5 questions with: Dennis Maga

Photo: supplied
Photo: supplied
Dennis Maga is general secretary of First Union. 

What is one strong childhood memory?

I remember my mother going overseas to the Middle East when I was about 11 to work as a domestic helper. I asked her why she couldn’t stay at home and get a decent job, and she told me she needed to do this for our family to survive.

What is your message?

We are living in an age of inequality, but there’s a lot we can do to close that gap. Unions are a strong force to fight for wealth redistribution and address the central problem that mass economies are supposedly prospering while workers and their communities aren’t seeing the benefits.

If you were going to an island and could take only three things, what would they be and why?

My camera, it’s my way of appreciating beauty and communing with nature; my e-reader, packed with fiction - anything that takes my head out of work; and something to watch movies and TV on. I’d watch thrillers like The Blacklist, Designated Survivor and Vagabond.

What's something only your family knows about you?

Sometimes I have to bribe my kids with chocolates or lollies to get some time in front of the TV to catch up on basketball ... love the Golden State Warriors and try to watch every game.

You are a new addition to the crayon box. What colour are you, and why?

I’m somewhere between red and black. Black represents my new identity as a Kiwi, my love for New Zealand and my role at First Union. Red is an intense colour that is packed with human emotion, such as compassion, love and empathy; and the fact that we all bleed red regardless of wealth, status or means.

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