Faafoi es­chews list plac­ing

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Kris Faafoi isn’t about lists.

The Mana MP’s name was ab­sent when the Labour Party re­vealed its list last week. Af­ter the 2011 gen­eral elec­tion, he was ranked 41st.

Faafoi said he was ‘‘ a bit real­is­tic’’ about where his rank­ing would be this time around, be­cause of Labour’s gen­der quota, passed last year. The Labour list con­tains 34 women and 30 men.

He joined sit­ting MPs Ruth Dyson, Clare Cur­ran, Trevor Mal­lard and Rino Tirikatene in opt­ing to go for au­to­matic in­clu­sion in Labour’s ranks by win­ning an elec­torate. He said it was an old­school tac­tic, but had con­fi­dence.

‘‘I made the de­ci­sion not to go on the list and there is a de­gree of risk, but I’d like to think my track record in Mana these past two terms is good,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m never go­ing to take any­thing for granted, of course, and I’m ac­count­able to the people who voted me in.’’

Faafoi is un­sure what not be­ing on the list might mean in a post­elec­tion Govern­ment or Op­po­si­tion. He hoped po­ten­tially win­ning Mana a third time – in­clud­ing win­ning the 2010 by-elec­tion – and work­ing hard to bring up Labour’s party vote will hold him in good stead.

Faafoi ex­pected a few meet the can­di­dates meet­ings to pop up soon and an­tic­i­pated the en­su­ing bat­tle with Na­tional’s Hekia Parata would be tough.

Na­tional won the party vote in Mana for the first time in 2011 (39.9 per cent to 37.8 per cent), some­thing he dearly wants to turn around. But a hard-work­ing and ap­proach­able MP was just as cru­cial, Faafoi said.

‘‘ The people of Mana want some­one to rep­re­sent them re­gard­less of the party vote. You have to be there when it mat­ters to them.

‘‘There are plenty of sec­tions of the elec­torate that are blue and it’s up to me to en­gage and re­spond to their needs as well.’’

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