Hawke's Bay Power Consumers' Trust candidate profile - Liz Remmerswaal
I grew up on the Hughes family orchard in Longlands, before leaving to study, work and travel, eventually returning 'home' in my early 30s to raise our family of four in Havelock North.
Currently I live with my husband Ton in Haumoana next to a wild and stony beach by the mouth of the Tukituki River.
Prior to serving on the Hawke's Bay Regional Council for six years, I worked in journalism for Radio New Zealand, community newspapers and as a co-ordinator for various community groups.
I now do freelance PR work and run a bed and breakfast.
I have a long history as an environmental activist with Cape Kidnappers Protection Society and Baywatch Environment group.
I do a lot of voluntary work, now with the peace movement, and am the new national co-ordinator for World Beyond War, a global network.
I am standing because I strongly believe in 'good governance' (as defined by the NZ Institute of Directors), and one of the hallmarks of this is diversity around the board table.
This stimulates great discussion and wise decision making, and avoids 'group think', when everyone is encouraged to agree, which is dangerous.
I experienced this first hand while on the Hawke's Bay Regional Council and found myself mostly alone in questioning the merits of the proposed Ruataniwha dam, which turned out to be an expensive waste of time, money and energy, and polarised the community.
What I have to offer is my experience, and my vision for Hawke's Bay.
I support Unison's desire to be a world-class energy company by, for example, enabling consumers to use electric vehicles more easily in the Bay.
This enhances community wellbeing by tackling climate change and reduces our environmental footprint.
I also support advances in the use of solar technology in the region.
Re using profits for public good projects, this should be the consumers' choice, via public consultation, which is allowable under the trust deed.
I oppose privatising Unison, as that would mean no more cheques for consumers and loss of control.
Many thanks for this opportunity.