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Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith is surprised by media speculation from TVNZ and NZME that Labour will not be contesting the Nelson electorate next year.

 “I am surprised as Labour has fielded a candidate in every election for 75 years. It will send a signal that Labour is abandoning Nelson and that it has been unable to secure a quality candidate following Maryan Street’s decision to move out of Nelson and retire from politics after the 2014 election,” Dr Smith says.

 “It is offensive that this proposed deal between the Labour and Green parties is driven by a $250,000 donation. Democracy in Nelson should not be for sale. The Labour and Green parties will both be punished by Nelson voters for allowing money to influence decisions on whether to field a candidate. Imagine the uproar if National stood aside to allow another party to contest the electorate off the back of a large donation. They would be screaming corruption.

 “I will be hotly contesting the Nelson seat and the party vote in 2017 regardless of the shenanigans from Labour and the Greens. We have the economy growing, which is providing more jobs and better incomes. We are improving important public services like education and health. The Government is investing in Nelson’s arts and environment. I am totally committed to ensuring Nelson has a strong voice in Government and Parliament.”

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