Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee

Fair-society-BLOGFEATURE

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 […]

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National’s innovation policy in three charts

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 […]

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Govt backs Green plan for a second internet cable

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 […]

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Double win for Greens in economics this week

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 […]

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How a carbon tax shift worked in British Columbia

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 […]

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Swimming on the Wellington waterfront

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 […]

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My 2013 Best Efforts from a Biased Participant

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 […]

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We’re doing fine, it’s the world that’s at fault – climate change, Philippines, and Mr Groser

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 […]

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Syria – the Urgent Debate that wasn’t

I blogged last week about the constitutional shortcomings New Zealand faces in debating issues of foreign policy and international relations. The Government has committed only to a ministerial statement in the House after a NZ policy-decision has been taken in response to the US request for support for a military strike against Syria. This compares […]

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A table for one?

After yesterday’s blog post about the lack of response from the Minister of Health to my written questions it was a nice surprise this morning to see my inbox brimming with responses. Well, sort of. These responses would be funny if they weren’t so sad. The first thing you need to know in order to […]

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Syria, the UN, and parliamentary democracy: Are we up to scratch, down here?

The game-changer in the Syrian crisis is not the US soliloquy whether a unilateral strike is to be or not to be.  That is a normal phenomenon of the past half-century. It is the impressive working of parliamentary democracy in the United Kingdom.  That is not. Last week, the British Parliament was recalled to debate […]

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The final report on the Lobbying Disclosure Bill

This week the Government Administration Select Committee presented the final report on the Lobbying Disclosure Bill – my Member’s Bill to set-up a lobbying disclosure regime in New Zealand. The original aim of this bill was to bring a measure of transparency and public disclosure to lobbying activity in New Zealand, and to enhance trust […]

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Afghanistan mon amour: Defamation case spotlights Defence PR spin

Two years ago award winning New Zealand journalist Jon Stephenson wrote an in-depth article for Metro Magazine about New Zealand’s role in the war in Afghanistan. The article, Eyes Wide Shut, described the w ay NZ Special Forces  handed detainees over to other coalition forces who then sent the prisoners to facilities known to have […]

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