Community, Politics

Red tsunami fails to unseat Smith

Stuart Smith MP and wife Julie were joined by Labour candidate Matt Flight and wife Dallas. Photo: Supplied.

National MP Stuart Smith has won the seat for the Kaikōura electorate.

Making it three election wins in a row, the incumbent beat closest rival and first time Labour Party candidate Matt Flight by 16,105 votes to 13,823 votes.

Celebrating with wife Julie and supporters at the ASB Theatre’s Whitehaven Room in Blenheim, Smith says he was delighted with the outcome.

Stuart comes from a Canterbury family that were fifth generation sheep and deer farmers.

He has held several local and national roles including being President of the New Zealand Grape Growers Council and Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers. He was subsequently inducted as a Fellow of the New Zealand Winegrowers Board for services to the industry.

In 2014 Stuart entered Parliament winning with a majority of around 11,000 votes and successfully held his seat in the 2017 election by a similar number.

“It is a privilege and an honour to be re-elected as the member of parliament for Kaikōura,” he says.

He was congratulated in person by closest rival Matt Flight who went to the after party to shake Smith’s hand in person.

Matt says he was “humbled and grateful” by the votes he had received

“Whilst we didn’t make it across the line here, I am so proud of our nationwide result that sees Jacinda and Labour returned for another three years.”

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