9 Nov 2010

First public meeting for Mana by-election held

8:46 am on 9 November 2010

Candidates for the Mana by-election were put through their paces at their first public meeting in the electorate on Monday night.

About 50 people gathered in a church in the well-to-do suburb of Whitby to hear what the candidates had to offer.

Since the Mana electorate was created in 1996 it has been firmly a Labour Party seat. But within that the suburb of Whitby is a National stronghold.

While Labour won the Mana seat at the last election by about 6000 votes, the swing was the other way in Whitby.

Labour's now retired MP Luamanuvao Winnie Laban won 1322 votes - and National's Hekia Parata 2239.

A series of meetings will be held before polling day on 20 November.