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‘Championing animal welfare in Port Waikato by-election’: Anna Rippon’s campaign with AJP

In the midst of the Port Waikato by-election, Anna Rippon’s candidacy with the Animal Justice Party Aotearoa NZ (AJP) marks a pivotal moment in politics. The rise of AJP highlights an increasing societal demand for the ethical treatment of animals, signifying a crucial turning point in New Zealand’s political landscape. Rippon’s candidacy addresses pressing issues in animal welfare and symbolises a noteworthy shift towards a more varied and specialised representation in our political spectrum.

Rippon, a dedicated member of the animal advocacy community since 2019, is taking centre stage as the candidate for the upcoming by-election triggered by the passing of ACT’s Neil Christensen. With a robust background in administration, including over 12 years at the Head Office of a major John Deere Dealership based in Pukekohe, Rippon currently serves as a Legal Assistant in a leading law firm while pursuing her Bachelor of Law.

“I am running as a candidate to ensure that the strong public support for animal welfare translates into tangible changes. It’s time for actions, not just words,” says Rippon.

Rippon’s campaign is centred around three key priorities, each addressing a pressing need in animal welfare: “An Independent Commissioner for Animals is essential to be a dedicated advocate for animals. We need someone who can champion their interests, independent of the Ministry for Primary Industries.” Like many others, Rippon believes animals deserve a voice that is solely theirs.

Rippon emphasises the need to build on recent successes, such as securing the live export-by-sea ban. “While we’ve made significant strides, we must continue progressing, not regressing,” Rippon urges. Extending the Ban on Live Export is a crucial step in this journey. “Expanding the ban to include day-old chicks, longfin eels, and crayfish is a matter of ethics and compassion. Live export raises serious welfare concerns, and we must act to prevent unnecessary suffering. Let’s move forward, not backward, in our commitment to humane treatment and ethical standards,” she concludes.

Rippon is also calling for better regulation and increased resources. “By allocating more funds to desexing companion animals, we take a proactive step to address the root of the problem. This isn’t just about reducing shelter populations; it’s about promoting responsible guardianship.”

Rippon’s candidacy aligns with the values of the AJP, a party dedicated to advocating for systemic change and practical solutions for animals. Rippon invites the community to join this movement, stating, “Together, we can make a real difference and create a more compassionate and just society for all animals.”

The by-election will temporarily add an extra seat to Parliament, as per pre-MMP rules. While this may disrupt the usual proportionality temporarily, it is a standard feature of all by-elections. Rippon urges the people of Port-Waikato electorate who have not yet voted to spare a moment tomorrow to go to their local voting place. “Port-Waikato already has Casey Costelo in Parliament as a list MP; it would be great to see more people represented by having another party also representing the people of Port-Waikato. A vote for me and AJP is a vote for a solutions-based community where all voices are invited to sit at the table, including our much-loved animals.”


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