Far North teacher Kelvin Davis will have another tilt at the
Te Tai Tokerau seat for Labour in this year's general
He retired from politics after losing while substantially
closing the gap on his Mana Party rival Hone Harawira in
2011, but was sought out by Te Tai Tokerau Labour officials
who believe his experience could bring victory in September.
It will be Mr Davis's fourth round in the polling booth
against Mr Harawira, who was with the Maori Party when the
pair first clashed six years ago.
Mr Harawira had won the seat comfortably with a 3613 majority
over Labour's Dover Samuels in 2005 and this majority
increased to 6308 against Mr Davis in the 2008 poll.
Despite the loss, Mr Davis - ranked 29th on his party's list
- joined Parliament as a Labour list MP.
By early 2011 Mr Harawira had left the Maori Party, formed
the Mana Party and was narrowly leading Mr Davis in voter
surveys before a mid-year byelection which Mr Harawira won
with 5611 votes - 1117 ahead of Mr Davis, but well short of
the large gap between the pair after the 2008 poll.
The biggest loser on the night was the Maori Party, which saw
its candidate, Solomon Tipene, collecting only 1026 votes. It
looked like the 2011 general election could get Mr Davis off
the Labour list and holding his seat in Parliament as an
elected member, but he quit politics after finishing 832
behind Mr Harawira.
Mr Davis, 47, a former Kaitaia Intermediate School principal,
has since been employed by the Ministry of Education in
Kaitaia, where he is working with iwi on their education
He declined to discuss his renewed candidacy before he takes
leave from the ministry, probably around the end of the
financial year on June 30, to concentrate on the election.
Labour's Te Tai Tokerau electorate chairman, Haydn Edmonds,
said he and other party officials had sought out Mr Davis
because of his capabilities and the contribution he had made
as a list MP.
"Kelvin is a seasoned politician now. We are very excited he
has put his name forward again because we think he will bring
a clear direction for Northland's economic development and
education," Mr Edmonds said.
- By Mike Barrington of the Northern Advocate