Pansy Wong tipped for new Auckland seat

Last updated 00:00 01/01/2009

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National's list MP Pansy Wong is likely to be selected as the party's candidate for the new Auckland electorate of Botany in next year's general election.

Ms Wong is understood to be keen to stand in Botany, which looks like a safe National seat on paper and has a significantly high proportion of Asian voters. She is expected to easily head off several other members who are seeking selection.

Party sources say it would be a safer to put an experienced MP into the new seat rather than an untested candidate.

And if Ms Wong could capture an electorate, it would send a signal to Asian voters that National takes them seriously.

Ms Wong has been in Parliament as a list MP since 1996.

In 2005 she stood as National's candidate in Auckland Central, a safe Labour seat, and ran second to Judith Tizard.

Several Auckland electorates were carved up to form Botany when the Representation Commission drew new boundaries because of population shifts.

A slice of Clevedon has gone into it, and at the last election National's Judith Collins won Clevedon with a majority of 12,871 - the biggest in the country.

Clevedon has disappeared, the rest of it going into the new electorates of Papakura and Hunua.

Ms Collins wants to stand in Papakura, which has more of Clevedon in it than any other electorate, and is almost certain to be selected for it.

Hunua has taken about two-thirds of the old Port Waikato electorate which is held by National's Paul Hutchison. He is expected to be chosen to stand in Hunua next year.

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- NZPA

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