Hekia Parata to contest Mana byelection

BY ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 14:53 08/09/2010

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National MP Hekia Parata will stand as a candidate for the upcoming Mana election.

Labour MP and former Pacific Island Affairs Minister Winnie Laban last month announced she is leaving Parliament to work at Victoria University.

Ms Parata has owned property in Titahi Bay since 2006, and became the National List MP based in Mana in 2008.

"Mana has been a safe Labour seat and I acknowledge the challenge ahead of my team. However, I'm ready to run a strong campaign that focuses on the issues that matter to the people of Mana," Ms Parata said.

"I have a sound record of bringing energy, action, and voice to the interests of everyone who lives and works here. I want the best for Mana's people and its businesses."

Prime Minister John Key congratulated Ms Parata on securing the nomination.

"Hekia is a talented member of National's caucus. She is ideally placed to ensure the people of Mana have a strong voice inside Parliament and within the Government. It will be a tough job, but she will campaign hard to earn the opportunity to make that voice heard."

National Party President Peter Goodfellow said Ms Parata had a " broad range of life and work experience." He said the party would run a strong campaign.

"Hekia is a capable member of parliament who will be standing on her record of working tirelessly for the people of Mana since becoming a Mana-based list MP in 2008."

Ms Parata is married to Wira Gardiner, who failed in a bid to be the party president last year.

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