Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

He 'only got 828 votes' - Maggie Barry takes swipe at ex-mayor

Maggie Barry (left) with MPs Judith Collins and Melissa Lee at National's celebrations on Saturday night.
Photo / Greg Bowker
Maggie Barry (left) with MPs Judith Collins and Melissa Lee at National's celebrations on Saturday night. Photo / Greg Bowker

New National MP and former garden show host Maggie Barry says she may plant some lemon trees around Parliament for her fellow new North Harbour-based MP Andrew Williams.

After trouncing the field in the safe National seat of North Shore, she took a shot at Mr Williams, the NZ First candidate, noting that he will enter Parliament off the list despite gaining a paltry 828 votes in the electorate.

"I thought it was interesting for him to say on radio this morning that he would represent the North Shore when he didn't get on either local boards nor the [Super City] mayoralty ... and only got 828 votes this time."

The broadcaster also said she might "plant some lemon trees and shrubbery" around the Beehive, a tongue-in-cheek reference to claims Mr Williams, when North Shore mayor, urinated on a tree outside the council offices.

Ms Barry's easy victory followed a campaign with some nasty moments, including a woman spitting at her in a Devonport supermarket.

"I think there were a few people who had a sense-of-humour bypass ... but being in the media made me accustomed to brickbats, not just bouquets. It comes with the territory."

She survived a roasting from audience members at a disability meeting, and was shouted down at what she called a poorly moderated Grey Power meeting. Ms Barry said the rise of the NZ First vote was one of the few troubling moments in her campaign.

Her first priority - besides moving from Pt Chevalier to her electorate - was to ensure the North Shore was better represented under the Super City. She especially hoped to make a second harbour crossing a higher priority than an airport rail link.

She shrugged off suggestions that she had been "parachuted" into a safe seat, saying that previous National MPs had moved there from outside the area after being elected.

Ms Barry won 20,494 votes, more than three times that of the second-placed candidate, Labour's Ben Clark. Act leader Don Brash won 1129 votes.

20,494 Maggie Barry (National)
6755 Ben Clark (Labour)
2407 Pieter Watson (Green)
1129 Don Brash (Act)

- NZ Herald

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