Candidates: James Shaw for the Greens in Wellington Central
We invited all candidates in Wellington electorates to contact us with their answers to fifteen crowdsourced questions. Answers are restricted to 30 words each, and we publish them exactly as we receive them.
1. Who are you and what do you want?
I’m James Shaw and I want Wellington to show New Zealand and the world what it takes to have a smart, green economy that works for everyone.
2. You have 30 seconds to convince someone to come to Wellington. What’s your pitch?
Mountains with winter snow. Beaches with summer sun. The best coffee in the world. Theatre. Movies. Nightlife. Gorgeous Victorian villas perched on tree-covered hills. A place like no other.
3. Where do you stand on the issue of opening up government data?
I’m for it.
4. Describe your bicycle, or your favourite bus route?
I live in the Aro Valley up a steep hill – my mountain bike is sadly gathering dust whilst I walk. Everywhere I need is at most 20 minutes.
5. When did you last use the library, a community centre, or a council-run sports facility?
I used St. John’s Hall in Karori for an August meeting. It’s pretty rundown, sadly. There is a plan for a new Karori Community Centre, but it needs funding.
6. Would you welcome a central government driven “super-city” amalgamation of local authorities?
No, the cities in our region are very distinct. But we should give some thought to how better to coordinate between the local and regional authorities.
7. What city inspires your vision for Wellington? How?
Vancouver, which is similar in many ways. Vancouver makes the most of its urban design and transport to make it more of, “a place where talent wants to live”.
8. Is the concept of democratic representation important to you? How so?
Very. I believe that the House of Representatives should be, well, representative of the country. It has become much more so since we introduced MMP.
9. What achievement for Wellington are you most proud of?
In my adult life the city has become an international centre of the film industry with some of the world’s top talent choosing to life and work here.
10. What role do you think central government should play in local roading/public transport issues?
Stop blackmailing local and regional councils to accept motorways they don’t want and help them build the light rail, local road and cycleways they do want!
11. How can we make Wellington more environmentally friendly?
Insulate our homes and retrofit them with solar and wind turbines to provide their own heat and power. Use government procurement to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles.
12. What will you do to ensure diverse representation on government issues?
In my professional life I bring very diverse stakeholders together to collaborate on difficult challenges. I would aim to do the same on issues I work on in Parliament.
13. What’s your personal history of living in Wellington?
I was born in Wellington Hospital, educated at Scots College Primary, Wellington High School and Victoria University. We grew up in the Aro Valley where I again live today.
14. What policy of your party do you think will have the most impact on Wellington?
Wellington will benefit in particular from our ‘Green Jobs’ package, which will significantly boost our R&D in clean-tech industries, exporters of renewable energy services, and small business.
15. Do you genuinely believe you have a chance at winning the seat you’re contesting, or is this more of a party campaign?
At no.15 on the Greens’ list, I have a good chance of representing my home town in Parliament if you give your Party Vote to the Greens.