National Party hopefuls have final audition

By Mike Barrington

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GP Shane Reti is one of the three contenders.
GP Shane Reti is one of the three contenders.

Three men are vying to replace retiring Whangarei MP Phil Heatley and a National Party selection meeting tonight will decide which of them will get his chance in this year's general election.

The contenders are GP Shane Reti, businessman Adam Isa and National list MP Paul Foster-Bell.

National Party Whangarei electorate chairman Murray Broadbelt said the trio would address party members at their third and final "meet the candidates" meeting at the St John's hall by the rescue helicopter base in Kensington at 6.30pm tonight.

At 8pm the three men would in turn make speeches to 60 local delegates selected at a special meeting of the Whangarei electorate on January 31.

The trio would then answer written questions from Prime Minister John Key, who will not be present, and from party president Peter Goodfellow, who is expected to attend the meeting.

After further questions from the floor there will be a ballot of delegates and if there is no outright winner the lowest-polling of the three is expected to be eliminated and a further ballot will be held to select the election candidate.

Labour Party nominations for its Whangarei election candidate closed on February 28 and three women seek the position - city lawyer Kelly Ellis, the vice-chair of the party's Whangarei electorate Vivienne Shepherd, and former Northland District Health Board chair Lynette Stewart.

The women will address party members and answer questions at a meeting in the Whangarei Senior Citizens Hall at 6pm on Tuesday. There will also be a question and answer session before members select the party's election candidate at a meeting in the Whangarei Senior Citizens Hall at 1pm on March 23.

New Zealand First nominations for all electorates opened a week ago and close on March 31.

Party president Anne Martin, of Warkworth, said the nominations would be considered by the party board of directors and if Whangarei electorate names were put forward Whangarei party members would select the candidate.

- Northern Advocate

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