The Government has missed an opportunity to allow conservation groups and the mining company...
Monday, 25 February 2013
I was raised as an army brat, leaving this life when my father retired as Camp Commandant at Linton Camp. Everyone of my family was born in a different place, reflecting the frequent moves that army folk accept as part of their lot. I am the second child of four, with an older sister and two younger brothers, one of whom has died.
We had an active childhood, with a huge family garden, a massive focus on sports and family time and connections a high priority. My father and brother have both represented New Zealand in sports, both in water polo and my father in surf life saving. We all also enjoyed squash and basketball. My father became a sports coach when he left the Army, so this was not a surprise to us!,
I became involved in politics in community organisations - social justice issues - peace, the environment, opposition to apartheid.
I joined Labour when I was living on the West Coast because Labour represents values that I am passionate about - giving everyone in our magnificent country the chance to do well - keeping our environment truly clean and green - supporting our families and communities to be safe and strong.
I became the President of the Party during a very intense political time, in 1988, a big challenge for a 31 year old. Five years later, I was elected as the Member of Parliament for the seat of Lyttelton, held for the previous three years by National.
So I have been in Parliament for 18 years, and every day I wake up with the same energy and passion, now combined with much more experience, as I had when I was first elected. I thrive on working with and for the diverse communities within my electorate, now called Port Hills, following the morph from Lyttelton to Banks Peninsula in the first MMP election in 1996.
I am married to Martin and have two adult step-children and five totally delightful grandchildren. I love spending time with them as well as my mother, sister and brother and their families. I cannot survive without a really good vegetable garden, and also enjoy sea kayaking, tramping and music. We all need a balance in our life!
It is always a privilege to be in a position to help people, but no time has this been more so than since our series of significant earthquakes. Earthquake related issues remain the number one concern for the overwhelming majority of my constituents. I believe that we need and deserve better access to information, clear timeframes for earthquake related decisions, and recognition and support from Government about the issues that we are all facing.
I am also determined to have a strong and clear plan, which is then actioned, to retain the skilled and passionate people who are leaving our region to live overseas - at the appalling rate of 28 people a day. We need to include people in the thinking and planning for the future, particularly our young people, so that we will have a committed, passionate (and maybe parochial!) community in Canterbury in the future.
I have been overwhelmed with pride in our communities as we have responded to the loss of life, of jobs and of buildings as a result of the quakes. We will be stronger for these traumatic experiences but they have been harder than people outside our region can imagine. We have seen the very best community spirit, leadership and compassion emerge.
Phone: 04 817 9768
Address: Port Hills Electorate Office, PO Box 19661, 642 Ferry Road, Woolston, Christchurch
Phone: 03 376 4512 Fax: 03 376 4514