Last night National selected its candidate for Botany to replace the disgraced Pansy Wong. It’s a solid-blue seat so the winner is assured of a long parliamentary career – which makes the selection and the March by-election more than just an Auckland story.
Of the five candidates, Jami-Lee Ross was the local boy while Maggie Barry was the celebrity outsider. Ross’s advantage was his track record – though still only 25, he was elected to the Manukau City Council in 2004 and is currently on the Auckland council where he is co-leader of the Citizens & Ratepayers ticket. Barry’s advantage was her national profile – she would appeal to NZ First’s audience and so selecting her could be a cunning plan to stave off Winston.
The winner on the night was Ross. Fairfax’s Stuff website had the result online at 10:25 pm. At 11 pm I gave up waiting for APN’s Herald website to report it – perhaps they were all over the road at the Shakespeare. The story eventually appeared there at 5:30 am.
Moral of the story: for breaking Auckland news, don’t go to the Auckland newspaper – check Stuff.