In New Zealand it’s easy to get caught up with party politics and never really learn about the people standing in your own electorate. This election I’ve tried to give every candidate (in Auckland and Wellington) a voice by asking them 5 questions. Read more about the series here.
Incumbent: Louisa Wall // Labour
Standing in 2014:
Raewyn Bhana | Maori
Simeon Brown | National
Yvonne Dainty | Mana
John Hall | NZ First
Elliot Ikilei | Conservative
Trish Tupou | Green
Louisa Wall | Labour
When I think of Manurewa, I think of it as a vulnerable and abused area of New Zealand that has the potential to be the strongest environment for fixing lives and protecting families (I know, I know, cliched to the max!). It is true though…
What do you think the most important issue is for New Zealanders?
I believe it to be a combination of mainly jobs/health (economic), and the moral issues – the “children and families” (that phrase seems to be bandied around a decent amount with a pfft amount of actual ‘doing something’), drinking and such
Do you think this is the same for New Zealanders living in the Manurewa Electorate?
Yes and no; Manurewa suffers from being used as the ‘whipping boy’ of Auckland; one of the largest electoral populations in the country who have the added bonus of containing big warehouses and no less than four correctional facilities? 36 schools versus over 100 liquor stores, commonly on random street corners? Hundreds, yes hundreds, of mini ‘abc’ street gangs; transient populations; underage prostitutes and an escalating homelessness/living in car styles of residence. And so much more!
There is decent evidence out that the social incursions by Labour/National/Greens into family life are taking a toll, examples being anti-smacking Bill, Redefinition of Marriage, Decriminalisation of Prostitution, enforced status change of relationships, liberalisation of alcohol, and soooo many others. These amendments to law have also been done in heavy opposition to the people (multiple minor polls and referenda), so the moral issues are very important.
The other part is economics, albeit a very simplified aspect; those who work in Manurewa get bugger all, or at least bugger in in relation to top tier management/owners/shareholders. Imagine a Dad who works ten hours, comes home to sleep, goes to bed and wakes up knowing that even though he is about to do another ten hour slog, he will not quite make enough to pay all the bills; there is a lot of pain and crying at night in Manurewa, and still they get up and go to work, every day, every week. Not a sad story, just is what it is. The answer is not raising the minimum wage since companies will roughly pass costs on (more complicated than that of course but ya get the drift), and the living wage is similar, though a much better idea. And benefits, such as Working For Families serves only the rich; middle class (there is a definition of such too) pay out the majority of tax to the Working Poor and Poor, who in turn pay out rent, medical services, supermarket produce, petrol, etc, etc to those shareholders, managers and owners who transact those services…who are ‘the rich’. Fixable but will take balls…or is verve a better word?? Sooorry…
What is your pet piece of policy? Why?
Easy – Binding Referendum “The people get their say every three years” – I have heard this quote spewed out from multiple politicians as if that somehow gave people more democratic ability. Bullllll…bleep… Want a proper say? Want to correct politicians thinking they know better than the people? ’cause at the moment we have no say except for hoping against reality that they will do what they promise (see above expletive) once every three years.
A Binding referendum means that decisions made by governments can actually be changed, even if politicians don’t want to do it!! Power-hungry politician owned… I’ve heard all the arguments against (from most other parties actually), but all arguments can be put into the following categories of meh, pffft, or ‘yup but still heaps better than the system we have now’. Democracy , peeps, and hard! Little note: Our governments, both National and Labour, have ignored every Citizen Initiated Referendum thus far; is it truly a democratic system, when our governments literally ignore the fought for wishes of the people, by official vote? The Conservatives do not think so. Politicians should facilitate the direction of the nation as employees of the nation itself. A symbiotic and synergistic relationship, not the quasi-democracy we have currently…
What will you do to improve the local Manurewa Community?
First thing? I will close the mouth and listen. Let the frontline people, those already advocating for our people, put forward what works and doesn’t work. If it can be done, then fight that fight to get what they need; I do it now anyway, so it’s simply a larger arena… Second would be to push order. Police working to get visibility happening so that sexual violence becomes more difficult in combination with schooling ideas about community integration of children, teens, adults and seniors together. Push for the marae and churches and other organisations to come up with ways of such order, sort of carrot and stick stuff, and make sure it happens!! Third would be to shore up resources; the businesses do want to help, but it is about getting that balance between conscientiousness and business requirements. Also, the local and national government need to be made to invest more heavily into the social structure. The combination of prisons and subsequent transient population alongside mostly low decile schools and other contributing factors that were actually pushed onto Manurewa by previous governments means that they need to provide a large chunk of funding to intervene appropriately. Manurewa never asked to be the warehouse and prison district, so the government will need to be pushed to actually help make better what they have made worse. Then we can start making real changes.
Why should I vote for you?
Because I, like the other Conservatives, am already fighting for the community. I have been in youth work for years, working both professionally and personally with them and their families, and the political thing is merely a progression of what I do now. Tbh I would much prefer to be spending time with the boys I mentor, my annoying daughter and hottie wife haha. However, as those who know me will tell you, if I see injustice and pain, I have always had to stop the horse, get off and fix that carriage wheel. Test it if you want; find anyone, even my enemies (yah, scary but I would say that I actually do have those…), but I believe they would back up that I do what I say and always, alllways fight for those broken and hurting people, whatever age, colour or creed, but that I do so without personal yuckiness or two-faced styles. I’m not a Superman wannabe (Batman maaayyybe), just a Christian dude doing what his Boss wants him, though I have no problem rocking boats to get what the vulnerable need. In fact, I did not even go for candidacy; I was asked to, though maybe a story for another day…
The candidates featured in this post are those who have responded. If you are a candidate in Auckland Central and would still like to be included, it’s not too late. Flick me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will slip you in.