The National Party has selected Lewis Holden as its candidate for Rimutaka.
A fifth generation New Zealander, Mr Holden (29) was educated at Hutt International Boys School in Trentham, Upper Hutt, before completing a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration at Victoria University in 2006.
He is a keen debater, participating in the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships, and New Zealand Universities Debating Championships in 2006 which his team won in that year.
Mr Holden’s candidacy follows a career in the information technology industry, working for IBM, New Zealand-owned solutions-provider Spectrum, Ingram Micro NZ, and most recently for Oracle New Zealand in Auckland.
He is married to Jennifer and will return to the electorate to contest the seat.
Mr Holden is also known for his work as Chairman of the New Zealand Republican Movement from 2006-2013.
National has selected another capable candidate who has experience in business and life.
He will be contesting the seat against sitting MP Chris Hipkins who gained a majority of 3126 in 2011.
However, National won the party vote which indicates the seat is more purple than red.
Morning Report interviewed the leaders of all the wee parties this morning – well all but that of New Zealand First because Winston Peters didn’t turn up.
He didn’t turn up for the RadioNZ foreign policy debate either.
Does he have a problem with radio or is today’s no-show related to a RadioNZ news story that he’s given up on Tauranga?
Morning Report discussed that in more detail.
And what does Helen Clark’s comment yesterday that he was a victim of a malicious campaign mean?
“It’s one thing to try to take people out of politics on the basis of their policies, it’s another to mount a campaign based on smears and we’ve now had three inquiries which have fallen completely flat on their face.
“Wouldn’t I look a chump today if I had sacked Mr Peters because of those inquiries.”
No, she’d have been seen to treat him as she’d treated other errant ministers and she does look a chump for backing him in the face of the privileges committee censure.
But what happens now? Will she tell the Labour candidate in Rimutaka to pull back to give Ron Mark a better chance?
That’s the only electorate where NZ First has a chance and if they don’t win it they’ll need 5% of the party vote which is possible but not probable.
The ODT’s Dene Mackenzie is taking the pulse of New Zealand and has found Ron Mark making his mark in Rimutaka.
Ron Mark has a novel approach to campaigning in the Rimutaka electorate he is contesting in this election. As a leading spokesman for the party on law and order, he is required to visit electorates around the country, campaigning hard for the party vote.
In Rimutaka, he stands up at meet-the-candidate nights and tells people he wants to be their MP.
If people tell him they are supporters of other parties, he accepts that but asks bluntly for their electorate vote.
“A vote for me will not be wasted,” he said in an interview.
“National and Labour are getting up asking for the party vote. Not me. I want to be the MP for Rimutaka.”
If Mr Mark does win the seat, something that would have seemed improbable this time last year, it changes the face of the NZ First campaign. Then, even if NZ First polls only 3%, as recent opinion polls have been indicating, it means that leader Winston Peters will return to Parliament thanks to Mr Mark.
It’s the party vote that counts and that message is drummed in to candidates, but a party that’s hardly approached 5% in the polls for three years could get in to parliament if it won a seat.
Mark’s chances of doing that would be helped if Labour nobbled its candidate, but they wouldn’t be that desperate would they?
Ruminations on whether or not New Zealand First remains in parliament have generally focussed on Peters winning Tauranga or the party gaining 5% of the vote.
But Big News says that Ron Mark is standing in Rimutaka.
If he is, could he win and keep the party in parliament regardless of what happens to Peters?
Hat Tip: Big News.