A high school prefect with aspirations to be Prime Minister has won the National Party selection to stand in Palmerston North in 2020.

But it will be a big hill for 17-year-old William Wood to climb, as the electorate is held by Cabinet Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, who had a 6392 majority in 2017.

Wood, who has just finished his final year at Palmerston North Boys' High School, is the youngest National candidate ever and will have to re-sign his candidate form when he turns 18 in January.

But has long held political ambitions.


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He was the Youth MP for the Rangitikei electorate in the 2019 Youth Parliament, and he told Stuff at the end of last year, as a 16-year-old, that he wanted to be Prime Minister.

"I'm incredibly humbled and excited to be selected to run in my home electorate of Palmerston North," Wood said in a statement today.

"Palmerston North is my home. It has all the benefits of a large city alongside a great rural community. The people here work hard, and expect the Government to spend their tax dollars wisely.

"I'll be fighting hard to earn Palmerston North's trust and to ensure we don't waste another three years with a Labour-led Government."

When he was selected as Youth MP for Rangitikei, Wood said he had had a passion for politics from a young age.

"When the opportunity came up to seriously engage in the politics of our nation, I jumped at the prospect."

He had already attended Ratana at the start of this year as Youth Representative for the Rangitikei alongside the National delegation, which included leader Simon Bridges and deputy leader Paula Bennett.


Wood has been selected two years in a row to represent New Zealand at the Evatt Diplomacy Competition in Australia.

He was selected as the top debater for Super Eight Schools Competition, and has been a member of the Palmerston North Youth Council.