Aaron Gilmore eyes Christchurch role
Former National MP Aaron Gilmore will head back to Parliament in the new year.
Gilmore's ranking on the National Party's list means he has been called up to fill the spot left by the departure of long-serving National MP and Speaker of the House Lockwood Smith, who will take up his new role as high commissioner to Britain early next year.
Gilmore scraped into Parliament as a list MP in 2008 but lost his seat in the 2011 general election when special votes gave the Greens an extra seat at National's expense.
He stood unsuccessfully in the same election for the Christchurch East seat, but lost to Labour's Lianne Dalziel.
Since then, Gilmore has been working in Wellington as managing director of Mighty Rocket, which provides strategy, finance and economic advice to businesses.
Gilmore said yesterday he was excited about his return to politics and felt better prepared for the job than when first elected.
"I've learnt a lot. I was 35 when I was elected and I don't think I was ready to be elected the first time around."
Gilmore said he hoped as an MP to be Christchurch-based because he wanted to help influence the city's rebuild.