As a kid I was taught to work hard. I started out delivering newspapers and by 15, I was earning $3.78 an hour in a supermarket.
I waitressed as way to get through university. I did it for the money, but it also gave me independence and I had a lot of fun with the people I worked with. Working taught me many things: I learnt how to deal with mean bosses and bullies, why landing your friend a job isn’t always the best idea, and how to have a good time at the Christmas party without getting carried away.
I saved hard and at 19 bought a house, by myself – I was proud as. Mum and Dad helped me paint it and tidy up the garden. Getting a house on my own made me feel that I could do anything as long as I worked hard enough – a belief that has motivated me throughout life. What worries me the most about the housing crisis is that people have lost the hope that they can get ahead. For many families, no matter how hard someone works, owning a home is just not possible.
Affordable housing in the Hutt used to attract families to settle here and raise kids, but that’s now changing.
I am not prepared to stand by and watch New Zealand become a country where only some people can get ahead in life while others are left with almost no chance of catching up. There are sections of vacant land across the Hutt Valley that previously had houses on it and there’s land like this in cities up and down the country. Labour has a clear plan: we’re ready to get on with building 100,000 new, affordable homes across New Zealand, and we’re committed to giving young Kiwis the opportunity to buy their own home. Rentals will be a better standard, and Housing New Zealand will focus on ensuring housing needs are met, rather than just maximising profit.
I’m standing for Labour in Hutt South because we need to change this Government. New Zealanders have always looked out for each other and it’s time there was a Labour Government to get us back on track.
Ginny Andersen is the Labour candidate for Hutt South. With her husband she has a family of four kids, ranging in age from three to sixteen years. She’s worked in Treaty of Waitangi negotiations, in Parliament and for the Police where she has delivered action plans for the Government on gangs and methamphetamine.