Well, THAT happened: reflecting on 2016 and beyond

Metiria @ Earthsong Eco-Neighbourhood

Lots of people are saying 2016 has been a bit of a shocker, with political events like Brexit and Trump; US Police shooting black people – and the emergence of Black Lives Matter; the death of legendary musicians like Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen (and let’s not forget Lemmy at the very end of 2015) […]

Continue reading

Cautionary tales from the Swimmable Rivers campaign

Lucas Creek launch

Every week, I get media alerts about unhealthy water, including algae risks at swimming spots and boil water notices in small towns. It got personal the other week when I went kayaking on a river and found a rash on my arms and legs wherever I had touched the water. The rash formed small itchy […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

Housing NZ needs to stop unfair evictions


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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

Bright Line Test is too little, too late

On 1 October, the Government’s Bright Line Test came in to force, despite the fact the legislation has yet to be passed into law. It is still being considered by the Finance and Expenditure Committee. When it is enacted, sometime before the end of the year, it will be retrospective. This is National’s too-little-too-late attempt […]

Continue reading

National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at work

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses signifying the 291 people who have died at work since the Pike River mine disaster […]

Continue reading

Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation

Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for the result – where the judge decided the Ministry’s processes were flawed and unfair – […]

Continue reading

‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity related diseases

Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from Australia, using both education and community and local government involvement. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Health […]

Continue reading