Nurse and humanitarian stands in Christchurch East

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Apr 15, 2023 |

Sahra Ahmed Photo: Gemma Snowdon / Red Cross

The Green Party has announced Sahra Ahmed as its candidate for the Christchurch East electorate.

Sahra said, “I’m standing as a candidate because I want people to have access to the resources they need to thrive.”

“Poverty is not an inevitable outcome of economic growth, but a political choice that can be reversed with the right policies” she said.

Ahmed was born in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia and was part of the first generation that learned Somali as the official language at school.

But in the late 1980s as clan conflicts escalated, her happy life started to slip away.

It became dangerous to say certain things, food was strictly rationed, and neighbours started to go missing.

In 1990, Ahmed and her younger brother fled to New Zealand seeking asylum to escape persecution amid a regime on the verge of collapse.

Ahmed eventually found her feet and went to nursing school in Nelson.

Nursing has taken her around the world working with Red Cross – including being deployed to Sierra Leone for the Ebola response.

She is considered a ‘Kiwi Legend’ by Red Cross New Zealand.

Watch video about Sahra Ahmed produced by the Red Cross, recorded in 2019

Christchurch East Greens convenor Jacinta O’Reilly said “we have found ourselves a candidate who values the abundant riches of our electorate and is determined to ensure life here is rich for everyone. I am delighted to introduce Sahra as our candidate.”

Sahra lives and works in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch and has 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors.

She is the Refugee Health clinical lead at Pegasus Health, supporting former refugees and asylum seekers resettling in Canterbury.

Maintenance of culture and sense of belonging in multiple communities is important to her and informs her work.

“We must recognise the importance of providing universal healthcare to all those who have chosen to make this country their home, including those who have been displaced as refugees.”

“Former refugees and migrants bring diversity and richness to our society, and their contributions are essential to the fabric of Aotearoa.”

Sahra Ahmed Photo: Gemma Snowdon / Red Cross

“They bring unique perspectives, skills, and experiences that can enrich our culture, economy, and social structures.”

“Former refugees and migrants go on to become successful entrepreneurs, artists, educators, and leaders, and their contributions enhance the lives of all New Zealanders” Sahra said.

“As the chair of the Canterbury Somali Association, I have seen the gaps in the resettlement process experienced by former refugees and the long-lasting impact that government policies have on individuals and subsequent generations.”

Sahra Ahmed Photo: Gemma Snowdon / Red Cross

“This has given me the drive to ensure that resettlement support is empowering and supports the aspirations of former refugees.” Sahra said.

“In addressing income inequality and poverty, the Green Party advocates for a wealth tax on the richest New Zealanders, along with a universal basic income and a family support package, along with a suite of other measures designed to end poverty in New Zealand” she said.

“These measures would help ensure that all New Zealanders have access to all resources they need to live, with dignity and security. By addressing the root causes of poverty and inequity, we can create a fairer and more prosperous society for all.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

Have you got a news tip? Get in touch here

got a news tip?