#56 Summer 2017
Cover image Chlöe Swarbrick, new Green MP Back cover Coromandel beach
#56 Summer 2017 Te Awa | The River
The Green Party Charter
Te Marautanga Kakariki
firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 04 801 5102 Level 2, 17 Garrett Street, Te Aro, Wellington PO Box 11-652, Wellington
The charter is the founding document of The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Ko te kawenata te pukapuka whakaū o te Rōpu Kākāriki o Aotearoa, Niu Tireni.
The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand accepts Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand; recognises Māori as Tangata Whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand; and commits to the following four Principles:
E whakaae ana te Rōpu Kākāriki ko te Tiriti o Waitangi te pepa whakaū (kawenata) o Aotearoa, Niu Tireni; e whakaae ana te Rōpu kākāriki ko te iwi Māori te tangata whenua o Aotearoa, o Niu Tireni, ā, ka mau pūmau te rōpu Kākāriki ki ngā mātāpono e whā e whai ake nei:
Editor Dave Kennedy 027 258 6686 email@example.com Copy editor Liz Gray Reviews Janine McVeagh Advertising Alex Matthews firstname.lastname@example.org Te Awa Board Elected members Ron Elder, Daisy Hsu, Philippa Stevenson, Executive John Ranta Policy Nick Marryatt Te Rōpu Pounamu Rochelle Surendran Authorised by Gwen Shaw, Level 2, 17 Garrett St, Wellington
To have Te Awa sent to you as a pdf rather than as a paper copy, or for queries about distribution, email@example.com
Information for Contributors Te Awa is published quarterly in Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer. Before submitting material, please check with the Guidelines for Contributors, which you can obtain from the editor. References do not appear in the print version of Te Awa, but are appended to the pdf of the magazine that is available online. Opinions expressed in Te Awa are not statements of Green Party policy, but must not bring the Green Party into disrepute.
Copy deadline for the Autumn 2018 issue is 15 January.
Te Awa is printed on FSC-Certified Paper
Ecological Wisdom The basis of ecological wisdom is that human beings are part of the natural world. This world is finite, therefore unlimited material growth is impossible. Ecological sustainability is paramount. Social Responsibility Unlimited material growth is impossible. Therefore the key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally. Appropriate Decision-making For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected. Non-Violence Non-violent conflict resolution is the process by which ecological wisdom, social responsibility and appropriate decision making will be implemented. This principle applies at all levels.
Tikanga Toi Potapotae Ko te putake o te tikanga toi potapotae ko te tangata he wahanga no te ao tuturu. Ko te ao nei he taparepare, waihoki, kihai e taea kia tupu haere mo ake tonu atu Me ukauka te tikanga toi potapotae koia ra te tino taumata. Kawenga Papori Kihai nga rawa o te ao e tipu haere tonu. Waihoki, ko te mea nui ke ko te kawenga papori, e whiwhi ai tena ki ona tikanga ano ki era rawa, ki te wa kainga nei, ki tawahi ranei o te ao. Whakarite Totika E oti tika ai nga tikanga toi potapotae, me nga kawenga papori, ma nga whakarite totika a nga hunga e pa pumau tonu ana ki era take, ara, ki nga hua hoki a era whakarite. Aukati Whakarekereke Me aukati te whakarekereke, e kitea ai te huarahi tika, e eke ai nga tikanga toi potapotae, nga kawenga papori, tae noa atu ki nga whakarite totika, e tau ai te rangimarie. Ko tenei ahuatanga e pa ana ki nga tairanga katoa.
From the Party Editorial Dave Kennedy • 2 Party Co-convenors’ Report Katy Watabe • 3 Well then. Here we are James Shaw • 4-5 Policy Committee Nick Marryatt • 5 You did it, Campaign Committee Sarah Helm, Lou Sherrell, Sonja Deely • 6-7 Negotiating into Government, Negotiation Consultation Group Roland Sapsford and Kath Dewar • 8-9
Our Networks We must not stop challenging power, Young Greens Elliot Crossan • 10 Taking the Green vote globally, International Greens Bryce Groves • 11
Our People Civilian report Denise Roche • 12 Post Parliament Barry Coates • 13 Obituary: Kimbel Walker Worik Stanton • 13
Greens Have Their Say Coalition or Confidence and Supply Jeanette Fitzsimons • 14 Diary of a first time candidate Damon Rusden • 15 What the Green Party has in common with the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winners Thomas Nash • 16 Courting controversy Shanti Ahluwalia • 17
MP Reports Chlöe Swarbrick • 18 Marama Davidson • 18 Julie Anne Genter • 19 Eugenie Sage • 19
Green World December 2017 Lois Griffiths • 20-21
Green History Election Results Dave Kennedy • 22-23
Reviews Drawdown Pat Baskett • 24 Earthmasters Pat Baskett • 24 Two children’s books Dave Kennedy • 25 Waru Janine McVeagh • 26
Green Bites Green Mainsails Jeanette Fitzsimons • 25 Poem Michael Dymond • 27 MMP proved its worth Catherine Murupaenga-Ikenn • 27
Poet Amanda Hunt • 28
Editorial Dave Kennedy I have included an image of our local campaign office as a symbol of the journey we have just survived. For the few weeks it existed, the bright green office became a beacon and hub of activity in a rather turbulent political environment. Our Invercargill campaign was probably similar to many around the country - we performed at a much higher level than ever before and there was a substantial increase in volunteer hours. The statistics provided by our Campaign Committee show how our collective efforts broke new campaigning records for the Green Party. We had many new volunteers from marginalised communities on the back of Metiria’s sacrifice, but also lost members for the same reason. We had an amazing billboard team, we had a stall at our farmers’ market every week, and pushed many members out of their comfort zones to develop a solid team of door knockers and phone callers. Others were captured to enter door-knocking data. Our candidate, like many others, put the rest of her life on hold to represent us well at a multitude of meetings and media opportunities. We were also grateful for the many visits our tireless MPs were able to provide to give heft to our local efforts. It was really difficult at times to remain positive as media-driven controversy, some internal strife and a reinvigorated Labour Party saw us plummet from our usual position as a double-digit party to one where our existence in Parliament wasn’t assured. Our post-election gatherings saw many huddled around screens hoping that we would, first, cross the five percent threshold and, second, have a result that could change the government. We achieved the first, although the sigh of relief was mixed with the disappointment of losing some experienced MPs and not including more of our talented, high-ranking candidates. It took a few weeks to have confirmation of the second. Our Campaign Review Committee is charged with collating all the thoughts, opinions and data around the campaign to provide useful information for the next. The nature of the campaign will make this task more challenging and complex than ever before. However, before we look at where we could have done better, we should acknowledge the dedication and massive amount of work that came from our paid staff, our campaign committee, our fundraising team and our elected leaders. Reshaping the campaign to deal with a sudden change of circumstances was a huge task. In the latter part of the campaign I don’t think many would have predicted that one of the lowest results in recent elections would have produced Green ministerial positions to lead the very policy priorities we campaigned on. We have a lot to thank our Negotiating Team and Negotiating Consultation Group for. They managed to establish a superb Confidence and Supply agreement, confirming the 02
impressive capability of those charged with the task. We have power where we want it, but are not trapped into the collective responsibility of a government caucus, which has caused the death of smaller parties in the past. This is a truly remarkable achievement, and Jeanette Fitzsimons puts this into useful perspective in this magazine. We should also celebrate that, despite a diminished Caucus, the Green Party continues to lead in providing a voice for marginalised and under-represented groups. Golriz Ghahraman is New Zealand’s first refugee MP. We have also done our bit for a more gender-balanced Parliament, and in 23-year-old Chlöe Swarbrick we have a strong voice for those who will have to endure the decisions made this term far longer than most. Being part of government will have its challenges, and I see Te Awa as an important forum for information and communication for our members. Sadly, for this issue we have not been able to maintain the same level of quality and distribution as for our previous two issues. The difficulties of the campaign stretched the Party’s resources, and the Te Awa Board has worked hard to develop an interim solution to reduce costs and ensure that those who do not have an email address will receive a hard copy. Most will have to read our Summer 2017 issue as a PDF. I hope all our readers can use the summer months to focus on recharging batteries and spending time with whanau. We also deserve some time to bask in the glow of our hard-fought achievements before re-engaging with the important work ahead.
Photo The hard-to-miss Greens’ Invercargill office
Party Co-convenors’ report Katy Watabe Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa Let us keep close together, not far apart
Finally, a little about me for those who don’t know me. I was born and raised in Palmerston North, spent several years in Japan, and have been in Auckland for 10 years. I live in conveniently-named Green Bay with my husband Yoshi and two young children, and am a member of the West Auckland branch. I have worked as an English teacher, a union organiser and educator, and most recently as the Green Party Auckland Campaign Manager. I have been a member of the Green Party since I moved back to New Zealand in 2007 and have held a variety of volunteer roles in the Party. I can be contacted on katy.watabe@ greens.org.nz Thank you all for the work you do to build the strength we need to carry our kaupapa. Ngā mihi
Photo by Julie Zhu Katy Watabe is the Party’s female Co-convenor
From the party
Kia ora Green Whānau Now that the new government has been formed, it is time for Debs to step out of the Party Co-convenor role and for me to step in to work alongside John. I am excited to be in this position and am looking forward to the challenges of the year ahead. Thinking back to the AGM when I was elected, I remember so clearly the energy and excitement about our policy announcements to make Aotearoa Carbon Neutral by 2050, and to end poverty by Mending the Safety Net. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since that weekend in July. Ultimately we have returned to Parliament with a reduced Caucus, although New Zealand has Green Ministers for the first time. Through the election ground campaign, Green Party members have also been visible and active in communities all over New Zealand. We have demonstrated the depth and resilience of our Party. I want to acknowledge everyone who contributed to this amazing collective effort, as well as everyone who is processing their feelings about where we have landed, is celebrating what was achieved, while also grieving for that which was lost. Changing the world is a long-term project, and for many of us now is a time to pause, reflect and consider what next. In campaigning, positive relationships are a source of power. Nurturing those relationships that were built during the campaign will sustain us for the mahi ahead. In the General Election 2017 campaign, our Party undertook systematic direct voter contact on a much wider scale than we ever have before. In this issue of Te Awa you will see some of what we collectively achieved. Person-to-person conversations are the most fundamental campaigning tool and this is something Greens have always done. What was different in 2017 was our attempt to do this systematically. In previous election campaigns I often heard people say, “If only we knew who our voters were!” The conversations we had in 2017 are part of an ongoing effort to build that knowledge. On a personal level, I felt that when I was talking to voters on their doorsteps, or on the phone, I was truly getting out of my bubble and connecting with community members I might never otherwise talk with. I found there was a real appetite for friendly yet serious political conversations, and this in turn inspired me.
From the party
From the Party James Shaw
Kia ora. Green whanau Well, then. Here we are. In government, for the first time. In some ways, this is the end of a road (cycle path?) that we started out on 27 years ago, when the Greens contested their first General Election in 1990. (This is also when I first joined the Greens, which dates me somewhat!) In other ways, this is the start of a whole new journey for us. I’ve said in the media, more than once, that the last few months have been a white-knuckle rollercoaster ride. Your support has been invaluable. To hear on a Monday morning, in the midst of the toughest times of the campaign, that together you had knocked on 10,000 doors that weekend, well, that really kept me – and the rest of the team – going. I hope you feel, as I do, that it has paid off. With three Ministers and an Under-Secretary in the new Labour-led Government, and a firm commitment from Labour to achieve 20 specific policy goals, we are now in a position to make real progress on the issues we’ve campaigned on for the better part of three decades. And the 20 goals in our agreement with Labour are not the sum total of what we’ll achieve. Believe me, our plans are much bigger! We have also welcomed two new MPs – Chlöe Swarbrick and Golriz Ghahraman – into the Caucus. Photo Our eight Green MPs on the lawn at Parliament
Caucus is a tight group of just eight MPs in the new Parliament, but we carry with us the work done by the many Green MPs who came before us. Our agreement with Labour – to provide support on the important “confidence and supply” votes that are the test of a government’s majority in Parliament – also allows us room to retain our Green identity and values. The key to a successful relationship, be it personal, at work, or in politics, is not the absence of disagreements but the ability to talk those through, and work together. I cannot express quite how I felt when Winston Peters announced he would support a Labour-led government. We had, like many people, been waiting in anticipation for days. MPs, a few staff and I were gathered around a TV at work, sharing Cambodian takeaways. As Mr Peters’ speech became more critical of the status quo and more positive about change, I smiled. I knew we’d done it, we’d changed the government. When he confirmed that, the room erupted with cheers and hugs. What followed was also remarkable. The virtual Specially Convened Meeting of 150 Green Party delegates that night was an incredible feat. As I participated and witnessed our Party interrogate the agreement we had negotiated from every angle, all via videoconference, I felt
Policy Committee report Nick Marryatt
James Shaw is co-leader of the Green party
From the party
a real sense of pride in our internal democracy. And as I listened to the overwhelming “yes” votes come in, I got very excited. Our challenge now is to show Aotearoa New Zealand that the Green Party can govern. We promised change and change is what we will deliver. We must also earn and retain peoples’ trust while we deliver the change they voted for. We intend to govern with integrity. You can be assured that whenever the way forward is uncertain, we will be guided by the Green Party’s values and our Charter principles. We aspire to an Aotearoa New Zealand where no child goes hungry, where our birds and forests thrive, and the rest of the world looks to us as a leader in the fight against climate change. Again, thank you for supporting us to reach where we are today. In Parliament, we draw our strength from our supporters up and down the country. Finally, I hope you have a great summer break. Especially if you helped out on the election campaign – you’ve earned it! I intend to spend a lot of time relaxing on a beach in the Bay of Plenty, happy in the knowledge that with the Greens in government, our beaches and the rest of our natural environment will be better protected. Nga mihi
Now that the election is over and the new Government is getting underway, the Policy Committee is also getting into action. We are busy restarting the policy processes that were paused earlier this year. Everything going to plan, you should see opportunities to give feedback on the Justice and Genetic Engineering policies in the foreseeable future. The Policy Committee is also planning out the work for the next three years through to the 2020 election. To that end we are very interested in hearing from members what policies they would like to see changed, as well as any new policies that they think the Party needs. Our policies are all up on the website so feel free to take a look around and see if there is anything that needs improving. Even if the policies are simply too long or unclear we would like to know. Get in touch with any suggestions; Caroline or Julian at firstname.lastname@example.org or julian. email@example.com Also keep an eye out for the Summer Policy Conference early next year. Date and location are still to be confirmed, but it is certain to be a fantastic occasion to get together with other Greens and discuss what our Charter values look like in practice. This conference will be an important starting point for many of the new policies or policy changes that will happen over the next three years. This is the opportunity for members to make a contribution early in the process and help shape what Green Party policy will look like in the future.
Nick Marryatt is the policy rep on the Te Awa Board
You did it! Sarah Helm, Lou Sherrell, Sonja Deely What a rollercoaster this campaign has been. And what a result! Through a tumultuous and emotional election campaign, we have achieved our best result ever - with our MPs now leading policy change in conservation, climate change, gender equality, transport, statistics, finance, health, and domestic and sexual violence. Wow. Together we achieved a campaign so much bigger than any before. While it was tough to witness the drop in our vote, we are blessed to have ended the election with an incredibly strong and talented Caucus, with a great mix of experience and renewal. And now we are in Government, and leading policy change in the areas we campaigned on. I can barely believe we finally get to take action on climate change, an issue that came through as a main motivator for most of our volunteers. Our internal research through the campaign showed that by far the majority of people who switched their vote from us to Labour did so because of the Labour leadership change to Jacinda Ardern.
From the party
We ran our biggest, most professional and well-supported campaign ever. While it’s almost impossible to attribute an election result to particular tactics, there is a strong sense across the Party and from some initial analysis that our ground campaigning kept us in Parliament. Not everything was smooth sailing, as you know. And the Campaign Review Committee has begun the task of examining what did and didn’t go so well this election. This is a useful and important process. Political research consistently shows that personal, one-on-one interactions between a volunteer and a voter are the most powerful tool we have to influence someone’s vote. So while these conversations are slow going, the work we have done through this election stands us in good stead for future elections. Each conversation we record teaches us more about who we should talk with, when and how. Voting is a habit. It can be tribal. There are many more Kiwis who align with Green values than who usually vote Green. Which means that with vision, patience and hard work, we can continue to grow the Green vote. We were able to pay field coordinators in seven urban centres (a seven fold increase from last election), which
Photo Some of the Wellington-based campaign team on the eve of election day
meant campaigners across the country had far greater support than had previously been possible. We made a big effort to target our door knocks and phone calls. We identified the support levels of over 50,000 voters - over half of these were intending to vote Green. We returned to those who were undecided for persuasive interactions, and returned again to our supporters to ensure they voted. We placed a special emphasis in the final fortnight on campaigning to tertiary students (the most likely demographic to support the Greens, yet least likely to vote). This paid off, with our party vote on university campuses often bucking the overall downwards trend. Alongside this, the Party needed funds to make it all happen. Campaigns don’t come cheap. Unlike other parties with millions in their coffers or millionaire backers, we rely entirely on thousands of people giving what they can, whenever they can. And you did! In the period from 1 April to 30 September 2017, the Green Party received $1,052,337 from 14,838 donations by members, volunteers and donors; an average donation of $70.92. Of this, a whopping $869,689 was raised through 8556 one-off donations. 3909 people were donating for the first time, which is roughly 651 new supporters each month. Email appeals were the largest single component by far, with $487,341 raised from 7502 donations. $730,000 more was donated this election cycle compared to the last election cycle. The Green Party sends a very special thank you to our donors, members and volunteers, who made this campaign our strongest ever, and helped make history. The Greens now have real influence on the political direction of New Zealand. THANK YOU!!
Sarah Helm (Party GM), Lou Sherrell (Ground Campaign Manager) and Sonja Deely (Funding Development Manager)
Election wrap-up VOLUNTEERS
put up billboards
100s of community events.
Phone calls made compared with previous campaigns
Unlike other parties with millions in their coffers or millionaire backers, we rely entirely on thousands of people giving what they can, whenever they can.
And you did. 14,838
A HUGE thank you to the donations by members, volunteers and donors.
Individual donations increased dramatically
8,829 around 6000
donation $70.92 = average Thank you!
people donated for the first time
= roughly new supporters per month.
It all adds up to $2,741,971! Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $730,000 more donated this election cycle compared to the last election. (1 Jan 2015 to 30 Sept 2017) Amazing. Thank you.
From the party
Over volunteers gave their time and enthusiasm. Together we...
From the party
Negotiating into Government Roland Sapsford and Kath Dewar
After the election our Party was, for the first time in our 27-year history, needed to form a Government. The Party has been preparing for a long time for the possibility of these negotiations. So how did it pan out? The agreement we have reflects the political realities of the Green Party securing just 6.3% of the vote after that unusual campaign and having clearly declared a preference for working with Labour. Given those realities, we think the Green process for reaching an agreement worked pretty well. Pre-election, all our focus was on securing enough votes to have the opportunity to survive in Parliament so we could negotiate! The practical effect of this was that, compared with 2014, there was very little time for the Negotiation Consultation Group (NCG) to prepare. We were able to meet face-to-face only once before the election, one week out. On Monday 25 September we convened in Wellington for what would become almost four weeks of negotiations, culminating in the Specially Convened Meeting of 19 October. At that meeting, the 147 delegated members decided to accept the joint NCG/Negotiating Team (NT) proposal. On that basis, the Green Party would enable Labour to form a Government, with NZ First and ourselves. It was a powerful and positive end to a demanding process. We’ll be delivering a more comprehensive report back to the Party in time, but here’s a summary of some of our main insights so far.
The people As co-convenors of NCG, we were privileged to work with a great group of people, representing a wide range of Party perspectives and bringing broad and deep experience: Jeanette Fitzsimons, Jan Logie, Julie Anne Genter, David Moorhouse, Jack McDonald, Caroline Glass, Robin McCandless and John Ranta. Gareth Hughes joined us towards the end when others were unavailable. Debs Martin (Party Co-convenor), James Shaw (Party Coleader), Eugenie Sage (Caucus musterer), Tory Whanau (Chief of Staff) and Andrew Campbell (former Chief of Staff) formed the Negotiating Team that met with Labour. We’d also like to thank Corinne Cordes for her volunteering to the NCG and NT as note-taker and facilitation/logistics support. Our co-co role As co-convenors we drew heavily on every facilitation technique we knew for building and maintaining group cohesion, and for complex decision making and consensus. The rapidly changing and unpredictable material and timings kept us all on our toes. By necessity the process involved long days and several late nights both in Wellington and working remotely by video conference. As Jeanette observed towards the end of the process, she was impressed our whole team had navigated big and difficult work but avoided any factions or fractures in the group. Photo Ministers of the new Labour-led Government with Governor General, Patsy Reddy
Specially Convened Meeting On 12 October, we hosted a pre-meeting with Party delegates by video conference in which we took them through the context and progress to date, and answered questions. And on 19 October, one week later, we presented the proposal to those 147 delegates. Kate Mitcalfe ably facilitated the hui, which was held by encrypted video conference. Just before we began, Winston Peters announced his preference to work with Labour. Determining the new government depended entirely on the Greens; Labour and NZ First couldn’t do it without us. NCG explained the proposal, then broke into small groups with delegates from around the country to answer questions, and heard back from all the regions. There wasn’t quite a consensus, so at 10pm a vote was called for. The most secure way of delivering a vote had been determined as each delegate declaring ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ As each person spoke from around the country, their faces filled all our screens. With three ‘no’ votes and 142 ‘yes’ votes, the decision to form a new government was made. Immediately after the meeting, James and Eugenie walked downstairs and announced it to waiting journalists and the country.
The hard parts and the best bits The hardest part of the process was living on tenterhooks for nearly four weeks. Most of us had taken time out from work (unpaid for many) and several of us were away from home and family for long stretches. At times we had no idea whether we would be needed for intensive work the next day or would have nothing to work on. We also had to balance rigorous intellectual and strategic work with the emotional reality that human lives and natural habitats depended, literally, on the outcomes we could achieve. Every news article and Facebook post contained an opinion on what we should or shouldn’t be doing.
The best things by far were working with a committed, talented and kind group of fellow Greens, having the robust foundations of the Strategic Planning and Facilitation Group work to build the eventual Agreement around, and having our strong consensus decision making to guide us every day. Jeanette’s sense of the accomplishment perhaps best sums it up: it is an outcome she has been working towards for 43 years, since the days of the Values Party. It won’t be perfect – it isn’t a Green Government after all, but we can say, hand on heart, that your NCG did everything possible, with just 6.3% of voters having cast us a Party Vote, to deliver Aotearoa and our Party the best possible result. From here Since we completed the negotiations, the full Confidence and Supply agreement has been released and James, Julie Anne and Eugenie have become our first ever Green Party Ministers in Aotearoa. Now the work of Government is underway and we wish our Green MPs and Green Ministers the very best for that.
From the party
Key work areas included: • How to negotiate • The sequence in which to negotiate to ensure the agreement covered not just policy but how the relationships of Government would work • Pros and cons of various outcomes • Working through policy priorities identified by the Party membership at the AGM and in provincial meetings, and the priorities we had campaigned on to win votes • Identifying where our policies aligned with Labour and New Zealand First’s, and clashes we needed to try to inoculate against • Developing frameworks to assess what we could accept and what we would have to reject • Preparing content for draft proposals, and evaluating multiple sets of revisions and amendments from Labour across the Agreement document itself and the documents that underpin it • Constantly evaluating what the membership, represented by the delegates, would need to have included to support any proposed agreement, and preparing for the crucial final meeting.
Roland Sapsford and Kath Dewar are Co-convenors of the Negotiation Consultation Group
We must not stop challenging power — our fight has barely begun Elliot Crossan
The Green Party exists to challenge power. Our Charter principles are impossible to implement without a sustained assault on wealthy interests. We must defy every premise of the capitalist system whose existence relies on colonisation, unlimited material growth, fossil fuel extraction, and the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few. The government has changed to a supposedly friendly, socially-conscious Labour administration, and the Greens have a Confidence and Supply deal and Ministers for the first time. But I worry that any arguments for structural change in Aotearoa that our Party has been or should be making will be suppressed in favour of acting to prop up the new face of the status quo. This instinct, if followed, will lead to the dying away of the Greens as a genuine alternative — a catastrophe for any hope of real action in the coming years on any of the issues and values we care about. We may have portfolios and a deal with the Labour Government, but we must not for one second make the mistake of believing that the Greens have power. We are exactly where the Labour Party wants us to be — small, weak, unable to seriously challenge them, and unable to position ourselves as a more progressive alternative to them. We have only what power the Prime Minister and Finance Minister will allow us to exercise — able to make minor tweaks in the areas we have been given control over, but no ability to do anything at all that would threaten the capitalist, extractivist system that is harming people and planet. Just look at what isn’t in our deal with Labour. There is no mandatory Te Reo in schools, no carbon tax, no capital gains tax, no higher taxes on the rich at all, and no increase in core benefits or systemic changes to the culture of WINZ and its sanctioning regime. This constitutes a frail imitation of basic and vitally necessary changes to New Zealand’s benefit system — changes so bravely championed by Metiria. There is not even a guarantee that there will be an end to new mining, fracking, or deep sea oil and gas drilling projects. Fairly moderate policies that would have seen a more just and sustainable society were taken off the table by Labour before the Government had even begun. Fossil fuel extraction will continue, everyday colonisation will go on as before, and the particularly savage model of capitalism we live under — neoliberalism, and the vast level of inequality it creates — will continue entirely unchanged. When it comes to immigration, Labour and New Zealand First intend to be xenophobic and nasty. Labour decided during its third term in opposition that trying to campaign in even a moderately social democratic way is too hard, and that it would make migrants the scapegoats for social problems. Underfunded public services and infrastructure are the result of austerity, not
migrants. Low wages are the result of union busting and a low minimum wage, not migrants. Inequality is the result of neoliberalism, not migrants. In challenging power, it cannot be more crucial for the Greens to stand up to the xenophobic and factually untrue narrative that any of our problems are either caused or exacerbated by our already fairly restrictive immigration system. We cannot call ourselves a party that believes in social responsibility unless we stand up to the xenophobia of this Government and say loudly and clearly that migrants and refugees are welcome here. Over the next three years, in the next election and beyond, we need not only to continue challenging power as much as we can despite our compromised position, but we need to rethink the current direction of the Green Party and begin to fight a more bold, coherent and allencompassing battle for the soul of Aotearoa. We fought this election on a platform of fairly limited changes — our fiscal policy was restricted by the neoliberal straightjacket of the Budget Responsibility Rules, and we were not advocating truly systemic changes to the economy. A bigger government will be necessary to urgently tackle climate change and inequality, and to grant serious reparations for colonisation. Next election, we need to campaign on a platform of raising taxes on the rich in order to pay for bringing the essentials of life back under public, democratic control, spending more on services to benefit everybody, and implementing a Green New Deal that will shift New Zealand towards becoming a carbon neutral economy, fast. A better world is possible — not with the current government, but with a new, radical vision for the future of Aotearoa. Ngā mihi
Keep an eye on the Facebook page of Young Greens of Aotearoa New Zealand for further details
Elliot Crossan is the male Co-convenor of the Young Greens
Taking the Green vote globally Bryce Groves
amazing how much we managed to accomplish simply by ticking things off one day at a time. We are incredibly proud of what we contributed to the Party’s final results, helping to get one more MP over the line for the fifth consecutive election.
Huge thanks to all those overseas Kiwis who engaged with our campaign, especially of course those who voted Green! Like most of the volunteer force, we’re looking forward to a break, but do follow us on social media channels and drop us a line if you’re keen to get involved now or in the future – you don’t even need to live overseas! Have a fantastic 2018, Aotearoa! @nzgreensglobal Bridget @missbdwalsh Blog www.kiwigreensglobal.org Email:International.firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Photo (L-R) Bryce Groves, Ben Naylor, Clara Breitenmoser, Bridget Walsh and James Hurford in London Bryce Groves is a London-based Green and one of the core team behind the initiatives to engage Kiwi voters living overseas
The 2017 overseas campaign was the biggest and most ambitious ever run by a New Zealand political party. It was a huge success: 58,952 Kiwis voted from overseas this year, a 54% increase on 2014, when 38,294 international votes were counted. Growing the international vote so substantially made a critical difference to the election outcome. Kiwis overseas are twice as likely to vote Green compared to Kiwis living in NZ. This year it was almost three times as many. In 2017, 5.53% of Green votes came from overseas, up from 3.95% in 2014. National’s international vote share dropped considerably from 45.72% to 37.35% (22,020 votes) while Labour’s increased massively from 17.97% to 38.21% (22,527 votes). While we were unable to replicate the Green vote share from 2014 (decreasing from 26.54% to 15.23%), overseas voters still gave us nearly 9000 votes, vital to bringing an eighth Green MP into Caucus. It wasn’t an accident. Our international team worked tirelessly to maximise this vote. For the first time since 2008, we had a dedicated overseas candidate, Bridget Walsh, who took six months off from her career as a musician to campaign around the world. Bridget hosted events in Auckland, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Toronto, Copenhagen, Berlin, Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Sydney and Melbourne – linking up with Kiwirun local businesses, meeting and interviewing a diverse crowd of overseas Kiwis and helping them enrol and understand the international voting system. For the first time ever, we had a truly global volunteer base to support her. As always, the London branch was a hive of activity. We also had active volunteers around the world from New York to Amsterdam, Melbourne to Munich – these were all Kiwis motivated to volunteer due to a shared Green vision for the future of Aotearoa. Between us, we did phone calling, door knocking, blogging and a host of smaller online activities. We rebranded ourselves from having several different hubs (Kiwi Greens UK, Kiwi Greens Australia etc.) to become one big group called Kiwi Greens Global. This created a team atmosphere and helped us support each other. Social media boomed during this campaign and was our most useful way to reach Kiwis. Our independently produced Vote from Anywhere video, starring Bridget, Golriz and some keen volunteers, had reached over 140,000 views by election day. Our efforts were noticed by other Green parties worldwide, and we have been approached to help Global Greens establish a framework for campaigning internationally. Once again, we are leading the way from New Zealand! We set ourselves very high goals for 2017 and worked incredibly hard to achieve them. Looking back, it’s
Civilian report Denise Roche It has taken me a few weeks to transition from opposition MP to ordinary civilian life but once we found out the shape of the new government – and knowing that the huge campaign efforts from our members and volunteers did pay off – I’ve become increasingly optimistic. Our new Green Ministers and Undersecretary have given me hope that our Caucus, even though it’s smaller than we wanted, will be able to achieve the good Green change that we need and I’m a bit sad I won’t be a part of that. I am filled with awe at the huge work load our new Caucus will have over the next three years and am confident they’ll do us all proud.
I can never thank our members and volunteers enough for the enormous privilege it has been to have represented the Greens in Parliament for six years.
When I first started in 2011, I set out to be a trusted ally of the main players in each of my portfolio areas. I’m proud to have done that with the union movement, problem gambling services, within the community and voluntary sector, with human rights and refugee activist groups, multicultural organisations and ethnic communities, the community recycling sector and waste industry. One of the best things about being an MP is working alongside those allies to get policy changes. We succeeded in increasing the refugee quota for the first time in 28 years and we got rid of zero-hour contracts. Getting waste onto the political agenda at all was a massive achievement. The news that the major supermarket chains will voluntarily phase out single-use plastic bags by the end of next year felt like the ultimate win for the “Say No To Plastic Bags” campaign. I’m also pleased to have worked with our allies to stand up for the rights of marginalised migrants – especially the Indian students in Auckland deported unfairly by a government responding to ugly dog-whistling. I’m proud to have broken the story exposing the National government’s dodgy pokies-forconvention centre deal with SkyCity casino. I always wanted to use the resources and position of being a MP to support capacity-building within the Party. I’ve loved being the buddy for the Waikato area and also working alongside so many of our branches during the “Keep Our Assets” campaign. In my capacity as the chair of our Maori caucus, with my awesome Waiheke branch, it was a real pleasure to host Te Ropu Pounamu members at their first noho marae hui in more than a decade at Piritahi marae on Waiheke Island last year.
As the Caucus rep, it’s been a privilege to work with our members on the Te Awa board and the Policy Committee over the last three years. Getting the Union Greens network up and running again and supporting the Greens of Colour group in Auckland have also been highlights. At the moment I’m maintaining my interest in pay equity with the Auckland Pay Equity coalition and I’m considering what to do next. I’m revelling in having nights and weekends free, being able to socialise without the self-consciousness of public office and not having sore ears from flying so often. I’ve picked up the guitar again and am starting rehearsals for a gig with our reformed Union Made Choir. Inspired by the wonderful Danna Glendining, I’ve enrolled in a raranga course and am looking to do full-immersion Te Reo over the summer. Thank you to all of you who have given me so much support over these last years. I intend to stay active within our Party, and am looking forward to volunteering alongside our fabulous members on our next campaign for good Green change. Nga mihi aroha
Over the next few issues Te Awa would like to recognise and celebrate the work and service of our retiring MPs and those who were unlucky not to be re-elected. In this issue Denise Roche and Barry Coates reflect on their time in Parliament. Ed
Denise Roche was a Green MP between 2011 and 2017
Obituary: Kimbel Walker, 1942 – 2017 Worik Stanton (brother-in-law)
Our fighting spirit was tested during the election. As a Party, we should feel proud that we recovered enough to get beyond the 5% threshold. We made a crucial contribution to changing the government and we now we have our best opportunity yet to make good Green change. Although I’m disappointed that I didn’t make it back into Parliament, I’m also looking forward to the next few years. My career has been about creating change from outside government, and there’s a lot to do. Implementing our Green policies will be a challenge. The civil service has been politicised, denigrated and weakened by nine years of National government. The voluntary sector has been under-funded and relegated to a contracted service-delivery role, and democracy has been undermined. We now need to work together to make change happen, as Ministers and MPs, as committed individuals and as a Party. I am grateful for my short service in Parliament. I was an MP for only nine months, but I feel proud of my contribution. Amongst other achievements, I was able to take the public campaign against the TPPA into Parliament, and build opposition to the Investor State Dispute Settlement policy that would allow foreign investors to sue our government. I will miss working with my Caucus colleagues, particularly in strengthening our policy and voice on crucial economic issues. The transition to zero greenhouse gas emissions and greater equality will need economic transformation, and the Greens need to be at the forefront of creating that change. After the election, I took some time to walk the Heaphy Track, get healthy, plant veges and re-connect with my family. I have now started projects on trade, climate change and the sustainable economy, collaborating with people I like and respect. I’m up for new challenges and I’m excited by the opportunities for change. Barry Coates was a Green MP in 2017
Post Parliament Barry Coates
1950’s rural New Zealand – another country. Lunchtime weekdays on the road to Cambridge, a little Austin A40 is going much too fast, three excited young men aboard and the clock running. Brothers Kim and Paul, and their cousin Roger, each competing to see who could do the fastest time there and back from their school, Hamilton Boys’ High. History has not recorded the times achieved, the punishments meted out by school masters and traffic police, or the concerns of citizenry and parents. Just that there were no accidents, as the Gods of speed looked kindly on Kimbel Terrence Walker, his brother and his cousin. Sapiens Fortunam Fingit Sibi, the school motto of Hamilton Boys’, was apt for Kim. Born in 1942 to an engineering family, he went to engineering school and joined the family firm, JP Walker Engineering, building truck trailers. Kim could recognise the Walker Trailers on the road all his life. But engineering was not where Kim was headed. Early on he saw the potential of computers, especially for manufacturing businesses. And that is where he made his career, first joining Burroughs in sales, and eventually running his own company making and selling manufacturing software with his wife, Kate Stanton. Kate and he met when they both worked at CBL in 1980. After spending a decade and a half developing their business, in 1996 they settled in Auckland with their daughter Elizabeth. Kim and Kate became closely involved with the Green Party, hosting meetings of the Auckland Central Branch until the meetings became too large (their “back room” could only squeeze in 21). Very ‘Sapiens Fingit Sibi’, Kim had a strong social conscience, believing strongly in leaving the world a better place than he found it. He took seriously the welfare of his adopted city and its people, taking his own stance on any issue and prepared to defend it. Kim died in October this year, after having been ill for six months with an aggressive brain tumour. After 37 years of a close love he is deeply missed by Kate, and all his family.
Photo Kimbel Walker
Coalition or Confidence and Supply?
Greens Have Their Say
Some members have expressed disappointment that our Ministers are not in Cabinet, the real powerhouse of government. Initially I felt that too, but now I see the advantages of where we are. It all comes down to numbers. If you are in Cabinet, you get to see all papers proposing government action. If you are sharing the reading of those and preparing a Green response to them among 16-20 Ministers, the work load is manageable, although heavy. If you have three ministers, it is impossible. Inevitably a lot of papers would go unread, and we would be surprised at Cabinet decisions we would have to take responsibility for even though we hadn’t helped generate them. A lot of the fish hooks are hidden in the detail. But what about being there when our key initiatives are being discussed? How could we argue for and protect our gains on climate and conservation if we are not at the table? Well, contrary to general appearances, Cabinet is mostly a rubber stamp and accepts the recommendations of the Cabinet committees. Our Ministers will be full members of the Cabinet committees that deal with our portfolio responsibilities. They will present and argue for our initiatives, and be involved in making the recommendations the committees send to Cabinet. If a paper a Green Minister has put up is going up to Cabinet, our Minister will attend and be able to support it and counter any push back. We have just eight MPs; three of them are ministers, and one an Under-Secretary with important responsibilities. Do we really want them to have to monitor every aspect of government unrelated to their portfolios? Worse, do we want them to have collective responsibility for all Cabinet decisions, even when we disagree with them? And as a small partner in government, with about one eighth of the
government seats, there will be things we disagree with. Much better to be able to say publicly, “We didn’t agree with that and we said so, but we don’t have the numbers to stop it.” We can make our position clear once, and then shut up and leave others to promote it. Then there are people who say we should wait until we are much stronger before taking ministerial positions. I used to be one of them. But faced with the invitation to run programmes so close to our hearts, in a government that is broadly attuned on these issues, why wouldn’t we? Membership of Cabinet awaits us when we have the numbers to handle it - at least 15 MPs, at least six or seven Ministers. When people berate us for things the Government has done that aren’t Green, we can say, “Well, if you want our voice heard more loudly, give us more party votes next time!” We have won some amazing opportunities. I look forward to the NZ Ministerial speech at COP 23, the annual IPCC conference on climate change in Bonn, being given by James, who will explain to the world how things have changed here. And I look forward to the new Climate Commission and Carbon budget; to a revitalised DoC, resourced to argue for conservation values again and not just do deals with industry; to new sustainability indicators being part of the budget process; to real progress on public transport, walking and cycling in our main cities; to new programmes addressing family violence and sexual abuse. Not bad for a start, eh?
Photo Jeanette Fitzsimons at home in the Coromandel Jeanette Fitzsimons was co-leader of the Greens between 1995 and 2009
Diary of a first-time candidate Damon Rusden
taking time off work for her sick children. They lived in a damp home, far from town, for $450 a week. I was taken more seriously in my role than she was. After a few calls, she has been able to move into closer, cheaper, emergency accommodation, and is now a high priority for Housing New Zealand. This was mostly thanks to the hard work of the women who worked here before me, but it was great to be a part of a positive end result for a family in hardship. Currently I am figuring out the best way to convince Council that they need a barrier on a hill that has been, sadly, the area of many suicides over the years. A concerned group of residents has turned to Nash’s office as a last resort. The power dynamics may be unfair, but it’s what MPs should do: use their position of influence to aid the most vulnerable. My job is just that. I am looking forward to continuing to do what I entered politics for – to help those who need it the most. So here’s to the new government you helped create; one that will serve the people of NZ and forge a better future for this country.
Photo Damon Rusden
Greens Have Their Say
Well, the dust has settled. Thanks to the hard work of all our candidates, volunteers, members and supporters, we have helped form the most progressive and environmentally-friendly government that’s existed in my lifetime. I want to share two stories from the campaign trail, both for your enjoyment and to reflect on politics in the Napier electorate. Let’s start with a humorous one. After knocking on hundreds of doors, the most awkward experience would have to have been when I came across a Ukrainian (or Russian) family. The door opened and I espoused my standard lines. A tall man looked at me, very seriously, and without saying anything just ushered me in. Caught unawares, I shuffled in. I saw a king’s banquet on the table, with the man’s wife and young daughter helping themselves to lunch from it. The man proceeded to move one chair from the table and plonked it for me directly in the middle of a large, mostly empty lounge. I sat awkwardly as the adults dug into their lunch at the table, and tried to explain why I was knocking on their door. But I don’t think they were really listening. The child just stared at me, bemused. After a few minutes with little response, I kind of bluffed my way out. It was almost surreal. On a more serious note, I also dealt with an important constituency issue. FIRST Union put me in contact with a South African family, who were about to be deported. I spent two hours with them. After nine years in New Zealand, the father had had his visa declined, so he and his wife were unable to work. His children had not been to school for months, because they could not afford the student fees under a different visa regime. They broke down in front me when they described how they had to sell their home and get rid of their family dogs, and said I was their last hope. It was heartbreaking. It’s a long story but they were treated unfairly and it was not their fault. I turned to Denise Roche, and together we went to Radio New Zealand, and Denise put a question to Parliament. Weeks later Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, allowed them to stay. It was great news. These are only two of very many stories, but I believe they highlight both extremes of campaigning: the funny times, and the power to make genuine change. As for me now, I am working for Minister Stuart Nash in Napier, who I ran against. It is non-political constituency work. At the end of my first week, I’ve already been able to help a mother who was worried about her daughter, a sufferer of anorexia and other consequential mental health issues. I managed to put pressure on the agencies, cut through the bureaucracy, and next week her daughter will move to a clinic to get the support she needs. Another mother, with four children and who works 20 hours a week, was about to be unemployed because she was
Damon Rusden stood for the Greens in the Napier electorate
What the Green Party has in common with the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winners
Greens Have Their Say
The election of a new government – with Green MPs bringing our kaupapa to the Executive – is a muchneeded boost at a time when our society, our climate and our natural world are in critical condition. A similar feeling of excitement, hope and possibility went through the peace and disarmament field when this year’s Nobel Peace Prize went to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Our survival relies on us promoting peace, opposing militarism and, based on the unfathomable risk they pose to humanity, eliminating nuclear weapons. The dangers of militarism and violence are a key reason why I think the Green Party and the Green movement worldwide are so crucial. The Green Party was the only political party in New Zealand to congratulate ICAN, including its national partner ICAN Aotearoa New Zealand, on the Nobel Peace Prize. With Jan Logie, I was honoured to give Green Party comments on the award as the co-founder of Article 36, one of the organisations on ICAN’s steering group. In her comments Jan said, “Our Pacific Ocean and its peoples have suffered the terrible effects of nuclear explosions, and today we acknowledge the survivors of nuclear weapons use and testing. This Nobel Prize honours them.” Fittingly, ICAN has announced that Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the atomic bombing in Japan, will receive the prize in Oslo in December. Reflecting on the achievements of ICAN and the Green Party in 2017, three points of commonality struck me: a genuine belief in change; an understanding of collaborative work; and the value of setting the agenda. ICAN and the Greens share a belief that change is possible, and reject claims that “it won’t work.” This same sense of possibility and determination to make change happen against all odds infused the campaigns to ban cluster bombs and landmines, and all the successful campaigns I’ve been part of or learnt about. It’s a powerful feeling when you realise there’s a group of people out there who share your genuine belief that change is possible. It’s contagious. The belief that we would change the government and get Green MPs into the executive has got to be a big part of the reason it happened – in defiance of many who tried to stop it. Working collaboratively, listening to and respecting each other, and building genuine coalitions are characteristics shared by the Greens and ICAN. Coalitions offer cognitive diversity, cultural exchange and unexpected opportunity. Both ICAN and the Greens see institutions and movements as coalitions of different elements working together with their own intrinsic value. As those managing New Zealand’s new Executive will know, coalitions are time-consuming, tricky to navigate and, managed well, brilliantly effective. This Nobel Prize is a boost to those who value coalition work. In its editorial on the 2017 Nobel
Peace Prize, the Guardian praised the decision to give the award to a global grass-roots coalition of organisations, rather than to a person or single organisation. As it did when it honoured the International Campaign to Ban Landmines in 1997, the Nobel Committee has recognised the work of many groups and individuals in many countries over many years. It has shared the prize and the energy and media spotlight that comes with it. In the same way, our Green election campaign outcome honours all of those who have contributed to the Green kaupapa over the years. Lastly, the Greens share ICAN’s commitment to setting the agenda with boldness and vision. Public discourse and framing the arguments were central to ICAN’s success. We wanted to change the way people talked about nuclear weapons. They are not symbols of power and prestige, but weapons of mass destruction that vaporize, poison and destroy. We moved beyond the fields of security and strategic studies to involve people from development, humanitarian, human rights and environmental backgrounds. It worked. Countries came together in September to sign an international treaty banning nuclear weapons on the basis that their effects on people and the planet are unacceptable. Just as ICAN rewrote the agenda on nuclear disarmament, the Greens rewrote the agenda at this election. We put action on poverty, climate and water squarely on the agenda and that worked too. It changed the way every party campaigned. It had a major influence on the election result. Its legacy is written into the agreements that James Shaw and Winston Peters signed with Jacinda Ardern. That agenda-setting role is what makes the Greens the most important party in New Zealand politics. It is a quality that, bound together with a belief in change and an understanding of working collaboratively, can inspire our movement to build the better world we so desperately need.
Photo Nash at an ICAN press conference in Vienna, 2014 Thomas Nash stood for the Greens in the Palmerston North electorate and is an international disarmament campaigner
Courting controversy: Lessons from Metiria’s boldness Shanti Ahluwalia Stage 1: Roaring success, 16-31 July Metiria confessed. There was extensive media coverage, with a mixture of criticism, praise for the ‘effective’ strategy, and discussion of the issues. Labour’s support declined, and Andrew Little resigned. In a Colmar-Brunton poll taken from 22-27 July, the Green Party surged to 15% (from 11%). Stage 2: The counterattacks, 1-6 August On 1 August, Jacinda rose to power. Her seemingly bold, progressive stance won over Green supporters. New allegations about Metiria’s past came to light during this stage. On 4 August, Metiria was forced to rule out being a Minister. Media coverage remained mixed, with a Reid research poll finding 18% of New Zealanders supporting Metiria – a number much greater than our supporter base. In a Newshub-Reid poll taken from 2-8 August, the Green Party dropped to 8.3% (from 13%). Stage 3: Collapse, 7 August onwards Kennedy Graham and David Clendon resigned on 7 August. Metiria followed within a few days. Media coverage began to label it an ‘implosion’ rather than give it its former status as an ‘effective strategy.’ Green campaign materials on poverty were largely unavailable and Green coverage of poverty virtually disappeared in the media. In a Colmar-Brunton poll taken from 12-16 August, the Green Party dropped to 4% (from 15%). Conclusion I fear that Metiria’s story will be used to justify avoiding controversy in the future. But to me, the story demonstrates the power of controversy in the form of bold, progressive stands. The highest point of the campaign was after Metiria took her stand. The lowest point in the campaign was after we lost Metiria, and Jacinda was seen as the progressive voice in politics, while the Greens were seen as disorganised. Too often the Green voice is ignored by the media. Metiria’s sacrifice showed us that it is possible to have our voice out there, and that it is not inevitable that the media will ignore us. Yes, there will be those who oppose us. But so many more are waiting to hear that Green voice.
Photo credit Jenna Lynch, Newshub
Greens Have Their Say
Metiria Turei confessed to lying 20 years ago, and it turned into an explosion of media coverage. It could be debated until the end of days and we would never come to a consensus as to whether Metiria’s admission was ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ A more useful approach is to examine the lessons we can take away. In 2014, the Green Party reportedly received only one percent of the media coverage. Controversy, used in a strategic and careful manner, could fix this. In economics, we look for the competitive advantage. What can one country do better than any other? Bigger does not always mean better, and finding the advantages of being small can be the key to success. In politics, a similar principle exists. Small parties have more leeway in what they can say. The Labour Party must be careful to keep at least 40% of the public onside with them and win their vote. The Green Party, on the other hand, is basically seeking to increase to 10-20% of the vote. What this means in practice is that the Green Party can always be more progressive and bold than the Labour Party. If Labour is increasing benefits, we can increase benefits and remove sanctions. If Labour is going to clean up our rivers, we can clean up our rivers and our degraded soils. Naturally there are limits. If we say we’re going to raise taxes to 95%, the media will tear us apart. Similarly, we might have a stance that is better than Labour’s, but is close enough that the media ignore us. There is a sweet spot – far enough ahead that it is interesting to the media, but not so far out that it alienates 90% of voters or our coalition partners. Metiria almost hit this sweet spot. I have reviewed 144 media articles and three polls from that period, and believe we can learn from them. There were three key stages to this period.
Shanti Ahluwalia is an advocate for animal rights, sustainable economics and the universal basic income
MP Reports 18
I’m writing this six weeks after the election. 23 September moved in slow motion after the hustle of our campaign. We not only survived - we set the agenda for, then helped create, a new government. We have Green Ministers for the first time in history. The Government is committed to addressing climate change, ending child poverty, repairing the conservation budget, and doing away with punitive beneficiary sanctions (thank you, Metiria). We did it. All of us, all over the country, pulled together for the campaign of our lives, and inspired the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of citizens on the potential of a better Aotearoa. Now it’s time to deliver. Parliament is a funny old place to try and do that. There’s plush carpets, walls lines with regally-framed portraits of older Pākehā men, and wood-panelled rooms galore. It’s very far removed from the doorstep conversations, phone calls and lives encountered on the campaign trail, and it’s pretty clear how politicians can become institutionalised. I think one has to be cognizant of that and actively connecting to the grassroots to curb it. Our Green Parliamentary offices are situated across the road from Parliament itself, overlooking its marble buildings and lawns. Both figuratively and quite literally, it’s hard not to think of it as an ivory tower. Gazing out of my window one day, I asked Golriz if she’d like to occupy the front lawns of Parliament to hold a picnic. It’d be really cool, I thought, if we sought to use a space typically associated with anguish for constructive, inclusive, progressive dialogue. It was the first time anything like it had been done, and media estimated we had about 300 people turn up. We hope it was symbolic of things to come. The Greens have never been in Parliament to safeguard the status quo, but to knock down walls and build bridges. We’ve never had a better opportunity to do that than we do in this 52nd Parliament. Tomorrow, we’ll all be sworn in, and the next phase of hard work starts.
As tangata whenua I have the fortune of inherently understanding that there is no separation between me and the natural world. When Māori say that the mountain is our grandparent, the river is our kuia and the birds are our relations – we are not speaking metaphorically. We are simply acknowledging our whakapapa. We understand that when we trample on Papatūānuku, we are hurting our mother and therefore ourselves. The Green Party is well placed to support tangata whenua leadership and be at the forefront on Māori political issues that are aligned to Green visions. The work of iwi and hapū who are taking clear stands on the same issues that the Greens have long fought is of strategic importance to us. Ngāti Ruanui and their push for a marine mammal sanctuary off their Taranaki coast; various iwi and their stand against deep sea oil; Ngāti Kahungunu exercising their kaitiaki rights against seismic exploration in their waters; marae around the country housing the homeless - such examples are just a start. Community movements, not just Māori, are doing the groundwork for a better world. We need their trust to be the political force that I believe we can be. As the text in my photo refers to, “It is the wellbeing of our living systems that will sustain our people, for us all, not just for the few.” We have the smarts to show what truly sustainable economic production can look like, in that it must work for us all. We have an opportunity to demonstrate this to voters through networking over the next two and a half years. We are the many. If anyone can do the work that is before us – the Green Party can.
Kia ora te whanau. It has been a very wild ride. Following a rather brutal election campaign, I was on the Negotiation Consultation Group supporting the Negotiating Team in Wellington for nearly four weeks, while we waited for the outcome of the election. And then suddenly I was affirming my allegiance in Te Reo in Government House, as a Minister outside Cabinet in a new Government! I am now Minister for Women, Associate Minister of Transport and Associate Minister of Health. It is incredibly exciting, and no doubt the next three years will also be full of challenges. My priorities are clear. On behalf of the Green Party (and in close collaboration with Jan Logie) I will be working to close the gender pay gap in the core public service, and ensure the wider public service is on a pathway to close that gap. We will be leading work to ensure pay equity and equal pay in the private sector, and increased diversity in board appointments. I will also be working closely with the Labour Minister of Transport to deliver a radically different approach to transport planning, funding and infrastructure. We will make safety, climate and other environmental impacts, accessibility, and a long term perspective on value for money the priorities for transport planning, which will transform our towns and cities into healthier, happier places. I still await my final delegations in the Health portfolio, but whatever they are I will be connecting climate, health, women and the built environment across my portfolios. It is an amazing opportunity for the Green Party to influence the things we care most about in Aotearoa, and I am confident that all of us working together can not only deliver good Green change, but continue to grow the Green movement. I will do my absolute best, and I welcome your feedback. Aroha nui
We changed the Government! I am enormously humbled and grateful to be the new Minister of Conservation, Minister for Land Information New Zealand, and Associate Minister for the Environment. I’ve spent much of my life working to protect Aotearoa/ New Zealand’s indigenous species, distinctive landscapes, coast, marine environment, wetlands, rivers and aquifers. But this opportunity is like no other – we now have the chance to improve the way we look after nature, for its own sake and for future generations. That’s a big responsibility and challenge. I’m up for the challenge because of the huge energy, aroha, creativity and commitment that members and supporters gave to our Party and our policy platforms during the election campaign. The Kea is one of more than 3,000 New Zealand indigenous species at risk of extinction, and the world’s only alpine parrot. I love their gorgeous plumage, their call in the mountains, their curiosity and cleverness. We need to get them out of trouble. Under National, funding for the Department of Conservation was slashed. This impeded predator control and other DoC initiatives to help threatened species. I’m already working to get more money back into core conservation work so that the Kea, native fish and other threatened species can thrive; and to ensure the Department of Conservation advocates to protect nature on private land. As Minister for Land Information I want better protection of our South Island high country landscapes and an end to leaseholders destroying indigenous nature in order to farm. Thank you for all that work putting up billboards and taking them down again (twice), hitting the streets door knocking during those cold winter days, all the social media posts, meeting and stall organisation and the thousands of phone calls to connect with voters. Together we succeeded. We changed the Government!
Julie Anne Genter
Green World Compiled by Lois Griffiths
European Union Parliament The European Parliament has banned Monsanto lobbyists after the lobbyists refused to participate in hearings about Monsanto’s efforts to influence regulations of its glyphosate. The Greens welcomed the decision. Philippe Lamberts, president of the Greens, remarked, “Those who ignore the rules of democracy also lose their rights as a lobbyist in the European Parliament. US corporations must also accept the democratic control function of the Parliament. Monsanto cannot escape this. There remain many uncertainties in the assessment of the pesticide glyphosate. Monsanto has to face the questions of parliamentarians and should not hinder the clarification process.”
USA “Puerto Rico is Trump’s Katrina, times 1,000,” says Rosa Clemente, comparing the aftermath of Hurricane Maria to the humanitarian crisis in New Orleans in 2005. Rosa Clemente, the 2008 Green Party vice presidential candidate, is a community organizer active with Black Lives Matter. With family members in Puerto Rico, she knows through direct testimony how desperate circumstances are in the US territory right now. “It’s a crisis of epic proportions that we’ve probably never seen in this country.” She is disgusted with Trump’s callousness in taking very little
action to actually help Puerto Ricans. Puerto Rico today is ground zero for American disaster capitalism. “Because Puerto Ricans have always been relegated to second-class citizenship, I even wonder how many Americans know that Puerto Ricans (3.5 million of them) are American citizens,” Clemente says. David Swanson, Green Party Shadow Secretary of Peace, is an author, activist, journalist and radio host. He is the director of ‘World Beyond War’, a global nonviolent movement to end war and establish a just and sustainable peace. He is a 2015, 2016 and 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. David Swanson has drafted a resolution urging Congress to move money from the military to human and environmental needs, rather than the reverse. David organized a flotilla of 50 kayaks that held banners on the Potomac River in front of the Pentagon reading, “No wars for oil/No oil for wars.” In September David Swanson helped organise a ‘No War 2017: War and the Environment’ Conference in Washington DC. Jill Stein, 2012 and 2016 Green presidential candidate, was one of many impressive speakers.
Photo David Swanson’s flotilla in front of the Pentagon
Australia Chevron’s decision to withdraw plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight is a big win for the coastal communities, tourism and fishing industries, who have fought hard to protect this pristine area. “South Australians will be celebrating that Chevron, the tax-dodging multinational oil company, has withdrawn plans to drill in the Bight. This is a huge victory for the community campaign and the environment, but it does not stop here. While we can celebrate that another oil giant has retreated from the Bight, there’s still a way to go into preserving this precious environment from oil drilling,” Greens Senator for South Australia, Sarah Hanson-Young, said. “Drilling for oil in the Bight is not only too risky for our environment, our tourism and fishing industries, it also doesn’t stack up economically. It’s now all eyes on Statoil, the Norwegian Government-owned oil giant, to see whether they’ll retreat from the Bight next.” Greens climate change and energy spokesperson, MP Adam Bandt, accused PM Malcolm Turnbull of capitulating to ‘climate terrorists.’ “This is the policy you get when you capitulate to the climate terrorists on your backbench. Malcolm Turnbull has served up a policy that means more coal and less renewables, which means more bushfires, worse heatwaves and longer droughts. Coal kills, and this policy encourages coal to stay in the system longer, which is a threat to our way of life. Renewables mean lower prices because they are cheaper to build, cheaper to run and the fuel from the sun and the wind is free. The rest of the world is moving in one direction, embracing cheap, clean renewables and Australia is stuck in the dark ages trying to rub two sticks together.”
Photo Protesting against Monsanto and glyphosate at the European Commission Lois Griffiths takes a keen interest in world affairs and has compiled Green World for Te Awa for many years
UK Green MP, Caroline Lucas, together with some 60 other British MPs and Peers, has signed a letter to the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, Alistair Burt, urging him to take action to alleviate the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. The letter spoke of the dire humanitarian conditions in the besieged coastal enclave, pointing to the fact that despite the 2012 UN prediction that Gaza would be unliveable by 2020, Save the Children has declared the Strip unliveable now. The Green Party has responded to the situation in Catalonia where police used violence against voters casting ballots in a referendum on independence. Jonathan Bartley and Caroline Lucas, co-leaders of the Green Party, said, “The horrifying police violence in Catalonia is a shameful stain on Rajoy’s government. The people of Catalonia must be able to peacefully assert their wishes for their future without being subjected to repression and attacks. Regardless of the case for or against independence, the Spanish Government must uphold the right to democracy, and act to ensure that people’s safety is its first priority, and the EU must work with Spain to find a peaceful and democratic solution going forwards.” MP Caroline Lucas has been speaking out about the crimes being committed in Myanmar against the minority Rohinyga people. “RIGHT NOW, in Myanmar, a heinous crime is being committed by a military force against its own people. Security forces and local militia have burnt villages of the Muslim Rohingya people, committed extrajudicial killings and shot fleeing civilians. This isn’t a legitimate response to terrorism, as they claim: it’s ethnic cleansing. I’ve been meeting with the Muslim community and we are shocked as to how little coverage this atrocity has had in the mainstream media.” Lucas has also been pressuring the Government to sign up to the UN’s nuclear weapons ban treaty. “This is an open invitation from the majority of the world’s states to all countries to sign up and work to make the abolition of nuclear weapons a reality. Our Government says it is committed to the same aim, yet it boycotted the talks that produced the treaty and insists the UK will never sign. But the opportunity is there; the UK must seize it and work to make a success of it. The alternative is spiralling nuclear proliferation, massively increased danger and inevitable annihilation.”
Earlier election results Dave Kennedy 1990 This was the first election for the newly-formed Green Party. In the initial years the party did not have leaders but four spokespeople: Tony Hartnett, Jenny-Kaye Potaka, Jon Field and Christine Dann were the first. The Greens managed to get 6.85% of the vote, but no seats, under the First Past the Post system. 1993 The Green Party became part of the Alliance, which I referred to as a party in the last issue. Liz Thomas, who was part of the Alliance Council at the time, was able to correct me:
“The Alliance (not party) was formed in 1991 as an alliance of five parties - New Labour, the Greens, the Democrats, Mana Motuhake and the Liberals (Gilbert Myles and Hamish McIntyre). I note that Wikipedia says the Alliance was a party comprising four parties, but that is incorrect – if you look up the New Zealand Liberal Party it says they were also part of the Alliance. “This is an important distinction as Jim Anderton and Matt McCarten of New Labour were constantly trying to subsume the other parties by calling the Alliance a party (of which New Labour was by far the largest component). On the Alliance Council we were always quietly correcting them!”
Winston Peters’ New Zealand First Party did not join the Alliance, although discussions occurred. His views on immigration were seen as incompatible with the Alliance’s support of multiculturalism, and there probably would have been a battle between Peters and Anderton around leadership. Alliance gained 18% of the vote but won only two seats. Jim Anderton (New Labour) and Sandra Lee-Vercoe (Mana Motuhake) became Alliance MPs.
1996 This was the first election under MMP. The Alliance achieved 10% of the vote and allowed the first Green MPs to enter Parliament; Jeanette Fitzsimons, Rod Donald and Phillida Bunkle. New Zealand First got 13% (its best ever result), 17 MPs and decided to go into coalition with the National Party. The Green Party decided that its identity was being lost within the Alliance, and decided to leave and campaign on its own in the following election. Bunkle remained with the Alliance.
1999 The Greens managed to attract 5.16% of the vote and got seven MPs. Jeanette Fitzsimons won the electorate vote for Coromandel after the special votes were counted. Labour and Alliance formed a coalition to govern, and the Green Party provided Confidence and Supply. While the Green Party did not have Ministers, it did have some influence on the development of legislation. 2002 The Green Party polled 7% in this election and had nine MPs in Parliament. The genetic engineering debate had soured the relationship between Labour and the Greens when Labour decided to end the moratorium on GE. This issue became a bottom line for any agreement. Peter Dunne increased the support of his United Future Party with his performance in a televised debate, and Labour decided to work with him and Jim Anderton’s Progressive Party, shutting out the Greens. However, United Future was largely a conservative Christian party and Labour still needed the Greens to help pass progressive bills. 2005 This was a difficult election year for the Green Party when Don Brash’s racist populism and the Exclusive Brethren’s anti-Green pamphlet impacted on the vote. The dirty tactics were revealed in Nicky Hager’s book ‘The Hollow Men’ and the Green Party’s vote dropped to 5.3%. New Zealand First and United Future refused to have a coalition with the Greens, and Labour locked them out again. Just before Parliament sat, Rod Donald tragically died. For many this was the lowest point in the Green Party’s history. 2008 Despite a swing to the right and the National Party returning to the government benches, the Green Party lifted its vote to 6.7%. This was the campaign with the inspired ‘Vote For Me’ hoardings depicting young children. The Greens became the third largest party, with nine MPs. 2011 National was struggling to find a sizable coalition partner and was having to prop up two dying parties to provide the numbers. The Green Party position statement didn’t directly favour Labour, so National did not attack the Greens too strongly in case they needed to look further afield for support. This election saw a continuation of support for the Greens, and for the first time produced a double figure result (11.06%) as it maintained its third place as a party. 14 MPs entered Parliament under the Green banner.
2017 This election will go down in history as one of the most turbulent ever, with three party leaders resigning and the possibility that the Green Party would not make the five percent threshold. The fact that the Party now has Ministerial responsibilities for the very issues we campaigned on is a remarkable achievement. Probably Rod Donald’s greatest legacy was the MMP system he championed, and for the next three years we will see it properly in action. Bizarrely, we achieved a percentage (6.3%) similar to our first ever election result but, thanks to Rod, it actually provides us with a useful platform to make a difference.
Dave Kennedy, Invercargill/Clutha Southland Branch
Have your say General Election Campaign Review Reviewing the general election campaign is an important part of every election cycle. The Party’s Campaign Review Committee is now up and running. The Committee is Pete Huggins, Rebekah Jaung, Philippa Stevenson, Matt Taylor, Wiremu Winitana, Julie Zhu; Tane Woodley and Rachel Anderson-Smith are the co-convenors. The Committee invites you to have your say; they are particularly interested in how you were involved, what went well, what went wrong and what you think should be different next time. To participate you can: • send a submission by 15 December to: firstname.lastname@example.org • complete the campaign review members’ survey (link will be in an upcoming Green Announce members’ email) • participate in a conversation with the Committee at the summer policy conference. The Committee will keep members updated as the review progresses.
2014 With 14 MPs and an increase in parliamentary staff, the Green Party managed to have a much greater presence and was able to fill the void created by a Labour Party beset by leadership problems. Russel Norman was being referred to in the media as the real opposition leader. 13 of the 20 polls taken over the month before the election had the Green Party over 12%, and five days before election day we got 14.4% from Reid Research. The 10.7% actual vote was a disappointment, and the 17.5% we received in the Roy Morgan poll immediately afterwards was perplexing. It became apparent that many voters wanted to support us but didn’t want Labour to sink too low (one poll just before early voting started had Labour at 22%). In retrospect, it wasn’t a bad result because 10,000 more people voted for the Greens than in the previous election, the Party retained 14 MPs after the special votes were counted, and it remained the third most significant party.
Drawdown: the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming Edited by Paul Hawken, Penguin, 2017
Earthmasters: the dawn of the age of climate engineering By Clive Hamilton, Allen and Unwin, 2013
At the other end of the spectrum to ‘Drawdown’ is ‘Earthmasters’, by Australian philosopher Clive Hamilton. It gives a profound and exhaustive account of the unimaginable amounts of money wealthy entrepreneurs in rich societies are considering spending on hi-tech, geoengineering solutions they hope will stop the planet over-heating. The hi-tech solutions have two prongs: deflecting solar radiation, and reducing the increasingly thick blanket of CO2. The means of achieving the first, according to those with money and know-how, is to project sulphur particles or water vapour into the atmosphere. Other hi-tech research is exploring ways of sequestering CO2 by fertilising the oceans with iron so that phytoplankton numbers increase and absorb the CO2. There seems no mention of acidification and the shoals of jellyfish that would replace most marine life. Such “solutions” could buy time while we get our act together to live without fossil fuels. Or they could be expensive diversions from the most pressing task of urgently reducing emissions. Hamilton makes clear their terrifying political and military implications. This technological audacity, he says, “is born of failure, a collective refusal to do what must be done to protect the Earth and ourselves from a future that promises to be nasty, brutish and hot.” Nevertheless, he warns, we must be prepared for their implementation because, “Technological thinking structures our consciousness in a thousand subtle ways that makes climate engineering attractive, indeed almost inevitable.”
Both reviews by Pat Baskett
Green Mainsails Jeanette Fitzsimons
Maria Gill has won multiple awards for her children’s books, including the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year. Gavin Mouldey has a degree in graphic design but has made a living from illustration in New Zealand and overseas. Toroa is the 500th albatross chick to hatch at the breeding colony on Taiaroa Head, and the book imagines his possible journey from chick to adult. Readers can follow the real challenges that an albatross faces in journeying across the Southern Ocean and back. Toroa had a transmitter attached before he was fully fledged that has recorded flight speeds of 110 kilometres an hour, and annual travelled distances of around 46,000 kilometres. The manmade hazards of fishing nets and floating islands of plastic are ever present, and while Toroa has managed to survive these, the evidence of his relatives that haven’t are increasingly common. Only 70 percent of the birds survive to return to their birthplace.
It’s My Egg (and you can’t have it!) Heather Hunt and Kennedy Warne, Potton and Burton, 2017 This book is a simple story aimed at younger primary children. There are just one or two sentences on each page and Hunt’s images dominate. Hunt is supported by Kennedy Warne, co-founder of the New Zealand Geographic magazine, who ensures that what is contained in the minimal text is accurate. We see the world from a kiwi’s perspective and learn how introduced species are a real threat to our kiwis and their eggs. Reviewed by Dave Kennedy
Toroa’s Journey By Maria Gill, illustrations by Gavin Mouldey, Potton and Burton, 2017
What a stunning result at this election! What we lack in numbers – down from 14 MPs to eight – we make up for in opportunities with several portfolios that sit at the heart of the Green kaupapa. I can’t wait to read the NZ minister’s speech to the international Climate Change Conference this year where James will announce to the world that we are setting off on a totally different direction, getting serious about climate action. The Green Party has always relied on the thousands of individuals who give time and time again to support our work. We would not be where we are today without the ongoing and generous support from all of our members. So a big ‘thank you’ to all of you, our supporters – those who give their time, as well as those who donate. There is an increasing interest in our programme ‘Mainsails’ so I wanted to let our members know more about it. We ask committed supporters to pledge a mid-level donation each year for at least three years. In most cases, this has been a significant increase to what they have previously given. While I know that not everyone has the capacity to give at this level, it is important that we are as well resourced as we can be, by those who can. With approximately 150 members to date, Mainsails has been running throughout the past election cycle and has helped enormously to build on the support we receive from individuals. It helped enable us to increase the Party’s infrastructure - including staff, IT and volunteers, and not just in the election year. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Mainsails members. I am sure that this programme’s value will only increase over this next election cycle. With fewer MPs to tithe back to the Party, our resourcing over this coming election cycle will be critical. If you would like to join me in the Mainsails programme, then please feel free to contact Sonja Deely: email@example.com, or phone (04) 801-5105 or 027-629-5821.
Jeanette Fitzsimons Former Green Party Co-leader
Waru was made in one week, on an island, by eight women film-makers. When asked why the time constraint, one of the directors said, “Budget!” As the title suggests, this is really eight short films, offering eight different perspectives or slices of life. Although each is a separate story, they connect through time – exactly the same time of the same day, that of Waru’s tangi – and through culture. All the main characters are Maori women.
Photo top Acacia Hapi as Mere bottom Roimata Fox as Anahera
While most of the directors had some experience, some of the actors were very inexperienced. Nevertheless, the strength of the stories, which were improvised rather than scripted, meant that even new actors held up well. What makes it such compelling viewing? For me, firstly, the characters: these come from widely different backgrounds and circumstances, yet all resonate as women dealing with what life has given them. Then, the unseen, mostly unspoken-about child, whose tangi is the background, throbbing below the horizon. We know little of the circumstances of his death except that he died at the hands of his caregiver. Some of the women’s stories seem not directly connected to it at all, yet there is a kind of awareness that keeps you on edge. Finally, the quality of filming itself: the cinematography, the pace and rhythm of the story-telling, different for each one, and the landscapes and scenes that are not the sort you put on postcards, but are so New Zealand they make you really watch what is happening in our own backyard. Try to get it, and allow discussion afterwards if you can. It’s one of the most thought-provoking movies I have seen. For a fuller review and details of the directors and performers, read Mihi Forbes here: https://www.nziff.co.nz/2017/auckland/waru/
Reviewed by Janine McVeagh
Still in celebratory (delete ’tory) happy mood, I came across this lovely ‘poem’ by old Will himself. Find the line that most appeals to you and share it on. Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York; And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house In the deep bosom of the ocean buried. Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths; Our bruised arms hung up for monuments; Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings, Our dreadful marches to delightful measures. Grim-visaged war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front; And now, instead of mounting barded steeds To fright the souls of fearful adversaries, He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber To the lascivious pleasing of a lute. My worry is I’m not too sure about the capering in m’lady’s chamber, but the rest is soo apt and, while taking a little while to decipher, I really liked the line about TPPA marches and the ‘merry meetings’ (Old English for BBQ). Enjoy, and thanks Will, good work. (‘lour’d’ is ‘frowned upon’, while ‘sun of York’ is not about their weather but a play on words referring to King Richard.) Michael Dymond
MMP proved its worth – big time! After what is undoubtedly a stinging defeat, many credit English for his swift action to offer hope to a deflated National voter base. How did he supposedly achieve this? By injecting a renewed sense of purpose into the Party’s existence with a pledge to be “by far the strongest opposition party this Parliament has seen.” But how admirable is his commitment? National’s election campaign was widely acknowledged as one of the dirtiest ever, with Newshub’s Patrick Gower calling out National for being “guilty of the biggest campaign lie” and “deliberately spreading misinformation” regarding Labour’s income tax policy. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of National’s shameful record of embellishments and deceit. We can expect, therefore, that English’s self-congratulatory statement around his party being well-positioned to be the ‘strongest opposition’ signals even more relentlessly ruthless and malicious attacks, based on more false information and fake news. And what will that achieve? A more confused citizenry, more distraction from the real issues, more conflict and disharmony in our country. In this Age of historical levels of crises convergence, what every country needs is an unprecedented, ‘all of society’ collaboration – not combative and divisive resistance to ‘the other.’ We need a remarkable, renewed, disciplined focus that results in bold strategic action responding to these rising complex catastrophes – not fear-based, tit-fortat, meaningless point-scoring distractions. We need more conduct of integrity – not more egoic behaviour. In short, we need true, wise, compassionate leadership the likes of which our nation has yet to see. If “the strongest opposition” was the best idea in the interests of New Zealand that National had to offer after their election loss, then that just reinforces, even more, that MMP did indeed deliver the correct government for Aotearoa. Thank goodness.
Your Will Matters Bequests are a wonderful way to make a difference. As you may know, we have already been the grateful recipients of a couple of bequests last year. It is so kind of these generous people to include us in their will.
But money isn’t the only thing you can bequeath. We were recently asked by a wonderful member if we would be at all interested in their bequeathing us an electric car. Such a generous offer! This car is much loved and has already saved several tonnes of carbon emissions in the time we have owned it.
If you are considering including us in your will, please let us know. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
2050 Amanda Hunt Intergenerational equity was an idea to admire; inspire locked in legislation stacked in a UN highrise recited under artificial light in the conference halls of Bonn and Copenhagen. Grand. Magnificent. Impotent.
Amanda Hunt is a poet and environmental scientist living in Rotorua. Her work has been published in ‘Landfall’, ‘Poems in the Waiting Room’, on poetry and conservation websites, and in numerous New Zealand Poetry Society (NZPS) anthologies. She has been highly commended in several NZPS International Poetry Competitions. In 2016, she was shortlisted for the Sarah Broom Poetry Prize, judged by internationally-renowned poet Paul Muldoon, alongside Elizabeth Smither and Airini Beautrais. She began writing poems at the age of six, and writes on a wide variety of themes. Much of her recent work has focused on native NZ birds, for which she has a particular passion. Her climate poetry, and much of her environmental advocacy, is inspired by her niece and nephew, aged seven and nine. She wrote this poem for her nephew, Luke, who was about two years old at the time. Amanda is a member of the Rotorua Branch of the Green Party, where she was Campaign Manager for the 2017 election.
Then my sister’s child was born. Now, the future has a face: small; round; with fine blond curls and eyes the colour of my own little arms looped around my neck jumps without looking knowing we’ll catch him learning the words for beach, sand and rock pool wants to take home the starfish from out of the sea. I don’t want him to grow up in a world without polar bears where the only clownfish and dolphins are toys in his bathtub exoskeletons and coral dissolving in an acid sea spring autumn winter blurred together in a lukewarm smudge like fairy tales in the picture books I read to him at bedtime. Give him the blue and the humpback whale the Arctic fox and the albatross green turtles and Alaska. Give him ski jumps and glaciers Tokelau and Kiribati the march of the penguins the run of the salmon
Stop: time’s up. The bell has rung. Kick the big kids off the roundabout and throw out their toys. We’ve had ours – now it’s his turn
Photo Amanda Hunt out door knocking prior to the election
down the thermostat wind up the windmills shut down the coalmines open the windows plug into the sun plant ten billion trees sign up for tomorrow give him the sky.
Hurihia to aroaro ki te ra tukuna to atarangi kia taka ki muri i a koe Turn your face towards the sun and the shadows fall behind you