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MP setting up house in Gisborne

Labour List MP Kiri Allan intends to win the East Coast electorate seat in the general election this year, but before she tackles that challenge she needs to unpack boxes at her new Gisborne residence.

Ms Allan has purchased a house in Gisborne and sees herself being here for the foreseeable future.

“It made absolute sense to me. In order to give the electorate justice I needed to live and be part of the Gisborne Tairawhiti community as I have already done on the western side of the East Coast electorate.

“A big part of the decision to move here was to get my boots on the ground in Gisborne to learn the ebbs and flows of the region.”

Ms Allan was confirmed as the Labour Party candidate for the East Coast electorate over the weekend, and said she was honoured to have been selected.

“I am a child of the East Coast and have been raised and lived in all corners of the second largest general electorate in the country,” she said.

“I grew up in Paengaroa, the western most point of the electorate, spent time being raised in Te Karaka, have lived and worked in Whakatane and now live in Gisborne. I have dedicated my time in Parliament to advocating for the needs and aspirations of East Coast communities.

Ms Allan has many supporters in Gisborne and said that when she ran in the 2017 general election they asked if she would move here.

“If you want to be an effective advocate you've got to understand how the region works. You can come and go from the region to get an overview of how it works but if you want to understand the nuances of the place there's nothing better than living here.”

She said roads, infrastructure and the geographical location were main focuses in this region.

“There are some big challenges up the Coast like access to services so it will be good to be closer to the action. I have an intention of getting to know those services intimately and the challenges they face.

“My focus is ensuring our region's rural communities have a strong voice at a central government level and are not forgotten like they were under the previous government. I strongly believe our electorate deserves an MP seen working for and in our community, something we have not had in the East Coast since Labour MP Janet Mackey,” she said.

“There is an active political base here in Gisborne and I want to pull them together and mobilise us in a way that focuses on the things we care about in a way that suits Te Tairawhiti.

“We have also been focused on getting our climate change settings right, because coastal communities like ours are the most vulnerable. In the short time we have been in government we have started addressing some of the most critical issues our community faces, but we have a lot more work to do.

“If I am elected as the MP for the East Coast I will endeavour to be a tireless voice for these pressing challenges,” she said.

BOOTS ON THE GROUND: MP Kiri Allan has bought a house in Gisborne and is busy unpacking boxes at her new whare. Picture by Liam Clayton