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Wairarapa at front and centre

Kieran McAnulty with his Nana Betty and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Kieran McAnulty is the Labour candidate for Wairarapa, and for the past three years he has been a list MP based in Wairarapa, with an office in Masterton’s Queen St.

“In my view, it’s time Wairarapa had an electorate MP in the heart of government.

We haven’t had an electorate MP in a position of influence within government since Wyatt Creech.”

We can change that this election” he said.

As an electorate MP, Kieran said he will have significantly more resources to better position himself as an effective advocate for Wairarapa because as a Junior Government Whip he has had direct access to ministers and other key decision-makers.

“There have been several wins for our region, such as funding for the Wairarapa rail line, the Wairarapa water storage scheme, Hood Aerodrome, and the replacement for the Manawatu Gorge, just to name a few”.

He said he was passionate about the region because he has deep roots going back seven generations.

“Both of my grandads were farmers from Eketahuna – one Labour, one National – so I’ve grown up knowing that you need to listen and understand all points of view as you work through the tough issues”.

Hearing the concerns regarding farm conversions to forestry, he acted and “is proud to have, authored the Labour Party’s policy to address local concerns around farm conversions to forestry”.

Kieran said his outlook and values had been shaped by his family, his education, and his friends, and he treasured his relationship with his parents.

In a speech in Parliament earlier this year, he spoke about being raised in a loving family.

Educated at St Mary’s Carterton,

St Patrick’s Masterton, and Chanel College, where he was head boy in 2002, Kieran said this pathway to adulthood had a huge influence on his desire to serve his community.

He spent seven years as a volunteer with fire brigades, initially in Greytown then in Masterton, and has been very involved with the Golden Shears and Wings over Wairarapa for many years.

As an only child, Kieran’s friends are very important to him and he loves nothing more than taking an afternoon off work and catching up with them.

“I have very important ‘uncle’ duties whenever I visit, which usually involves bringing lollies and running around the backyard with the kids.”

He’s just one of the team when he plays cricket for the Bottom Paddock Cricket Club, based out of Norfolk Rd.

There’s a fierce rivalry with an annual grudge match against the Martinborough Winegrowers, whom Kieran reluctantly admits has had the measure of his own team in recent times.

His passion for cricket is matched by his love of Wairarapa-Bush rugby, a passion nurtured by countless happy Saturdays spent with his dad at Memorial Park.

A highlight of his younger years was being promoted to scoreboard operator at Memorial Park, a job he took very seriously at the time.

“These days, I don’t get to do as much hunting, fishing, and tramping as I’d like – my work keeps me pretty busy most nights and weekends.

But I have some good mates who occasionally slip me some venison, which I love.

“I then get to indulge my passion for cooking.”

“The thing I love most about this job – and it’s a huge motivation for me – is getting out and about having a yarn with people and listening to the things they care about.

“It’s a privilege to be doing this work.

“I’m always learning and growing as a person and I get to put my efforts into helping out others and delivering for my home region.”

Next week: Midweek will profile New Zealand First candidate for Wairarapa Ron Mark.

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