Eight candidates keen to stand for Labour seat
Labour Party candidates are lining up to win long-serving MP Ross Robertson's golden chair.
Mr Robertson is one of Parliament's longest serving members and will have spent 27 years as an MP when he retires at this year's general election.
Now he is shifting his attention on to his new role as an Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board member.
Eight prospective candidates are hoping to win selection as the candidate for the seat.
The party will select its candidate by the end of next week.
Candidates include Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board chairman Efeso Collins, Noorie Dhillon, Anahila Kanongataa-Suisuiiki, Sunny Kaushal, Efu Koka, Jerome Mika, Jenny Salesa and Lydia Sosene.
Party members will have a chance to judge the prospective candidates at one of two Meet the Candidates question and answer sessions.
They are at 10am tomorrow at Papatoetoe Town Hall and 6pm on Wednesday at Otara's Pacific Islanders Presbyterian Church.
Entry to the meetings is restricted to members only but new members can join at the door.
The final selection meeting will be at 12.30pm on February 22 at Allan Brewster Recreation Centre.
Manukau East electorate chairman Dennis Gush expects to announce the candidate then.
"Manukau East has an unfortunate reputation for being a low wage area," he says.
"The people who receive those low wages are hurting and want a living wage. There is a mood for change and our new candidate will give people someone to rally round."