The Green Party has gone back to the future in selecting party stalwart and anti-racism educator, Moea Armstrong, as its candidate for Whangārei in the September general election.
Armstrong has been active in the Greens for 20 years, including four years as the party's national female co-convenor, and stood for the party in Whangārei in the 2005 general election, where she received 1240 votes and the party 1648 votes. In the 2017 general election the Greens received 2342 party votes in Whangārei and the party wants to improve this further.
"I'm keen to campaign for the party vote in this crucial election. The outcome will determine whether we carry on with business as usual or make the bold change we need to clean up our environment and create fairer communities in the post-Covid world,'' Armstrong said.
''Business as usual was the problem, so let's not go back there – we can do so much better for people and the planet. It is essential that we have a much larger Green presence in government, and that can only happen with a greater Green share of the party vote.''
She said of the two votes people have this election, their party vote determines the final shape of the next Government.
''With more Green MPs in government, we can push for faster action on environmental recovery and social justice. Four decades of asset sales, profiteering and undermining the public service have created havoc in many people's lives, and the social safety net is full of holes. We need to directly support those without jobs and on low and precarious incomes, to prevent further damage and turbo-charge the collective recovery post-Covid,'' she said.
"We are at a positive turning point with the Waitangi Tribunal's acknowledgment of the primacy of the Māori text of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the determination of Ngāpuhi to hold to that truth. The Greens have recognised this for more than 20 years, and are committed to working towards mutually agreed decision-making processes between the Treaty parties.''
Armstrong said she strongly supports the Vote Yes campaign for the cannabis referendum being held at the same time as the election. Prohibition has always been an ineffective and dangerous option, whether for alcohol or cannabis, she believed.
She said the legislation, which has cross-party support, will reduce harm by proactively managing the health risks openly, rather than ignoring them.
Armstrong has managed the Whangārei Citizens Advice Bureau for 10 years.