13 Jan 2017

Hastings mayor wants to stand for National

3:15 pm on 13 January 2017

Hastings mayor and Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule has put his name forward to be the National Party candidate for Tukituki.

Lawrence Yule, Hastings Mayor. 19 August 2016.

Lawerence Yule Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The current MP for the electorate, Craig Foss, announced he would not seek re-election last December.

Mr Yule, who has been the mayor of the town for 16 years, said it was a tough decision, but he was looking forward to a new challenge.

"I love Hastings, its district and its people but an opportunity has presented itself to make a difference in a different form of government, and I'm prepared to have a go on behalf of the people I represent to improve their lives as I can in the Parliament."

He said he wanted to stay in his current role until the middle of the year, when an inquiry into why 5000 people caught a gastro bug from Havelock North's water supply was due to wrap up.

"Clearly, the biggest issue I'm dealing with right now is around the water. We still have big water issues following the Havelock North water crisis. People want that sorted and I have given them my absolute commitment I'll do that."

Other issues also mattered to those in the electorate, Mr Yule said.

"People are worried about poverty, people are worried about the state of the environment, and real basic things like safety and policing.

"And those are things that I think my community have been worried about for sometime, and I would like to actually make some changes within Parliament and with the National Party to try and address some of those issues."

Prior to becoming mayor, Mr Yule was the electoral chairman for the National Party.

His term as Local Government New Zealand chair is due to end in July.

Meanwhile, the Greens' Julie-Anne Genter has said she will be taking part in the Mt Albert by-election, for the seat vacated by Labour's David Shearer.

Jacinda Ardern will stand for Labour and National will not field a candidate.

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