Is there a pretender to Hawkins' Manurewa throne?

  • 30/07/2010

By Lachlan Forsyth

Chris Carter's letter yesterday contained a paragraph in which he said the long-standing Labour MP for Manurewa, George Hawkins, would be forced out in favour of another candidate, and that Mr Hawkins was threatening to call a by-election as a result, and there was panic inside Labour's ranks because the party had no money to fight it.

EPMU organiser Jerome Mika has been touted as a possible replacement - but how would Mr Hawkins' fiercely loyal electorate react?

In these streets, Mr Hawkins is king. Manurewa's people gave him a majority of almost 7000 votes in the last election.

"He's just one of the people," one resident told 3 News. "He doesn't put himself above anyone."

"George is very well thought of and very well-respected in the community," says Sue O'Malley, Manurewa resident.

But if Mr Carter is to be believed, Mr Hawkins' days may be numbered. One name being suggested is the EPMU's Mr Mika.

Manurewa is a diverse electorate. Maori are represented here at twice the national average, as are Asians, and almost a third of the electorate are of Pacific descent.

For the last two decades, they've gone with Mr Hawkins.
But some Manurewa residents suggest a change would be welcome.

"Probably because of the fact we've had the same person so long and things don't seem to change around here," says Teneale Lawrence, resident.

"He's been in Parliament for a while now and I reckon he needs to give someone else a chance eh, because he's been in there for too long," says Sonny Oneroa.

Neither Mr Hawkins nor Mr Mika were commenting today, but Mr Hawkins did say that it wouldn't be the first time someone with political ambitions has eyed his safe Manurewa electorate as an easy way of getting into Parliament.

There is still a month for candidate nominations, and then Mr Hawkins will know if there's a pretender to his throne.

3 News

source: newshub archive