Labour announces Chch Central candidate


The race to install their candidates in time for the election is heating up with National revealing two new faces at the weekend and Labour also announcing a fresh face for Christchurch Central candidate.

In Christchurch, Labour is pinning its hopes on another new face, party activist Tony Milne, winning the seat back after Labour lost it to National in 2008. Labour leader David Cunliffe said yesterday he believed Christchurch Central was winnable and defended Labour's relative lack of rejuvenation compared to National's large number of retirements.

Milne has a first-class honours degree in English and political science from Canterbury University and worked in central government for MPs and ministers before becoming a health promoter for the Problem Gambling Foundation in late 2008 where he is currently the national manager of public health.

He has worked on several political campaigns including as a volunteer for Barack Obama in Pennsylvania in 2008 and was campaign manager in 2010 for Jim Anderton's mayoral campaign in Christchurch.

Cunliffe said Labour got only 27 per cent at the last election and there was "a good chance we will be above 37 per cent this time".

He also hinted there could be more retirements but would not say who.

Political parties put stock on bringing fresh faces into Parliament, but Labour has only one confirmed MP retiring at the election, Ross Robertson, though others have left during the electoral term.


In Whangarei, Dr Shane Reti beat sitting MP Paul Foster-Bell for the nomination following the retirement of Phil Heatley and with the seat considered a National stronghold can be expected to be among the crop of newcomers in Parliament after this year's election.

Reti is a Whangarei-based medical practitioner who has worked around the world from New Zealand to the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Middle East. He is a father of three children.

In 2007, he was awarded a New Zealand Harkness Fellowship to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

While working in a senior management role, he completed a second master's Degree at Harvard in 2010 and was promoted to assistant professor in 2012. He was later appointed by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to a strategic planning and economic development role, working with the New Zealand Consulate in Dubai.

Labour is yet to announce its Whangarei candidate.

In Napier, National named Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wayne Walford to try and win the seat for National after the retirement of Chris Tremain. Walford will be up against Labour's Stuart Nash.

Walford is of Ngati Porou descent, Walford is currently chief executive of the Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce, and according to his biography holds a masters in business administration. He was National's Tauranga campaign manager in 2005 when National took the seat off Winston Peters.




Fairfax Media