Election 2020: Nine new ACT members are about to enter Parliament

Election 2020: Nine new ACT members are about to enter Parliament

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ACT is on the way to its best ever election result.

Nine new ACT MPs are about to sweep into Parliament.

They are mostly unknown to the wider public but hail from Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch.

ACT’s popularity skyrocketed this election and the party has secured 8 per cent of the country’s vote.

In 2017 ACT managed to garner just 0.5 per cent support (13,075 party votes), but leader David Seymour won his Epsom seat guaranteeing his party a voice in Parliament.

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Provisional results show 190,106 people ticked the ACT box at this election, meaning Seymour will lead a caucus of nine additional colleagues.

But who are these new ACT MPs?

Act's deputy leader Brooke van Velden at the party's election after party in Auckland's Viaduct basin.

CHRISTEL YARDLEY/Stuff

Act’s deputy leader Brooke van Velden at the party’s election after party in Auckland’s Viaduct basin.

ACT deputy leader Brooke van Velden​, 27, grew up in Auckland and worked behind the scenes getting the End of Life Choice Act over the line.

She stood in Wellington Central, and managed to get 678 votes. Labour’s Grant Robertson won with 22,015 votes.

van Velden switched from being a Green Party voter to an ACT supporter while studying economics and international trade at Auckland University.

Earlier this year, Seymour described her as the “future of the party”.

New ACT list MP Nicole McKee, from Wellington, is a gun lobbyist.

Supplied

New ACT list MP Nicole McKee, from Wellington, is a gun lobbyist.

Sitting at number three on the list, is Wellington gun lobbyist Nicole McKee, who headed up the party’s campaign against the Government’s gun laws.

McKee runs her own business providing firearms safety training, and is a four-time New Zealand shooting champion.

She received 811 votes in Rongotai, which was won by Labour’s Paul Eagle with 21,590 votes.

Nelson man Chris Baillie is a business owner and teacher.

MARTIN DE RUYTER/STUFF

Nelson man Chris Baillie is a business owner and teacher.

Fourth on the list, Nelson’s Chris Baillie who is a teacher at Nayland College and owns a restaurant in the city. He spent 14 years working as a police officer.

As a business owner, he said he knows how difficult it is to work through red tape and compliance issues.

Baillie got 1123 votes in his Nelson electorate but achieved his goal of increasing the ACT party vote, from 137 in 2017 to 3210.

ACT list MP Simon Court is a civil and environmental engineer from Auckland.

Supplied

ACT list MP Simon Court is a civil and environmental engineer from Auckland.

Fifth on the list is Simon Court, who stood in Te Atatū. He has 23 years experience as a civil and environmental engineer for the private sector and local government.

He spent 10 years leading engineering, planning, tendering and construction teams mostly in Auckland, Wellington and Fiji. Court intends to take a disability perspective to Parliament. He has three boys and his youngest has Down Syndrome.

James McDowall enjoys photography and spending time with his daughter.

Supplied

James McDowall enjoys photography and spending time with his daughter.

Sitting at number six is Waikato’s James McDowall, who is a small business owner and has a PhD in marketing. He works for the Wise Group, one of the largest providers of mental health and wellbeing services in New Zealand.

He said earlier this year he enjoys photography, travel and spending time with his 2-year-old daughter.

ACT List MP Karen Chhour has a background in property management.

Supplied

ACT List MP Karen Chhour has a background in property management.

Seventh on the list is Upper Harbour candidate Karen Chhour, a self-employed mother of four who has lived on Auckland’s North Shore for 30 years.

She has a background in property management and says she is passionate about addressing homelessness, child poverty, abuse and mental health.

ACT rural spokesperson Mark Cameron will now enter Parliament as a list MP.

Greg Bowker/Getty Images

ACT rural spokesperson Mark Cameron will now enter Parliament as a list MP.

Lining up at eight on the list is Northland dairy farmer Mark Cameron, 48, who has lived and farmed in the region for 30 years. He has a partner, Jodie, and three children.

He is the party’s spokesman for rural issues and believes successive governments have let down the rural sector.

ACT list MP Toni Severin was a qualified lab technician at Canterbury District Health Board for 14 years.

Supplied

ACT list MP Toni Severin was a qualified lab technician at Canterbury District Health Board for 14 years.

Ninth on ACT’s list is Toni Severin, a licensed firearms owner who lives in Christchurch East. She and her husband run a business that operates in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. Before this, she was a qualified lab technician at the Canterbury District Health Board for 14 years.

She is a long-time ACT campaigner and was 11th on the party’s list in 2014 and 10th in 2017.

Damien Smith is a former business banker.

Supplied

Damien Smith is a former business banker.

Sneaking into Parliament at 10th on the list is Auckland businessman Damien Smith who stood in the Botany electorate, won by National’s Christopher Luxon.

Smith is a former business banker who has worked for Virgin Group and ASB Bank. He runs his own consulting business and lives with his daughter in Orakei.

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