Respect people and nature

The Taranaki Daily News’ Sarah Foy wrote this profile of me which ran today. For some reason they decided to use a photo of me from when I was 16 even though I had provided them with a beautiful photo by Sean Gillespie. Anyways, here are some highlights.

Jackson Wood remembers doing the career search at school. It was a software programme called Career Quest – details were tapped in; an appropriate career spat out and a percentage given in terms of strength for a job.

He got just two “hits”: politician and comedian.

True and scary. Imagine how many lives have been shaped/ruined by Career Quest’s sage/stupid advice. Since posting this on Facebook and Twitter I have since learned that Laura was told she should be a probation officer (she is a journalist), Holly Walker a DOC Ranger (now an MP), Tim a lawyer (now a lawyer), Fraser detective (now not a detective), and Josh Drummond got the same as me. Soul mates!

Wood was placed with former Green MP Sue Kedgley, not immune to headline-grabbing politics on issues such as food labelling.

“As soon as I walked into her office I felt I had met someone who knew what she was doing, was intellectually honest and wanted to change the world. Those were three things that I wanted to be.”

Sue is one of my heroes! The year as an intern in her office was great.

There, attempts to change the world morphed into offending the world – well, at least parts of New Zealand.

“I would never do something so stupid again.”

Oh dear… oh dear… I hadn’t been prepared for the Lundy 500 question.

Stereotyping the Greens as economically illiterate was wrong and unhelpful.

The “sandal-wearing, dreadlock, beard-smoking hippy” is just not true, nor is the “Greens hate farmers” myth, he insists.

If I had a dollar for every time I had run up against these myths, I would be a very rich man. Almost as rich as John Key who last week said Greens don’t know much about economics. That’s bullshit, John.

“That to me is the perfect microcosm of what Green politics is about. It’s about knowing about the environment, respecting it and respecting people. The values I grew up with are the reason I’m involved in politics now.”

As I talked about in my speech to the Values 40th: my parents made me. I cannot thank them enough for their constant love and support.

Photo by Sean Gillespie

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