Former Fonterra exec selected for Wellington Central

Nicola Willis was selected unopposed as National's candidate.

Former Fonterra executive and senior John Key adviser Nicola Willis has been selected to contest the Wellington Central electorate at the election for National.

This follows National list MP Paul Foster-Bell – who contested the seat last election – revealing he will be standing down from Parliament at the election.  

Reports had surfaced in the past that Ms Willis was seeking to run in the Wellington Central seat.

Mr Foster-Bell said a contest for a list spot will only “distract our fantastic local team from the wider goal.”

Ms Willis, who was born in Wellington, says she’s excited about running a positive and high-energy campaign in her home city.

“Wellington Central is a highly educated, diverse and vibrant electorate with a strong sense of community and social conscience.”

She says she’ll be running a strong campaign to “ensure Wellington Central has a voice inside a National-led Government that is helping the economy grow, building for future growth, and helping people most pressured by change.”

At the last election, Mr Foster-Bell lost the Wellington central seat to Labour’s Grant Robertson who won by more than 8000 votes.

Ms Willis resigned her position as general manager of Fonterra’s nutrient management programme late last year, as position she had held since 2012.

Previously, she worked as senior advisor to former Prime Minister John Key, where she worked in implementing National’s policy following the 2008 election.

“I’m passionate about promoting Wellington’s future as a growing hub for tech and innovation, entrepreneurship, and community-minded people,” she says.

“New Zealand is a more positive and ambitious country, with an economy that is growing and becoming more diversified.”

Ms Willis was selected unopposed as National’s candidate for the Wellington central seat.