Harete Hipango for Whanganui

The Herald reports:

The National Party’s Whanganui electorate delegates have chosen Whanganui lawyer Harete Hipango to contest the September election.

She will go up against Labour’s Steph Lewis and the Greens’ Nicola Patrick.

Speaking on Sunday afternoon, after the voting in the party’s “rigorous and thorough” selection process, Ms Hipango said she felt humbled and very privileged to be chosen.

She plans to transition out of her law duties to campaign full-time for the Whanganui seat.

Politics has always been part of her life, and she intends to make it her career – it will be “embarking on a new adventure”, she said.

Current Whanganui MP Chester Borrows – who has held the seat for National for 12 years but who is quitting politics at the end of this parliamentary term – said it was the first time the party had chosen a Maori woman to contest a seat it held.

“I think that says a heck of a lot about Harete as a candidate.”

The delegates had an excellent field to choose from, he said: Former Wanganui Chronicle general manager Andy Jarden, Whanganui dentist and district councillor Hadleigh Reid and South Taranaki farmer Warwick Fleming.

Congrats to Harete for winning against a tough field.

Chester had a 4,505 majority. If Labour were stending Hamish McDouall again (he is now Mayor) then I think it could have become a very close race. But I think Harete should comfortably hold the seat.

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