Those who support the Labour Party often do so because they want to create a better New Zealand, and a better world.
We who fall into this category want a New Zealand where: our children have a good education; we feel warm and secure in our homes, and; opportunities for work and education are open to all. We want a New Zealand: where a trip to hospital doesn’t require a chequebook; where all people are included; where the elderly are afforded decent care. And we want a New Zealand that strives for social justice.
I think Dunedin North is closer to some of these ideals than other parts of New Zealand. We value education. We don’t like gratuitous displays of wealth. Our streets are safer than those of many other cities, and we have a community that steps up when the government fails in its responsibilities to the elderly. Perhaps it is not surprising that we have a proud history of Labour representation in this electorate.
I fell in love with Dunedin when I first moved here in 1991 as a student. I have spent most of my adult life here. My wife and I chose to settle, and to start our family here. Dunedin is the place I am proud to call home.
I see the best side of our student population as Head of Selwyn College. My students are smart, vibrant and endlessly optimistic. Their interest in learning, and in each other, fills me with hope for a better tomorrow.
In recent years, I have served on the Otago Community Trust. As a Trustee and Deputy Chair I have the opportunity to see us at our very best. Dunedin’s volunteers take our donations and make them stretch further than we dream possible. Many of you who support Labour are these volunteers. Active in areas ranging from junior sports coaching, to women’s refuge, to theatre groups, to the arts festival, to heritage preservation groups, to education and more.
Dunedin has strong social capital and a community that cares. I think New Zealand would be a better place if it was a wee bit more like Dunedin.