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.

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