Aspiring candidates for the Rodney seat in Parliament will be up against it to try to unseat incumbent Mark Mitchell.
At the 2014 election, Mr Mitchell beat his nearest rival, Labour candidate Eric Bolt, by more than 20,000 votes.
Could this year’s Rodney Labour candidate, Marja Lubeck do better, given a resurgent Labour Party under the leadership of Jacinda Ardern?
Ms Lubeck admits her chances of actually taking Rodney are slim, though she has a sporting bet with Mr Bolt that she can get 20 per cent more votes than him.
But even if she misses out on Rodney, at 32 on the party list, she should still squeeze into Parliament on current polling.
Altogether, 12 candidates will contest the Rodney and Northland seats representing eight political parties.
Local Matters questioned candidates on the critical issues of the day, particularly those pertinent to Rodney and Northland voters, including questions on infrastructure, housing, the environment, health, immigration, education and law and order.
Beth Houlbrooke – ACT NZ**
Mark Mitchell – National Party*
Tracey Martin – NZ First Party*
Marja Lubeck – Labour Party
Brittany Owens – Opportunities Party
Harrison Burnard – Green Party
Winston Peters – NZ First*
Matt King – National
Willow-Jean Prime – Labour
Melanie Taylor – Conservative
Maki Herbert – Legalise Cannabis
Local Matters also sought views from candidates Peter Hughes (Green), Craig Nelson (ACT), and David Wilson (Democrats) but received no response.
*Sitting members **Party vote only