Faafoi eschews list placing
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.’’