by Russel Norman
Tonight I’ve been selected as the Green Party’s candidate for Mt Albert so I thought I should explain to everyone why I’ve decided to stand.
Green issues are Auckland issues, and as a Green Party candidate I’ll have the opportunity to stand up for Mt Albert issues in a way that the National and Labour are unable to – trapped as they are in the world of cars, congestion and Road Transport Forum (trucking companies) donations.
The Green Party is a strong and independent voice in Parliament and our policies on Auckland governance, Auckland’s transport problems, Auckland’s electricity supply as well as local environmental issues are better for Mt Albert residents than either Labour or National.
Transport is a classic example. The old parties are arguing over two bad ideas in Waterview. They want to either bulldoze a suburb or blow $3 billion plus on a tunnel still buggering the creek. The Green Party offers a better solution. We would fix the public transport system first, relieve congestion and give Aucklanders a faster, cheaper way to get to work and the airport. And we won’t destroy Oakley Creek in the process like the motorway madness.
Auckland governance is another example. The government’s ‘Super-city’ proposals will weaken the voice of community boards, like the Eden Albert Community Board that submitted today against the anti-community provisions of National’s RMA amendment bill. The Green Party is about sticking up for the little guy in Auckland governance and I will be campaigning hard to keep local democracy alive.
Mt Albert residents know our government can do better when Meola Creek, a historic waterway running through the heart of the Mt Albert electorate, is so polluted it is a public health risk. The Green Party are the only party that recognises the importance of our waterways to New Zealanders. As a Mt Albert MP, I will prioritise local environmental issues, so residents don’t have to live with polluted waterways running through their neighbourhoods.
By-elections are a chance for local residents to send a message to the government. A vote for National is a vote of approval for all their attacks on the environment and local democracy. A vote for Labour is a vote for the status quo and sends no message. A Green vote in Mt Albert will show the government that Auckland residents care about public transport, local representation and the environment. The Green Party is the underdog in this race, but I look forward to holding Labour and National to account on these key issues in the campaign.
Although I am currently based in Wellington, I previously lived on Waiheke in the neighbouring Auckland Central electorate for five years and would move to Mt Albert if I was successful in the by-election.
Bring it on!