Lawrence Yule to stand for National, triggering by-election
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule will stand for the National Party in the Tukituki electorate - forcing a by-election for the mayoral chains.
Mr Yule is currently dealing with an inquiry into the contamination of Havelock North's water supply, which saw 5000 people infected with gastric illness. He told Newshub he has a "moral obligation" to see the inquiry out, so he won't be quitting the mayoralty until at least June 30.
He said he still needs to discuss the details of his stepping down with councillors, but they will aim to avoid holding a by-election at the same time as the general election.
"The details of that are up in the air. Importantly, we do not want to have a by-election for the mayoralty at the same time as the general election.
"I'll be discussing that with the Hastings District councillors to make sure we do that carefully and it's well thought-out", he said.
Mr Yule said he's been asked on "numerous occasions" to stand for the National Party. But he said now the timing is right - his experience as Mayor of Hastings and as president of Local Government NZ means he has an understanding of both local and central government processes.
He'd like to focus on issues of climate change, drug use, housing and the environment.
"I'm a strong supporter of most of the Government policies. I actually believe in free enterprise and supporting people to get on and do things", he said.
"I have some concerns about some environmental issues that New Zealand faces and I want to help the Government try and address those."
"In Hawke's Bay we are having a wonderful boom. The economic conditions are great, but in some parts of New Zealand some people are really struggling at the bottom of the heap... so I am concerned about some issues around housing, poverty and also I really would like to stamp out P."
Mr Yule will replace retiring National MP Craig Foss in the Tukituki electorate.