The Labour Party has selected former refugee Afnan Al-Rubayee as its candidate for the Lambton Ward in the 2022 Wellington City Council elections.
Al-Rubayee is a Senior Adviser in the public sector and holds a number of community leadership roles including as spokesperson for the National Refugee and Migrant Forum of Aotearoa.
She is a mother and is studying part-time towards a BA / BCom at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington.
“I arrived in New Zealand in 2003 with my family as a refugee, fleeing the aftermath of the Gulf War in Iraq. We arrived with nothing but simple English and the clothes on our backs. I have since made it my mission to give back to the community here in Wellington.
“I want to bring a fresh perspective on how we can make Wellington even better in every way – whether it’s housing, infrastructure, climate change or how we can come together as a city to better this place for the generations to come.
“Growing up as a teenager in a state house showed me how important it is to have the security of a safe, warm, stable home. Wellington has a housing crisis and I want our city to take action so that everyone has the same opportunities that I did.
“As a mother of a young daughter, a student and a young professional it’s important to me that Wellington is safe and inclusive, has well-funded community facilities such as libraries and that we do our bit to tackle climate change and other issues facing our future generations.
“I know from my own experience how important it is to have a vibrant, functioning and responsive democracy. That means making sure all communities feel heard and that the Council is focused on the things that matter to Wellingtonians.”
If successful, Afnan Al-Rubayee would be the first former refugee elected to Wellington City Council.
Labour has previously announced the selection of Matthew Reweti for Te Whanganui a Tara, Nureddin Abdurahman for Paekawakawa/Southern Ward and Ben McNulty for Takapū/Northern Ward, as well as the reselection of incumbent councilors Rebecca Matthews for Wharangi/Onslow-Western Ward, Teri O’Neill for Motukairangi/Eastern Ward and Daran Ponter for Greater Wellington Regional Council.