RCEP trade deal risks repeating TPPA mistakes

TPPA March

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 […]

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Health and Safety Act fails to reduce work fatalities

2015 NZCTU Pike River vigil

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, […]

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Yet another reason to end 2016 early

2017 blackboard

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 […]

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Barry Coates’ speech on the final reading of the TPPA Amendment Bill

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 […]

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No data, no funding. That’s just wrong.

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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 […]

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Block the offer – Canterbury

Humpback whale breaching

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 […]

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Stand up for the environment we love – say no to seabed mining

Maui's Dolphin

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 […]

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Moratorium on seabed mining needed

Gareth Hughes accepts a petition against seabed mining at Parliament last month

Today at Parliament, I accepted a petition signed by more than 6,000 people calling for a moratorium on seabed mining. This is also the day Trans-Tasman Resources’ (TTR) second application attempt to mine the seabed of the South Taranaki Bight opens for the twenty days of submissions period under the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) rules. […]

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Greens call on Minister to “call in” new polluting power plant

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The Green Party launched a campaign on Friday to stop the proposed construction of a new gas-fired power plant in South Waikato that would increase greenhouse gas emissions, causing climate change. Nova Energy has applied for resource consents to build a gas-burning power plant near Otorohanga. I’m asking Environment Minister Nick Smith to “call in” […]

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Time to halt flawed, ideological electricity grid pricing proposal

Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes at Meridian's the West Wind farm

You know your proposal has probably got something seriously wrong with it when you have councils, lines companies, businesses, chambers of commerce, Federated Farmers and the Green Party opposed. Does the Electricity Authority know it though? Today, a group of businesses, local government and electricity sector participants has come out in support of a legal […]

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Family-friendly renting

Over the weekend, Stuff.co.nz published a story titled “The Baby or the House” about how more and more young Auckland couples who want to start a family are putting it off because it’s too expensive to have kids and a mortgage. I think part of the problem is that renting rules aren’t very family-friendly. People […]

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We need to talk about Bill

Auckland, where the average house price is almost one million dollars. Image credit: Malcolm Peacey

We need to talk about Bill English’s repeated accusations that planning is responsible for stratospherically high house prices and inequality, and about the opportunity the Auckland Unitary Plan has to get housing back on the right track. Ever since he wrote the forward to Demographia’s 2013 annual housing affordability survey, our Minister of Finance has […]

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