Hutt South electorate candidate
Where did you grow up?
‘I grew up in the Hutt. I was born in Maungaraki before we moved to the valley floor. I lived right next door to Eastern Hutt School which is where I did my primary schooling, before heading to Hutt Intermediate and then HIBS.’
Tell us about a favourite childhood memory…
‘No one memory stands out in particular but I have many happy memories of playing cricket on the Strand Park, rugby on the Hutt Rec (sadly I was terrible), and water polo at Naenae Pool. I am descended on my mother’s side of the family from some of the original settlers in Petone – the Dixon Family. The clock at the Basin Reserve is named after Edward Dixon and in 1992 I took part in a Dixon Family reunion game on the Basin. That was pretty special.’
When did you know you’d work in politics? Was it in childhood? Later?
‘I’d always been interested in politics and current affairs growing up. Dad was a political journalist and Mum was a teacher who later retrained as a lawyer. So the dinner table was always full of conversations about politics.
‘After leaving school I did an honours degree in law at Victoria University and I was all set to go and be a lawyer; but just before I signed the contract, someone rang me up and asked me to go and work for the next Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key. This was in 2007 when National was in opposition. I worked as a staffer to Mr Key and Gerry Brownlee in opposition and then government, and that’s when I decided I really wanted to be an MP one day.’
What is your greatest glory? (This could be in adulthood.)
‘I was pretty stoked to be named Young Wellingtonian of the Year in 2006. I’d convened the organisation of a massive 8-day long debating tournament involving 400 people from 10 countries – that was pretty special.’