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Dale Aotea Stephens Selected As National’s Christchurch Central Candidate

Dale Aotea Stephens (Te Rarawa) has been selected by local party members as National’s Christchurch Central candidate for the 2023 general election.

Mr Stephens is currently the Director of Māori Partnership at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise in Christchurch, leading a team focused on growing Māori businesses internationally. He also serves as the chair of NZ Māori Tourism.

“I’m incredibly excited to be selected as National’s Christchurch Central candidate and will be getting to work straight away to win this seat for National in 2023,” Mr Stephens says.

“Having spent my career focused on delivering outcomes, most recently for our local businesses growing their presence on the world stage, I want to use those skills to deliver for Christchurch Central on the issues that matter to them.

“Christchurch Central is full of families working hard to succeed but going backwards because of Labour’s economic mismanagement, which is making everything more expensive and driving up interest rates, forcing people to have to find hundreds of dollars more every week to cover the mortgage.

“Like every New Zealander, people in Christchurch Central want to see actions and follow-through on the issues that matter, which is what I want to offer as part of Chris Luxon’s energised National team.

“National will be laser-focused on outcomes, not growing the bureaucracy. Things like the huge increase in emergency department waiting times in Canterbury show the current approach is not working. Five years ago, when National left office, 93 per cent of emergency department patients in Canterbury were seen within six hours. That figure has now dropped to just 79 per cent.

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Mr Stephens says Christchurch Central deserves a new voice to fight for these issues in Parliament.

“I love Christchurch and I’m aspirational for this city. We’ve seen our central city reinvigorated over the past few years and and I know that a National Government will keep backing us to succeed and taking New Zealand forward.

“My priority now is meeting as many people across Christchurch Central and fighting for the right to represent them on the issues that matter.”

Biographical notes:

Dale Aotea Stephens, 62, was born and raised in Christchurch, attending St Andrew’s College.

He currently works as New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Director of Māori Partnership in Christchurch. Dale is also chair of NZ Māori Tourism and startup advisory group Ministry of Awesome, and a trustee of Early Start Project, a home visitation programme supporting whānau raising children.

Dale has worked as a police officer and was chief executive of New Zealand’s peak bodies for basketball and touch rugby.

After gaining a Bachelor of Business Studies from Massey University, Dale went on to gain a Master of Public Policy and a Graduate Diploma in Te Reo Māori from Victoria University and a Master of Laws from Canterbury University.

Dale is married to Tarina and they have six adult children. In his spare time, he enjoys staying fit and spending time with his family.

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