Election 2023: Labour selects Helen White for battle to take over Jacinda Ardern's Mt Albert seat

  • 11/03/2023

Labour has selected Helen White as its candidate to contest the Mt Albert seat being vacated by former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

With Ardern set to resign from Parliament in April, White took on fellow Labour MP Camilla Belich in a race to represent the electorate in the 2023 general election, and on Saturday announced she had been successful.

"Mt Albert has been my home for 30 years, and I love this community. I am honoured to have been selected as Labour's candidate to represent the people of my local area and to be their voice in Parliament," White said in a statement.

"I will work hard every day of this campaign to earn their trust and support."

She also acknowledged outgoing MP Ardern, saying she will go down as "one of New Zealand's great Prime Ministers".

"She has made such a difference in the lives of local people over her years as the MP for Mt Albert. I am honoured to continue her work," she continued.

"I am looking forward to being a strong voice for Mt Albert inside Chris Hipkin's Government. The Prime Minister's focus on the bread-and-butter issues that matter most to families is exactly what our local area needs.

"I look forward to playing my part in a re-elected Labour government that tackles inflation and rising prices, helps us to rebuild from the recent cyclones and floods, and makes it easier for working families to get ahead."

White has been a Labour MP since 2020. Before entering Parliament she worked as an barrister specialising in employment law, representing unions, NGOs and individuals in need.

"I've spent my career as a lawyer standing up for people in need, for people who have needed an advocate and someone to fight their corner," she stated.

"That is the approach I want to take as a local MP - someone people in Mt Albert can rely on to have their backs when they need it."

Previously White contested the Auckland Central seat in 2017, where she lost to National incumbent Nikki Kaye. She stood again in the same seat in 2020, this time losing to Green MP Chloe Swarbrick.

In the upcoming election White will take on the National Party's Melissa Lee, while the Greens have yet to announce their Mt Albert candidate.