Candidates seeking the Dunedin North Labour Party
nomination on Saturday are (from left) David Clark, Glenda
Alexander and Simon Wilson. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Labour Party members in the Dunedin North electorate have
a rare chance on Saturday to select a new candidate to
represent them at the general election next year.
Current MP Pete Hodgson has been in the job for 20 years but
has decided to exit politics, opening the way for a new MP.
Before Mr Hodgson, Stan Rodger represented the electorate for
Three candidates have put themselves forward to replace Mr
Hodgson - current electorate committee chairman David Clark
(37), former electorate chairman Simon Wilson (25) and
uinionist New Zealand Nurses Organisation national adviser
Glenda Alexander (55).
Taking part in the selection process will be three Labour
Party council representatives appointed by head office,
including a Dunedin-based representative; two Labour
Electorate Committee representatives, selected on the day;
one panel member elected by members attending; and the
"popular vote" from members, which will count as one vote.
That gives six panel members and a vote from the floor.
In some selections, Labour's head office officials have
stacked the panel to ensure their preferred candidate is
However, it is unlikely the head office appointees will go
against the wishes of Dunedin North members.
The last time that happened, Labour lost the seat to National
candidate Richard Walls, in 1975.
Mrs Alexander said it felt strange that after advocating on
behalf of others for 20 years, she had to go to members
"It is a weird competition as all three of us share common
values and principles. Defining the difference is very
difficult. When Young Labour asked me what made me different,
I said 'I was the girl one'. But it's our experience and past
work that has brought us to this place.
"Whatever happens, it is important for all of us to be able
to work together next year to win the election," she said.
Mr Clark said he had been encouraged by the selection process
and was looking forward to Saturday.
"I have been campaigning hard since the beginning. It's great
to get in touch with people I haven't met and renew
connections with people I already know. I have worked hard
and am ready for members to make their decision."
Mr Wilson has campaign experience through his time as
president of the Otago University Students' Association.
Although he was used of standing in front of crowds of
students seeking election, the experience of meeting members
one on one was challenging but "invigorating".