During the election campaign we backed Tim Costley as the preferred candidate for the Otaki seat, but despite his campaigning full time since last November, with the huge drop in National’s share of the countrywide party vote which he has been inevitably affected by, and despite his impressive personal qualities, he has failed to take the seat for National, short by about 1250 votes. Ranking at #59 on the party’s list, he won’t be in Parliament as National will only get 35 or 36 seats.
Therefore there won’t be a local MP pushing strongly for railway electrification and double tracking for commuter trains from Waikanae to Otaki, the full Peka Peka interchange and the Otaki to North of Levin Expressway.
There won’t be a campaigner in Parliament to save the Kapiti airport, either.
Even if he had won the seat, however, not being in the government would have meant quite limited ability to achieve these things, and even if National had become the major governing party, these Kapiti/Horowhenua projects may not have been at the top of the priority list relative to projects elsewhere in the country. Hopefully, things will be different 3 years from now.
We’ll have more thoughts on what the result means for the country in the next few days.