What's next for the Kaikōura candidates?

Kaikōura MP, National's Stuart Smith is already forging ahead with bills and advocacy. (File photo)
RICKY WILSON/STUFF

Kaikōura MP, National's Stuart Smith is already forging ahead with bills and advocacy. (File photo)

As the country waits to learn which parties will form the new Government, candidates who ran for the Kaikōura electorate are already plotting their next moves.

Labour's Janette Walker might have failed in her bid for the Kaikōura seat but she has plans to run again in three years.

She was buoyed by a marked increase in left-wing support from an area considered a National stronghold, she said.

Labour Party votes from the electorate nearly doubled, reaching 11,587, and Walker's candidate votes jumped by 25.5 per cent on the 2014 election.

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"When you look at the figures, about half the voters are actually voting for change," Walker said.

Labour Party candidate Janette Walker plans to run again for the Kaikōura seat in 2020. (File photo)
RICKY WILSON/STUFF

Labour Party candidate Janette Walker plans to run again for the Kaikōura seat in 2020. (File photo)

Official Kaikōura figures showed an 8.13 per cent increase in voter turnout.

"I think I've built a strong base here. People are far more engaged in the political scene here now and I want to continue that work," Walker said.

"I've certainly had people ask me if I'm going to stand again, so the expectation is that I will. I was really waiting for the special votes to come in, and I made the decision based on that."

New Zealand First candidate Jamie Arbuckle hopes to improve his place on the list for the 2020 election. (File photo)
SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

New Zealand First candidate Jamie Arbuckle hopes to improve his place on the list for the 2020 election. (File photo)

Walker would carry on as Crossroads Charitable Trust co-ordinator, helping run Blenheim drop-in shelter John's Kitchen.

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Her next major focus was working with the Ministry of Social Development to get more social housing built, and getting the Ministry of Social Development's plan to use Blenheim motel Brydan Accommodation for transitional housing underway.

National's returning Kaikōura MP Stuart Smith was watching the negotiations between Winston Peters, National and Labour with interest, he said. 

Life as a locum GP continues for Green Party candidate Dr Richard McCubbin, right. (File photo)
SCOTT HAMMOND/STUFF

Life as a locum GP continues for Green Party candidate Dr Richard McCubbin, right. (File photo)

But Smith was preparing to launch back into his work as MP, especially his bill amending regulation around credit unions, he said.

The bill would modernise the 25-year-old Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act, removing operating and compliance costs, promoting efficiency and increasing accountability for 13 credit unions and their 190,000 members.

It passed its first reading in June and was being reviewed by the finance and expenditure committee, but while several credit unions and associations supported the bill, some had suggested changes or opposed the bill altogether.

Supporting people in the rebuild of roads, rail, houses and businesses after the November earthquake was also "top of the list", Smith said.

"My role is to be the link between the government departments and my constituents, which is what I'm doing."

He was also continuing his advocacy for a dry dock in Picton, which would create more than 100 jobs and more in associated service industries.

New Zealand First candidate Jamie Arbuckle said he was meeting with the party committee this week to discuss the next three years, but was hoping to stay on as the local candidate.

"I started at 23 on the list, so for me 2020 is about trying to break into the top 10. I'm hoping to enter Parliament on the list.

"There will be a time and a place when the next MP candidate will be selected by the party. But I'm personally very motivated to stay on."

First-time Green Party candidate Dr Richard McCubbin also hoped to run again in 2020, if the party would allow him.

"And I'll need to discuss it with my wife.

"In terms of the candidate vote we held our own here. But what we really need is the party vote, so we have some work to do."

He would continue working as a locum GP in North Canterbury, Kaikōura and possibly in Marlborough so he could get to know the electorate better, he said.

 - The Marlborough Express

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