A Keeping Faith in Politics Hustings
We live in a “post-truth” world dominated by “fake news.” Anyone with a Twitter account is a pundit. Everyone with a blog is an expert. If our challenge in the past was having too little information, our challenge now is having too much information. There are facts and figures at our fingertips, but are they reliable? Our leaders are more accessible to us than ever, but are they truthful? How can we, as citizens, cut through the spin and get to the bottom of things?
Spend an hour with Megan Whelan (Radio New Zealand) and Ministers and Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum as they take up the challenge of honest leadership in a post-truth world. Uncover the facts, as they begin with questions about issues like inequality, ecological crisis, mass incarceration, and immigration. Get real answers, as they respond to your questions from the floor.
Megan Whelan – Community Engagement Editor, Radio New Zealand
Megan has worked for Radio New Zealand for much longer than she ever meant to, with stints in News, Sport, and Radio New Zealand International. She has covered everything from elections to earthquakes (and tsunamis and cyclones), but her favourite reporting experience will always be the time she interviewed a not-entirely-sober Margaret Mahy. She is currently RNZ’s Community Engagement Editor and sometime presenter for its Contemporary Feminism and Great Ideas programs. When not on the air, she curates her extensive library of animated gifs, and spends too much time on the internet.
Hon. Christopher Finlayson – Attorney General and Minister of Treaty Negotiations
Christopher Finlayson entered Parliament as a National Party List Member in 2005. Following the 2008 election, he assumed the roles of Attorney-General and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations in the John Key led Government. He became Associate Minister of Māori Affairs after the 2011 election. Before entering Parliament he was a lawyer and represented clients in all of New Zealand’s courts and tribunals, including nine appearances in the Privy Council. He practised law in Wellington for 25 years, where he was a partner at Bell Gully from 1990-2002 and thereafter a barrister sole. For many years, Mr. Finlayson maintained his links to academic life through part-time teaching at Victoria University's Law Faculty. He continues to sit on the Rules Committee of the High Court, which regulates court procedures in New Zealand.
Mr Sarb Johal - List MP
Sarb is the son of refugees of Panjabi origin, was born and brought up in London, and moved to New Zealand in 2005. He is clinical psychologist and health psychologist with over 25 years experience, and holds two doctorate degrees. He is passionate about public mental health and improving the mental health system and context for New Zealanders. Sarb is a List candidate for the Labour Party in this year’s General Election.
Mr. Geoff Simmons - Deputy Leader and Electorate Candidate
Geoff grew up barefoot in Okaihau and West Auckland. He has now lived in
Wellington for more than 15 years working as an economist for organisations such as Treasury and the Morgan Foundation. He’s learned that we can solve our problems—but we aren’t doing so because our politicians choose popular solutions over smart solutions. He believes we can all have warm, dry, affordable homes if we stop using houses as get rich schemes. Workers can have more money in their pockets if we let people create thriving businesses with high-paying jobs. And we can enjoy a beautiful natural environment if we stop subsidising the industries that destroy it. As Deputy Leader of the Opportunities Party, he works for a smarter tax system, a better social safety net, and environmental regulation that actually makes a difference.
Julie Anne Genter
Julie Anne Genter is a member of the New Zealand Parliament and the Green Party’s spokesperson for Climate Change, Transport, Health, Building & Housing. Before entering politics, she worked as a transport consultant in Auckland, New Zealand for several years. Much of her professional experience centred on ground-breaking research in transport economics and urban design. She lives in Auckland, and is particularly passionate about the opportunity for smarter transport planning to reduce costs and climate pollution, while creating more liveable cities.