MP Tracey Martin, New Zealand First

Photograph:

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.

Profile:

Age: 49, Ethnicity/Nationality: NZ Pakeha, Highest Education: University Entrance 

Background:

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.

Women’s Issues

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

Twitter: @TraceyMartinMP

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

 

Admin Update

I first just want to take a moment to acknowledge with thanks, the interest and support in this project from the many women who have had a chance to respond to my request to participate.

For the reader, if there is anyone in particular you’d like to see featured on this site then please send me an email [carrie.stoddart@gmail.com] or leave a comment below and I will see what I can wrangle (although, I cannot guarantee that the request can be fulfilled).

Please note, that requests will need to be either a current MP or an elected candidate for their party or a registered independent.

The reason I have limited it at this stage is firstly, because its election year, and secondly, it would require a lot more time (which I don’t have at the moment) to collate a site that broad.

I also wanted to provide a little run down on the format and structure, so that readers know what to expect and so that any potential participants can use this information to help them decide if they’d like to participate.

Format

I have sent out emails to all women MP’s, and to some candidates who have been formally elected by their party membership to stand in the upcoming election.

I asked if they’d like to participate and outlined the reasons and purpose of this site. I am still waiting on many replies, but I have also received a significant number of positive responses.

I haven’t obtained all the email addresses for some of the newer women to this arena, so that is my task over the next few days.

For those who agreed to participate, I have sent out some questions (in the form of a questionnaire allowing for either short or detailed answers) to help me formulate the article I will write on each on them.

Some of the questions are quite generic, others covering personal political values, some views on women specific issues and a snapshot of some of their non-political aspects.

The participants are not expected to answer all the questions sent [but are most welcome to do so].

Launch Date

I anticipate that the site will officially launch with the first or first few articles by Friday 2 May, 2014. If there is to be a delay for any reason, I will post an update closer to the time.

I’ll clarify here for those who are uncertain that this is not an “official” site for the 2014 NZ election.

 

 

Nau mai! Welcome!

KateSheppardNZ

Its election year in NZ and I wanted to hear more from the women in NZ politics

I figured that if I wanted to hear more from our women, then there was a high chance that others would too.

Women’s issues are often subordinated in election years as male voices dominate public spaces. This blog intends to provide a platform for the voices of women in NZ politics so that we can gain a better understanding of those women who are representing our interests in the political establishment.

This blog recognises that women are not homogeneous beings. We have different needs, desires, interests, and aspirations.  It acknowledges, that we all make decisions for different reasons and that our experiences are unique to each of us.

The purpose is to showcase the personable and diverse qualities of the women who colour our political spectrum without the noise of party politics, but at the same time not demarcating those women from the parties they operate within. While the site is dedicated in content to women, it by no means excludes men as a relevant and important part of the intended audience. Rather, this site aims to give both men a women a different perspective on women in politics, so that we can all appreciate who these women are, where they come from, how they think about different issues, and what motivates them.

I have approached a number of MP’s and candidates to see if they’d be interested in participating in this site, and I am thrilled to say I have had a very positive response so far.

On that note, I extend the invitation to every women who is an elected candidate for a registered political party (including independent’s) or a current MP. If you are interested, and I haven’t yet sent you an invitation to participate (I will do so soon), please email me carrie.stoddart@gmail.com.

I would love to hear from you!

 [Note, this site is still in the process of being set up, and will become more user friendly soon! Thanks for your patience]