National also selected its Rotorua candidate last night. Rotorua is marginally a National majority on the new boundaries, so it was vigorously contested by five candidates.
The evening stretched out to the maximum four ballots, and Todd McClay won in the final round against Don Hammond.
Todd has had a fascinating career including many years as the Cook Islands Ambassador to the European Union. He is very respected for his advocacy work on behalf of many Pacific states. He also has a strong business background.
His father, Roger McClay, is a former MP for Taupo. Roger was (and is) a hugely likeable guy who said in his valedictory speech he was probably leaving without an enemy in Parliament – a rare feat. He later served as Children’s Commissioner.
As I have said previously Steve Chadwick will be no pushover, but I think Todd has a fine parliamentary career ahead of him.
Talking of selection meetings, there was a really good question asked at another candidates meeting I attended this week (not Wellington Central). The candidates were asked “What question do you not want to be asked, and what would be your answer to it”.
That was a very cunning question. I’m not sure what question I would least like to be asked if I ever sought a candidacy. Probably something about why I was one found underneath a hedge in Dunedin pretending to be a hedgehog!