Helen White (politician)

Last updated

Helen White

MP
Helen White.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Labour party list
Assumed office
17 October 2020
Personal details
Born1967/1968(age 51–53) [1]
Political party Labour
Children3
Profession Lawyer
Website www.labour.org.nz/helenwhite

Helen Ione White is a New Zealand politician. In 2020 she became a Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives for the Labour Party. [2]

Contents

Biography

Early life and career

White and her family originally lived in Kawerau before moving to Auckland in 1971 where the school she attended was 98% Polynesian students. [3] She grew up in Freemans Bay, Auckland and became a barrister, specialising in employment law. She lives in Auckland and has three children. [4]

Early in her legal career, White worked with the EPMU Union for a period alongside future Labour leader Andrew Little. [5]

Political career

New Zealand Parliament
YearsTermElectorateListParty
2020 present 53rd List48 Labour

In 2009 White attempted to gain the Labour nomination in the Mount Albert by-election to replace former Prime Minister Helen Clark, but lost to David Shearer. [6] Eight years later in February 2017, White won the Labour Party nomination to stand in Auckland Central at the general election in 2017, winning preference over other contestant Shanan Halbert. [4] White was ranked 40 on Labour's party list. [7] Despite not being elected to parliament in 2017, White was selected to stand in Auckland Central again in 2020. [8]

White received some criticism after mocking her electorate opponent, the Green Party's Chlöe Swarbrick, as a celebrity candidate and describing herself as the serious candidate, [9] despite the fact that Swarbrick held a seat in Parliament (as a List MP) while White didn't. A Newshub poll conducted in September 2020 had White with a large lead over her main competitors 42.3 to 26.6 for National's Emma Mellow and 24.2 for Swarbrick. [10] By October the race had tightened. White remained in the lead but dropped to 35 percent to Mellow's 30 and Swarbrick's 26. [11] White did not win the Auckland Central seat, coming second place behind Swarbrick by 1068 votes in the final count, but was allocated a seat in Parliament via Labour's party list. [12] [13]

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References

  1. "Compare the candidates for Auckland Central — NZ Election 2020". Your complete guide to NZ Election 2020 — Policy.
  2. "Election 2020: The 40 diverse new MPs entering Parliament". Newstalk ZB . 18 October 2020. Archived from the original on 22 October 2020. Retrieved 16 November 2020 via The New Zealand Herald.
  3. Smith, Anneke (2 October 2020). "NZ Election 2020: Helen White, Emma Mellow and Chlöe Swarbrick in a three-way race for Auckland Central". Radio NZ . Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  4. 1 2 "Helen White Labour's 2017 candidate for Auckland Central" (Press release). New Zealand Labour Party. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  5. Elliot, John. "Impressive new Labour candidate for Auckland Central". Ponsonby News. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  6. Young, Audrey (27 April 2009). "Goff thinks fresh face has winning edge". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 19 May 2009.
  7. "Revised Labour Party List for the 2017 Election". Scoop.co.nz. 15 August 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  8. "Labour selects lawyer Helen White as Auckland Central candidate". The New Zealand Herald . 23 February 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  9. Palmer, Scott (26 July 2020). "Chlöe Swarbrick defends herself from Labour's Auckland Central candidate Helen White". Newshub. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  10. Satherley, Dan (19 September 2020). "Auckland Central poll puts Labour's Helen White way out in front". Newshub. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  11. Manch, Thomas (4 October 2020). "Auckland Central electorate race tightens in new poll". Stuff . Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  12. "Election Results - Auckland Central". Electoral Commission . 19 October 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  13. "2020 General Election and Referendums - Official Result". Electoral Commission . 6 November 2020. Retrieved 6 November 2020.