A welfare system for the 21st Century

Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the purpose of adequately supporting people, especially children. The current system creates a financial disincentive for […]

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Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement

treaty-blog-feature

The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there was John Key’s “peaceful settlement” revisionism which he is now trying to defend. I and […]

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Access and Inclusion: FAQ (Part 1: Captioning)

Last week we launched our election disability policy priorities which received good coverage here and here. I have had some questions about different aspects of our policy, particularly on captioning which I will answer here. Why captioning? Current levels of captioning are woefully inadequate in New Zealand. Only 25% of broadcast TV is captioned compared […]

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Greener Christchurch

I am so proud to stand alongside my caucus colleagues and Green Party Christchurch candidates to announce our Greener Christchurch policy for this election. We held the launch at the beautiful new Visitor’s Centre at the Botanic Gardens, where we announced our commitment to smart transport solutions, a greener rebuild, a return of local democracy and […]

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Charities as advocates makes for better democracy

Greenpeace is to be congratulated for defending our democracy with their marathon effort in defining the meaning of “charitable purpose” through the New Zealand courts. Last week’s decision from the Supreme Court says that political advocacy – in Greenpeaces’ case for peace and disarmament – can be seen as a primary activity for public good […]

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Israeli Ground Invasion an Aggressive Action

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 […]

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Rape Culture

So there has been a bit of discussion over the last few weeks about whether we have a rape culture in NZ or not. Paula Bennett the Minister responsible for sexual violence denied rape culture in NZ “I wouldn’t say that we’ve got a rape culture or a sexual violence culture in New Zealand. Actually […]

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Is Canterbury all right?

Last week the fantastic ‘All Right?’ campaign in Christchurch released results of their ‘Are we all right?’ project – their latest research into how Cantabrians are doing. The ‘All Right?’ campaign is a brilliant local initiative that reminds us to check in on how we and the people around us are feeling. They’ve used creative […]

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World Refugee Day

Today, as we mark World Refugee Day, I look back and think about how lucky we are in New Zealand to experience the diversity and culture that various refugees have brought into this country. Over the years, I have met with many people who came to New Zealand as refugees. They brought with them a […]

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The Pope, Prayers, and the Middle East

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 […]

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The right to Internet access

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 […]

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Inequality in New Zealand is getting worse

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.

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