The lesson from the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) should have been that it is time to re-think this type of so-called trade agreement. But despite warnings from internationally-recognised experts, there are more secretive “trade” negotiations happening this week, and the risks are huge. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is being negotiated […]
Earlier this week I posed some questions to Finance Minister Bill English about his support for the government’s plan to spend a billion dollars on a new prison. I was pretty disappointed in his answers, all of which flew in the face of his own comments in the past acknowledging that prisons were a moral and fiscal failure.
I took the opportunity to question the Reserve Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler, about New Zealand’s lack of deposit protection in front of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee in Parliament yesterday.
Last week the Productivity Commission put out a report about how to grow “weak labour productivity”. These views are being criticised as being straight out of the 1980s. What is a real problem is that we have a problem of productivity gains not being passed on to workers.
The Green Party has campaigned for several years for mandatory palm oil labeling to give consumers choice. Most consumers do not want to support a palm oil industry that is destroying tropical rainforests and contributing to dangerous climate change emissions.
Cases of syphilis are increasing in Auckland. You read that right, syphilis! RNZ reported today that rates of syphilis have increased by 71 percent (between 2013-2015). We have known about the increase in syphilis figures for a while, but nothing seems to have been done about it. Staggeringly, in Auckland where rates are highest, the […]
The charade of this Government’s sound economic management is unraveling. Misleading GDP figures, pumped up by property speculation and high immigration, have given the impression that all is well, masking our continued productivity decline compared to OECD countries. In fact, we are near the top of the OECD in hours worked, but near the bottom […]
The death of Fidel Castro is a huge historical moment for the older generation who grew up with the toppling of Batista, the Bay of Pigs debacle, the death of Che Guevara and the US blockade against Cuba.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has more than halved the number of fisheries observers in the East Coast North Island snapper trawl fishery (SNA1). This reduction in observer days, combined with major failures in an unproven and controversial video monitoring system, means commercial trawlers in one of our most important fisheries are not being […]
Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise.
On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory palm oil labelling.
Unfortunately for people of my generation getting into a home of your own – fast or slow – is becoming impossible. A home of your own is still the Kiwi dream. For many today it’s just that – a dream – and I want to help make it a reality with my Faster into Homes members’ bill.
Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour their sovereignty.
When Environment Minister Nick Smith said in Parliament that some waterways – like Auckland’s Lucas Creek – are not worth saving because no-one wants to swim in them, he forgot to ask the locals we met last week who have put hours of work into restoring Lucas Creek river to health for their community so that it is safe to swim in once more.
After the Pike River tragedy, New Zealanders realised that workplace health and safety culture needed to change. Last Saturday marked the 6th anniversary of the tragedy that killed 29 miners at the Pike River mine on the West Coast of the South Island. Six years on, the battle to improve our health and safety continues, […]
I would love to know who is calling the shots in the National government’s cabinet when it comes to deciding how best to spend taxpayers’ money. On the evidence of the last few weeks, it definitely isn’t Finance Minister Bill English making the calls.
I visited Kaikoura over the weekend – basically to see how the community was coping with all the rubbish and rubble created by last week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake, and to see my brother Rob.
Green MP Steffan Browning flew south after Monday morning’s 7.8 magnitude quake. He documented his time assessing the recovery and relief efforts. I got to Kaikōura as early as possible following Monday’s earthquake, I will be spending as much time as possible in the region to do all that I can to aid in the […]
The fifth river in our Swimmable Rivers tour is an urban river on the North Shore called Lucas Creek, which runs from the outer suburban edge near Paremoremo through to the Waitemata harbour. The river came to our attention when Dr Nick Smith, the Minister for the Environment, named it in Parliament as a very polluted […]
Yesterday’s protest at the Defence Expo in Auckland was an important example of New Zealanders speaking out on an issue that many of us feel strongly about. Auckland Peace Action is organising a Week of Peace from 13-20 November in Auckland in response to the defence industry conference, and the visit of warships for the […]
On Monday, the Civilian “reported” that the Government plans to pass legislation to end 2016 early. The Green Party will be supporting this bill. Just in the last week, we’ve had a 7.8 quake and hundreds of aftershocks, floods, Donald Trump, news of his transition team, Brian Tamaki sharing his ‘wisdom’ and a tornado. Oh, and there’s […]
When the death of Leonard Cohen was announced, it felt like the last straw in a tempestuous week. Leonard wrote many prophetic songs about the USA. He described a chaotic future which, as of this week, seems to have grown closer. The election of a racist, misogynist who denies climate change can seem far away […]
This year, games expo PAX celebrated its third year in Australia. I was lucky enough to attend as part of Melbourne International Games Week. I was there to meet a number of industry players and research the significant number of steps the State of Victoria has taken to support its thriving games development sector. In […]
Barry Coates’ speech on the final reading of the TPPA Amendment Bill, 10 November 2016. Tēnā koe, Mr Assistant Speaker. I rise to talk on the third reading of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill, and I have to say, this is the story of a farce. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement has been a […]
Top of the “to do” list for incoming President Trump (it will take a while to get used to writing that) are changes to trade policy. Number one is rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). He will be supported by a Republican Congress and Senate, so it is now clear that the TPPA, as […]
When I was told I was the recipient of the Public Health Association Tū Rangatira mō to Ora award I was speechless. It took a little while to process. I’m not very good with surprises, and I consider the work I do for tamariki and whānau as a service, so being rewarded for it seemed odd. […]
I’m pretty excited. I’m off to Melbourne today to attend the Southern Hemisphere’s largest interactive media and games conference – PAX – to research supporting our games export industry. It sounds like fun, but it’s no game. Already, with minimal support, our games and app building sector’s exports are worth $89 million a year. The […]
This post first appeared on The Daily Blog – October 26, 2016 If you’re concerned about the TPPA, there is even worse to come. TiSA is a new trade deal that would leave citizens powerless to set the rules about what big multinational corporations can do in our communities and workplaces. Governments and corporate lobbyists […]
The National Government recently announced that they will be requiring community organisations to hand over client information to the government to get funding. Services such as women’s refuges and budgeting agencies will have to share “client-level data” as a condition of funding. I’ve been hearing a lot of concerns about this. Social workers and counsellors […]
Today, Christchurch City Council considered the National-led Government’s Block Offer 2017 proposal to tender for permits which allow companies to explore for oil and gas in New Zealand, including off the Canterbury coast . Thankfully, the City Council voted by 15 to 1 not to support the proposal and to ask Ngai Tahu and Environment […]
Last week Gareth and I went rafting down a rapid past local rangatahi swimming in this pristine fresh water of the upper Tarawera River.
It’s become clear that Housing NZ has ignored repeated warnings from senior government officials in the Ministry of Health that it’s misusing methamphetamine guidelines to evict tenants. The long story short is that hundreds of people have been evicted from their homes unfairly. It is one thing to cook or make meth. Doing that contaminates […]
When the Government announced it would need to uphold public safety during the upcoming International Naval Review, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was talking about wearing life jackets. But actually, the Government is applying restrictions that stop people boating and even swimming in parts of Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour for twelve days. Yesterday the Minister […]
The launch of my Members’ Bill last week, which would introduce a 15 cent charge on single-use plastic bags at the check-out, has generated a lot of comment on mainstream and social media. From The Paul Henry Show at the start of the week to RNZ’s Wallace Chapman on Sunday, there’s been considerable media and public interest. And […]
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 […]