When 600 Labour Party members converge on Whanganui later this month for their annual conference this electorate's chosen candidate will be one of their focuses.

The Whanganui Labour electorate committee meets on November 16 to choose whether it is Steph Lewis or Tim Easton who will contest the 2020 election, acting chairman David Alexander said.

Whanganui will be one of the first electorates to have a candidate chosen - which is what the committee wanted.

It also wanted Whanganui to host the conference, from November 29 to December 1. It made a pitch for it, against Rotorua, at Labour's 2018 conference in Dunedin.


It helped that Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall was along, Alexander said.

"We said the party needs to come to a provincial town. Quite often the events are held in bigger centres."

The conference is only open to Labour Party members, and about 600 are expected. The main venue will be the Whanganui War Memorial Centre, with smaller meeting rooms for special interest groups to use on November 29.

The party will elect a new president, because Nigel Haworth stepped down as a result of the way he handled sexual assault allegations against a staff member.

Labour Party members will also suggest ideas for new policy.

"We have a very active group in Whanganui that works on policy and we put forward a lot of stuff," Alexander said.

The conference is likely to talk about Labour's prospects for re-election in 2020, and its chosen Whanganui candidate could become a focus.

"Whanganui is being showcased, and the candidate is being showcased at the same time. National and international media will be there."


Whanganui & Partners worked with Labour's head office to organise the conference, and last year estimated it would bring an extra $500,000 into Whanganui.