She has several motorcycle track speed records, numerous trophies for competitive yachting, and she loves high performance cars and motorbikes.
Kelly Ellis also plans to marry her former wife, who is her fiancee.
Ellis, a Whangarei barrister, was a man, but is now legally a woman. But she and her former wife remain in love and committed to each other. They have two sons.
Things became difficult in the eyes of the law when Ellis changed gender because two women could not legally be wed with conventional marriage certification.
But then the Civil Union and Marriage Equality legislation came along and they plan to remarry in March.
Ellis aspires to be the first Labour candidate to win the Whangarei electorate since the 1972 election. She is supported by a group of Whangarei lawyers who say they want to see the seat change hands after four decades of National rule.
She is not the only contender but it would be fair to say she is the most colourful.
The 53-year-old sees some of the electorate's social problems first hand. She defends many Northland people charged with serious assaults and similar crimes.
She says there are "wicked people out there" but they all have the right to have someone examine the charges against them for accuracy and fairness and to make a plea for mitigation when appropriate.
A self-confessed petrolhead, she has a collection of motorbikes and cars. "Don't talk about my carbon footprint," she pleads. "I am working on reducing it."
Ellis says ego plays no part in her decision to stand. "In fact it would be fantastic if someone emerged in the next few days who aced all of us who are after the nomination. I'd back them. And I'd offer them my Mercedes campaign car."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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