National picks high school dropout turned Harvard grad for Northcote

UPDATE: National wins Northcote, but with lower majority

The National Party has selected former OECD economist Dan Bidois as its candidate to contest the Northcote seat left vacant by Jonathan Coleman’s retirement from politics.

Mr Bidois is the strategy manager for Foodstuffs. He left school at 15 to complete a butchery apprenticeship with Woolworths New Zealand but then went on to study at Auckland University before winning a Fulbright scholarship to attend Harvard University in the US where he gained a masters in public policy.

He worked as an economic policy analyst for the OECD in Paris before returning to NZ for his Foodstuffs management role.

He is expected to easily retain Northcote, which Dr Coleman won with a 6210 majority in last year’s election.

Mr Bidois says he is proud to be selected as National’s candidate and vowed to stand up to not just the government in Wellington but Auckland Council as well.

“Northcote residents work hard and pay their fair share of rates and taxes. They expect their fair share of quality services in return – like un-congested roads and better public transport options – and they deserve a council and government that can manage their finances to provide these services without constant rates and tax increases.

“The hardworking people of Northcote are not a piggy bank for Phil Goff, Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters to pay for pet projects on the other side of the bridge that won’t benefit us here.”

Mr Bidois is of European and Ngati Maniapoto descent.

He beat Danielle Grant, Darren Ward, Lisa Whyte and Simon Watts to win the nomination.

The by-election will be held on June 9.

Labour's selection contest is also being held this afternoon, with Auckland councillor Richard Hills, 2017 Northcote candidate Shanan Halbert and Paul McGreal as the three contenders. NBR understands the selection process, which began at 12pm, was down to a close contest between Hills and Halbert as of 4pm [UPDATE: Halbert won].

The Greens have yet to decide if they will stand a candidate or give Labour a free run. The party will meet this week.

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