Three more people have surfaced in regards to the Tauranga by-election, set for June.
Former deputy mayor Kelvin Clout and former Tauranga City councillor Matt Cowley are both publicly running in the selection process for National’s candidate – and this party is sticking to its candidate announcement date of early-May.
The New Conservative Party has announced on Monday it will stand its co-leader Helen Houghton as a candidate.
Matt announced his nomination for the National Party candidate selection process for the 2022 Tauranga by-election on Wednesday morning. Matt says he is looking forward to participating in the National Party's selection process, particularly in the contest of ideas with the other nominees.
“I will make further statements on my policy positions if I am selected as the National Party's candidate. I respect the National Party’s process and I have full confidence in the local membership to reach a good decision. As I am currently employed as CEO of the Tauranga Business Chamber, I am working with the Chamber Board to limit my role during the election process to ensure the Chamber maintains political neutrality.”
New Conservative’s Helen Houghton currently lives in Christchurch, but the party has stated she will move to Tauranga for the duration of the campaign. “She will work hard to make the people of Tauranga aware of the policies of New Conservative and how they relate to their electorate.”
Helen believes New Conservative is the consistent, conservative choice for Tauranga.
“We are not distracted by the whims of a few that have caused other parties to lose their true identity. We stand for family, freedom, and facts over feelings – feelings change but facts do not. I am looking forward to meeting and talking with the Tauranga voters and taking their concerns to Parliament," says Helen.
Meanwhile, last Friday, former Deputy Mayor of Tauranga, Kelvin Clout, publicly voiced his intention to stand for the position of the National Party’s candidate for the by-election.
Kelvin was Tauranga’s Deputy Mayor from 2013 to 2019, which he says gave him unrivalled insights into Tauranga’s many issues, challenges and opportunities.
“Tauranga’s next MP needs a detailed grasp of our local issues, and strong connections with the diverse sectors that hold a stake in our city’s exciting future,” says Kelvin, who has been an active member and supporter of the National Party for many years.
Helen, as a confirmed candidate, joins six others that will run in the upcoming by-election – they are past by-election candidate Peter Wakeman, Tauranga City Councillor Andrew Hollis, the Act Party’s Cameron Luxton, The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party’s Christopher Coker, The Labour Party’s Jan Tinetti and The NZ Outdoors & Freedoms Party’s Sue Grey.
But despite these seven already confirming their candidacies, the National Party is sticking to its timeline to select its candidate on May 1.
With nominations closing on April 13, National Party president Peter Goodfellow says nominees will now go through several ‘meet the candidates’ meetings across the electorate late-April before a final selection meeting on May 1. Polling day for the by-election is set for Saturday, June 18.