Monday – Woke up in a hotel room next to a racecourse in Rotorua with Jeanette Fitzsimons. We had worked all weekend at the Ka Nui conference on mining threats and ended it protesting at the mining industry cocktail party; Jeanette dressed as the elephant in the room, climate change. My partner picked me up and we drove to Gisborne, went to visit a school and met a Green member then a public meeting on education with Nanaia Mahuta and teachers and parents at Gisborne Girls’ High School.
Tuesday – Caught the 6.45am flight to Wellington. 3 hours of Caucus and questioned Hekia Parata in the House on National Standards. 2 hours of House Duty, prepared a speech for my Members Bill. Home by 11pm.
Wednesday – Met with Service and Food Workers Union regarding Parliamentary cleaners’ wages, wrote monthly column for Whitianga newspaper, climbed 15 flights of stairs for exercise in Bowen House, marched with Marriage Equality people to the rally at Parliament. Went to Question Time then to a presentation by National Foundation for the Deaf to listen to peoples’ stories. Next, our sub group of Caucus met on equity issues. I realised at this time I had enough votes to get my Members Bill through. Finished writing my speeches and emailed some supporters, delivered speech, Bill passed by 1 vote on river pollution issues. Voted in favour of marriage equality – fantastic night in the House!
Thursday – Did local media on my Black Drain Bill, drafted a blog on the same subject, went to “Living Wage” launch at Wesley Church with Denise and Russel. Cried a few times at some of what we heard there. Caught a plane to Auckland, and then a cab to the Education Forum in Takapuna, great discussion with educators, parents and Nanaia Mahuta. Managed to leave my suitcase at the school.
Friday – My moko woke at 6am to discuss dinosaurs and do some drawing with Nannie, 8am the shuttle driver and I went to pick up my suitcase, drove back to Coromandel. Had a quick shower and then my partner and I drove to meet a family affected by local mining. Visited a supposed “historic” mine site in beautiful area which needs further checking out. Did media in the car over the announcement of the new mining application in Waihi. Got home and had a little sleep.
Saturday – Went to netball courts and market to collect Keep Our Assets petition signatures. Only about two hundred emails to do, an overdue conference abstract and lots of washing! So grateful to my daughter in Auckland, my partner at home and my sister in Wellington who help me in every practical way and my assistant Asher who works miracles. What a typical crazy week!