The wish list: Where do the candidates stand
Two is better than one.
That’s the schtick of one Beehive hopeful in the National stronghold of Kaikoura.
New Zealand First candidate Jamie Arbuckle says Marlburians should look at which party they vote for to get more representatives from the electorate into office.
But Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith said people should vote for the MP that would best represent them, and the party they wanted to govern New Zealand.
Any suggestion they should vote for a party purely to get more elected members from the area into Parliament was misguided, he said.
Arbuckle said it was possible he could hold office after being given what he described as a high list placing.
He made the comment at a candidates meeting organised by the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce and Grey Power Marlborough on Monday night.
Last election the Kaikoura electorate had two sitting MPs, Smith, who won the seat, and Green Party MP Steffan Browning who got in on the list.
‘‘You need to look at who you’re voting for and get another - at least two - representatives for Marlborough.
‘‘I will be very high on that list, so look out for that,’’ Arbuckle said.
‘‘New Zealand First will be in the next Government so it is important that Marlborough has a voice at that table and we have a strong relationship with Wellington.’’
Arbuckle was 23rd on the New Zealand First list, released on Tuesday, something he claimed gave him a realistic shot of getting into Parliament.
‘‘I’m very, very pleased where I am on that. It gives me an opportunity to get in on the list, but still things would have to go our way on election night,’’ he said.
Arbuckle said New Zealand First would need to get around 17 or 18 per cent of the vote for him to get in, but said it also depended on who won electorate seats.
Arbuckle said his chances of getting into Parliament also depended on who won electorate seats for the party, and how the Greens fared come election night.
The most recent Colmar Brunton Poll put them below the 5 per cent threshold needed to get into Parliament without winning an electorate seat.
However, the Green Party candidate for Kaikoura, Dr Richard McCubbin, was confident the party would poll well above 5 per cent.
‘‘We need a bold, innovative, exciting Government. And the Green Party is the only party who agrees to go into coalition with Labour, to form a progressive Government of the left,’’ he said.
McCubbin, who was not on the Green Party list as his candidacy was confirmed after it was released, said he was unashamedly campaigning for the party vote.
Smith, who was placed 47th on the National Party list, said on current polling it was highly unlikely Arbuckle would get into Parliament.
Smith, who took the traditionally safe National seat of Kaikoura by more than 10,000 votes last election, said he had never wanted to enter Parliament on the list.
‘‘I don’t take anything for granted, but I’m confident in the campaign we’re running and the policies we’re running with,’’ he said.
Labour candidate for Kaikoura Janette Walker was ranked 45th on the party list, a position she expressed disappointment with when it was first announced.
Walker would get in on the list if Labour got around 40 per cent of the vote, however she said she was gunning to replace Smith as the electorate MP.
‘‘I want to represent the region, I want to be the local MP for Kaikoura - I make no bones about that,’’ she said. ‘‘I think the region has been poorly serviced for decades and it’s time for change.’’
The Act candidate for Kaikoura, Richard Evans, was ranked 12th on the list.
Some of the candidates for the Kaikoura electorate, from left, National’s Stuart Smith, the Green Party’s Dr Richard McCubbin, Labour’s Janette Walker and New Zealand First’s Jamie Arbuckle.