Hessel Van Wieren was born in New Zealand to dutch immigrant parents who came to Christchurch in the 1950s.
He spent most of his early life in Christchurch and commenced his first working career there with the NZPO, mainly in the banking sector.
After working on secondment in Wellington on a major computer project for 18 months in 1987, Hessel left the Post Office-Postbank, and spent the next five years building houses with his father.
Over the last 25 years Hessel has been self employed in property maintenance, living and working in Cromwell.
He has served on the local Youth Trust for ten years, including a term as chairman.
Hessel credits his father for influencing his political direction: many years ago Hessel's father told his family that he believed that Social Credit, with its ethical and just monetary reform policies, was the only party worth voting for.
Hessel knows his electorate well and has stood as the Democrats for Social Credit candidate for the Waitaki electorate on previous occasions.