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.