2 Pinoys major party bets in New Zealand polls
(The Philippine Star) - July 1, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines -  Two Filipinos have been selected as major party candidates for New Zealand’s general election on Sept. 23. 

Paulo Garcia and Romy Udagna, both of whom have lived in New Zealand for more than a decade, will run for the National Party and the Labor Party, respectively.  

Garcia is a lawyer with over 20 years experience. He established his own law firm in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, and considers himself a proud Kiwi Pinoy.

He co-founded the New Zealand Philippines Business Council in 2008 and was subsequently appointed honorary consul-general for the Philippines in 2012. He was also selected as a National Party candidate for the suburb of New Lynn, Auckland earlier this year.

 “It’s a great honor to be chosen by National and especially our local membership here in New Lynn,” said Garcia. 

“One of the things that drew me to New Zealand was its reputation as a place where anyone who worked hard and cared about their community could get ahead,” he added. 

Garcia said he chose to stand for the National Party, which is currently in power, because it welcomes diversity and understands the needs of New Zealanders from all backgrounds. 

Running for the opposing Labor party is Udagna, who migrated to New Zealand in 2007.  

Udagna formed and chairs the first Filipino branch of the Labor Party, and is a lead communities organizer for Multicultural Labor. 

With two master’s degrees and more than 30 years experience as a business owner, university lecturer, editor and insurance adviser, Udagna was selected as a candidate for the large Auckland suburb of the North Shore. 

“The North Shore is one of the most beautiful places in the country to live, but many locals worry their children will never be able to afford to buy here,” Udagna said on his website.

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