. . . “National’s selection process is highly democratic. Nothing is pre-determined and I congratulate Stuart for securing the nomination,” said Canterbury-Westland Regional Chairman Roger Bridge.
“Stuart has been an advocate for Marlborough communities for many years and will offer voters a strong voice in John Key’s National Party at the next election.
“I also wish to acknowledge Colin King. Colin has worked hard as the MP and served these communities well
Mr Smith is a fourth generation South Islander, former Chairman of the New Zealand Winegrowers Association, and a founding member and current Chairman of the community-owned Southern Valley’s Irrigation Scheme.
Based in Blenheim on the Smith-Small family-owned vineyard Fairhill Downs, he is married to Julie and is father to three teenage children.
“I am very grateful for the confidence that the Party have shown in me tonight,” said Mr Smith.
“National’s plan to build a stronger economy is delivering real opportunities for us in Marlborough and North Canterbury, but regional New Zealand is facing many challenges and there is still much more to be done.
“I will be working hard to win the support of our communities to ensure we can keep building on this progress after the next election.
Colin King, who was elected as the MP for Kaikoura in 2005, is encouraging local members and supporters to get in behind the new candidate and help return National to Government next election.
“It has been a tremendous privilege to serve as the MP and I have greatly enjoyed making a contribution to the growth of our region,” said Mr King.
“While I am disappointed that I will not be able to represent Kaikoura after the next election, I want to express my support for the National-led Government and encourage members and supporters in the electorate to get in behind Stuart and National in 2014.
“The next election will be vital for the future of our region. I will be working hard to support the Government to keep delivering on its positive plan.”
Losing a selection is a sad way for an MP to end a career but National’s rules leaves selection to members in the electorate.
Sometimes they have a different idea about when it’s time for an MP to go than the MP does.
First met Colin when as a very good shearer he shore a few hundred of my greasy old corriedales in what is now the Waipara Wine district c1974.
He was a very different guy then, intelligent, well read, and smart enough to recognise that being fit, logical and organised was better than the traditional, drinking cussing, inefficient unfit model that Godfry Bowen transformed, only he was 40 years younger.
Saw Colin win the Golden Shears title at Masterton from a right hand stand, that being a lefty, forced King to waltz each of his 20 sheep through 180 degrees to align it with the handpiece and then maneuver the shorn animal to a porthole in the wrong position. He still won and then twice more after the dinosaurs that ran the show arranged for a designated “Lefty stand”.
When he stood for the Kaikoura seat nearly nine years ago he reinforced my belief that National party candidates were grounded in life skills that gave an enormous advantage in their approach to the very limited power they have to make meaningful change. . .