Society & Culture Archive

  • Russel Norman

    A cleaner, fairer, smarter New Zealand - by Russel Norman



    Russel Norman- General debate speech, 23 July 2014 Together, it is possible to build a cleaner, fairer, smarter New Zealand. A New Zealand in which our rivers are clean enough to swim in and our precious beaches are safe from oil spills. A New Zealand in which every child has enough to thrive. And a […] read more
    July 23, 2014 3:54 pm - 3 Comments
  • 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 - 17 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
  • Jan Logie

    Rape Culture - by Jan Logie



    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 […] read more
    July 14, 2014 1:09 pm - 7 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    National’s last term, a review of domestic and sexual violence in numbers - by Jan Logie



    The Green Party, along with community organisations and the media, has put domestic and sexual violence on the political agenda. I have asked 7 questions in the House and made 27 speeches on these topics. I may be a bit like a stuck record but these problems cause so much unnecessary harm. Obviously we are […] read more
    July 7, 2014 5:34 pm - 5 Comments
  • Mojo Mathers

    Animal cruelty systemic in factory farming - by Mojo Mathers



    On Sunday I was shocked by the follow up story to TVNZ Sunday’s investigation into pig factory farms in New Zealand. A link to the video can be found here. The footage aired was obtained by FarmWatch, who set up a surveillance camera on a random farm in the North Island. This was a different […] read more
    July 7, 2014 2:20 pm - 4 Comments
  • Denise Roche

    Whakatane waste minimisation - by Denise Roche



    I was pretty taken with the colourful collection of re-upholstered chairs which are testament to the organisations ability to add value to material that would otherwise end up in landfill. read more
    June 27, 2014 5:24 pm - 2 Comments
  • Mojo Mathers

    Animal Welfare Amendment Bill: The good, the bad and the ugly - by Mojo Mathers



    The Bill has just been reported back from the Primary Production Select Committee.  Like most bills it contains a mix of things that we agree with and those that we don’t.  It has mostly been a missed opportunity to get it right for animals experiencing the greatest suffering in NZ which is in animal testing […] read more
    June 26, 2014 12:48 pm - 1 Comment
  • Eugenie Sage

    Is Canterbury all right? - by Eugenie Sage



    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 […] read more
    June 25, 2014 9:23 am - No 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

    World Refugee Day - by Jan Logie



    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 […] read more
    June 20, 2014 1:09 pm - No Comments
  • 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
  • Catherine Delahunty

    Supporting Gifted Kids Awareness Week - by Catherine Delahunty



    Supporting our children to make the most of their gifts and to experience education as exciting is vital. Gifted Awareness Week is here again to remind us that we need to pay attention to the unique gifts of the full range of our students. It’s not good enough to teach to the average or focus […] read more
    June 9, 2014 4:59 pm - No Comments
  • Jan Logie

    Immigration – the Green Party perspective - by Jan Logie



    One of the many brilliant people I know is Pengjun Zhao. He is from China and we worked together at Otago University on urban sustainability. He came to NZ and was welcomed because we need his skills as a transport modeller to help us consider the consequences of different policy decisions on people’s mobility and […] read more
    June 3, 2014 3:09 pm - 4 Comments
  • Metiria Turei

    Warming Up Christchurch - by Metiria Turei



    Earlier this week I was in Christchurch launching our newest policy to Warm Up Christchurch, and the rest of New Zealand, by reinstating the hugely successful insulation and clean heating programme Warm Up New Zealand, and by setting up special grants for Christchurch homes undergoing repair. It was an apt day to be launching a […] read more
    May 30, 2014 12:55 pm - 2 Comments
  • Catherine Delahunty

    Charter schools and who pays - by Catherine Delahunty



    This year’s Budget included $26 million for the next four years for the five existing Charter schools. But there is no information in the Budget about the costs of the possible new Charters whose names went public last week. Of the 18 groups who have put in applications, at least eight have strong religious backgrounds […] read more
    May 30, 2014 9:10 am - 2 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
  • David Clendon

    Serious fun - by David Clendon



    The serious part of the equation was in the purpose of the ride, which was to raise public awareness and discussion about suicide in New Zealand, and particularly youth suicide. read more
    May 22, 2014 10:29 am - 1 Comment
  • Denise Roche

    Youth homelessness in Auckland - by Denise Roche



    In Auckland there are around 15000 people who are homeless. About 7000 of these people are under 25. We heard about this on Monday at a forum hosted by the Auckland Council for people and agencies who work with the homeless. According to some of those agencies young people make up to half of all […] read more
    May 20, 2014 4:15 pm - No 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
  • 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
  • Gareth Hughes

    Dunedin divests from fossil fuels - by Gareth Hughes



    “Fantastic news from the South. Dunedin City Council has become the first council in New Zealand to divest from its fossil fuel investments.” read more
    May 14, 2014 1:25 pm - 2 Comments
  • David Clendon

    Polytechnics under attack - by David Clendon



    Teachers and other people who choose to work in education are generally quite positive, upbeat people – I think a sense of humour is a prerequisite to surviving and thriving in that environment!  Despite that, I’m seeing a lot of long faces and stressed people when I visit tertiary institutions, and the Tertiary Education Union […] read more
    May 14, 2014 1:14 pm - 1 Comment
  • Catherine Delahunty

    Free education - by Catherine Delahunty



    The Ombudsman’s report on a school breaching the rules around school donations is exposing the complex inequalities in the state system and the real cost of running schools. It is understandable that schools are struggling to cover costs from the operations grant. The cost of modern equipment such as digital technology is huge and the […] read more
    May 2, 2014 10:22 am - 9 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    Why we are celebrating the sexual abuse funding announcement - by Jan Logie



    For decades, the sexual violence support sector has been struggling to make sure those affected by sexual violence have been able to get the help they need when and where they need it. For decades, they have been struggling to keep their organisations afloat to do the critical lifesaving work that they do. Over this […] read more
    May 1, 2014 2:12 pm - No Comments
  • Jan Logie

    Changes to ACC funding for sensitive claims - by Jan Logie



    Isaac Davidson from the Herald ran another great story today on the support services for victims of sexual abuse and ACC plans to improve coverage. The new model will be “an expanded, more flexible service which took into account the sensitivity, length of time and cost of treating rape-related trauma based on the 2010 review […] read more
    April 29, 2014 12:07 pm - No Comments
  • David Clendon

    Time running out to save uni councils - by David Clendon



    There’s only a week left to have your say on the Government’s changes to university and wānanga councils. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has put forward dramatic changes to the way uni and wānanga councils are made up – removing the student, staff and community reps, cutting the total number of members, and, as a […] read more
    April 23, 2014 2:47 pm - 2 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    Images of women and mother blaming - by Jan Logie



    There have been a few stories in the media about New Zealand women and obesity and body image, some referenced in this editorial from the Herald on Sunday. This article blames mothers for teaching girls to put on lip gloss. I think there is a wider context to the issue and I don’t think alternative […] read more
    April 15, 2014 10:00 am - 2 Comments
  • Jan Logie

    Growing inequality - by Jan Logie



    The gap between rich and poor is growing in New Zealand and so too are other sorts of inequality. Today the University of Canterbury put out a media release raising concerns about the decline in the number of women on NZX Top 100 boards. In 2012, 14.9 percent of those positions were filled by women […] read more
    April 14, 2014 2:36 pm - 4 Comments
  • David Clendon

    Chance to have a say on important education changes - by David Clendon



    Public submissions are now open on the Government’s changes to the Education Act. The bill makes a number of changes to the compulsory and tertiary education sectors. Most notably, this bill is the vehicle for Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce to take control of University and Wānanga councils. The Government is removing the democratically elected […] read more
    April 8, 2014 5:04 pm - No Comments
  • Eugenie Sage

    Small acts of kindness make a big difference for Christchurch - by Eugenie Sage



    As the leaves start to change colour, and the mornings get a little cooler, it’s a good time to take note of our mental well-being. Recently, consultant psychologist Rob Gordon visited Christchurch to speak about the impact of stress and disruption on recovery. Rob talked about how four years on, we all need to look […] read more
    April 4, 2014 3:24 pm - 1 Comment
  • Kennedy Graham

    Permitted musings on climate change - by Kennedy Graham



    My blog-post of yesterday on the spiritual-philosophical dimension of climate change evoked a particular response, pretty much uniformly positive.  Today I allow myself even freer reign.  Next week I shall revert to the normal practicalities of daily politics. In yesterday’s comment I recalled the yearning of some official delegations in the IPCC process to evoke […] read more
    April 4, 2014 10:54 am - 36 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
  • David Clendon

    University of Canterbury critical to the future of Christchurch - by David Clendon



    While visiting Christchurch this week, I spent time catching up on how the rebuild is going for the University of Canterbury, and what the future looks like for this vital institution, its students and staff. It’s not that we forget how devastating the earthquakes have been for this region, but it has been striking how […] read more
    April 3, 2014 9:28 am - 1 Comment
  • Jan Logie

    Domestic violence solutions - by Jan Logie



    You may have seen the launch of my new Member’s Bill in the media this week. I am really excited about this one as it would make a huge difference in the lives of victims of domestic violence by making sure they are protected while at work. Protected from their abuser, protected from losing their […] read more
    April 2, 2014 4:38 pm - 1 Comment
  • 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

    All New Zealanders deserve to live in dignity – stories from the frontline of Work and Income - by Jan Logie



    Over the last week or so several very brave people have shared their experiences online of the challenges they are experiencing dealing with Work and Income. It is important to acknowledge how brave it is to share these experiences when the government has continued to characterise people requiring income support as work shy, drug taking, […] read more
    March 20, 2014 3:55 pm - 9 Comments