David Benson-Pope seeks council seat

WILMA MCCORKINDALE
Last updated 09:52 31/07/2013
SEEKING SEAT: David Benson-Pope.
CRAIG SIMCOX
SEEKING SEAT: David Benson-Pope.

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Former Cabinet minister David Benson-Pope has decided to re-enter politics at a local level.

Benson-Pope confirmed he was seeking a seat as an independent on the Dunedin City Council in October's local body elections, after a five-year break from national politics which ended in his resignation as a cabinet minister.

"I wasn't quite ready to stand last local body election," said Benson-Pope, who first won a seat on the council in 1986 .

"But I've been watching what the council's been up to and I've always been interested in Dunedin of course.

"The current council has done a lot of good stuff but there are also things we could improve on."

Benson-Pope said the big issues he would campaign on included support for the council's focus on regional growth, lobbying against central Government resources going into Auckland, and resurrecting of the lobby for a power-price differential for the South Island.

Benson-Pope, a former teacher, served several terms as a city councillor before becoming a Labour Party MP 1999.

In May 2005 he was temporarily relieved of his portfolios after claims of bullying while he was a teacher, and he resigned from Cabinet in July 2007 after allegations he made misleading statements about his knowledge of events surrounding the sacking of government staff member.

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