Brightwater residents eager to meet their Labour MP, Damien O’Connor, last Friday were disappointed with his failure to attend.

The Labour Party organised three ‘Street Corner Meetings’ for residents to meet West Coast Labour MP Damien O’Connor in preparation for the election.

Damien stated that due to last-minute commitments with the Prime Minister and the launch of the Kauri Dieback policy in Kaitia he was unable to attend.

As part of boundary changes to balance out quotas within electorates, Brightwater was transferred from the Nelson to the West Coast electorate for this election.

The no-show left residents scratching their heads as to why their new MP wouldn’t want to appear at the meetings when the party had set them up.

“I would have thought that considering the new boundary changes coming into effect for this election, Labour would have placed more importance on meeting us,” said local Brightwater resident Toby Harvey.

Toby Harvey was appalled that Labour’s MP Damian O’Connor would prefer to stand alongside a kauri in Kaitaia and “nod his head” than turn up and meet the locals who he is asking to vote for him.

“Unfortunately, at a very late stage the Prime Minister decided to launch our Biosecurity Kauri Dieback policy in Northland,” said Labour MP Damien O’Connor.

Damien is the Biosecurity Minister.

“I wasn’t able to travel back in time to attend the street corner meetings,” says Damien, “but would have welcomed the chance to attend a public forum in Brightwater if I’d been able to.

In his absence, Labour’s Nelson candidate Rachel Boyack and other Labour members and supporters attended to answer any questions.

“To send a replacement, in Labour’s Nelson candidate Rachel Boyack, along in his place kinda tells me that we are just not that important,” said Toby.

Damien said he will be happy to follow up with anyone who had questions or feedback that was passed on to the Labour representatives at the meetings.

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