I live in the Taranaki-King Country electorate. It's a dark blue electorate. You could put a gorilla up as the National candidate and no one would bat an eye lid and vote it in as the National MP for Taranaki-King Country.
Shane Ardern has been the MP for Taranaki-King Country (TKC) since 1998. The only thing he has ever done of great notice was drive a tractor up the steps of Parliament in 2003 to protest again the proposed "Fart Tax" that was being proposed to counter the greenhouse gases created when a cow farts. It was a memorable stunt.
After that, however, nothing Shane Ardern has done is even worthy of putting in a Wikipedia site.
In fact, as a constituent, from September 2012 until April 2014 I tried to get Shane Ardern to meet with the Waipa Branch of NZEI, teachers and support staff, people who are his constituents. He refused, point blank, to meet us.
So when he announced in early December 2013 that he would retire from politics at the 2014 election to spend more time with his family and on the farm, I was extremely pleased, ecstatic. As it was my birthday that week I took it as a birthday present from the gods.
And Labour in TKC has been invigorated by the fact that there is no incumbent MP standing in the electorate.
Late last year the call went out for a meeting to be held, and in late February a meeting was held, potential candidates put up their hands, and in late March a candidate was selected by ballot. Penny Gaylor, a district councillor from Otaki on the Kapiti Council and active Labour party member, was voted as the candidate. Then a Labour Electorate Committee (LEC) was formed in April, those members attended the Region 3 List Selection Day in May, and by June the campaign was in full force.
|Penny Gaylor after the votes were counted for who would be the Labour candidate for Taranaki-King Country in the 2014 election.|
|Annette King, Penny Gaylor and Sue Moroney discussing issues at the Plunket rooms with parents, community leaders and health professionals of Te Awamutu.|
|Penny Gaylor and Nanaia Mahuta and the team at the recycling company they visited.|
|Nanaia Mahuta, Moana Mackay and Penny at Raglan Harbour.|
|Penny Gaylor and Hamish McDuall in Stratford.|
|David Cunliffe helps Penny out with some "adverstising".|
|Sue Moroney, David Cunliffe and Penny Gaylor with some Rhode Street School students at the Fieldays.|
|Andrew Little and Penny Gaylor at the Youth in Politics meeting in New Plymouth.|
|Maryan Street and Penny Gaylor with some Wintec staff in Otorohanga.|
|Chris Hipkins, Penny Gaylor and David Shearer outside of Churchills in Te Awamuti.|
|Steve Wilshier explaining how the OTC adds value to timber products before exporting them overseas and also supplying the New Zealand market.|
|Brent Norris (TLC CEO), David Shearer, Chris Hipkins and Penny Gaylor after a healthy discussion on electricity supply.|
|Penny Gaylor, David Shearer and Chris Hipkins taking questions from the audience at the public meeting at the Otorohanga Rugby Club.|