Former All Black Keven Mealamu running for local board in South Auckland

Former All Black Keven Mealamu is beginning a potential career in politics by standing for the Papakura Local Board in October's local body elections.

The hooker who played 132 Tests for the All Blacks is running for Papakura First along with five other candidates for the South Auckland suburb's six seats.

"I have a real passion for Papakura," the 40-year-old said in his promotional video. "Our kids went to school here, I coached at the local rugby club and my wife was a netball coach as well. We have a real passion for this place."

Mr Mealamu, who has lived in Papakura for 13 years and owned a gym in Takanini, said he wanted families to feel safe in Papakura and for young people to feel proud of the area.

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The former All Black is part of a new campaign to try and break down the stigma of mental health problems. Source: Breakfast

He finished as the second most capped All Black ever after a 13-year career in which he was part of the squads that won World Cups in 2011 and 2015.

Mr Mealamu, who is of Samoan descent, was born and raised in Tokoroa. He is a devout Catholic and has raised money for Starship children's hospital in the past by illustrating children's books.