Date announced for by-election to replace former New Zealand PM Clark

Monday, April 20, 2009

The government has announced 13 June as the date for the upcoming Mount Albert by-election.

The by-election has been caused by former Prime Minister Helen Clark's departure to head the United Nations Development Program. While it is considered to be a safe Labour seat, the by-election is expected to be heavily contested.

Candidates must be nominated by 19 May.

Nominations for the Labour Party close on Wednesday. So far four candidates have put their names forward: Auckland city councillor Glenda Fryer, former candidate Hamish McCracken, University of Auckland political studies lecturer Meg Bates and employment lawyer Helen White. List MP Phil Twyford, widely expected to succeed Ms Clark, has not put his name forward.

The National Party has narrowed its possible candidates down to two: list MP Melissa Lee or unsuccessful 2008 candidate Ravi Musuku. The decision will be made at a party meeting on 4 May.

The Greens and ACT New Zealand will both contest the by-election, but have yet to select candidates.