My bus stop has moved again – Damian Light

Have the Public Transport changes from the CRL affected you in any way so far?

A little bit – my bus stop has moved again. First from up on Victoria St West to Albert and now down to Quay St. Other than forgetting its moved the first few days, it hasn’t been much of a hassle. It’s forced me to take a different walking route to work which means exploring parts of the city I hadn’t seen in years, so a silver lining!

I’m excited by the CRL – it gets a lot of bad press for just being a good thing for the rail network but the flow on effects will be felt on the shore. More trains mean less buses in the city which means the buses left will be less congested.

We can debate the cost and timing but the reality is that Auckland needs it and the longer we wait the more expensive it becomes. We should’ve done it decades ago, we can’t afford to make that mistake again.

– Damian Light, United Future

I am seeing a drop in the price of ethical food – Damian Light

What shops that previously were really expensive 5 years ago do you find yourself visiting this year?

I can’t think of specific shops but I am seeing a drop in the price of ethical food (e.g. organic, free range, fair trade). These products used to be luxury items and, while they’re still more expensive than the regular alternative, they are becoming more mainstream which is great.

– Damian Light, United future

I’m trying to keep an open mind … – Damian Light

With council election campaigns already underway, who has your attention at this early stage?

With Len Brown not standing we will have a new mayor by the end of the year, the question is who will take it. I’m trying to keep an open mind and watch all the candidates. It’s too early to be making a decision on who is prefer plus we haven’t seen enough of them yet to be able to make an informed decision.
The new mayor needs to be someone who can pull together what has become a divided council and set a clear, united direction for Auckland.
Councillor wise I haven’t seen a full list of who is standing (or who isn’t). I am keeping in mind some of the decisions made over the past term by our current councillors some which conflict with what they’ve been saying.
The critical part is to find out what the candidates are saying but also see what they’ve been doing (where possible). As they say past performance is the best indicator of future performance.
We need councillors who are able to listen to the community they represent but also explain to them why decisions have been made. They’re a critical link between the council and the people they serve. We also need them to be leaders, making the tough calls, not just for today but for the future generations too.
– Damian Light, United Future

It’s how we booked our holiday – Damian Light

What about the internet connects us but disconnects us at the same time?
The internet is an amazing thing – it’s allowing me to respond to this question from the other side of the world. It’s how we booked our holiday, connected with our friends we met here and learn about the counties we’re visiting all while staying in touch with friends and family at home.
It’s an incredible equaliser and connector, bringing people together from almost anywhere and everywhere. 
There is the downside: it’s very easy to get lost in the online world and forget about the one outside your door. Like everything it needs to be used in moderation and with care.
– Damian Light, United Future

I have three wonderful flatmates that I have known for years – Anne-Elise Smithson

How common is it to have flatmates at least one time in our lives?

I think it’s very common for people to live with flatmates. I’m a renter and I have three wonderful flatmates that I have known for years.

There can sometimes be social attitudes of looking down on people who rent. I think this is a shame and something we need to change, especially in Auckland where house prices are currently beyond reach for most people.

I would love to see more sustainable, affordable, secure tenancy in New Zealand. This is especially good for social cohesion as it’s good for people to feel connected to their communities and feel they can stay a while.  

– Anne-Elise Smithson, The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

There is still more to be done – Damian Light

Subway has stopped selling caffeinated products, and you can’t even get diet drinks from a certain hospital. Do we have our sugar intakes under control?

I think people are more aware of sugar and the impact it has which is a huge step. Knowledge is power and this is especially true when it comes to health. There is still more to be done and, while sugar is a major issue, it’s not the only one. We also need to focus on healthy eating in general and also exercise too.

– Damian Light, United Future