Kia ora, my name is Anahila Kanongataʻa-Suisuiki, I’m a List MP and the Labour candidate for Papakura. I was born in Tonga, grew up in Onehunga and now Papakura is my home away from home. I’m a team player, I chair the Labour Women’s Caucus and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Pacific Caucus, which represents 15 countries. I have a background in social services, leading teams around the country and working with some of our most vulnerable people. This is what fuelled me to move into politics. I want to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives, from grass roots to green shoots to thriving pastures.
Labour has worked hard for Papakura and New Zealand. We have, under Jacinda’s Ardern’s leadership, weathered the COVID storm and are focussed on building a strong economy.
We supported local businesses with the wage subsidy and interest free loans, provided a welcome cash injection for our schools, extended paid parental leave to 26 weeks, and provided incredible opportunities for our people through free trades training and apprenticeships.
Two of the recently announced fast-tracked roading and rail projects are happening right on our doorstep: the Papakura – Pukekohe rail electrification and the Papakura – Drury SH1 roading upgrade. These projects will mean more jobs and will deliver the infrastructure we need to keep moving.
People are at the heart of what we do, and I want you to know that I plan to be there every step of the way as we rebuild and recover. Our billboards show me standing shoulder to shoulder with Jacinda, and I want you to know that I stand shoulder to shoulder with you, the people of Papakura.
My focus will be jobs, supporting businesses and health. I’ve always been one of the biggest advocates for housing, having grown up in state housing myself. I know how a warm, dry home can impact on someone’s wellbeing and I will fight for this as long as I’m in Parliament. I am also in Wellington this week to support the first reading of a bill I submitted.
My bill is to ensure that the life necessities of the disability community are protected. The issue was brought to my attention by Community Law, South Auckland, after a man’s disability vehicle was seized by debt collectors to be sold at auction. As a result, he was unable to access medical care and ended up in hospital. At the moment, bailiffs can seize mobility vehicles, wheelchairs - even dogs – from people who depend on them. I’m pleased to say that at the time of writing the bill passed its first reading. Bringing the voice of the community to Parliament is why I’m here and why I do what I do.
You may have seen one of our campaign posters which includes myself, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Louisa Wall (Manurewa) and Hon Willie Jackson. We had a shared campaign launch, with Baljit Kaur (Port Waikato) too.
We want to show that all the Labour candidates stand together, and we will and can work as a cohesive team to make real, positive and lasting changes for South Auckland. One MP is powerful, but a united team across South Auckland is a force!
The amazing Labour volunteer team are busy at our new campaign office at 182 Great South Road, Papakura. Please pop in for a chat and a cup of tea, and enrol to vote, if you haven’t done so already. When I’m not in Wellington, or in the community – you will find me there too.
Thanks to proven leadership and a detailed plan, we are on track to rebuild stronger and faster. We need to keep building on this success, we need to keep moving, we need to keep Labour.
This September party vote Labour and Anahila Kanongataʻa-Suisuiki for Papakura.