The Southland Times reports:
It may be at the opposite end of the country, but the future of Southland’s political landscape could hinge on the outcome of this month’s Northland by-election.
Invercargill hairdresser-turned NZ First candidate Ria Bond is in line to become the region’s third MP, alongside National’s Sarah Dowie and Todd Barclay.
If NZ First leader Winston Peters is successful in his campaign for the Northland electorate, the former Deputy Prime Minister could resign as a list MP, leaving the next candidate on NZ First’s list to take his seat.
The party gained 11 MPs at the general election, with Bond 12th on their list.
However, Peters said a victory would not automatically signal Bond’s election.
The party’s focus was solely on winning the March 28 by-election, he said.
“That’s something we haven’t spent any time thinking about for obvious reasons.
“If we win it will become an issue and we’ll consider it then, but it won’t be for me to say who comes in – it will be a board decision.”
No it won’t be. Once a list has been finalised, it can not be changed.
The party gets no say in whether Bond becomes an MP, if a vacancy occurs. Their only job is for the secretary to confirm she is still a member (and as she is on their board of directors, she is of course).
Then the decision is purely hers as to whether to accept the seat.