Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee

Fair-society-BLOGFEATURE

Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle when they grow up. Let’s break that cycle, lunchbox […]

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The OIA Abuse

Yesterday, the Prime Minister admitted that his government withholds Official Information Act (OIA) requests for longer than necessary when it suits his government politically to do so. This is not allowed under the Official Information Act. The OIA is an integral part of our democratic system.  It was designed to increase participation of New Zealanders […]

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Pentagon links climate change and terrorism

Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was referring to climate change. Launching a 20-page Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, US Defense Secretary Chuck […]

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Public interest on UN bid says – ‘Show us the money, John’

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 […]

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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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Contemplating the Global Carbon Budget – nervously

We’d all like to avoid dangerous climate change, especially those under 20.  If you are a bright year-8 school student, you will be at your professional peak in 2050, and a proud, if apprehensive, centurion in 2100.   I shall be dead, but I am equally determined to avoid dangerous climate change. The quaint thing about […]

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Atlas shrugs off climate change – a New Zealand policy failure of monumental proportions

Our record on climate change has come to rank as perhaps the greatest policy failure in New Zealand history. The latest figures for this country’s greenhouse gas emissions were released on Monday.  They project an extraordinary blowout in our emissions over the next quarter-century – the critical period of global and national emissions that will […]

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Targeting the next generation: National’s version of a brighter future

Back in 2011, John Key’s Government headed into the election campaign with National’s plan to build a stronger economy and a brighter future for Kiwi families. The Plan included protecting communities, supporting the primary sector, creating jobs, and protecting the environment. Last Friday, the Government announced its latest version of a brighter future for Kiwi […]

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How long is a piece of string? RAMSI, New Zealand, and posterity

We flew to Honiara, Wednesday, to mark the 10th anniversary of RAMSI, the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.  The Prime Minister, 3 cabinet ministers, Phil Goff, Winston Peters, Peter Dunne and me; several Pacific leaders; NZ officials – several hundred of us, all up.  Australian ministers for foreign affairs and aid, plus officials, flew […]

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It’s time to submit against spying

John Key may be comfortable with many things but we are not comfortable; we are not comfortable with, among many things, John Key’s pandering to the USA’s spymasters, and the wholesale spying on New Zealanders, either already happening or intended to, and assisted by the law changes in front of Parliament now; the GCSB and Telco Interception Bills.

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“What Does It Take” … to extract climate change action from this Government?

Yesterday the World Met. Organization released its annual ‘Statement on the Status of the Global Climate’. The report, which investigates the major climate & weather events of the past year, found 2012 to be the 27th consecutive year with above average global temperatures. Global average temperature in 2012 was 0.45⁰C warmer than the 1961-90 long-term […]

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Trading New Zealand’s credibility in Colombia

Last week John Key announced his plan to sell Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV’s) to Colombia. In an effort to build trade and sell off redundant military equipment, John Key seems to have chosen to make New Zealand complicit in the further arming of a potentially illegal military force who has been responsible for very significant human […]

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John Key needs to raise killings of unionists during Colombia visit

While John Key is pushing the cause of free trade in Colombia, he needs to raise concerns around the appalling number of trade unionists that die protecting workers’ rights there. In 2011, according to the International Trade Union Confederation 29 trade unionists were murdered in Colombia. Colombia is a violent society where helping to organise […]

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Marriage Equality – idea whose time has come

Marriage equality is about basic fairness. It is a pretty basic principle of law that discrimination that disadvantages a particular group based on irrelevant criteria is unacceptable, particularly when it is practised by the State. Louisa Wall’s bill to redefine marriage to exclude discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is about eliminating exactly […]

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Better Public Services – or just round two of slash and burn?

Today the Government released its vision for public sector reform. Prime Minister John Key has announced major reforms including the establishment of a super-ministry – the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment – merging the Ministries of Economic Development, Science and innovation, the Department of Labour, and, somewhat strangely, the Department of Building and Housing. […]

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