I am the TOP candidate in the Coromandel electorate where I live, with my wife of over 30 years. Our three daughters have all grown up and left home to make their own ways in the world.
My training is as a civil engineer, and I have held roles in engineering and environmental management in pulp and paper, forestry, meat processing and electricity generation, as well as experience in consulting, central and local government, and now running my own small business. My wife and I are active volunteers with Mercy Ships in Africa, and supporters of the work that Childfund NZ carries out in developing countries. I was born in the King Country and brought up in small-town NZ before ending up in Auckland for secondary school and university, and since then I have worked in various places around the North Island.
This is my first experience in the political arena, not having been a member of any party in the past. I got to the point of not knowing who to vote for, because the parties currently in government gave me no comfort that they are proposing a policy direction that will provide for New Zealand’s environmental, economic or social futures. Research lead me to TOP, and the policy suite gave me comfort that there is a party that intends to provide the balance we need in order to succeed in the world. That balance involves putting the environment up front, but at the same time ensuring the economy grows and is successful. No nation can make any significant positive disruptive change without first having a strong economy to enable the change. I was impressed by the approach taken by TOP of developing evidence-based, transparent and defendable policy.
I am particularly passionate about the need to protect and enhance our environment, and this includes climate change. Without making significant change in the way we treat the biosphere in which we live, we are going to see further uncontrolled events, such as Covid-19 and severe and costly climate change impacts. The changes that we need to make include adaptation to climate change as well as mitigation.