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Lorck says Tukituki victory just starting to sink in

Lorck says Tukituki victory just starting to sink in

Astrid Austin - Austin Media

Sunday, October 18, 2020 6:28 PM


Anna Lorck credits her victory in last night’s Tukituki election to a massive swing to the Labour Party in the country and seven years of hard work.

Lorck, who was contesting the seat for the third time, beat National incumbent Lawrence Yule by a small margin of 772, pushing the one-term MP out of Parliament. The National Party’s poor performance means that Yule, who was ranked 33, does not make it back to Wellington on the party list. 

Lorck, who left for the capital this afternoon, says the victory was “incredibly overwhelming”.

“It is only just starting to sink in. The huge support for Labour and our Prime Minister combined with a hard seven-year campaign has seen us get the seat.”

“My priority is to be the best possible truly local MP I can be, helping and working with constituents and putting this electorate first and foremost. We have some big challenges ahead and big opportunities to ensure that this region is a strong position to lead the country forward.”

She said she has spoken to Yule last night and acknowledged that it had been “a very tight race”.

“I think I just remained completely positive in the campaign and having been through this, it was the best opportunity it was ever going to be to win the seat and earn that vote of support and confidence. “

Lorck says her campaign had been family driven with her husband, Damon Harvey and her daughters working with volunteers to help her win the seat.

She says her family had a double celebration today as it is also her daughter Britany’s birthday.

“It's been really amazing and very humbling All the messages coming in, it's just wow. I didn't think it would be like this.”

Lorck, who is an elected board member of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, says she still not decided what she was going to do about that role. 

“At this point, I am yet to have a conversation with the chair and the Labour Party about it. I will do what it is in the best interest of Hawke's Bay Health and that decision will be made in the coming weeks.”

“I would love to be able to continue to serve but I've got to make sure it's in the best interest of Hawke's Bay to do that role.”

After 16 years as the Mayor of Hastings, and three years as the MP for Tukituki, Yule says he will be taking the next few weeks off for “R and R”.

Beyond that, he has “no future plans”.

“We're just going to take some time to work out, between Kerryn and I, what we are going to do. I’m pretty optimistic about what the future could be, I just don’t know what it is right now.” 

“I've enjoyed my 20 years of public office and serving the people of Hastings and Tukituki. It’s been a huge honour.”

As for whether he will stand again for parliament or local government, he says he is “not making any commitments to any of that”.

The “tidal shift” towards Labour, and the “unexpected” large number of people who voted for both ACT and the New Conservative Party’s candidates contributed to his loss, he says.

Act candidate Jan Daffern received 918 votes and New Conservative candidate Nick McMinn-Collard received 587 votes.

“I knew there was a risk that some of them would do that and I thought 300 or 400 but not 1500 and there gives you a thousand extra that I wasn't expecting.

“So I was expecting we could win probably by under a thousand but because of those candidate votes, it's really gone the other way and I can’t do anything about that – that’s just MMP and people’s choices.”

He said it comes down to people not “completely understanding” MMP and the fact that your two votes do not need to be the same.

“People need educating about how they split their votes because effectively those 1500 votes have been wasted because both those candidates were never going to get in. 

“ACT was getting in anyway and the New Conservatives were never going to get in so people that voted for them were effectively wasting their vote.”

While there is just 772 votes between first and second place, Yule does not believe the “thousands of special votes” yet to be counted will swing the result.

“If it does, it does, but I don’t believe it will.”

Yule called Lorck last night when 90 per cent of votes had been counted. The margin between them at that stage was 1200.

“I just congratulated her. I said: ‘well done, you’ve won’ and wished her all the best. It was a very civil conversation, and she was clearly chuffed to have won as she should be.”

Although he “didn’t get over the line”, he says he is “pretty chuffed” that he lost less votes than the national average for many other MPs.

“I only lost about 3700 from my result in 2017 when most of my other colleagues in New Zealand in the National Party have lost between 8000 and 10,000 votes at the same time. The result for the National Part is “devastating” but he says, “these things happen in cycles”.

“It has happened before and it has happened to Labour before but we haven’t under MMP ever had a Government that can govern alone so Jacinda Ardern should be congratulated on the fact that her party has managed to be able to govern alone.

“The National party now needs to seriously looks at itself and what went wrong and what it needs to do differently and I am disappointed I am not part of that rebuild but I wish them all the best with it.”

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