Denise Roche
Charities as advocates makes for better democracy

Greenpeace is to be congratulated for defending our democracy with their marathon effort in defining the meaning of “charitable purpose” through the New Zealand courts. Last week’s decision from the Supreme Court says that political advocacy – in Greenpeaces’ case for peace and disarmament – can be seen as a primary activity for public good […]

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Denise Roche
Inequality in New Zealand is getting worse

Alarmingly, despite the growing disparity, New Zealanders display a hardening attitude towards those in need. The graph published in yesterday’s NZ Herald accompanying the article about the visit by authors of The Spirit Level: Why more equal societies almost always do better Professors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, showed that only 50.1% of our people think the government should take some responsibility to reduce the income gap. We come last in the OECD countries for supporting government intervention.

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Denise Roche
Waste-Free challenge day 2: Zero waste events and compostable plastics

I went to the Teddy Bear’s picnic yesterday to support another local “towards zero-waste” event in our community. Waiheke organisations have really got the hang of reducing waste at public events. Earlier this month the island hosted thousands of visitors at the famous Onetangi Beach races. It was organised by Waiheke Rotary and! as they […]

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Denise Roche
Did SkyCity make $1.4 million out of alleged money laundering?

The New Zealand Herald reported today that the property and bank accounts belonging to Zhi Wei Yang, an alleged Auckland P dealer, has been seized under the laws around the proceeds of crime and that over a 19-month period this gentleman had a turnover of $14 million at Auckland’s SkyCity Casino. The Herald reported that […]

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Denise Roche
It’s time for an inquiry into safety in the forestry sector

Last week two forestry workers were seriously injured and another killed in forests near Whakatane, Gisborne and Wairau. This comes on top of 10 deaths last year in the sector and another 90 serious injuries.  Despite this the government – and Labour Minister Simon Bridges – is still silent on supporting an inquiry and tighter […]

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Denise Roche
Recognising the worth of volunteers

Today – December 5th – is International Volunteers Day. It’s a time to recognise contributions that thousands of volunteers make to our communities by giving their time, skills and resources freely for the benefit of others. Volunteer Day started in 1985 day as a United Nations initiative and is celebrated throughout the world.  Here in […]

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Denise Roche
Cardboard pokies take over Aotea Square

This week we physically demonstrated just how big the pokies-for-convention-centre will be by installing hundreds of cardboard replicas in Aotea Square.  Over the day Aucklanders interacted with the pokies and wrote their messages about their opposition to the deal. The convention centre deal essentially sells our gambling law to Sky City and enables them to […]

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Denise Roche
Qatar should lose football world cup unless worker exploitation stops

The beautiful game is under attack due to claims that migrant workers tasked with getting Qatar’s footballing infrastructure up to scratch for the 2022 World Cup are being exploited. When Qatar won the rights to host the 2022 World Cup there were concerns about how footballers tasked with running around for 90 minutes would cope […]

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Denise Roche
E-waste solutions backed by local government

Local Government New Zealand supports a great solution for electronic waste. At the recent Local Government Conference AGM, Wellington Regional Councillor Paul Bruce won unanimous support for his e-waste remit which calls on central government to:          Declare electronic waste (eWaste) a priority product under the provisions of the Waste Minimisation Act (2008)          Set […]

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Denise Roche
NZ Post must show more care for workers

The announcement yesterday of nearly 500 redundancies to come at New Zealand Post means hundreds more New Zealand families will be facing  stress and uncertainty about losing their income.  Closures of sorting rooms in Hamilton, Dunedin and Wellington will hit the local economies in these regions hard. The reason for the redundancies is that there […]

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Denise Roche
Gambling bill disappoints as SkyCity deal’s flaws scrutinised

Maybe it was a coincidence that saw the NZ Herald’s two opinion pieces on the SkyCity convention centre deal yesterday appear the same day that the commerce select committee report back to the house a drastically watered down Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment bill that deals with pokie machines in pubs and clubs. Or maybe […]

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Denise Roche
Bad news for SkyCity workers’ health

 There was some bad news for hospitality workers and their ability to operate in a smokefree environment at SkyCity casino today.  Two applications have been approved by the Gambling Commission allowing SkyCity to create new smoker-friendly areas. SkyCity is currently being sued by the Cancer Society for its loose interpretation of what counts as an […]

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