National's sitting MP in Kaikoura, Colin King, was ousted
by his own party last night after a challenge from a local
farmer at a selection meeting.
Mr King has been the MP since 2005 but a new candidate,
Stuart Smith, secured the nomination to represent National at
next year's election.
A local farmer and grape grower, Mr Smith secured the
nomination with a majority of support from the delegates
"National's selection process is highl"democratic. Nothing is
pre-determined and I congratulate Stuart for securing the
nomination," said Canterbury-Westland Regional Chair Roger
"Stuart has been an advocate for Marlborough communities for
many years and will offer voters a strong voice in John Key's
National Party at the next election."
He acknowledged Mr King who had, "worked hard as the MP and
served these communities well over three terms."
Mr King said he was disappointed he didn't receive the
nomination but urged local members to support Mr Smith. "It
has been a tremendous privilege to serve as the MP and I have
greatly enjoyed making a contribution to the growth of our
Challenges of sitting electorate MPs are rare in most parties
but Prime Minister John Key ousted sitting MP Brian Neeson in
2002 to get his candidacy for Helensville, and Judith Collins
ousted Warren Kyd in Clevedon.
There has been speculation that National's John Hayes could
face a challenge in Wairarapa and that Labour's Clare Curran
could face a challenge in Dunedin South.
- Audrey Young of the NZ Herald