Category Archives: NZ Greens

MP Catherine Delahunty, NZ Green Party

Profile:

Age: 60 Ethnicity/Nationality: Pākehā Highest Education: Half BA, Certificate of Adult Literacy Tutoring

Background:

Catherine Delahunty is a list candidate for the NZ Greens. Her official Greens profile page is available here. On her page, you will see that Catherine is ‘deeply motivated by a sense of justice’ and considers one of the greater challenges of being an MP is being able to ‘reflect, and not just act’.

While Catherine is the Greens spokesperson for Education, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Mining, Toxics, West Papua, she also has particular interests in women’s issues, social justice and Te Tiriti issues, the environment and caring economics.

Catherine considers her political rigour as inherited from her left wing upbringing in Wellington. She was motivated to join the Greens subsequent to her work as Green Campaign Manager in Auckland during the 1999 election.

Catherine describes her politics as Green Left Feminism and is a committed Te Tiriti activist. She insists that:

“patriarchy is bad for everyone and feminism affirms life and power with others not power over others”.

The two most influential people with regard to her politics are Veronica Black and Betty Williams, from Hauraki.

Women’s Issues

On women’s reproductive rights 

Catherine is pro-choice andsupports political and policy change to decriminalise the abortion process.

On women’s economic contributions (other than paid work)

Catherine considers that ‘women are the unpaid economic reality that makes the world go round’ and recommends Marilyn Warring’s book Counting for Nothing to fully appreciate the valuable unpaid work women do.

On wage disparity

She is also greatly concerned about pay disparity and has written a members bill, currently in the ballot, to address some of those issues. Catherine is ‘outraged by the gender pay gap and inequality of wages for all but especially women’.

On support services for women

Catherine considers support services for women in New Zealand, to be severely deficient. She considers that we need more resources, support and importantly, respect with regard to women in vulnerable situations, such as solo or first time mothers, victims of crime, women inmates, addiction,  mental health and/or chronic illness, and physical  disabilities.

General Q & A:

What is the one skill you wish you had (that you don’t already)?

A memory for facts involving numbers”

In everyday life, what is your pet peeve?

Casual racism”

What do think is the biggest problem facing the world right now?

Patriarchal violence in all its forms”

What is the best gift you’ve ever given?

Giving time to other people when they need support”

What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

My life, my daughter and my grandson”

Describe a time when you wanted to quit, but you didn’t:

“Most weeks since Nov 2008 when elected to Parliament”

If you could have a special power/magic what would it be and why?

The power to keep my clothes clean for more than ten minutes”

You can see more of Catherine on: 

Facebook:  Catherine Delahunty

Twitter:   @greencatherine

Please check the About page if you are interested in the question selections. 

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MP Holly Walker, Green Party

Photograph:

Holly with her daughter Esther Lucy Haines at a PPL event.  

Profile:

Age: 31 Ethnicity/Nationality: Pākehā Highest Education: MPhil in Development Studies (University of Oxford)

Background:

Holly Walker is a list candidate for the Greens. Holly’s official Greens profile page is available here. On her page, you will see that she has only recently become a new mother and during 2014 she considers she ‘will be combining the equally important roles of parenting and Parliament’.

While Holly is the Greens spokesperson for Children, Housing, Students, Open Government, Electoral Reform, Arts Culture and Heritage, she also has particular interests in women’s issues, parenting, education, inequality and social justice.

Holly’s motivation for entering politics was recognising the opportunities afforded to her through state assistance. She explains:

“for the first few years of my life my mum was on her own with me. We benefited from state welfare, housing, and education support, and I want to defend those supports and strengthen them for children growing up in New Zealand today so that every child can enjoy the opportunities I did.”

Holly grew up in a household that encouraged political debate and participation. She developed her political values at high school, and later at university. She describes her politics as ‘progressive with a strong commitment to green principles of appropriate decision-making, social justice, ecological wisdom, non-violence, and a commitment to upholding the Treaty of Waitangi’ and also identifies as a feminist.

Although her parents were ‘strong Labour supporters’, Holly gravitated towards the Greens as she considered them the ‘only party that recognised the links between the economy, the environment and social justice and builds those links into everything they do’. She was also attracted to the Greens because she felt she would never have to ‘modify or compromise’ on her principles and values with them.

Women’s Issues

On women’s reproductive rights 

Holly is pro-choice and believes thatit is time for our abortion law to be updated and for it to be removed from the Crimes Act and treated as a health issue’.

On women’s economic contributions (other than paid work)

Holly considers that women contribute to the economy through unpaid work in many ways including (but not limited to):

“leading community organisations, governing schools and playcentres, volunteering for NGOs and charities, breastfeeding their babies, caring for children, sick and elderly relatives, supporting their partners in paid work, starting up their own businesses, upskilling themselves through training and study, creating art and music.”

On wage disparity

Holly is hugely concerned with wage disparity in New Zealand and considers it ‘one of the biggest challenges of our time’. She maintains that ‘there is clear evidence that growing inequality harms us all, not only those at the bottom, and New Zealand is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world’.

On support services for women

Holly believes that we could do more to support women in vulnerable situations, such as, first time or solo mothers, victims of crime, addiction services, mental health services (to mention a few). She states that:

“we need to recognise that investment in early intervention – whether it be support for new parents, early childhood education, public health campaigns, or preventive mental health services – saves millions of dollars down the track in reduced need for remedial health, education and justice services. This is particularly true for women who are often more vulnerable to begin with.”

 Holly further explains that:

“As a new mum myself, and the daughter of a sole parent, I have nothing but admiration for mothers who raise children without the support of a full-time partner. I am passionate about making sure that every child in New Zealand gets the best possible start in life – from improved maternity care and support for breastfeeding, to a universal child payment, more paid parental leave, free healthcare for all children, and subsidised ECE and after-school care. Policies like this would make a huge difference to first time and sole parents.”

General Q & A:

What is the one skill you wish you had (that you don’t already)?

“Fluency in Te Reo Māori. I’m working on it”

In everyday life, what is your pet peeve?

“A messy kitchen”

What do think is the biggest problem facing the world right now?

“Climate change”

What is the best gift you’ve ever given?

“I was recently able to donate a large amount of frozen breastmilk for a friend struggling to get her supply established and wanting to avoid giving her newborn formula. That felt pretty good”

What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

“For one birthday, my partner Dave made a treasure hunt of new books hidden around the house for me. To find each one I had to solve a cryptic crossword clue. It took me days to find them all”

Describe a time when you wanted to quit, but you didn’t:

“Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon with a nose bleed and at the end of a gruelling three week Outward Bound course in 2004”

If you could have a special power/magic what would it be and why?

“To be in two places at once: in Parliament working for good green change, and at home with my baby!”

You can see more of Holly on: 

Facebook:  Holly Walker

Twitter:  @hollyrwalker

Please check the About page if you are interested in the question selections.