Heather Roy to stand in Wellington Central

Last updated 00:00 01/01/2009

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ACT MP Heather Roy is going to contest Wellington Central in next year's general election.

Ms Roy, a list MP and her party's deputy leader, lives in the electorate and said today it was the most interesting and high-profile in the country.

"For too long Wellington Central has been taken for granted under a Labour MP and a Labour-led government," she said.

"This has led to a lack of investment in infrastructure within the electorate and the wider Wellington region, which has also suffered poor economic performance when compared to the national average."

Wellington Central is going to be open territory for candidates next year because the Labour MP who holds it, Marian Hobbs, is standing down.

Ms Hobbs retained it in 2005 with 20,199 votes -- a majority of 6180 over Mark Blumsky, the former Wellington mayor who stood for National.

A former ACT MP, Stephen Franks, contested the seat in that election but gained only 1254 votes, fewer than the Green's Sue Kedgley who came third.

Richard Prebble, a former ACT leader, won the seat in 1996 but he had been endorsed by National which wanted a coalition partner.

Labour has chosen Grant Robertson, a former adviser to Prime Minister Helen Clark, as its Wellington Central candidate.

Mr Blumsky won't be trying for it again because he has called it quits and is leaving politics.

National is tipped to put up lawyer Chris Finlayson, a list MP.

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- NZPA

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