The end of the year! 2016 has been…a mixed bag – Trump-ism, losing Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen et al, and the creeping malaise of a tired government. Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty shares her year.
My highlights of 2016
Sometimes I still think its 2015 but now this year is gone. It’s been a blender of issues exploding simultaneously.
My standout moments have been taking the Public Works petition and Members Bill to Tangata Whenua communities, fighting for children who deserve access to education and the nationwide campaign to make our rivers swimmable. And then there was that toxic soap ingredient that the EPA should reassess but they want me to pay $50,000.
Exposing that the Minister had known about “seclusion rooms” was an important step in their being outlawed and that process will continue. Our ten swimmable rivers tour is halfway through and that rash from nasty algae in the latest river is slowly fading from my arms and legs. We have had a great response from communities who want swimmable water despite Nick Smith constantly telling me in the House that birds and volcanic ash make this impossible! I have also seen the development of our multi-party MP support for the Free West Papua campaign to 20 MPs and great leadership from Māori and Pasifika youth.
If I had to pick a just one moment that showed off our values to the world, it would be when Metiria, with the full backing of our Caucus, refused to congratulate Donald Trump.
My lowlight of 2016
My saddest moment was the passing of Helen Kelly, truly the New Zealander of the year.
My holiday spot
This summer, I am heading home to swim in the clean water of my river and also planning a week at Lake Waikaremoana. It won’t all be afternoon naps, the energy of my 8-year-old mokopuna and the need to write therapeutic poetry Parliament’s weirdness will see to that. I am also participating in an activism summer school and truthfully my garden requires a little of my activist energy too.
My Christmas wish for 2017
2017 is Change the Government year. One focus, one passion and one hope for a change that will tackle climate change, end child poverty and clean up water sources. We will be going hard for a change that will give people affordable homes and inclusive education. The choice for voters in 2017 is between free market greed masked as business as usual, or a Government committed to a caring economy that protects nature and respects all people. After a few summer swims I will be ready to work with our team and make it real.