Welcome to our first e-news of 2018. Wahoo! We’ve got big plans about how to keep you up to date with what’s been happening in, both in our work and the wider world. This newsletter is one of the ways we will bring the important issues straight to you.
We’re so excited to have Green Ministers for the very first time. We’re throwing everything we’ve got at delivering wins in our Ministerial areas. Wins for the climate, our native species, and for women.
While working as part of Government, we are also holding strong to our Green values. We are always committed to human rights, fair trade, and ending inequality
So, while the name may have changed, our position hasn’t. The Green Party remains opposed to the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership).
Sometimes the best way for our MPs to get the change we need is to take a trip to the part of the world where the real impacts are being felt. For Eugenie, this meant a 760km trip south-east of Aotearoa New Zealand to Antipodes Island, aboard HMNZS Wellington.
Eugenie accompanied DOC’s ‘Million Dollar Mouse’ monitoring team to the island group where they have begun a month-long assessment of pest eradication efforts. In 2016, they began the gargantuan task of eradicating the 200,000-strong mouse population on the subantarctic World Heritage site. If successful, it will be one of the largest mouse eradications in the world. We’re all waiting hopefully as the team does their work.
Mice weren’t the only species Eugenie went searching for. The critically endangered wandering albatross breeds almost exclusively on Antipodes Island. Numbers are declining, probably due to being killed as by-catch of fisheries.
We’re celebrating a profound win with the Government’s response to a Green-led select committee inquiry into the management of tūpāpaku (deceased bodies).
In 2015, Metiria initiated this inquiry because of the huge problems and concerns many Māori share when it comes to access and care of the tūpāpaku of their loved ones. Marama took over to lead the inquiry in the Māori Affairs Select Committee.
The Committee heard from whānau about the hurt and grief they experience when they are kept from staying with their loved one’s tūpāpaku and making the decisions about how they are treated and managed.
Thankfully, the Government has adopted almost all of the recommendations including codes of best practice and formal communication processes for relevant agencies such as the Police, coronial services and funeral homes so that whānau can grieve their loved ones in the right way for them.
Waitangi Day 2018
A strong contingent of Green MPs were welcomed onto the treaty grounds at Waitangi this year. Even though it was a month ago, we are all still feeling the energy. The atmosphere was truly electric and the chance to spend a few days up north, listening, was a breath of fresh air. Iwi really get that the challenges our country faces, including climate change, are long-term. That’s the way Greens think and if we work together, it promises much for our future.
Check out Chlöe’s photo essay for a sense of the occasion. In my remarks this year I spoke about tino rangatiratanga, how a recent finding from the Waitangi Tribunal confirms what we have always known – hapū and iwi Māori did not cede sovereignty over their lands, peoples and resources in 1840.
I also spoke about Greens’ interpretation of that finding. For us, Te Tiriti is not a thing to be ‘settled’ but to be truly honoured and implemented at all levels of Government. Now that the Greens are in government for the first time, we have a weighty responsibility to act as Treaty partners and, in particular, to apply Te Tiriti in areas we hold Ministerial portfolios.
I hope you’re enjoying our first newsletter of 2018. The year has begun extremely well and I’m certain there this year will see positive change for kiwis around the country.