I was born and bred in Wellington, and while I ran away to see the world, this city has always been home.
My background is in broadcasting and the Church. My first on-air job was at a tiny, temporary station based in Johnsonville called Harbour City FM. What followed was more than a decade of on-air and programming experience throughout the country in a variety of formats. I also spent more than twenty years as a Church minister, where I spent a lot of time working with people that others tend (try) to ignore and forget. We live in a city and a country with great wealth and great inequality and while there are no easy answers there are certainly some steps in the right direction. I was active in the Living Wage Movement for some years, and am proud to have seen Wellington City become NZ’s first Living Wage Council. I sat on the board of DCM – an inner city social service agency focused on homelessness and related issues – and we need to ensure that sector is strong and well supported. My passion is to see people put first in our beautiful city so that we can become not just the coolest but also the fairest little capital in the world.
In 2016 I was elected as the Labour Councillor for Pukehīnau Lambton Ward. Since then I have been the portfolio leader for Housing and Social Development, focused on tackling our huge housing challenges and ensuring that the most vulnerable people in our city have access to the assistance and support they need. I've been successful in getting new and increased funding to address homelessness and transitional housing needs, as well as providing meaningful activities for those begging on our streets. I've worked with my colleagues and the private sector to champion the affordable apartment conversion programme - taking older office buildings and converting them to apartments for key workers in the city. Our council social housing team is the biggest landlord in the region, supporting 3500 tenants in 2100 units throughout the city. I've been working hard to grow that portfolio and the emerging partnership with Housing NZ will mean even more social housing to help vulnerable Wellingtonians in future. It's been a hard but rewarding three years, and I look forward to continuing the work.
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