Dean has eye on Cabinet post

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean (second from left), re-elected for a third term on Saturday, celebrates at...
Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean (second from left), re-elected for a third term on Saturday, celebrates at the Oamaru Opera House after the final results were posted for the electorate with her sisters (from left) Sarah Hay and Judy Anker, daughter Steph Dean and brother-in-law Tony Anker. Photo by David Bruce.
Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean is keen to be part of the new National Party Government's Cabinet - if she is asked.

Mrs Dean was re-elected for a third term on Saturday with an increased majority of 12,963 over Labour Party candidate Barry Monks.

She saw that as confirmation of what she has done in the past two terms and a strong mandate to represent the electorate over the next three years.

She has "had no hint" of a Cabinet post, but would "relish the opportunity".

Portfolios she would be keen on would be the environment or local government - Mrs Dean was a former Waitaki District Council councillor and Waitaki deputy mayor before she stood for Parliament in 2005.

She is also a strong advocate of the Blue Greens environmental group of the National Party.

This election's result exceeded her expectations and she was pleased to be returned with an increased majority.

"I now have the confidence to represent people for the next three years." .

Her campaign was a combination of being out in public, attending campaign meetings around the electorate, helping post out brochures and putting up hoardings.

Mrs Dean said the biggest issue was the party's proposal for mixed ownership of state-owned assets - selling up to 49% of some of the government-owned companies.

She found people's concerns were based on recent events when both Labour and National governments had sold state-owned assets.

When she explained "the substantial difference" to those and it only involved 3% of New Zealand's assets she found views changed.

Mr Monks said he felt his result was caught up with what happened to the Labour Party nationally, which was also reflected in the party vote in the electorate.

He had taken time away from his business for the past two months to campaign, especially in Central Otago, and felt he had done what he could and could not have done more.

"Swimming against the tide this time, it would appear," Mr Monks said.

Now, he would return to his business "to help pay for the mileage over the past two months" when he covered more than 15,000km.

The size of the electorate made campaigning difficult, but he was happy with what he had achieved and would consider standing again for Labour in the 2014 election.

"The result hasn't deterred me - I'd definitely consider another shot," he said.

From the first returns, Mrs Dean built up a lead, although traditionally they are returns from smaller rural booths that traditionally vote National.

With almost 70% of the booths in, Mrs Dean had an 8547 majority, which increased to 10,361 after 87% of the booths had been counted. In 2008, Mrs Dean polled 11,039.

- david.bruce@odt.co.nz

 

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