10 November 2008 PRESS RELEASE
Labour candidate for Rangitikei, Jills Angus Burney congratulates National candidate Mr Simon Power on winning his fourth term of office in the new expanded Rangitikei electorate.
“I note Mr Power has been generous in his comments on our efforts.
While we are disappointed Labour has been unable to make a fourth term government, and shocked at the sudden resignation of Helen Clark, we will watch and hold Mr Power and new Prime Minister Mr Key to account for provincial New Zealand.”
Ms Angus Burney says as a first time candidate she is satisfied to have maintained the Labour vote in this electorate given the significant nation wide swing against a fourth term Labour government.
“On the face of the results it appears that Mr Power picked up a thousand votes where we lost the same overall. This is a credible performance given the new shape of the electorate and our modest goals for the campaign.”
“We haven’t yet had the information to conduct a booth by booth analysis, but we will do this when the information becomes available in the coming weeks as a part of our election de-brief. We have noted with interest that the voter turnout appears significantly lower than in the 2005 election, and we will examine that more fully too.”
Ms Angus Burney revealed yesterday that due to the ill health and collapse of her campaign manager in August she has been wearing two hats and directing the Rangitikei Labour operations across the whole electorate.
“It is as noteworthy that we started in April 2007 with only three elderly Labour stalwarts and now have a brand new Labour campaign family. On Election Day we had about 40 people working the length of the electorate and made over 1500 calls from our temporary call centre in the Manawatu. We have unearthed some great talent and support, rebuilt a party structure and significantly raised visibility for the one in three Labour voters in this electorate.
We have been greatly encouraged by the generosity of the public in this campaign as we have conducted a grassroots operation at a door to door level in places never canvassed by Labour before. We managed to run a 30 week campaign since early May 2008. We mail dropped over 40,000 pieces of political literature and reached 22 of the 24 communities in the new electorate.
While there was negative comment from one other candidate that most of the candidates were not residents in the electorate, we note this hasn’t hindered Palmerston North resident Mr Power’s election in any of his four campaigns.”
As it is, Ms Angus Burney says in her commitment to the region she has travelled 50,000km in fourteen months in pursuit of the campaign.
Ms Angus Burney says she has already been asked by her ‘campaign family’ if she will stand again.
“Obviously I’m taking some time out this week to rest and recover my voice but I will look ahead to make a decision for Rangitikei Labour. In the meantime, given the highlight of my campaign was trucking into Taumarunui on the steam driven Parliamentary Special train in early August, I look forward to the Last Spike celebrations in the Ruapehu this weekend.”