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.
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.