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McAnulty looks forward to having PM next door

Wairarapa MP Kieran McAnulty welcomed the appointment of Remutaka MP Chris Hipkins as New Zealand’s Prime Minister, with Carmel Sepuloni as the new deputy.

They were unanimously elected in a secret ballot at the Beehive on Sunday afternoon. McAnulty was there, along with the other Labour MPs.

“It was a huge honour to be part of a meeting to select a new Prime Minister,” he said, describing how the Parliamentary Whip announced Hipkins and Sepuloni had won with 100 per cent support.

“There was no infighting or jockeying for position. The Party unified in the interests of the country.”

He described the atmosphere as ‘jubilant’ after the announcement.

“People are positive and optimistic.”

McAnulty said Remutaka’s proximity to Wairarapa would provide opportunities for the region. He said Hipkins was a practical, down-to-earth person who would be good for New Zealand.

“People trust Chris Hipkins. He has worked incredibly hard on covid and will continue to work hard on things that matter to people,” he said.

“He recognises there is a need to reprioritise the government’s focus. He is sending a welcome signal in that regard.”

Hipkins’ constituency borders the southern boundary of Wairarapa.

“I expect we will be able to get him here quite often. We work together closely and have a good relationship with him. Having a PM just next door can only be good for Wairarapa.”

“Carmel is the daughter of a Tongan-Samoan freezing worker and a sheep farmer’s daughter,” McAnulty said.

“She grew up in rural Taranaki, so she and I have a lot in common.”

He said Sepuloni understood rural New Zealand, which he welcomed.

“That is obviously an area I care very deeply about.”

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