There have always been massive rainstorm and floods on the Coromandel, it’s part of our history and geography. Cyclone Ita was the first huge event for some years and even then the effects were limited to certain areas of the Peninsula. But seeing the impact of this storm on the landscape of the northern Coromandel […]
I’m cautiously optimistic of news that the government-owned company Research and Educational Advanced Network New Zealand Ltd (REANNZ) has signed a $65 million anchor tenancy contract with Hawaiki Cable Ltd for its proposed new second internet cable. We announced in December 2012 our plan to fund a much-needed second internet cable. The Green Party plans […]
There was a sense of relief in the Christchurch Green Party office when word came through that the City Council changed their mind on the timeframe to complete the major cycleways project. It started off as a three year project, and then expanded to five years, then to eight years, and now it is back […]
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 […]
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.
Yesterday’s release of the Board of Inquiry’s final decisions on the regional plan provisions for the Tukituki River and catchment as part of the Ruataniwha dam project confirms that National’s favoured approach to bottom lines for water quality will not help our rivers. The Board of Inquiry for the Tukituki Catchment Proposal rejected the Government’s […]
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 […]
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 […]
Lets be clear about this – the scrapping of the trolley buses is nothing to do with age of the fleet and power supply…it has nothing to do with the standard of the overhead wiring…it has nothing to do with the performance of the power stations or under powered trolleys…it has nothing to do with the age of the chassis – they were new 7 years ago.
The decision to scrap the trolley fleet is based on prejudice and the false belief that new tenders with multiple bus companies can not include trolley bus routes.
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 […]
The Government has a strategy to avoid protecting the environment, especially land set aside for its conservation values. It’s called “net conservation benefit” and the poster child of this disingenuous piece of spin is the Bathurst Resources agreement with DOC at the Denniston Plateau. As DOC is increasingly required to commercialise and mining is promoted, […]
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 […]
According to John Key, solar PV systems “never pay for themselves, let alone reduce energy bills, or make money”. That was his response when we launched our Solar Homes policy earlier this year. Well, Peria School in the far North is about to prove the PM wrong. I was up there on Monday cutting the […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Today over in the US, John Key is drumming up support for a UN Security Council seat and Murray McCully is attending John Kerry’s Oceans conference but it seems no one in National has thought of joining the two issues up.
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 […]
The Green Party has long advocated for ethical investment by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. Several companies, in which the Super Fund invests, have been accused of human rights violations, the production of nuclear arms, and causing severe environmental damage. One such company was Barrick Gold– a Canadian mining company which has caused environmental damage […]
Yesterday I launched a component of the Green Party’s smart green innovation package, Blueprint for the Future – a digital manufacturing strategy for New Zealand. It deals with a range of technologies but the most notable, disruptive, and headline grabbing is 3D printing. My personal interest in 3D printing started about a year ago. I had read a bit […]
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 […]
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 […]
Last Wednesday the Minister of Education attended the Estimates hearing at the Select Committee and showed us some interesting figures. Apart from the bizarre sideshow whereby Trevor Mallard accused her of hitting a staff member I did get to raise some issues about the education plans in the latest Budget. Since then I have spoken […]
Yesterday I kicked off a nationwide solar-powered roadshow showcasing what local businesses and communities are doing to help kiwi households achieve cheaper and cleaner power. I visited Phil Wood, a homeowner in Dairy Flat, Auckland who showed me how his family are managing to live off the grid on solar power. Despite having a power […]
Out of all the people that come to our shores, refugees and asylum seekers are the most vulnerable. They often carry many scars- some visible, some less visible. They often have seen and experienced horrific conditions. So when they arrive, having willingly accepted them, New Zealand has an obligation to provide services and the care […]
Today is world oceans day. So I thought today would be a good day to explain how New Zealand is falling behind in marine conservation and how the Green Party would help catch us up. Here is evidence that the National Government is not a champion of marine conservation: National is allowing set net and […]
This was the week we put climate change back on the political agenda. It seems people were waiting for it. The strength of feeling that’s emerged – frustration at New Zealand’s slide backwards into inertia over the climate crisis, anger at National’s indifference, excitement that the Greens have tabled a win-win proposal, and a real […]
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 […]
OECD Secretary-General, Mr. Angel Gurría described the implementation of British Columbia’s carbon tax “as near as we have to a textbook case, with wide coverage across sectors and a steady increase in the rate”. British Columbia’s centre-right political party, the Liberal Party, implemented a broad-based low rate carbon charge in 2008 of C$10 per tonne […]
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 […]
At its AGM last weekend, the Green Climate Protection Package was rolled out. - It contains the over-riding goal of net carbon-neutral economy by 2050, with a National Carbon Budget comprising a series of five-yearly budget components to get to that goal. - There will be an independent Climate Commission to advise the Government on […]
Congratulations to Save Fiordland, Forest and Bird and the more than 18,000 people who spoke out to protect the Te Wahipounamu SouthWest World Heritage Area and Fiordland’s beautiful river valleys and the ancient beech forests of Snowdon Forest from a destructive and risky monorail. The reality would have been nothing like the glossy PR […]
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 […]
The Government has recently reported to the United Nations on the progress New Zealand has made towards gender equality and women’s empowerment over the last twenty years. In the report they point out that ‘changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000 have had positive impacts on working conditions for women’. These positive changes include Part […]
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 […]
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 […]
I’ve written to the Minister a couple of times suggesting she utilise those powers – most recently asking her to declare single use plastic bags a priority product – but she insists that product stewardship will happen on a voluntary basis. Yeah, right.
This election matters. It’s game on. We can and need to win this for all New Zealanders.
Bill English may have focused attention on the surplus but this election the Green Party will be pointing out the other surpluses – the surplus of inequality, debt and pollution. The only thing National can’t point to is a surplus of housing or housing solutions.