Both familiar and fresh faces will be in the running to topple Todd McClay as Rotorua MP in this year's election.

Incumbent McClay will again contest his seat, but this time against new Labour rival: Claire Mahon.

Human rights lawyer and life coach Mahon replaces Labour's last offering, local lawyer and sportsman Ben Sandford.

Fletcher Tabuteau will again contest the seat for New Zealand First, while Kaya Sparke will campaign in the seat for the Green's party vote, while Pete Kirkwood will stand for the Act Party.


Alan Tāne Solomon will run for the seat for New Conservatives.

Representatives from the Outdoors Party and TOP both said they were still confirming candidates.

More candidates may emerge - the deadline for candidate confirmation with the Electoral Commission is August 21.

A Labour candidate has not won Rotorua since McClay ousted Labour's Steve Chadwick in 2008.

Chadwick held the seat for nine years, having herself wrestled it off National's Max Bradford in 1999.

In 2017, McClay won a 53.7 per cent share of the Rotorua electorate vote. That was just over a 3 per cent drop on the previous election.

National's strong party vote in the electorate was also slipped slightly, dropping from 52.05 per cent in 2011 to 48.33 per cent in 2017.

Much of that appeared to swing to Labour, which increased its party vote in Rotorua from 21.17 per cent in 2011 to 32.3 per cent in 2017.

Act candidate Pete Kirkwood. Photo / Supplied
Act candidate Pete Kirkwood. Photo / Supplied

Pete Kirkwood / Act Party

"I am asking for your party vote for Act so we can hold the Government to account. More party votes for Act means more Act MPs.

"Only Act has stood up for hard-working farmers, gun owners, and business owners in Parliament. If elected on the party vote, I'd listen and take your concerns and common sense to Parliament.

"Rotorua faces an uncertain future with our borders being shut. We need certainty and we need to get back to business. Act would increase testing and tracing at the borders to keep Covid-19 out and look to open the borders safely.

"Too many [New Zealanders] have been locked out of homeownership. Thousands of us in Rotorua have insecure housing or are left without a home because of government failure.

"Act would kickstart private investment in housing by repealing laws that stop homes getting built, get us building again, and get people into their own affordable home."

Labour candidate Claire Mahon. Photo / File
Labour candidate Claire Mahon. Photo / File

Claire Mahon / Labour

"I will be a strong voice representing the people of Rotorua in Jacinda Ardern's government. I bring 20-plus years of experience in policy and law-making on issues such as housing, health, education, workers' rights.

"I've run a business, and I know what it's like to be struggling. I have a deep passion for Rotorua and our people and want to make sure we succeed.

"We need to continue to ensure businesses and workers have the support they need to weather the difficult economic times brought about by Covid-19, especially for our small businesses and tourism industry.

"We need to continue to invest in a range of solutions to our housing challenges, and pushing this as a priority for Rotorua.

"Too many people in our region and our country experience inequalities that impact on their ability to provide for themselves, to house themselves, and to raise their children.


"I want to change how the people of our rohe, and throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, see themselves and their future – I want us to build a safe and sustainable future for everyone.

National candidate Todd McClay. Photo / File
National candidate Todd McClay. Photo / File

Todd McClay / National

"Rotorua continues to need a local MP who is part of the community and understands the local economy.

"Every day we are seeing our local businesses closing and our friends and neighbours losing their jobs. As your local MP, I will continue to work tirelessly to rebuild the local economy which means more jobs for Rotorua people.

"The economic and social impact of Covid-19 will be felt in Rotorua for many years to come.

We need a strong economic recovery plan to get us back on our feet, not the Government's plan of $140 billion of extra debt.


"Rotorua deserves the best transport infrastructure. You pay your fair share of tax – you deserve your roads.

"It is critical to ease growing congestion and improve the safety of our roads. This will remain my number one priority."

New Conservative candidate Alan Tāne Solomon. Photo / Supplied
New Conservative candidate Alan Tāne Solomon. Photo / Supplied

Alan Tāne Solomon / New Conservative

"New Conservative are staunch on the freedoms of our people - freedom of speech, freedom of expression and the democratic process - all elements of our society that are being stripped away.

"Our policies are focused on the rights of individuals versus the power of the government. This is vital for a free democratic sovereign nation which I will always advocate for.

He said the biggest issue facing Rotorua right now was "definitely financial struggles, which will be even more prevalent once the second wage subsidy finishes".


"New Conservative will replace the current 10.5 per cent bracket with a $20,000 tax-free threshold.

"The other tax rates will also have a higher threshold, meaning households would pay at least $2500-$5000 less income tax every year.

"We would also introduce income splitting for families."

Solomon said some young people were "really struggling with real issues".

"We could all do better to see them more resolute, thriving and giving them all hope for the future.

"Also the reconciliation of our two great cultures. Imagine what we could achieve as one nation moving forward together. I see a great destiny for Māori and Pākehā. Let's fix this."

Green Party candidate Kaya Sparke. Photo / Supplied
Green Party candidate Kaya Sparke. Photo / Supplied

Kaya Sparke / Green Party

Rotorua and Aotearoa ... need a strong progressive voice to fight for social and environmental issues in government. These are two things that majorly affect the quality of life of our people and the efficiency of our economy.

If Rotorua wants to support me the best way they can do that is to party vote Green.

"The biggest issue facing our town right now is housing.

Housing is a nuanced issue that spans a multitude of policy areas. Luckily we have a range of non-market and market housing solutions that we are more than ready to enact.

"Successive governments have failed to effectively combat the housing crisis. This is why we need more Green MPs, to push hard for these vital changes.


"If I am elected I want to shake up the whole idea of what an MP is, how they should look, speak, what background they should come from [and so on].

"We need people from a range of different ages, genders, ethnicities and backgrounds in our government, so we can utilise their diverse lived experience to make informed and compassionate decisions. We named it a House of Representatives for a reason."

NZ First candidate Fletcher Tabuteau. Photo / File
NZ First candidate Fletcher Tabuteau. Photo / File

Fletcher Tabuteau / NZ First

"I am of Rotorua and I love this place with a passion. I entered politics because I knew we needed everyone to play a part in Rotorua's bold vision for the future, including the Government.

"I am immensely proud of what has been achieved for Rotorua in only the last few years – the establishment of our Ministry of Forestry Te Uru Rākau, and significant investments in the Rotorua Museum, Whakarewarewa Forest, and our lakefront development, just to name a few.

"Like never before, New Zealand First has ensured our provinces, including Rotorua, are at the heart of Government thinking and action."


"We must reinvigorate the economy to create jobs, jobs, jobs. This means support for local businesses and local projects. Money has been unlocked already, and there will be housing, roading and big infrastructure projects coming to Rotorua ensuring employment and opportunity. I know this can be achieved because we have already done so much.

"We don't need to change so much as we need to focus - on small businesses, for example, ensuring people have jobs.

"I also commit to continuing the work that has already begun in housing and big infrastructure projects here in our town.

"I believe as a NZ First MP, I have put Rotorua first and so post Covid, we have much to be proud of as a community and a real confidence to go forward together."

Election 2020: What you need to know

The 2020 General Election will be held on Saturday, September 19.

When you vote, you will also be able to vote on the cannabis and end of life choice referendums.


You need to be enrolled to vote in order to do so.

To enrol, you must be 18 years or older, have lived in New Zealand for more than one year continuously at some point, and be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.

You can enrol to vote or update your details any time, including election day.

Besides your votes on the referendum, you will have two votes.

One is the party vote, which contributes to how many seats in parliament each party gets.

Those seats are allocated based on each party's ranked list of candidates.


The other vote is your electorate vote, which is based on where you live.

This may be the general electorate or a Māori electorate.

That vote helps decide who will represent the region - be it Waiariki, Bay of Plenty or Rotorua.