Earlier this year the Standard’s authors offered candidates for the upcoming Labour Party internal elections the chance to guest post about why they’re running. We’re reposting them now ahead of tomorrow’s vote.
Ko Tane Phillips taku ingoa.
Post-settlement, Māori and their iwi are becoming a major influence on New Zealand’s future. Not just in terms of our culture, but our economic development, and our environment.
This is an exciting time for Māoridom and for all of New Zealand. And it’s a time that Labour, as the next government, needs to be involved in.
But to be a part of this important change Labour needs good relationships with Māori, and a strong and thoughtful Māori voice within our own party.
Together with our hard-working Māori MPs and Labour members I’ve been helping provide that voice as the Te Kaunihera Māori policy rep. Now, with Nanaia standing down, I’m seeking the opportunity to give Māori voice in Labour as Māori Vice President (and I know I have big shoes to fill).
I’m 53 years old and have been married to my wonderful wife Wendy for 30 years. We’ve got three beautiful children and four great-looking mokos. There’s nothing like being a grandparent to give you a deep appreciation of the future and of the path that has led to the present. Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua.
My life with Labour started when I was a moko myself – at our dinner table we grew up talking about politics and unionism. My whanau and I have been part of many Labour campaigns and I’ve long been a member and an activist. Right now I’m Chairman of Waiariki LEC as well as policy rep for TKM.
I am a Union Secretary of the PPWU which is based in Kawerau and covers production workers at the mills there. I’ve been a union member for over 30 years and have held positions inside the movement both within my Union and globally in Workers Councils. Together with my time on Labour’s Policy Council this has given me a deep understanding of governance and how important it is to connect the decisions we make to what is needed and happening at the flaxroots.
The great passions of my life are my whanau, workers’ rights and the advancement of Māori. The great challenges we face as a nation, like housing, the future of work, and climate change and the protection of our awa, will be so much less difficult to address if we work together as Labour, as workers, and as Māori.
I have great hope for our future with a Labour-led government, and I want to be a part of building the better Aotearoa that we all deserve.
Ma whero ma pango ka oti ai te mahi.