Dunedin South MP Clare Curran feels “heartened” by the election result, especially since voters in her electorate produced the biggest winning margin for party votes in New Zealand.
She was “really proud” Labour won the party vote back from National in Dunedin.
In Dunedin South, Labour got 47.5% of the party vote and National got 36.2%.
The nearly 16,500 votes given to Labour in Dunedin South sent a “strong message” to the Government about the state of neglect of Dunedin under National, she said.
She was “heartened” she had beaten her nearest rival, National candidate Matt Gregory, by more than 7400 votes.
“I think I am a strong advocate, defender and protector of the southern side of Dunedin. I do stick up for people, issues and communities and I will continue to do that.”
She did not know if her campaign, which included nearly 100 street corner meetings, was the reason for the “exciting” winning margins.
“I don’t know – it wasn’t a fancy campaign. It was a grassroots campaign, lots of door-knocking, lots of phone calls, lots of attempts to have direct contact with people and knowing the issues that mattered to people were Dunedin Hospital and the state of our health system.”
Labour campaigned to start rebuilding Dunedin Hospital in central Dunedin in its first term and without the need for a public/private partnership, she said.
Housing was another big issue, including the state and cost of houses, a lack of social housing and the “appalling” condition of the state housing stock.
As an MP, she intended to “show leadership” and engage the Government to work with councils and community boards in Dunedin to find ways to improve the infrastructure and flood protection to safeguard the future of South Dunedin, the Taieri Plain and land stability on Otago Peninsula.