Tracey Martin [pictured right] presenting Jessie Wigglesworth [left] an award for a fully paid trip to Parliament following an essay competition through the local Business and Professional Women’s group as part of a membership drive.
Age: 49, Ethnicity/Nationality: NZ Pakeha, Highest Education: University Entrance
Tracey Martin is Deputy Leader and list candidate for the New Zealand First Party (NZF). Her motivation for joining NZF was predominantly her reaction to the economic reforms of the 1980’s (under the Labour Party) and 1990’s (under the National Party) which she observed ‘hit people hard’.
Tracey’s official NZF profile page is available here. On her page, you will see her reason for joining NZF specifically is that she considers their policies and values ‘set the interest of the country and all New Zealanders above interest groups and foreign agents’.
Prior to joining NZ First, Tracey was already politically active in supporting her mother’s political campaigns for Democrats for Social Credit and later NZF. Tracey deems her parents the most influential people with regard to developing her own set of political ideals through many, sometimes heated, discussions with them.
Tracey describes her personal political ideology as largely socially conservative, but acknowledges that this is not definitive of her views. She also identifies as a feminist because she is committed to the objective of gender equality.
While Tracey is spokesperson for Education, Science, Crown Research Institutes, Youth, Women, Arts and Culture, IT and Communications and the Volunteer sector, she also has particular interests in Women’s issues, Youth education and employment, and Māori.
On women’s reproductive rights
Tracey is pro-choice and would like to see more work done to find out ‘how women find themselves in the situation where they require these [abortion] services’. Additionally, Tracey would like to see greater efforts in identifying and supplying the support services women require to avoid the need for these services altogether.
On women’s economic contributions (other than paid work)
Tracey was ‘a stay at home parent for 15 years prior to entering parliament’, and through her experience considers the economic contributions that women make ‘to support this country (all countries)’ are too innumerable to list but she is adamant that economy would fall if women stopped all the unpaid work they do.
On wage disparity
Tracey worries about wage disparity in NZ and has a few ideas on how to address the issue.
One idea is requiring employers to advertise jobs with ‘the pay the job will receive’, because she considers this would go some way toward removing ‘the ability [of employers] to pay a man more for the same job’.
Another idea involves the work she is doing ‘on how to support cohorts of women into non-traditional work environments which pay more because they are usually male dominated’. Tracey reasons that lifting the pay of traditional employment areas for women such as nursing or child care acknowledges their ‘true monetary value’ and may also lead to the ‘balancing of the sexes in these roles’.
She is also contemplating the idea of ‘making it necessary for paid parental leave to be split between the parents’ because it may assist to ‘remove that barrier to women of child rearing years because their partners/husbands will also have to take part of that time off’. Tracey suggests an added advantage might be that it also helps ‘with bonding and better gender split of workloads at home as well’.
On support services for women
While social services are not part of Tracey’s portfolio, she considers that there is a lack of cohesion between the many support services available. Tracey believes that the money poured into many of these support services produces a large degree of duplication with few outcomes. She states that while not all support services are ‘necessarily underfunded’ the ‘purpose of helping may well have been lost through an environment of tick a box and move them on’.
General Q & A:
What is the one skill you wish you had (that you don’t already)?
“I would like to remember people’s names. I recall faces but names often escape me or take a while to find in the filing cabinet that is my mind”
In everyday life, what is your pet peeve?
“If you take it out then put it back – around the house mostly”
What do think is the biggest problem facing the world right now?
“Wow – that is a big question. Growing population, looming food crisis, looming water crisis and the powers that as they need these things will seek to take them. Pollution of the planet”
What is the best gift you’ve ever given?
“My son’s Christmas gift which was outward bound in 2012”
What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
“A passion fruit vine by my husband on one of our first Valentine Days”
Describe a time when you wanted to quit, but you didn’t:
“Probably around once every three months I come home and say to my husband that I just don’t think I am cut out for this. He always pours me a wine and tells me to get over it :-)”
If you could have a special power/magic what would it be and why?
“I would like more time in a day to catch up on my current work load and to do some of the other things I would like to get done”
You can see more of Tracey on:
Facebook: Tracey Martin MP
Please check the About page if you are interested in the question selections.