Labour’s Charles Chauvel is campaigning hard in Ohariu, and would certainly bring a fresh approach and much more energy to representing the electorate. The polls are close, so close that John Key has had to come out to Ohariu’s small party launch to support Dunne. Katrina Shanks has been sidelined – parked in the middle of National’s list along with their other sacrificial lamb in Paul Goldsmith.This tactic may backfire – word is that many people in the electorate don’t like being told how to vote.
Peter Dunne has certainly been around a long time – I remember him as a Labour MP in the 1980’s. He’s was a bit of a chameleon then and he’s now represented four political parties over twenty-seven years in Parliament. He has been assiduous in cultivating the electorate over that time but people say that is slowing down too these days.
Saturday’s DomPost gave some good coverage to what is shaping as a real fight. United Future’s president Judy Turner says Dunne is “part of the furniture of Ohariu.” Perhaps Key had to intervene because people were noticing that the furniture is a bit worn. Certainly some in Ohariu think so as these videos show.
The photos too – not on-line – were illustrative – Chauvel’s genuine engagement with some kids, Key and Shanks smiling at the floor but not each other, and Dunne staring at tins of food in a foodbank that unlike the rest of the country is seeing decreasing demand.