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 2002, 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. We travelled the world and I completed my Master’s thesis.
  • As part of our OE, Deon landed a locum position at the hospital (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 a Councillor 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. That year, I sold my recruitment business to focus on local issues and local community work.
  • I was elected Mayor of Gisborne in 2019.