Sam Uffindell has been selected by local party members as National’s candidate in the upcoming Tauranga by-election.
Sam is currently the Head of Financial Economic Crime for Rabobank and owns a small agribusiness based in the Bay of Plenty.
Eager to gain international experience after studying at the University of Otago, he spent ten years working in senior banking roles in Sydney, also gaining a Master of International Law and International Relations from the University of New South Wales. Before settling in the Bay of Plenty with his family last year, he was Vice President of Deutsche Bank in Singapore.
“It’s an absolute honour to be selected as National’s candidate for Tauranga,” says Uffindell.
“I’m incredibly proud to have the opportunity to be a strong local voice for Tauranga and take up the fight for the issues that matter most to our city.
“Getting around town for work or family commitments is becoming harder thanks to poor infrastructure and a Labour Government focused on cancelling and delaying crucial roading projects like the Tauranga Northern Link. Tauranga families are being hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis as Labour’s economic mismanagement causes the price of housing, food and fuel to explode. Our city deserves better.
“I’m aspirational for Tauranga and want it to remain one of the best places in New Zealand to live, work and raise a family. I’m asking for your support because you deserve a strong local voice to make this happen.
“As a small business owner, senior executive, and dad to three young kids, I understand the issues Tauranga faces and will work tirelessly for you and for the investment our city deserves.
“With a strong MP like me on your side, as part of a Christopher Luxon-led National team, we can and will deliver for Tauranga well into the future.”
The National Party’s candidate for the Tauranga by-election has been selected by 60 of the party’s voting delegates at a meeting held on Sunday afternoon at Mount Maunganui.
Standing for democracy, competence, family and opportunities, Sam Uffindell won the vote after a series of four meetings held across the Tauranga electorate.
So who is Sam Uffindell?
A hard worker with an already stellar career, he has been working as Rabobank New Zealand’s Head of Financial Economic Crime as well as establishing a family business in the Bay of Plenty.
Born in September 1983 in Auckland, Sam is the eldest of three children.
“My father Peter owned a computer company and taught me the value of hard work and enterprise,” says Sam.
“My mother Jennifer took care of us, later becoming an English lecturer, and taught me to be empathetic and resilient.”
Sam says as a child he loved rugby, cricket and summer holidays fishing in the Coromandel.
“My childhood was largely spent outside trying to emulate my sporting heroes. I completed school as a boarder at St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton. I then headed to the University of Otago where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies, a Bachelor of Commerce in Management.
It was at university that he met his wife Julia.
In 2008 Sam moved to Sydney where he spent the next decade working in Financial Crime at Westpac, CBA and Macquarie Bank. During this period he also completed a Master of International Law and International Relations at the University of New South Wales.
“Julia and I were married here in Tauranga in 2015 and two years later we had our first child, Lily,’ says Sam.
In 2018 the young family moved to Singapore where Sam became Vice President at Deutsche Bank, managing sanctions and policy governance across the Asia-Pacific region.
“Our next child, Zippora, was born here in Tauranga in 2019,” says Sam.
“When Covid struck we returned to New Zealand, emerging from MIQ in July 2020.
“We moved to Papamoa and later bought a family home and soon-to-be avocado orchard in Paengaroa.
“We also welcomed our third child, Teddy, into the world at the wonderful Bethlehem Birthing Centre in 2021.”
Julia hails from a kiwifruit family in Te Puke with more than 40 years as orchardists.
“We are fortunate to have lots of family support nearby,” says Sam. “This is the greatest part of New Zealand and we were always going to return here.”
Since returning, Sam has been actively involved in the National Party, after first signing up as a member in 2008.
“During the 2020 General Election Campaign I volunteered in door knocking, putting up signs, human hoardings, and contributed wherever I could,” says Sam.
In 2021 he became the Papamoa Branch Chair and Bay of Plenty Deputy Electorate Chair of the National Party.
As well as heading up Rabobank New Zealand’s Financial Economic Crime department, Sam is also the director of a small company.
“Julia and I have developed a family business manufacturing and supplying organic fertiliser,” says Sam.
“We mainly supply to kiwifruit orchardists and run this from her family’s orchard in Te Puke.”
In his spare time Sam liked to go swimming with his children, red, surf or eat at one of Tauranga’s tasty eateries.
“If elected as MP for Tauranga I will bring my strong family values, my principled open-mindedness, the courage of my convictions, my international work experience and my affinity with our region’s primary industries,” says Sam.
“I will commit to improving the lives of the people of Tauranga, where I will work hard to address our city’s cost of living crisis, transport inefficiencies, crime growth and the disintegration of our local democracy."