My 2013 Best Efforts from a Biased Participant

Tired of the conventional list of dubious political achievements? Join me in constructing your own from an openly biased rather than faux-neutral list of successes. 1, Big ups to Jan Logie and Lee Rhiannon (Aussie Green MP) for confronting the Sri Lankan Government on human rights the week before CHOGM in Sri Lanka! 2. Congratulations […]

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A table for one?

After yesterday’s blog post about the lack of response from the Minister of Health to my written questions it was a nice surprise this morning to see my inbox brimming with responses. Well, sort of. These responses would be funny if they weren’t so sad. The first thing you need to know in order to […]

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Syria, the UN, and parliamentary democracy: Are we up to scratch, down here?

The game-changer in the Syrian crisis is not the US soliloquy whether a unilateral strike is to be or not to be.  That is a normal phenomenon of the past half-century. It is the impressive working of parliamentary democracy in the United Kingdom.  That is not. Last week, the British Parliament was recalled to debate […]

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“Business attire”

Intrigued by the Speaker’s ruling today that all women MPs should wear “business attire”, I sought guidance from Google. It appears that directing women to wear “business attire” is code for telling women to dress like men. So what I have deduced from the Speaker’s ruling is it is okay for women MPs to wear […]

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“Greens’ vigilance on Gillard merits praise” – John Armstrong

Here’s John Armstrong’s view on Julia Gillard addressing Parliament, as published in the NZ Herald this morning. Greens’ vigilance on Gillard merits praise – John Armstrong The Greens have got some unwarranted stick for blocking Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard from addressing Parliament while it is officially in session. They were right to do so. […]

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Lignite and IT problems

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has completed a report entitled Lignite and climate change: The high cost of low grade coal. “The plans to increase lignite use are extremely concerning as they would produce huge quantities of carbon dioxide which contributes to climate change – the biggest environmental threat we have ever faced.” The […]

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Key should challenge mental health stereotypes, not perpetuate them

When I was a schoolboy, one of the common schoolyard taunts was to refer to someone as “mental” or “loony”.  Through most of last century, mental illness was a highly stigmatised issue, and people with mental health problems were hidden away from the rest of society, often untreated and/or mistreated, in what were once known […]

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A day to remember as Waikato River Settlement Bill passes into law

Things must have been fairly quiet in parts of the Waikato yesterday (May 6th).  That’s because an awful lot of ‘the locals’ were in Wellington, filling the galleries and the Grand Hall at Parliament, to witness up close and personal the passing of the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Bill. It was a remarkable […]

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Mining protest at Parliament: The first ripple

Yesterday I joined what will undoubtedly be the first in a series of protests against the Government’s plans for mining in Schedule 4 land. Conservative media estimates put the numbers at 500, but I reckon it was closer to 1000. Metiria’s speech was a rousing call to action, and she contrasted Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson’s […]

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Podcast: Gareth’s challenge to Parliament

The Greens’ newest and youngest MP, Gareth Hughes, has taken his seat in Parliament and delivered his maiden speech, laying down a challenge to Parliament to take climate change seriously and to listen to the voices of the new generation he represents. This week we present some highlights from his maiden address. Click to play […]

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Hugging trees: with a spade, trap and chainsaw

A Wellington couple, entreprenuerial tree-huggers if you wish, criticise Fed Farmer’s head-in-the-sand attitude on climate change in the Nelson Mail today. They’ve invested in carbon farming a 47ha block of marginal land in Golden Bay. Jonathan Kennett and Bronwen Wall aren’t wringing their hands or seeking emissions subsidy handouts; they’re getting their hands dirty planting […]

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