By Sheila Mariano
Filipino Migrant News (FMN): What motivated you to put your name forward?
Francisco Hernandez (FH): New Zealand has been really good to me and my family. I believe that it’s my duty to give back to my community and my country by fighting for policies that continue to make New Zealand the great country it is.
FMN: Do you think it is time that Pinoys were represented on Local Boards and in Government?
FH: Absolutely. About 1 in 100 New Zealanders are Filipino, but we don’t have any Filipino politicians at a local or national level yet.
I’m hoping to become the first Filipino elected to public office in New Zealand.
FMN: What will you lobby for if elected?
FH: I’m fighting for a fairer, greener and safer Auckland. To get a fairer Auckland I will support policies that increase affordable housing stock. To get a greener Auckland I will support better public transport and safer cycleways.
To get a safer Auckland I will support initiatives like community safety pat-rols. There have been too many sad cases like Blessie Gotingco where migrant communities have fallen victim to crime and I want to see Auckland Council doing more to address that.
FMN: Your message to voters?
FH: Maraming salamat para sa inyong support. We have an opportunity as a community to make history and to make New Zealand’s biggest city the best place it can be. With your support we can make Auckland fairer, greener and safer.