TPPA people power protests

The protests against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yesterday were an energetic show of people power. It was great to see such a big turnout – at least 15,000 in Auckland by some estimates. That’s a lot of people not buying the National Government’s spin on the TPPA. I was at the Auckland protests […]

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What you need to know about Paris in five minutes

From November 30 to December 11, the governments of more than 190 nations will convene in Paris and try to reach a global climate agreement. The generally agreed aim is for that agreement to limit global warming to 2°C. Paris is the very best chance we’ve got to formalise an agreement of weight and ambition, […]

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Political leadership needed to end rape culture

When Prime Minister John Key shouted that opposition parties “backed the rapists” on Tuesday, he not only tried to distract people from his failure over the Christmas Island detainee issue, he trivialised rape and was deliberately offensive to many MPs. What’s more, the Speaker allowed him to do it. We asked the Speaker to hold John […]

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Why a fair go for solar isn’t hot air

Geoff Simmons, who works with Gareth Morgan, has published a blog post about my Fair Go For Solar Bill. I welcome the debate. I hope tomorrow Peter Dunne will break the 60/60 vote tie in Parliament so we can continue the solar conversation and hear from all those involved around a select committee table. Simmons […]

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Environment misses out under National’s science investment strategy

Environmental research continues to be the poor cousin in the Government’s National Science Investment Strategy (NSIS) receiving the least of the five major science sectors in 2014 with no commitment to increase future funding for the sector; in contrast with all the other major research sectors. The NSIS promises increased spending on research in manufacturing, […]

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Will New York divest from coal before New Zealand does?

New York City is going the way of California, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut by moving to divest from coal and reconsidering its investments in oil and gas. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio this week called on his city’s $160 billion pension fund to divest from coal. Divesting from coal posed little risk to […]

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Coromandel rallies against the TPPA

  On Wednesday, John Key visited the southern Coromandel area with local National MP Scott Simpson and was challenged by citizens who spontaneously organised protests against the Government position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). I went down to Waihi expecting a handful of people but in fact there were 50 locals, many of […]

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The latest equal pay case – Go the Midwives

Good on the midwives taking their case straight to the High Court. Of course, it’s for the Court to decide if this is a case of gender discrimination, but the public arguments sounds pretty compelling. I’m not sure how anyone would think a midwife, after three years of training, with significant legal and medical responsibilities, […]

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Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act

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, […]

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Will the Super Fund now follow its own advice and divest from coal?

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 […]

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Govt managing our money for political ends

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 […]

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Election Inquiry – Getting accessible voting on the agenda

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 […]

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Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement

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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 […]

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

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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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