Recently we sent a questionnaire out to all Candidates standing for the Whanganui District Council, Community Boards and the Horizons District Council.

These are their responses.

Did not respond – Council Candidate

Aisha Beazley, Charlie Anderson, James Newell, Josh Chandulal-Mackay, Michael Dick, Ross Fallen (acknowledged – unavailable due to bereavement), 

Did not respond – Community Board

Bill Ashworth, Grant Skilton, Sandra Falkner (questionnaire not sent as no contact details available).

Did not respond – Horizons Council

Allan Wrigglesworth

 

Replied but did not fill out Questionnaire (alphabetical order and replicated exactly as sent to Pride Whanganui)

WHANGANUI DISTRICT COUNCIL

Dave Hill – Thankyou for your email. I have stated publicly that I believe we are (or should be) all equal and treated as such with respect and consideration regardless of our ethnic background, or religious beliefs. This also applys to those in our community who have alternative sexual and personal beliefs. I have no problem in supporting your group equally and fairly within our community.

Julian (Judd) Bailey – Kia orā  kautau Team Pride Community Whanganui, thanks for the opportunity to encourage your membership to Vote for me. However, I ran unopposed as the Voice for the Rural Sector where I live and farm in. I would urge your members not to waste their Vote. As any influence I may bring to the table would solely be in regard to the Rural Sector. In saying that I fully support equal rights for the LGBT… community.

Phillip Reweti (Bear) – I don’t have a problem just ask cr James Barron….

Rod Trott – Thank you for reaching out from your community. Rod Trott here standing for Whanganui District council. As a Councillor I will treat your community as I would any other on the basis that you are an organisation with the best interests of your members as your purpose. What would this mean? In practical terms if your organisation has concerns with other organised groups…or vice versa… I would help facilitate a process to resolve any gathering conflict. This should not occur because at the individual level your beliefs and spirituality are yours and nobody elses.

 

HORIZONS REGIONAL COUNCIL

David Cotton – Good morning , thank you for your email & questions. I have a strong belief as a person & as a councillor my role is to support & represent all areas & groups in our community . I do not see my role as promoting one group of people over another.

Alan Taylor – I would note that: Rather than me pontificating on the specific questions you have posed, I would ask that you accept the following statement. I believe that my attitude toward the LGBTTQI+ Community to be absolutely without bias and any contribution I would make as an Horizons Councillor would reflect that. Regional Councils, unlike City and District Councils, are not heavily focused on aspects of our socio-economic environment, save to provide for a sustainable physical world in which our social and economic activities can thrive. Horizons is a body which is responsible for significant aspects of our physical environment (land stability, water quality, air quality, and indigenous biodiversity). As such, those functions do not delve into social diversity in any major way. Operationally, however, Horizons must both encourage and promote diversity within its governance and workforce. Doing so will make for better decisions, and better implementation of those decisions, whatever parameters they are measured by. One area in which Horizons has responsibility for people services is transport. It is responsible for its Regional Land Transport Plan and jointly provides public transport. My comments about operational neutrality stand for this as well. (Wouldn’t it be stunning to have our buses painted in rainbow colours?..and I don’t see that as a token gesture). Horizons has an increasingly important role in working on Climate Change. Again, there is no room for any discrimination here. We have to pursue a world that is liveable for all.

 

 

Questionnaire (please note: not all candidates answered all questions and are replicated exactly as emailed to Pride Whanganui. Pronouns next to those who supplied them).

 

MAYORAL CANDIDATES

— Do you support the Whanganui LGBTTQI+ Community and their rights? —

Andrew Tripe (he/him) – Absolutely

DC Harding (he/him) – Yes – if y’all had a membership card – I’d be claiming the B!!

Hamish McDouall – Without question.

 

 

— What limitations do you see existing for this Community? —

Andrew Tripe (he/him) – Feeling of prejudice that exists in parts of society; lack of access to safe and confidential spaces.

DC Harding (he/him) – A lack of understanding for the human experience. We are all human at the end of the day – we all feel the same, bleed the same and share the existence. We need more emotional intelligence.

Hamish McDouall – Homophobic attacks, verbal and physical still occur. Public spaces should be safe spaces for all. I know that some employers hire on a discriminatory basis. I would imagine that discrimination and slights continue to occur regular.

 

 

— How would you solve or minimise these limitations? —

Andrew Tripe (he/him) – By listening to and understanding what works for the LGBTTQI+ Community who have much better ideas and solutions than I do!

DC Harding (he/him) – By showing leadership in this area and being the example and working closely with the community to ensure that equity is actualised.

Hamish McDouall – Anything I write will sound trite. For public spaces we want all citizens to feel safe at all times so we design spaces using CPTED principles (crime prevention through environmental design). As for breaking down the limitations found in the general public I think this is simply education, exposure and community leaders showing support.

 

 

— If elected, what will you do to protect and extend LGBTTQI+ equality in Whanganui? —

Andrew Tripe (he/him) – Ensuring that there is a safe facility for the LGTBTTQI+ people who are at the early stages of discovering their sexual identity (NB this is a facilitation role for Council).

DC Harding (he/him) – Everything starts from the point of listening. From there partner with Pride Whanganui to ensure that the voice of Pride is present and work along side Pride to ensure that Whanganui is a place for all people to call home.

Hamish McDouall – I am happy to work with the LGBTTQI+ community to listen to ideas and strategies to enhance equality. I am happy to be the community face for such a push if that was thought to be the right thing! I am also working with Cr Barron to form a LGBTTQI+ elected members roopu within the Local Government sector, which, as LGNZ Vice-President I will support fully. Hopefully this will enhance the opportunities for the LGBTTQI+ candidates in the future.

 

 

— How do you/how will you show that you are LGBTTQI+ friendly? —

Andrew Tripe (he/him) – By regularly being in touch with the community and leaders so that they feel heard and included in discussions.

DC Harding (he/him) – Because I don’t discriminate based on sexuality or identity etc. I believe we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Therefore, anything to do with “gender identity” doesn’t play a part in being LGBTTQI+ friendly.

Hamish McDouall – I’ll attend the Pride march – I haven’t missed one yet! And will continue to be vocal about my inclusionary hopes and visions. Council flies the Pride flag proudly every year, and I would like to seek more ways to be overt!

 

 

— What past actions have you taken to support LGBTTQI+ rights? —

Andrew Tripe (he/him) – I have or had family and friends who are gay and have actively accepted and loved them – I don’t treat them any differently but as one of equal members of our society.

DC Harding (he/him) – Over the years I’ve hired community members from the LGBTTQI+ community, worked with, built relationships with, lived with, supported whanau going through their own challenges, consulted with, stood with, and demonstrated general human decency when I’ve seen people being shamed for their identity.

Hamish McDouall – As stated above I was so proud to lead the first ever pride march in Whanganui. At that march I stated that I intend to change a street name to bring back the name of former Mayor Charles Mackay who was imprisoned for shooting and wounding his lover, but whose name was wiped from buildings and the streetscape. As the inheritor of the position he held I find it incumbent on me (in spite of the violent end to his mayoralty) to return his name to the streets of Whanganui.

 

 

— How are you going to positively contribute to the mental well-being of the LGBTTQI+ Community? —

Andrew Tripe (he/him) – My cousin was gay, and eventually took his life because of mental health issues. I think the best answer for this comes from within the LGBTTQI+ Community, so it is a matter of engaging to understand solutions that work for them.

DC Harding (he/him) – Mental Well-being for the LGBTTQI+ is as complex as those who are non-LGBTTQI+ – however, the community is more at risk of suicidal behaviour and self-harm. Gay and Bisexual men are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide across their lifetime than the rest of the population the list goes on. As the community continues to face discrimination, stigma from the medical field, gender dysphoria, bullying both in and out of the workplace/school house, both young in age and mature, it’s important that the community has access to specialist LGBTTQI+ services and I believe that I could help facilitate this space with community members. By the LGBTTQI+ for the LGBTTQI+ community.

Hamish McDouall – Quite frankly, in any way that I can. Council is limited in its social responsibilities, but the four well-beings give us licence to contribute to the well being of the entire community. I have no clear and specific ideas but appreciate the wero this questionnaire has set for me, and would love ongoing and real engagement with the community to foster ideas. I have been told by a LGBTTQI+ leader that she has found Whanganui to be one of the most tolerant provincial communities in the nation but we can’t rest on our laurels while there is still inequity.

 

—————-

FOR COUNCIL CANDIDATES

 

 

— Do you support the Whanganui LGBTTQI+ Community and their rights? —

 

Andreas Bodenstein – Yes, I do.

 

Blair Jones – Yes

 

Cerise Packer (she/her but preferably by my first name Cerise) – Yes of course I support the LGBTTQI+ community and their rights.

 

Charlotte Melser (she/they/them) – Yes

 

Dan Jackson – Most certainly.

 

DC Harding (he/him) – Yes – if y’all had a membership card – I’d be claiming the B!!

 

Gill Howard (she/her) – I recognise the humanity of all people their sexuality is immaterial.

 

Glenda Brown (she/her) – It’s important to me to support all sub-groups in the Whanganui region to ensure the needs of the community who access services are well cared for and nurtured.

 

Helen Craig – YES

 

James Barron – Yes absolutely. I’m a one of the community!

 

Jenny Duncan – Yes. No brainer. No different to any other human right.

 

Kate Joblin – I believe that everyone has the right to be accepted  for who they are and be a valued part of the community.

 

Michael Law (He/Him/His) – I am a big believer in Human Rights,  specifically the idea that everyone has a right to a safe and secure future. No one should impeach on another persons rights to have a safe and secure future.

Peter Oskam – Naturally, I support all our communities large and small, it is my ambition to make ” A community” feel and be part of “The Community.” Our Community is a cluster of smaller communities and this is what makes Whanganui beautiful.

Philippa Baker-Hogan – Yes, I fully support, congratulate and endorse the Whanganui LGBTTQI+ Community.

Rob Vinsen – I most certainly do.

Rory Smith – Yes I do in terms of equity within our greater community and in particular with inclusivity. This is not only a question of basic human rights but also one of safety.

Scott Phillips (he/him) – Yes, of course.

  

 

— What limitations do you see existing for this Community? —

 

Andreas Bodenstein – Workplace harassment , school /class intimidation

 

Blair Jones – freedom to express, others are to be dealt with or as they say on the news housing or work

 

Cerise Packer (she/her but preferably by my first name Cerise) – I cannot speak to the limitation you currently experience, and I think it would be rude for me to assume. But like any group that has been marginalised or been pushed to the outskirts of a wider community I would expect that you still feel like your voice is not heard. I would be outraged to think that currently the same discrimination is being experienced by the LGBTTQI+ community as it would have been a decade ago.

 

Charlotte Melser (she/they/them) – Because the population size in Whanganui, I think it is typically harder for LGBTQI to find a sense of place and security here. The work that PRIDE Whanganui is doing in terms of visibility, community building and support services is incredible for this town. I don’t have all the answers of all the barriers experienced in this community, but I am always open to listening and hearing concerns and helping with solutions.

 

Dan Jackson – Gaining acceptance from some in the wider community and freedom to be who they are without persecution or risk.

DC Harding (he/him) – A lack of understanding for the human experience. We are all human at the end of the day – we all feel the same, bleed the same and share the existence. We need more emotional intelligence.

Gill Howard (she/her) – You tell me I’m sure the experiences of LGBTTQI+ mirror the range experienced by any group.

Glenda Brown (she/her) – A limitation is that there are people who do not align with this community and vice versa. However, a wider perspective to allow others with different values and mindsets to be able to co-live in the same region would be an advantage to being able to continue your work. Because I value everyone as equal and whole heartedly believe in democracy, and free speech, I believe there needs to be flexibility from both sides to allow for acceptance in opinion. I don’t see that at the moment.

Helen Craig – I can imagine there is a lot of prejudice in the community and very hard for young people to cope with being different. I’m sure many don’t have family support – and even worse.

James Barron – There’s more work to do on acceptance & support esp for our Trans sisters & brothers. Ensuring our history is kept is an area I’m active in. Casual homophobia is still all too common & real.

Jenny Duncan – Self-imposed limitations from own belief systems. Reducing prejudice as acceptance grows but still there in some quarters. Fear of straight parent acceptance (and probably acceptance of workmates, friends etc). Employment limitations if gender difference is overt and employer has fear or prejudice.

Kate Joblin – Fundamentally to feel valued, included and safe as part of our community.    

Michael Law (He/Him/His) – Education around the issues for the LGBTTQI+ community is low, we have pressures from issues overseas and yet hear very limited information here in Whanganui. So I believe that the largest limitation is one of community engagement.

Peter Oskam – I feel this is better answered by your community, you are experiencing them personally.

Philippa Baker-Hogan – As with all minority communities, amongst a pretty stoic, ageing population, it takes time for people to understand and accept a growing generation of people with new sexual identity/s and orientation. Limitations include numbers, resource, time, understanding and acceptance are all limiting factors but the groundswell of public support is growing and its my role to encourage and support that.

Rob Vinsen – I think discrimination is legacy of the past. Society has moved on to one of acceptance.

Rory Smith – I’m not of the community so I am wary of being presumptive but I think there are often limitations mainly because of prejudice and ignorance that too often exists in the community.

Scott Phillips (he/him) – Most limitations come from other people’s views.

  

 

— How would you solve or minimise these limitations? —

 

Andreas Bodenstein – harassment at work or limitations in rights to take up the job (such as working in church companies or the churches itself) shall be reported and dealt with by a new LGBTTQI Commissioner and eventually sorted in Court.

 

Blair Jones – educate, bylaws, hope and education

 

Cerise Packer (she/her but preferably by my first name Cerise) – This is bigger than one person and as part of the council and community I would hope to support what is being led by the LGBTTQI+ community. When I look at your mission and the activities you have in place, I believe you have a great understanding of what your community needs. I would be there to participate, listen and provide supportive action when needed.

 

Charlotte Melser (she/they/them) – More funding for broader reach of education and support services. Inclusion of LGBTQI guidance within council decision making directly from the community or ideally an advisory board.

DC Harding (he/him) – By showing leadership in this area and being the example and working closely with the community to ensure that equity is actualised.

Gill Howard (she/her) – I don’t know willing to be educated

Glenda Brown (she/her) – Education would be the key, to be mindful of other perspectives, and respectful of other people’s values. Education will always succeed if done respectfully and thoughtfully.

Helen Craig – I don’t put up with people being denigrated for any reason.

James Barron – Political representation has moved the needle on trans needs & rights. I’ve initiated and are working on a Rainbow Listing for a major but long lost story of a Whanganui Mayor & NZ’s first legally recognised homosexual. I’m unapologetically OUT and proud Gay CIS guy.

Jenny Duncan – The solution is time and education. Publicly display acceptance and support so that it becomes normal/normalised. And this is happening! Model acceptance, e.g. share good news stories and those with gender diversity ‘just happen’ to be the good news. There’s lots of these stories that can be told. The point being, you won’t die or go to hell if you employ or have a child who is gender diverse. Promote and encourage diversity and acceptance of all kinds.

Kate Joblin – Lots of ways.  These are just a few ideas.  For those of us who are not members of the Pride community, to be open minded and be prepared to learn about different perspectives and life experiences.  For members of the Pride community to have public profiles, be seen, be role models.  For all of us to role model tolerance to different perspectives.

Michael Law (He/Him/His) – Greater involvement with the larger community, education around what prohibiting factors stop the LGBTTQI+ community from enjoying a safe and secure future.

Peter Oskam – Here again, your community is in the best position to answer this and come up with solutions, I would be happy to come along to listen and discuss.

Philippa Baker-Hogan – Simply by treating each and every person in the LGBTTQI+ community as an equal and a valued member of Whanganui. Walking the Talk and not being afraid to correct people who may denigrate this community and its members.

Rob Vinsen – NA

Rory Smith – Expressing support mainly but also doing my bit to normalise the LGBTTQI+ community in the eyes of the general population.

Scott Phillips (he/him) – Education around issues facing the community is a start. Invite the LGBTTQI+ community to tell their stories. Consulting with the LGBTTQI+ community, getting their input, the same as Iwi are consulted on matters that need their input.

 

 

— If elected, what will you do to protect and extend LGBTTQI+ equality in Whanganui? —

 

Andreas Bodenstein – Handle matters of the LGBTTQI Community in the same way as other community matters: professional !

 

Blair Jones – i feel nz is at a forefront but maybe police need reps, let people know what they can do to keep themselves safe

 

Cerise Packer (she/her but preferably by my first name Cerise) – Again, it is about understanding what you need and that is about having regular conversations and connecting. But protection and feeling safe to express yourself is fundamental to living your best life. I believe it’s about having an open dialogue, leading by example and including the LGBTTQI+ community in conversations that could affect them. It also about giving the LGBTTQI+ space at a very big table where all points of view can be expressed and shared.

 

Charlotte Melser (she/they/them) – Consistently consider the impact of decisions on LGBTQI and all marginalized communities. Consistently better my understanding of issues, concerns and solutions in this space.

 

Dan Jackson – I do not believe I should make suggestions to the community. Rather, I feel I should listen with an open mind to any ideas the community put forward and help in any way I could to make sure ideas got the support they deserved.

DC Harding (he/him) – Everything starts from the point of listening. From there partner with Pride Whanganui to ensure that the voice of Pride is present and work along side Pride to ensure that Whanganui is a place for all people to call home.

Gill Howard (she/her) – Disadvantage to any group needs to be addressed

Glenda Brown (she/her) – As with all sub-groups, it is important to enable and assist each to be able to contribute to society within the accordance of their focus and goals. I treat everyone as equal therefore all sub-groups will be encouraged in their respective roles. That is my personal stance. As a councillor, that would be a collective decision.

Helen Craig – I support Council being supportive in any way they can including supporting staff, flags flying from Council, public art etc.

James Barron – I’ve got the Pride flag on every council flagpole so I may need to build more poles? Seriously though I see having an active and visible Rainbow community as a big strategic advantage for Whanganui and deserving of greater support from Council.

Jenny Duncan – Fully support raising a Rainbow Flag onto the Council Building come Pride Week 2023? Support the Whanganui District Council funding or issuing grants to this organisation or events associated with the LGBTQIA+ Community of Whanganui. Like all events they have to meet the criteria. The event purpose would have to be more than just – it’s an LGBTQIA event- e.g. suicide reduction – discrimination reduction – celebration – economic development/return etc.

Kate Joblin – Encourage and support activities that support Pride eg, Pride Flag at council, public events.  Solving the housing shortage is a top priority for me because the most vulnerable including some members of the Pride community will be disproportionately represented among those without adequate housing.

Michael Law (He/Him/His) – As an elected official, it is my duty to ensure all of Whanganui’s needs are met. Those that feel disenfranchised or left out of the conversation can ALWAYS come and see me at 1/30 Drews Avenue, where we can discuss how to resolve issues and create greater awareness.

Peter Oskam – As above,  I would be happy to come along to listen and discuss these with you.

Philippa Baker-Hogan – 1. Ensure Council generally but also specifically consults with the LGBTTQI+ community. 2. Normalise all communication with this community, as with any other. 3. Try and spend more time in the LGBTTQI+ community, your space and attend as many events, activities as possible to celebrate and normalise this community.

Rob Vinsen – I would not support any resolution, process, or activity that is not fair and equitable to all.

Rory Smith – Ensure policy that might affect the LGBTTQI+ is scrutinized properly and actually listening to this affected community. In other words include their voices in decision making.

Scott Phillips (he/him) – A simple place to start would be converting public toilets to gender neutral, some might be harder to convert than others, but most could be done, and maps etc updated to show where gender neutral public toilets exist. Also, any council form the asks for Male / Female should also have Gender Diverse as an option too. Another thing to improve the visibility of Pride week / month could be to light up the Durie Hill tower in the rainbow colours, it currently glows green and the lights are ground mounted so it would be cheap and easy to do. But, before doing this, have an open dialogue with the LGBTTQI+ community to see if these are the sorts of things that are appropriate. Council should ask the rainbow community if they want us to fly the rainbow flag (literally and figuratively), not just fly the flag because we thing we should. So, in all things like this, consult, ask what is appropriate and work with that.

 

 

— How do you/how will you show that you are LGBTTQI+ friendly? —

 

Andreas Bodenstein – Handle matters of the LGBTTQI Community in the same way as other community matters: professional !

 

Blair Jones – wear a ribbon, i’m an ol punk so it don’t matter to me, i have attend events and talk with anyone, perhaps on concerns

 

Cerise Packer (she/her but preferably by my first name Cerise) – Through participation and support. I worked within a large corporation and many of my colleagues are LGBTTQI+ – I treat them and appreciate them for who they are as individuals.

 

Charlotte Melser (she/they/them) – Be open and my authentic self. I consider myself to be a good ally to the community by speaking up and support when it’s needed and necessary. I personally don’t adhere to any labels, but consider myself a part of the LGBTQI community.

 

Dan Jackson – By continuing my friendships with people from the community. My friendship and support is not prefaced by any conditions. People are people and take them as I find them.

DC Harding (he/him) – Because I don’t discriminate based on sexuality or identity etc. I believe we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Therefore, anything to do with “gender identity” doesn’t play a part in being LGBTTQI+ friendly.

Gill Howard (she/her) – I attempt to respect and be friendly to everyone- sexuality is not an issue for me

Glenda Brown (she/her) – As previously mentioned, I treat everyone as equal irrespective of gender, ethnicity, age. Everyone has the right to be accepted, listened too and valued.

Helen Craig – I support everyone. I don’t wear a button or any other physical demonstration of support.

James Barron – Umm – do I have to be LGBTTQI friendly?! I’m a proud member of the community & one of the rights I reserve is to be critical of our community when it’s deserved! Seriously tho visibility matters. I have a flag in my zoom profile and would in my official Candidates profile but it’s not allowed, speak up for rainbow views and issues and wear a rainbow facemask. At the recent Local Government conference the importance of visibility was brought home in an unexpected way not from other attendees but from workers – food service, security, cleaners – coming up to indicate or say that they loved seeing my rainbow mask. It brought it home how much visibility matters to our LGBTQI communities, I represent our communities not only by articulating our needs but by simply being present & unapologetically rainbow. 

Jenny Duncan – Gosh. I don’t differentiate. It’s just not and never has been a factor for me. I’m open to being told what I can do better or more of.

Kate Joblin – Treat everyone with respect.

Michael Law (He/Him/His) – I am friendly to anyone that is friendly to me.

Peter Oskam – As with any prejudice, I will and have spoken to it there and then.

Philippa Baker-Hogan – As per above but seek improved access, consultation, communication with this community. Eg. Specifically in the Sport & Recreation space, that I hope to lead, among other portfolios.

Rob Vinsen – By my actions.

Rory Smith – I struggle with this question to not give a banal answer because really it is actions that speak in this space. I’ll show up when asked and I’ll support when and where I can.

Scott Phillips (he/him) – I am not really one to put a big display that I am LGBTTGI+ friendly, I think for me personally being outside the LGBTTQI+ community it might appear disingenuous to do so, rather I hope I am seen as being inclusive and approachable to all. However, my Scott Phillips Wedding Celebrant Facebook page has displayed a rainbow banner with “I stand for inclusion” top banner for a few years now.

 

 

— What past actions have you taken to support LGBTTQI+ rights? —

 

Andreas Bodenstein – I have not been a Councillor yet.

 

Blair Jones – protests, inclusivity, talking, advocating, s protection,  sex health, normalising peoles positions across the board

 

Cerise Packer (she/her but preferably by my first name Cerise) – I have not taken any particular actions to support LGBTTQI+ rights, though I have never been in a place where I felt I needed to. I have had the privilege of sharing many meals with Carmen Rupe and respect her journey as an activist to support her community. I have attended Mardi Gras in Sydney for the past twenty years and continue to support the LGBTTQI+ community’s freedom to express themselves. I have a very vocal drag queen cousin and over these past thirty years have completely supported him on his journey.

 

Charlotte Melser (she/they/them) – I have been a part of LGBTQI protests for equal rights both in NZ and Australia. I have supported and attended PRIDE events. I have championed and actively supported queer artists.

 

Dan Jackson – I have worked alongside, dealt with and socialised with people from the community and will continue to do so. When I was the editor of the Whanganui Youth Page for the Whanganui Chronicle I published stories from groups in the community. It’s only a small thing I know but at the time, in the mid-90s Whanganui, it wasn’t widely accepted or universally popular thing to do both from the wider community or from within the paper. To be fair, most people I know from the community are strong and proud people and have never asked anything of me but my respect which I have readily given.

DC Harding (he/him) – Over the years I’ve hired community members from the LGBTTQI+ community, worked with, built relationships with, lived with, supported whanau going through their own challenges, consulted with, stood with, and demonstrated general human decency when I’ve seen people being shamed for their identity.

Gill Howard (she/her) – Early Prides in Auckland- and as a union delegate for the Labourer’s union when the leadership were lacking understanding.

Glenda Brown (she/her) – I have not discriminated against anyone and I would hope that anyone of the LGBTTQI+ community that I have engaged with at anytime would be able to agree. Everyone is equal and deserves to be treated so.

Helen Craig – I don’t think of anyone as different to me. We are all equal. I haven’t taken any direct action except as above.

James Barron – I have long been active from closing down an American Ex-Gay “ministry” that brought its nonsense to Aotearoa, to organising the campaign for Marriage Equality (my husband & I in the front row of the speakers gallery belting out Pokarekare Ana as the law passed is a golden memory), to getting the Pride flags flown on Council buildings for Pride week & just last week had a two hour meeting in Wellington about supporting diversity in Local Government.

Jenny Duncan – Verbal support to those been abused in front of me and challenging views of others in general conversation. Welcomed so many from the community into Castlecliff. It’s such a diverse safe community (mostly). Support LGBTTQI candidates standing for Council.

Kate Joblin – Tried to be supportive of initiatives at Council.  Again, housing has been a top priority for me on council because the housing crisis affects the most vulnerable in our communities.

Michael Law (He/Him/His) – I am not a fan of virtue signalling. So I do not support someone one month but ignore them the next. I believe in supporting everyone, always, as long as they do not impact the lifes of others.

Peter Oskam – None, other than personally being accepting and understanding.

Philippa Baker-Hogan – Attended some Pride Week activities. Visited Pride Whanganui drop in centre. Worn a Pride FaceMask at public events during the Covid Pandemic.

Rob Vinsen – I have always supported LGBTTTQI+ events.

Rory Smith – Many discussions over the years in terms of what is normal for people who may not otherwise show empathy. Supporting Gay friends when they needed it.

Scott Phillips (he/him) – I am a wedding celebrant and as such have conducted wedding ceremonies for anyone that has asked me, a roughly average percentage of them have been same sex couples (and like all weddings they were awesome). I have previously filed a Human Rights Commission complaint against a wedding venue that openly refused to allow same sex weddings, I was disappointed that the HRC wouldn’t take serious action because it not me (as the complainant) that was being discriminated against. Various other things I am happy to chat about in person.

 

 

— How are you going to positively contribute to the mental well-being of the LGBTTQI+ Community? —

 

Andreas Bodenstein – Same as under point 5. (Handle matters of the LGBTTQI Community in the same way as other community matters: professional !)

Blair Jones – i think there is good work doing through Mike Kings work which aims to wrap around and people are allowed to speak, show off, or get the help they may need in mental health, workshops, people are people but i am also not unrealistic about bias that sometimes runs deep that many people suffer in many guises every day, it is not utopia but people must be able to function and be happy

 

Cerise Packer (she/her but preferably by my first name Cerise) – Support through participation, and that can look different when needs are different. I noticed that Pride Whanganui is wholly run by volunteers, membership and donations. I would like to see some dedicated funding, not sure what that would look like but one less thing to worry about when supporting your community. Mental health is an issue for Whanganui as a larger community. Often, we cannot change those things that happen around us if we are talking about attitude and discrimination. But we can change the way we feel about ourselves if we are given safe spaces to do so. We also need people to show and teach us about what self-love looks like. There needs to be more focus on mental well-being and awareness in the community. This is something that requires collaboration and partnership – the council needs to be led by your needs and then a plan put in place to provide subject matter experts like trained professional guide and support.

 

Charlotte Melser (she/they/them) – I would support better funding for mental health and affirming services for the LGBTQI community, particularly in the youth space.

 

Dan Jackson – By offering my friendship and respect. It is impossible to for-see all situations but I would like to think that I would always keep the best interests of the people from the community at heart in any decision I was called on to make.

DC Harding (he/him) – Mental Well-being for the LGBTTQI+ is as complex as those who are non-LGBTTQI+ – however, the community is more at risk of suicidal behaviour and self-harm. Gay and Bisexual men are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide across their lifetime than the rest of the population the list goes on. As the community continues to face discrimination, stigma from the medical field, gender dysphoria, bullying both in and out of the workplace/school house, both young in age and mature, it’s important that the community has access to specialist LGBTTQI+ services and I believe that I could help facilitate this space with community members. By the LGBTTQI+ for the LGBTTQI+ community.

Gill Howard (she/her) – Be respectful- address issues if they arise for Council and seek understanding from yourselves as a representative group

Glenda Brown (she/her) – Everyone in the community should be able to access ALL services relating to well-being irrespective of who they are. If I heard anything contrary to this, I would be fiercely advocating for that.

Helen Craig – I’m happy to consider any proposal put forward to Council. I’m not aware of what specific support is needed from me personally or from Council.

James Barron – Challenges with mental health have not been part my journey so I can’t speak directly to it but I’m pleased to support the work of Pride Whanganui especially it’s mental health & especially rangatahi focusses. Pride marches are essential visibility but what I call quiet Pride is a key part of mental wellbeing – the stability and assurance that stems from the fully internalised knowledge that being LGBTQI+ is in no way lesser. Not a fault, vulnerability or sin but a superpower and a blessing. Some folk get to be internally Proud as LGBTQI+ more via support and talking, others more by watching – maybe that second way is where I can help with visibility.

Jenny Duncan – As a sitting Councillor asking to return, I support all the wellbeing actions and policies of Council. We have a far greater role than just infrastructure. Call out any behaviour I see or hear that is discriminatory and support the person(s) being discriminated against.

Kate Joblin – Well being of all members of our community is a priority at Safer Whanganui – a WDC forum that I have chaired in the last 5 years.  Safer Whanganui’s focus is the most vulnerable in our community, sometimes these are members of the LGBTTQI+ community, and I hope that if elected I will be able to continue in this role.

Michael Law (He/Him/His) – Mental health for all Whanganui is part of my FIX campaign. One that I feel quite strongly about, we know from a behavioural science point of view that a not only do we require a safe and secure environment but we need social interactions, goals and purpose. I hope to re-vitalise those passions that everyone has for a greater Whanganui for all.

Peter Oskam – Should I be invited, I will be happy to come to listen to any suggestions.

Philippa Baker-Hogan – This is very important and I can only imagine the mental well-being of members of the LGBTTQI+ community must at times be very challenged and stressful. I try to be very aware of this area in my dealings with the wider community, having had my own & my family’s well-being challenged in more recent times. I am even more acutely aware of this in my dealings with minority groups, including the LGBTTQI+ community. This does not mean I will shy away from tough issues and showing courage, where I think needed, particularly at the Council table but I would never deliberately challenge or try to under-mine the well-being of others.

Rob Vinsen – By ensuring that I do not support discrimination either in our community or at the Council table.

Rory Smith – My knowledge on this is from my Gay friends over the years. They invariably point to High School as their most challenging time. My information says that there are inadequate resources in this sector. Council can offer support in this space if they are not doing so already.

Scott Phillips (he/him) – As a councillor I would advocate for council supporting organisations (like Pride Whanganui, as well as any other inclusive ones) that can provide mental health and wellbeing services for the LGBTTQI+ community. Also ensuring that non-profit organisations like Pride Whanganui can continue to have space in council owned buildings, with gender neutral bathrooms provided (I am not sure what there is at present), but that the “home base” for the organisation is appropriate, well set up and a safe space for all.

 

 

FOR HORIZON DISTRICT COUNCIL CANDIDATES

Three candidates – two supplied an overall statement (see above), one did not respond.