Election 2020: Waitaki candidates for local MP

October 13, 2020

In the lead up to the 2020 election, Stuff is keeping voters up to date with what’s happening in their electorate, through Neighbourly. Here’s what you need to know about the candidates in the running to be Waitaki's MP.

At the October 17 election, New Zealanders will have the opportunity to choose their regional spokesperson.

Through the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system, those enrolled can vote for the party they want as well as a local representative.

Why does my MP matter?

The person elected will be the voice for your region in Parliament. If you’re having trouble getting entitlements or dealing with Government departments, they can help. If your community needs funding for certain projects or activities, or there isn’t enough healthcare in the area, the elected MP can step in and help.

To be elected, the candidate needs to secure the most votes.

What regions are part of the Waitaki electorate?

The electorate covers parts of North Otago, Mackenzie and South Canterbury.

The largest town in the electorate is Oamaru, with other towns including Geraldine, Twizel, Wānaka, Waimate and Cromwell.

Here are the candidates for Waitaki.

Troy Allen

New Conservative

Allen wants New Zealand to set a standard for the world by seeing the key messages of our national anthem fulfilled.

Originally from Oamaru, he started his working life dairy farming at Awamoko with his grandfather, Sid Hurst.

Allen and his family were in Christchurch during the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. After the earthquakes, he and his family moved to Darfield, where he helped build the Fonterra Darfield milk powder plant. He subsequently worked at the plant.

Sean Beamish


Beamish has more than 13 years experience in management and leadership roles within multinational corporations, including several years spent in expatriate mentoring roles in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Papua New Guinea.

His work focuses on the area of asset management and reliability. He lives in Lake Hāwea with his partner, Nicola.

His party’s values align closely with his own, including respecting the important relationship between cause and effect, and the need for productivity so we can invest in a better tomorrow.

Jacqui Dean


Now in her fifth term as Waitaki MP, Dean brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her role, which has been characterised by her energy, determination and work ethic, her party says.

First elected in 2005, she has previously held responsibilities as minister of commerce, consumer affairs and small business, associate minister for ACC and local government and Opposition spokesperson for tourism.

She is a proud advocate for the people and communities that make up the Waitaki electorate, and she is driven by a desire to see the region thrive.

Sampsa Kiuru


Kiuru, who works at Dunstan Hospital, says he is ‘’very excited’’ to run for the party in his first election.

“I think there’s a real opportunity to look into our long-term future, particularly when it comes to sustainability and climate change,” he says.

“I’m a passionate greenie and believe the party needs to be represented in the electorate.”

Anthony Odering

New Zealand First

Dunedin-based Odering, 60, says he has been a New Zealand First member since its inception in the early 1990s and is campaigning for the party vote.

“The bottom line is that the party stands for commonsense values that put New Zealanders first,” he says.

The horticulturalist says the “global economy” has not benefited ordinary New Zealanders as much as it should have, and Covid-19 provides a real opportunity to focus on the regions.

Heather Meri Pennycook

Advance NZ

Pennycook recently moved back to the South Island after two and a half years working with the homeless in Auckland, and prior to that seven years managing the office of a large building company in Wanaka.

She has lived and worked in the USA, UK and Australia.

“I am deeply concerned about New Zealand’s huge, growing national debt, economic crisis, poverty, homelessness and unemployment.

I would like to address these issues with sensible, effective solutions and by reversing industry-crippling legislation passed over the last three years.”

Daniel Shand


Shand does a variety of work, including farm work and various construction jobs, and is starting a large plastering contract shortly.

He says he does not know anything about politics.

“This never stops anyone else from getting involved in government, so I'll give it a go," he says.

“It seems the less experience you have the better you'll do. I probably have the least experience of anyone running so perhaps this will give me some kind of advantage.”

He does not have any political positions, but plans to tour the district and let members of the public tell him what is needed.

Liam Wairepo


Labour says Wairepo already has a track record of political and union activism.

He grew up in Tauranga, and has lived in Otago for the past five years. He is connected to Waitaki through his iwi affiliations and family across the South Island.

Wairepo is studying politics and neuroscience at the University of Otago.

He has been active on campus, in social issues and as a residential assistant (RA).

He founded the Residential College Staffers’ Union to ensure RAs get the pay and support that reflects the challenging nature of their work.