Community leader joins the Greens talented Team
Ash Holwell named Green candidate for Whangarei electorate.
Community leader and social innovator, Ash Holwell, joins the powerful and diverse chorus of young voices within the
Green Party of Aotearoa for the 2017 election.
Ash has worked as an innovative community and cultural leader in Whangarei over the past four years since his return
from a stint overseas. He has been a significant contributor to Whangarei’s renewal, helping to create Whare Bike; a
professional thretre group, Company of Giants, with actor/director Laurel Devenie; and, a community centre ONEONESIX.
“The experience of living and working in communities that are struggling, because they aren’t being listened to, is a
huge motivator for me in my work. Running with the Greens is a powerful extension of this passion, and I dream of
enabling the communities that I know and love, to flourish with a new government that actually cares about them.”
Ash’s highly successful grass roots engagement has helped in the development of numerous opportunities for Whangarei,
creating a consistent track record of establishing collaborative solutions that work. For example, about a year ago
local theatre group, Company of Giants, took over the lease of the old church in Whangarei to create a vibrant community
arts and performance centre, ONEONESIX. Over the past year, thousands have used ONEONESIX - it’s been filled with a
range of diverse activities from community choirs to movement therapy for kids, community radio, Mau Rakau, and a range
of theatre groups.
“Over the past four years, we’ve demonstrated that communities who share creatively really do improve their collective
wellbeing and quality of life.” says Ash. “The skills and resources within our communities in Aotearoa are enormous. We
just need leaders who are brave enough to trust and empower those communities to unleash their full potential.”
“So many elements of our nation have been ignored by those who we trusted so much in our Parliament. I expect more from
the people we entrust to make decisions on our behalf, because the decisions that have been made over the past decades
have tended to be only on behalf of a select few, and as a consequence, we are all missing out.”
Ash brings a strong arts and culture focus, holding a degree in Industrial Design, a Masters in Art and Science from
Vienna, and a career which has seen him build works exhibited at some of the world’s largest art and design fairs
(Design Miami/Basel, Milan Design Week). Ash also provides strong links to the innovative practices of art and design in
the development of New Zealand as a leader in many sectors.
Having lived in the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, as well as Whangarei, Wellington and Auckland; played hockey for New
Zealand; mentored projects for UNICEF; contracted to national waste innovators Rekindle; been awarded national arts
commissions; having two Design Institute of New Zealand (DINZ) Best Awards; and having designed organisations and trust
boards, Ash brings a wealth of experience to the Greens exciting and high-profile line-up.
Moea Armstrong and Jack Craw, the Whangarei Greens co-convenors, say “We are really pleased to have such an innovative
and energetic Green candidate in Ash Holwell. He is the driving force behind many powerful initiatives in Whangarei, and
there will be more to come. He is a creative, educated and experienced community-builder with core Green values. We are
lucky to have him in the party.”