Announcing Helena Nickerson, New Conservative candidate for the East Coast electorate.
Helena has lived in New Zealand since the mid-1990s, working in the education sector.
Helena grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, under the system of Apartheid.
But with the help of her parents, teachers, and the community around her, Helena learned not to give in.
She was taught discipline, sacrifice, a commitment to self-improvement, and the importance of helping others to strive for success.
Helena is wary of political parties and politicians, special interest groups, and others, who lean heavily on identity politics and victimhood based on selective and sometimes negationist history.
It is precisely because of group identity politics in both former and present-day South Africa that Helena takes issue with it here in New Zealand.
The existence of entities and people with a vested interest in creating, maintaining and perpetuating industries of grievance has many negative and corrupting effects on the nation, but perhaps the most significant one is the discouraging influence it has on those people who buy into it and internalise it.
Helena has a wide range of experience in the field of education, spanning seven countries: South Africa, Namibia, China, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand. Her teaching experience was centred on the national curricula in some countries and the international baccalaureate in others.
She has degrees in Teaching, Remedial Education, Special Education Needs Resource Teaching, Psychology and has her Master’s in Education.
From the outset, Helena sought to be aware of the needs of students, to identify stumbling blocks hindering their development and help them manage and work through them.
Helena argues that instead of New Zealand’s current focus on teaching students WHAT to think and feel, we should be focusing a lot more on teaching students HOW to think and feel.
The defence of democracy and freedom of speech are also important to Helena.
Helena supports New Conservative’s Binding Citizens’ Initiated Referenda policy and considers freedom of speech to be our most fundamental freedom.
Because with free speech, we can maintain our rights, freedoms, and liberties, but without it, we would likely lose them.
Helena has worked with people of different nationalities and backgrounds and is always looking for new initiatives that will have positive impacts on people and society.
With her skills, values and personal qualities, Helena will be a very dynamic, effective and excellent candidate.