Auckland woman Claire Szabo has been elected the new president of the Labour Party after beating two other candidates in a contest at the party's conference in Whanganui.

She is the chief executive of Habitat for Humanity, a charity which builds houses for people on low incomes.

She beat Tane Phillip, the party's senior Māori vice-president, and Lorna Crane of the Westport branch.

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The vacancy was created after the resignation of Nigel Haworth in September.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made it clear publicly she was dissatisfied with his handling of sexual assault allegation against a Labour staffer and volunteer, which is the subject of two investigations, one into the complaint and another into the handling of it.

New Labour party president Claire Szabo with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / Getty Images
New Labour party president Claire Szabo with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / Getty Images

Szabo's pitch in the conference programme says she would "deal capably with the upcoming investigation reports".

The vacancy was created after the resignation of Nigel Haworth in September.
The vacancy was created after the resignation of Nigel Haworth in September.

She would also "ensure organisational performance with adequate finances, focused teams, a clear plan and accountability to each other".

Szabo was Labour's candidate on the North Shore in 2014 and was No 38 on the list that year.

She and her husband live in Maungakiekie and have two children, a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old.

She grew up in Papakura and describes herself a Hungarian-Kiwi.

"As the daughter of a refugee and a nurse, the wife of a teacher, and the working mum of two small children, I understand that everyday life can have its challenges," she said in her written statement to conference delegates.

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"Mum worked night shifts and dad worked for the council. We lived in a council-owned house which we eventually bought.

"This not only helped my family but taught me about the difference housing and home ownership can make."

She has a music degree from Auckland, an education degree from Trinity in Dublin, a degree in commerce and administration from Victoria, and a masters in public administration from Harvard.

At Habitat for Humanity, she oversaw the operations of 11 charities that delivered housing to low-income people in New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Nepal.