Julie | Mt Roskill

“My name’s Julie and I live in Mt Roskill. It would be my dad, definitely. He died about 11 years ago when my first child was a baby, and I’d love to sit down with him and see him again. I miss him a lot, and a lot has changed in my life since he died, so lots to catch up on.

But also, I’m curious about what he’d think about what’s happening in the world right now. We always used to argue about politics, he and I. Usually in a nice way and now I’m a politician and I’m married to a politician, I wonder what he would think of what’s happening internationally and nationally.  I think that a lot of the things that are going on, and I know what happened in Christchurch would have really broken his heart, and I think that could have been a real turning point for him and hopefully others of his generation, to think about; how do we make a friendlier community, a more inclusive society where everybody is welcome? Because he never treated anybody differently, personally based on their race, but he did have some views that were pretty regressive, unfortunately, and I think a lot of it was just generational, and it would be nice to sit down and talk with him about how he felt about that now and what he thought about some of the consequences and changes that have happened over the last 11 years.

My mum is from Mt Roskill, originally and then I grew up on the North Shore. Then my husband and I quite deliberately moved to Mt Roskill. We wanted to live somewhere that was really multi-cultural and a community that was really mixed and had people from all sorts of walks of life to bring our kids up in. That’s what we’re doing now, and so for me, something I really value is the diversity of our community, and I know a lot of people say that, but it is really one of those communities where you can meet people from all over the world, whether they were born here or have moved here. You know, 50 per cent of the people in this community have come from overseas. You can find people with all sorts of life experiences. We’ve got people who rely on benefits and live in State Houses, and then we’ve got people who live in very expensive quasi-mansions on the coast. So it is a real melting pot here, and that’s one of the things I love the most about it.”

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