MMP by-elections – who and why?

Caitlin Smith at Newstalk ZB has given us a handy summary

1998 ? Taranaki-King Country: Formal National leader Jim Bolger was Prime Minister when he was resigned. Jenny Shipley took Mr Bulger’s place as leader of the party and Prime Minister. His Taranaki-King Country seat was won by fellow National member Shane Ardern.

2004 ? Te Tai Hauauru: Tariana Turia triggered a by-election in May after she resigned as a member of the Labour Party and contested her seat as a member of the new Maori Party. She won back her place in the Maori Electorate by a vast majority, receiving 92.74 percent of the votes.

2009 ? Mount Albert: In 2009 a by-election was held for the Monut Albert electorate after former Labour leader and prime minster Helen Clark stepped down as an MP for the area. She had held the position since 1981 and was succeeded by David Shearer, who also went on to lead the Labour Party.

2010 ? Mana: Former Labour MP Winnie Laban resigned from her Mana seat in August to take up the position of Assistant Vice-Chancellor at Victoria University. In 1999, she was the first woman of Pacific Island decent to be elected into Parliament. Fellow Labour member Kris Faafoi succeeded Laban in the November by-election.

2011 ? Botany: Former National MP Pansy Wong resigned from Parliament after it was revealed she had used her taxpayer funded travel perk to pay for her husband’s trip to China 2008. She was the first Asian MP and was succeeded by current National MP Jami-Lee Ross.

2011 ? Te Tai Tokerau: Hone Harawira forced a by-election after he resigned as MP for the Maori electorate. He then chose to re-contest his position, amid much criticism, but stood as the leader of the newly formed Mana Party. Mr Harawira retained his position with 6,065 votes. He lost his position as MP for the electorate after he was beaten by Labour MP Kelvin Davis in last year’s General Election.

2013 ? Ikaroa-R?whiti: The sudden death of Labour MP Parekura Horomia in April 2013 triggered a by-election.? Many mourned for the death of the former Maori Affairs Minister who spoke publically about his battle with his weight and health. He was succeeded by current Labour MP Meka Whaitiri.

2013 ? Christchurch East: Former Labour member Lianne Dalziel resigned from her seat to stand for the 2013 Christchurch mayoral election, which she won. She was succeeded by current Labour MP Poto Williams.

And that leaves us in march 2014. ?The resignation of Mike Sabin for ‘personal reasons’ that can’t be expanded on?in any way or form due to a far reaching court ordered suppression order has left the Northland seat vacant.

If there is one thing about by-elections is that it doesn’t change governments. ?No matter how hard Winston and his new BFF Angry Andy Little want to make this happen, it may curtail some of National’s intentions, but the scope remains for National to achieve most of its program.

The time has come for one thing however: ?For National to stand a strong candidate against Peter Dunne. ? I think his tax-payer-fueled reign should come to an end.

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