Posts by Eugenie Sage

  • Eugenie Sage

    Small acts of kindness make a big difference for Christchurch - by Eugenie Sage

    As the leaves start to change colour, and the mornings get a little cooler, it’s a good time to take note of our mental well-being. Recently, consultant psychologist Rob Gordon visited Christchurch to speak about the impact of stress and disruption on recovery. Rob talked about how four years on, we all need to look […] read more
    April 4, 2014 3:24 pm - 1 Comment
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    Conflicts of interest in regional councils’ management of water - by Eugenie Sage

    Judith Collins failed to recognise the conflict of interest in having dinner with a Chinese border official and the CEO and director of the Oravida company on which her husband is a director. An equally troubling conflict of interest is occurring in regional councils. Water is a common property resource which regional councils manage on […] read more
    March 18, 2014 12:28 pm - 2 Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Walking for water - by Eugenie Sage

    Six months ago Lance Talstra had never been tramping.  Now he has walked more than 2,200 kms on the Te Araroa Trail to raise public awareness of the state of our waterways and water quality. He has walked most of the length of New Zealand from Cape Reinga. He’s on his second pair of boots […] read more
    March 12, 2014 9:26 pm - 2 Comments
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    Floods in Christchurch - by Eugenie Sage

    Last week, many Christchurch residents woke up to yet another unexpected natural disaster, this time severe flooding. It happened very quickly. We’d watched the stories in the UK of endless weeks of rain, yet for us, in the space of a day and a night of rain, along with a high tide, Christchurch residents faced […] read more
    March 10, 2014 4:10 pm - 1 Comment
  • Eugenie Sage

    Big defects in Environmental Reporting Bill - by Eugenie Sage

    Government introduced its long promised  Environmental Reporting Bill (ER Bill) last week. It reneges on its previous election commitments for independent state of the environment (SOE) reporting and instead proposes a poorly designed halfway house. This would see the Ministers for the Environment and of Statistics choosing what topics the reporting should cover, the Ministry […] read more
    March 3, 2014 5:46 pm - 1 Comment
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    Christchurch City Council needs to keep our assets - by Eugenie Sage

    Christchurch Mayor, Lianne Dalziel’s State of the City speech this week was a welcome signal that under Dalziel, the Council is determined to assert its right to represent Christchurch citizens and shape the city’s future. The Council appears to be engaging with CERA in a more muscular and confident way, rather than being cowed and […] read more
    February 21, 2014 11:12 am - 1 Comment
  • Eugenie Sage

    Water quality will get worse under Government’s policy proposals - by Eugenie Sage

    New Zealanders want our rivers, lakes and streams to be clean and safe for swimming and to support healthy fisheries. They don’t want them to be the equivalent of urban or farm drains. The Government’s response to public submissions on its proposed national objectives framework (NOF) and amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater […] read more
    February 10, 2014 9:15 pm - No Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Help save our rivers – make a quick submission - by Eugenie Sage

    New Zealanders are worried about our rivers and lakes. They want them better managed with less farm run-off.   In Lincoln University’s 2013 survey of perceptions of the state of the environment  respondents said freshwater management was the most important domestic environmental issue facing New Zealand, just as they did in 2010 and 2008 . Some […] read more
    January 31, 2014 2:24 pm - 2 Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Swimming on the Wellington waterfront - by Eugenie Sage

    Wellington’s waterfront dive platform is an inspired piece of inner-city architecture that draws huge crowds on a hot day. Where else in the world can brave jumpers thrill onlookers in the middle of a city? The big problem – and this is quite a basic one – is that the harbour water below is highly […] read more
    January 29, 2014 10:15 am - 2 Comments
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    Proposed Northland re-organisation would take the local out of local government - by Eugenie Sage

    Northland is at the frontline of the National Government’s proposals for a brave new world of super-sized councils – big new unitary councils – as part of its agenda to centralise local government decision making, concentrate power, and weaken local democracy. If recent public meetings in Dargaville, Whangarei, and Kerikeri which David Clendon and I […] read more
    January 25, 2014 11:47 am - 2 Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    CERA finally listened to Cantabrians on central city transport - by Eugenie Sage

    After a year of waiting, last week the Accessible City Transport Plan for Christchurch was released. Many Cantabrians had submitted on what kind of transport infrastructure they would like to see for the city, and it’s great to see the difference that those submissions made. Christchurch citizens have overwhelmingly called for a city designed for […] read more
    November 6, 2013 4:50 pm - 2 Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Why it’s good to vote for your local council - by Eugenie Sage

    At a recent public meeting I held, less than half the people attending had voted in local body elections. That reflects low voter participation around New Zealand and a very casual attitude to democracy.  Moving to online voting (to be trialled in 2016), introducing civics education in schools, and wider use of single transferable voting […] read more
    October 8, 2013 1:37 pm - 7 Comments
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    Monorail project risky for environment and investors - by Eugenie Sage

    There has been a spate of media articles about the proposed $200 million Southland monorail recently after its Riverstone Holdings director and Bob Robertson gave journalists a promotional tour and helicopter ride over the area. The company is engaged in a heavy PR campaign by claiming public support for the proposal. Save Fiordland’s 20,000 strong […] read more
    October 2, 2013 5:48 pm - 6 Comments
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    Open Streets Christchurch a Success - by Eugenie Sage

    Christchurch’s recent Open Streets Cyclovia event was a wonderful success.  Central city streets were closed to cars for a day last Sunday, transforming them into a safe haven for cyclists and pedestrians. Residents of all ages took to the central streets on a variety of non-motorised wheeled contraptions to celebrate Christchurch’s potential as New Zealand’s […] read more
    October 1, 2013 1:55 pm - 1 Comment
  • Eugenie Sage

    Sir Geoffrey Palmer on what’s wrong with National’s proposed changes to our environmental law - by Eugenie Sage

    The NZ Fish and Game Council recently asked former Environment Minister and RMA architect Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC to analyse the Government’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act, one of our most important environmental laws.  Sir Geoffrey’s 65 page report is well worth reading. We hope current Environment Minister Amy Adams considers it carefully […] read more
    September 12, 2013 3:31 pm - 5 Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Select committee supports PCE’s call for a moratorium on commercial fishing of longfin eel - by Eugenie Sage

    In my office at Parliament I have a beautiful ceramic longfin eel or tuna made by Sam Ludden of Sticky Fingers Pottery. It is a constant reminder that we need to do much more to protect longfin eels. Parliament’s Local Government and Environment select committee took a small step in that direction last week. It […] read more
    September 11, 2013 5:32 pm - No Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Cycle And Recycle - by Eugenie Sage

    Christchurch student, 15 year old Finn Jackson from Christchurch’s Rudolf Steiner School did work experience in the Christchurch Green MPs office recently. Here’s his take on cycling in the city: Cycling-What first comes to mind when you think of it? Aches and pains, too close an encounter with cars? Collapsing and crashing? Or how about […] read more
    September 10, 2013 12:51 pm - 4 Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Three years too long for insurance - by Eugenie Sage

    Today is the third anniversary of the first big Canterbury quake, the Greendale quake. The thousands of earthquakes in Christchurch and the recent severe shaking in Marlborough and Wellington have underlined that New Zealanders really do live on the shaky isles. Three years on though, thousands of Cantabrians still haven’t reached a settlement with their […] read more
    September 4, 2013 2:58 pm - 6 Comments
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    Fair offer needed for Quake Outcasts and owners of bare land - by Eugenie Sage

    The recent High Court ruling that found that the Government’s offer to purchase uninsured properties and vacant land in quake-affected parts of Christchurch was not done according to the law is a huge breakthrough for a group of red-zone land owners. They have felt so alienated and disenfranchised by Government decisions that they called themselves […] read more
    August 28, 2013 10:30 am - 6 Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    National’s RMA changes weaken our environment law when we should be strengthening it - by Eugenie Sage

    At the moment when New Zealand is the focus of international attention over Fonterra’s botulism scare, the National Party seems intent on sabotaging our economy and environment by weakening our environmental laws attacking the Resource Management Act (RMA). National’s changes will make the RMA an economic development act at the expense of nature and local […] read more
    August 10, 2013 10:15 pm - 18 Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Ruataniwha dam hearing process flawed - by Eugenie Sage

    Published in Hawke’s Bay Today on 12 July. Environment Minister Amy Adams and Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced their Board of Inquiry (BOI) for the Ruataniwha Dam and Plan Change 6 for the Tukituki catchment chosen this week. It is the 13th such hearing panel Ministers have established using the “call in“ procedures for […] read more
    July 15, 2013 1:01 pm - 1 Comment
  • Eugenie Sage

    Building consents no excuse for Christchurch take over - by Eugenie Sage

    Christchurch’s building consent issue and the appointment of a Crown Manager is not an excuse for the Government to further reduce the Christchurch City Council’s decision making and further restrict democracy in the city. The Government gave itself increased powers under the Local Government Act last year and is now trying them out on the […] read more
    July 9, 2013 4:31 pm - 6 Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Achieving a compact Christchurch - by Eugenie Sage

     The Land Use Recovery (LURP) Draft plan outlining where and when future housing, business, infrastructure and leisure should be provided in greater Christchurch, was handed to Minister Brownlee on 5 July.  ECan, under instructions from the Minister, had been developing this future Christchurch plan, and opened it for public submissions in April. We offered a […] read more
    July 6, 2013 12:45 pm - 11 Comments
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    Bus tunnel better in Auckland than in national parks - by Eugenie Sage

    Glenorchy based Stop the Tunnel  is presenting a series of stunning photographs of Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks  to the Local Government and Environment select committee today. The presentation is in support of their petition to Parliament to stop the proposed $150 million Milford Dart bus tunnel.  The online petition has now been signed […] read more
    July 4, 2013 12:54 pm - 1 Comment
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    Protecting the environment in our constitution - by Eugenie Sage

    The Government-led ‘Constitutional Conversation’ currently underway is a chance for the public to share their views on a new constitutional set-up for Aotearoa New Zealand. We’ve got a submission guide to help you have your say. If there is sufficient public interest in an area, the independent advisory group leading the review is able to […] read more
    June 28, 2013 4:38 pm - 2 Comments
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    Longfin eel victory but more needs to be done. - by Eugenie Sage

    The Government is finally looking at implementing some of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s Recommendations on longfin eels. We have been pushing for protection for longfin eels for a long time and we now welcome some progress. There was good analysis in the PCE report which should be a basis for action given the […] read more
    June 7, 2013 5:42 pm - No Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Water and Biodiversity - by Eugenie Sage

    Yesterday was the UN International Day for Biological Diversity. The theme for this year was Water and Biodiversity. In New Zealand our native freshwater species are extremely vulnerable. Our longfin eels are on a pathway to extinction yet are still being caught commercially. Other freshwater species have no or little protection compared to our terrestrial […] read more
    May 23, 2013 2:59 pm - 1 Comment
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    Better transport planning needed in Christchurch - by Eugenie Sage

    This week in Christchurch I attended a breakfast lecture by visiting planning consultant Todd Litman from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, British Colombia.  He was advocating the benefits of “multi-modalism” transport planning – which basically means modern transport planning that spreads the focus over several forms of transport options – cars, public transport, cycleways, and […] read more
    May 17, 2013 1:44 pm - 15 Comments
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    Hawke’s Bay irrigation saga gets murkier - by Eugenie Sage

    The inherent problems with one arm of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) promoting the mega Ruataniwha dam and irrigation scheme while another arm attempts to act like a regional council, came to the fore in a tangled council meeting last week. I attended a presentation by newly established Transparent Hawke’s Bay at the start […] read more
    April 28, 2013 11:53 am - 1 Comment
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    Akaroa Harbour marine reserve welcome news - by Eugenie Sage

    Gareth has previously posted about the Dan Rogers marine reserve in Akaroa Harbour.  Living on Banks Peninsula and having helped promote the reserve I wanted to share my thoughts and thank and congratulate the reserve applicants, Kathleen and Brian Reid and the Akaroa Harbour Marine Protection Society who When the Government is opening up conservation […] read more
    April 18, 2013 4:28 pm - 1 Comment
  • Eugenie Sage

    Before we fix water quality we need to stop allowing more pollution - by Eugenie Sage

    The Prime Minister bragged about how much money his Government is spending on water clean-ups today, but he failed to admit that the money required for clean-up of our rivers and lakes will increase because of his policies. Nearly every study on water quality shows that land use intensification leads to water pollution. Yet the […] read more
    April 17, 2013 4:13 pm - 4 Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Low flows on the Rangitaiki River - by Eugenie Sage

    Even before the summer’s drought began in earnest, the Rangitaiki River in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, has been victim to low flows, thanks to the TrustPower operated Matahina Dam upstream of Te Teko. On my February trip on the river our safety boat had only been in the water five minutes when it grounded […] read more
    April 16, 2013 11:46 am - 2 Comments
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    What we want, and what we get in our cities - by Eugenie Sage

    Rod Oram gave a great presentation last week in Dunedin about Reinventing Paradise. He talked about this Government’s attacks on the Resource Management Act and how they are bad news not just for our environment but for our economy too. You can watch his whole talk here but one slide in particular caught my attention. […] read more
    March 27, 2013 6:46 pm - 10 Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Urban trees please - by Eugenie Sage

    The fate of trees in urban areas will be before select committee this week when hearings start on National’s Resource Management Act Reform Bill 2012. (The Bill is the second stage of Government’s efforts to weaken the RMA. The third phase changes are set out in the RMA discussion document out for public comment at […] read more
    March 18, 2013 10:26 am - 18 Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    The rapid roadshow – is this consultation? - by Eugenie Sage

    Monday saw the start of the Government’s rapid fire roadshow on its proposals to weaken the RMA and allow increased exploitation of our water. I’ve previously covered some of the Minister’s attempt to shut down debate on the proposals. I  just wanted to point out that that the timing of consultation meetings is important. If […] read more
    March 13, 2013 10:43 am - 2 Comments
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    Minister brooks no dissent on RMA changes - by Eugenie Sage

    Hard on the heels of  its 2012 “RMA Reform Bill” and the 2009 changes, National wants to overturn other core aspects of the Resource Management Act (RMA) as a key plank in its pro development, anti-environment agenda. EDS described the proposals as “deeply troubling” and potentially lowering environmental standards in New Zealand. So shortly after […] read more
    March 9, 2013 10:54 am - 2 Comments
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    Mourning local democracy in Canterbury - by Eugenie Sage

    National’s distaste for democracy and intolerance of dissenting views is increasing. Pre ‘quakes Cathedral Square was the heart of Christchurch. Two years later the public are still fenced out and kept behind the cordon. The Government’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) decides who can get access beyond the Army guards and security fence. CERA allows […] read more
    March 8, 2013 3:26 pm - 7 Comments
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    Don’t get shut out, make your voice heard on the RMA - by Eugenie Sage

    Environment Minister, Amy Adams recently launched a “discussion document” on National’s latest proposals to weaken the Resource Management Act (RMA).  She then sought to shut down any discussion by attacking environmental groups and the Greens by claiming we were “out of touch” and “scaremongering” with our criticisms of National’s proposed changes to the RMA. The […] read more
    March 8, 2013 11:06 am - 10 Comments
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    Protecting our tuna/eels – Tuna legend Bill Kerr - by Eugenie Sage

    Bill Kerrison is a legend when it comes to tuna or eels and it was privilege to meet him during a recent Dirty Water tour in the Bay of Plenty. Over several decades he has transferred an estimated 25 million eels around Bay of Plenty dams such as the Matahina on the Rangitaiki River. New […] read more
    February 25, 2013 5:22 pm - 4 Comments
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    National’s approach to local government is all over the place - by Eugenie Sage

    As successive Ministers of Local Government,  Nick Smith and David Carter loudly criticised councils for their debt level and  said councils needed to focus on “core services “ without defining what these were. Last year National made major changes to the Local Government Act so that the purpose of local government was no longer the […] read more
    February 15, 2013 11:18 am - 5 Comments