Earlier this year, I started a website called Women in NZ Politics. I sent out an unofficial message seeking expressions of interest. The response was fantastic, so I pursued it. I developed a questionnaire that focused mostly on womens issues then sent it out to pretty much all women candidates (well, those I was able to locate email addresses for) explaining what the site was about and inviting their contributions. Again, many replied stating they were willing to participate. I received a few responses, and later sent out a reminder. Some who’d said they’d participate didn’t return their questionnaires while others replied explaining why they were unable to. I completely appreciate that election year is a busy time and that there are other more pressing items on the agenda, so I was absolutely humbled by those who took the time to complete the questionnaire and share their views. They gave me a completely new level of respect for their work and values by demonstrating that they were both openly and actively willing to awhi other women in their pursuits.
I have decided to keep the site going and prepare for next election, but am just considering different ideas about how to keep it interesting to attract more contributions. Any ideas are welcome!
But I’d just like to say a special thanks to the following contributors, for taking the time to complete the questionnaire and being so open with their responses, which were received with much respect:
- Tracey Martin (NZ First, MP)
- Holly Walker (ex-Green MP)
- Arena Williams (Labour, Hunua Candidate)
- Catherine Delahunty (Green, MP)
- Maryan Street (ex-Labour MP)
- Hon Tariana Turia (ex-Maori Party MP)
- Hon Paula Bennet (National, MP)