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Progressive Party selects Te Tai Tonga candidate

20 May 2005

Progressive Party selects Te Tai Tonga candidate

The Progressive Party has selected Russell Caldwell as its candidate in Te Tai Tonga where he will be campaigning for party votes in this year's general election.

"I am very proud to announce that Russell will be flying Progressive's colours in Te Tai Tonga in this election. Russell is a first class candidate for our party and will do well raising the party vote tally for Progressive this year," says Progressive deputy leader, Hon. Matt Robson MP.

"Russell has a very strong commitment to Maori development, especially education and employment" Matt Robson said. "He is a family man, ex-service man, published author, and a manager and advisor," he said.

"Progressive candidates are campaigning for the party vote this year as your pro-business and anti-drugs insurance policy. If you support the removal of student debt and measures to assist families to buy their first home, then our candidates' message is: Party Vote Progressive".

See also: www.progressiveparty.org.nz/russellcaldwell/


Russell Caldwell is the Progressive Candidate for Te Tai Tonga. His iwi affiliations are Ngai Tahu and Te Arawa. His Ngai Tahu connections stem from Tuturau near Mataura in Southland. His Te Arawa side is Ngati Whakaue of Maketu.

Russell knows and understands the needs of the electorate. He has lived and worked within both the Northern and Southern boundaries of Te Tai Tonga. Currently he works in Christchurch and lives in Tuahiwi North Canterbury. Russell has previously worked in Wellington and lived in Wainuomata, Waiwhetu, Naenae and Stokes Valley.

Russell grew up in the central north island town of Turangi. When he left school he worked for the Post Office, served in the Army, and completed an OE in Europe. In 1991 Russell moved to Christchurch to study part time at University. He also began working for the Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board. Russell completed his studies and gained a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and an MBA (Master of Business Administration). At University Russell met his wife Ruiha Dawson. Russell and Ruiha have been married for eleven years and they have two children Wiremu and Katarina.

After completing his studies Russell began a career in Maori development. He has held a range of managerial and senior advisory positions. His past experience includes having worked for Te Puni Kokiri and Te Wananga o Aotearoa. He was the inaugural chief executive officer of Paerangi Limited, a company that advocates for the Maori Boarding Schools. Russell returned to work for Ngai Tahu for a second time in 2003.

Russell believes in a proactive no nonsense approach to development. "All too often it is a case of too much hui and not enough dooy". He is aware that the top concerns of Maori-by far-are not grievances, but education and jobs. Most Maori more than other New Zealanders-are focused on the future, on the potential of young Maori and what we as a nation can become. Russell joined Progressive because it is the only party that has practical solutions for regional development, which is central to Maori development as a whole.


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