David Seymour, left, on the campaign trail with John Banks.
Photo / Janna Dixon
Former Act on Campus leader and John Banks staffer David
Seymour has changed his mind and will now seek the party's
nomination for the key Epsom seat, he has confirmed.
Mr Seymour who has been based in Canada initially ruled
himself out of contention when current Act Leader and Epsom
MP John Banks said late last year he would not seek the
nomination given the court action he is facing over electoral
However he said today that having returned to New Zealand for
the Christmas break and finding "a very positive vibe" around
Act he decided he would indeed seek the nomination.
"A good local MP is someone who works hard, makes themselves
accessible and stands up for the people in their electorate.
I've grown up around Act in politics I've watched Rodney and
John Banks do that and one of the things I want to do in the
next 10 months or so to the election is work hard to
demonstrate to Epsom people that I'm committed to being a
good local MP."
Party President John Boscawen has indicated he believes Act
has a shot at winning Epsom even without a "cup of tea"
accommodation with National.
But that, said Mr Seymour, was up to the people of Epsom.
"What we can do is work hard to show I'm going to be the best
possible MP and show also that Epsom could be the difference
between continuing a good stable centre right Government or
having David Cunliffe and Russel Norman taking the country
God knows where."
At this stage the only other confirmed contender for the
nomination is management consultant and former Cambridge
University philosophy lecturer Jamie Whyte with whom Mr
Seymour met today for coffee.
Mr Whyte has said he will also seek the Act leadership which
Mr Banks will give up at the party's annual meeting in March.
Mr Seymour said he would support Mr Whyte's bid for that job.
Mr Boscawen this morning said it was important he remained
neutral in commenting about those seeking the nomination but
added that Mr Seymour had demonstrated he was very capable
and talented young man during his time with Act on Campus a
decade ago and during the year he worked for Mr Banks in
Parliament after the last election working on key policies
including partnership schools.
- Adam Bennett of the New Zealand Herald