Candidate Kōrero #7: Hayley Holt

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In the run-up to the NZ election, we are profiling our Green Party candidates and sharing their messages with Kiwis around the world. Today we have  a message from Hayley Holt, candidate for Helensville and number 14 on our list.

CaptureCurrent Role:
Auckland Province convenor/ Candidate for Helensville

My Area Of Passion:
Sport and Recreation/Tourism/Investment in low-carbon industries/Decriminalisation of drug use so it can be treated as a health issue

My Number One Goal in Government:
When I was a snowboarder, alcohol sponsorship was everywhere. Athletes were personally sponsored and boxes of beer would turn up at their door. Competitions were sponsored and the booze was freely available. This might sound like great fun, but the only winners out of this model were the big alcohol corporations. They used us to make their product seem cool. Meanwhile, athletes were going off the rails, mental heath issues were rife and some of my friends paid the ultimate price. I had my own issues with problem drinking and I can honestly say the drinking culture that surrounds sport in New Zealand contributed to it. Alcohol is not performance enhancing and consuming it will not make you a better person. We need to ensure young Kiwis don’t get sucked in by this insidious practice.

My favourite thing about being a Kiwi:
The great outdoors! We are so blessed in this country and our great outdoors are our biggest asset. People come from all over the world to explore New Zealand and tourism is our biggest export earner – bigger than dairy! We need to ensure we protect our amazing natural environment for future generations to enjoy and explore

One lesson we can learn from overseas:
We need to believe that visitors to New Zealand appreciate that this country is unique and special enough that they won’t mind paying an extra $20 for the privilege to visit. Many other countries like Australia, Canada, US, UK and China charge visitors at the border. That’s why we need to introduce the Green Party’s Taonga Levy so we ensure we have the resources to increase our conservation efforts and provide tourism infrastructure in the regions.

My favourite place overseas:
I’m just going to front up and say it -I love London! It helps that many of my friends live there but it is such a diverse and exciting city and there is never a dull moment. It’s also so close to Europe that if it all gets a bit much you can get away at a moment’s notice.

My favourite place in New Zealand:
It’s a toss up between Northland, where my family is from, and Wanaka, which I adopted as my hometown when I was a sponsored snowboarder. The beauty of the two places can’t be compared, they are both spectacular in their own unique way

My message for International Kiwis:
When I lived overseas in my early 20s I was proud of where I came from. We are the little country that could, we punch above our weight internationally and, if the PR is to be believed, we are clean and green. That image is starting to fail us. We have failed to stand up and make solid commitments to reducing carbon emissions that contribute to  reducing climate change, preferring to pay other countries to do the work for us. We have committed to being ‘fast followers’ in this area rather than believing in our own capacity for innovation. 62% of New Zealand’s waterways are unsafe to swim in, 72% of our native fish are threatened with extinction and, while there are only 63 adult Maui dolphins left, we have let deep sea exploration into their sanctuary. This is a national shame. If you want to help us make New Zealand a country we can once again be proud of make sure you vote this election, and make sure your party vote goes to the Green Party.

Follow Hayley on Facebook here.

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Enrolment is open now and International voting begins on September 6.

 

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Globetrotting Greens #2: Penny in Munich

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In the lead-up to the election on September 23, we’re profiling some of our widespread international volunteers and asking them to share why they’re voting Green in 2017. Today, meet Penny – a Kiwi living in Germanypenny_family.

I left Aotearoa in 2008 and I’ve been in Munich since 2011. I’m married to a German and have two half-German children. I’m a full time mama and a part-time student.

I still miss home fiercely, and one of the times that’s strongest is at election time. And it’s never felt worse than the last few weeks.

I care deeply about the future of our amazing country. Every day I read the news and I see stories of people living in cars, rivers so dirty they can’t be swum in and people struggling to get by, let alone thrive. There is a deep division in our society, exacerbated by years of neoliberal policies. Neoliberalism teaches people to care about themselves and get by while ignoring those struggling because, hey, at least you’re doing better than that person down the road eh? This government doesn’t seem to care. What happened to he tangata, he tangata he tangata? It is the people, the people, the people.

In public discourse, blame is shifted onto those already doing it hard. It has gendered and racialised aspects as well as those around class. Metiria Turei shone a light on this problem. And I know damn well I would do the same thing if it meant I could look after my child. It makes me furious and incredibly sad that it was necessary. I feel like we’re standing at a tipping point – more of the same oppressive policies, or a new way. Metiria has opened the conversation, so let’s discuss these important issues at the heart of our society.

I’m voting Green from Munich this election, like I have since 2002, because I desperately want us to step away from this tipping point and embrace a new direction. Let’s turn away from the “Me First” and the “Gimme Gimme” attitude that has become so common, and instead start taking care of what really matters – our people and our environment.

Let’s make our economy work for our people, rather than blindly following the market. Let’s really honour Te Tiriti, rather than trying to draw a line under it. Let’s get out of traffic jams and into modern public transport and onto bikes! I converted to biking when I moved to Germany and haven’t looked back. Let’s look at the long term of where we want to go, rather than what we can cram through in a three-year electoral cycle. Let’s be brave enough to speak truth to power and ask ourselves hard questions about who we want to be.

My reasons for voting Green have changed subtly every election. You can read about why I voted Green in 2014. It’s clear to me that my resolve is much stronger, and more visceral this time. I’ve learned a lot over the last three years, about myself and what privileges I have been afforded to me in life. While I think that’s made me (at least a bit) more careful and less blustery, it’s also made me mad. Mad for those who haven’t been as lucky as I was, and even madder still that the structures and institutions of our society entrench and normalise privilege, while simultaneously denying it exists.

I’m voting Green! I really hope you will too.

Aroha
Penny


Enrolment is open now and International voting begins on September 6.

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Globetrotting Greens #1: Charles in Guernsey

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In the lead-up to the election on September 23, we’re profiling some of widespread international volunteer and asking them to share why they’re voting Green in 2017. Today, meet Charles – a Cantabrian living in the Channel Islands.

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I grew up in central Canterbury. I had a great childhood. Hunting rabbits along the hedgerows and pine plantations. I caught eels and trout in the water races and swam in the rivers.

In 2000, I emigrated to London and have now ended up living in Guernsey (in the Channel Islands) with my family. I returned to central Canterbury this year and was shocked to see how the rivers have become polluted, the shelter belts removed and the water races shut down.

I am also saddened and surprised to see how obvious the gap between rich and poor had become in New Zealand. Poverty is now really noticeable and it has definitely got worse since I left New Zealand.

Our precious native species have become more threatened than ever. We now have 3000 species threatened with extinction.

I support the Greens because they are the only political party that has effective policies that will address New Zealand’s environmental problems and have aim to reduce social economic gap between the well-off and the poor.

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Enrolment is open now and International voting begins on September 6.

Candidate Kōrero #3: Marama Davidson

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In the run-up to the NZ election, we are profiling our Green Party candidates and sharing their messages with Kiwis around the world. Today we have  a message from Marama Davidson, candidate for Tāmaki Makaurau and number two on our list.

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Current Role:
Member of Parliament since November 2015.

My Area Of Passion:
Social and environmental justice, indigenous rights, iwi and hapū leadership in protecting our enviroment – I am the spokesperson for Māori Development, Social Housing, Human Rights and Pacific Peoples.

My Number One Goal in Government:
To establish a plan and commitment to properly end homelessness.

My favourite thing about being a Kiwi:
That we have Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand. And I love our beautiful whenua and our beautiful people.

One lesson we can learn from overseas:
I love lots of the social care ideas from countries such as Finland for example where they provide a baby box for all newborns that includes baby provisions to help new parents on their way.

My favourite place overseas:
I haven’t been to any of the Pacific Islands at all yet but I’d love to see those places.

My favourite place in New Zealand:
Hokianga in the far north where I grew up and where I am from. It is a beautiful place.

My message for International Kiwis:
We have such a beautiful country and beautiful people and we can be proud all over the world of what we have to offer as a smaller nation. The Green Party knows we can protect our rivers, ensure everyone has a warm safe home to live in, tackle climate change and be more honest in government! We are so grateful for the international Kiwi vote which helps us have a stronger presence in Parliament every election and we are asking for your support again. Ngā mihi from Aotearoa!

Follow Marama on Facebook here.

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Enrolment is open now and International voting begins on September 6.

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