Catherine has stood up and been counted for as long as she can remember. She attended her first protest at just two years old and hasn’t slowed down since.
Growing up in a politically active Wellington family, Catherine has always had the interests of people and the environment at the front of her mind. She has been an activist since the start, and as a teenager she founded New Zealand’s first secondary school students’ union.
Catherine moved to the Coromandel as a young adult and has called it home ever since. She became immersed in green activism, protecting the peninsula from mining as part of the extremely successful grassroots network Coromandel Watchdog. This helped Catherine to understand Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a basis for justice in Aotearoa and she has remained dedicated to that kaupapa.
She went on to work for the Department of Conservation and Greenpeace. A highlight from this time was a toxic sites tour of New Zealand, cleaning up contaminated areas and meeting her partner Gordon along the way. Pushing for safer industrial and household products remains one of Catherine’s top priorities.
Catherine became the Green Party’s campaign manager in Auckland for the 1999 election. Recognised early as a passionate and talented Greenie, she remained very active and eventually entered Parliament in 2008.
In Parliament Catherine has fought tirelessly for social justice and the environment, recognising the inextricable links between the causes. She has stood with the people of West Papua and held our government to account for refusing to acknowledge the human rights atrocities that continue there. She worked closely with the government to ensure the success of the Tui mine clean-up, highlighting the importance of corporate responsibility when it comes to environmental damage.
Catherine leads the calls in Parliament for an education system that encourages lifelong learning and reflects our Tiriti and Pacific heritage.
She firmly believes that treating all people with integrity and respect will always produce the best outcomes. With this approach politics there are no limits to what Catherine and the Greens can achieve.
“As a green left feminist I am committed to making changes that work for women, children, and the environment. The Green Party is a great place to work with communities for equity and justice.”