27 Aug 2014

NZ First list drops MP who was No. 3

9:30 am on 27 August 2014

New Zealand First MP Andrew Williams was dropped from the party list because he criticised the list selection process in public, the party's leader Winston Peters says.

Andrew Williams.

Andrew Williams. Photo: NEW ZEALAND FIRST

In the party list published yesterday Mr Williams, previously one of its top-ranked MPs, is missing while another sitting MP has been dropped so far down the list she is unlikely to make it back to Parliament.

Mr Williams was ranked No. 3 on the list in 2011, but was dropped to No. 13 on an initial list for this election. The former North Shore mayor was subsequently dropped from the list entirely.

Mr Peters said Mr Williams was critical of the list ranking process, and that action had had consequences.

"Andrew, post the first cut of the list and before any announcements or confirmation, went public and attacked some members of the party and the process itself, all of which was wrong."

He told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme the MP could have been re-elected to Parliament from the 13th position.

List MP Asenati Lole-Taylor was surprised to hear she had been demoted to No. 16 from No. 8 in 2011 and did not know why that had happened.

New Zealand First list MP Asenati Lole-Taylor.

New Zealand First list MP Asenati Lole-Taylor. Photo: NEW ZEALAND FIRST

"I'm not sure on what can be done about it, that's already been done. But what it means is I'll have to work a lot harder to seek the support of our community," said Ms Lole-Taylor.

Ms Lole-Taylor is contesting the Manukau East electorate for the party.

She was also puzzled that Mr Williams was not on the list at all. "I am surprised as because he was actually, shall I say, an effective member of our team."

However, another New Zealand First MP Richard Prosser said that was life.

"Some will be more pleased than others, that's just way it goes. As Winston (Peters) was saying before, it is a happy time for some and a less happy time for other people depending on where they end up."

Mr Prosser said he wouldn't comment on whether he was sorry to see Mr Williams go as he wasn't aware of all the reasons for him not being on the list.

But it was not all doom and gloom.

Newcomer to the party, Tauranga City Councillor Clayton Mitchell was placed at No. 6 on the list and was delighted to feature so prominently.

"I think that position really does state the importance of Tauranga as an electorate and it's certainly going to put some smiles on the faces of people around Tauranga."

Mr Mitchell said if he made it into Parliament, he would let the people of Tauranga decide whether he should stay on as a city councillor or concentrate solely on being an MP.

Another new face is Fletcher Tabuteau, who is placed at No. 4.

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