Justice & Democracy Archive

  • Kennedy Graham

    Israeli Ground Invasion an Aggressive Action - by Kennedy Graham



    My comment a week ago on the Israel-Gaza situation occasioned considerable comment, supportive and critical.  No surprise; on such an important and sensitive issue, personal opinions run deep, including mine. Comments in support take the long view – advocate a political re-alignment that reduces the US role as biased mediator; strengthen in various ways the […] read more
    July 18, 2014 2:09 pm - 15 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    In defence of strong women and freedom of speech - by Jan Logie



    A certain right wing blog WITH TIES TO National has tried to discredit Tania Billingsley because her friend has links to Rape Crisis and has had her photo taken with me. This blog was an extreme example of rape culture and was so incredibly offensive that it’s hard to know where to start, or imagine ever ending […] read more
    July 17, 2014 5:12 pm - 16 Comments
  • David Clendon

    National’s constitutional quagmire - by David Clendon



    The High Court has ruled that the courts can look at whether prisoners should be allowed to vote. ‘Jailhouse lawyer’ Arthur Taylor took up the issue of prisoners’ voting rights and wanted a declaration that the current law, which bans all prisoners from voting, was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act (BORA).  However, the […] read more
    July 16, 2014 2:07 pm - 3 Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    Israel-Palestine Round 2014: Mutual Assured Destruction not the correct recipe - by Kennedy Graham



    Israel-Palestine Round 2014: Mutual Assured Destruction not the correct recipe The latest round of violence in the Israel-Palestine saga reinforces a few timeless truths. They are: attempts at mutual slaughter achieve nothing but mutual slaughter; persisting with a politically-biased external mediator returns nothing but frustration; and an unreformed United Nations wringing its hands on the […] read more
    July 11, 2014 3:46 pm - 36 Comments
  • Holly Walker

    Holly Walker to step down from party list - by Holly Walker



    With real sadness, I have decided to withdraw from the Green Party’s list for the 2014 general election and not seek a second term in Parliament. I will stay on as the Green Party candidate for Hutt South to campaign for the Party Vote in my community I am gutted to be leaving so soon […] read more
    June 30, 2014 1:01 pm - 3 Comments
  • Russel Norman

    Double win for Greens in economics this week - by Russel Norman



    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 […] read more
    June 26, 2014 12:00 pm - 2 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    Equal pay will require a change of government - by Jan Logie



    Today EEO Commissioner Dr. Jacqui Blue joined previous commissioners in calling on all political parties to set targets to close gender and ethnic pay gaps. In the past two years there has been no change in the public sector gender pay gap in the 29 core government departments. The gender pay gap in the public […] read more
    June 25, 2014 5:35 pm - 1 Comment
  • Kennedy Graham

    Public interest on UN bid says – ‘Show us the money, John’ - by Kennedy Graham



    Under the John Key Government, New Zealand has recast its reputational integrity, losing traditional hues of national colour to which the Prime Minister is congenitally blind. This current Government has practised, to an art form, the statement of principles to govern the pursuit of stated objectives, in eloquent words of surpassing meaninglessness, whilst proceeding under […] read more
    June 24, 2014 8:29 am - 2 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    Work and Income – stories from hidden people - by Jan Logie



    This morning I caught up with a group of people who have been mandated to attend a pre-employment course by Work and Income. There was a wide range of people on the course, from the young to those close to retirement age, sole parents, people with a range of fairly serious illnesses as well as […] read more
    June 23, 2014 4:57 pm - 19 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    Government rejects UN human rights recommendations - by Jan Logie



    The Government has chosen to reject over a fifth of key recommendations by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the state of human rights in New Zealand. As I’ve already written a couple of times, New Zealand was subject to its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) this year.  In January, the United Nations […] read more
    June 23, 2014 3:05 pm - 1 Comment
  • Jan Logie

    Reports from the front-line of violence against women - by Jan Logie



    I’ve been going around the country hearing from refuge and sexual violence organisations and presenting an overview of what’s been happening at a national level and the Green Party ideas for reducing violence. It would be an epic blogpost to convey all of the detail and ideas but here are a couple of things I’ve […] read more
    June 14, 2014 1:08 pm - No Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    The Pope, Prayers, and the Middle East - by Kennedy Graham



    True to his developing reputation as an original and courageous leader, Pope Francis has led the Israeli and Palestinians in prayer together. http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/10133858/Pope-brings-Middle-East-leaders-together It is probable that no other individual on Earth right now could bring that off. If ping-pong diplomacy could cut the ice in US-China relations in the 20th century, then maybe prayer […] read more
    June 10, 2014 10:41 am - 7 Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Bigger not always better – keeping the local in local govt - by Eugenie Sage



    I was thrilled to speak at the Local Democracy Coalition’s (LDC) meeting in Wellington yesterday. It was only the Coalition’s second meeting, and brought together the Mayors of 14 Councils from around New Zealand to share their views and experiences on supercities. The LDC was recently formed by local councils opposed to the National Government’s […] read more
    June 5, 2014 11:29 am - 2 Comments
  • Holly Walker

    MMP not a political football - by Holly Walker



    In the last few days we’ve seen MMP being kicked around like the political football it should never be. Electoral systems shouldn’t be politicised or swayed by particular situations or political parties. But that’s exactly what’s happened with MMP since the announcement of the Internet Mana Party deal. Last election, the public voted to keep […] read more
    June 5, 2014 10:20 am - 3 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    Budget 2014 and Overseas Development and Aid - by Jan Logie



    Peace Movement Aotearoa pointed out recently just how incredible the global military spend is: Last year global military expenditure was $1,747 trillion (US$) – on average, almost $4.8 billion (US$) every day. By way of contrast, an average of more than 24,000 children under the age of five die every day from mainly preventable causes […] read more
    May 22, 2014 5:00 pm - 4 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    Government response to domestic violence not good enough - by Jan Logie



    Earlier this year the United Nations Human Rights Council raised serious concerns about the prevalence of violence against women in New Zealand. That is obviously a concern I share. Yesterday the Minister of Justice sent out a press release responding to the report. It is titled NZ to build on strong human rights record and […] read more
    May 22, 2014 9:55 am - 3 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Is Key misrepresenting us over Five-Eyes? - by Steffan Browning



    Over the weekend, American investigative journalist and author Jeremy Scahill was interviewed on TV3’s ‘The Nation’ programme. Jeremy Scahill is the National Security Correspondent for The Nation magazine and the author of the international bestseller ‘Blackwater’. His latest book, ‘Dirty Wars’, raises questions about America’s war on terror, including the use of drones. In the […] read more
    May 19, 2014 10:24 am - 2 Comments
  • Gareth Hughes

    The right to Internet access - by Gareth Hughes



    The Internet has changed our world. It is now a major part of how people access information, express themselves, engage in financial transactions, and participate in the democratic process. UN Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue “…believes that the Internet is one of the most powerful instruments of the 21st century for increasing transparency in the […] read more
    May 15, 2014 4:09 pm - 3 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    Is NZ helping fund escalating tension on Nauru? - by Jan Logie



    I was shocked to hear last night that Nauru police were sent into their parliament to forcibly remove an opposition MP. The MP had been accused of making critical comments to foreign media. Nauru’s Minister of Justice has defended the police’s actions. The Nauru government has now suspended three opposition MPs from Parliament over unspecified […] read more
    May 15, 2014 11:41 am - No Comments
  • Denise Roche

    Inequality in New Zealand is getting worse - by Denise Roche



    Alarmingly, despite the growing disparity, New Zealanders display a hardening attitude towards those in need. The graph published in yesterday’s NZ Herald accompanying the article about the visit by authors of The Spirit Level: Why more equal societies almost always do better Professors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, showed that only 50.1% of our people think the government should take some responsibility to reduce the income gap. We come last in the OECD countries for supporting government intervention. read more
    May 14, 2014 4:50 pm - 4 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Health sector raises concerns over TPPA - by Kevin Hague



    The Government this week got the message from those in the medical profession that they have significant concerns over the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). Many of those working in our health services are concerned that the TPPA will undermine Pharmac and thus push up costs on an already squeezed health budget. Other concerns raised […] read more
    May 13, 2014 1:13 pm - 1 Comment
  • Eugenie Sage

    Fight for democracy deserves international attention - by Eugenie Sage



    It’s now been four years since the National Government passed the law that removed the right of Cantabrians to vote for their regional council and  moved to appoint its own hand picked commissioners. They, not elected councillors, are making the crucial decisions about environmental and resource management  for the residents of New Zealand’s second largest […] read more
    May 2, 2014 12:37 pm - No Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    So, why did NZ not do this? Marshall Is. charges nuclear powers at the World Court - by Kennedy Graham



    In what will be one of the more historic developments in the agonising saga of nuclear disarmament, the Marshall Is. has stunned the world by laying charges against nine countries for not fulfilling their obligations with respect to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament. This is […] read more
    April 30, 2014 3:13 pm - 5 Comments
  • Denise Roche

    Mourn the dead and fight for the living - by Denise Roche



    It’s Workers Memorial Day.  It is a time to remember those who went to work and didn’t come home.  In the last year 51 people have died on the job and around 1000 people have been on ACC for a year for work-related injuries and illness. The most dangerous occupations are in forestry, agriculture, construction, […] read more
    April 28, 2014 10:47 am - 2 Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    Drones in Yemen; policy in Wellington – ‘conflation’ or global thinking? - by Kennedy Graham



    The news on Wednesday that one of the people killed in a US drone strike over Yemen last year was a New Zealander came as sobering news. The question of how to deal with international conflict in the 21st century, including the global terrorism, is fraught and arouses passions.  It evokes complex legal, moral and […] read more
    April 20, 2014 12:19 pm - 8 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    The arbitrary detention of refugees, asylum seekers and irregular migrants in NZ - by Jan Logie



    These are the comments made by the visiting United Nations Working Group On Arbitrary Detention relating to the detention of refugees, asylum seekers and irregular migrants.  As I haven’t heard much coverage of this issue I am just going to relay them without editing: “New Zealand was one of the first States to accede to […] read more
    April 8, 2014 9:47 pm - No Comments
  • Jan Logie

    Solomon Islands flash floods - by Jan Logie



    The latest reports after the flash floods in the Solomon Islands are that 21 people have died and an estimated 12,000 people are in an evacuation centre and another 40,000 homeless on top of this. We know the Pacific region is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters with its mix of low lying atolls, and mountainous […] read more
    April 7, 2014 4:13 pm - No Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    Earth’s climate … and the matter of the human spirit - by Kennedy Graham



    There is something surreal to the climate epic that is beginning to define the fate of the planet – and the human species with it. This was portrayed last week in the muted diplomatic exchanges that echoed along the corridors in Yokohama, marking the adoption of the IPCC’s Working Group II’s 5th Assessment Report on […] read more
    April 3, 2014 12:31 pm - 8 Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    Crimea: judicial settlement v. political contestation – no contest - by Kennedy Graham



    The Crimea crisis continues to unfold.  It is perhaps the clearest example of a Cold War-style confrontation since the US invasion of the Bay of Pigs – except the roles are reversed. In 1961 the US felt strategically on the back-foot vis-à-vis the USSR.  In 2014 Russia feels on the back-foot vis-à-vis the US. Little […] read more
    March 28, 2014 2:32 pm - 4 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    Will victims of sexual violence get justice? - by Jan Logie



    After our frustrations with not being able to get a straight answer on what progress the Minister is taking on changing the justice system to help victims of sexual violence, I asked Judith Collins through parliamentary questions for her response to each of the Law Commission’s recommendations. Her responses are set out in the table […] read more
    March 28, 2014 1:55 pm - No Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    Democracy at the Global level? An idea whose time is (almost) come - by Kennedy Graham



    Last week I attended (with one National and one Labour colleague) the 130th meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.  The IPU is the world gathering of MPs from 163 parliaments.  It is a big affair.  The peoples’ representatives talk to one another.  They embrace, fall out, pass resolutions, and return to base.  It is something worth […] read more
    March 25, 2014 11:33 am - 4 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    New Zealand and Sri Lanka at the UNHRC - by Jan Logie



    Last year, the Commonwealth failed to hold the Sri Lanka Government to account for its role in alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, even in the face of what could be considered brazen flouting of the principles of human rights right up to and indeed during the meeting. Last year, despite the Sri Lankan […] read more
    March 20, 2014 3:41 pm - 2 Comments
  • Mojo Mathers

    Voting against new barrier to voting - by Mojo Mathers



    The Green Party takes electoral reform very seriously. An electoral system that is robust, democratic and fair means everyone can have confidence in our parliament and our democracy. Today we stood up for a fair electoral system by voting against the Electoral Amendment Bill, which sought to make some changes to the Electoral Act in […] read more
    March 18, 2014 5:33 pm - 3 Comments
  • David Clendon

    A vision for Maori in tertiary education - by David Clendon



    Last Friday I was privileged to join with Maori members of the Tertiary Education Union (TEU) at NorthTec’s Te Puna o Te Matauranga Marae in Whangarei.  The purpose of the hui was to launch and celebrate Te Kaupapa Whaioranga – the Blueprint for Maori Tertiary Education. The well-attended hui included Maori educators from all around […] read more
    March 18, 2014 4:14 pm - 5 Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    NZ Inc. & the NZ Constitution – unsanctioned Parliamentary visits to China - by Kennedy Graham



    This coming week, I am part of a New Zealand delegation attending the 130th meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Europe.  The delegation is composed of one National, one Labour and one Green MP.  It is an annual visit by a NZ delegation, where issues of interest to 163 national parliaments are discussed.   It is, […] read more
    March 14, 2014 1:26 pm - 4 Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    Tipping points – Israel, Palestine, and peace - by Kennedy Graham



    Later this month US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to put a two-state peace plan on the table for Israel and Palestine. There is plenty of debate as to what he will recommend, and what of that will or will not be possible. It is clear though, that it will be difficult for […] read more
    March 13, 2014 3:33 pm - 6 Comments
  • Denise Roche

    Did SkyCity make $1.4 million out of alleged money laundering? - by Denise Roche



    The New Zealand Herald reported today that the property and bank accounts belonging to Zhi Wei Yang, an alleged Auckland P dealer, has been seized under the laws around the proceeds of crime and that over a 19-month period this gentleman had a turnover of $14 million at Auckland’s SkyCity Casino. The Herald reported that […] read more
    March 7, 2014 4:29 pm - 3 Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    Ukraine crisis big test for 21st Century diplomacy - by Kennedy Graham



    We have an old-fashioned crisis on our hands regarding events in the Ukraine.  It is a test of 21st-century diplomacy whether it can be resolved peacefully and with political foresight. Current international law and global norms offer some guidance as to how the situation should be resolved.  But as with every crisis, there are conflicting […] read more
    March 5, 2014 11:57 am - 6 Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    Defence force shoot messenger over Afghan interpreter saga - by Kennedy Graham



    The New Zealand Defence Force’s decision to caution a New Zealand Army captain for writing a letter of support for an Afghan that served with him reflects poorly on that organisation. Journalist Jon Stephenson broke the story of an Afghan interpreter that had worked with the New Zealand Defence Force and applied to come to […] read more
    March 3, 2014 12:17 pm - 1 Comment
  • Jan Logie

    Immigration, climate change and the Pacific - by Jan Logie



    Immigration New Zealand is planning to deport a Tongan woman with a heart condition back to Tonga. She is from the island of Ha’apai, recently devastated by a cyclone and yet to recover. Her husband has already been deported and is subsisting on the ravaged island. Labour’s Su’a William Sio has picked up the Tongan […] read more
    February 26, 2014 3:33 pm - 14 Comments