Experienced Gisborne-based executive and communications professional Dana Kirkpatrick has been selected by local party members as National’s East Coast candidate for the 2023 General Election. 

“Over the past couple of months, I’ve seen firsthand the strength and resilience of people on the East Coast. I’m honoured to have the opportunity to work hard to earn their support as National’s East Coast candidate,” says Ms Kirkpatrick. 

“I’ve spent the time since we were struck by Cyclone Gabrielle supporting our communities. Advocating for our region’s recovery remains my first priority and my thoughts are with everyone across the East Coast and Hawke’s Bay who are still coming to grips with what they’ve lost. 

“People on the East Coast are already struggling with a cost-of-living crisis, with inflation running wild, mortgage repayments going through the roof and the cost of filling up the shopping trolley climbing higher and higher. I’m standing for National because our people deserve a different approach, especially at a time like this.

“Labour is spending $1 billion more every week than National was, which is fueling inflation, stretching East Coast families’ budgets. Kiwis will be looking at this huge increase in spending and wondering what they have to show for it, apart from higher costs and worsening outcomes.

“Only National can strengthen our economy so we can reduce the cost of living, lift incomes, restore law and order, and build the infrastructure we need for the future. We need to back our businesses to get back on their feet and drive our economic recovery.

“Coming from a farming family myself, I understand the contribution farmers make to our region and to New Zealand’s economy. I will always be a strong advocate for our farmers and orchardists and will advocate to reduce their regulatory burden if I earn the right to represent the East Coast in Chris Luxon’s National team.

“I’m thrilled to see National announcing positive plans to address the issues people here care strongly about, like making sure our kids have the skills they need to succeed. Our Teaching the Basics Brilliantly policy will require all primary and intermediate schools to spend an average of an hour each day on reading, an hour a day on writing, and an hour a day on maths. We’ll also help families with the cost of childcare with up to $75 per week in tax rebates through our FamilyBoost policy.

“I’m getting to work straight away meeting as many people as I can across the East Coast, from Maketu to Minginui, and Gisborne to Ōpōtiki. I’ll work incredibly hard to elect a National Government that will deliver for all New Zealanders, and for the opportunity to represent the region where I was born and raised.” 


Biographical notes

Dana Kirkpatrick is an experienced executive and communications professional who ran her own communications and marketing agency in Gisborne for several years. She worked as the general manager of Eastwoodhill in Gisborne and was CEO of Equestrian Sport NZ for four years.

In recent weeks, Dana spent some time in the rural support team in Gisborne’s Civil Defence response to Cyclone Gabrielle and has been raising money for the relief fund. She currently works as a communications consultant across a range of charities, sports and organisations.

Born and raised in Gisborne, Dana gained qualifications in broadcasting before spending several years as a local journalist and communications executive across Gisborne and the Bay of Plenty. She has a Diploma in Business Management and has won numerous awards for community engagement and fundraising.

Dana lives in Gisborne with her two teenage children.