Nikki makes his­tory

Auckland City Harbour News - - Front Page - By Janie Smith

IN TERMS of pol­i­tics, Nikki Kaye is the new kid on the block.

But months of pound­ing Auck­land city pave­ments and talk­ing to the pub­lic have led her to a record suc­cess.

Ms Kaye beat in­cum­bent Auck­land Cen­tral MP Ju­dith Tizard to the seat by 1181 votes on Satur­day, be­com­ing the first Na­tional Party can­di­date to hold the post.

The 28-year-old busi­ness di­rec­tor says the ex­pe­ri­ence is “pretty hum­bling” and it’s an achieve­ment she won’t be tak­ing lightly.

“With any priv­i­lege comes re­spon­si­bil­ity and I’m very mind­ful of that.”

She at­tributes part of her suc­cess to get­ting out and meet­ing peo­ple in the elec­torate.

“I was very for­tu­nate to have some su­perb vol­un­teers on the ground.

“We had a mas­sive door knock­ing ef­fort and knocked on more than 10,000 doors.

“It showed that grass roots cam­paign­ing re­ally does work.”

A mood for change in the city and its chang­ing de­mo­graphic also played a part in the swing to Na­tional, she says.

“I felt the mood on the ground was pretty good for me and for Na­tional. I felt there was a re­ally good chance I could take the seat.”

Ms Kaye says she aims to rep­re­sent her con­stituents well dur­ing the next three years on a range of is­sues, in­clud­ing sup­port­ing small busi­nesses in the city.

Pro­tect­ing the Hau­raki Gulf is a key is­sue, along with af­ford­able hous­ing and in­ner city crime, she says.

“I’m re­ally hum­bled to be elected and will work hard for the peo­ple.”

She flew to Welling­ton yes­ter­day for the Na­tional Party’s first cau­cus meet­ing.

Mean­while, Ms Tizard ar­rived at her Pon­sonby elec­toral of­fice on Mon­day morn­ing to find the front door lock su­per­glued shut by a prankster, but was able to get in and start pack­ing it up.

She was “sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed” by the week­end’s re­sults.

“Peo­ple had ob­vi­ously made up their minds and we all move on, it’s called democ­racy.

“I think New Zealan­ders had de­cided it was time for a change,” she says.

Ms Tizard, who was ranked No 38 on the Labour Party list, has held the seat since 1996 and says she is proud of the work she has done for the elec­torate.

“We’ve helped thou­sands of peo­ple. Auck­land is a bet­ter place for our work.”

Hav­ing been an MP for both Pan­mure and Auck­land Cen­tral for the past 18 years, she is ex­cited to have some time out to de­cide what her next move is.

She says be­ing an MP is a “most ex­traor­di­nary priv­i­lege” but she is looking for­ward to hav­ing time to spend with her fam­ily.

“A good MP has 100 other things they would like to do.

“It will be won­der­ful to spend some real time with fam­ily and friends and the lovely Labour Party peo­ple who work re­ally hard on pol­icy and cam­paign­ing.”

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Fresh face: Nikki Kaye is the new Auck­land Cen­tral MP and the first Na­tional can­di­date to hold the post.

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