Challengers coming forward

by Kent Caddick

Challengers to Amy Adams’s tight grip on the Selwyn electorate in the upcoming general election are starting to line up.

While political parties have until August 29 to put forward their candidates in the election, to be held on September 23, both Labour and the new The Opportunities Party (TOP) have announced their candidates seeking to unseat National’s Ms Adams. Selwyn Labour Electorate Committee chair Tony Condon will contest the seat for Labour while Springfield Ecotour operator Nicky Snoyink, who failed in a bid for an elected seat on Environment Canterbury in last year’s local body elections, will represent The Opportunities Party.

However, their task might be one of ‘mission impossible’.

Ms Adams securing a 2014 election night majority of more than 20,500 votes ahead of the second placed candidate, former Selwyn District Councillor Peter Hill, who stood for the Green Party.

Ms Adams majority was the largest of any winning candidate in the country at the 2014 election.

Labour’s Tony Condon said he is committed to the restoration of Selwyn’s water systems so future generations will be able to enjoy the recreational activities in and around them, as he did.

“I support Labour’s pledge to return Environment Canterbury to fully elected representation and believe this is paramount to enabling local waterways to thrive.”

He said, as a father of two university-aged sons, he is a strong believer in Labour’s Working Futures policy to provide three years of free training at a university, trade school or polytechnic institutes, and believes that affordable, healthy homes are indispensable for building communities and giving individuals a sense of stability and wellbeing. 

Environmental issues will also be a high priority for TOP’s candidate Nicky Snoyink.

The conservation advocate has a Masters in Environmental Policy from Lincoln University, and 20 years of experience working in the nature tourism sector.

“Take a look at any advertising for New Zealand products and you see spectacular landscapes and abundant nature,” she said.

“The natural environment underpins almost every aspect of our economy. But with fresh water, biodiversity and looming social crises, the reality does not reflect the glossy pictures.”

She said she is aiming to raise the profile of environmental issues to prioritise a healthy natural environment, protect quality of life and to provide substance behind the marketing.

It is likely that both Mr Condon and Ms Snoyink will need to win the Selwyn electorate to make it into parliament with Mr Condon placed 71st on the Labour Party list while the Opportunities Party, at this stage, is polling well below the 5% threshold needed to secure seats in parliament.