The Otaki Electorate Labour nominee Jade Teki says there has been a gaping hole for Labour since the electorate turned Blue.
"Our neighbours are enjoying the grassroots style representation that Labour is famous for in Iain Lees-Galloway, MP for Palmerston North and Kris Faafoi, MP for Mana. It has been wonderful have had Annette King, our "Buddy MP" go to such great efforts to not leave us out in the cold to freeze and turn completely blue. It's time to gather together, get warm and melt some cold blue hearts."
Ms Teki says the successful candidate will have some big shoes to fill with Peter Foster deciding not to stand again.
"There are so many considerations to be made when selecting a candidate. They must tick all the boxes, uphold Labour values, be an on the ground community advocate, be skilled and able to contribute at a high level and almost more importantly, to return the area to Labour they must be recognisable. Meaning, when they enter a room, you should know they have done so. If the candidate is bland they really have little chance of winning against Nathan Guy in 2014 or 2017."
"A strong and visible advocate for our region will see us not disappear into the abyss, without on the ground local representation for another three years. Grassroots democracy is about engagement, empowerment and participation, this is what is missing. It is time to claim it back," says Ms Teki.
"I believe the Otaki electorate is very winnable for Labour. We have a strong organisation and a dedicated team and the public want national out."
Ms Teki says if elected to be the candidate for Labour on December the 14th she will undertake to contact each Labour member registered in the Otaki Electorate regularly to discuss the issues that are important to them. She says an advocate for the people has to reach out past their own inner circle to ensure they have an accurate overview of the entire region, the people they represent and the issues that are important to them.
"With a vast area such as the Otaki Electorate it is important to understand that our issues differ for each town. Coming from a provincial town, Wanganui, and choosing to uproot my family in 2012 to join the region I have a firm grasp on community issues and I feel it would be an attribute to know that I have no bias and my time and energy would be distributed throughout the entire electorate," says Ms Teki.
Selection day is Saturday the 14th of December, 3pm at Otaki College Hall. There is expected to be a good turn out with Labour energised and well prepared for the 2014 election.