Fletcher Tabuteau is a great example of perseverance and loyalty. Mr Tabuteau has been a member of New Zealand First for 21 years, since the party was launched, and is yet to reach 40 years of age.

It seems the Rotorua man has been given a new political lease on life after jumping up the party list to fourth, meaning he could very well get into Parliament after the weekend's election - providing his party polls more than 5 per cent.

"This is my fourth time standing for Rotorua as the New Zealand First candidate. Moving from 11th on the party list to fourth is really quite an achievement," Mr Tabuteau said.

"I am proud of the confidence that the party has in me. But, importantly, it is a reflection of the team working with me, I'm so very grateful to my support team."


He thinks of himself as a "typical Kiwi bloke", born and raised in Rotorua, with his interest in politics sparked by his parents who were politically minded and would no doubt be proud of their son.

"On my dad's side, the Tabuteaus are a family that have been part of the Rotorua and Murupara community for generations. On my mum's side - her maiden name was Gear - my whanau is Ngati Ngararanui, Ngati Rangiwewehi and also Ngati Whakaue.

"I married a local girl, Karen. Our two girls are both students in two of our local Catholic schools."

He now lives in Hamurana with a few sheep in the paddock of a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood.

"There is nothing I like better than unwinding to good music at the end of the day. I saved for years and managed to buy some really good quality speakers so that I can enjoy good quality sound at home.

"At the moment, it still has to be a mix of the old-school Kiwi legends like Fat Freddy's Drop and some new stuff - Rudimental."

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But teaching is his passion.

"My work is important to me, I am still in teaching, but as an area manager at Waiariki Institute of Technology.

"I am also a lecturer in economics and strategic marketing and I have great staff working for me.

"In fact, it was my staff who inspired me to continue with my lifelong learning journey and so I am currently studying towards a Masters of Applied Management."

One of the biggest issues he faced while teaching was working with "good kids" who were trying their best, "but you could see they were not being looked after at home".

He says: "Our kids are a precious gift we must cherish.

"John Key recently accusing the primary teachers of playing politics was just ridiculous. They are turning down extra pay, they are asking instead for the money to go directly to our children in the form of smaller classes and more teacher aides for special needs children, as just two examples."

One of his favourite activities was mountain biking, with an emphasis on "was".

"I broke too many bones in our forest so instead I coached the Rotorua Boys' High team when I was a teacher there.

"Now I enjoy the discipline of a good gym workout and I play badminton every Friday night with a group of mainly high school teachers which is a great way to get the week's frustration out."

Family: Wife Karen and two daughters, Morgan who will turn 18 on election day and Jaime who is 9. Mum, dad and sister have all passed away.

Born and bred: Rotorua. Family home was at Tihi-o-Tonga until university. But, grew up in Ohinemutu, Ngongotaha, Homedale St and Murupara.

Biggest inspiration: Winston Peters.

If you could make one new law tomorrow, what would it be?: Take the GST off our rates. It's a tax on a tax and so many people would immediately benefit from it. For Rotorua residents on low or fixed incomes, it would put hundreds of dollars in their pockets, making a huge difference to their standard of living. Those savings would then be spent in our local economy. A win all round.

Who is New Zealand's best MP? Winston Peters. He is one of the greatest politicians of our time and has spent his career making good decisions for the people of New Zealand while at the same time holding individuals to account in Parliament and the private sector.