The suburb of Botany looks set to become a hot Asian battleground, as political parties nominate their top listing Asian candidates to stand in the new electorate.
Yesterday, lawyer Raymond Huo told the Herald he was Labour's likely candidate to stand in Botany against National list MP Pansy Wong, and former Act MP Kenneth Wang will also be announcing his candidacy for the seat this afternoon.
"It is highly expected that I will be Labour's candidate for Botany, and we will be making an announcement in the coming weeks," said Mr Huo, a former Herald journalist.
Mr Huo is a commercial property lawyer at Hesketh Henry and writes legal columns on Chinese-language websites. He is also a talkback host on Chinese radio and a trustee of the KiwiAsian Settlers Trust.
He will replace unionist Brenden Sheehan, who stepped down as Labour's candidate in the electorate because of family illness.
Kenneth Wang said the electorate was "attractive" because "it was a new electorate that belonged to the people and not to any politician".
He said he wanted to "do in Botany what Rodney Hide did in Epsom" and will be hoping to win National's right-leaning supporters.
Mr Hide, his party's leader, won the previously safe National seat from Richard Worth in 2005.
"Under MMP, Pansy will be back in Parliament whether she wins or not, Mr Wang said. "Botany has one of the most highly educated electorates, and voters will know that if they vote for me, they will have two Chinese MPs."
However, Pansy Wong - the first to have put her name in the hat for the seat - said "it didn't matter who the other candidates were, or what they were campaigning on".
She said: "It will not change my desire on wanting to serve the electorate or focus of campaigning on the need for a change of government".
Mrs Wong said she also would not comment on the possible Labour candidate because she had doubts "if he could last longer than Sheehan".
Simon Kan, a columnist for the Chinese Herald, said there was a strong possibility that all three candidates could get into Parliament if the vote went Mr Wang's way.
"Wong and Huo would be high on their respective party list, and will get into Parliament even if they lose" he said. "Of the three, Wang would need the votes most of all, and if he gets them, we will get at least three Chinese MPs and the first Asian MP to have won an electorate."
Mr Kan however, criticised the decision of the Chinese candidates to compete for the same electorate, saying it was "a silly thing to do".
"A Chinese MP would have a far bigger moral victory if he or she had won the electorate against a mainstream candidate."