Green MP to contest the Coromandel

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 05:00 03/02/2014

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Green Party list MP Catherine Delahunty will contest the Coromandel electorate at this year's general election but taking the seat from National MP Scott Simpson would be a tough ask.

Ms Delahunty came third in the 2011 general election with 5660 ticks at the ballot box, 171 votes shy of Labour's Hugh Kininmonth and a whopping 12,900 votes behind Mr Simpson, who was standing for the first time.

The National MP's huge majority may be too big a margin to overhaul and Ms Delahunty will focus her campaign on the party vote.

"We have a strong campaign team and will be running a vibrant campaign for the party vote in the electorate," she said.

Ms Delahunty lives in the Kauaeranga Valley, outside Thames, where 40 party members and supporters turned out at the local hall to give her the nod.

She is the party spokesperson for the environment, education and Te Tiriti o Waitangi and fought for the rights of Coromandel communities against new mining operations in the region.

The Tui Mine cleanup and the protection of the New Chums beach were highlights of her term, she said.

"Much of my work has been on issues such as education, mining, families caring for disabled members, toxic sites cleanup and Te Tiriti o Waitangi issues, all of which are important in the Coromandel electorate.

"I am delighted to have this opportunity to work for the party vote for the Green Party but also to stand here in Coromandel where it has been my privilege to work on both environmental and community issues."

Mr Simpson was unchallenged for the National Party nomination in the Coromandel seat and he looked forward to securing a second term in office.

The former chief executive of the Make-A-Wish Foundation lives in Thames and is the chairman of the justice and electoral select committee and won his seat with a huge 18,571 votes.

"The seat is a good National seat and I'm expecting if I campaign hard and continue to work hard there is no reason why anything should change," he said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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