Residents tip early exit
MT ALBERT residents are predicting they’ll soon be heading back to the ballot box.
Outgoing Prime Minister Helen Clark, who has been the electorate’s MP since 1981, resigned the Labour Party leadership during her concession speech on Saturday.
But constituents don’t expect her to remain an opposition backbencher for long.
Sandringham resident Mrs Davis says it will be a “tremendous waste” of talent if Miss Clark remains in Parliament as a backbench MP for three years.
“I think she’ll probably take an overseas posting.”
A fellow Sandringham resident, who only wanted to be known as Steve, is also expecting a quick departure.
“I’m thinking she won’t stay. She’s been in power for so long, but I’d like to see her stick around.”
And a Pt Chevalier resident, who didn’t want to be named, also predicted a byelection.
But not everyone expected a quick exit.
A Blockhouse Bay resident, who also didn’t want to be named, felt she could still be an asset to the party.
“At the end of three years she might consider it, but I don’t think she will go this term. The Labour Party will need her.”
Several people say Miss Clark did her best for the electorate, considering her busy schedule during nine years as prime minister.
But Mt Albert Residents Association member Tony Mayes feels she didn’t take enough interest in local issues, including the future of the mountain and the Mt Albert train station.
“She could certainly afford to do that now. It would be appreciated by residents.”
But like other locals, Mr Mayes believes a byelection could be on the cards.
“I don’t see how effective she would be in an opposition line-up,” he says.
“I would welcome a byelection for a fresh start.”
Miss Clark was leader of the opposition from 1993 for six years, before taking the top job in 1999.
She joined the Labour Party in 1971 and was deputy prime minister from 1989 to 1990.
The prime minister’s offi did not respond to a request for comment by our deadline.
Over and out: Helen Clark concedes defeat and resigns as Labour Party leader on Saturday night.