People often ask me about my life before politics and how I became involved in the political scene.

Here is a rough timeline of my career to date, which covers academia, business, family and politics.

  • Between 1995 and 2001, I completed a Master’s degree in Science (Cardiovascular Physiology) and was actively involved in several university research programmes and lecturing. 

  • 2001 was committed to our OE with Deon and I travelling to see the world (Hello Gisborne!)

  • Between 2002 and 2004, I was the laboratory manager at Montana Wines. This started as a holiday job during our OE then turned into a full-on three years when we decided to stay in Tairawhiti Gisborne.

  • Alex, our first-born, arrived at the end of 2004 and Luk in 2006. It was a privilege to be able to spend a few years at home raising our boys.

  • Between 2008 and 2013, I owned and ran an international recruitment business with a dentist from Auckland. We recruited dentists and other medical personnel from the UK and USA and placed them in practices around New Zealand.

  • In 2009, I had a coffee with my neighbour and councillor Kathy Sheldrake, who convinced me we needed more young, enthusiastic, future-focused people on the council. She encouraged me to put my name forward at the next elections.

  • I stood for council at the 2010 elections and was elected. 

  • In 2013, I stood for council and the Health Board and was elected to both. Councillors also elected me as Deputy Mayor, a position I have held since. That year, I also sold my recruitment business to focus on local issues and local community work.

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