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Election 2014: Green MP's departure heightens interest in Mallard's seat

Green MP Holly Walker is to step aside at this election, citing family reasons.

Ms Walker is candidate for Hutt South – currently held by Labour’s Trevor Mallard, who won the seat at the 2011 election with slightly fewer than 16,000 votes. She was - until today - ranked 12 on the Green Party list for this election.

Ms Walker garnered 3693 votes and says she will still campaign for the Green Party vote in the electorate.

National is making a strong play for the seat, having won the party vote there in 2011 although the then National candidate, Paul Quinn, was behind Mr Mallard by nearly 4000 votes.

New candidate Christopher Bishop, who previously worked for cabinet minster Gerry Brownlee, is already highly active in the electorate.

Mr Bishop knows Ms Walker of old: this afternoon he commented on Twitter they “have been mates since uni days – once kipped on her floor at Oxford for 2 nights in 07.”

What happens to Ms Walker’s votes could make the difference between Mr Mallard hanging on to the seat – which he has held, in different forms, since 1993 – or not. It will be the toughest challenge the controversial Labour veteran has had in what was once a safe Labour seat.

On paper at least, today’s announcement helps Mr Mallard, though not by a great margin. 

 

More by Rob Hosking

Comments and questions
4

this is proof labour and the greens have done a deal watch dunes seat

At least she gets some media attention on NBR before she completely leaves politics.

Holly who ?????

Holly Walker - the Rhodes Scholar who attended Oxford University and is one of a number of very impressively credentialed Green Party MPs down the list. It's a real shame she is leaving.

Also with a strong academic background is Julie Anne Genter, who went to UC Berkley and Sciences Po as well as Auckland University. Sciences Po is the most elite French university.

I don't think every party should necessarily have every MP being highly educated and/or internationally experienced, but it certainly helps to have quite a few. NZ sends a lot of people offshore to top universities and roles, and attracts many from offshore with great backgrounds to live here. It's important that some end up in the house.