In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote. National and ACT consistently voted for it because they all thought the same. Since then, […]
In June this year, Prime Minister John Key stated that “New Zealand is never going to sign up to the TPP unless it is in New Zealand’s best interests”. As the TPPA negotiations enter their final stages in Hawaii, these increasingly seem like hollow words. The little information that we have about the draft agreement […]
Whenever we’ve asked the New Zealand Superannuation Fund what they’re doing about climate change, they’ve said they’re waiting for the Mercer report they’d backed to come out. Well it’s now out and it’s unequivocal about the impact of climate change – investing in fossil fuels is objectively bad for your returns. Mercer has made one […]
This Wednesday just past, I was privileged to attend the Kerikeri launch of Signpost North, a new online magazine covering the Bay of Islands and the Far North. Spearheaded by Sandy Myhre, a journalist with a lot of passion for the Northland region, Signpost North will be published monthly, and the first issue is available […]
This week in Parliament I questioned Energy Minister Simon Bridges about the high prices facing some of our most vulnerable families who use pre-paid electricity. The Government is fond of telling people to shop around to get a better power deal – in fact, that’s pretty much their only policy to help households lower their […]
The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the letterboxes of Northland voters over the last few days, and it does no credit to […]
“…if you find yourself in a coal hole, it’s probably time to stop digging and think of a plan to get out.”
Treasury papers released under the Official Information Act show that it is providing advice on short-term measures the Government can employ to help it post a surplus this year. The advice includes possible savings from delaying the rebuild of Canterbury; delaying foreign aid expenditure; holding back ACC savings; and new taxes on alcohol, tobacco, and […]
One of the amendments I have put up to the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill prohibits the killing of great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans). Great apes are our closest relatives and are as intelligent as human toddlers, with diverse personalities, complex emotions and mental traits once considered uniquely human, such as self-awareness, empathy and […]
James Shaw has been doing a series of blogs on the Election Inquiry into last year’s general election. I thought this was a great opportunity to raise an issue very dear to me – accessible voting. Last year’s general election proved to be a major milestone for accessible voting. For the first time, telephone dictation […]
Nations in the coming months will be submitting individual emissions reduction contributions. I urge you to support emission reduction targets based on the science, to avoid dangerous climate change.
The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there was John Key’s “peaceful settlement” revisionism which he is now trying to defend. I and […]
Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a monster. On the other hand sexual violence is normalised in our society to the extent […]
Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle when they grow up. Let’s break that cycle, lunchbox […]
Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak and vote in Parliament I was required to swear my allegiance solely to Queen Elizabeth […]
While we wait for final booth counts from polling day, we can analyse how the Green Party did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off – special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There were 333,757 of these votes – 13.6 percent of the total vote counted. We got 15.4 percent of […]
Politics is a battle of ideas, values and ultimately in a democracy, the collective power of the group to determine a course of action. It doesn’t have to be negative: it can be empowering, uplifting and positive.
If Steven Joyce is such a believer in innovation, why is he planning to cut his investment in innovation so dramatically? Here, in three charts, is what National’s long-term commitment to innovation looks like: 1. National will cut their investment in science and innovation by 21 percent, in real terms, out to 2023/24. 2. The […]
I’m cautiously optimistic of news that the government-owned company Research and Educational Advanced Network New Zealand Ltd (REANNZ) has signed a $65 million anchor tenancy contract with Hawaiki Cable Ltd for its proposed new second internet cable. We announced in December 2012 our plan to fund a much-needed second internet cable. The Green Party plans […]
With real sadness, I have decided to withdraw from the Green Party’s list for the 2014 general election and not seek a second term in Parliament. I will stay on as the Green Party candidate for Hutt South to campaign for the Party Vote in my community I am gutted to be leaving so soon […]
National has finally relented to years of Green Party pressure to put the Government’s banking contract to competitive tender. This banking contract – the largest, most lucrative banking contract in the country – has been held by Australian-owned Westpac Bank since 1989 and has never been retendered since then. In 2010, we disclosed this cosy […]
Yesterday I kicked off a nationwide solar-powered roadshow showcasing what local businesses and communities are doing to help kiwi households achieve cheaper and cleaner power. I visited Phil Wood, a homeowner in Dairy Flat, Auckland who showed me how his family are managing to live off the grid on solar power. Despite having a power […]
OECD Secretary-General, Mr. Angel Gurría described the implementation of British Columbia’s carbon tax “as near as we have to a textbook case, with wide coverage across sectors and a steady increase in the rate”. British Columbia’s centre-right political party, the Liberal Party, implemented a broad-based low rate carbon charge in 2008 of C$10 per tonne […]
In the last few days we’ve seen MMP being kicked around like the political football it should never be. Electoral systems shouldn’t be politicised or swayed by particular situations or political parties. But that’s exactly what’s happened with MMP since the announcement of the Internet Mana Party deal. Last election, the public voted to keep […]
We have made a big decision in our household this week: Dave has extended his parental leave until after the election. Our original plan was to have three months’ parental leave each and for Dave to go back to work part time at the end of April, when Esther would be six months old. I […]
This coming week, I am part of a New Zealand delegation attending the 130th meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Europe. The delegation is composed of one National, one Labour and one Green MP. It is an annual visit by a NZ delegation, where issues of interest to 163 national parliaments are discussed. It is, […]
Three weeks into our experiment combining parenting and Parliament and I am pleased to report that it is getting easier.
” A Green government will invest in our people, will protect our environment and will build an economy which works for everyone.”
Finance Minister Bill English got it half right when he said recently that models of government intervention that had been applied in the Far North over the last thirty years had “disempowered them rather than helped them”. Mr English told the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee that there had been a culture and a climate […]
Parliament’s back this week, and as is tradition for the first day of the year, party leaders had the chance to outline our priorities for the year and our greater vision for the country. I used my time to talk about this year’s election, which I see as a turning point in our history. The […]
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 […]
Today is a big day for me on a personal level – it’s my first full day back in the House after taking parental leave to welcome my baby girl Esther into the world. She is 16 weeks old.
Tired of the conventional list of dubious political achievements? Join me in constructing your own from an openly biased rather than faux-neutral list of successes. 1, Big ups to Jan Logie and Lee Rhiannon (Aussie Green MP) for confronting the Sri Lankan Government on human rights the week before CHOGM in Sri Lanka! 2. Congratulations […]
Yesterday, I announced a new plan that will keep more of Meridian Energy in public ownership. Purchasers in the Meridian sale are paying for it in two instalments. They paid $1 in October and, in May 2015, they will be required to pay a second instalment of 50 cents, at which point their instalments receipts […]
I was one of those thousands of people who spent a lot of my spare time last year collecting signatures to trigger the referendum on the sale of our state owned assets. Now that the voting papers have been delivered to people’s letterboxes I’m not wanting to see all that work wasted so have spent […]
The latest global storm, Typhoon Haiyan over the Philippines, is the strongest on record to make landfall. The statement by the chief Philippine climate negotiator, Yeb Sano, at the 19th annual UN negotiations in Warsaw, is perhaps the most eloquent cry of pain on behalf of humanity yet uttered. Mr Sano, whose family has been […]
At Youth Parliament earlier this year, I was represented by Auckland student Dean Buckley. Dean is a stand out role model and I was so proud to have him as my youth MP. While he was here in Wellington, he was followed by a film crew from Attitude Pictures who were documenting his experience. Dean’s […]
Yesterday in Parliament I asked Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce about the SkyCity deal, and whether the Government would delay the bill in the House until after John Banks’ court case was resolved. As some of you may have seen or heard, it was pretty interesting. Not just because of Steven Joyce’s answers and the […]
The Treasury released papers last week recommending that the Reserve Bank move towards a committee structure for making future decisions on the Official Cash Rate (OCR). New Zealand is now alone in relying on a single person – the Reserve Bank Governor – to set the OCR. No other country in the developed world leaves […]
It’s important that New Zealanders are able to have a say on the way our Parliament starts each Parliamentary day. It is symbolic for the country, and everybody should be able to contribute to shaping that symbolism.