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Former Labour candidate leaves Marlborough

Unemployed and on the dole, former Labour candidate Janette Walker has left Marlborough “for good”.

The outspoken, would-be MP has ditched Marlborough for Taupo, branding the wine region a “tough place” to live.

And she revealed she has put her political plans on ice while she recovers from a freak accident which broke her back.

“There are some aspects of politics I absolutely despise.

“I’m still really involved [with the Labour Party], but it’s unpaid work on teleconferences at night,” she says.

Living with her daughter and her son-in-law in, Janette broke seven vertebrae and her elbow after falling down the stairs.

Janette grew up in Northland and trained as a nurse. She married and had two children, plus several foster children, one of whom she later adopted.

She says she is waiting for advice from a specialist before deciding on her next move.

But she has confirmed she won’t be running in next year’s general election.

Fired from a job and made redundant from another, Janette mounted a failed bid for Labour seat in 2014 and 2017 against National MP Stuart Smith.

She moved to Marlborough from the Manawatu in 2014 specifically to stand in the 2014 election.

She has not left town with the best overall impression of the area she once called home.

“It’s [Marlborough] a real mixture of the haves and have-nots.”

“Marlborough was a region of extremes, she says.

“There is real extravagance; down to people living in sheds struggling to find meaningful work.

“Ideally, I would love to still be in the emergency housing space. No one seems to be filling that space; advocating for people, anymore,” she says.

Janette was made redundant from her emergency housing position with the Christchurch Methodist Mission.

She was also fired from her position at Crossroads community kitchen.

Janette says she is waiting on a date for a hearing with The Employment Relations Authority and could not comment further.

Labour Party general secretary Andre Anderson says Labour encourages multiple candidates to stand for selection.

He says in electorates held by National, numerous candidates were encouraged to stand to ensure the strongest won.

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