Rimutaka electorate candidate – Labour
Where did you grow up?
‘I grew up in Waterloo, just around the corner from the Waiwhetu Stream. Our street had a mix of state houses and privately owned ones, and there was a real diversity in terms of age and ethnicity. It was a great place to grow up.’
Tell us about a favourite childhood memory…
‘I’ve got so many fond memories of growing up in the Hutt. We used to climb the firebreaks after school and every now and then if we were feeling really brave we would push our bikes to the top and ride them down again. It was pretty steep and I left a lot of skin on those hills. I also discovered just how long it takes for gorse to work its way out again if you land on a gorse bush when you fall off! Our local school, Waterloo School, had a swimming pool that parents could buy a key for in the summer. On hot summer days, we used to go down there after Dad got home from work. Families often shared BBQs together while we kids had fun.’
When did you know you’d work in politics? Was it in childhood? Later?
‘I started to develop an interest in politics in my final years at secondary school. My old school was having a few issues (it subsequently closed) and that really opened my eyes to the world of politics and government decision making. I started to get really involved in politics when I was arrested during a student protest while studying at Victoria University. The charges were later thrown out by the courts but the burning sense of injustice compelled me to campaign for a new Labour government in 1999.’
What is your greatest glory? (This could be in adulthood.)
‘I think becoming a Dad was the best day of my life, although we’ve made a decision not to involve our kids in politics until they’re old enough to make their own decisions about what they think and how much of their life they want to share with the wider public.’