• May 23, 2017
After the event Ms Swarbrick (centre) stayed to answer questions and debate with attendees. Photo: Katie Doyle
According to Chlöe Swarbrick, she entered politics because she was sick of politicians who could never give a straight answer.
The Green Party candidate and former mayoral hopeful expressed this sentiment and more to a group of 50 students at Auckland University’s Shadows Bar, as part of her campaign for the Maungakiekie electorate last night.
Throughout the event, Ms Swarbrick remained critical of the Government.
“We’ve been sold this narrative of complacency, because according to them everything’s fine, the housing crisis doesn’t exist and transport can be fixed by building more roads,” said Ms Swarbrick.
“On the other side, the Government are presenting politics as something that is super-technocratic so people assume they need a PhD to understand what is going on, which raises the barrier for engagement.”
She then outlined her concerns with laws that allow the Government to act without being held accountable.
“The Bill of Rights is a document that outlines our rights and freedoms, such as the right not to be discriminated against,” said Ms Swarbrick.
“But section four of the bill says that if there is any piece of legislation that is inconsistent with our bill of rights - the inconsistent legislation overrides the bill.”
She cited an example of a case currently before the courts regarding the rights of families with a disabled child to receive care payments. That right was now being challenged, she said.
Politics student Anoushka Maharaj attended the event and said while she was encouraged by Ms Swarbrick’s message, she was unsure if the Green Party would secure an election win.
“They have made such a sincere effort in engaging people and solving that issue of people not caring about politics but I think there is a culture of complacency in New Zealand and a fear of change which the Greens are going to have to overcome,” said Ms Maharaj.