Candidates: Charles Chauvel for Labour in Ohariu
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.
- Who are you and what do you want?
I’m Charles Chauvel, Labour’s Justice and Environment Spokesperson, and I want to be the next MP for Ohariu (Wellington’s Northern Suburbs and the Western Hills of the Hutt).
- You have 30 seconds to convince someone to come to Wellington. What’s your pitch?
New Zealand has the best quality of life of any country in the world, and Wellington has the best quality of life of any city in New Zealand.
- Where do you stand on the issue of opening up government data?
With the right protections for people’s individual privacy, it’s a no-brainer and it needs to happen. Yesterday. At local and regional government level too.
- Describe your bicycle, or your favourite bus route?
I walk a lot. I take the Johnsonville line from Parliament to my Ohariu office. And when (too often) it isn’t running, the 54 bus runs between the two.
- When did you last use the library, a community centre, or a council-run sports facility?
I was at the Johnsonville library today, and the Tawa one last Friday. More often I download the online audiobooks available on the Wellington City Library website.
- Would you welcome a central government driven “super-city” amalgamation of local authorities?
No. But Auckland now has 1.4m people. We need to find efficiencies between the 8 councils representing our 400,000 people or mergers will simply be forced on us.
- What city inspires your vision for Wellington? How?
We don’t need to look elsewhere. We already have all the basic ingredients – dramatic, highly liveable geography; good public transport backbones, learning institutions, clever people. We just need to make it work.
- Is the concept of democratic representation important to you? How so?
My parents were immigrants who came to NZ partly because our country is free of large-scale corruption and we can have a real say in how we govern ourselves.
- What achievement for Wellington are you most proud of?
New trains and trolley buses the last Labour Government bought for Wellington as part of our 15-fold increase in public transport investment. Thank goodness National didn’t cancel them.
- What role do you think central government should play in local roading/public transport issues?
First, require decent services now. Integrated ticketing. Decent park and rides. Regular peak hour services. Secondly, plan for a low-emissions future. Biofuels. Electric cars. And always, better public transport.
- How can we make Wellington more environmentally friendly?
The single most important contribution is continued investment in better public transport that people are actually willing to use, in order to get our greenhouse emissions down.
- What will you do to ensure diverse representation on government issues?
Continue, as long as I have the passion – I’m gay, I’m Labour, I’m Pasifika, I come from a business background, I’m committed to the environment and to inclusion.
- What’s your personal history of living in Wellington?
Victoria University – LLB(Hons) 1989; Judge’s Clerk that year; Crown Counsel, Crown Law Office 1994; Partner, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, 2000; Wellington-based MP 2006-
- What policy of your party do you think will have the most impact on Wellington?
When I was on the Meridian board we built West Wind to provide for Wellington’s electricity needs. To continue those investments, we must keep our power companies in kiwi hands.
- Do you genuinely believe you have a chance at winning the seat you’re contesting, or is this more of a party campaign?
In Ohariu, people have an MP who’s been there for 27 years and represented 4 different political parties. It’s time for fresh energy and firm principles – that’s what I offer.