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Little won't contest Rongotai in election

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/01/2017
Andrew Little © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Andrew Little

Labour leader Andrew Little has revealed he won't contest an electorate seat in this year's general election.

Despite two failed attempts to take New Plymouth and rumours he would seek to replace his deputy in the Rongotai electorate where he lives, Mr Little says he will stand as a list candidate.

Wellington councillor Paul Eagle is expected to receive the nomination for Labour in Rongotai, replacing Ms King after she announced last year she would move to the list.

National leader Bill English became the first list MP to become Prime Minister when he replaced John Key in December.

But no list MP has ever been elected to the top job.

Mr Little announced his decision to party colleagues at the first caucus meeting of the year, a two-day event in Martinborough.

"I want to be free to get around as much of the country as frequently as I can over the next nine months to sell our message," Mr Little told colleagues, according to the NZ Herald, evidently planning for a late-September or even October election.

No date has been set for the vote, but Mr English has indicated it will likely be in the second half of the year.

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