NZNO organiser gains Labour seat

November 1, 2020

NZNO has lost one of its Christchurch-based organisers, while Banks Peninsula has gained a new MP.

Tracey McLellan
New Banks Peninsula electorate MP Tracey McLellan

Tracey McLellan won the electorate seat last month, with a more than 11,000 majority over her nearest rival, National Party candidate Catherine Chu.

She has worked for NZNO since 2015, covering mainly primary health care sites and the whole of South Canterbury, including the district health board. She stepped down from the role in July this year, with her work picked up by Christchurch Hospital delegate Stephanie Duncan on a fixed-term contract.

McLellan said she was “very excited” to be part of the Labour Party resurgence, but realised she had “big shoes to fill”, taking over the seat from long-serving MP Ruth Dyson.

Before joining NZNO, McLellan had worked at the University of Canterbury as a research scientist, specialising in sports injuries and concussion. She became acting Labour Party president last year following Nigel Haworth’s resignation.

Former Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway rejoined NZNO at the end of last month as the Central Region lead organiser. His temporary, fixed-term contract runs to the end of March next year. He replaces Lyn Olsthoorn, who retired from NZNO last month. Galloway was MP for the Palmerston North electorate from 2008 until July this year, and has previously worked for NZNO as an organiser and campaign and media adviser.

Other former staff to have joined NZNO after political careers include industrial services manager Laila Harré and lead organiser Carol Beaumont. “In the time they worked for us, they all gave us the benefit of their experience, which has been valuable to our work,” said industrial services manager Glenda Alexander. “We expect Iain will also have a lot to share with us.” Former NZNO organiser Sue Moroney served as a Labour List MP from 2005 to 2017.

Two staff members leaving NZNO at the end of this month are Auckland organiser Sue Sharpe and Nelson organiser Daniel Marshall. Marshall will be joining the Public Service Association organising team in Nelson in January.