Who will be Tauranga’s next MP?

Andrew Hollis, Jan Tinetti and Peter Wakeman are all potential candidates. Photos: SunLive.

Two people have indicated they will put their hands up to be considered by voters for the soon-to-be vacant Tauranga MP seat. A third person has not officially confirmed their intentions just yet.

A by-election will come after Simon Bridges officially retires from politics in coming weeks –a move he announced at a Parliament press conference last week.

At 45, Simon says he's set to explore some commercial opportunities and enjoy having more time for his young family after serving as Tauranga's MP for the past 14 years.

Since Simon's announcement, Tauranga City Councillor Andrew Hollis and past by-election candidate Peter Wakeman have confirmed they will stand in the upcoming by-election.

Jan Tinetti, however, has not officially confirmed she will run.

However, next door in the Bay of Plenty electorate, fellow Labour List MP Angie Warren-Clark is looking forward to an exciting by-election for Tauranga. Her first thought on hearing Bridges' announcement was: 'Good on him for putting his family first!”

'[I'm] really looking forward to an exciting by-election and having Jan Tinetti taking up the seat of the Tauranga electorate.”

The Weekend Sun approached Jan Tinetti, Tauranga's Labour List MP, to get her view on the by-election.

She wishes Simon all the best with his future endeavours and is 'excited about what this means for the future for Tauranga”.

Many people were caught off-guard by Bridges' retirement news. This includes Andrew Hollis, who will run for the Tauranga MP seat for the New National Party when the by-election is officially announced.

'My first thought was is he okay? I felt Simon was likely going to stay much longer in the city,” says Andrew.

'I also thought what has happened with respect to the leadership of the party...why would an experienced MP like Bridges decide to leave mid-cycle? It's expensive and not ideal for the electorate.”

Andrew, who is one of the councillors who was ousted when Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta appointed a Commission to oversee Tauranga Council last year, says one way or another – Tauranga will have an election this year.

'Yet again, Tauranga gets to experience democracy.”

When asked why he decided to run, Andrew says he has some spare time on his hands.

'I decided to run when Ms Mahuta freed up two years for me. I decided that I could continue my recent years' support of people in Tauranga at a central level just as easily as at local level.

'I'm looking forward to the challenge of helping Tauranga people discover a new way to be represented – and not just the usual voting patterns shown historically.”

When asked what his first thought was about Bridges' retiring, Peter Wakeman says he's surprised it hasn't happened sooner.

'It means political promises being held to account with respect to upgrading highways and putting the spotlight on city water infrastructure,” says Wakeman in response to what this means for Tauranga.

SunLive also asked him what party he would be running for, a question Wakeman chose not to answer.

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Posted on 27-03-2022 10:55 | By Let's get real

If these are the best candidates that Tauranga can offer, then there's little chance of finding well qualified councillors. And where are the Maori candidates...? Waiting at the back door presumably.


Posted on 27-03-2022 12:14 | By dumbkof2

labour candidates need not apply

Lets get real

Posted on 27-03-2022 12:26 | By an_alias

Any candidate regardless of race can stand, its up to the person. Unless your trying to refer to the single race only Maori ward side, thats not up for a bi-election though.


Posted on 27-03-2022 13:46 | By The Sage

Surely we can have a couple of better candidates than this lot. Of course Nanaia Mahuta may decide to put a Commissioner into the job. That would finish off the Dictatorship Tauranga is living under.

That’s Grim

Posted on 27-03-2022 14:26 | By Bob Landy

Really grim. Hopefully someone better comes forward.

Not for me.

Posted on 27-03-2022 15:33 | By morepork

I can't vote for any of these, although I greatly respect Jan Tinetti. 1. Andrew Hollis: Decides to run because he has time on his hands? Take up knitting or lawn bowls, Andrew...2. Jan Tinetti: hasn't even decided yet, but, if she does, it will be for Labour and I cannot vote for Labour at the moment. 3. Peter Wakeman: Unknown quantity whose first thoughts were to snipe at Simon Bridges (we have too many politicians who think their job is to criticize and bring down their opposition rather than show positive efforts of their own...), and he won't reveal who he will be affiliated with. Obviously doesn't embrace transparency... I give all 3 credit for at least being in the ring, but I can't support any of them. I am reluctantly forced to agree with Let's Get Real.

its a joke i hope

Posted on 27-03-2022 15:43 | By terry hall

what, is that all we could come up with god help tauranga. mite as well bring in powell the last mayor then we would have a mickey mouse cast, we will proberly have Nanaia Mahuta pick one for us, Winston is looking better everyday.


Posted on 27-03-2022 16:22 | By Andrew64

No, no, no. Never.


Posted on 27-03-2022 20:26 | By Informed

Let’s hope someone that can represent what Tauranga stands for and wants will step forward. We don’t want to elect an alt-right wing mouthpiece to represent Tauranga. Leanne Brown or someone similar could be an option. Will Powell stand?

you got my vote ...

Posted on 28-03-2022 00:16 | By Mein Fuhrer

Andrew, we need a voice against the madness of the "Woke" ideology spreading through the land via the Labour/Green looney alliance.


Posted on 28-03-2022 06:41 | By Slim Shady

Apparently nearly a quarter of Kiwis are illiterate and cannot fathom 2x2. There should be a minimum IQ required to get voting rights, or we will be under this Labour/Greens madness forever.

@ Andrew64

Posted on 29-03-2022 12:29 | By Yadick

Couldn't have put it better myself. Four words that sum it up perfectly.

@ Slim Shady

Posted on 30-03-2022 12:35 | By Kancho

NZ would be in big trouble without immigrants. Twenty six percent of our population were born overseas. Seems we are still desperate for talented people to come here either return home or new immigrants. They come here for a better life and work hard. Sadly though we have less to offer for many as our cost living and lower wages. We are a haven for countries with large populations who want to achieve better living standards even though it's very difficult for them. On the other side our young especially qualified find a better life elsewhere. Several I know who had returned are leaving again for better salaries and better lives overseas.

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