I’m a Wellingtonian to the core. Growing up in the comfortable seaside suburb of Plimmerton and later in the more culturally diverse city of Porirua gave me an appreciation of the diversity of our society.
Wellington’s punk rock scene was the backdrop for my early adulthood and cemented my impulse to challenge the priority of economic growth over a sense fairness and respect for the environment. I am still connected to the incredible creativity of Wellington’s artists and musicians. Live music is a big part of my life and I can often be found enthusiastically supporting local hip hop, funk and jazz acts.
It is from friendships formed through music and my two adult sons that I have seen first-hand the difficulties facing people who are entering adulthood, the stress that it puts them under and how it can stunt their talent, skill and passion.
I have raised two kids, and as a young solo parent was lucky to be able to finish most of my degree with the help of a training assistance allowance and before the introduction of student fees and student loans.
Working for a quarter century in the knowledge and information sector has given me a deep respect for the use of data, research and the recorded lessons of history when deciding on a course of action. Three of those years were spent managing a research team in the Parliamentary Library where I saw how the flow of information can impact democracy. I got to understand how the way we frame our questions, and the questions we think are worth asking can influence what we know.
I have spent the last five years working as a consultant for a successful information management practice, helping to improve the way people work in a wide range of businesses, social organisations, local authorities and public agencies.