Meet our GLBT parliamentary candidates: Kelly Ellis.

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Kelly Ellis is the Labour Party candidate for Whangarei.

What do you think are the three greatest problems New Zealanders are facing at the moment?

Inequality, greed and poor governance.

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What have you done thus far to help?

I’ve been involved in shaping the law at appellate level for more than two decades. I led a team that successfully lobbied for a law change this year which enables transgender people to be placed in prisons which accord with their gender, regardless of whether they’ve had genital surgery. Not only do I continue working at the criminal justice coal-face for a living, but I am also a founder of TransAdvocates Trust which lobbies on trans issues and does pro bono legal work. Trans presence and influence is one of my goals. Google me and make your own judgment about the effectiveness of my work.

What do you intend to do as an MP to help?

Rather than being in the Criminal Courts, I would now be an advocate in the Highest Court in the land. I would use the opportunity to advance the issues of the people of Whangarei and Northland and, obviously, would be a vigorously pursue and support rainbow issues.

Why should our readers give you their party vote?

Ticking the box for Labour is the most powerful way you can use your party vote if you want to change this hateful Government.

What do you believe are the biggest issues specifically facing the GLBT community?

We need to address statutory discrimination particularly for the transgender community who don’t even have specific protection under the Human Rights Act. They can also be deprived of medical care while in prison. Adoption issues for same sex couples also need to be resolved. Through highly visible efforts to ensure equality, we will crush prejudice. Maybe then the shocking suicide and self-harm statistics in our community will drop.

What would be your message to the New Zealanders so disillusioned by politics that they are not planning to vote this election?

Don’t let other people decide what’s best for you.

Please complete the sentence:

  • When I leave politics I would like my political career to be remembered for my contribution to a more fair and equal society.
  • Winston Peters is… a man.
  • To be a great Prime Minister you need to have… good support.
  • Kim Dot Com is… also a man.
  • Nice guys finish… behind strong women who don’t like stupid questions.
  • New Zealand is… my home.
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