Jan’s Southland childhood established her deep connection with the beauty of an untouched environment. But it was the impact of the economic reforms of the 1980s that led her toward people-oriented work, giving a voice to those who often go unheard.
Jan worked for Women’s Refuge, the New Zealand University Students’ Association, the YWCA and numerous other social causes before entering Parliament in 2011. She also has a proud history as a volunteer - for Youthline, HELP Sexual Abuse Crisis Line, Wellington Rape Crisis Board and others.
Combining her big picture thinking with her experience of helping individuals personally gives Jan a uniquely caring and practical political perspective.
In Parliament she has been a champion for people and families affected by domestic and sexual violence. She initiated a select committee inquiry into funding for specialist sexual abuse and social services, and her Workplace Protection Bill is designed to protect victims and reduce the significant economic impact of domestic violence.
Jan made global headlines when she was detained in Sri Lanka while highlighting human rights abuses to which the Government had turned a blind eye.
Jan wants to see the way we practice politics change to strengthen faith in our democracy. She believes that public engagement and greater transparency are central to trust in both the system and our politicians.