Today, in an event organised by Te Whare o Te Ata, we heard from Hamilton East by-election candidates. Not all of them, but the nine that bothered to show up. In the Fairfield Hall, they addressed a community that is sometimes, or perhaps often, forgotten by our city Councillors.
Below is some of what these candidates said. Not directly, but its my (Anna’s) take on their whakaaro – a liberty that I’m taking because I care that you know a bit about them. Be warned – it may not help you make a decision. All of the candidates showed their hearts today and their ability to think carefully about the issues. Perhaps that is what Fairfield does to you – it keeps you real!
Sarkaw works hard. She does not understand the concept of time off. All of her life has involved work and a focus. She is part of a number of community groups and trusts and is also a practicing chiropractor. She knows that a number of our communities have been neglected and she is prepared to listen. She believes that we should invest in smaller scale developments first – big developments can wait until we can afford them.
Horiana is passionate about families and communities. And she knows what community can be, how much community matters to people, and the importance of making sure that all people can afford to live in Hamilton. She is standing for her children, for our children, for their future. This impassioned commitment is behind her and she will represent everyday families and the currently unrepresented.
Deborah is a fighter – make no mistake. Her community of Fairview Downs is a largely working class one, and she knows what it means to be up against it. Some people, with their big pay checks, don’t get the reality of what most people are surviving on. Deborah knows this, and she has spoken up for her community, and she will continue to. Deborah is grounded in the realities of life for the underserved.
He is creative. He can think outside the square, and his work in theatre, and in making productions happen, means he can bring together a range of ideas and find a way forward. He will suggest new ideas, things that haven’t been thought of before, and he listens. He holds your questions in his head, they matter to him, and gets right back to you. He gets the affordability struggle.
Maxine van Oosten
She looks white and middle class, because she is. But she is a fighter for the underdog and she has a heart for equity, equality, equal pay…you get the picture. She has a mind for numbers – she has worked in banking. Her union work has taught her how to represent, to listen and to advocate. She’ll listen to you and will change her position to reflect a strong community perspective. FYI – she no longer supports a theatre in the middle of the city. She reckons you’ve said that it does not make sense right now.
We’ve had businessmen, lawyers and accountants run this city. Peter believes that our city needs a dose of social work, because it needs a dose of relationship. The skill involved in developing relationship, is the skill that Peter brings. He knows the homeless, he knows the struggles. He’s kind of lived amongst it himself. He’s an advocate for the vulnerable and for people with disabilities. He believes that community houses are vital. They are connecting places, where needs can be met and issues resolved before they amount to more.
A good friend of Phillip Yeung. A man that believes in democracy and in having voice. He will question, he will challenge and all with a twinkle in his eye. Debate won’t weary him. He knows how often our rates, the Council’s decisions, the complexities of city council, regional council, central government, who does what and why, makes sometimes so little sense to us. He will research and he will explain so that we can know more.
Meleane is educated, she gets the numbers (an accountant), but she also believes passionately in community representation. She wants to represent Pacifica peoples, and she wants all people to have a voice on Council. She wants to carry on the legacy of Phillip Yeung and bring diversity to the table. The heart she has is clear. She will put her accounting career on hold and commit full time to being a City Councillor.
Matthew grew up in a place he says was like Fairfield. He knows about struggle and the violence that can accompany stress. These things still sit with him today, and he is working with it, dealing with it. He believes in creating community spaces and playgrounds that are inclusive for children with disabilities. He is old fashioned and likes community meetings. He wants these to happen more so that the community can know their Councillors.
For more information on the By-Election Candidates visit https://kellifromthetron.co.nz/