The end of the year! 2016 has been…a mixed bag – Trump-ism, losing Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen et al, and the creeping malaise of a tired government. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes shares his year.
My highlight of 2016
So many highlights!
My two kids had a great year and are now both at school. As a dad it’s lovely to see them happy, healthy and enjoying learning and after years of reading them both stories – to have them now read to me. I wrote for The Spinoff what it’s like juggling being a father and an MP.
On to the work stuff…
I got to hang with true-legend Amory Lovins and spend time studying at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a leading global clean energy think-tank.
I campaigned for a fair go for solar, to protect the Waitaha River, to stop Huntly burning coal and a polluting new gas plant in the Waikato. I supported our great video game sector and promoted the Internet economy opportunities for New Zealand.
My Faster into Homes Bill, was pulled from the Parliamentary ballot (the week after I launched this solution to help people save faster for a deposit).
I also started a new Podcast series, Green MPs in a Podcast, where each week I sat down with a different Green MP and talked about their history, values and vision for Aotearoa.
My proudest speech was asking what would be John Key’s legacy – which seemed to resonate with a lot of people.
My lowlight of 2016
The second series of Stranger Things hasn’t come out yet! Oh, and Trump, Brexit, new climate data yada, yada, yada.
My holiday spot
This summer I’m off to my favourite place in New Zealand, Lake Waikaremoana in the Urewera National Park, to spend some relaxing time before spending Christmas in Gisborne.
My summer reading
I’ve got a few books packed and ready to go, Achen Bartel’s Democracy for Realists, Ruchir Sharma’s Rise and Fall of Nations and Duncan Greens’ How Change Happens.
I have to still walk my dog Jove, twice a day over the break so I’ll be hammering the podcasts, and my favourite’s this year have been Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History, Mike Duncan’s fantastic Revolutions series, the always fascinating Futility Closet and for a bit of cosmic perspective Astronomy Cast.
For my birthday I got the Sony virtual reality headset (which I love!), so I don’t need anything personally so I’m wishing for a change of Government and the Green’s being a big part of it.
Hope you have a happy and safe summer with friends and whānau.