There are many shortcomings a committed climate hawk (of which, I am one) could find with the COP21 Paris agreement. There is no legally binding commitment to reduce climate pollution, for example. But the agreement is nonetheless a landmark event. All the countries of the world have signed up to an agreement to limit global […]
The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses signifying the 291 people who have died at work since the Pike River mine disaster […]
The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the letterboxes of Northland voters over the last few days, and it does no credit to […]
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 […]
The provisional election results and gender representation are: National: 27.8% women Labour: 37.5% Green: 53.8% (hopefully down to 50% on specials) NZ First: 18.8% Māori: 50% And obviously Act and United Future bring in two men. This all adds up to fewer women in Parliament, with just over 32%, which may well reduce on specials. […]
The NZ Fish and Game Council recently asked former Environment Minister and RMA architect Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC to analyse the Government’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act, one of our most important environmental laws. Sir Geoffrey’s 65 page report is well worth reading. We hope current Environment Minister Amy Adams considers it carefully […]
The exemptions given to tuna fishers and Iwi from the Foreign Chartered Vessel (FCV) legislation currently in front of Parliament are appalling and will undermine this otherwise worthy legislation. The Green Party does not agree with any exemptions that mean slave ships continue to operate in our waters beyond the already generous time agreed for […]
Is the Deputy Prime Minister of our country a climate change denier? It may well be the case. During question time in Parliament yesterday I wanted to get into the lack of focus and inaction from this Government on climate change which is starkly highlighted by the suffering our drought-stricken farmers are going through. I […]
The final report of the MMP review was released yesterday after a robust public consultation process. Parliament now needs to respect this process and implement recommendations that will strengthen our electoral system in the long term.
I am concerned by media reports that the Ministry of Education is considering taking off boards of trustees the role of hiring their school’s principal. Rumours about such a significant proposal should not be swirling around in the media without a confirmation or denial from the Ministry. School boards and parents should be formally notified […]
On Thursday, Keith Locke and I spent a good part of the day in the House going to bat against the government’s ‘secret squirrel’ bill to amend the Police Act that Frog blogged on earlier . Our objections to the bill were matters both of process and substance. I want to comment here just on the process, which was appalling, […]
Many current frogblog readers probably won’t have heard of g.blog. g.blog was set up before the 2008 election, but has been in hibernation for a while. It is a blog where any Green Party member can post. If you are a Green member, all you need to do to get posting rights at g.blog is […]
This is ground control to Major Don, you’ve really made the grade And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare If I was a member of the ACT Board, I would be asking why are all these National Party members trying to take […]
The Greens are now the largest opposition party in Germany, according to a poll commissioned by news magazine Stern. Support for the center-left environmentalist party has risen to 28 percent, seven points higher than in the previous survey. The Social Democrats (SPD), traditionally Germany’s largest center-left party, are polling at 23 percent.
Add up the numbers!
At least New Zealanders have something to bolster our spirits at the moment. New Zealand are the only non-Asian team left in the Cricket World Cup. How about that! South Africa gone (defeated by New Zealand), Australia gone, England gone, West Indies gone! We may have a Government that is clueless about the economy, has […]
One of the initiatives of National’s Blue Greens was to extend the length of time that one farmer could continue to graze the edges of Lake Ellesmere Te Waihora near Christchurch. This is what they are adding to the lake: Yep, that’s a lot of cow pats next to the lake (photo from 2005) – faeces just waiting […]
My second favourite comic strip is Matthew Hooton’s weekly contribution to the National Business Review. The NBR is a useful read – its political perspective and analysis is generally different from mine, and they break some interesting stories. In the latest (December 3rd) issue, Mr Hooton reveals that, “…everyone from Mr [Trevor] Mallard to Mr […]
The NZCTU are organising a protest against National’s attacks on workers rights – outside the National Party Conference: Sky City Hotel, Main Entrance 72 Victoria Street West, Auckland City, this Sunday 18th July, 10.00am. If you live in Auckland, try to make it along.
John Key’s Government has won a lot of plaudits for being “Labour-lite”, and that has probably helped sustain its consistently high opinion poll ratings. But today the Government revealed its true colours. No more “Labour-lite” – this National-led government has now revealed itself as hard right wing and anti-worker.
This week saw the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day. There have been events marking the occasion all around the country, many sponsored by the Green Party. These culminate today with events in Auckland, Thames, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin. Our Green MPs will be there and invite you to join them in sending […]
Today the Electoral Referendum Bill will have its First Reading in Parliament, so it is timely to recall how much of a perverse affront to democracy the First Past the Post (FPP) electoral system New Zealanders threw out in 1993 was.
On Friday the Green and National Parties released a proposal to establish a new stand-alone New Zealand regulator for natural health products. Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley has been collaborating with Health Minister Tony Ryall and Associate Health Minister Jonathan Coleman on the proposal. This work is part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) […]
The word opposition doesn’t always describe Labour’s voting patterns. In fact, Labour have voted with National almost exactly as often as the Maori Party, even though Labour is the official opposition, and the Maori Party is actually part of the Government! [For the political junkies, Labour have voted with National 12 times at first readings, […]
Scrutiny of Government plans to mine our conservation lands is deepening internationally. And it’s got people hot on Facebook too. The Sunday Star Times ran a powerful feature on the weekend called “Picture imperfect”. It looks at international concern at New Zealand’s environmental performance, including National’s plan to mine conservation land: IT’S JUST a stock-take […]
This first anniversary of the National-led government is also the fourth anniversary of the death of former Green Party Co-Leader, Rod Donald. With the many retrospectives being written about the “new” government, my thoughts turn today to what Rod might have thought about the developments of the last year. There’s been commentary claiming the government […]
So this week our Minister of Mining and Damming (aka Energy and Resources) let slip that the Mokihinui hydro-dam “would not go ahead”. Does he know something or was it just his ‘opinion’? Whatever the brain-burp was, he was ill-advised to say it but it’d be nice to think that there may be Moki fans in Government – perhaps they are closet readers of the 1400-fan facebook page!
Well known conservative commentator Thomas Friedman contends that destroying our biodiversity to fuel unregulated economic growth is like burning the Mona Lisa to cook dinner. The issue of how we should treat natural capital in our economy resurfaced today in a new economic think-tank report.
“Agricultural intensification over the past 10 years has led to the highest rate of native vegetation loss since European colonisation.” Landcare Research Annual Report
In Parliament today, the Green Party’s Questions for Oral Answer (number 3) is from Russel Norman to the Minister of Finance, Bill English: Does he stand by his statement that “water assets will not be privatised as a result of the restructuring” of local government; and if so, how does he reconcile it with Cabinet’s […]
Chalking the opinion of many on the streets of Nelson this morning and challenging Nick Smith, who welcomed Schedule 4 thus: “This Bill at long last puts some pegs in the sand in some very significant areas of New Zealand and says to the mining industries of New Zealand: “These are no-go areas.”…”
It won’t matter if a suicide victim was incapable of forming a rational intent. It won’t matter if the suicide was caused by an abject failure of mental health services to provide appropriate treatment. The victim’s family will get no help from ACC. It’s just not fair.
The ACC scheme is a social contract. Before ACC came into being, New Zealanders were able to sue each other for personal injury. We gave up that right, in return for the no-fault, comprehensive cover scheme that is ACC.
National wants to erode the comprehensive cover aspect of the scheme in an ominous way.
I’m planning to do a series of frogblog posts on National’s plans to gut ACC, highlighting the devastating impact of each of them on people who have been injured and their families. But before I even got to post the first one, ACC Minister Nick Smith has revealed how badly National has politically managed their […]
Nick has been surprisingly silent on the decision of Ministers Brownlee and Groser to do a stock-take of our premiere conservation land for its mining potential. Was he consulted? We know he was given a copy of Brownlee’s speech prior, but did he read it? Does he support it? What’s up, Nick?
On 23 September 1887 – 122 years ago yesterday – Te Heuheu Tukino of Tuwharetoa gifted the mountains of Tongariro, Ngaruhoe and Ruapehu to the people of Aotearoa…. This anniversary was sullied by the fact that the Crown is now considering the Park’s mining potential.
There was a recurring riff behind National’s opposition to two very different Bills on Members’ Day Wednesday. One commonality was that both Bills were voted down by National, Act and United Future, and supported by Greens, Labour, Progressives and Maori Parties. But the riff I want to highlight is the idea that the problem is […]
Green MPs support Bill McKibben’s campaign to reduce carbon in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, down from the current 389 ppm which is going up every year. Scientists believe this would keep the global temperature rise to less than 2C. Meanwhile, the NACT government struggles with denial. National’s “target” is a 50% reduction […]
RadioNZ reported this morning that forest plantings in NZ are at their lowest level since World War II. The report shows that just 1000 hectares of new forest was established during 2008 – down from 2400ha in 2007. New planting peaked at 100,000ha in 1992. Deforestation (not replanting forest after harvesting or converting forest to […]
Way back in November of last year, asked; should Sam resign? Those were heady days for the national Party, and in all seriousness I asked if new MP Sam Lotu-liga could handle the workload of being both a City Councillor and an MP. An article in The Aucklander this week finally provides the answer.
The release of a Strategy for New Zealand Dairy Farming slipped quietly under the public’s radar this week, with few media picking it up. At the Strategy launch, the PM and Ag Minister David Carter mooed in the direction of the environment: the PM said, “It is important that farmers step up and take leadership […]