Colin King rinsed last night, Stuart Smith selected for Kaikoura

Sitting Kaikoura MP was deselected last night by the local National party electorate.

His challenger Stuart Smith rinsed Colin King in a classic challenge.

Marlborough grapegrower Stuart Smith is the National Party’s nomination for the safe seat of Kaikoura.

In a packed selection meeting last night, more than 200 people made up of voting branch delegates and party observers selected Mr Smith over sitting MP Colin King. 

Mr King had represented Kaikoura for the National Party since 2005, and won the seat last election with a 11,445 vote majority over closest rival, Labour’s Liz Collyns who got 8516 votes.

The Green Party’s candidate, Steffan Browning, was a distant third with 3784 votes, but became an MP on the Green Party’s list.

The results were secret, with only the result announced and the ballot papers destroyed after that.

Mr King declined to comment on the result after the meeting, saying a press release would be issued later. His wife, Lynnette, and daughter Laressa Shenfield were at the meeting, and all three left shortly after it ended.

In that release, Mr King said he was disappointed he would not be able to represent Kaikoura after the next election.

Challenges are good for the party, they should be encouraged as they drive membership and engagement.

This challenge should also pose as a warming to meddling board members that their days of whispering campaigns and threats are over. The next people to be rinsed will be them…especially the longer serving and out of touch ones.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.