Auckland-based Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki chief Tama Potaka has been selected by the National Party to contest Hamilton West by-election on December 10.
Potaka, who currently lives in Auckland, was the chief executive of Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki. Before starting this role, he worked as a senior advisor to the NZ Super Fund.
As a general manager at Tainui Group Holdings in Hamilton for seven years, Potaka played a pivotal role in many of Tainui’s developments in the city and driving results for Waikato.
Potaka has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from Victoria University and a Master of Laws from Columbia University.
National’s candidate, Potaka is looking forward to meeting people across his electorate.
“Hamilton families need the Government to keep the economy strong in order to prioritise the tide of crime making many people feel unsafe in their own homes and when they, and their children, out in the community.
“Labour won this seat by more than 6,000 votes last election but I’m determined to campaign relentlessly on the issues that matter to Hamilton West and turn the seat blue. I’m hitting the ground running and will be meeting as many people across Hamilton West as I can so I can earn the right to advocate for them,” he says.
Potaka would be facing a challenge from among others, Labour’s Georgie Dansey, ACT’s current MP James McDowall and former Labour MP Gaurav Sharma.
The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis party’s contender is Peter Wakeman and the Opportunities Party has confirmed Naomi Pocock as its candidate.
New Zealand First and the Green Party have decided to stay out of the race,
Gaurav Sharma, whose resignation triggered the by-election, will be representing his newly-formed centrist party, New Zealand Momentum Party.
Sharma won the Hamilton West seat in 2020, winning it from National’s Tim Macindoe who had held the seat since 2008.
Macindoe declined to contest again in this by-election.
Nominations close for candidates at noon on Tuesday, 8 November. Advance voting starts on 28 November.