You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
The 35-year-old, who fessed up to leaking Covid-19 patient details to defend allegations he was racist, this week joins real estate agency Harcourts Queenstown as a sales consultant.
He says it’s a case of ‘‘returning to my roots’’ after having completed his papers some years ago.
He also founded an Auckland property management company which he successfully franchised and sold.
‘‘I feel absolutely blessed, I just think real estate’s the greatest thing in the world,’’ he says.
‘‘You help people find new homes, and I live and work in an area I love, and I see interesting people and beautiful homes each day, what could be better?
‘‘For me, it’s really just continuing what I’ve done the last three years, which is working hard for the community.’’
Asked how locals responded to the leaking scandal, which he’s owned up to as a mistake that stemmed from ‘‘wrong advice’’, he says ‘‘I’ve had a huge amount of support from the community — people see what it is, it’s politics, but I’m completely focused on real estate now’’.
He admits Queenstown’s high housing costs make it tough for first-home buyers.
‘‘It’s incredibly tough, and one of the things I am proud of in parliament is successfully lobbying the Minister for an increase of $100,000 for the [first-home] housing cap for Queenstown, which makes a huge difference.’’
He says he’s had an association with Harcourts for a number of years and notes, as a rugby referee, that it sponsors the Otago Rugby Referees Association.
Harcourts Queenstown managing director Warwick Osborne says Walker’s ‘‘all about relationships and community’’, which he sees as a perfect fit for the company.
Meanwhile, Walker’s also thrown his hat in the ring for a Queenstown Chamber of Commerce board seat.