National at work on search to replace southern MP

Hamish Walker
Hamish Walker
National will be a step closer to finding a new candidate for the Southland seat in the forthcoming election when nominations for the seat close on Friday.

The party is rushing to find a replacement for Hamish Walker.

The Clutha Southland MP withdrew his candidacy after releasing confidential information of Covid-19 patients.

It is not known how many people have put their hand up to stand in one of the country’s safest National seats.

"We don’t give out details regarding the number of nominees nor who they are, to ensure a fair and democratic process," a party spokeswoman said.

The candidates will go through a pre-selection process, which will whittle down the field to five.

Following a series of "meet the nominees" meetings for party members, a final candidate should be named by the end of the month, the spokeswoman said.

Mr Walker has not returned numerous calls from the Otago Daily Times, nor been seen at home or at his electorate offices.

Mr Walker was not in Parliament when it resumed sitting yesterday.

The ODT was unable to confirm last night if he was still on annual leave.

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