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And then there were 9 - meet our new MPs

Contact: Green Party

Hero for the planet - Kevin Hague

Kevin comes to Parliament directly from his work as the Chief Executive of the West Coast District Health Board, and was previously Executive Director, NZ AIDS Foundation.

It's difficult to give justice to Kevin's background in a few words.  His skills and experience are wide-ranging and he brings a wealth of knowledge to the Green Caucus, from areas as diverse as the health sector, human rights campaigning, gay rights advocacy and a passion for cycling.  "It's all about my passion for the planet, and a sense of urgency in the need to tackle the problems which face us all," he says.

Kevin also has a highly developed sense of fun - he co-organised the very first Hero Party in 1991.

Kevin has an extensive background in health issues.  He was a member of the National Health Committee (2001-05); He was Chair of the NZ Public Health Advisory Committee (2002-04); a Member of the Community Sector Task Force (2003); Chair of the West Coastal Pathway (since 2005), Chair of the Waiheke Special Needs Trust (1998-2003); Chair of the Oneroa Business Association (1996-1998); and Executive member of the Piritahi Marae Hauora trust (1997 - 1999).

He has provided Treaty education for Pakeha, and co-edited "Honouring the Treaty"; Kevin has lots of anti-apartheid experience from 1979 (incl Education Officer, HART).

Kevin's achievements include being in the team that stopped the 1985 All Black tour to South Africa, and being one of the leaders of the campaign for the 1993 Human Rights Act.

Kevin was on the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board from 2004-06. He was co-organiser of the 2007 'Sustainable Coast', has been involved in the leadership of Mountain Bike NZ since 2001 and is a member of Cycle Advocacy Network. Kevin was involved in environmental advocacy on Waiheke Island from 1994 to 2003. He has a long and active history in advocating for gay rights. Kevin has extensive experience in Pakeha Treaty advocacy and gay rights advocacy, including HLR.

This week Kevin said "I'm feeling very much like the new kid at school, with a lot to learn about Parliament from the inside, a torrent of information and numerous setting up tasks to get done in Wellington.
"But it's really important that we hit the ground running, because the risks involved in the Government's immediate programme are substantial, and it's imperative that the Green Party is able to provide effective opposition."

Standing up for social justice - Catherine Delahunty 

"Getting into Parliament was a bit like having a baby, only it took nine years instead of nine months and now I am wondering what happened to sleep." says Catherine Delahunty, who describes herself as an "activist, feminist, mother, gardener, writer, teacher, mediator, advocate - and stand-up comic."

A political activist since her teens, Catherine has worked for change in the areas of social justice, Te Tiriti and environmental issues. She has a history of challenging corporate polluters, and a deep interest in developing decision-making processes which involve everyone.

Catherine was born and raised in Wellington in a family involved with many social justice issues and with the arts. Catherine began her activist career aged 14 when she and her friends at Onslow College organised the first high school students union. She began leading marches, making television appearances and public speaking from that age. She left university halfway through her B.A. and moved to the Coromandel where she learned to milk goats and grow vegetables as well as throw fleeces in the only Buddhist shearing gang in Aotearoa. She resumed political activity when multinational mining companies applied to prospect the Coromandel Peninsula in 1989, co-ordinating the highly effective environmental group, Coromandel Watchdog. Her role over 15 years included media, direct action leadership, public speaking and organising. Her environmental work led to roles in the Department of Conservation and for Greenpeace as a community liaison person and toxics campaigner.

Catherine says: "I believe that solutions to the problems faced by the planet and its peoples will only be addressed by a redesign of the economic structures and political processes based on justice for all. I've worked in both environmental and social justice campaigns, because we must urgently connect the dots.

"We have to face the consequences of greed, pollution and unfairness at every level, and create communities worthy of our children and grandchildren. Lack of new technology is not the major problem facing humanity and the earth, genuine power sharing is our greatest challenge."

"In short, my goals are to challenge racism, free market capitalism, and the destruction of the planet - and to never wear a yellow jacket."

And then there were 9 - Kennedy Graham

With the return and counting of Special Votes, Kennedy (Ken) Graham has been elected as the ninth Green MP.

Ken has most recently taught international politics and international law at the School of Law, Canterbury and Victoria University, and has previously worked for NGOs, the UN and as a diplomat. He was involved in negotiating the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone, defending the policy as a NZ diplomat before the UN in Geneva and New York and was also Director of a UN programme in the Middle East. Having returned to New Zealand he will now contribute his experience and perspectives to helping the country tackle the global problems we face.

Over the years Ken has developed a conviction about the need for Green principles in political action at a global and national level as well as in individual lifestyles. Ken has worked in 'and survived' ten countries, and loves them all. Having returned to New Zealand he has contributed his experience and perspectives to helping the country tackle the global problems we face through action in the Green Party as its International Secretary and, now, will build on that through his Parliamentary service.

Ken holds a B.Com from Auckland University, a BA Hons in Political Science from Victoria; an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Boston (Fulbright); and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Victoria University. He was also a Fellow at Cambridge University, studying in the Global Security Programme. Ken has authored and edited five books including 'The Planetary Interest - A New Concept for the Global Age' - which looks at issues of climate change, sustainability and nuclear weapons from a global perspective.

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