November 10, 2011
Candidates: Gareth Hughes for the Greens in Ōhariu
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?
Kia ora I’m Gareth Hughes, Green candidate for Ohariu, passionate MP, father and firm believer in a clean green economy that works for everyone. I want your party vote.
- You have 30 seconds to convince someone to come to Wellington. What’s your pitch?
Great coffee, thriving arts and culture, rejuvenating landscape, engaging and welcoming citizens… It’s no coincidence that “the coolest little capital in the world” is headed by a Green mayor!
- Where do you stand on the issue of opening up government data?
Green policy is for a more accessible and transparent democracy. I have a goal of New Zealand becoming the most open democracy in the world. Full policy is at bit.ly/vDOxJ3.
- Describe your bicycle, or your favourite bus route?
I’m lucky enough to be able to walk to work, so I don’t often take the bus, though my favourite is the 14, which winds over Mt. Vic’s stunning views.
- When did you last use the library, a community centre, or a council-run sports facility?
We’re frequent visitors to Wellington Central Library. My kids love it! It’s important that all Kiwis can access such great services for free, and I love Wellington’s free CBD wifi.
- Would you welcome a central government driven “super-city” amalgamation of local authorities?
Auckland’s community-level representation has been gutted by ACT’s ideological-solution-in-search-of-a-problem; it’s not what we want for Wellington. I’m open to a review but changes …
- What city inspires your vision for Wellington? How?
Copenhagen’s cyclist and pedestrian oriented planning and Portland for their green space, though I think the ‘Wellington: 2040’ vision is really inspiring and exciting.
- Is the concept of democratic representation important to you? How so?
Enormously. Having input into decisions that affect us all is central to the Kiwi psyche. MMP has helped give us a diverse and accountable Parliament that looks like our society.
- What achievement for Wellington are you most proud of?
I’ve been campaigning hard to stop Steven Joyce (‘Colossus of Roads’) destroying communities with uneconomic motorways, and I’m delighted that WCC are supportive of our smart alternatives like light rail.
- What role do you think central government should play in local roading/public transport issues?
An important one, but by taking a motorway-centric approach NZ is increasing car and oil dependence. The Greens would invest in light rail, better buses, and walking and cycling …
- How can we make Wellington more environmentally friendly?
Prioritise public transport like light rail, create more green spaces, introduce smart electricity meters, take better care of our rivers and harbour, introduce more community gardens, insulate more houses!
- What will you do to ensure diverse representation on government issues?
Diversity is incorporated into our party list, so the best way to ensure diverse representation is to Party Vote Green! We believe strongly in community consultation into the governmental process.
- What’s your personal history of living in Wellington?
I moved here in 2000 to study and aside from a brief spell in Auckland and Australia I’ve been here ever since. Love this city!
- What policy of your party do you think will have the most impact on Wellington?
We’ll continue to lobby hard for light rail to the airport. This will transform our city. It will make our streets safer for pedestrians, lower commute times, and reduce emissions.
- Do you genuinely believe you have a chance at winning the seat you’re contesting, or is this more of a party campaign?
The Greens just want your party vote in Ōhariu. More party votes will see more Green MPs and more good green policy wins.