Jessica is a public servant who has worked on issues ranging from transport infrastructure funding, to health and disability legislation, to Māori economic development. She has a Masters Degree in Philosophy from Victoria University of Wellington. She has two children and is standing for The Opportunities Party (TOP) in the Ōhāriu electorate because she wants to take action for those who can't vote: children, future generations, and other species that also have a stake in this country. Jessica is also TOP’s Co-Deputy Leader.
To Jessica, the idea that families in Aotearoa are living in houses worse than her scummy student flat from her university days outrages her. She has a vivid memory of looking past a hole in her flat’s rotten bathroom wall and seeing a pipe leaking behind it. To ‘fix’ the problem, her landlord came round and plastered over it. ‘Next owner’s problem,’ he explained. That children are growing up in houses like these - that some people have a lower life expectancy simply because of where they were born - should be a national scandal.
Child poverty is and will always be top of mind for Jessica. While a lot of politicians claim to be outraged by child poverty, Jessica is prepared to actually take the bold steps needed to counter it. And with TOP behind her, that includes: universal basic income, affordable housing , and changes to tenancy regulations to make rentals healthier and more stable. She knows there are enough people who believe child poverty is unacceptable and are willing to vote for change.