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.
Standing in 2014:
Paula Bennett | National
Stephen Berry | Act
Callum Blair | Conservative
Nicholas Mayne | Green
Makelesi Ngata | Mana
Hermann Retzlaff | Labour
Hinurewa Te Hau | Māori
Kia ora, I am the Upper Harbour Candidate for the Green Party, along with many other things, but I would not call me the potential MP. There is so much to do in our community that making a name for myself in Wellington is not a priority. I am standing as the candidate though in order to help grow the party vote and get more Green MPs into parliament; because what happens in Wellington impacts on what I can do in our community.
From Massey to Greenhithe and then out to Glenfield we are a diverse electorate. But our communities have something’s in common. For a start the distance we have to travel to get anywhere. The Green’s solution is to invest in public transport including working towards an express bus between Henderson and Constellation Station. Another characteristic is the harbour; it is a fantastic recreational resource that is being filled with mud because of bad development decisions. The Greens plans to clean up our rivers and streams will help stop sediment being carried into the harbour.
I think the most important issue for New Zealand is adapting to a changing world. We have always made most of our wealth out of primary industries; and struggled when the cost of transport made this difficult. But as the old adage goes, it is not wise to put all your eggs into the same basket; and with peak oil and global warming now inevitable realities of our future we should be diversifying our economy to spread the risk. Upper Harbour is not immune to this; but residents are also well placed to take a lead in diversifying though industries like the IT sector; with local access to education and infrastructure.
My pet policy… I like pet rabbits; I think more people should have pet rabbits and less people have cats. They are cuter, cuddlier, quitter, and vegetarian… Sorry that was a Dad joke I could not resist.
Come September 21st, no matter who wins the election, I will still be growing and planting native trees in our local reserve, assisting in community development through our local community house, and making myself heard whenever I am confronted with injustice.
You can vote for me if you like; but I would much prefer you use your Party vote and vote for the Green Party. Because a team of Green MPs will do a lot more good for Upper Harbour in parliament than what I could do on my own.
The candidates featured in this post are those who have responded. If you are a candidate in Upper Harbour 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.