November 14, 2011
Candidates: Russel Norman for the Greens in Rongotai
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?
Dr Russel Norman, Rongotai candidate, Greens Co-leader:
100,000 new jobs in a clean green economy, 100,000 children freed from poverty, and clean rivers – our people and our country matter.
- You have 30 seconds to convince someone to come to Wellington. What’s your pitch?
Wellington is lively, urban, fun, compact, creative, political, colourful, and friendly – nestled amongst hills, rimmed by beautiful beaches and the wild south coast, a place to enjoy and call home.
- Where do you stand on the issue of opening up government data?
The Greens have challenged the degree of secrecy around data that should be in the public domain. Accountability means freely available information.
- Describe your bicycle, or your favourite bus route?
Avanti Blade. I enjoy walking and cycling over the hill from Hataitai and round the harbour to Parliament. Favourite bus route would be heading home to Hataitai.
- When did you last use the library, a community centre, or a council-run sports facility?
We borrowed DVDs from the local library last month, and I’m regularly involved in public meetings held in community centre venues – essential community space for community activities and activism.
- Would you welcome a central government driven “super-city” amalgamation of local authorities?
I want to protect local democracy and identity, and amalgamation can threaten both.
- What city inspires your vision for Wellington? How?
A city that’s easy to get around and is pedestrian-friendly with a light rail system, as an attractive location to do business, work, study, raise a family and enjoy …
- Is the concept of democratic representation important to you? How so?
I urge everyone to vote to keep MMP. Whatever your colours, MMP is good for democracy – MMP means more diversity, more women, more young people, and every vote counts everywhere.
- What achievement for Wellington are you most proud of?
Warming Wellington homes as we convinced the government to rapidly scale up our home insulation programme – this helps keep everyone warmer, healthier, lowers household energy bills, and helps our environment.
- What role do you think central government should play in local roading/public transport issues?
Central government must ensure local councils can adequately protect household budgets from escalating oil prices and simultaneously rapidly reduce transport emissions. Better funding of real public transport solutions is essential.
- How can we make Wellington more environmentally friendly?
Stop the flyover! Motorway madness means a flyover monstrosity to destroy Wellington’s compact urban character. There are much smarter transport solutions to save money, time, health – and our environment.
- What will you do to ensure diverse representation on government issues?
I will continue to push for open and diverse consultation in developing policy, reasonable consultation timeframes, adequate time for select committees to read submissions, and for parliament to consider legislation.
- What’s your personal history of living in Wellington?
Wellington’s been home for a decade, Hataitai for six years with Katya, and now our son Tadgh. I enjoy Wellington’s contrasts, from urban political life to south coast snorkelling.
- What policy of your party do you think will have the most impact on Wellington?
Setting a clean green economic direction that makes sense for this century’s challenges, generating real jobs with decent rates, which means a prosperous caring country and quality public service.
- Do you genuinely believe you have a chance at winning the seat you’re contesting, or is this more of a party campaign?
We’re very focussed on the party vote because that’s how we get more great Green MPs.