Allowing the use of concrete made from hemp would solve part of the housing problem and help create jobs in Northland, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party candidate Maki Herbert said.
Just the hemp seed is legal at the moment but if the rest of the plant can be used, she says blocks of concrete can be made from hemp, which is fire retardant, warm in winter, cool in summer, safe, healthy and affordable.
Herbert is one of six candidates contesting the Te Tai Tokerau seat in this month's general election.
To hear the Hits host Charmaine Soljak's interview click here
Instead of doing what Te Tai Tokerau has been doing thus far on job creation, which she said was "bugger all", it should let factories accept hemp and break it down into different products.
"Hemp only takes 120 days to harvest. It will be one part of the housing solution.
We've got so much land out there that whanau can grow into hemp and help provide an income and sources of materials to build a home with."
Post-Covid, she said the focus should be on what Northlanders could contribute to their own little communities.
"We become those cottage industries to do barter and trade, as well as the dollar. I think where Maoridom comes from is that we rather barter because we all have different skills— fisherman, hunter, gardener, forestry— anything really.
"We've got [it] all there. We just need to tap into it. It just takes people with ideas and passion to put it on paper and get backing."
There's more to Aotearoa than just Auckland and that's why she thinks moving the port
to Northport would bring jobs and help take the load off the main cities.
Auckland Council and things that haven't worked out with the amalgamation of
councils in the City of Sails should serve as a lesson to Northland.
"I think each region should have their own councils as it is now because when you amalgamate in some instances, those little corners of the regions still get missed out."
Herbert is questioning why should Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) be introduced into New Zealand's environment when they may cause concern down the track.
More wrap-around services, she said, were needed to treat meth addictions in Te Tai Tokerau.
"If we legalise cannabis, we let go of half a billion dollars a year in prohibition. That money could easily go into helping fund resourcing of addiction and rehab centres."
Her grandmother, whom Herbert looked after for nearly five years
had been the biggest influence in her life.
"When she developed Parkinson's, I found out about medicinal cannabis and so we gave her
muffins every day made from cannabis butter and that stopped her tremors and really did give her a quality of life."