National's Pre-Selection Committee met in 'papal conclave' yesterday where the issuing of white smoke was an indication that they had agreed on four candidates to go forward to the selection meeting to be held in a little under three weeks. There the voting delegates, representing some 1,500 Party members, will make the final choice. The candidates (in alphabetical order) are:
Darren Edwards, 45, Dargaville born, married and resident in Kerikeri. Darren is Maori with tribal affiliations to ReRoroa, Ngati whatu and Ngapuhi. He served 15 years in the Police reaching the rank of Sergeant, followed by 2 years with the Ministry of Fisheries as their Team Leader in Kaitaia and 9 years with the Ministry of Primary Industries as their Northland District Compliance Manager. Currently he is employed by the Far North District Council as the Compliance Manager. Darren is a graduate of the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College and has a Masters of International Security from Massey University. He is a member of the Northland Conservation Board, member of Kerikeri Rotary and is involved with the Diabetes NZ Northland Branch where his wife is the treasurer.
Ronald (Matt) King, 49, born and resident in Okaihau, married. He initially qualified as a telecommunications technician but left soon after to join the Police where he later qualified as a Detective. In 2007 he left the Police to work as a farmer/contractor and fraud investigator and later established a successful business - Mid North Honda. He has his own farm at Okaihau. Matt has a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Physiology, from Auckland University and a Diploma in Policing. He is a Volunteer fire fighter with the Okaihau Fire Brigade, a senior rugby referee and a Board Member of Polocrosse New Zealand.
Dr Chris Reid, 48, born in the UK, married and resident in Russell. Chris is a General Practitioner in Kerikeri. He graduated MBBS from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne including an Elective in Trauma and Orthopedics at the University of Virginia. He served 10 years with the Royal Marines including 2 years as the Senior Medical Officer to the Special Boats Service. He is currently the Clinical Director at the Kerikeri Medical Centre, a member of the Health Advisory Group for Green Cross Health and a member of the National Advisory Council, Royal NZL Council of General Practitioners. He enjoys spear fishing and photography and has published 'Patient - Portraits from a Doctors Surgery' ... with all royalties donated to St John Ambulance.
Ken Rintoul, 54, born and resident in Okaihau, married, Ken has an extensive business and farming background given his involvement with Rintoul Civil Ltd (major contracting firm) and Kauri Brae Farms Ltd (both family businesses). He was involved with the Northland Transport Committee; Far North Holdings Ltd as a past director; interim Chairman, Northland College BOT August 2015-June 2016; a trustee with Top Energy Consumers Trust; Northern Rural Fire Board, Chairman; Northland Youth Development Trust, Chairman; Youth Development Trust, National Supporters Council, Northland Representative and a Member of Lions.
Best of luck to all four as they set out to woo the voting delegates. Democracy in action ... unlike Labour where their candidate selection is Head Office controlled with the local LEC in a minority when it comes to voting in their candidate.