Ko Tapuae-o-Uenuku tōku maunga
Ko Waiau Toa tōku awa
Ko Ngāi Tahu rāua ko Te Arawa ōku iwi
Ko Ngāti Kuri rāua ko Ngāti Pikiao ōku hapu
Ko Takahanga tōku marae
No Kaikōura ahau
Ko Darlene Morgan ahau
Born and raised in the coastal town of Kaikōura, strongly influenced by my interactions and experiences in a beautiful natural environment, from the mountains to the sea, I have developed a great respect for the history of our place and the heritage of our people – past and present. My father was a cray fisherman and my mother was very active in the community and supporting our marae. I previously worked in the tourism and hospitality industry and have small business experience.
As a mother of three, I became very involved in a variety of community groups and organisations which spurred my love of learning. As a qualified early childhood teacher since 2005, I have developed trusting relationships with children, their families and many colleagues. I served two terms as a Councillor for the Kaikoura District from 2010-2016 where I constantly challenged rigid thinking and the status quo. I stood as a Mayoral candidate three times, seeking to improve community participation, greater transparency and accountability. I have also been involved in my local Rūnanga through various roles and have always advocated for genuine community partnerships based on the values of manākitangā (hospitality/respect), whanaungatanga (relationships/connections) and kaitiakitangā (guardianship/protection).
My love for our natural environment, community and society has led to concerns around current aerial pest control methods, diminishing access to hunting, food gathering and recreation, the administration of public lands, the poor state of our waterways, effects of toxins in our food and on our health, food production methods, export of our local produce, issues around recycling and pollution, land use and resource consents, foreign investment and corporatocracy. However, I am excited about organics, regenerative methods for horticulture and agriculture, holistic health, localism that supports creativity and innovation as well as the prospects for education and instilling the value of lifelong learning. It is for these reasons, as well as my passion for equality and true democracy, that I am standing as a candidate for the New Zealand Outdoors Party alongside a great team of like-minded and passionate people. I share the party’s vision for a New Zealand that is self-reliant, resilient and thriving – one that considers what is best for all of us, our children and their children to come and I look forward to getting to know the Kaikōura Electorate.
A technological wave is about to engulf us and our lives are currently in a huge process of change where we must stand fast in our freedoms and rights – our inherent sovereignty as a people and as individuals. I feel that it is vital we recognise that now, more than ever, the New Zealand outdoors and the well-being of our environment is essential for our cultural, social, economic and spiritual well-being. The New Zealand Outdoors is the heart of our way of life and is the key to our future.