TE TAI TONGA // WHY SHOULD I VOTE FOR YOU?

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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.

TE TAI TONGA

 Incumbent: Rino Tirikatene // Labour

Standing in 2014:
Georgina Beyer | Mana
Ngaire Button | Māori
Emma-Jane Kingi | Legalise Cannabis
Dora Langsbury | Green
Hahona Rakiraki Tamiti | Democratic
Rino Tirikatene | Labour

RINO TIRIKATENE TIRIKATENE

What do you think characterises the Te Tai Tonga Electorate?

The same thing that characterises every electorate: the people. Te Tai Tonga is the largest electorate in the country and, I think, the most diverse: from public servants on the Terrace to sheep farmers in the Chatham Islands; from jet boat operators in Queenstown to miners on the West Coast. What unites us is our whakapapa Maori, but beyond that we’re a diverse bunch. I think that makes Te Tai Tonga a very special place.

What do you think is the most important issue for Maori living in your electorate?

It has to be the economy. There are not enough jobs, prices are rising faster than wages and the housing shortage is at crisis levels in Christchurch. Maori are at the sharp edge of the stuttering economy. Under Labour, we’ll create more jobs, lift wages and build 100,000 new homes. With material security Maori can lead what Norman Kirk called “the good life”.

Why are you standing in a Maori seat? What is the value of Maori seats in your opinion?

The Maori seats mean that there is a kaupapa Maori perspective in Parliament. Too often non-Maori will frame the seats as an affirmative action measure. That’s not strictly true. The point of dedicated representation was not perfect equality – where Maori numbers in Parliament would be proportionate to Maori numbers in the population as a whole – the point was the kaupapa Maori perspective. That’s why I’m standing in a Maori seat – I want to represent a kaupapa Maori perspective.

How will you improve the lives of Maori living in your community?

I’m committed to changing the government and taking a leadership role in the next Labour government. Under Labour we will build 100,000 new homes. We call it Kiwibuild and it will help solve the housing crisis in Christchurch, create new jobs in the regions and make housing more affordable across the country.

Why Should I Vote For You?

I’m a proven voice for Te Tai Tonga. Over the last three years I haven’t been afraid to put the people of Te Tai Tonga first and over the next three years I’ll continue to put the people of Te Tai Tonga first.

NGAIRE BUTTON BUTTON

What do you think characterises the Te Tai Tonga Electorate?

Geographically diverse and the largest electorate in New Zealand, Te Tai Tonga has a diversity of whanaunga, 17 mana whenua iwi and a large number of maata waka maori from iwi outside of the motu.

What do you think is the most important issue for Maori living in your electorate?

The maori tv kowhiri pole of 500 said education was the top priority but I think a more extensive pole would show the cost of living to be our biggest issue, rents, power and food costs make life tough for many.

Why are you standing in a Maori seat? What is the value of Maori seats in your opinion?

I am standing for the maori seat because I believe in representation. The Maori Party vision to be “A strong Independendent Maori voice with influence in Parliament.” really appeals to me, our people deserve and need a representative who is hard working and will advocate strongly. NZ is the only colonize country in the world with seats set aside for first nation peoples. It is really important that we protect our maori seats and maintain our independent representation.

How will you improve the lives of Maori living in your community?

I will build on the foundations laid down by Dr Pita Sharples and Whaea Tariana Turia over the past 10 years. I believe in rangitiratanga, self determination, our people need opportunity, our children need the chance to reach their potential. We do not want another 3 generations of welfare dependence, we want to facilitate change through programs likeTrade Training, Whanau Ora and Enabling good lives.

Why Should I Vote For You?

I have nine years of political experience in Local Government including Deputy Mayor in Christchurch  during the earthquake time. Political experience is important at a time where we have 2 of our leaders retiring. I am also a mother of six with a diversity of life experience and understanding of what it is like to raise a family and provide for their needs . I have a reputation of being energetic and hard working and will advocate strongy for the needs of Te Tai Tonga whanau.

The candidates featured in this post are those who have responded. If you are a candidate in Te Tai Tonga and would still like to be included, it’s not too late. Flick me an email at madicattt@gmail.com and I will slip you in. 

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NORTHCOTE // WHY SHOULD I VOTE FOR YOU?

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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.

NORTHCOTEIncumbent: Jonathan Coleman // National

Standing in 2014:
Jonathan Coleman | National
Richard Hills | Labour
Gil Ho | Internet
Tim Kronfeld | Act
Damian Light | United Future
Anne-Elise Smithson | Green
Matthew Webster | Conservatives

 

RICHARD HILLS HILLS

What do you think characterises the Northcote Electorate?
Northcote is about as diverse as it gets, but that’s why I love it, we have people here from all backgrounds, cultures and ethnicties. Everyone seems to get on pretty well and the community spirit here is awesome. I feel like everyone cares a lot and wants to help out. That’s not what it’s like everywhere, so I’m pretty proud to have grown up here and standing for election.
What do you think the most important issue is for New Zealanders? Do you think this is the same for New Zealanders living in the Northcote Electorate?
The most common issue I am hearing from people is about housing. Whether it’s the lack of affordable housing to buy, the state of sub standard rentals or the need for more state housing, it’s coming from all corners of my community and from what I see is a major issue across New Zealand as well. We have polcies to end homelessnes, build affordable homes, make sure rental properties are warm and healthy to live in and to build more state houses.
What is your pet piece of policy? Why?
To me my pet passion and policies are around youth. Labour has policies to get youth into jobs, training, apprenticeships. We also have youth health policies around funding youth centres or one stop shops, increasing funding and access to mental health and sexual health services for young people.  We also want to see comprehensive sex and sexuality education being taught in all schools to make sure young people have the information they need to help make positive decisions and support them in difficult times. I also work in the youth health sector, I see the lack of hope out there but also the massive energy and potential that youth in our communities have, we must listen to them and invest in them.
What will you do to improve the local Northcote Community?
I want to see better public transport investment in my community, I want to see a signifcant increase in the engagment with local communities, especially in the parts of the community which are less likely to speak up or even vote. If I was the MP for Northcote I would work hard to get the community more involved in the political process and really listen to their needs and ideas. People are sick of being told what they want without being asked.
Why should I vote for you?
I want people to vote for me and vote for Labour because I believe I bring something different, some new energy into what is a pretty awesome community already, but with me as the local MP and Labour in Government I know we can help create better opportunities and futures for people here and the younger generation that can’t even vote yet. I know this community and I’m proud to have been a part of it all my life, to be the local MP would be a priviledge but I would take it seriously and bring the community with me and making sure we take everyone into account by putting all people first.
The candidates featured in this post are those who have responded. If you are a candidate in Rongotai and would still like to be included, it’s not too late. Flick me an email at madicattt@gmail.com and I will slip you in. 
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UPPER HARBOUR // WHY SHOULD I VOTE FOR YOU?

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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.

UPPER HARBOUR

New Electorate

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

NICHOLAS MAYNE nicholas mayne photo

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 madicattt@gmail.com and I will slip you in. 

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TAMAKI // WHY SHOULD I VOTE FOR YOU?

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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.

TAMAKI

 

Incumbent: Simon O’Connor // National

Standing in 2014:
Lisa Gibson | Mana
Mike Milne | Act
Danny Mountain | Conservative
Simon O’Connor | National
Dorthe Siggard | Green
Chao-Fu Wu | Labour

O'CONNOR

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What do you think characterises the Tamaki Electorate?

Tamaki has a very high level of community spirit.  Residents are active and passionate volunteers who are very committed to making Tamaki a great place to live.

 What do you think the most important issue is for New Zealanders? Do you think this is the same for New Zealanders living in the Tamaki Electorate?

New Zealand needs a balanced, practical government.  We have come through a very difficult economic period, but the recovery is well underway.  It is important that we continue this recovery and not fall back in to the reckless spending habits that led to so much trouble in the past.  All New Zealanders will benefit from National’s sensible, steady policies.

What is your pet piece of policy? Why?

That is very hard for me to narrow down because I have a lot of interests in many different areas.  That said, I think it is vital that we reduce the violence in so many segments of our society.  I don’t think we should break violence down in to various categories but recognise that it needs to be stopped in all its forms.  This will have a far greater effect on the nation as a whole.

What will you do to improve the local Tamaki Community?

The most important part of any community is the people of which it is comprised.  I have been privileged over the past three years to be able to help many individuals with the problems they have faced.  I hope to be able to do this for a long time to come.  This is much more important than any amenity I could lobby to have built in Tamaki.  In the end, I will judge the value of my time as an MP by the number of people I have assisted in their daily lives.

Why should I vote for you? 

I’m less concerned about who people vote for and much more focussed on what party they vote for.  The National Party has governed New Zealand carefully for the past six years.  This moderate, common sense approach has improved the lives of people across the entire country.  The opposition is a fractured group of ideologues whose policies will inflict real harm on people in ever part of our society.  Given that contrast, I hope National will be returned to govern in the interests of all.

The candidates featured in this post are those who have responded. If you are a candidate in Rongotai and would still like to be included, it’s not too late. Flick me an email at madicattt@gmail.com and I will slip you in. 

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Wheels of Experience

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When I was a child there seemed to be a persistent idea that New Zealand had no history, no stories worth telling. Sure, I learnt about Kate Sheppard, Sir Edmund Hillary and The Treaty of Waitangi (never Te Tiriti note) but it was always as a brief overview. It never had weight.

When I went to high school the stories became even harder to find and somehow I found myself in agreement with a class who didn’t want to learn New Zealand history at 7th form. We’d rather learn about Europe, thank you very much.

University gave me an abrupt shock. I thought of myself as pretty well-informed but soon discovered that I knew next to nothing about the country that I called home. I dived into Maori politics and took a New Zealand Literature paper. I found myself ecstatic and disgusted at every revelation.

Then Eleanor Catton released The Luminaries. A historical novel that spoke of another time, right here in New Zealand. It seemed to come at a time of discovery for me. I soon found that The Luminaries along with Geoff Cush’s, Son of France, anything by Witi Ihimaera, Nancy Brunning’s, Hikoi and Hone Kouka’s Waiora would become missives of home. Stories that helped to tell me where I’d come from, stories that told me that where I came from actually had stories worth telling.

Last night another work joined their ranks. Wheels of Experience. A musical journey through stories of New Zealanders long gone. There’s an element of history and element of a bloody good yarn that takes us from the Burgess Gang to Don Buck. I found myself riveted (and heading home to have a good google).

The musicianship on stage was incredible. Peter Daube, David Ward and Dave Khan plucked away at string instruments of all kinds – mandolin, banjo, guitar, violin to name a few. The stories could have been bland as bats*** and I still would have found myself entranced.

Nick Bollinger of The Sampler is quoted as saying, ‘You hear about good performers bringing songs to life, but in this case, the songs seem to give birth to the performers.’ It’s a apt description. Between songs Peter, David and Dave were themselves. The songs would transform them, shifting us all into another dimension of times gone by.

I found myself wondering about the style of the stories. Wheels of Experience, like The Luminaries, like Bulibasha have an element of the Western. It made me wonder, are we so used to American story telling that this has coloured our interpretation of our own stories? In many ways it makes sense, early New Zealand colonisation was similarly a time of resource hunting and male dominated societies. It would have been wild and rough. Even so, the question lingers.

Should you want to find yourself contemplating this yourself, Wheels of Experience is on at Q until this Saturday. Buy tickets and be wowed
here!

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RONGOTAI // WHY SHOULD I VOTE FOR YOU?

q5

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.

RONGOTAI

 Incumbent: Annette King // Labour

Standing in 2014: 
Aaron Carter | Climate
Sultan Eusoff | United Future
Chris Finlayson | National
Annette King | Labour
Russel Norman | Green
Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati | Mana
Brent Pierson | NZ First
Don Richards | Independent
Bruce Welsh | Conservative

RN

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What do you think characterises the Rongotai Electorate?

Rongotai is a really diverse electorate and in a way it’s characterised by that diversity. There are a lot of families in Rongotai and also a lot of young people flatting. That makes for a great, high-energy mix. It also means that we’re very future focussed, thinking about education, jobs, debt, and what kind of a future we’re building for ourselves and our kids.

Also, Rongotai has an awesome Mexican restaurant that pays its staff a living wage, a really successful fair trade coffee roaster, and some of the best burgers in Wellington!

The iconic south coast beaches like Island Bay and Lyall Bay are a hugely important part of this part of Wellington. The National government has put them at risk by allowing deep sea oil drilling off the south coast. The Green Party in government will protect them.

What do you think the most important issue is for New Zealanders? Do you think this is the same for New Zealanders living in the Rongotai Electorate?

Rongotai faces similar challenges to many places in New Zealand: how to grow jobs and wages, spread the wealth around, and do it in a sustainable and environmentally sensible way that we can be proud of as New Zealanders. That’s why the Green Party would invest in research and development, to grow local businesses that create high-wage, high-tech jobs. A good example in Rongotai is the Miramar film industry hub, exporting Kiwi ingenuity and creativity to the world.

Inequality is a national issue, and it’s obvious in Rongotai where we have a huge range of wealth in our communities. We have a moral responsibility to end child poverty and the Greens have a plan. We’d invest $1 billion in our poorest children, and we’d pay for this by a small tax increase on income over $140,000 (with a matching increase in trust tax rate). We’d give everyone else a small tax cut as part of our Climate Protection Plan. That’s how the Greens in government will grow a fairer society.

Too many houses all over New Zealand are cold and damp. In Rongotai we feel this when the cold winter southerly whips off the Cook Strait. The Green party has a plan to insulate 200,000 more houses and cut the average household power bill by $300 a year.

What is your pet piece of policy? Why?

I’m very proud of the Green Party’s plan to clean up our rivers. Currently over half the monitored rivers in New Zealand aren’t clean enough to swim in, and the National government is ok with that.

Swimming in rivers is the birthright of every Kiwi and the Green Party in government has a plan to work with local communities and businesses to make 100% of our rivers safe for swimming.

What will you do to improve the local Rongotai Community?

Schools are at the heart of many Kiwi communities. We have some great schools in Rongotai but the government needs to support them more. The Green Party would help them put solar panels on their roofs so they can save money on electricity and instead spend it on helping kids learn. We’d provide nurses and free lunches in low decile schools, as well as free after school care and holiday programmes. And we’d extend 20 hours free early childhood education to 2 year olds, which would really make a difference for young families.

Our Green Card free off-peak public transport for all tertiary students and apprentices would make a big difference for all the students living in Rongotai – $35 a week on average, which is a lot when you’re living on a tight student budget.

Why should I vote for you?

You should give your Party Vote to the Green Party because we love New Zealand and when we’re in government we’ll build a fairer, smarter, cleaner New Zealand.

The candidates featured in this post are those who have responded. If you are a candidate in Rongotai and would still like to be included, it’s not too late. Flick me an email at madicattt@gmail.com and I will slip you in. 

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RODNEY // WHY SHOULD I VOTE FOR YOU

q5In 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.

RODNEY

 

Incumbent: Mark Mitchell // National

Standing in 2014:
Eric Bolt | Labour
Anton Heyns | Conservatives
Beth Houlbrooke | Act
Malcolm McAll | Green
Tracey Martin | NZ First
Mark Mitchell | National

BOLT eb

What do you think characterises the Rodney Electorate?

Rodney is a mixed urban and rural electorate. It is changing under pressure from urban expansion. New suburbs are developing and pressure on existing facilities is increasing. Rodney still enjoys a great lifestyle and is well off by income and employment rates.

What do you think the most important issue is for New Zealanders? Do you think this is the same for New Zealanders living in the Rodney Electorate?

Long term: Climate change, and yes this does affect Rodney.

Short term: A fair and equal society with quality jobs, yes it is same for all New Zealander’s.

What is your pet piece of policy? Why? 

Building a low carbon economy. This is a very real opportunity to create a new economy, and real quality jobs, Our existing economy is not sustainable long term.

What will you do to improve the local Rodney Community? 

The main issues in Rodney are housing and transport, we need diversity in our community and transport solutions that work for Rodney.

Why should I vote for you? 

I will represent and advocate for Rodney issues as the Rodney representative. I will work to creating a better future for the long term benefit of New Zealand and facilitate innovation that will transform the economy for the benefit of all citizens.

MCCALL mm

What do you think characterises the Rodney Electorate?

Spectacular country, beautiful beaches invaded by sprawling and poorly thought out suburbia

What do you think the most important issue is for New Zealanders? Do you think this is the same for New Zealanders living in the Rodney Electorate?

Climate Change

What is your pet piece of policy? Why?

The Solar loan Policy. It will make solar electricity a cost effective solution for every home in New Zealand which will help us to transition to a clean energy economy and provide energy resilience

What will you do to improve the local Rodney Community?

Create more efficient governance, better public transport, freight off roads and onto rail, free healthcare for under 18s, invest in green tech jobs, clean up rivers and Hauraki Gulf, create more marine reserves.

Why should I vote for you?

Voting for me personally will make little difference, but a Green party vote will help to create a strong Green voice. The Greens want to create a more equal and prosperous society that will endure for generations in an environment that is pristine. We believe that anything less simply demonstrates poor management and a lack of care. When you vote, don’t simply vote out of habit, vote with wisdom.

The candidates featured in this post are those who have responded. If you are a candidate in Rodney and would still like to be included, it’s not too late. Flick me an email at madicattt@gmail.com and I will slip you in. 

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