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'I have been a fighter my entire life' - New Zealand's newest MP Dan Bidois takes out Northcote by-election

Dan Bidois took out Auckland's Northcote by-election last night, seeing National retain the seat after former MP Jonathan Coleman left Parliament earlier this year. 

1 NEWS interviewed Mr Bidois before his win last Tuesday to find out what he thinks the biggest issues in the country are, why he's ready for the cut-and-thrust of Parliament and whose shoes he would like to fill for a day.

When asked before the by election why he would be the best MP for Northcote, Mr Bidois said his experience and character would help him "get results for this amazing part of Auckland". 

"I have been a fighter my entire life. I dropped out of school at 15, found out I had cancer and beat it, completed my butchery apprenticeship, eventually getting mentored to go to University and falling in love with education. Ultimately I went on to win a scholarship and complete my Masters at Harvard."

"I have had to fight for everything I have achieved in life, and so I want to bring that determination to Northcote and fight for the things that matter locally – improving transport, stopping the fuel tax increases, and getting more investment in local services like health and education."

Mr Bidois said he would celebrate winning by having a beer with his supporters, "and then get straight into work on my plan for Northcote".

"I have also met a lot of nice dogs when out door-knocking, so I am tempted to buy a four-legged friend," he added. 

He said prior to his victory when asked what issues he would pursue in Parliament, that he was "passionate about education and making sure we're getting more kids learning good trades. I would like to see more done around apprenticeships". 

Other questions answered by Mr Bidois:

What's the biggest problem issue facing NZ at the moment that needs dealing with?

The economy has been doing well the last few years, which has lifted incomes and meant the Government can afford to invest more in public services, but we can’t take it for granted. The new Labour-NZ First Government is making a range of changes that will slow that growth down, which is really bad for families. We can’t take good economic management for granted.

There is a chance parliament will be making conscience votes on topics such as legalising cannabis, moving abortion into the Health Act and introducing voluntary euthanasia. How would you vote on each of those issues?

There is currently no scheduled vote on abortion or cannabis, but I haven’t seen evidence the current systems aren’t working properly. I would want to study the issues more before I made a decision on these two.

I haven't read the proposed euthanasia legislation yet. I do have some concerns around it though, in that we have to make sure that there appropriate safeguards so our sick and elderly aren’t abused.

If you could spend a day in another person's shoes, whose would they be?

Richie McCaw. I've always been a keen supporter of him and never been particularly good at rugby.

What was a moment in your life that you believe sets you up for the cut-and-thrust lifestyle of parliament?

Dropping out of school and then getting diagnosed with cancer at 15. Facing death makes you really think about life and reflect on what does and doesn't matter. It has made me strong and determined, but it also makes me more compassionate because I think about other people and their own struggles.

Mr Bidois replaces former MP Jonathan Coleman. Source: 1 NEWS