Newly promoted Rangitata MP Jo Luxton has confirmed she intends to stand again in the October general election.
Luxton was sworn in as a parliamentary under-secretary for agriculture and education as part of new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins’ cabinet reshuffle and said she is thrilled to take on the new role.
“I am passionate about education and am honoured to assist Minister Jan Tinetti in the education portfolio.
“I am equally delighted to work with Minister Damien O’Connor in the Agriculture portfolio.
“A fitting choice given my current role as MP for Rangitata and the importance of agriculture in our region.”
Tinetti already held the position of Associate Minister of Education (School Operations), and with her previous experience in the school sector, was seen as a good fit for the role of Minister of Education that was vacated by Hipkins when he was appointed as Prime Minister.
Before becoming an MP, Luxton worked as an accredited Early Childhood Education (ECE) teacher, whilst also building and managing her own successful company, an Early Childhood Centre employing nine staff.
“Education is something that I value highly, every child and young person deserves the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”
Ashburton District Council Deputy Mayor, Liz McMillan, said Luxton’s promotion was good news for the district.
“Having our local MP in a more senior role is beneficial to our district.”
Following the leadership change, Luxton said Hipkins has her support.
“My new colleagues and I are right behind the Prime Minister and his focus on the issues that matter most to Kiwis, such as the cost of living,” Luxton said.
“Our Government’s number one priority is the cost of living, and ensuring families across New Zealand and right here in the Rangitata electorate, can live and thrive.
“I’m looking forward to working with the new Cabinet and the wider Labour team to get things done for all New Zealanders.”
With the election date set for October 14, Luxton also confirmed her intention to run again.
“I will definitely be standing in the next election and will be having my confirmation as the candidate in the next couple of weeks,” Luxton said.
In 2020 she did what no other Labour candidate before her had managed, turning the former National stronghold of the Rangitata electorate, which takes in Ashburton and Timaru, from blue to red.
Luxton’s main opponent ahead of the election, National’s Rangitata candidate, James Meager, congratulated her on her promotion.
“We may be on opposite sides of the political aisle, but anything which brings attention to our region is a good thing.”
“I am looking forward to the challenge of campaigning against Jo in Mid and South Canterbury this year,” Meager said.
- By Jonathan Leask