So the Great Game begins!

"If you must bow your head, let it be to a high mountain"As you probably know, I’m standing for Labour in Taranaki – King Country.  I bring experience to the job that will prove invaluable. 

I’ve worked in Electorate Offices so I know what constituents expect of their MPs.

I’m a good communicator; as a journalist I was trained to ask questions and to listen to the answers, I prefer to think before I speak.

I’ve been a lab assistant, vet’s assistant, tomato picker, kiwifruit packer, scrub-cutter and rousie, sheep and beef stud farmer, eco-tourism host, shop owner, agricultural journalist and columnist. 

I’ve been into sustainability since Norm Kirk initiated the Ohu. 

I’ve supported Labour for all these years because Labour’s values are my values. 

We believe in families, communities, in hard work, education and a strong economy.

We believe a profitable, sustainable primary sector underpins the well being of our whole nation.

I believe Taranaki-King Country needs to keep growing and to become an ever more desirable place to live and work.

To achieve that, we need quality infrastructure and quality services – well resourced schools, accessible health services, fast broadband, well-maintained roads, rail and public transport.

If I am elected I promise to work hard to make all these a reality for Taranaki-King Country.




Cottage Meeting Te Awamutu

“GOING BUSH” Photos « GRASSROOTS Renee4tkc

Photos « GRASSROOTS Renee4tkc

Hi everyone.

I’m sorry the photo pages are muddly – the technology is stretching my abilities and just getting the pics up is a mission for me – getting them to display in order seems to be beyond me at the moment.  Perhaps I’ll learn as I go along.  No promises though *smiles hopefully*


Hello world!

     Hi there.  I’m Renee Hapimarika van de Weert.  I whakapapa to Ngati te Whiti, I’m 58,  I’m married to Rene Emile (yes, truly!) I’m a JP, and I work for Parliament.  I’ve been stock taking lately;  how did I get to where I am, now?  The route has been circuitous.  If I were to try to map it, I reckon, it’d look like the scribbles of a very young child.   Yet looking back, I believe none of it has been wasted and everything is proving useful now – despite my wondering often what I was doing and why?

I’ve been employed, self-employed, contracted, freelancer, under and over employed.  As a married woman, technically I’ve never been unemployed but Rene was made redundant several times in the late 80’s, a horrible experience that changed both of us for ever.

I left school at 16, met Rene at 17, married him at 19 and now, 40 years on, with two kids, and three grandchildren, we’re off on a NEW ADVENTURE – more of that, later.

I started work as a receptionist in a children’s book importers.  A couple of years after that, I was a sub-editor at a book publishers.  Many years later, I wrote my own children’s book, The Last Whale/Te Tohora Whakamutunga, which was shortlisted in the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards.  More of that, and a collection of my columns, too, later.

I worked in a printing factory, and I cleaned people’s homes and did their laundry.

I’ve been a laboratory assistant and a vet clinic assistant.  I’ve picked and packed tomatoes, gherkins and kiwifruit.  I’ve been a scrubcutter and a lousy rousie.  I’ve been a stable hand and I’ve done the night shift foaling beat on a thoroughbred horse stud.

I’ve been a hobby farmer, a small farmer, a sheep and beef stud farmer, an eco-tourist and hunter’s farmstay host, an Agricultural Journalist and Columnist.  Again, we’ll get back to that… later.

I’ve been a Staff Trainer, Budget Adviser, a budgeting, adult literacy and creative writing tutor.

And finally, over the last few years, I’ve been working for Parliament, supporting several MPs, Janet Mackey, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Hon Parekura Horomia, Martin Gallagher and Di Yates, in particular.  Now, I’m working in Harry Duynhoven’s office.

So that’s me – for starters, anyway.