Green go-ahead for Botany-Pak branch

FIRST MEETING: Julie Zhu sits fourth from the left (top) in a group of Green Party candidates and members from within Auckland. Photo supplied.

The Botany-Pakuranga branch of the Green Party has kicked off to a grand start after the first public meeting was held on February 16.

It was attended by around 20 people, including MP Marama Davidson, who discussed how she got involved in Green Party, what motivates her and why she believes Green Party policies and values are important for the future.

The event also featured a segment with other 2017 candidates running in this year’s general election, an explanation of how the Green Party works and a Q&A session.

Campaigning, fundraising, markets, door knocking and event hosting are top on the list of activities for the Botany-Pakuranga branch in the lead-up to the general election on September 23, said event organiser Julie Zhu.

The 24-year-old has been involved with the Green Party for three years, and said when she finally found enough time to dedicate to the establishment of a Botany-Pakuranga branch, she couldn’t wait to get right into it.

It’s about bringing more awareness to the community of what the Green Party does, Ms Zhu said.

“Botany/Pakuranga has never had a strong Green presence so people don’t have a good understanding of what we stand for so it’s important for us to be able to reach out and engage with as many people as we can and we rely on our grassroots to do that,” she said.

“This is a great time to grow our movement and presence in the area as we see inequality and fear growing all around the world with Trump and Brexit. As the rich get richer, the rest of us start to turn against each other in a bid to survive, when really, we should be challenging the system that we live in where those with the most power and privilege get to dictate how the world works.”

A Botany local, Ms Zhu ran in last year’s local board elections under the Green Party banner, is passionate about the Green Party’s commitment to “socially conscious values” and hopes to stand in this year’s general election as a Green Party candidate for Botany.

The next branch meeting is being planned for early March and is open to members and non-members.

To find out more, contact Ms Zhu at juliezhuu@gmail.com.