I was born and bred in New Plymouth and have stayed connected with it through family, work and a recent stint as a councillor of the local polytech, WITT. I left New Plymouth to train as a lawyer and was head of New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU, for 11 years up to July this year managing more than 100 specialist, field and other personnel.
I have served on a variety of public and private boards, including the Tertiary Education Commission.
Through my work as a lawyer and in my union roles, I have always been a strong advocate. Dealing with anything from large corporates to small businesses, I have learnt when problem-solving and compromise is called for and when resolute firmness is needed.
New Plymouth needs a strong advocate in Parliament. Some major issues the city and region are confronting include:
The local port, a mainstay of the region’s infrastructure, is under pressure with falling freight volumes. But as the only deep-water port on the West Coast and with its central role in our offshore oil and gas industry, it has a vital role to play. There are new opportunities that it can develop that will benefit the region and New Zealand but it needs central government help to do so.
Whether we like it or not, New Plymouth is dependent on our northern roads to move people and goods in and out of the region. But these roads are unreliable and dangerous. It’s time to do something about them. We need a long term solution for the benefit of all transport users.
Skills training and jobs for young people
Like many other areas in New Zealand, New Plymouth and Taranaki are having great difficulty getting our young people into decent jobs. But then funding has been cut to our local polytech and other training outfits are having difficulty getting support to meet the demands being placed on them. And many young people we are training are heading overseas in frustration at the lack of local opportunities. We need a local plan to support local training establishments and local employers to take on young people.
Address: Freepost PO Box 18 888, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160
Phone: 04 817 9024
New Plymouth Office
Address: 158 Takapa Street, New Plymouth
Phone: 06 753 3211
Address: Unity Centre, 1 Bell Street, Wanganui
Phone: 06 348 4061