After a marathon public tour around New Zealand that took me to 29 different places around New Zealand from the far north of Kaitaia to the deep south of Invercargill to talk about phasing out plastic bag use, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the tour. This blog post will be first […]
As part of our Fair Share campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited several in Wellington on Friday and, since then, have been reflecting on what I heard. […]
The 50th anniversary of the Cook Islands Constitution Day this week was a
The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses signifying the 291 people who have died at work since the Pike River mine disaster […]
Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for the result – where the judge decided the Ministry’s processes were flawed and unfair – […]
As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community organisations and people who are already active on waste minimisation and/or who are passionate about […]
Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all of the plastic we use is made from non-renewable oil or gas. The Ministry for […]
Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different parts of the world! These refugees often come from backgrounds of conflict. They are forced […]
Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have any say over casinos in their area (these are governed by regulations from Government) but […]
It is my pleasure to share with you a blog from Hester Moore who is currently interning with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees in Cairo, after graduating from the Univeristy of Canterbury. Sometimes, as a nation it is easy to think we are doing our best, until we step back and look at […]
Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful demonstrators who were killed in Sharpeville, South Africa protesting against apartheid. The theme this year […]
Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23 years and this year it was moved from its traditional home at Western Springs park to […]
The minimum wage rose by 50 cents this month from 14.25 to 14.75. While it’s a small step towards ensuring minimum workers get a fair share, it’s important to remember that real wages only rose 1.5% while productivity rose by 10.1%. The average rent rose across New Zealand by $20, meaning that the rise has […]
Yesterday four men appeared in the Wellington District Court charged with more than 30 counts of ‘Obtaining by Deception’ after a two and a half year investigation into in an alleged $30 million pokie fraud. The four men have close links with the South Island racing industry. One of them – Patrick O’Brien is the […]
Earlier this week the Department of Internal Affairs reported on a campaign they had run over the last six months to test the host responsibility of pokie bars and casinos. The law says that gambling venues have to intervene if it looks like a gambler is exhibiting behaviour that could indicate they could be a […]
Unite is the latest union representing low paid workers to call for a stop to the lazy employer tactic of hiring staff on ‘zero hour’ contracts. This means that workers have absolutely no guarantee of hours and are literally at the beck and call of their boss as they wait at home for a phone […]
Today I sent a message of support to the hospital food services staff who were picketing at Middlemore hospital in South Auckland. The picket, by Service and Food Workers Union members is in response to a proposal to contract out meal preparations at the hospitals in the three Auckland District Health Board areas. The proposal […]
Last week the Department of Internal Affairs published the latest figures on how much New Zealanders lost to pokie machines in pubs and clubs over the last year. While it is good to see that in the year ending in September there was a 1.4 per cent reduction that still equates to a very large […]
Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing great work pushing for years to make our forests a safer place to work. Out […]
I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori news production units I’m really concerned that their slogan ‘So you can see more of […]
Today’s business section of the NZ Herald features a two-page spread by Christopher Adams with the results of their survey of the country’s 50 top chief executives. Their research is based on the 2013 annual reports of companies and state-owned enterprises and it shows that their average income was $1.4 million, having risen by an […]
This week the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (the NZCTU) released their latest economic bulletin today with economist Bill Rosenberg answering the question about whether workers who have a collective employment agreement get bigger pay rises than those on individual agreements. His research shows that: In the year to June 2014, 98% of CEA […]
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 […]
I was pretty taken with the colourful collection of re-upholstered chairs which are testament to the organisations ability to add value to material that would otherwise end up in landfill.
I’ve written to the Minister a couple of times suggesting she utilise those powers – most recently asking her to declare single use plastic bags a priority product – but she insists that product stewardship will happen on a voluntary basis. Yeah, right.
In Auckland there are around 15000 people who are homeless. About 7000 of these people are under 25. We heard about this on Monday at a forum hosted by the Auckland Council for people and agencies who work with the homeless. According to some of those agencies young people make up to half of all […]
“Government must introduce advance disposal fees for e-waste sooner rather than later”.
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.
It’s Workers Memorial Day. It is a time to remember those who went to work and didn’t come home. In the last year 51 people have died on the job and around 1000 people have been on ACC for a year for work-related injuries and illness. The most dangerous occupations are in forestry, agriculture, construction, […]
Clearly living a waste free life takes continual effort and requires vigilance to monitor the use of resources that are used in creating stuff that will be thrown away. After a week of this I have become far more conscious of the everyday items I use that end up in the waste stream. Today’s example […]
I’m travelling around with a bagful of stuff that I have to dispose of properly when I get home. This is because although many towns and cities have public place recycling bins that cater for plastic and aluminium and glass, and very few of them are for waste paper. And everywhere I go I seem […]
Day three of my waste-free week challenge and I realise that it takes quite an effort to minimise my own waste in this disposable world. Refusing single-use packaging and products takes a consciousness that I wouldn’t normally have. I normally run on auto like everyone else. Consequently I had some epic fails that happened while […]
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 […]
My first day of my waste-free week wasn’t too hard. I live on Waiheke Island and I started the day at the Ostend Market where I looked around at every stall with a waste-free lens. Our community has a proud tradition of waste minimisation which has been fostered for many years by community organisations like […]
Tomorrow I start a week-long challenge to create no waste. It’s primarily a fundraiser (feel free to sponsor me) however it is also an opportunity for me to look at my own consumer behaviour and how much I contribute to the growing amount of rubbish being buried in our landfills. I’m already starting to notice […]
The benefit of the so called rockstar economy to ordinary working New Zealanders is missing in action. As labour productivity is surging the benefits are definitely not trickling down to workers. Statistics New Zealand points out that from 1996 to 2013, labour productivity grew more in Australia than in New Zealand, up by an average […]
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 […]
Earlier this week the Justice and Electoral select committee heard submissions on the Human Rights Amendment bill and learned from the Auckland Domestic Violence and Disability Working Group that its member not-for-profit groups did not feel they could submit on the bill for fear that it would jeopardise their funding contracts if they were to […]
The Government has announced that from April 1 2014 the minimum wage will be increased by 50 cents to $14.25 per hour.
New Zealanders buy 300,000 new television sets each year, leaving a lot of old unwanted ones that need disposing of. So the Government should be commended for its TV TakeBack scheme, which has so far seen more than 200,000 TVs collected for recycling. There’s only one problem with the initiative. It’s temporary. It started last […]