Labour MP David Clark, the sponsor of a Bill that Mondayises Anzac and Waitangi days when they...
Monday, 25 February 2013
Dunedin is the place I am proud to call home. Since first arriving as a student in 1991, I have lived most of my adult life here. Our city is a welcoming, friendly and fun place to live. People choose to live here. I have. The creativity, energy and flair of our student population must be harnessed to keep our city lively and interesting. Our innovators need to be celebrated.
I have been involved in the local Dunedin community in various ways. As Deputy Chair of the Otago Community Trust, a Trustee of the Blueskin Bay Library Extension Trust, a Presbyterian Minister, and a wedding, civil union and funeral celebrant. I have served on University of Otago committees and on Otago Forward, the erstwhile regional economic development forum.
My previous job was Head of Hall at Selwyn, a residential College at the University of Otago.
I believe in the value of strong public services. You and I value access for everyone to quality health-care. And we know that a properly funded hospital and accessible health-care services ensures a strong and productive population. Demand for new and expensive health-care services is growing and things are constantly changing in the sector. But some things are simple. We in Dunedin fought to retain neurosurgery because it made sense. I will continue to fight to retain key services for our community. A quality teaching hospital is also crucial to the future of the University, and with it to the city.
I’ve looked at the education sector from many sides. As a student, as a tutor, as a parent. I’ve even spent time at the Treasury working on education issues. My work running Selwyn College brought me into contact with Otago University every day. A child’s early years are the most important. I am an advocate for free quality early childhood education._ All schools must be safe with dedicated teachers, and an education system that delivers quality results for our kids._ A strong tertiary education sector is critical to a strong Dunedin.
I believe a society is best judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens, and so I come to politics with concerns about the rising cost of living. Many people in Dunedin are struggling to raise families on inadequate wages. Forfeiting heating in a home to afford food and school uniforms, can leave a legacy of poverty-related illness and social dislocation. This will not do.
Every child deserves the best possible start. Every child need to be able to give of their best, for the sake of society and for the sake of our economy. Labour’s $15 minimum wage policy, and the first $5000 tax-free policy are for all of us, but they help most those who are working hardest to make ends meet.
Dunedin’s early fathers left us a legacy of parks and reserves, the green belt and the botanic gardens. Our lives are enhanced by the recreational opportunities afforded by our beautiful city and our beautiful island. I want to make sure we hand the benefits we’ve enjoyed to the next generation. Our own well-being and the future for our children depends upon our safe and pleasurable environment. Under the fifth Labour government, both in Treasury and in parliament buildings, I worked with Ministers to establish New Zealand’s first emissions’ trading system. Imperfect though it was, it established the importance of the ‘polluter pays’ principle. I also worked closely with the Minister of Energy to turn the sector towards a focus on New Zealand’s plentiful supplies of renewable energy.
I’ve done a bunch of different stuff, and I love a challenge. Growing up, I worked on farms, in factories and shops, cafes and bars. Prior to returning to Dunedin, I spent time as an analyst at the New Zealand Treasury. I have also served on not for profit boards, competed twice in the NZ Ironman Triathlon championships at Taupo, and lived and studied in Germany. Having once been competitive, I continue to enjoy recreational cycling. Politics is where I am currently focussing my energies.
Dunedin offers great quality of life. I see people walking at the reservoir, picnicking in the gardens, visiting the Farmer’s Market, cycling to Waitati, eating out, doing gardening or DIY, out at the beach. Dunedin enjoys a reputation as a city where ‘people work to live, not live to work’. We’re lucky to be here.
I believe in New Zealand and Dunedin and I want to be a part of making sure each lives up to its potential.
Address: Freepost PO Box 18 888, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160
Phone: 04 817 9389
Address: 32 Albany Street, Dunedin
Phone: 03 474 1973
Fax: 03 474 9913
Email: Karen Dehn (Electorate Secretary): Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org