Wellington Area Council President,
BA, LLB (Hons), LLM(Lond)
Married to Catherine, we have 4 adult children and live in Wellington.
I am a member of the City Conference associated with the parish of St Mary of the Angels. I was elected President of the Wellington Area of SVdP in September last year. I am a lawyer by profession (now retired). I have worked in senior policy roles (aviation) in Government, as Legal Counsel to the Dairy Board and Fonterra and latterly as Company Secretary and Legal Adviser to Landcorp Farming Ltd. Over that period I have served as a director on various company boards, as trustee on school boards of trustees (including as Chairman), and as member of several Parish Councils and social justice committees. I am a member of the Compassion Centre Soup Kitchen outreach team making contact with Wellington’s homeless.
I am passionate about identifying and exposing areas of social injustice and to actively pursue remedies. I am currently focused on topics relating to the Living Wage, Zero-Hours Contracts, Mandatory Warrant of Fitnesses for Rental Accommodation, and NZ Refugee Quota Programme. I feel that it is very important to let the world know that we stand in support of the poor and disadvantaged.
I am currently liaising and collaborating with other social service providers both nationally and locally. To date this has included Catholic Social Services, Caritas Aotearoa-New Zealand, Compassion Centre Soup Kitchen, Kaibosh Food Rescue, Wellington City Mission, The Downtown Community Ministry in Wellington, The Salvation Army, The Presbyterian Support Services and The New Zealand Council of Social Services.
I am inspired by Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium and in particular his concern for the poor:
“I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security …. More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules that make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us “Give them something to eat.”