New MP to stand in Wairarapa

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 15:15 12/02/2014
Joanne Hayes
FAIRFAX NZ
EYEING WAIRARAPA: Joanne Hayes is seeking the nomination for National in the Wairarapa Electorate.

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Manawatu's newest MP is seeking election on the other side of the Manawatu Gorge.

Joanne Hayes is seeking the nomination for National in the Wairarapa Electorate following the retirement of John Hayes.

Mrs Hayes, who is not related to Mr Hayes, has confirmed the plan to the Hawke's Bay Today.

"Born in Eketahuna and raised on an Alfredton sheep and cattle station, I have connections from Waipawa, all along the East Coast," she told the paper.

"I was brought up in grassroots New Zealand, working in shearing sheds and picking spuds with my dad, which I hated. We never went without, it was a good life, but we also did things hard."

Mrs Hayes entered Parliament last month after the retirement of Katrina Shanks, who resigned to take a role with the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand.

Mrs Hayes, who lives in Apiti with her husband, stood for National in Dunedin South in 2011. She had earlier that year sought nomination as National's Palmerston North candidate but lost out to Leonie Hapeta, who is now a Palmerston North City Councillor.

There had been speculation that Mrs Hayes would stand in Palmerston North this year meaning the competition for the city seat would be between two sitting MPs.

Speaking to the Manawatu Standard in Feilding last month Prime Minister John Key said Mrs Hayes would be "a great representative for Palmerston North".

"We have in the last couple of elections run a good campaign with very dedicated candidates," he said.

The Prime Minsiter's office later clarified that Mr Key had not been endorsing Mrs Hayes as the Palmerston North candidate.

John Hayes retained the Wairarapa seat for National at the last election with a majority of about 7000.

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- Manawatu Standard

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