No objections to proposed Waitaki boundary changes

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The public response to proposed changes to the Waitaki electorate boundaries suggest they will go ahead.

Public submissions closed on December 23 and no objections were lodged with the Electoral Commission to proposed changes which would see the Waitaki electorate losing Hampden, Palmerston, Moeraki and other southern areas to the Dunedin North electorate.

“I was a little surprised because it is quite a substantial change,” said Jacqui Dean who has held Waitaki for National since 2005.

“Also I had some feedback from people living in Hampden who said they preferred to stay in Waitaki electorate and I am sure there are other with strong views.”

She said the changes should not make a major difference in this year’s general election.

“On paper I lose 800 party votes and 1000 candidate votes. There are nine months to the election; I’ve offered myself for re-election and I’m prepared to stand on my record for that.”

In the last general election Mrs Dean had a majority of more than 14,000 votes over the next leading candidate, Labour’s Barry Monks.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party has announced its new candidate for Waitaki for this year’s general election. It is Glenda Alexander who runs a company Envirocom with her husband Rex in Dunedin.

Ms Alexander stood for the Dunedin mayoralty in 2007 and in 2011 sought the Labour Party nomination for Dunedin North in the general election but lost out to David Clarke who won the seat with a majority of nearly 3500 over National’s Michael Woodhouse.

For many years Ms Alexander was a union official and is a former advisor to the NZ Nurses’ Organisation.

The final boundaries will be released by the Electoral Commission on April 17.

By CHRIS TOBIN