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Gen Zero at the Bucket Fountain: “What’s the hold-up?”

13 August 2013 1 comment

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A statement from the Generation Zero website,

Right now, we have the opportunity to lead the way to a safe climate future. The evidence shows it’s 100% possible to create a thriving New Zealand beyond fossil fuels. So what’s the holdup?

We need leadership at every level, from our communities to the politicians we choose to elect. That’s why Generation Zero brings you ‘What’s the Holdup?’, a nationwide speaking tour connecting climate solutions with the people to make them happen.

We’ll be presenting smart energy and transport solutions, discussing obstacles, and showcasing New Zealand’s opportunities to move beyond fossil fuels. Our speakers include high profile experts and young Kiwis who are working on solutions. Join us to find out how we can get moving on climate change, and create a smart, healthy and prosperous Aotearoa beyond fossil fuels.”

We believe that we’re at a crossroads, and that we can choose to make a story that’s worth telling. We’ll make it happen, but only if we all work together!

source

NZ, Wellington, 10 August – Generation Zero activists were at the  Cuba Mall’s Bucket Fountain, promoting their nationwide speaking tour “on getting New Zealand moving on climate change”.

The first thing to catch my attention, was this message on the Mall’s brickwork pavement,

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… followed by a Godzilla-sized Godzilla towering over-head.  A great eye-catching, attention-grabbing technique to arouse the attention of passers-by,

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Paul and one of his colleagues in the “gen Zero” movement proudly displaying their banner for passers-by,

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Spokesperson for the group, Paul said,

“We’re here  promoting the nationwide speaking tour which is coming to Wellington on Monday. And we’re been travelling around the country talking to people about  getting New Zealand moving on climate change and the opportuinities we’ve got to do that.”

I asked Paul about Fonterra and how it relates to our environment,

He said,

“I think it just just shows, you know, that we need to start diversifying our economy a bit  and not depending so much on one industry. It’s risky, and moving into the future we really need to be looking at the opportunities of a low carbon economy. And there’s alot of benefits to that, as I think the Fonterra saga demonstrates.”

I referred to the brand that New Zealand has built on the “100% pure” image, and asked Paul his views on that issue,

Paul responded,

“We’ve been riding on this reputation that we haven’t been living up to and it’s going to come back to bite us, well  it is coming back to bite us now. And we need to start taking it seriously.”

The enthusiastic team from Gen Zero were handing out leaflets, informing the public of an upcoming public meeting;

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leaflet 1

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The local body elections – due in October – will be an ideal for people to make thier concerns known to candidates – and to vote accordingly.

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leaflet 2

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Gen Zero’s public tour of speaking engagements are listed below.  They invite all New Zealanders to take part, as environmental problems affect our country more and more;

Join our nationwide tour getting NZ moving on climate change.
13 events Dunedin to Auckland, July 15th to August 6th
Free entry and free food. See below for exact locations & dates
RSVP now at http://generationzero.org.nz/whatstheholdup

Did you know?
– NZ’s wind energy potential is 3 times our total electricity demand.
– 95% of Kiwis could do their average daily travel in the range of electric cars available today.
– Denmark has a plan to be fossil fuel free by 2050, and achieving this will only cost 0.5% of their GDP.

It’s 100% possible to build a thriving New Zealand beyond fossil fuels. So what’s the hold up?

We need leadership at every level, from our communities to the politicians we elect. Generation Zero brings you “What’s the Holdup?”, a nationwide speaking tour showcasing New Zealand’s opportunities to move beyond fossil fuels. Together we can create a smart, healthy and prosperous Aotearoa beyond fossil fuels.

RSVP now at www.generationzero.org.nz/whatstheholdup!

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Speaking tour map

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Environmental issues affect us all. The recent Fonterra fiasco shows how fragile our “clean and green” reputation can be. This is becoming a problem of crisis-like proportions as the international community becomes more and more aware that our “100% Pure” brand has been built on a lie.

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Sri Lanka demands DCD testing on NZ milk powder

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Faith in New Zealand 'shattered'

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New Zealand's Environment-Friendly Image Marred By Dairy Contamination

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New Zealand's green claims are pure manure

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This country will be in even deeper trouble if we do nothing.

Gen Zero is doing it’s bit.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 11 August 2013.

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See also

Website: Generation Zero

Facebook:  Generation Zero

Copyright (c)  Notice

All images are freely available to be used, with following provisos,

* Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
* Where purpose of  use is  commercial, a donation to Generation Zero is requested.
* At all times, images must be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals or groups.
* Acknowledgement of source is requested.

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Mana enters the Wellington Regional Council race!

Disclosure.

Ariana's MANA PARTY leaflet

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NZ, Wellington, 10 August –  Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati, political and community activist, today launched her candidacy for the up-coming Wellington Regional Council local body elections. Ariana will be standing under the Mana Party banner – a Party she has supported since it’s inception.

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Ariana’s campaign platform was based on the issue of free water for domestic users, and opposed metering and charging. Her policy postion stated,

  • domestic water use should remain a public service,
  • she supported increasing water conservation and collection,
  • making increasing leak repair of the public water system  priority,
  • and opposed water and water-related assets being used for private profit-making.

Ariana’s other concerns were also emblazoned on her placards, dotted around the marquis which her campaign team had set up adjacent to the water fountain;

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Ariana spoke to the crowd on the problematic issue of allowing Anadarko – which had been involved in the disastrous 2010  Gulf of Mexico oil spill – to prospect-drill of the Wellington coast.

Ariana said New Zealand had no means by which to contain an oil spill-disaster along the magnitude of  the Deepwater Horizon event in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The thing is,   that they didn’t actually clean it up. The oil is still at the bottom of the ocean. They used a toxic chemical to sink the oil down so it was out of sight, out of mind.”

The coastal areas were still polluted, Ariana said, and this was affecting sealife in the region as well as  people’s health.

“We must not allow Anadarko to drill of the south coast of Wellington!”

There were cries of “Hear, hear!” from some in the crowd at that point.

In between speaking, Marama Te Kira  entertained  the crowd and passers-by with her music and singing,

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Ariana, and her Campaign Manager, Warwick, talking to a member of the public. The woman listened attentatively and said she agreed with a great deal of Ariana’s policies. Another vote, hopefully?

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Ariana talking to two well-wishers who had heard about her campaign launch on social media, and decided to attend,

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Ariana made a clear  distinction between herself and Fran Wilde, who supported user-pays with water;

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With a crowd forming around Ariana, who carefully explained Mana’s policy to keep water in public ownership for the benefit of all, she offered people water from two containers. One was free, the other cost money.

Everyone took the free water;

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Ariana talking to another member of the public;

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A message to the public that, despite a lingering recession, a tiny minority are doing very well – while everyone else either struggles or is just getting by;

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More of Mana’s messages to the public;

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Ariana, surrounded by supporters and members of the public, fielding questions about her candidacy;

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Totally relaxed with the public. Perhaps people sensed her honesty and lack of underlying secret political agendas;

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Even left-wing, anti-establishment, pro-people activists have to “press the flesh” with potential voters. These two had a good natter on Ariana’s policies;

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Ariana’s campaign manager, Warwick, explaining Mana Party policy to a member of the public,

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Another vote for Ariana from this young chap,

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Brochures given out to passers-by (see image at top of page for detail),

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Addressing the crowd and passers-by;

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Ariana tlold the public that a government advisory group, Chaired by Wellington Regional Council chair Fran Wilde, advocated local bodies adopt a user-pays policy for drinking and waste water. She said this would involve compulsory water metering for every household in the Wellington region.

“Water is a right. Water is a right of citizenship, and should come out of public funds. Everybody should have the right to clean water.”

Ariana said there were other ways to reduce water usage such as education and fixing up the various leaks around the city; “We fundamentally and strongly oppose any privatisation of water.” She added, “this is part of a bigger agenda to commercialise our essential services.”

Ariana reminded people that this had already happened with our electricity supply and our power bills had skyrocketed since the 1990s.

Ariana compared the rise in water costs over the same period, saying it had risen by only 17% saying,  “So this is what happens when you start to commercialise essential services. We need to ensure to ensure that these services are publicly managed for the public good, not for profit.”

Ariana said that selling off essential services had only contributed to people’s hardship and many were struggling to pay for their power bills. She said the same would eventually happen for water,

“If we start selling  of our water, making  people pay, then people on low incomes and who are poor, are going to be forced to make decisions about whether or not they give  their children  a bath… or   whether or not  they can put on the power to warm their house.

This is disgusting!

We have to make sure Councils are run for the public good – not for profits!”

Ariana said she would “work her butt off” to keep water free for every household.”

Ariana directed a simple question at these young men who had been listening intently; do you think water should be kept in public ownership or privatised?

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All three laughed and answered, “keep it public!”

Who said that young folk don’t understand or care about the issues?

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 11 August 2013.

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Disclosure

This blogger supports and endorses Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati for her candidacy in the forthcoming local body elections. (see: Ariana for Wellington Regional Council – Campaign Launch)

Copyright (c)  Notice

All images are freely available to be used, with following provisos,

* Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
* Where purpose of  use is  commercial, a donation to Child Poverty Action Group is requested (or a donation to Ariana’s campaign fund).
* At all times, images must be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals or groups.
* Acknowledgement of source is requested.

See also

Wall Street Journal – Judge Rules BP, Anadarko Liable in Gulf Spill

Radio NZ: Gear to cap oil rig has to be shipped from

The Daily Green: The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill by the Numbers

Scoop Media:  Fran Wilde’s advisory group tells councils to start charging ratepayers for water

NZ Herald:  The 30-year power price hike

Mana Party

Ariana’s Facebook Page

Electoral Commission: Enrol or check your enrolment details

Electoral Commission: Local Elections 2013

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National guts Kiwisaver

13 August 2013 4 comments

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Released today at the National Party annual conference in nelson;

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National tackles first home affordability

Source: NZ Herald – National tackles first home affordability

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Kiwisaver was set up in July 2007 by Labour Finance Minister, Michael Cullen, to motivate New Zealanders to save for their retirement. Our Aussie cuzzies already have about A$1.3 trillion saved in their compulsory super schemes – we are lagging way behind.

“After more than a decade of compulsory contributions, Australian workers have over $1.28 trillion in superannuation assets. Australians now have more money invested in managed funds per capita than any other economy.” Source

A similar scheme, implemented by the Norman Kirk-led Labour government in 1973, was scrapped by National’s then-Prime minister, Robert Muldoon, in 1975. National has a horrendous track record when it comes to planning and motivating New Zealanders to save for retirement.

Instead of saving for retirement, we tend to invest in “bricks and mortar” – rental properties. This is not saving as it relies heavily on borrowing from overseas lenders to finance. Those borrowings are other peoples’ savings.

So in effect we are borrowing other peoples’ savings to invest in rental properties which we are using for our retirement “savings” – other peoples’ savings being used to build up our own “savings”.

This is not just “false wealth” and damaging to our economy (those borrowings have to be re-paid eventually) – it is sheer economic lunacy on a grand scale. Note the green line in the chart below – it is private debt incurred from overseas;

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Source

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And the National Party turns a blind eye to it.

As a result, our savings is meagre enough as it is.

The ANZ and ASB summed it up with brutal reality,

ASB’s executive general manager wealth and insurance Blair Turnball said someone who wanted to live off $40,000 a year needed to retire with a pool of around $600,000 if they wanted to make it last for 25 years – the timeframe in which people felt they could live beyond the retirement age.

“This [$70,000] is $530,000 less than the average respondent in our survey aspired to, and only 55 per cent of the aspiration annual $40,000 income. It is alarming how big the gap is.”

Source: NZ Herald – Kiwis ‘not saving enough to retire on’

John Body, managing director ANZ Wealth and Private Banking New Zealand, said New Zealanders were saving around 2 to 3 per cent of their take-home pay whereas Australians were saving 9 per cent and many in Asia were saving 12 per cent.

“We are just not saving enough.”

Source: IBID

For Key and his incompetant  government to allow New Zealanders to tap into their Kiwisaver funds undermines the very purpose for it. In fact, he’s made the situation, as outlined by the ANZ and ASB, even worse.

We’re back to square one; people investing in bricks and mortar instead of saving for their retirement.

There are other ways to get Kiwis into their first homes without subverting Kiwisaver. National apparently chooses not to consider any of them.

In July 2008, Key made this public pledge,

“There won’t be radical changes. There will be some modest changes to KiwiSaver.”

Source: NBR –  Key signals ‘modest changes’ to KiwiSaver

This most certainly constitutes a radical departure from Kiwisaver’s original intent.

Allowing people to withdraw from their Kiwisaver savings account to invest in housing may work for the very short term; Key has “solved” a potential election nightmare for himself and his Party.

But for the future of this country, and the hundreds of thousands of baby-boomers soon to hit retirement – he has left us a ticking time-bomb.

Political expediency wins out again.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 12 August 2013.

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Judith Collins – Hypocrite of the Week

13 August 2013 2 comments

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Govt must not intrude on courts

Source: Dominion Post – Govt must not intrude on courts

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When it comes to naked hypocrisy, experience shows that National (and other rightwing) politicians excel.

Take Judith Collins’s comment in the Dominion Post on 9 August,

As Minister of Justice, I take seriously any suggestions that something went wrong in the criminal justice system. I am satisfied that there are appropriate options available to address any concerns about Pora’s case.

[…]

In the meantime, it would be constitutionally unsound for me, as a minister of the Crown, to intervene in the court process.

Say whut?!?!

Is this the same woman who, in December last year (2012) publically trashed the report from retired Canadian Judge, Ian Binnie?

Judge Binnie, who had been invited  – by the National-led government – to assessing possible compensation for wrongly convicted, David Bain.

She  dismissed Judge Binnie’s report as;

“Put simply, it would not be acceptable to make a recommendation to Cabinet based on a report that would not withstand the considerable scrutiny it would attract.

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“Let me be very clear that I do not expect unsolicited reports which I have received two of in the last two months to be compensated for.”

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I am very concerned that there has been this delay. It would not have been possible for me to have put forward a recommendation based on a report that I believe would not stand up to public scrutiny.”

source

“The list of errors in Mr Binnie’s report is extensive, and according to Dr Fisher could be vulnerable to judicial review.”

source

And there was more. Collins’ unprofessional behaviour and outrageous public statements were not only an insult to a respected member of the Canadian judiciary – but in effect she made New Zealand a laughing stock of the international judicial community. It will be a brave member of a foreign judiciary who takes up any future government invitation to impartially assess an issue in our country.

So for Collins to say with a straight face that it would be  “constitutionally unsound for me, as a minister of the Crown, to intervene in the court process” – or other aspect of our judicial system for that matter – is breath-taking hypocrisy. 

But then, such sanctimonious rubbish has been the hallmark of this unstable, unprincipled,  and unpredictable government.

Judith Collins is not fit to clean public toilets much less hold the position of Minister of Justice. The term “justice” is an alien  concept to her.

Meanwhile, a man most likely innocent, rots in jail.

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Collins – Unfit to be a Minister!

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 10 August 2013.

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Other Blogs

laudafinem.com:  Karam, Bain to be served Collins chilled favourite À la Carte special; “En Croute” (ON TOAST)

laudafinem.com:  Judge Judy: Collins slams Binnie’s Bain report

References

Herald on Sunday: Bain could have an enemy in the Beehive (9 December 2012)

NZ Herald: Bain report based on incorrect facts – minister (11 December 2012)

Scoop Media: Bain report: Justice Ian Binnie response to Judith Collins (12 December 2012)

Fairfax Media:  David Bain’s compo report had list of ‘errors‘ (13 December 2012)

NZ Herald: Report recommending Bain compensation is ‘flawed’ (13 December 2012)

NBR:  Bain compensation – RAW DATA – Binnie reports – Fisher Report – Judith Collins statement (13 December 2012)

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