Less talk – more action
If nothing else, Covid-19 has shown us that talk is cheap, but the right actions are effective. I’ve spent most of my life working on practical, intelligent solutions to common problems. I grew up on a farm where you can’t just whistle up help – you have to work your way through a problem. That experience gave me a mindset that seeks practical solutions to even the most complex problems. I’ve recently overseen the construction of NZ’s first climate safe house. It was not an easy job because it meant coming up with the right design (and designer), organising a team, finance and sponsors, finding the labour and solving complicated legal ownership issues. That house is a now a reality and is providing shelter. We need many more climate safe homes – especially in South Dunedin. This is a template for achieving climate justice and the time for it is now.
Local elections 2019
Last year I stood for the Otago Regional Council during the Local Body Elections.
I managed to attract 10,870 votes and narrowly missed being elected to the Council. While that was disappointing it meant that I learned a lot – the hard way. It means that this time around I’m better prepared for the fray, surrounded by an excellent team and enjoying the support of both the national and local party organisations.
I’ve been at the ‘frontline’ of climate and social justice efforts for years now – every step of the way learning what works and what doesn’t. I am currently manager of the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust. Over the last 12 years, the Trust has organised the retrofitting of insulation in many Otago homes, helped establish the Cosy Homes Trust, run many community workshops, expos and events, and developed projects that have attracted national attention. I’m the general manager of Blueskin Energy Ltd, the charitable company that provides cleaner electricity. I’m chair of the Energy Committee at the Otago Chamber of Commerce with business connections in the city, and a trustee on the Cosy Homes Trust – a charity that works to make every Otago home warm and cosy. I’m also a member of the ‘Innovation and Participation Advisory Group’ at the Electricity Authority. We’re looking broadly at innovation in the energy sector to deliver sustainable, climate safe outcomes.
I work for resilient communities – where action on climate change comes about through community consultation, cooperation and collaboration.
The thing about energy
We need to change our energy habits. With Blueskin Energy Ltd (BEL), we’ve been breaking new ground in delivering peer-to-peer electricity. Energy efficiency, smart grids, renewables: all provide ways to build resilience for people and the planet. Each of us will gain in this journey, whether we live in the country or the city; I want to make it possible for everyone to participate and thrive.
I’m local and have the grassroots experience to lead.
I was born in Dunedin, but grew up on a farm at Otekaieke in North Otago. I’m married with two adult sons; that means I’ve been through many of the usual kiwi dramas. After several years overseas (my OE), my wife and I found a section we could afford, purchased it and relocated a house onto it while worrying about the mortgage, and have (nearly) fully renovated the house. I’ve debated with Council, dug gardens, been confused by my children’s math’s homework and volunteered extensively in community groups. I know what normal existence is like. I’m also happy to be a part of our local Taekwondo club which keeps me fit, grounded and sane.
I’m a Green candidate because the Green Party is focused on solutions for everyone. We want climate action, a healthy environment and a more equal society. The shocks and the challenges won’t stop with COVID-19 – if anything they are only beginning. This means planning now for climate change. The policies we need have to be made now. That’s why we need to support solar and wind power, warm and cosy homes, and why we need to encourage farming practices that will help our farms survive floods and drought. The next government will spend billions to remake a post-pandemic New Zealand. We know what works and doesn’t in the status quo. Let’s rebuild New Zealand together, intelligently and with purpose. A party vote green will ensure a strong green team in parliament and I want us to have the ability to put our kaupapa into action.
Green campaigns are built by people who care for our community.
Your support for my campaign will make a difference.