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Ohariu's parliamentary majority
Big Four: From left, Peter Dunne, Gareth Hughes, Charles Chauvel, Katrina Shanks.
Ohariu is Parliament's
electorate, but is it the
Peter Dunne has had it
to himself for 27 years,
but his support has
dwindled. Will he be
back? Jim Chipp finds
Ohariu has been one of the
country's most stable electorates
since 1984, when Peter Dunne,
then a Labour candidate,
unseated National minister Hugh
suggested that Mr Dunne would
finally lose the seat this year,
until Prime Minister John Key
called on National supporters to
vote for him, undercutting
National's own candidate, Katrina
Despite a solid base of more
than 20,000 personal voters in
2002, Mr Dunne shed 4000 votes
in each of the next two elections,
allowing Labour candidate Char-
les Chauvel to close to just 1000
votes behind, with Ms Shanks
another 1000 back.
As well as Mr Dunne, Mr
Chauvel and Ms Shanks, Gareth
Hughes stood for the Green Party,
and all four ended up in Parlia-
ment, three as list MPs.
These days Mr Dunne is United
Future's single MP and he has
been part of a succession of
governments -- National-led and
Otago University politics lec-
turer Bryce Edwards said Mr
Dunne should be assured of re-
election after Mr Key asked
National voters to give their elec-
torate vote to him.
I would think that he has got it
easily sewn up now,'' Mr Edwards
Not every National voter in the
electorate will give him their vote
but you could take at least half of
Shanks' -- 5000 votes -- and add
them to Dunne. With that sort of
endorsement, really the wind has
been taken out of the sails of
Ohariu has ceased to be an
Why was the National party
vote in the electorate -- 46 per cent
in 2008 -- so much higher than Ms
Shanks' personal support, at 26
In the last election he [Dunne]
very much tied himself to the
National Party,'' Mr Edwards
They [voters] knew by voting
for him they could help National
and then they could give National
their party vote. It was a very sen-
sible vote split,'' Mr Edwards said.
Johnsonville Mall Muffin Break
franchisee Andrew Crook agreed
that Mr Dunne was popular in the
electorate. Peter has done a fabu-
lous job,'' Mr Crook said.
He is a very, very electorate-
focused politician and that's why
he keeps coming back every time.
People feel fondly towards him.
He has got his finger on the
Mr Crook said he regularly sees
Ms Shanks and Mr Dunne out and
about in the electorate, but rarely
sees Mr Chauvel, and would not
recognise Mr Hughes.
There were no particular issues
facing the electorate, he said.
Schooling is good across the
electorate. I don't think the
schools are over-enrolled.''
Mr Crook supported Mr
Dunne's championing of Trans-
Transmission Gully is a really
Also [the proposed] Grenada-
to-Petone [road] is good.''
Autostop owner Chris Kirk-
Burnnand said he was pretty dis-
appointed'' in the Ohariu
We have got a good community
but we have a good community in
spite of the things that have been
achieved by the politicians,'' he
Johnsonville seems to be a for-
gotten part of Wellington. They
[the New Zealand Transport
Agency] want their motorway to
the airport, but we can't get the
Johnsonville roads fixed. They are
already operating at 100 per cent
of capacity,'' Mr Kirk-Burnnand
We are all agreed that roading
work [in Johnsonville] has to go
through, regardless of the mall.
Not one of the candidates has
come out and taken a position on
that,'' he said.
Peter Dunne is active in rail
but can you think of anything they
[the four MPs] have actually
achieved? I don't see anything.''
Brush up your
Ever wanted to be more impressive in the kitchen?
A night with two of Wellington's finest chefs could
be just the ticket.
Hippopotamus executive chef Laurent Loudeac
is teaming with chef Philippe Clergue from
Cordon Bleu Paris to teach people how to cook in
a one-off event at Social Cooking in Wellington.
The cooking demonstration is on September 25
at 6pm and is limited to 18 people.
Tickets can be bought at socialcooking.co.nz or
on Trade Me.
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