Sunday, 15 October 2023 09:24

O'Connor loses West Coast-Tasman seat

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Outgoing Agriculture Minister has lost his West Coast-Tasman seat. Outgoing Agriculture Minister has lost his West Coast-Tasman seat.

Outgoing Agriculture and Trade Minister Damien O’Connor has lost his West Coast-Tasman seat in a shock result.

According to the Electoral Commission, with 100% of the votes counted for the seat, National’s Maureen Pugh was leading with 11.637 votes while Labour’s O’Connor was second with 10,722 votes – a margin of 915 votes.

However, O’Connor is 10th on Labour’s list and could be back in Parliament as a list MP.

O’Connor was first elected to Parliament in 1993 and has served as a Minister in both the fifth and sixth Labour Governments, and spokesperson in Opposition for a variety of roles, including Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety, Tourism, Immigration and Health.

Pugh’s profile says she’s a born and bred ‘Coaster’ with a family history on the Coast going back over 150 years.

Based in Kumara, between Greymouth and Hokitika, Pugh was National’s candidate for the West Coast – Tasman electorate in the 2014 general election and is now a National List MP.

She was first elected to the Westland District Council in 1998, serving two terms before becoming the first woman elected as mayor on the West Coast. She served in that role for 9 years before standing down at the 2013 local body elections.

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