Labour's Louisa Wall pulls out of Manurewa selection

Sitting Manurewa MP Louisa Wall. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Sitting Manurewa MP Louisa Wall. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Labour MP Louisa Wall has withdrawn at the eleventh hour from Labour's selection battle for the Manurewa seat.

Instead Wall will be a list-only candidate for the 2020 election.

She was facing a tough challenge for the Manurewa seat, which will be selected tomorrow.

Ian Dunwoodie, who Wall beat for selection in 2011, and lawyer Arena Williams were challenging her.

The selection was delayed while Labour's NZ Council heard two complaints, one about whether some members who had recently signed up actually lived in the electorate and another about whether Williams' nomination was submitted in time.

"Today Louisa Wall has withdrawn her nomination from the Manurewa selection. She will still be standing for the party list," a spokesperson for the Labour Party said.

Wall was a list MP before winning the seat after Labour veteran George Hawkins retired in 2011.

She is best known for getting the marriage equality bill passed into law. She also chairs the health select committee and is a former Silver Fern and Black Fern.

She received high-profile support this week from Dame Marilyn Waring who, writing in the Herald, said Wall was a national and international figure with a major profile.

"She is highly regarded by a large number of significant women leaders, by our nation's sporting community, by community activists and by the nation's LGBTIQ community."

Waring rejected reported comments that Wall was a "polarising" figure in the Labour caucus.

"I was subject to the same criticisms," said the former National MP.

"Time has a way of showing that critical thinkers on the inside improve a Government's performance, especially when there are weak opposition parties in Parliament."

Labour president Claire Szabo will be running the selection meeting.

Wall won the seat in 2017 with a majority of 8374.

National also has a selection battle running on Saturday for the Wairarapa nomination. Sitting MP Alistair Scott is retiring.

The three candidates are Mark Bridges, Mike Butterick and Monique Kloeg. Bridges, a school principal, is the brother of ousted National leader Simon Bridges

Scott beat Labour's list MP Kieran McAnulty in 2017, by 2972 votes.

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