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The ‘turning point’ election

Warren Butterworth, new Conservative Party candidate for Wairarapa. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

Lisa Urbani

Warren Butterworth, New Conservative Party candidate for Wairarapa, feels strongly that the upcoming New Zealand election is “one of the most important in my lifetime”.

“It’s a turning point, there are a lot of things I’m uneasy about across a broad spectrum.”

With an historical family connection to the lower North island, he decided to stand for the Wairarapa electorate, since there was already a candidate standing in Northland where he lives.

As proof of his commitment to Wairarapa, he says he will relocate here if he gets in, and he said it was a “sacrifice” in terms of his Northland roots, and the expense associated with standing here – but, it was one he was willing to make.

Warren Butterworth in his cattle yard with a neighbour, after inoculating some calves.

Having been involved in farming all his life, Warren has an affinity with the land and understood provincial issues, and said he had “seen the effect legislation has on farmers”.

He was born in Cambridge, where his parents were schoolteachers, but he grew up in the Northland region and has a cattle farm in the Kaipara Harbour District.

His great-grandfather William Henry Heathcote Jackman was a highly successful early vintner in that area, and today, Warren is a part-owner of Julicher winery in Te Muna valley, Martinborough – together with his cousin – the well-known yachtsman, Brad Butterworth.

Julicher focuses on sustainable wine making and has been named one of the top 50 wine producers in New Zealand.

As a young man, he moved to Auckland to study law, and his sense of civic mindedness is evidenced by the fact that he volunteered at the tender age of 19 to spend five years in the territorial force, narrowly missing action in the Belgian Congo uprising.

Training with the SAS, he passed the test to become an officer, but decided to pursue his interest in law and establish a law practice.

This led to a long and illustrious career as a senior partner, practising in both civil and criminal courts – but as of late, he has been more involved in commercial law.

As he says, “there are good and bad people in every profession – people are entitled to be defended – and it’s satisfying to meet a client’s expectations”.

He has worked on the subcommittee of the Auckland District Law Society, the Prisoners’ Advocacy section and contributed to rehabilitation and restorative justice – “wanting to see a legal system that promotes better societal outcomes.”

Karen and Warren Butterworth with their son Nick.

Strong family values are at the heart of his beliefs, having been married to his elegant wife Karen – an accomplished artist – for 40 years.

He has three children and five grandchildren.

Proof of his desire to be socially responsible lies in his long involvement in his community, including the Te Uri O Hau Charitable Trust for Maori education, Tongariro River Charitable Trust for protection and restoration of the river environment, and the Maungaturoto Community Charitable trust – a rest home, medical centre, retirement village and dementia facility.

Supporting grassroots sport by serving on the Auckland and New Zealand rugby unions, and acting as club solicitor for the West End Rowing Club for 20 years, he finds time for fly fishing when he can.

There is no doubt regarding his work ethic and his passion for making a positive change as a proud New Zealander.

For him it is about traditional, family values, common sense, and being socially responsible, aiming at a “positive society where all New Zealanders can thrive”.

Next week: Midweek will profile Labour Party candidate for Wairarapa Kieran McAnulty.

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