Mixed fortunes for candidates

New National Party leader Judith Collins and Michael Woodhouse were all smiles before Tuesday’s...
Michael Woodhouse with National leader Judith Colins. PHOTO: FACEBOOK
It has been a mixed bag for Southern candidates in the National Party rankings.

The party released its list ahead of September’s election over the weekend, and it featured few surprises.

Dunedin-based list MP and Dunedin North candidate Michael Woodhouse was the highest ranked Southern candidate at No 12, followed by Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean at 14.

Taieri candidate Liam Kernaghan was next at 51, followed by new Southland candidate Joseph Mooney at 62 and Invercargill candidate Penny Simmonds at 63.

Mr Mooney, Mrs Dean, and Ms Simmonds are standing in traditionally safe National seats, while Mr Woodhouse and Mr Kernaghan may be relying on their list rankings to make it into Parliament.

Another South Island candidate was announced yesterday — Megan Hands will replace disgraced former MP Andrew Falloon as the party’s candidate for Rangitata.

One of the biggest moves in the rankings was MP Alfred Ngaro, who dropped 10 places on the list to Number 30, meaning he will almost certainly have to beat Labour's Phil Twyford in Te Atatu to return to Parliament.

And another sitting MP, Jo Hayes, could also be out of Parliament on National's current polling, dropping to Number 44.

West Coast-Tasman list MP Maureen Pugh — called "f... useless" by former National leader Simon Bridges in a leaked recording of a private conversation — did well in the rankings as she was placed at Number 19.

The top new candidate on the list is Nancy Lu, who is at No 26.

Ms Lu has been given one of the few list-only slots National allows for, and is ranked above other sitting list MPs Parmjeet Parmar, Agnes Loheni and Alfred Ngaro.

Party president Peter Goodfellow said the ranking was an involved process but the party had built on the strategy from last time of having a good representative list that was built on experience and around some geographics as well, and mixed in a good bit of diversity.

 — Additional reporting NZME


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