The Green Party has selected constitutional lawyer Susanne Ruthven as their candidate for the Hutt South electorate.
Susanne Ruthven has strong roots in Lower Hutt. Born and bred in the valley, she now lives in Maungaraki with her husband and four young children.
As a working mother with young children, Susanne is representative of a large part, and closely connected to, the community.
“More than ever Green Party policies are resonating with locals I talk to,” Ms Ruthven says.
“Hutt people are concerned about the same issues as people nationwide: housing affordability, education for all, the swim-ability of our rivers and how we can steer our country towards a sustainable future.”
“At the heart of their concerns is that people want a Government that does what’s right, that stands up for our rights and freedoms.”
Susanne brings the rather unusual blend of being both a constitutional lawyer and a qualified early childcare teacher.
One day she will be at Harbour Chambers working alongside Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC, the next exploring the undergrowth with her children at Playcentre.
A specialist in human rights, judicial review and international law, Susanne works to protect the rights and freedoms of New Zealanders. She defends our civil liberties on a world platform by taking the New Zealand Government to the United Nations proving breaches of New Zealanders’ rights under international law.
Susanne believes the Government needs to be more accountable and transparent, there should be greater protection of human rights and democracy should be stronger. That’s what drives her to work with Sir Geoffrey Palmer in support of a written constitution for New Zealand.
Green Party Co-leader James Shaw says: “Susanne is exactly the kind of person we need in Parliament. To make the Government fulfil its responsibilities on climate change, human rights and a host of other things, New Zealand needs a written constitution. Susanne would be supremely qualified to make this happen.”
What motivates Susanne is her family, community and environment. She wants her children to grow up in a thriving Hutt Valley where everyone lives in a warm dry home and is paid a living wage and education is well-funded for all. That the Te Awakairangi/Hutt River is, as she experienced it as a child, clean and swimmable.
Susanne is supported by long serving Hutt City Councillor Lisa Bridson, who says, “Susanne is an exceptional candidate for Hutt South. She has deep roots in Lower Hutt and she understands the issues facing the Hutt from her involvement in many of our community organisations.”