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Asia Pacific Report

Barangay New Zealand’s Rene Molina has interviewed the country’s first Filipino Green MP Francisco Hernandez who was sworn into Parliament yesterday as the party’s latest member.

This is the first interview with Hernandez who replaces former Green Party co-leader James Shaw after his retirement from politics to take up a green investment advisory role.

Hernandez talks about his earlier role as a climate change activist and his role with New Zealand’s Climate Commission, and his life experiences.

Barangay New Zealand's Rene Molina
Barangay New Zealand’s Rene Molina . . . interviewer. Image APR

The interviewer — educator, digital media producer and community advocate Rene Nonoy Molina — is also a member of the Asia Pacific Media Network (APMN).

“I was involved in the New Zealand climate crisis movement as an activist,” Hernandez says.

“I was involved in a group called Generation Zero, which is the youth climate justice group and that’s how I ended up getting involved in the New Zealand youth delegation that went to Paris.

“So that’s separate from my Climate Change Commission work which came after.”

Hernandez is the son of a member of Joseph Estrada’s ruling party in the Philippines before its government changed in 2001, according to the Otago University magazine.

He migrated to New Zealand with his family when he was 12 and is a former president of the Otago University Students’ Association with an honours degree in politics.

Francisco B. Hernandez talks to Rene Molina.    Video: Barangay NZ

He has also worked as an advisor at the Climate Commission, reports RNZ News.

He stood for Dunedin in the last election, coming third with more than 8000 votes — not far behind National’s Michael Woodhouse (over 9000) but far behind the more than 17,000 votes of Labour’s Rachel Brooking.

Published in collaboration with Barangay New Zealand.

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