Danna Glendining describes herself as "a long time activist".
She's been involved with the Green Party for 29 years, and even before that, the ethos of the Values Party drew her away from the more traditional National-voting rural background of her past.
As an experienced campaigner and long-serving Green member, Glendining is happy to be standing for the Greens in the Taupō electorate, saying her primary role is to boost the Greens' party vote. She is not on the Greens' party list.
Her activism started when she was living in an isolated area of Hawke's Bay and began lobbying for things like a better school bus and telephone service. In the mid-1980s she was living in rural Wairarapa and commuting to Wellington weekly for work in what was then the Department of Social Welfare as well as promoting equal opportunities for women in the public service. Then the Alliance was formed.
"I joined the Alliance, and then in the Alliance you had to join one of the constitution parties, so I joined the Green Party and I was co-convenor of the Greens at one stage. I also worked as Jim Anderton's PA for about a year and at one other stage I went to work for [Greens co-leader] Rod Donald and for about four years I was the office manager of the Greens in Parliament. I also stood in Wellington Central [electorate] for the Alliance and because of those things I had quite a high profile."
Glendining says what appealed to her about the Greens, and still does, was not only its environmentalism, but its social justice values. She's disappointed that the coalition government has failed to so far live up to its promises to lift people out of poverty.
"We should not have beggars in the street in New Zealand. We have nine areas of serious deprivation [in the Taupō electorate]. You just have to drive about and you can see it. We shouldn't have that here.
"In terms of getting families out of poverty, they clearly haven't got enough money to buy the things they need if you look at the need for the foodbanks and housing and children going to school without shoes - in a fair society, I think that's appalling.
"I think that as a society, people that are well off should be prepared to cough up a bit more to help those who are not, because it's advantageous to all of us to have a fairer society."
She is concerned about racial injustice, saying it's an important issue in a place like Taupō. Other sorts of injustices also rankle. Different treatment for people needing medical help because of an accident, which is covered by ACC, and people who have an illness is one. Different benefit levels for people on Jobseeker support versus those who have lost their job as a result of Covid-19 is another.
Glendining plans to vote yes in both referendums. She says the cannabis one is "to some extent" a race issue.
"So many young people, mostly Māori, end up with convictions that impede their progress all through life."
She believes the End of Choice legislation has sufficient protection and people should have the right to die if they meet the provisions of the bill.