Kapiti Politics: Bernard Long, Green Party candidate for the Otaki electorate.
Bernard Long, Green Party candidate for the Otaki electorate says he is standing as the Green candidate because he is concerned about climate justice and poverty.
"My candidacy is supported by my ongoing practical social work and activism in relation to French Nuclear Testing, the Vietnam War, the 1981 Springbok Tour and more recently in Extinction Rebellion," says Bernard.
"We need a strong Green presence in government to ensure we deal with Climate Action on a crisis footing. The effort we have mounted against Covid19 demonstrates this is possible. Zero carbon by 2050 is a start but way too late. With 10/12 Green MPs in government we can move faster. I have recent experiences as an activist on climate action and as a Budget Service financial mentor in relation to wealth inequality. Social justice is a particular passion of mine ever since I can remember."
Bernard says in 2017, while touring New Zealand for a year on motorcycles, he and partner Lynne saw up close the horrifying degradation of our previously healthy nature.
"I am a strong proponent of a Citizens Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice, our Poverty Action Plan and a Guaranteed Minimum Income. We can face the big unthinkable decisions we need to around public transport, housing, social justice, environmental protection and endless consumption."
He says voters may be anxious about the climate crisis and wealth inequality but are immobilised through fear, apathy or self interest.
"'Party Vote Green' is my suggestion and if a voter is having difficulty with that call I suggest they just ask their children or grandchildren what they think about climate justice and poverty. The interests of the present generation do not automatically come first."
Bernard says he has been involved in community work all of his life and he and Lynne were volunteers in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea for two years in 1999 and 2000.
"I was a member of Levin Rotary for 10 years and a Financial Mentor with the Levin Budget Service. I am Institute of Directors trained and held a number of Board positions in the past. I am currently on the Levin Budget Services Board. My experience as a business owner and Authorised Financial Adviser means that business and economics are familiar to me."
Bernard has been married to Lynne for 49 years and they have two daughters and five grandchildren.
Bernard says the Kapiti and Horowhenua regions are experiencing continued population growth and our response to this growth needs to factor in our climate emission targets – housing, transport, and nature all require a strong Green focus to ensure the decisions being made will meet our needs now and well into the future.
"I am standing as the face of the Green Party locally to ask you to Party Vote Green – that will ensure we have a stronger Green voice in Government and can go further and faster with the issues that are so important to us all."