Born and bred in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, I’ve been a Te Waipounamu South Island convert since 2008.
My background is in Freshwater Ecology in both public service and grass-roots conservation and restoration (University of Otago, DOC, Working Waters Trust), including working with mana whenua, farmers, schools, and community groups across Waitaha Canterbury, Ōtākou Otago and Murihiku Southland.
I’ve served the last 6 years on Environment Canterbury (Regional Council for Waitaha Canterbury) where I was the highest polling candidate in the constituency I contested in both 2016 and 2019 local government elections (55,000 votes across Ōtautahi Christchurch ‘at large’ when I ran from the remote island of Rāngitahua Raoul Island in the Kermadecs in 2016, and 8,500 votes from Ōhoko/Central Christchurch ward in 2019).
A few examples of the most significant achievements I’m proud of during my time on Environment Canterbury included: Council publicly opposing deep sea oil and gas drilling off the Waitaha Canterbury coast, being the first Council in Aotearoa to declare a climate emergency, the passing of the Ngāi Tahu Bill which enabled the appointment of two Ngāi Tahu Councillors, an increase in biodiversity and biosecurity expenditure of 9m in 2017 to 36m in 2021, publicly opposing nitrate pollution as part of changes to the Land and Water Plan and across Waitaha, the introduction of $1 and $2 bus fares for all of Greater Christchurch, and being the first Regional Council to become a certified Living Wage employer.
I’m a certified RMA Commissioner and in 2021 was appointed as a Freshwater Commissioner. I’ve since resigned from those roles so that I’m able to remain politically active in this time of change where the need for good green decision-making and action is critical.
See a summary snapshot of what I’m all about in this short speech from 2019 when I was re-elected to Environment Canterbury (and be sure to checkout my other videos on the ‘video’ page in the menu above).