Our increase in prison numbers – ‘average’ numbers of incarcerated offenders have more than doubled over the last twenty years – is not because New Zealanders are becoming more lawless or because the crime rate is increasing (they aren’t, and it isn’t).
It is appropriate that the palm kernel expeller (PKE) ship off Tauranga has been sent packing.
I was a lucky kid. When I was about five or six my mum and auntie took me up to Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu and taught me to ski. As a young kid I thought there was no bigger treat than playing in the snow, on top of a mountain. Even now, as an adult, […]
On Thursday night I hosted a great swimmable rivers meeting organised by the local Greens in Heretaunga (Hutt Valley). It was great to see about 70 people attend and engage in the topic.
Sooty shearwater are amazing and deserve your vote in Forest and Bird’s Bird of the Year competition. They make one of the longest known bird migrations, flying an annual round trip of 64,000 kms across the entire Pacific Ocean, from NZ to feeding grounds off the coasts of Japan, Alaska and California, and back.
New data out this week from Statistics NZ paints a concerning picture of energy use across the economy under this National Government. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is some seriously worrying information here about how dirty our economy is becoming, but the good news is that with some decent political leadership, there […]
Thousands of junior doctors took strike action for 24 hours this week for better working conditions and safer working hours. The Green Party supports their cause.
It was a privilege to visit Rātana Pā last week with fellow Greens’ Co-leader James Shaw, our Māori Caucus and senior staff to meet with the leaders of te iwi mōrehu, to strengthen the ties between the Green Party and the Rātana movement.
Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is painfully clear to the people I meet as I travel around the country, visiting rivers […]
This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke. They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed changes to Child Youth and Family. Paora Moyle said that when she heard Anne Tolley […]
National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current New Zealanders, it has lurched from one extreme to another. First with a laissez-faire approach that […]
Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues in some schools for some children with learning support needs and children whose behaviour has […]
Gareth Hughes says the public should get a say on Nova Energy’s proposed big new polluting power plant in Waikato
The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money — Shamubeel Eaqub Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this is cost cutting — Prue Kapua, President of Maori Women’s Welfare League The MSD Investment approach […]
This morning there have been reports in the media about community budgeting services caught in limbo as MSD delay over the review of services.
For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of coercion and control that may or may not use physical or sexual violence. Just one […]
Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was an exact replica of his lost leg. Using scanning technology almost any body part can […]
We’ve had some pretty decent solar spills lately and, unlike the Rena spill, the impacts are simply a lovely day and clean energy. Greenpeace has a good write-up on Stuff Nation on why solar is a great technology for New Zealand. In New Zealand, like many other countries, we’ve seen stunning growth in solar panel […]
A week ago I visited Lillestrøm, a short train journey to the north-east of Oslo and the site of the KRUS Correctional Service Training Academy the Norwegian training school for prison officers.
It’s the place where the world’s largest whales feed and the smallest dolphins live, so why would we risk it with experimental seabed mining? Submissions are currently open on Trans-Tasman Resources’ (TTR) application to mine the seabed of the South Taranaki Bight, TTR’s second attempt second attempt after the first one was turned down. The […]
In Part One, I critiqued the government’s domestic violence justice reforms. However, we will not get the results that we need unless we take a whole of society/government response to this problem. The justice system is an essential component of our response to domestic violence but it is only one part of the puzzle. As […]
I want to acknowledge that I respect Minister of Justice Amy Adams and I think she genuinely wants to improve outcomes for victims of domestic violence with recently announced reforms. I also want to be clear though that unless there is systemic change to the Government’s response to domestic violence, we will not get the […]
Today, the Government announced its draft kiwi recovery plan, which seeks to turn around the current decline in kiwi numbers. It is an ambitious plan that rightly recognises that predator control and habitat protection will be key to saving the kiwi. What is most concerning however, is that there is an acknowledged annual funding shortfall […]
Our legal and political systems owe a lot to the Westminster model. When you get up close and personal, though, it’s apparent that there are subtle and not so subtle differences in structure as well as scale.
The nationwide swimmable rivers tour went west this week to the Taranaki community of Waitara. Waitara was once a densely populated food gathering area with magnificent coastal reefs of kaimoana and a stony-bottomed tidal river full of fish.
I was really honoured to be invited, along with Catherine Healy (NZ Prostitute Collective), Inspector Jason Hewett (Area Commander Counties Manukau West from NZ Police) and Dr Annette Nesdale (Medical Officer of Health in Wellington) by the United Nations Family Planning Association to go and present at a high level conference on the NZ experience of the decriminalisation of prostitution.
Like the kakapo, New Zealand sea lions/rāpoka are classified as critically endangered. There are only an estimated 11,800 of them left on the planet. Their numbers are falling each year.
The Intelligence and Security Bill is a significant overhaul of existing legislation which governs our intelligence and security agencies.
It is disturbing to see that the Government continues to say they will work in partnership with Māori while they fail again and again to involve Māori in what could be argued are the most important changes for Māori in government legislation and practice in decades.
Councils around the country should be representative of the communities that they work for. In order for this to happen, the voting systems that elects councillors and community board members needs to be improved.
On a grey and chilly spring day, Canterbury artist and writer Sam Mahon, sculptor Alison Erickson and friends erected a beautiful sculpture “Vigil” of Catherine Sintenie outside Environment Canterbury Regional Council’s (ECan’s) lavish new offices in central Christchurch.
As Parliament goes into recess for two weeks, I’m heading away first to UK, then to Northern Europe. The purpose of my trip, somewhat unusually, is to visit and learn more about prisons and prison systems.
How is it that New Zealand is supposed to be playing our part in the global mission to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, yet Nova Energy is proposing to build more fossil fuel-burning power plants that emit greenhouse gases?
Cats and dogs are two of New Zealand’s most loved companion animals who are often integral parts of a family. My own dog, Kea, is a rescue from the SPCA and brings huge joy in my life. It’s well established that having a pet can have many benefits. Having a pet when you are a […]
On Wednesday night my Members’ Bill to stop the Public Works Act taking any more Māori land was voted down by the National Government. This is not the end of the campaign to raise awareness that the Public Works Act can still take Māori land.
Did cutting the top tax rate in 2010 (to better align it with the trust and company tax rates) eliminate the widespread tax avoidance occurring around the top tax threshold?
A collection of chambers of commerce, electricity lines companies, Federated Farmers, and businesses have just released a survey showing 56% of Kiwis wouldn’t want to pay less for power if others had to pay more.
Today I met with locals living rurally near Otorohanga, south Waikato, who will be affected by Nova Energy’s plan to build a new 360MW gas-fired power station. In a bit of a tag team, James Shaw asked questions in Parliament about the same thing.
In the last week we have heard a
This year, the block offer proposes opening more than 500,000 square kilometers to onshore and offshore drilling and mining. That’s bigger than Spain!