Diversity in politics is more than just a catchphrase to me. It's an absolute necessity for a stable, thriving country like New Zealand. It is a guiding principle that has shaped my career path and continues to be the foundation of my political journey. In particular, the make-up of my teams and the teams I work with. I've always targeted underrepresented communities - migrant women from non-English speaking countries, people of colour, disabled individuals, and gender nonconforming folks.
In a bid to alter the political landscape, my mission is to create a volunteer team that specifically targets and attracts these folk. Because, in truth, a representative democracy goes beyond electing a diverse set of Ministers. It requires an equally diverse group of diligent advisors, coordinators, analysts, and managers operating behind the scenes in senior, influential roles. Belonging means Influencing, and this is what it looks like in practice.
The Beehive, brimming with political and communication advisors, private secretaries, Chiefs of Staff, and press secretaries, unfortunately, doesn't fully mirror New Zealand. This lack of representation is something we as political leaders must take seriously. Even as a new candidate from a small party, I'm committed to making as much noise about the necessity of diversity as possible. Diversity is essential and won’t happen organically, you need to be deliberate and targeted. This should not be controversial, but our minimum baseline of understanding. The teams that counsel and guide these leaders, need to reflect New Zealand; and currently they don’t.
With this in mind, I'm using this platform as a call to action for anyone in Wellington Central from these underrepresented communities. I'm extending an invitation for you to join my movement. I need Māori women, takatāpui, Pacific women, fa'afafine, fakaleiti, leiti, drodrolagi, all people of colour, immigrants from non-English-speaking countries, trans and nonbinary folk, disabled folk to become part of my TOP Welly Central Volunteer team.
Sure, we welcome all allies and anybody that is keen, but I want to make a special appeal to the above in a more targeted and deliberate way. Your voices, perspectives, and insights are sorely needed in this political sphere.
I want to chat if you're interested in contributing from June to September. We're seeking individuals to assist with communications, social media, political strategy and campaign execution, event logistics, door knocking, and much more. We need those adept at research, data analysis, and policy development to help us navigate the election year. Part time, quarter time, full time, whatever time you got!
I promise an environment that is safe, inclusive, interesting, flexible, and understanding. I believe in fostering high-trust, high-performing teams, and I'd love for you to join us on this exciting journey!
In this quest for diversity, each volunteer counts. Let's transform the political universe together!