Botany electorate office opens

By Farida Master

There was a huge turnout for the opening of the new National Party office for the Botany Electorate this week.

From MPs Judith Collins to Northcote MP Dan Bidois, National Party list member Brett Hudson, National’s first woman MP of Pacific Island descent Agnes Loheni and Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown who worked closely with the Botany electorate staff Katja Kershaw and Lisa Ambridge to get the new National office opened—it was a house full.

The big boys of National Party–Mark Darrow, Botany electorate chair; Peter Goodfellow, National Party president; Andrew Hunt, National Party board member and Northern Regional Chair and Alastair Bell, National Party board member—were all there to mark the occasion.

“I enjoy elections when I am not a part of it,” joked National Party leader Simon Bridges as he acknowledged Crs Sharon Stewart and Paul Young as well as Howick Local Board members Peter Young, John Spiller and Adele White at the opening.

Simon Bridges cuts the blue ribbon flanked by (l-r) Peter Goodfellow, Mark Darrow, Simeon Brown, and Judith Collins. Times photo Farida Master

“Sunday is going to be a big day with the local election results being announced. It is also a big day because it is my birthday,” he said light-heartedly.

“Today is a special day too because I woke up to answer questions about the Elvis impersonation I did,” he laughed.

Without naming them, Bridges also acknowledged the number of candidates that had put in their application to contest the much talked about Botany electorate seat.

Having a quick chat with the Times, Bridges said that the prospective candidates for Botany electorate will go through a gruelling interview with 60 National Party delegates.

“The interviews are quite intense and can be very invasive,” he said. “It’s a rigorous selection process.”

With few seats open for the 2020 General Election, all eyes are on the Botany seat.

Candidates can officially file nominations till October 15.