I have had a long career of public service, in both central and local government. I have a Masters in Public Policy from Victoria University of Wellington, and a conjoint BCom (economics) and BA (politics) from Auckland University. Before all that, I spent ten years as a kitchen hand, a chef, a truck driver, a furniture removalist, a builder, and manager of a community access radio station (2RSR FM, in Sydney).
I became interested in policy work when I worked for the New Zealand Maori Council, in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, helping to get Maori radio and television established in Aotearoa. That experience taught me how important it is for a society to change and evolve, and how what seems unusual and extraordinary to one generation later becomes an accepted part of who we are.
I later wrote my master's thesis on broadcasting policy, focusing mainly on economic theory and rhetoric, but also bringing the concepts of politics, constitutional law and cultural analysis to bear on the topic.
Now I work as an independent policy consultant and, as a hobby, teaching myself to write code and learning about web design and development.
I am standing for TOP because it has strong policies on issues that matter. For many years I’ve been a public servant, but I’m not a natural bureaucrat.
Government can only produce great results if it is guided by a vision for who we are and what we want, now and for the future.
The pressure for change has been building for many years. The Establishment Parties have played it safe for too long, making small tweaks and adjustments from time to time, while the more radical parties have been ineffective at shaping the policy agenda and introducing meaningful change.
We need to reform our tax system, become far more committed to our environmental our climate responsibilities, and to the way we look after ourselves and our children.
Our housing market is seriously out of kilter. TOP’s tax reforms will address a fundamental problem with our housing market. Our Housing policy will strengthen tenants’ rights, and ensure healthier homes for all.
We need to treat our democracy as our greatest public good. It has been weakened by neglect and a lack of integrity by those responsibility for protecting and strengthening it. We want a public service that acts in the interests of the public, not ministers of the day.
I became interested in TOP after hearing Gareth Morgan explain his tax policies. Then I looked at the other policies, especially the Climate Change policy - an issue that especially interests me. Then I decided to stand. Because TOP policies are well-researched, and workable, and will make a real difference.