Hayes to seek Wairarapa nomination
The race to represent the National Party in Wairarapa is under way with a second candidate putting their name forward.
Joanne Hayes, who only last week was sworn into Parliament as National's newest MP, told Wairarapa News that she will be seeking the nomination for Wairarapa.
Multi-millionaire investment banker Alastair Scott has already thrown his hat in the ring.
Incumbent National MP John Hayes, who has held the Wairarapa seat for nine years, is to retire at the next General Election later this year.
Mrs Hayes was born in Eketahuna. She lives in Apiti near Ashhurst. She has been involved in the health industry and her last role was as director of community relations for UCOL Whanganui.
She gave her first speech in the House last Wednesday, the day after she had been sworn in as a list MP replacing Katrina Shanks.
She spoke of her upbringing as a girl born in Eketahuna and raised in Rangiwahia (south of Taihape) who was from a family that was "poor in money but rich in support for each other".
Mrs Hayes said that at the age of 22 she found herself an unmarried mother on the Domestic Purposes Benefit with little to no education qualifications. She adopted the mantra "if it is to be, then it's up to me" as she worked to gain an education and support her child. With strong connections to Maoridom, Ms Hayes says she has "quite a different background" to many National MPs. However, she felt National provided more opportunities for Maori to get ahead.
Mrs Hayes stood unsuccessfully for National in Dunedin South at the last election after she missed out on the candidacy for Palmerston North.