Reuben has been married for 31 years and he and his wife have had seven children.
He has been a small business owner and understands what it must be like for thousands of SME owners trying to withstand setbacks from the COVID-19 lockdown.
He has always been a National voter until recently. He was slowly becoming disappointed with the direction it was going in. Vote after vote, its more liberal-leaning MPs were voting the same way as Labour. So, when Reuben spoke to an avid New Conservative supporter and learned what the party stands for, he was so impressed he decided to run as the Rangitīkei candidate.
Reuben was born in Samoa and moved to New Zealand as a teenager. He gained a chef apprenticeship, and after qualifying, he and his wife moved to England, where Reuben spent the next 12 years gaining chefing and management experience. He was Sous Chef for Rules restaurant, the oldest restaurant in England. He was Executive Chef of Browns in Covent Garden, the chain’s flagship restaurant. And he was Food Development Manager for one of the largest restaurant chains (then under the BASS umbrella, now Mitchells and Butlers and the Intercontinental Hotels group).
Sadly, while Reuben was still in the UK, his eldest daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Nine months later, she died, just two days after her twelfth birthday.
Reuben’s passion is people, and he has helped many, including youth needing work or accommodation. He has helped them get into trades, and gain life-changing skills and discipline. He has also given them work experience. Not all have been successful, but some have become award-winning chefs.
For nine years, Reuben has been Central Branch secretary for the NZ Chefs Association and president of the award-winning Manawatu Lawn Tennis Club.
Reuben supports New Conservative’s position on the End of Life Choice Bill. He cared for his grandmother until her passing and considers the bill dangerous as he believes some elderly people will feel they are a burden on others and may opt for euthanasia.
Reuben also strongly supports the Binding Citizens’ Initiated Referenda policy. He believes a BCIR mechanism will help prevent successive governments riding roughshod over voters and will give power back to the people.
Reuben would also like to see playground slides being built that cost less than a family home!