My name is Deborah Russell, and I’m standing for Labour in Rangitīkei in the 2014 general election.
I’m deeply committed to our health, education and welfare systems. They are great treasures in New Zealand, because they mean that being down doesn’t mean being out, that there is a way to get up and get going again, that people who are vulnerable will be supported and enabled to participate in our society.
That’s the guiding mantra for me. How does this decision, that policy, this event, affect the most vulnerable people? How will it help children to flourish? How will it help to make sure that every New Zealander has real opportunities, no matter whether they are in Taumarunui or Dunedin, on a farm out the back of Taihape or living in a down town Auckland apartment.
One of the things I love about New Zealand is that we want to make our country better. We often get told that we’re a bit dour, that we take ourselves too seriously. But I think that reflects something very important about us: that we are prepared to keep on talking and keep on working and keep on trying to make life here better. I’m proud to be part of that work, and I want to do more of it.
I’m a tax expert, a writer and a thinker. I was born in Whangamomona, and grew up in New Plymouth. I’ve studied at Otago University in Dunedin, and spent a few years living in Australia, but for most of my life, I’ve lived and worked in the lower part of Te Ika a Maui, the North Island of New Zealand. This is where I feel at home.
I’ve worked in the private sector as an accountant, and in the public sector as a policy analyst. I’ve lectured at universities in Australia and New Zealand in taxation, ethics, business ethics, political theory and philosophy. At present, I’m a senior lecturer in taxation at Massey University.
I’m married to a wonderful man, and we are parents of three beautiful daughters.