Res­i­dents split on what Clark’s fu­ture will hold

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

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 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.

“Af­ter three years she might con­sider it but I don’t think she will go this term. The Labour Party 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 see­ing 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 of­fice did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment by dead­line.

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