National have two flagship education policies which they have been pushing since 2008. A great deal of public money has been spent on both. Charter schools and National Standards are central to their strategy of supporting education as a business opportunity and focusing on measurement and assessment rather than learning. Both these policies have serious […]
Parliament’s Local Government and Environment Committee has made many changes to the Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary Bill in response to public submissions, particularly submissions from iwi authorities and Te Ohu Kaimoana. Read the amended Bill and the select committee’s full report here . The Green Party’s report The Green Party supports the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill (the […]
We need to talk about Bill English’s repeated accusations that planning is responsible for stratospherically high house prices and inequality, and about the opportunity the Auckland Unitary Plan has to get housing back on the right track. Ever since he wrote the forward to Demographia’s 2013 annual housing affordability survey, our Minister of Finance has […]
You might have noticed a change around these parts in recent days. Yes, we’ve deactivated the comment function on the Green Party blog. We think it’s a good move that will allow us to keep delivering the views of our MPs direct to you. This isn’t a decision we’ve made lightly and we really appreciate […]
Margaret Spencer, a family carer who has looked after her son who has Down’s Syndrome for 47 years, has finally won backpay after years of struggle. Family members such as Margaret who care for their disabled children should be paid the same as non-family carers, otherwise it is discrimination. She has finally beaten the Ministry […]
Today I wrote to the Minister of Land Information, Louise Upston, asking her to do the right thing and get rid of racist place names in Aotearoa. 19 July 2016 E te Minita, tēnā koe I was horrified to learn recently that in 21st Century Aotearoa we still have explicitly racist place names, and am […]
At the turn of the 21st century, China explicitly promoted what it called its foreign policy of ‘peaceful ascendancy’. To quote Yoichi Funabashi in 2003: “Chinese officials are now at pains to deny that they have any ambition to reign supreme again in Asia or destabilize the world economically, politically, or militarily. …. Chinese scholars […]
The Ruamahānga is a beautiful river, much loved by those who live near it. But it faces many pressures. South of Masterton, the river is affected by sewage issues and land use intensification that have reduced water clarity and made the river unsafe for swimming, particularly at The Cliffs, a scenic spot near a vineyard straight out of a tourist brochure. Unfortunately, the water has a D rating. You risk getting a nasty bug if you put your head under.
Kiwis are going solar in record numbers to escape rising power bills and get a degree of energy freedom, but the electricity industry is using a host of tactics to try and discourage them.
The Labour Party launched its package of ideas to fix the housing crisis over the weekend. Their ideas match ours in many ways. This is good news, because it means that when we change the government we’ll be ready to hit the ground running with a common policy programme to tackle one of the most […]
On Thursday 7th July, four Green MPs joined many other Kiwis and made a stand against homelessness by taking part in the Big Sleep Out.
A week is not enough but it can be a spring board to taking steps towards our national language, the first language of Aotearoa. So far it has been tau kē! We had the celebratory hīkoi through Te Upoko o Te Ika, hundreds of excited tamariki, waiata, haka and Te Reo kōrero. We heard that cute […]
Yesterday I heard submissions on the Social Security Rewrite Bill. We heard from a range of organisations working with people needing income support, and people who have had to or have to use income support. There were some very emotional moments and I want to pay tribute to those telling their own stories; firstly for their survival and secondly for summoning up the hope to share that experience and give us the opportunity to create a better system.
Threats by the Aviation Security Service (AvSec) that striking workers could be locked out are a classic example of a public service employer playing hardball, backed by an anti-worker government.
The first phrase of conversational Maori I learned was, “Haere mai kare, whengua tō ihu.” (“Come here darling, blow your nose.”) It was our first time at kōhanga reo and I was new to the community and with a four-year-old and a new-born, keen to make new friends and learn te reo Māori at the same time.
In the course of a century there are just a few events that change the direction of history. The early 20th century witnessed the First World War and the creation of the League of Nations. The mid-20th saw the second war and the United Nations. The late-20th saw the end of the Cold War, and […]
Guest Blog post by Huia Jackson, YouthMP for Steffan Browning
Currently, some NZ Bus drivers in Wellington earn up to $5 per hour more than the drivers at some rival bus companies in other parts of the country. Those rival companies are likely to be able to bid for the Wellington bus contracts at a lower price, because they pay their drivers less.
Well done Greenpeace in asking the High Court to review the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s decision to not seek public feedback on its decision to extend the area of land that will irrigated by the Ruataniwha dam.
Since I entered Parliament I have wanted to focus on homelessness, in particular, in my role as the Greens’ spokesperson for Social Housing. As recent media coverage of the issue has highlighted, homelessness is much broader than rough sleeping, it covers all those who are in insecure housing situations.
This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was looking forward to an interesting and informative day, and I wasn’t disappointed.
We have a housing emergency in New Zealand. Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have so many people living in garages, in cars and on the streets. This is not the kind of country most New Zealanders recognise or want. There aren’t enough houses in […]
In 2011, I negotiated an agreement with the National Government to advance work on cleaning up contaminated sites across the country. This included establishing a National Register of the ten worst sites where the creators of the problem could not be held accountable.
News last week that Israel’s Finance Minister will insure savers’ bank deposits means New Zealand will be left as the only country in the OECD that has no deposit insurance to protect savers’ funds should a bank fail.
On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by firms on average, either overall or into employment that lasted beyond the trial period” – which is what National said it would do. It also had no effect on the number of “disadvantaged jobseekers” being hired. In short, 90-day trials have failed to do what National said they would do.
For many New Zealanders the loss of swimmable rivers and the effects of intensive agriculture are big issues and they want it cleaned up. William Rolleston is running lines that no one believes and which do Federated Farmers reputation no good at all. Denying that 62 percent of our monitored rivers are too dirty for safe swimming is pointless.
The Government’s recently released Defence White Paper has raised questions again about New Zealand’s defence priorities, and in particular the level and nature of public funding on defensive capabilities.
On Friday a Green crew walked with the peace hīkoi from Ōkato to Parihaka. Some of us were from Parliament and some were party members from Taranaki and further afield. It was a cloudy but gentle day and at one point Taranaki maunga emerged in snowy splendour to urge us on. We had some excellent conversations about peace and justice based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Teina Pora spent 21 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, shafted by a Police investigation that prioritised an investigator’s hunch over the pursuit of credible evidence. Yesterday’s announcement that the government is to pay him $2.5m in compensation is a sorely-needed acknowledgment of Pora’s suffering. It’s also typical of this government’s tendency […]
Minister for Immigration Michael Woodhouse announced this week that the government will put off increasing the refugee quota to 1000 places until 2018. It’s a shameful decision that undermines the Government’s claim that it takes its international humanitarian obligations seriously, right before we celebrate World Refugee Day on the 20th June. The Green Party, like […]
The gender pay gap in the public service is worse than in the private sector. I’ve always found this particularly galling because I expect our Government to provide an example to the private sector on things like human rights, rather than lag behind it.
National’s desperate to be seen to be doing something about the housing crisis but giving property developers a more permissive regime for new subdivision is not the answer.
Saving rivers cannot be put in the too hard basket and I am looking forward to meeting water activists across country so we can support your efforts. Clean water is well worth this effort, it’s essential that we clean up rivers and make them swimmable again!
The Green Party supports the Bill. We need to keep parts of our oceans for nature, free from fishing, mining and drilling and other exploitation.
Immigration is once again in the news, with NZ First leader Winston Peters engaging in some furious dog-whistling to gain attention. I fear that his antics give the small, but vocal, portion of New Zealanders who hold racist beliefs an avenue for expressing their destructive opinions. At the very least it makes newcomers feel uncomfortable […]
Prime Minister John Key is in Fiji this week, in the first visit by a New Zealand PM since the coup led by Frank Bainimarama in 2006. Bainimarama was subsequently elected as Prime Minister in 2014 – the first election to take place in 8 years.
Ashley Peacock has been locked in seclusion in this country’s mental health system for more than 5 years, and I am deeply saddened that the Minister who has the ability to get him out has declined to do so. I asked the Minister yesterday to step in, under Section 32 of the Public Health and […]
Environment Minister Nick Smith and the National Government appear to have bowed to pressure from mining lobbyists to change the law to help seabed mining companies. In 2013 Trans-Tasman Resources applied for a marine consent under the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) legislation to mine 66 km² of the seabed for iron ore off the South […]
Equal Pay for Work of equal value might have taken another step forward after more than forty years. I will state the obvious fact that the 1972 Equal Pay Act has not delivered equal pay. There has been much analysis of why – the lack of transparency (it’s very difficult for most women to know […]
If you read the news there are a lot of terrifying climate change reports being published but a new global resurvey of clean energy just out should give us some hope. Last year was a record year for clean energy globally according to the latest annual Renewables Global Status Report published this week. We are […]