MOUNT ROSKILL // 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.

mt roskill

 Incumbent: Phil Goff | Labour

Standing in 2014:
Mahesh Bindra | NZ First
Barry Coates | Green
Paul David | Conservative
Phil Goff | Labour
John Minto | Mana
Parmjeet Parmar | National

phil goff phil

What do you think characterises the Mt Roskil Electorate?

Mt Roskill is a diverse electorate. Almost half of electors are born overseas and it is the most ethnically diverse community in the country.

It is diverse too in terms of income levels from deprived areas to wealthy ones. It is characterised by people who come to New Zealand with hopes for opportunity and a better life for their families.

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 Mt Roskil Electorate?

The most important issues for New Zealanders and for Mt Roskill electors is the impact of Government policies on their families – job, incomes, homes, education and health. Too many of our community are being left behind. Kids whose parents may be working but who don’t earn enough or are paying such high rent that they can’t afford the things their families need.

The loss of the Kiwi dream of owning their own home. A local house recently sold for $765,000 and the land agent said it was only really fit for tearing down.

The erosion in real terms of spending on health and education undermines critical investments in every family’s future.

 What is your pet piece of policy? Why?

I like the proposal to turn the dole for school leavers into an incentive payment for employers to take on additional apprenticeships for unemployed school leavers. That way our kids develop the skills and confidence to get good jobs with good incomes that last a lifetime.

What will you do to improve the local Mt Roskil Community?

A key need, aside from the issues discussed above, is transport and traffic congestion. New developments, like the housing that will go on to the Three Kings Quarry site which will add 3000 extra residents, intensify pressure on our transport infrastructure. We need the City Rail link, which will double rail capacity, to start now, not in 2020, and we need to develop plans for rapid-transit rail from Mt Eden to Mt Roskill as well as the long awaited Southdown to Avondale link.

Motorways by themselves won’t do what is needed.

Why should I vote for you? 

People will make their own mind up on who they vote for as their electorate representative. In previous elections I have won cross-party support. My ongoing commitment is to put all of the energy and hard work I am capable of into representing the interests of my electorate locally, in parliament and in government. People can judge me on my track record of many years in parliament and the work I have done as a minister. I don’t take their support for granted. Every day of representing your community in parliament is a privilege that has to be earned.

bc barry

What do you think characterises the Mt Roskill Electorate?

Diversity. The electorate is richly diverse, and that makes it interesting and exciting place to live.

According to Electoral Commission records, the Mt Roskill electorate has a huge number of different ethnic groups, with more people born outside New Zealand than in it. We have the highest number of Muslims and Hindus of any electorate, with big populations from Indian and Chinese ethnicity, and a total of around 54 nationalities. You only need to visit areas of the electorate around Wesley, Akarana and Royal Oak to see the different cultures adding life and colour to our city.

The electorate is also diverse geographically, from volcanoes of Mt Roskill/Puketapapa, One Tree Hill/Maungakiekie, Big Kings/Te Tātua a Riukiuta to Oakley Creek/Te Auaunga (the longest river in the isthmus) and the wonderful Manukau Harbour coastline along Hillsborough, Waikowhai and Lynfield. The Puketapapa Local Board is working to put a Greenways plan into place to protect and restore that precious natural environment.

The electorate is also diverse in socio-economic terms, from some of New Zealand’s most socially deprived areas, such as Wesley, Walmsley and Akarana to the more affluent Maungawhau and Mt Eden South.

What do you think the most important issue is for New Zealanders?

You may have seen our billboards talking about ‘Love New Zealand’. Is because the New Zealand we love is under threat. People are right to be worried about our environment, particularly the deteriorating state of our rivers. We should be appalled by the level of child poverty, affecting almost one in four children. We all recognise the difficulty for the average person to be able to afford a decent standard of living, faced with high costs for housing, power, water and food. And we be worried about the state of our political system, with too much sleaze and corruption. This is not the New Zealand we love.

The Green Party is focusing on changing these issues at the election. We will ensure that there is a cleaner environment, a fairer society and a smarter economy. The Greens will ensure that our rivers are clean enough to swim in and our beaches are safe from oil spills. We will ensure that every child has enough to thrive. And we will build a smarter greener economy that provides decent jobs.

Do you think this is the same for New Zealanders living in the Mt Roskill Electorate?

While these issues are important there is also a sharper focus on urban issues. The Green Party will invest in transport choices for Mt Roskill through getting rail moving in Auckland and bringing rail to Roskill, and invests in safe cycling, especially for kids going to school. The Greens will ensure that kids in decile 1-4 schools have funding to create ‘school hubs’ with coordinated support for health, counselling and advice, as well as community services.

What is your pet piece of policy? Why?

Climate change is not necessarily the policy that people would immediately identify as important, but it is crucial for our long term future and that of others in the world. Prior to becoming the Green Party candidate for Mt Roskill I was the head of Oxfam New Zealand for ten years. I have seen the impacts of climate change in the islands of the Pacific, in the arid zones of Africa and in low lying areas of Asia. We need to step up to the challenge of climate change, not only for own sakes, but also for the health of our planet and the welfare of millions of vulnerable people in the developing world. The Green Party has a strong climate change policy that will make the polluters pay for their emissions, and will return the income to the public through a tax free amount of $2000 for every taxpayer in New Zealand.

What will you do to improve the local Mt Roskill Community?

I am passionate about helping to build a great Mt Roskill community. While the role of an MP is more focused on the national level, there are important local issues that I can support communities on, if I get enough Parry votes for the Green Party and enter Parliament. I am 16th Party list and local support will be crucial in helping get me into Parliament.

I support the Puketapapa Local Board in the development of the Greenways project that is improving the local environment. But a strong push from Parliament is needed on some crucial issues. Along the Manukau harbour coast, there are ugly pylons that need to be replaced by underground power lines. I will support the local campaign.

I will make representations to Auckland airport over the proposed new Smart Path flight plans.

There needs to be full consideration given to increased noise for local people and proper consultation.

I will support local people in being able to have a say, and be heard, on local issues such as the development of the quarry in Three Kings and the development of the Three Kings retail centre. This should be an opportunity to create a more liveable and vibrant community, with full consideration given to the impact on home owners and those concerned about more traffic.

And I will support the enrichment of community and cultural life in Mt Roskill. With the diversity of cultures in Mt Roskill, I am struck by the lack of a cultural centre that would be able to support community activity and cultural performances. This would help highlight the richness of Mt Roskill’s cultures.

Why should I vote for you?

I have gained skills during my career. I have an economics degree from Auckland University and a Masters from Yale University. I have worked in business and can help build a stronger Mt Roskill and New Zealand economy. I have learned to listen and support communities through my role as the head of Oxfam and other organisations that help the vulnerable and improve the lives of needy people. And I have shown leadership in New Zealand and at the international level in fighting for fairness and sustainability. I am a dedicated father and family man with two teenage daughters, and I have strong principles of honesty and integrity.

I have made a difference outside of politics, and now I am hoping you will give me your support to make a difference as an MP. On election day, Party vote Green!!

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…Him

image (1)
The point of a newspaper would seem to be in the name. ‘News’ paper. Which, the 5 year old I once was would firmly tell you is boring, an older me might have learnt the word tedious and a naive me might say factual. Today I’d probably say disappointing.

You might have other adjectives to associate with the swathes of flimsy ink rubbing paper, published in droves on a daily basis, but I’m sure that you would not suggest, a story of the world.

News is boring right?

Perhaps not.

In Barnie Duncan’s …Him, the newspaper is brought to life.

For 50 minutes Duncan explores the daily stories of our world. They’re everywhere. On every wall, on every seat and piled around the space. It’s eerie and magical and hilariously fascinating.

Duncan dives into the abstract of these stories, exploring the words, the themes, searching for meaning. As the blurb says, Him is a recluse who lives obsessively through his only connection with the outside world – the daily newspaper.

I found it fascinating, how when you remove the contextual detail that informs how you read a newspaper it changes the interpretation. It becomes more literally about what is read on the page and how the pages relate to each other. How in a space like …Him, the subject becomes an abstract idea in of himself. Which is a bizarre idea I admit, but somehow, engaging so intently on such an array of details pulls the person out of the mix. It’s still human. But somehow it’s less individual.

Have you ever got lost in a thought or a detail and got so deep that everything became bizarre and meaningless yet deeply interesting and incredibly connected to everything?

That’s …Him.

Catch it at The Basement this week. Maybe even double bill it with Wild Bees? You won’t regret it!

Ticketing and more info here. 

 

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Wild Bees

New Zealand can be a confused place. We’re proud because of our background of hard working men, we’re proud because we were the first country to give women the vote, we’re proud because we stood up to America over the nukes. But we’re not really that country any more. We still sell ourselves as 100% Pure (questionable) and we still pride ourselves for being a fairly great place to bring up your kids (slipping) but in many ways we’ve changed a lot.

When did that start to happen? When did the voice of the people stop counting to those in power? Have we always just shrugged our shoulders and said ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t care’ when faced with issues that impact on our day to day lives?

The ‘I don’t know and don’t care’ thing flummoxes me. Is it that you are lucky enough to have the luxury to legitimately not be bothered by the world around you? Or are you just stupid?

It also pulls the validity of living in a country where everyone has the right to an opinion into serious question – what’s the point if you don’t care to have one?

image

Which in an around about way brings me to Wild Bees. Set in the midst of one of the big union renegotiations of the early 1990s, Wild Bees is the story of one of the great turning points in our history. The point where the unions fell apart, for better or for worse (this play would say for worse).

It’s an astounding beast to watch, even more so when you acknowledge that writer, Phil Ormsby based it upon his own experiences. I found myself flitting between laughter and deep concern.

How could company directors be so very callous?

In Phil’s own words,

I remember talking with people at the time, saying this should be a movie, people won’t believe it.’

And yet, I personally knew nothing about it. I’m too young for one, but as I’ve said before, in New Zealand we learn everyone’s history but our own.

So I asked Phil and producer/actress Alex Ellis to fill me in a bit:

In the press release it says that it’s a period that is little talked about. You’re right. Can you give us a summary for dummies about what was happening in New Zealand politics at this time?

Purely subjective; New Zealanders elected a Labour government in 1984. This new labour government was captured by the same school of economic reformists of the Thatcher and Reagan administrations in England and USA and embarked on a series of reforms in NZ which culminated in the selling off of billions of dollars of New Zealand assets the stripping back or closing of hundreds of Government agencies and abandonment of import tariffs and the introduction of GST. By the 1990’s the country had rejected the Labour party but the newly elected National government continued the reforms and took them even further. They introduced the Employment Contracts Act which removed union influence from workplaces overnight. The total number of changes, social and political (mmp was introduced) that took place over the period 1984-94 almost without any public mandate or consultation at all is mind-boggling.

 What got the ball rolling on making Wild Bees happening now? When did Phil decide on the election week date? Have any events during the election campaign made it even more/less important a time to be showing it?

Phil has been writing Wild Bees for a while now. It would come out of the drawer every six months or so, get a once over and then go back in the drawer again. It came out earlier this year and we thought we’re going to have to bite the bullet sometime so why don’t we just do it. It’s Election year, let’s do it just before the Election. It’s the perfect time to remind people that a lot of the things that are happening now happened thirty years ago as well. The current Government are selling New Zealand assets again.

The public cynicism that we see around politicians as demonstrated by the whole dirty politics debate was seeded during the eighties when the people we elected demonstrated a patronising contempt for the public and have got away with it ever since.

Why was Wild Bees a story worth telling? 

PHIL: The promises and theories that drove the restructurings of the 1980’s and 90’s seem to me to have never really delivered. Yet the arguments for the changes continue. Now it seems we are all supposed to be driven by economic considerations; which so often sound more like theology than science. It’s good to remember we are people not numbers on a balance sheet.

ALEX: It’s based on a true story and it’s a piece of New Zealand History that we should all know more about. It’s funny and dramatic, has great characters and it’s a great story.

It seem like we’re now going through another ‘I can’t believe this is actually happening’ moment in New Zealand politics. How is Wild Bees relevant for New Zealanders in 2014?

It’s good to know about New Zealand History and I think a lot of New Zealanders under the age of thirty have no idea what happened with Rogernomics and the sell offs of SOE’s etc in the late 1980’s – 1990’s and what New Zealand was like before this happened. It’s relevent now because it’s good to remind ourselves that we don’t have to put up with the status quo and what is being spoon feed to us. We don’t have to give up on Politics or voting for a better country and conditions for New Zealanders and we need to fight for what we believe in.

 Have there been any moments of enlightenment amongst the cast?

ALEX: I came back from living in Australia about 10 years ago. When I lived there I remember thinking it was amazing where I worked. I got paid double time for working on a Sunday and if I worked over the hours I was rostered on for I got paid extra for staying late. Doing this play and talking about it with people who lived and worked through the period made me realise we used to have that in New Zealand. We used to have weekends where you either didn’t work, or if you did you got paid extra for doing it because the working week in New Zealand was 9 – 5pm Monday to Friday. Now we are expected to be available 24/7. I can’t imagine that now.

PHIL: It was a shock to me that people in their thirties now have no memory of the kind of country that I grew up in. For a lot of us that lived through it, it was a divisive and tumultuous time and it’s so strange to me that for a lot of people now, it’s as if it never happened.

Wild Bees is fascinating. The story is strong, the cast full of fire. For 2 and a half hours (with an interval) I was rivetted, I couldn’t believe it and by the end of it, really moved.

I can see Wild Bees becoming a great story of New Zealand, part of the school curriculum even. In the mean time, it’s on at The Basement. Go on, have a look and let me know what you think?

For tickets and more details click here. It closes this Saturday.

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HAURAKI-WAIKATO // 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.

HAURAKI RAWHITI

 Incumbent: Nanaia Mahuta // Labour

Standing in 2014:
Susan Cullen | Maori
Angeline Greensill | Mana
Nanaia Mahuta | Labour

SUSAN CULLEN

CULLEN

Susan Cullen ( Wetere) Whanau Name
Ngati Maniapoto (Tribe))

What do you think characterises the Hauraki Waikato Electorate?

Rural and city, wealthy hinterland , mining and fisheries, gateway to Auckland and Pacifica, heart of the Kiingitanga and Maori histories of war and colonisation.  Some of the highest populations of Maori in townships to lowest Maori populations in other townships, a very mixed electorate, exciting and vibrant, with a Waikato river twirling through its heart.

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

Jobs Jobs Jobs

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

I have always volunteered for the Maori Party in campaigning and fundraising since its inception.  I believe the Maori party is the single greatest political achievement for Maori, it has maintained a stable government in its accord with National, and equally too it could work with Labour.  I am an adjunct Professor in Maori education and have worked in Maori development and education for 30 years.  The Maori seats have been in existence since the beginning of New Zealands political history the question of value is like questioning the value of democracy, ‘it just is’ and ‘it is’ important. What we need to focus on is educating our children about how our nation came to be how it is today.

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

An independent Maori political voice can only benefit Maori because that is its primary role. The Maori Party has a 3 Billion track record on the support it has invested over the past 6 years in Maori defined initiatives that have overflowed into helping all New Zealanders eg Kickstart breakfasts and under 13s free GP visits, rheumatic fever screening.

Why Should I Vote For You?

Our electorate has been served by the same MP for 18 years and its time for a change, rather instead of, I am promoting the idea of two MPs for one vote. Nanaia Mahuta for Labour is already on the party list and will get in automatically, our people can have two of us working for them.

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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TE TAI TOKERAU // 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.

TE TAI TOKERAU

 Incumbent: Hone Harawira // Mana

Standing in 2014: 
Kelvin Davis | Labour
Clinton Dearlove | Independent
Hone Harawira | Mana
Te Hira Paenga | Māori

KELVIN DAVIS DAVIS

What do you think characterises the Te Tai Tokerau Electorate?

The Te Tai Tokerau electorate is characterised by the greatest people struggling to do well for their families against the greatest of odds. There is so much ‘people potential’ in Te Tai Tokerau but in too many cases that potential struggles to flourish. This will change if we focus on the issues that matter most to the people – safe, warm secure homes, well paid work and strong families. Education is the pathway to success for all people of Te Tai Tokerau. Successful people together mean successful whanau. Successful whanau together mean successful hapu. When hapu are successful whole communities will be successful. That means our economy has the best chance of being strong, and with successful people living in successful communities we create an upward spiral of success where everyone benefits and disparity and poverty are eliminated.

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

The most important issues for Northland are threefold. Firstly the lack of well paid jobs is driving people into poverty. Poverty inhibits hope, and without hope people become desperate.  Labour will put more money in people’s pockets by increasing the minimum wage by $2 by April next year.  The second issue is the lack of warm, dry, secure housing. This is less of a building issue and more of a health issue. Too many are suffering preventable illnesses such as pneumonia, asthma, strep throat and rheumatic fever because of overcrowding and living in damp, cold homes. In a first world country such as New Zealand in the 21st century, this is inexcusable.   I believe Labour’s Healthy Homes Guarantee, that will make sure every rental home is warm and dry, will make a huge difference in Northland.  The third issue is sexual and domestic violence which is rampant across communities in Te Tai Tokerau. They are the number one cause of youth suicide and a driver of poverty as they affect (usually) a woman’s ability to rise above her circumstances, earn a living and contribute to the financial well-being of her family. The best way we can feed our children is to love their mothers.  Labour will take decisive action with the aim of being world leading in eliminating violence against women and children focusing on prevention, support services and justice.

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

I am standing in a Maori seat because I want to help all New Zealanders but in particular Maori have happy, successful lives. I want other Maori to enjoy the success I have experienced through growing up amongst a strong, loving family. Success doesn’t come down to luck, it comes down to creating the conditions where everyone is allowed to flourish according to their own strengths and passions. The Maori seats are hugely important to ensuring the Maori voice is heard in parliament and to ensure our interests remain priorities in the eyes of the country and our law makers.

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

I will improve the lives of Maori living in my community by having an unapologetic and relentless focus on my four priorities: 1. Education, 2. The economy (homes, jobs, families), 3. Te Reo Maori, 4. The elimination of sexual and domestic violence.

People should vote for me because if they want their children to be academically successful, they need to vote for me as a former principal who turned the ‘school most at risk north of Auckland’ around in just three years to the extent we had almost 80% of students achieving in above the New Zealand median, whereas previously we had 96% failure. We need a politician in parliament who has a track record of making students learn.

Why Should I Vote For You? 

People should vote for me if they want good jobs, warm, dry homes and strong families.

People should vote for me if they want Te Reo to be spoken, heard, read, and used as a working language.

People should vote for me if they want a politician serious about eliminating sexual and domestic violence from 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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TE TAI TONGA // 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.

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?

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.

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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