Tamahere man Tim van de Molen has has been selected by the National Party to contest the safe Waikato electorate at next year’s general election.
A farmer and rural banker, van de Molen became a member of the Tamahere Community Committee at its October election.
Waikato is currently held by retiring, long time National MP Lindsay Tisch with a majority of more than 16,000.
The announcement of van de Molen’s selection was made late yesterday and was one of many examples of the National Party being caught out by its leader, Prime Minister John Key, who made a shock announcement today that he would resign as PM in a week’s time.
In his announcement van de Molen said he would ensure the Waikato had “a dedicated local voice in John Key’s National-led Government”.
Van de Molen, a Rabobank rural manager who also owns a number of small businesses, lives in Tamahere with wife Hilary and daughter Isobella.
He has lived in the Waikato region for most of his life and in 2013 won the prestigious NZ Young Farmer of the Year award. Outside of work he is active in the Army Reserves.
“Waikato is my home, the place I love, so I’m really thrilled to be selected,” van de Molen said in the statement.
“I’ve got a strong understanding of the needs and aspirations of Waikato communities and will be working hard to earn the privilege of representing them in Wellington.”
The Waikato electorate covers from Tuakau in the north, surrounds Hamilton east and stretches inland to Matamata.
It’s likely van de Molen will have to step down from the Tamahere Community Committee when election campaigning gets underway to avoid possible conflicts of interest.