Hamilton West candidates

The Herald reports:

At least seven people are understood to be putting their names in the ring for National, while Labour seems to have lower interest to run in the byelection forced by the resignation of Gaurav Sharma after his expulsion from the Labour Party.

Those interested in the selection for National include business director Rachel Afeaki – Taumoepeau, health professional Dr Frances Hughes, former Mayor Andrew King, and the former Hamilton West MP Tim Macindoe, who lost the seat to Gaurav Sharma in 2020.

Tim Macindoe and Andrew King are well known. Who are the other two?

Hughes has a long career in nursing management and health and in 2020 was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for her Services to Nursing & Mental Health. She returned to New Zealand in 2019 after spending a few years in Queensland as chief nursing and midwifery officer and in Europe as chief executive of the International Council of Nursing. She is now the Group General Manager Clinical and Care services at Oceania Healthcare.

Hughes has an incredibly impressive resume. She has held very senior roles in the public and private sector in healthcare, including running the global nursing council. Her PhD thesis was on “Politics, Policy and Nursing” which sounds useful.

Afeaki-Taumoepeau, a New Zealand-born Tongan raised in South Auckland, is a business director and involved with charitable, church and NGO work. She was chair of the New Zealand Tonga Business Council and is involved in local Waikato business groups.

Also very impressive CV. She has worked in senior roles in the UK for BP and Sky, and has done a huge amount of governance work in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, Labour sources have pointed to Georgie Dansey as their potential candidate, although a few others are said to be weighing it up before nominations close also on Wednesday.

Dansey is currently the electorate chair for Labour’s Hamilton East electorate. She was 84th on the Labour list – the last placed MP – and – wrote a good-humoured piece in the Spinoff about it.

Dansey is a former teacher who has worked for the PPTA and PSA.

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