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Labour Selects Candidate For Seat That Helen Clark And Jacinda Ardern First Stood In

The Labour Party has selected Kerrin Leoni as their candidate for the electorate of Waikato.

In a confirmation meeting held in Ngaruawahia on 23rd February, Ms Leoni, 39, was nominated unopposed as the electorate candidate, with the electorate covering the area from Te Kauwhata across to Te Aroha, down to Ngaruawahia, Tamahere and outer parts of Rototuna, across to Matamata – subject to confirmation of the new boundaries in April.

The seat is distinguished in Labour Party history as the seat that both female Labour Prime Ministers – Helen Clark and Jacinda Ardern – first ran for Parliament.

As well as a large rural area, the seat includes labour stronghold towns like Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Waharoa – all of which returned solid Labour majorities in 2017.

Ms Leoni, who will also nominate for the Labour Party List, is currently an Auckland resident, but has family ties and an Iwi connection to the Waikato region. She is the mother of two young twins, and will have the support of her whanau during the campaign.

Kerrin will be prioritising housing and wellbeing initiatives for families during the election campaign, along with advocating improved environmental protection and strengthening rural economic development.

She is currently Deputy Chair of the Waitemata Local Board in Auckland City, and has extensive Not for Profit, local government and government agency experience.

Kerrin is the founder of the Mana Aroha youth charitable organisation, Deputy Chair of Violent Free Communities and a mentor for the Auckland University of Technology.

Her iwi are Ngati Paoa, Ngai Takato and Ngati Kuri.

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