Nelson’s Labour candidate Rachel Boyack says she backs new party leader Jacinda Ardern but took time to thank the efforts of former leader Andrew Little, a man she called a “friend”.
Little stepped down as Labour leader this morning after a series of poor poll results. Less than two hours later Ardern, the former deputy leader, announced she was elected as the new leader unopposed by the Labour caucus.
Kelvin Davis was elected as her deputy.
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Boyack, who is contesting the Nelson electorate, tweeted this morning: “Regardless of who Leader is I wholeheartedly support the principles & values of the Labour Party. Proud to be member & candidate”.
In a later interview with Nelson App, Boyack says that Little would have made an “outstanding prime minister”.
When asked if his stepping down has improved Labour’s changes of winning on September 23 she said: “I think Andrew made that call himself.”
She says there is an “upbeat mood” that Labour can “go forward and win this election”.
“I’m proud of Jacinda. There’s no doubt that she attracts excitement and that people are positive about her.”
But Boyack says people that she has door-knocked in the region are more concerned with policy that who the leader is.
“We have a housing crises that we need to fix, underfunded hospitals and schools and dirty rivers that need attention. People want to hear about the changes that we will make their lives better and their kids’ lives better.”
Boyack says she will speak with Little at some stage to thank him for his friendship and time.