Walford decides against seeking National Party seat for Napier in next year's general election

By Nicki Harper

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DIFFERING VALUES: Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce CEO Wayne Walford has ruled out standing for the National Party again at next year's general election. PHOTO/DUNCAN BROWN
DIFFERING VALUES: Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce CEO Wayne Walford has ruled out standing for the National Party again at next year's general election. PHOTO/DUNCAN BROWN

Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wayne Walford will not be putting his hand up to represent the National Party in the Napier electorate in next year's general election.

Mr Walford was the party's candidate for Napier in the 2014 general election, defending the seat vacated by retiring party colleague Chris Tremain, but lost out to Labour's Stuart Nash.

He said his decision not to stand again came about partly from bad timing.

"I was hoping the selection would have been made before now - it got a bit tight with the investment of time and money involved - I believe I had a chance to win but things were not stacking up."

He also cited concerns over whether he was the right person to represent the people of the electorate, given the debate surrounding the recent local body elections.

"I was watching what people were saying, and I'm not sure I could represent the region very well - my values may not align."

He said he felt there was a lot of emotion in the community about issues, such as water bottling consents.

"There are commercial opportunities there, and there's not a queue of people with $40 million who are wanting to invest in the region," he said referring to One Pure International's bottling plant at Awatoto, Napier.

He hoped through his Chamber of Commerce role, which he planned to continue with, that some facts could be injected into the debate.

National Party Napier electorate chairperson Ian Mayne said there were no indications yet who would stand for the seat, as the call for nominations had been postponed until early next year.

"We have got the Mt Roskill byelection at the moment, and we have all the other electorates to get through so we've all been pushed back."

Meanwhile Napier MP Stuart Nash confirmed yesterday that he intended to stand again next year.

"It's still got to go through the formal process, but so far I am the only nominee for Napier."

He said he hoped that the party would be able to make the nomination official by Christmas.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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