Havelock North businesswoman Anna Lorck will make a second bid for a seat in Parliament after being confirmed last night as the Labour Party candidate in Hastings-based Tukituki in next year's general election.
There were no other nominations and her selection was confirmed last night by party electorate chairman Chris Richardson, handing 44-year-old Ms Lorck the job of ending the National Party's 12-year hold on the seat since four-term Labour Hastings and Tukituki MP Rick Barker was rejected by the voters in an 8800 majority votes turnaround in 2005.
Also having won four consecutive elections - with three years in opposition and now almost eight in Government - 2005 victor and continuing MP Craig Foss is yet to announce publicly whether he will seek re-election next year.
Mr Richardson said Ms Lorck, originally from Central Hawke's Bay, "has got so much passion for regional New Zealand and her forward thinking leadership, huge commitment and energy sets her apart".
"This is a very exciting time for Labour as we work to change the Government and elect a new local MP for Tukituki," said Mr Richardson as Ms Lorck moves into early campaign mode, aimed at clawing-back the 6490-votes majority enjoyed by Mr Foss at the last election in 2014.
Having made a one-third inroad from the 2011 Foss majority of 9660, Ms Lorck believes she can do enough to get her to the Beehive, and that the early start gives her the time to understand more about the issues impacting people in the community.
"I will be giving my all to the people of Tukituki to earn their support, their trust, their confidence and the privilege to represent them as their local Member of Parliament.
"We are already on the case for more community policing and driving for change to drivers licences, standing up for Havelock North's promised primary school, protecting Hastings' right to be GM Free, providing certainty of seasonal labour for our apple growers, and we back more fish in the Bay.
"Every one of these local issues feeds back to a failure on this Government," she said.
She said difficulties many young people have getting a driver's licence - what should be "a basic life skill - is now the greatest roadblock to work" in the region and "sets us on a collision course facing a $20 million social and economic challenge for Hawke's Bay.
"The greatest opportunity to grow jobs is in our booming apple industry," she said, "but not if we leave $50 million worth of apples to rot on the trees. We must provide certainty of seasonal labour for our growers."
Saying Labour is the party "for the regions", she said Hawke's Bay needs "to win - not lose out" to Auckland.