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Rachel who?

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, July 1st, 2014 - 69 comments
Categories: election 2014, elections, labour - Tags:

Head and shoulders blue jacket

A guest post from Rachel Jones, who is number 25 of Labour’s list as well as the Labour candidate for the Tauranga seat.

Last Monday was a bit surreal. I was in a shop when I heard Duncan Garner asking on the radio “Who is Rachel Jones?” It’s a question many on the left were probably asking that day after my name appeared at number 25 on Labour’s list.

I am not a long-term party activist. I am not a political junkie. I am not a career politician.

I am an ordinary New Zealander who noticed that this country is changing alarmingly quickly for the worse. I used to sit on the couch and complain about things. Then a good friend (Cliff Allen, now Labour’s candidate for Hamilton East) challenged me to stop moaning and get involved with changing the government. So I did.

Always a left voter, I joined the Labour Party just over two years ago. It was the time when the draft policy platform was circulating and I saw my own values reflected in this document – freedom, opportunity, solidarity, equality and sustainability.

I never imagined I would become a candidate. I thought I would help behind the scenes, using my expertise from two PhDs and small business to help the party improve its structure and communications. But I had joined when the party was at a low ebb, when it needed people to step up and organize.

Between commutes to my research job in Finland, I started learning about how the Labour Party and campaigning worked. I went to every meeting and function I could, including campaign college. There, I was in the campaign managers’ stream when a woman came out of the candidates’ room, muttering about how typical it was that there were few women candidates. She said she thought it was because men look at a job and think “I can do 20% of that really well and I’ll learn the rest when I get the position,” whereas women look at a job and think “I can do 80% of that really well but not the rest so I won’t apply.” That really resonated with me.

So, after speaking to party members in my region, I put my hand up to be a candidate.

I had two goals. My first goal was to change the government. To do that I believed I had to make a difference to the Labour Party in the regions. I won a contested selection in Tauranga, a city that has not had a Labour list MP for over 10 years. My job was to revive the organization in Tauranga and the wider region and give those party stalwarts who had struggled along in isolation a sense of being part of a movement again. We are in the process of rebuilding the Bay of Plenty region; I hope we have done enough to significantly contribute to a change of government.

My second goal was to become an MP and use the skills acquired with my taxpayer-funded education to make positive changes in this country. It was a long-term goal, and I am humbled that it might happen much more quickly than I thought possible. I know I have leap-frogged over other talented people who have served their dues.

I hope I can earn their respect. I am a team player, I am not here for the edification of my own ego, I am not someone who seeks the limelight. I simply want to give back to our country and do it with integrity.

I want to be part of a government that restores to ordinary people the rights that have been eroded under the present government and recreate the kind of New Zealand that we all envisage – a New Zealand that values and ensures the right to work, the right to safe housing, the right to universal health care, and the right to a comprehensive social security net when needed. I want to make sure that our government is looking after the interests of the 90% of New Zealanders who earn below $72,000.

And I especially want to do that in Tauranga, where the voices of the left have gone unrepresented for too long.

Rachel Jones

rachel.jones@labour.org.nz

69 comments on “Rachel who?”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    OAB’s friendly advice to all new politicians: please read The Art of War.

    Good on you for putting your hand up Ms. Jones.

  2. dimebag russell 2

    nice to see a real person in Tauranga instead of the plastic facsimiles the tories keep putting up.

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    Thanks for the article. I am glad you will be there to fight for Labour and its principles.

    If Bridges is standing against you, make him fight for every vote and vanquish the arrogant git.

    How many households are in Tauranga and how many do you expect to personally door knock? Have you started yet? How many volunteers do you have to help you?

    Best wishes and Cheers!

    • Rachel Jones 3.1

      Thanks. We have a small but dedicated team here, trying to make contact with all 17,000 households. For the last few months we have mostly been phone calling but we have also been door knocking. We also plan to do lots of street corner meetings – something a bit different for Tauranga – that will hopefully allow us to reach more people. We want Simon to get nervous!

      • Clemgeopin 3.1.1

        Yes, it is hard to reach all 17,000 households. So many households, so little time!

        Street corner meetings are very effective, even if the crowd that gathers may be small, because people moving about do take notice of you and many will appreciate the hard work that goes into campaigning. I remember Jim Anderton doing that one year even in small towns. Do take a collection or have volunteers taking coin donations as part of the meeting to give people a sense of belonging and giving support.

      • Clemgeopin 3.1.2

        This part of an article I read today about Christchurch may be quite beneficial to you:

        “This month’s Fairfax Ipsos poll put Labour’s nationwide party vote at just 23.2 per cent (party sources have internal polling at 31 per cent). But Canterbury was the leading region for Labour, at 28 per cent, which could imply that a collapsed party vote is turning around.

        “I hear that we’re doing OK and our vote’s creeping up in Christchurch,” is all Tony Milne will say about the polling.

        Milne is Labour’s choice for Christchurch Central but in 2010, when he was campaign manager for Jim Anderton’s mayoral bid, he learnt the hard way that no campaign is over until it’s over. A Press poll put Anderton far ahead of Bob Parker before the first Canterbury earthquake hit. Anything can happen in three months.

        Milne has a reputation as a loyal party man and an adept organiser. He lost twice in the unwinnable seat of Rakaia but says proudly that “the Ashburton Guardian said I had run the best Labour campaign there in 20 years”. He was also a volunteer for Barack Obama in Pennsylvania in 2008.

        Monday was the day Milne’s campaign to win Christchurch Central became full-time. He took leave from his job as national manager of public health at the Problem Gambling Foundation the previous Friday, but he had already canvassed 8000 people in the electorate.

        “You have to earn it,” he says. “You have to be seen as someone who fights for the area. That’s the biggest piece of feedback I’ve had while doorknocking. They feel like they haven’t had a voice for the past three years.”

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10210924/Chch-political-landscape-set-for-shakeup

  4. karol 4

    Very good post.

    This:

    I want to be part of a government that restores to ordinary people the rights that have been eroded under the present government and recreate the kind of New Zealand that we all envisage – a New Zealand that values and ensures the right to work, the right to safe housing, the right to universal health care, and the right to a comprehensive social security net when needed.

    So pleased to see the “comprehensive social security” included.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      +1

      I saw my own values reflected in this document – freedom, opportunity, solidarity, equality and sustainability.

      The moral law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow [them] regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

  5. Shrubbery 5

    The only thing that worries me about your post is that having completed a PhD you were insane enough to do a second one!
    Otherwise, sounds good.

  6. alwyn 6

    You have obviously spent a great deal of time in the Academic world. Two PhDs would take at least 5 years I imagine.
    Have you ever had a job in a business? You mention some experience in a small business but can you tell us what it was and what did it do?

    • Rachel Jones 6.1

      Yes – far too long in the academic world! But also some time in the “real” world. I had a painful few years as a teacher in a corporate tertiary provider in Australia. I also spent five years as a small business owner between PhDs.

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        Thank you for replying.
        Polticians who have no experience outside the Academic arena make me nervous.

        • Tracey 6.1.1.1

          you mean like career bureaucrats, with no real world experience?

        • dimebag russell 6.1.1.2

          @alwyn.
          why?
          speak up.

        • Yeah, I really mistrust academics. What do they even need all that specialised knowledge for, anyway?

          • alwyn 6.1.1.3.1

            Oh dear! If you feel that way I am afraid we will have to put it down to a deep-seated inferiority complex. Did you struggle at school?

        • KJT 6.1.1.4

          Politicians who have no experience outside of academic areas also make me nervous.
          But, not as nervous as politicians, who have had no experience of anything, but, being an over entitled example, of the Peter principle at work.

          Who have an overinflated view of their own abilities, after being paid way beyound their competence level, due to ‘brown nosing’, ‘toeing the line’ and working the old boy network, as a corporate cogwheel.

          • Clemgeopin 6.1.1.4.1

            A whole lot of these RWN jobs in National inherit their wealth, land, property and money from their parents and grandparents and go about telling the common struggling people how it is all about ‘personal responsibility’, ‘hard work’, ‘government should be hands off and limited’, ‘free market bonanza will trickle down your legs’ and such hypocritical two faced crap. The strangest enigma to me is that 50% of the voters seem to believe these capitalist crooks and fall for their BS.

          • alwyn 6.1.1.4.2

            That sounds like a description of David Cunliffe.
            I’m sure you don’t mean to be disparaging about him so I’ll ignore it.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.5

          Polticians who have no experience outside the Academic arena make me nervous.

          Doesn’t make me as nervous as politician who’s spent all their time in the corporate banking world (aka, Planet Key).

        • millsy 6.1.1.6

          Pol Pot also thought academic made him nervous…

          • alwyn 6.1.1.6.1

            Possibly. On the other hand the only New Zealand politician who ever had anything nice to say about him would appear to have been Keith Locke.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      My personal response to this feeble false narrative is this:

      Go get fucked, Alwyn.

      Business “values” as expressed by the National Party represent neither good business nor value. In New Zealand, in the real world, the evidence is in: businesses do better under Labour led governments, and your dimwit partisan bias is showing.

      • alwyn 6.2.1

        Crawl back under your rock.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.1

          Not a radioactive glowing rock, nor yet a maggot-infested slimy rock, but a warm dry grounded rock, an anonymous rock, and that means comfort.

      • karol 6.2.2

        Agree. There’s plenty of jobs in the public sector that provide valuable experience for politicians – in health and education, for instance, workers get direct experience in interacting with and providing services for, a wide range of people and communities.

        The usual right wing false narrative is that business is “the real world” and every other sort of job is out of touch with “reality”.

        • Tracey 6.2.2.1

          and they then ignore their own non real world people…

          ACT has a philosopher
          minister of finance was a career bureaucrat

          • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.2.1.1

            ouch

            😆

          • dimebag russell 6.2.2.1.2

            @tracey
            he aint a philosophers arsehole.’
            the stuff that he peddles is not philosophy.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.2.1.2.1

              Pedant. 😉

            • Clemgeopin 6.2.2.1.2.2

              “he aint a philosophers arsehole.”

              Do they exist?though I have heard of the original ancient lapis philosophorum, connected with base stuff! Happy googling!

          • Nakiman 6.2.2.1.3

            No great surprise there Tracey all the minor parties are useless.

            • McFlock 6.2.2.1.3.1

              National might be a lightweight party, but they’re not a minor party.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.2.1.3.2

              ..apart from ACT, who perform the ‘useful’ rôle of witless catspaw. They’re useful.

              Oh, no, wait, this just in: it turns out that the evidence is in: the National Party is the largest, most useless minority that ever built two bridges in the same place.

          • alwyn 6.2.2.1.4

            Very good Tracey. Is the philosopher a candidate or the Party President by the way. I haven’t really kept up with that organisation since Richard Prebble retired.

            English was at Treasury, as you say. He didn’t just stay at university did he? Got his first class honours and then went out and got a job. I, at least, have never considered public servants, with the possible exception of the staff of Women’s Affairs, as being “non real world people”. I was one myself once.
            I can’t be held responsible if that is your opinion though, can I?

        • alwyn 6.2.2.2

          Yes, of course. On the other hand Rachel never made any mention of having been a Public Servant and did say she had worked for a small business so I asked her about that.
          You did note that I said I was nervous of politicians who had never been anything other than an academic and that is really only people who never leave the quiet comfort of a University.

  7. Chooky 7

    Thanks Rachel Jones ….and very good Luck!…you would make a good MP

  8. feijoa 8

    We have only had one local councillor ever come up our long zigzag path to meet us
    We still vote for her, as we were impressed she made the effort.
    -Mind you, it helps that she’s green…

  9. ianmac 9

    Having a fresh face will be great for Labour and for NZ. Good LuckRachel.

    • and dont forget once was a member of the Cambridge Branch NZLP.The most active branch ever in a Tory stronghold. We have been in the forefront in flying the Labour Flag for 50 years .
      Racheal was the latest in a long list of top members whom have been in our small branch
      Im hoping she wins Tauranga she certainly would be a lot.lot beter than the present incompetent Tory.

  10. Brian 10

    As one of the 90% I wish you the very best. Don’t get lost amongst it.

  11. philj 11

    xox
    More informed MP s are required to lift the quality of our demokary, which is struggling under the present gang of corporate directed government. Kia kaha. Don’t bow to the righties in the party. Good luck.

  12. fisiani 12

    2 PhD’s and still supports Labour. Surely a mistake. How someone bright could stand for or vote Labour is a mystery that could generate a PhD. Has she not realised that Labour are platitudes and not practical. Also at number 25 she is just spending 3 months of her life as electoral fodder. On current polling number 17 would be lucky because 8 in winnable seats are not on the list. She is effectively number 33. She has as much chance as Trev has of cloning a moa.

    • dimebag russell 12.1

      thas okay fishyanis. you gonna evolve back into a slug shortly!

    • mickysavage 12.2

      Fisi you would be amazed at the intellectual firepower there is amongst Labour’s candidates and activists. And I do not know what current polling you are looking at but I am happy to bet with you that Rachel will be in Parliament after September 20.

      • Rodel 12.2.1

        F wouldn’t understand the word ‘intellect’ or ‘intellectual’ judging by his/her/its posts. Use little words.

    • Murray Olsen 12.3

      The real mystery is how someone reasonably human could ever vote NAct. No mystery why you do though, fizzy.
      Most of my close friends have PhDs these days, and none of them are right wingers. The right wing PhDs that I know all seem to have fairly debilitating psychological problems. I know correlation is not causation, but you gotta wonder.

      • vto 12.3.1

        now that is an interesting thing mr olsen…..

        people with big long thinking brains that consider in detail all of the possible outcomes ….

        that come to the same same conclusion

    • joe90 12.4

      Nactional – the party where a candidate who left school with no qualifications, had a tilt at tertiary with nothing to show for it and the only thing resembling a real job in his CV a sinecure as an electorate office toe sucker, is parachuted into safe a seat.
      /

    • Clemgeopin 12.6

      The author in the following interesting article about philosophy and socialism says :

      “I should like to advance the thesis that socialism and philosophy really are in a special relation­ship for there can he no realization of Philosophy without the reali­zation of socialism, nor can socialism be achieved without the help of philosophy. This relationship between philosophy and socialism has been partly anticipated by many philosophers and socialists and it was clearly expressed in the works of Marx and Engels.” (Both of whom were learned philosophers who have great influence on the ENTIRE world!)

      http://thecommune.co.uk/ideas/philosophy-and-socialism-by-gajo-petrovic/

      In this list you will find many well known philosophers with Socialist credentials:

      For list of ancient, medieval, early modern and modern, click the link below:
      {fisi as you read their names, google just a few and don’t forget to salute them in your mind)
      Here is the link:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_philosophers

    • Well fisiani
      You must be completely ignorant of the Labour Party history .
      Labour has always had a large membership of University people and thinkers . The Fabians were great founders of Democratic Socialism . The great Labour desire has always been to see that our children recieved good educations regardless of wealth . Just the opposite to Tories whe have always believed that higher education is only for the rich. Another bout of this National government would see our once proud education system returned to the priviledged .

    • KJT 12.8

      Not only is breeding an extinct species from DNA scientifically possible, but it has already occurred.

      Note the constant resurrection of parrotus rightwingnutus.

      The possibility of re-introducing moa, or other extinct species where we have a DNA record, is only a matter of time.

      • Clemgeopin 12.8.1

        “Not only is breeding an extinct species from DNA scientifically possible, but it has already occurred.”

        When? That is news to me. Do you have a link please?

        • McFlock 12.8.1.1

          here’s one.

          Early days yet, but plausible.

          Especially when we consider that there were people in the world who met the first human to pilot an airplane and the first human to walk on the moon.
          On the down side, most of the people who met both have probably died since the most recent moon-walk (MJ notwithstanding 🙂 ).

          • Clemgeopin 12.8.1.1.1

            Thanks for the link.
            I found this extract from that link very interesting:

            The extinct frog in question is the Rheobatrachus silus, one of only two species of gastric-brooding frogs, or Platypus frogs, native to Queensland, Australia. Both species became extinct in the mid-1980s and were unique amongst frog species for the way in which they incubated their offspring. After the eggs were fertilized by the male, the female would then swallow the eggs until they hatched. The tadpoles would then develop in the female’s stomach for at least six weeks – during which time the female would not eat – before being regurgitated and raised in shallow water.

            With the aim of bringing the frog back from extinction, the Lazarus Project team took fresh donor eggs from the Great Barred Frog, another Australian ground-swelling frog that is distantly related to the gastric-brooding frog. The scientists inactivated the egg nuclei from the donor eggs and replaced them with dead nuclei from the extinct frog in a technique known as somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), which was the basis for the cloning of Dolly the sheep and, more recently, 581 clones from one “donor” mouse.

            Although none of the embryos survived longer than a few days, the work is encouraging for others looking to clone a variety of currently-extinct animals, such as the woolly mammoth, dodo, Cuban red macaw and New Zealand’s giant moa.

            “We are watching Lazarus arise from the dead, step by exciting step,” says the leader of the Lazarus Project team, Professor Mike Archer, of the University of New South Wales, Sydney. “We’ve reactivated dead cells into living ones and revived the extinct frog’s genome in the process. Now we have fresh cryo-preserved cells of the extinct frog to use in future cloning experiments.

            “We’re increasingly confident that the hurdles ahead are technological and not biological and that we will succeed. Importantly, we’ve demonstrated already the great promise this technology has as a conservation tool when hundreds of the world’s amphibian species are in catastrophic decline.”

            Professor Archer spoke last week at the TEDx DeExtinction event in Washington, D.C., where he talked publicly about the Lazarus Project for the first time, as well as his ongoing interest in cloning the extinct Tasmanian tiger.

      • McFlock 12.8.2

        If we can farm alpaca…

        I wonder what they’d taste like? And could we get one at KFC? 🙂

  13. vto 13

    With your looks from the front page you should be a shoe-in, but what about the grunt? Have you got the grunt? And the hardness to take it to the braindead? expect the worst sister, get into it …

  14. dan1 14

    Go Rachel. Your background experience and potential for NZ’s future is great.
    I am so sorry that Janette Walker, the Kaikoura Labour candidate is not with you. NZ needs strong women and strong rural representatives. The list process has major weakneesses. Janette is way ahead of many of the tame NACT rural representatives.

  15. Rosie 15

    Excellent post Rachel! Lots of good points you make but this stood out:

    .”….And I especially want to do that in Tauranga, where the voices of the left have gone unrepresented for too long.”

    Ain’t that the truth! Your goal of re energising the Left in Tauranga is welcome news. Your mention of street corner meetings is novel too, for Tauranga. My memories of living there was that it was conservative and ORDINARY in the extreme. Your street corner meetings will shake things up and get people talking. Just what Tauranga needs!

    I have family there who are Nat voters but are so furious with Simon Bridges that they will not give him their vote this election. I have another family member, a committed non voter who is very hostile to politics, that I’ve managed to convince to come out and vote. I’m sure they’re not the only ones in your electorate who feel so disillusioned with the path the country is on.

    May this be a sign that the blue tide is on it’s way out and the red tide is on it’s way in – a tough call in a place such as Tauranga but it sounds like you’re the one to try and make it happen.

    Good luck and go hard!

  16. dimebag russell 16

    Rachel who?
    Rachel Jones, the next member of parliament for Tauranga.
    good luck Rachel.
    give them hell.
    you have already got alwyns t*ts in knot and she is squirming.
    she never did say whether she was resident in Tauranga either.
    funny that.

    • alwyn 16.1

      Yeah, well you never were very smart were you.

      I am not resident in Tauranga, but I doubt that many of the people who comment here are either.
      On the other hand I’m not female so your suppositions aren’t too accurate.
      I presume that you are a drug dealer, given your choice of pseudonym.
      $10 dollars worth of weed are you?

  17. dimebag russell 17

    no thats just a nom de guerre to piss the tories off.
    especially the ones with tight underpants.
    and it looks like you really have your manboobs in a tangle.
    so what do you have against RJ if you dont live in Tauranga.
    why are you here.
    why are you anywhere?

    • alwyn 17.1

      I have absolutely nothing against her.
      Please explain where you get any evidence to support that claim?
      After all, all I did was ask her a question, thank her for the reply and then make a general comment about some politician’s backgrounds which, based on her reply, did not apply to her.

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