National MP challenge in Wellington Central

National list MP Paul Foster-Bell, who stood in Wellington Central last election against Grant Robertson and James Shaw, is being challenged by Nicola Willis, who appears to be backed by John Key.

Newshub: Prime Minister recruits corporate high flyer for 2017

If the headline is an accurate reflection then Foster-Bell’s chances don’t look great, if he doesn’t get the hint and pull out.

One of Prime Minister John Key’s confidants and former senior advisors is set to enter Parliament, with Newshub learning she is being lined up as National’s Wellington Central candidate.

Nicola Willis has launched a challenge against incumbent candidate and list MP Paul Foster-Bell for the party’s nomination, which opens in January.

When nominations do open, it is my intention to put forward my nomination and to stand for the candidacy,” she told Newshub.

“This is a decision I’ve come to after lots of conversation with my family. It’s up to the National Party members to decide who their candidate is, so it’s them I’ll be focused on,” says Ms Willis.

The Prime Minister says she’d be a welcome addition to Parliament if she successfully challenged Mr Foster-Bell.

“If Nicola decided to try and come into Parliament, and obviously that’s subject to her either having a seat or getting on the list or whatever that might be, but she’s extremely talented. She’d make a very fine MP,” he says.

Implying that he doesn’t see Foster-Bell as such a fine MP.



Wellington Central last election:


A strong National candidate could make that very interesting.

It could create a quandary for Labour and Greens – will Shaw push hard for the best Green party vote again and wink-wink the electorate vote in Robertson’s direction? Or will he go hard out for an electorate win?

Both Shaw and Robertson are probably assured of winnable list positions (unless Labour’s vote crashes further), but there could be some importance on Wellington Central.

Leave a comment


  1. duperez

     /  24th November 2016

    Surely after his effort to secure the Whangarei candidacy last time Foater-Bell would love Northland the next time around?

  2. spanish_tudor

     /  24th November 2016

    If I was Robertson, I’d be out campaigning in Wellington Central now to secure the seat. Labour will lose at least 5% of their current support, if not more, in the next year. (Historically, Labour always loses support during election campaigns.)

    If the Labour vote crashes, and via the L-G MOU they pick up a few extra electorates (Auckland Central, Christchurch Central, Maungakiekie, among others), Labour may have even less list MPs than this time around.

    Add in the loony gender balance requirement (50% or whatever by 2017 – meaning the nasty Moroney will be ranked highly yet again), and not only Robertson, but Parker, Mallard, plus any new male talent on their list would be joining the dole queue.


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