Greens select local for election
Julie Zhu has been selected as the Green Party candidate for the Botany electorate in the general election on September 23.
The 24-year-old ran her first political campaign in the localbody elections last year, standing as a Greens candidate for a Howick ward councillor seat and for the local board in the Botany subdivision.
‘‘I believe East Auckland is ready to open their minds and hearts to more progressive politics, which we really haven’t had enough opportunity to be exposed to as the electorate has historically been very blue-dominated,’’ Zhu says.
‘‘I’m looking forward to presenting a counter narrative that is built on empathy and compassion, not scarcity and self-interest.’’
She says Botany has traditionally not had a strong Green presence and she believes it’s due to a lack of awareness or long-held misconceptions about what the Greens stand for.
‘‘The Green Party’s four core values are also values that most New Zealanders believe are important.
‘‘Our values centre around social responsibility and ecological wisdom, meaning that we want to protect our people and our planet so that future generations can thrive. The current government just isn’t doing that.’’
Zhu will be running against National’s incumbent MP JamiLee Ross.
She says Ross’ recent member’s bill to fine window washers $150 has drawn both criticism and support from across the political spectrum.
‘‘This is a further example of how the state tends to marginalise and criminalise the poor, and those who it has failed,’’ Zhu says.
The Greens voted unanimously against the bill.
Born in Xi’an, China, Julie moved to Auckland at the age of four, residing briefly in Mt Roskill, before settling in the Howick ward.
She attended schools Botany Downs Primary, Howick Inter- mediate, and Pakuranga College, where she was dux.
Zhu works in the arts, primarily in film, theatre, and photography, and is a big advocate for the importance of valuing the arts and how they can help bring people and communities together.
She has also been involved in grass-roots groups such as Asians Supporting Tino Rangatiratanga and Racial Equity Aotearoa.
Julie Zhu is the Green Party’s Botany electorate candidate for the general election on September 23.