PSA members win your vote

Congratulations to the six PSA members who ran successful campaigns in the recent local body and District Health Board elections.

vote“I’m just starting to understand the gravity of my new role,” says PSA member and newly elected Auckland councillor Richard Hills, “but it’s very exciting. Originally it was a little overwhelming.”

He was one of six PSA members elected to various roles at the local body and DHB elections, alongside Mike Tana as mayor of Porirua City, Zoe Brownlie to the Auckland District Health Board, Christine O’Brien to Auckland’s Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board, Angela Mcleod to the Upper Hutt City Council, and Jake McLellan to Christchurch’s Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board.

For Hills, it was a last minute decision to stand for Auckland Council, after spending the past six years on the Kaipātiki Local Board and employed part time as a youth community health worker at Auckland Sexual Health.

He will be leaving behind a close-knit community to focus on projects and policies for important issues like public transport and implementing the living wage.

Richard joined the PSA because a collective voice can make a difference – “as a health employee it's virtually impossible to be a lone voice asking for better conditions, pay or workplaces from your employer,” he says. “The more employees that work together, the better the results.”

His attitude towards local politics is similar and he encourages anyone with passions or unique ideas to stand in the next elections as politics is an important way to make a change.

“The more people who stand for election the better, of course not everyone can win but it's important to have as many views and policies put forward from people from different backgrounds in our communities.”

Zoe Brownlie – a first-time candidate – says she hopes to bring fresh ideas to her local DHB.

She was elected as a member of the Auckland District Health Board where she will work to direct the organisation and monitor its performance.

“I see this as the responsibility to make sure that the decisions that are made are the best for all people in Auckland,” she says.

“I want to achieve an individualised yet equal health care system for all people. We need to make sure everyone can trust the system and know they will be listened to, respected and given high-quality care.”

Brownlie has 12 years’ experience within community and public health - in frontline and senior management roles. She has worked in mental health and sexual health services in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, was an elected health representative in London and stresses the importance of the LGBTQ community in the health system.

She describes herself as a mother, a feminist, and an advocate for equality for young people, ethnic minorities, and rainbow communities.

Being in the PSA gave her a boost of confidence and moral support during her campaign. She is on our Women’s Network Committee because, she says, “I feel strongly about equal pay and better parental leave.” 

By Jess McAllen