When you’re living overseas it can be easy to think NZ local elections aren’t relevant to you. But the Mt Albert by-election is different.
No matter where you are in the world, if you have your roots in in Auckland, right now you could have a unique opportunity to help the Green Party make an important mark in the months before the general election.
The Mt Albert seat is up for election thanks to it being vacated by Labour MP Phil Goff winning the Auckland mayoralty. The National Party has decided to not to stand a candidate, which leaves two major candidates – Labour’s Jacinda Adern, and our very own list MP Julie-Anne Genter.
It might initially seem a bit contrary that Labour and the Greens would contest each other when we have this close relationship via the Memorandum of Understanding. There’s a plethora of smaller parties and candidates, but by and large if there was just them versus Labour, there would be no contest.
By standing for Mt Albert, it is a chance to give real choice, and real democracy.
Labour and the Greens share a lot of values, and both candidates are committed to the crucial issues of transport and housing (Julie-Anne however does have the tangible edge, with her years of expertise and experience in urban design and transport), and also a fair and friendly contest. Whether your family still live in Mt Albert, you have plans to live there again one day, or just have a love for the area, if you’ve been back to NZ in the last three years, you can vote, and you should vote.
But beyond the seat itself, if Julie-Anne wins it will help show the New Zealand public that the Greens are a credible force ahead of the coming general election.
So if you think you might be eligible, we’ve listed a few resources here. Don’t forget to share with any other overseas kiwis you know who might be eligible!
The by-election is on 25 February, and overseas voting is open now.
Don’t miss out on this extra chance to make a good green difference in Aotearoa before the general election even starts.