Lan is of Vietnamese and Pākehā (Irish, English) heritage from Ōtautahi, Christchurch. Born and bred in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, she’s been a Te Waipounamu South Island convert since 2008.
Her background is in Freshwater Ecology where she gained her masters at the University of Otago and worked in both public service and grass-roots conservation and freshwater habitat restoration (DOC, Working Waters Trust), including working with mana whenua, farmers, schools, and community groups across Waitaha Canterbury, Ōtākou Otago and Murihiku Southland.
Lan served 2 terms on Environment Canterbury (Regional Council for Waitaha Canterbury) where she was the highest polling candidate in the constituency she contested in both 2016 (when she ran her campaign from the remote island of Rāngitahua Raoul Island in the Kermadecs) and 2019 local government elections.
A few examples of the most significant achievements she’s proud of during her time on Environment Canterbury include: Council publicly opposing deep sea oil and gas drilling off the Waitaha Canterbury coast, being the first Council in Aotearoa to declare a ‘Climate emergency’, the passing of the Ngāi Tahu Bill which enabled the appointment of two Ngāi Tahu Councillors, increasing biodiversity and biosecurity expenditure from 9m in 2017 to 36m in 2021, publicly opposing nitrate pollution as part of changes to the Land and Water Plan and across Waitaha, the introduction of $1 and $2 bus fares for all of Greater Christchurch, and being the first Regional Council in Aotearoa to become a certified Living Wage employer.
Lan was a certified RMA Commissioner and in 2021 was appointed as an Independent Freshwater Commissioner. She’s since resigned from those roles in order to remain politically active in this time of change where the need for good green decision-making and action is critical. She is driven to secure an awesome future for our kids and grandkids and to create an Aotearoa where people and environment flourish under Te Tiriti.
"We can put caring for each other and caring for our environment at the heart of how we make decisions in Aotearoa."