It all started when...
I am of old fashioned working class stock with the associated values of community and family. My father migrated here from the Pacific Islands and my mother was part of the 1960s urbanisation of Māori communities. They met at the door of a South Auckland pub where my Dad was the bouncer and my mother was trying to get in without I.D. My grandfather an elder in the Pacific Islands Church had very strong views on education he wanted me to be either a minister of the church or a lawyer. Consequently I have a degree in law which has turned out to be quite useful in my international advocacy work. Grandfather seemed satisfied with this choice even if it was the less biblical of the options. He was less impressed when I told him that I could not support his Labour Party because I had learnt what neo-liberal economics meant for workers rights and environmental regulation.
In different communities I am known for different things. In the Pasifika community I am known for my work in the Education sector and climate change advocacy. In Maori communities I am known for my work on indigenous rights. Locally I am a community activist working with other like minded citizens organising panels, workshops and the occasional protest.
Internationally I am known for all those things and I have worked on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. (If you have connections there - I may be available after September 23rd ). I am both comfortable working in the various urban mazes that make up the UN in New York or Geneva as I am working with remote rural communities. ( I have worked with two remote rainforest communities.) It is a cliche but for me acting local and thinking global is something that does explain my work.
I have worked in two bureaucracies once in education policy working off Molesworth street in Wellington and the second when I was based in the science sector at UNESCO in Paris focussing on Indigenous Knowledge and Small Islands issues. A couple of times I have been the formal face of the UN which means representing a broad range of understanding of which my beliefs may only make up a slice of a wider spectrum of values. In my experience clear relationships both professional and personal on a foundation of teamwork has helped me navigate that spectrum.
I have over 20 years of advocacy experience at the international, national and local levels which include two Rio convention processes. My work with different NGOs and the private sector continue to orbit the dual themes of education and advocacy. Currently I work for CORE Education a professional learning and development organisation as a publisher where I have produced, written or edited either individually or as a team. These materials typically have an environmental focus covering issues such as biodiversity and climate change. They are designed to be of use to teachers in the classroom.