Labour Party President Andrew Little is calling for nominations for the Mt Albert by-election, following the appointment of Rt Hon Helen Clark as Head of the UN Development Programme.
Mr Little says Helen has given the people of Mt Albert outstanding service as their MP for 28 years and the interest in the by-election is intense.
He says a number of high calibre potential candidates have already come forward and he’s anticipating an open, transparent and competitive selection process and a strong campaign based on local issues.
Mount Albert has a unique community culture. Labour party members will participate in choosing a candidate who will be very involved in promoting local issues such as the Waterview tunnel, the future of Auckland city and ensuring a sustainable public transport system.
‘One of Helen Clark’s many legacies is that she leaves the Mt Albert Labour organization in fantastic shape, we’ve got many hundreds of members and volunteers who will do their utmost to keep Mt Albert Labour’.
Nominations for the Mt Albert by-election will close on Wednesday 22 April.
There have effectively been two MP’s for the seat of Mount Albert since it was created in 1946*.
Warren Freer gained the seat in the by-election in 1947 at the age of 26 and went on to be number 3 in the Labour government.
Helen Clark who gained the seat in the 1981 at the age of 30 and proceeded on to be one of NZ’s best Prime Ministers. She is continuing to pursue her dedication to public service as the head of the United Nations Development Programme appointed unanimously by the 192-member General Assembly. She will be greatly missed by Mount Albert.
It will be interesting to see who we select as the new Labour candidate for the electorate. They will have a great group supporting them, a strong electoral team, and an awesome tradition to follow.
It will be even more interesting to see who National selects to follow in the steps of Robert Muldoon – who stood for the seat in 1954 and lost. Ravi Musuku has stood for the last two elections and has been a worthy opponent.
*The first MP, Arthur Shapton Richards gained the new seat in 1946 for Labour, but died in 1947.