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The last time the conference was held in Dunedin was 1988, when then caucus rebel Jim Anderton stood for president in one of his last thwarted bids to pull the party out of the grip of Rogernomics.
Labour Dunedin North MP David Clark said the 2018 conference could be a celebration of the party’s sixth administration, depending on the outcome of the general election. The date has not been set, but it will be about November.
This year’s three-day conference wrapped up yesterday in Auckland. The conference would attract at least 600 people to Dunedin. ‘‘It’s a really good thing for the Labour Party, locally, but it’ll be a big thing for Dunedin.
"It’s great to have a little bit of regional economic development that really will be a shot in the arm locally," Dr Clark said.
The Dunedin City Council’s business arm assisted with the bid put forward by the Labour Party’s southern region.
"We had bagpipes, and The Clean laid on a soundtrack, so there was an upbeat and emotional pitch for bringing the conference to Dunedin.
"We were up against stiff competition from Hamilton, and Dunedin came out on top.
"It’s important to signal that we’re a party for all New Zealanders, not just for those living in the North Island."
The party will hold an election year congress in Wellington next year, rather than a party conference.