Hapeta rules out election challenge

Iain Lees-Galloway and Leonie Hapeta on election night 2011.
Iain Lees-Galloway and Leonie Hapeta on election night 2011.

Leonie Hapeta will not take a second tilt at winning the Palmerston North electorate in the 2014 general election.

The city businesswoman, who polled second behind Labour’s Iain Lees-Galloway, confirmed to the Manawatu Standard that she had decided not to contest the next election.

‘‘I still believe in everything John Key and National are doing,’’ she said.

‘‘My decision is based around what I want to do with the rest of my life.’’

Mrs Hapeta, who runs the Hotel Coachman with her husband, said taking part in the 2011 campaign had been a great experience and she had enjoyed being involved in the campaign.

She said she would offer her support to whoever National selected for the 2014 race.

National Party Palmerston North electorate chairman Trevor Day said the party was not actively looking for its 2014 candidate at the moment.

The process of selecting one was likely to start in about November next year with a decision in February 2014.

Mrs Hapeta received 13,240 votes to  Iain Lees-Galloway’s 16,525.

Manawatu Standard