‘It’s about the bigger picture’

Guy Hunt. Photo supplied

Working full time and having a three-month-old daughter would be enough to keep most people fairly busy.

Throw in a bit of General Election campaigning for a highly contested electorate and you start to wonder how Guy Hunt is still functioning as a normal person.

If that wasn’t enough, he also plays gold, competes in IronMan triathlons and brews his own beer.

Hunt is standing for the Green Party in the Pakuranga electorate — a safe National seat that’s been comfortably held by Maurice Williamson since 1987 — until now.

Williamson announced last year that he would not stand for re-election in the 2017 General Election, instead accepting a diplomatic posting in Los Angeles.

With Williamson out of the picture for the first time in decades, could it be time for a change of party in the seat?

Hunt thinks so.

“I think there is [a mood for change]. Going out and talking to voters, there is a mood for green change. People are aware there are water issues, climate issues, social issues and I feel like the National Party are not quite dealing with those at [the right] pace.

“Maurice was there about 30 years [and now] Simeon [Brown] has come along, he’s still quite young and new to the game and from talking to voters there is that mood for change — they are open to these new ideas.”

Hunt — an accountant by trade — became involved with local politics after returning from London towards the end of 2015 and thinking he “could add some value”.

He works as a Financial Controller for Bed Bath and Beyond at head office and says politics and business aren’t all that far apart.

“I’m a business person and most businesses are operated on a sustainable approach; that’s where you’re looking at the three legs of a tripod — environment, social issues and economic issues.

“You need to be profitable, you need to ensure people in your business are getting the right support and everything they need and you’re looking after the environment.”

He says it’s simply a matter of taking those basic principles to a government scale.
“We need to make sure we’re doing it that way because at the moment I feel like we’re not doing it in a sustainable way.”

It’s about the big picture, he says.

“You can work in business and affect that one business you’re working in — or if you’re a consultant you might go out to a few businesses — but that’s still those few businesses.

“We need to be doing things on a much faster, grander scale than we’re currently doing it and if you’re doing it company by company, it’s tough.”

He said he put up his hand to try and get into Government to tackle issues such as climate change “in real time rather than deferring it 30 years down the track.

“That’s the reason I got involved — I wanted to be involved that change and making New Zealand the clean, green 100 per cent pure image that we sell ourselves for.”

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