Podcast: Politics with Paul

On the first Friday of every month Paul (the other one) Barlow joins me on Free FM to recap the month in city politics.  We talk about the players, the game and the issues. In this podcast (from 17min) we round-up the candidates who have announced their intention to campaign in the upcoming election.  Candidates for Hamilton East have been coming through thick and fast (and I’m excited by them all!) – West and Regional Council a bit slower – but hey, its over a month until nominations actually open (July 12th).

New candidates include Matthew Small, Meleane Burgess, Louise Hutt, Anna Smart, Tim Young and Kesh Naidoo-Rauf.  Please spend time from now until October getting to know more about the people who want to make city decisions – on your behalf.

If you’re specifically interested in finding out more about the women campaigning – and want to support them – Political Women Waikato.

In terms of our city’s low voter turnout and lack of diversity, its been exciting to see new and diverse faces announce.  Which took us to talking about diversity, and what “f##k the status quo” actually means. 

Have a listen to the podcast – let us know what you think!

Disclaimer:  Our own un-paid opinions.  Please feel free to clarify facts if we get them wrong – we do try to be fair. Please join me in thanking Hamilton Taxis for sponsoring local content on Free FM.


One of the last taboo subjects

About 25% of women in Aotearoa have had an abortion, yet we don’t talk about it and it still comes under the Crimes Act.

In this Free FM podcast I speak to Terry Belamak from ALRANZ (Abortion law reform). I ask why this matters (human rights), the current process to access abortion in NZ, whether there is equal access across New Zealand and the process to change a 40 year old law.

Listen to the podcast, interview starts at 12min: http://bit.do/episode-133

To support ALRANZ’s petition to government – giving ministers a clear message that we want the law to change. Sign the petition below.


You can sign more than one! Here’s another petition to change the law


Before this interview – I watched Paula Penfold’s Big Decision. Recommend!


Episode 132: Climate (in)action and uncomfortable words

In this podcast I wrap up the week in local political news (Hamilton NZ).  Have a listen or check out the summary below…..

Hamilton’s grey wall of shame is about to get a make-over (at long last).  The $100,000 price-tag will be fundraised by Beyond Tomorrow Trust – who we don’t know much about except that Councillor Ryan Hamilton is a trustee.  According to the Charities register the purpose of the trust was religion and education… regardless, I look forward to the design being one that recognises the cultural significance of that site for Maaori. 

Go Eco presented their ‘State of the Environment’ report which included a presentation by a Hillcrest High Student – who is a first time voter this year – asking for urgency in response to the climate crisis.  He’s involved in the School strikes for climate movement who you can find out more about here.

However, it was the attempt by Mayor Andrew to censor a couple of paragraphs of the report that attracted nationwide media coverage.  You can watch the live streamed video of the meeting here.  In my opinion, councillors who were uncomfortable over words like ‘colonisation’, ‘privilege’, ‘pakeha’ or ‘oppression’ need to start reading history books, getting out into the community they claim to represent and need to reflect rather than get defensive and upset about facts presented.  We’ve got to acknowledge the problem before we can find workable solutions.

Friday the 17th was the last day to send in a submission to the Gambling Commission to oppose Sky City swapping three blackjack tables for 63 pokie machines.

We had the first candidate announcement for the Waikato Regional Council, with former CEO of the Waikato Chamber of Commerce William Durning putting his hat in the ring.  

When I grow up…

Free FM podcast link 🎧 http://bit.do/episode-131

Did you choose your career or fall into it? Do you love what you do or are you stuck in a rut? 🙄

In this podcast, Amy McLean shares her journey from accounting to the fitness industry and then on to small business and personal coaching. 🤜💕🤛 We try to make sense of expectations on young people and how we can live a life that follows our values and passion.

Amy and I in the Free FM studio

If what we talk about in this podcast resonates you can follow her Facebook page and check out her blog and website http://www.m4collective.com

This Free FM podcast is brought to you with the support of Hamilton Taxis – so please show your support to them by flagging them next time you need a ride home from town!.

Why I think women say no to politics

In 2013, I watched the election campaign of father and son Nick and Paul Ravlich. I liked seeing people who weren’t politicians putting their hand up to make decisions for our city. Councillors always seemed the same and they certainly weren’t hanging out where I did, or making decisions congruent with my priorities. So, in 2016 I thought… ‘I’ll give it a go’ and stand as a Hamilton West candidate.

Apart from wanting to prove that you don’t have to be a rich old white man to be elected, I love this city and want to look after the things that are important to me and my family, like the environment, our community and arts and heritage. I saw local politics as a way of doing that. I changed my mind the day the nomination forms were available… there were lots of reasons – I’ll break them down.

Here are 10 reasons I think women don’t run for council

  1. It looks boring. Have you watched a council meeting?
  2. The vagueness of expected time commitment makes it hard for people with young families to decide if they can do it or not.
  3. We don’t have thousands of dollars to risk on a campaign.
  4. The job is one thing, but putting together a campaign and trying to sell ourselves to strangers is terrifying.
  5. Public speaking
  6. Being vilified in media, abused and threatened while doing ‘our job’. Particularly the stress on our family when this happens.
  7. The other councillors don’t look like ‘my kind of people’.
  8. Even if I do vote one way, the rest will vote against and I won’t be effective. What’s the point?
  9. I’m not sure I want to participate in a broken political system.
  10. Rinse and repeat.

Tomorrow I’ll be meeting with other women who want to change politics, and support other women to campaign in the election. Watch this space.

If you want to come along 10-12pm Saturday May 4th. YWCA Hamilton (Pembroke Street).

Situation vacant: Female city councillor

Kelli from the Tron

Published first in Hamilton News 30 November 2018

Situation Vacant: Hamilton City Councillor.  Fixed term role starts October 2019.  Remuneration starts at $71,638.  Job description:  To represent and lead the community, set policies, make regulatory decisions and review council performance.  Preference: Female.

Women hold a mere 25% of the seats in our current city council.  Did you notice?  Probably not.  We’ve become used to our local government lacking diversity in gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background.  But, imagine how different the dynamics and decision-making process of a council that truly represented our city would be.  I’m not asking for quotas to achieve diversity, we don’t need them – but we do need to support more women to put their name forward for next year’s local elections.  Will you join me?

Are we lacking strong female community leaders?  Are we short on ambitious, strategic professional women?  Would Mums with young families prefer…

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Cycleways, infill, foamy rivers and the Tron express. Episode #130

Listen to the podcast www.bit.do/kellifromthetron

I read through some local news, before being joined by Paul Barlow for ‘our own political opinions’.

What makes a good campaign? Who sets the agenda? Does it even matter?

Music: the NEW track from Cheshire Grimm, the latest from Strangely Arousing and a tribute to dDub.

This Free FM show is supported by Hamilton Taxi’s so please show your thanks by flagging them when you need a taxi.

Listen to the podcast www.bit.do/kellifromthetron
or tune in to Free FM89.0 at 9am Saturday for the encore.