The Labour Party is bypassing Taranaki in a series of meetings to be held before electing its new leader.
Details of the 12 meetings, spread across New Zealand, were announced yesterday as the Labour leadership race entered its next phase.
New Plymouth had been a traditional stronghold for the party with Harry Duynhoven holding the seat from 1993 until 2008, when National MP Jonathan Young wrested it from him with the country's smallest majority of just 105 votes.
Mr Young then went on to defeat Andrew Little in 2011.
Labour Party general secretary Tim Barnett said the tight timeframe and having to hold meetings in the six biggest population centres had dictated where meetings were held.
"There is no slight to New Plymouth whatsoever, it's just a function of time and practicality," Mr Barnett said.
He said there were several places the party would have liked to hold meetings including New Plymouth, Invercargill, Rotorua and Timaru.
"We haven't got meetings in any of them because we haven't got the time available."
Mr Barnett said Mr Little had strongly advocated for a meeting in New Plymouth and he hoped that members would understand.
Mr Young said he believed Labour voters would feel "jilted" by the decision.
"You would have thought, on past elections, they would have thought of coming to New Plymouth."
One possible reason behind the decision was that Labour didn't think they could win the seat back, Mr Young said.
Mr Little said he was disappointed with the decision and believed party members were entitled to feel disappointed.
He said he had raised the issue at the caucus meeting.
"They say they can't change the schedule," he said.
Mr Little said part of the reason was because the party's conference for region three, which includes New Plymouth, had to be rescheduled for this weekend after the death of Parekura Horomia in April.b "Which I don't think is good enough."
He said video would be made of speeches and there would also be a meeting held in New Plymouth, so party financial members would be able to view those before voting.
EPMU organiser and Labour Party member Ross Henderson said unions were still important to the party. "I'm disappointed if they're not coming here but I'm only disappointed as a Labour Party member."
The party meetings are being held in all of the main centres and Levin, Whangarei, Tauranga, Hawke's Bay, Nelson and the West Coast.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Should ratepayers fork out for increased security to keep vandals at bay in Pukekura Park?Related story: Cameras set to catch vandals