city where I was born and grew up,” said Mr Walker.

“I’ve returned to Dunedin to run because I want Dunedin to be a place more people want to move to and have a family, a place where more students want to stay on when they finish their studies.

“I will be a strong and passionate voice in John Key’s National Party for the people of Dunedin South if elected in September.”

He also plays the bagpipes.

As the party’s Southern regional chair, I was involved in the selection and am delighted that Hamish is our candidate.

Dunedin South has been regarded as a safe Labour seat but National won the party vote in the electorate three years ago.

Jo Hayes, who stood for National there then, is contesting another electorate this time and Hamish will be working very hard to build on her achievement.

The seat has turned from red to purple and he has the ability to turn it blue.


Curran not standing or not wanted?

December 28, 2013

Friday’s ODT had an interesting advertisement:

The New Zealand Labour Party wishes to advise all Electorate, Branch and Affiliated members that nominations for the Dunedin South constituency remain open. The closing date has been amended and is now February 28 2014.

Does this mean that sitting MP Clare Curran isn’t standing or that she’s standing but not wanted and the party’s hoping for other nominations?

Or does it just mean there’s been a muck-up and no-one’s been nominated at all?

Whatever the answer this is most unusual in what was once a dark red seat.

However, at the last election it was more purple – National won the party vote and its candidate Jo Hayes, who will enter parliament on the list when Katrina Shanks retires next month, made a serious dent in Curran’s majority.

Hat tip: Pete George


Turning blue – or at least purple

December 1, 2011

One of National’s active supporters in Dunedin reckons the city isn’t so much red as purple.

The cover of the give-away paper DScene and story on the election result – National winning the party vote in Dunedin South and nearly doing it in Dunedin North – backs her up:

One of the benefits of MMP has been the presence of a National MP in the city.

Former MP Katherine Rich helped raise the party’s profile and present its softer side. She was succeeded in Dunedin North by Michael Woodhouse who has made an impressive start to his parliamentary career and worked hard for the people of city.

Conway Powell started turning the tide towards National in Dunedin South in 2005, built on that in 2008 and this year’s candidate Joanne Hayes carried on to win the party vote.

Boundary changes which included more rural areas and lifestyle blocks in the electorate, and demographic changes have helped cement the base. But it takes dedicated candidates and supporters to build on that and turn it into more votes.

There were special circumstances this time. It wasn’t just the National vote which went up, the Green vote did too and Labour’s went down.

But the result is an encouraging indication that the city could be changing from red to purple, though not blue – yet.


Hey Babe!

October 15, 2008

Labour supporters were running round the Women’s Expo in Dunedin at the weekend with badges saying: “Helen’s a babe”.

They might have been confused by the younger woman who’s on Labour’s billboards.

Or, as National’s Dunedin South candidate Conway Powell said, it’s an acronym for Bloody Awful at Building the Economy.


Benson-Pope not standing

October 13, 2008

David Benson-Pope is not going to stand for Dunedin South.

However, the MP did not go without a fight.

Mr Benson-Pope (58) lost the Labour Party nomination for the electorate to Dunedin public relations consultant Clare Curran in a bitter battle that continues to split the electorate.

“I acknowledge the widely-held view that the candidate selection was not in the best interest of the electorate and that little regard has been given to the very high level of voter support that I have received in five terms as a [city] councillor and three terms as the parliamentary representative of this electorate,” he said.

“In the end, however, I cannot respond to the disloyalty of a few by allowing any personal sense of betrayal to stand in the way of my political philosophy.”

His decision not to stand came after a long and difficult consideration. He urged voters to cast their party vote for the Labour Party.

His loyalty to the party doesn’t stretch to the candidate Clare Curran though because he only mentioned the party vote.

Dene Mackenzie  said Benson-Pope gave no hints about what he’d do now but options include public office – either a board appointment or election to the Dunedin City Council.

The grapevine has suggested before that he might take a tilt at the mayoralty.


Benson Pope’s valedictory may not be last speech

September 24, 2008

The ODT reports (not on line) that David Benson Pope is still neither confirming nor denying rumours he’ll seek the Dunedin South seat as an indpendent or for another party. But:

It is understoood his valedictory speech in the House tomorrow will emphasise the farewell speech is his last as a Labour MP.

That of course begs the question, will there be other speeches as an MP but not a Labour one?

Delaying an announcement continues to give him publicity so he has everything to gain by delaying an announcement and he’s dropped and he’s dropped hints that he will seek the seat again.

In May he said he was open to offers from other parties although in June he turned down one from the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party .


High price for free publicity

September 24, 2008

When you’re running for election almost any publicity is good and free publicity is even better.

But Act’s Dunedin South candidate, Colin NIcholls, may well feel that having his car stolen and torched was too high a price to pay for a photo and story in the ODT.


How desperate are they?

September 2, 2008

How low would you go in your efforts to retain power?

Would you for instance allow one of your MPs to leave your party and stand for another to help its chances of getting back in to parliament and yours of having a coalition partner? And if you were the other party would you accept the waka jumper?

I ask the question because the Dunedin grapevine is buzzing with the suggestion that David Benson-Pope is going to stand for New Zealand First in Dunedin South and that Labour will target the party vote but not try to win the seat.

How reliable is the grapevine? It varies and one fact which makes this scenario less likely is that Labour’s Dunedin South candidate is only 45th on the party list. On current polling that means she’d have to win her seat to get in to parliament.

The Dunedin South selection was acrimonious and there’s no love lost between Benson-Pope and Curran but he’s always been very careful to avow his loyalty to Labour.

Has that changed and would Labour sacrifice Curran?

The answer to that lies in another question: how desperate are Benson-Pope, Labour and New Zealand First?


Benson-Pope coy on future

September 1, 2008

David Benson-Pope’s  name was not on the Labour Party list which was released yesterday but he’s still being coy about his future.

He lost a selection contest for the Dunedin South seat to Claire Curran earlier this year.

The electorate remains divided, with Mr Benson-Pope still commanding large personal loyalty from many in the electorate.

He has been urged to stand in an independent capacity.

Asked yesterday whether he had decided about his future in politics, Mr Benson-Pope said it was not surprising his name was not on the list as he had not sought to be ranked there.

“I have no other comment to make other than to urge people to vote Labour with their party vote.”

There could be some indication of his future on September 9, 10 or 11.  On those days, retiring MPs will give their valedictory speeches in Parliament.

He says vote Labour with the party vote but doesn’t mention the electorate vote. That could just mean he hasn’t got over losing the selection or it could mean he’s still considering standing as an independent.

If he does there’s a chance he could win and if not does it mean he’d be on the parliamentary pay roll a little longer anyway?

I think – and I welcome correction if I’m wrong – that if MPs resign their pay stops on election day; if they stand and are not elected they get their pay for a few more weeks.


Alliance releases list

July 28, 2008

The Alliance must still be in existance because it has released its party list.

Co-leadersKay Murray and Andrew McKenzie have the top two palces. Murray, who is also Dunedin South candidate, is a programme manager for people with disabilities. McKenzie, who is standing in Port Hills, is a barrister specialising in employment law. 

Other top ten candidates include Victor Billot, communications officer for the Maritime Union, at number 3, Alliance Party president Paul Piesse at number 4, secondary teacher Richard Wallis at number 5, postgraduate student Sarah Campbell at number 6, truck driver Bob van Ruyssevelt at number 7, University of Otago emeritus professor of Politics Jim Flynn at number 8, union organizer and postgraduate student Sarita Divis at number 9, and merchandiser Amy Tubman at number 10.

Other candidates include Wellington publisher and branding expert Jack Yan (number 12), Alliance disabilities spokesperson Chris Ford (number 22), and a young New Zealander working in the mining industry in Pilbara, Western Australia, Justin Wilson (number 23).

This is the remnants of the party which got 7.74% of the party vote and 10 MPs in 1999. But the Greens pulled out then Jim Anderton left to form whatever the party what is now the Progressive Party, leaving Laila Harre to lead the Alliance until it was defeated at the 2002 election.

We’re pretty far apart on the political spectrum, but I admire the dedication of these volunteers who are prepared to stand for what they believe in when they have no hope of getting into parliament to implement it.


Dunedin South Still Simmering

July 4, 2008

The ODT reports that tension  between two factions of Labour Party supporters in Dunedin South worsened this week with the resignation of a branch offical amidst allegations of mismanagement.


Clark Visit to Cover Cracks

June 9, 2008

The ODT reports  that Helen Clark’s visit to Dunedin tomorrow might be used to try to heal rifts created in Labour’s Dunedin South electorate organisation when Clare Curran won the candidate selection over incumbent David Benson-Pope.

Although it’s not a wealthy electorate, Dunedin South  has long been one of Labour’s biggest financial contributers. The need for campiagn cash will be in Clark’s mind and she will also want to shore up support for Curran to try and head off any ideas Benon-Pope might have of standing as an indpendent.


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