You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Shane Reti ready for Whangarei fight

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/02/2017

National MP Shane Reti says the possibility of facing experienced former politician Shane Jones in a battle for Whangarei at this year's election will be a challenge, but one he's up for.

Mr Jones is widely tipped to stand in the electorate for New Zealand First, but both he and the party are remaining tight-lipped on his candidacy.

The former Labour MP from 2005 to 2014 is not expected to make any announcements until his three-year term as Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development comes to an end in May.

Mr Reti says he'll let events unfold over time, but will continue to focus on the electorate seat he's held since 2014.

"We're convinced the people of Whangarei will extend the privilege to us that we had at the last election," he said of his chance at retaining the seat.

"(Mr Jones) will have my respect and he will be a challenge, but we're strong and we're prepared and we are ready for that."

NZ First leader Winston Peters attended a pre-Waitangi Day public meeting in Paihia last week, hosted by Mr Jones.

He would not comment on Mr Jones potential candidacy but said party nominees would be announced earlier this year than they had been before in previous elections.

Caucus members are expected to meet on Tuesday to reveal whether or not they will recontest their positions on September 23.

Mr Peters said at least one MP told him they would not, but he would not reveal who that was.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon