Bloggreen: February 2005

Monday, February 28, 2005

What we'd prefer not to be commemorating..

It's been three years since the FARC rebels in Columbia took Ingrid Betancourt hostage. This is getting pretty ridiculous, especially as the Columbian government has been running a campaign against Ingrid to try and make her out to be a loony as an excuse not to do anything to help her. Just because she was building a fantastic campaign against the high levels of corruption within the Columbian government and mobilising the people to stand up to it...

Friday, February 25, 2005

New blog

Just added a new link to the side for the Wellingtonist. Great idea for a blog, and well put together. And I do assume they will take public contributions...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


There will be a protest outside the Law School in Wellington where the Indonesian Ambassador will be talking this Thursday. Please come along to protest the situation in Acheh! - we have a banner prepared but anything else like noise making things, placards, etc. are welcome!. We will be meeting beforehand: DATE: Thursday, 24th Feb TIME: 4:45pm WHERE: Cenotaph, Wellington

Out of it...

The last few months I have been campaiging in my flesh and bone identity for the "fuck the flag, change the bloody song" campaign. I honestly don't give a flying toss what the flag looks like. I never wave it and I wouldn't put in on my pack when I travel (I have a "Capitalism Kills - Kill Capitalism" patch instead - although I acknowledge I would remove that in some countries...). BUT, I do like the idea of getting a slightly more inspiring song. Especially as I dig singing a hell of a lot more than I dig waving flags. So anyway, a few months back I mooted the idea with some friends about changing the national anthem to "Home Land & Sea" by Trinity Roots. My argument being: a) it's an appropriately worded song b) it manages to avoid any specific cultural identity type lyrics, be they British, Tangata Whenua, or whatever. Which has it's benefits only in terms of keeping everyone relatively happy. c) doesn't mention religion d) does mention pride (which I would think is a crucial part of nationalism...) e) and if you stripped down the complexity of the song and sped it up a bit, it would be incredibly easy to sing. On the last point I always said "just imagine a stadium full of people singing it before an All Black match!". I for one get shivers just imagining it (except it would probably be an event other than an All Black match where I would get that experience). So imagine my pleasant surprise when I discovered this post on Fighting Talk, discussing that very idea. Now I have no idea who Lyndon is (but much respect to ya brother, enjoy your writing), but I was pleased to see the idea propogating. Must be time for some high profile celebrities, some rich backers, a cool website, a referendum and there's a campaign on the roll!

Getting down with the kids

Nandor and Metiria are on Orientation Tour over the next couple of weeks and have a pretty hectic schedule by the looks of it. I went to the reggae gig at Victoria Uni last night and it was pretty well organised. Nandor got to MC the gig again like he did last year and I was pretty impressed with his performance. Must be cool to be the only MP in Parliament that can get up on stage at an Orientation in front of hundreds of drunk students and get as much of a cheer (if not more) than the bands. He spoke about the music coming out of Aotearoa and how much it is an amazing demonstration of our inique south pacific style identity. And then spoke about the challenges we face as a nation in terms of protecting that identity in the face of globalisation - particularly from the US. Now this is the kind of speech that if delivered by anyone else, they would have been booed off the stage but the Vic crowd went nuts. It was pretty impressive. Nandor certainly knows how to work a crowd. The bands put on a pretty good show as well. I was a bit perplexed by the Katchafire set though. They played a great set, and some great songs but there was stuff all off their new album which I thought was a bit odd. The latest album, Slow Burning, is fantastic and I was looking forward to hearing some of it live. Oh well. Good night had by all. Nandor and Metiria are at Otago today and EIT tomorrow. I am amazed to see how little the other parties are participating in Orientation this year. Usually there are a number of other MPs travelling around too but this year it seems the Greens are the only party making a decent go of it. Guess that would be because the Greens actually have tertiary education high on their agenda all the time, not just once they realise there might be some votes in it. I think it's pretty ironic that United Future are doing the whole 'sensible voice on solving the student debt crisis' considering they only seemed to get interested in it over the last year. And considering most of their suggestions seem to be a rip off of Green Party Tertiary policy. But what I really want to know is where is Labour? Considering that tertiary education has been one of the issues on their pledge cards for the last two elections, and considering they are continuously bragging about how much they've done for students, whay aren't they fronting up to students?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Still need an excuse to watch Maori TV?

As it now takes aim for Oscar glory, don’t miss out on this universal and beautiful story in its tribute screening on Māori Television on Sunday February 27 at 7.45 PM. TWO CARS ONE NIGHT - directed and written by Taika Waititi - has been nominated for the Short Film (Live Action) award at the glitzy 77th Annual Academy Awards being held at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre on Sunday February 27. And, while Waititi and the defender films crew wait with bated breathe for the result, Māori Television will be in full support through broadcasting the film on the night. TWO CARS ONE NIGHT is an 11-minute tale of first love in the most unlikely of places - the car park of the Te Kaha pub. An endearing and heart-warming comment on the creativity of children, the short film captures the encounters between two boys and a girl as they wait for their parents to come out. Romeo (Rangi Ngamoki) and his brother Ed (Te Ahiwaru Ngamoki-Richards) share a dark world inhabited by adults and alcohol and as they wait, they meet Polly (Hutini Waikato) - an 11-year-old girl who is also made to wait in the car for her parents. Romeo - restless and bored - decides to make contact with Polly and what at first seems to be a relationship based on rivalry, soon develops into a close friendship. While bonding over Polly’s ‘diamond’ (plastic) ring, the two children are forced to say their goodbyes. In a poignant moment, Polly gives him the ring as a lasting taonga and as she is whisked away into the night, the question remains. Will these two ever meet again? TWO CARS ONE NIGHT has already picked up awards at a wide range of international film festivals, including the Best Short Film (Panorama Section) at the Berlin Film Festival 2004, Best Drama at the Aspen Film Festival 2004, Best Short Film at the Hamburg Short Film Festival 2004, Best Fiction Short Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival 2004 and more.

Monday, February 21, 2005

It's kind of like house work

You know what it's like when you come home from a long day at work, plug in your computer and start playing around... Next minute you're updating links and playing with the look and feel of things. It's very similar to holistic housework if you ask me. Anyway, I've never been one for categorising blogs - mostly for fear of offending someone. But since I have added a few more international links recently, I decided to split y'all up. And probably in about the most offensive, non-Green way I could. So from now on, it's US and THEM. He he.


Hunter S Thompson is dead. I would like to pay tribute to a genius journalist. Certainly the first person to put me off having anything to do with election campaigns whilst under the influence of hallucinogenics (I mean try hanging out with some of those people when you're straight!). Great writer who will be missed. RIP Brother.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Doing it for the planet

I am so inspired by this awesome team. Not only are they getting amongst it with some awesome direct action but they're motivating an entire community to get out and support them. Massive! Converting Marsden B to coal has to be one of the most stupid ideas I have ever heard of and this crew are really doing something about it. Nice one. I look forward to monitoring their progress.

What the?

Today's Herald reports a new MFAT travel warning for Indonesia. The Ministry said:

New Zealanders should not travel to Banda Aceh or other parts of Aceh to participate in humanitarian relief efforts unless "the aid organisation they work for has a robust security plan approved by the Indonesian authorities."
WTF?? So one of the worst tsunami affected areas which was already dealing with massive oppression by the Indonesian Government and is one of the areas getting the least aid now has the NZ government participating in the military oppression of their people. There is a supposed cease fire on in Acheh at the moment but all news that is coming out at the moment is reporting any member of the Acheh independence movement who returns to help out is quickly tracked down by the military and then 'disappear'. The use of the threat of terrorism is completely ridiculous. The only terrorists in Acheh are the Indonesian Military and for them to say that they will vet any NGO coming into Acheh can only be read as "don't bother coming if you're even remotely sympathetic to the Acheh independence movement". The NZ Government should not be falling for this bullshit. There are people in some of the remote villages of Acheh who still haven't received food and are living off the jungle. They are facing starvation if they don't die of disease first. As a New Zealander I am feeling very ashamed of this crap. Write to Phil Goff and tell him how much it sucks.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Isn't it always the way?

My Favourite headline of the day.

Maintenance Update

I finally got my s**t sorted with at home infrastructure and have email functioning again. Deciding the mac Mail wasn't functional enough for me, I've downloaded Thunderbird. Yay. So if you want to hassle me about my views and opinions and don't quite have the conviction of your own opinion to state it publicly, feel free to email you. I make no promises not to then bring the conversation online and intellectually body slam you in full view of the public (oops did I say that out loud?) I also did another bit of an update on the ol' sidebar links. Some of you have dropped off, some have 'stepped it up' and I wiggled them around a bit for a bit of randomninity. They are in no particular order other than... actually, they're in no particular order. Maybe if your blog is near the top, you could consider yourself to be a bit of a better/frequent poster. That's all. Having a house warming tonight. Mmm toasty.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Stand the f**k up!

It has been about 10 years since I was able to stomach commercial radio. But now we have Kiwi FM, I can't get enough. Reprazent Aotearoa! (91.7 for those of you in Wellington, the rest of you look it up yourself!)

Steppin (and Growin) up

This is a bit late but better late than never I say The Green Party Campaign Conference was held during the weekend in Otara (coincidently, so was the Jehovah Witness convention, but I won't comment on that). From all accounts I've heard it went well. Exceptionally well organised and useful for all who attended. The main public focus is of course on the Leaders' speeches. Jeanette's speech has gained the most publicity as hers was the speech where the criticism of Labour lay. But when you look at the actual speech, you will see that the criticism that is there is incredibly constructive. Jeanette wasn't slagging them off as human beings but rather pointing out the disagreements the Greens have with Labour over policy priorities. In particular, Jeanette discussed the lack of prioritisation of environmental issues by Labour so far this year:

Climate change and the approaching end of cheap oil make energy policy the most important economic issue facing the country but you will never hear that from the Government. It was telling that, in Helen Clark's speech last week at the opening of Parliament, she did not mention the environment, climate change, or peak oil once. It was even more telling that when the Minister for the Environment and the Minister of Conservation spoke in the debate that followed, neither of them mentioned the environment either. The ecological basis of our lives and the most urgent global issues of our times - climate change and peak oil - just don't rate highly on Labour's agenda. Only the Greens put these issues before the House, and that is why any future Labour Government will need the Greens pulling it towards sustainable, long-term thinking.
Personally, I think Jeanette underlines perfectly why we need a solid Labour/Green relationship afetr the next election. We shouldn't expect Labour to be perfect on environmental issues as it's never been a focus of their politics. However, environmental politics is exceptionally important at the moment and it has been the focus of Green politics for decades. So (whether people agree or not) the Greens have a definite level of expertise and international experience to draw on in environmental areas. A lot of people (naturally) judge a party's strengths by their current crop of MPs. But one thing that became clear from the campaign conference over the weekend is the awesome calibre of the other Green candidates. The list ranking process is going to be exceptionally difficult this year. I'd definitely like to see at least five of the candidates who aren't currently sitting get into parliament this year. So looking at the responses from the land of politically geeky bloggers... Jordan's response is just the sort of response the Greens would have been looking for in this strategy. I was interested to see some of the comments that were posted there. 'Looke' said
Strangely I thought that since the greens were liberal that they might get on with act, you know, in a liberal to liberal way on some ideas. Now I know that could never happen.
Might interest him/her to know that the Greens and ACT vote together more often than you would think. Particularly on issues of liberty, eg the only parties to vote against the inherently discriminatory 'Boy Racer Act'. On the other side of the fence Mr Farrar again wows us all with his indepth analysis.
I had to laugh that the Greens are branding themselves the "serious and stable" party.
He might be interested to know that this is also the opinion held by the majority of independent political commentators. IMHO, the biggest problem the Greens have in terms of constituency credibility is that they are too serious and appear to have lost their radical edge that made them sexy enough to vote for in the first place. But if Mr Farrar and buddies think we're nuts then I guess that just further boosts the Green 'street cred' :o) Overall, I'm really impressed with how organised the Greens are this year. They will be fronting a strong campaign and will manage to get their issues out in a more positive visionary way than they have in the past. And I can't wait to vote on the list...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Aah Wellington

I really love living in Wellington at the moment. The thing I love the most is the amazing community of inspired visionary creative people around. Example A: The Cake Shop The Cake Shop is the new reincarnation of the Freedom Shop and resides where the old antique shop used to be on Cuba St. Following on the success of Oblong, it has been set up by a bunch of local activists who wanted to have a place to work, organise, socialise and just exist on their own terms. Not only have they created that for themselves but a hell of a lot of other people are using, enjoying and being inspired by the project as well. From what I can see it is the best example of true anarchist organisation in action. Well done to all involved. I can't name names cause I'll miss someone, but I must acknowledge Simon, u r a star buddy! What The Cake Shop does need is help. So if you think you have something to offer an internet cafe, tea shop, community centre in the way of volunteer labour (or even money would be appreciated!), I recommend The Cake Shop as an excellent venture to invest some time in. It gives back for sure! Example B: Street Art I love the fact that everytime I go anywhere in Wellington, I am confronted by opinion, and usually creative opinion. People think stuff and share it with the rest of the city. Now in most cities it is deemed innappropriate to treat public space as something to engage with. The best recent example would be whatever south island town it was where the local politician/businessman/wanker who got 'terribly offended' when Young Labour came to town and put stickers up. I mean for fucks sake... I digress. In Wellington, I am free, in fact encouraged and inspired to turn my thoughts into a witty sticker or stencil or even just a scrawl on the wall. If I get inspired to organise a community event there are literally thousands of walls, cafes and other places I can put posters and flyers. Nice. So big ups to whoever put in the work behind Why Are You Reading This. Now we can show off our street art to the rest of the world and hopefully inspire similar work in other towns. Example C: Never Giving Up So the bastards are dumping $40m worth of gravel through the middle of the Te Aro community and what are we doing about it? Ignoring it. Fuck The Bypass has never rung so true. It's not just fuck the idea it's fuck the fact it's happening. We will continue to resist the destruction of our community and continue to maintain a vibrancy in Te Aro. In fact, it's growing big time. The Council may think they have won some great battle but the battle against all the things the bypass has symbolised for so many people is a far bigger one. The pollution of our air, the destruction of community spirit, the blind stumbling along with a neocolonialist agenda, the abuse of women and children, the continued blatant disregard of indigenous people, is completely unsustainable and downright unneccessary to many people in this community. And they (on the whole) practice what they believe. That gives me so much hope. But the best bit about loving Example C, is that it's not just a Wellington thing. I have been talking to all sorts of people from all over the country recently and they have so much vision it amazes me. There's such a strong rumbling in a large number of communities that we do actually have the power to determine what happens in our own places. That we don't need to sit around for some other country's government or even our own government to allow us to create our own realities. I was astounded to read Garth George's column in today's Herald was one of the most uninspired, depressing thing I have read in a long time. I would hate to be one of those people who spent their lives either at work or running home to a suburb in an SUV... Stuff that for a life. Absolutely Positively Well Sprayed On

Freedom of Speech my ass!

A U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled two reporters could be jailed for refusing to divulge sources which led to the leak of an undercover CIA officer's name. A three-judge panel of the appeals court in Washington, D.C. agreed with prosecutors who argued Time magazine's Matthew Cooper and The New York Times' Judith Miller should be made to testify before a federal grand jury about their sources. "We agree with the District Court that there is no First Amendment privilege protecting the information sought," Judge David B. Sentelle said in the unanimous ruling. Floyd Abrams, the lawyer for both reporters, said he would appeal the decision to the full appeals court panel. In a statement, he said, "Today's decision strikes a heavy blow against the public's right to be informed about its government." Last October, U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan, in tossing aside their argument the First Amendment protected them from having to reveal sources, held both in contempt. If they continue to refuse to divulge the sources, both could face up to 18 months in jail. Federal prosecutors are investigating whether a crime was committed when the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame, husband of former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, was published in a column by Robert Novak. Novak cited two senior Bush administration officials as his sources. His column was published after Wilson wrote an op-ed piece criticising the Bush administration's claim that Iraq had sought uranium in Niger. Wilson was asked by the CIA to investigate those claims. Disclosure of a federal undercover officer's name can be a crime if prosecutors can demonstrate the leak was purposeful and the person knew of the agent's secret status.

New blog

he he thanks Jeremy for the tip on this one.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


The Christian Heritage Party put out this release this morning:

Christian Heritage NZ "Parks" Capital Punishment Press Release by Christian Heritage NZ at 7:22 AM, 15 Feb 2005 Christian Heritage NZ announced today that it was putting to one side its previous policy of capital punishment for murder. CHNZ leader Ewen McQueen said the policy was being "parked" because there was not widespread agreement on the issue within the Christian / family values constituency. It was also a policy that tended to be controversial, and had the potential to be a distraction from the key family values issues that the party wanted to focus on at the next election. He said "The new leadership team is not afraid of being controversial. However capital punishment is not a hill we are willing to die on. We want to fight for positive policies to affirm marriage, rebuild family life, and protect the lives of unborn children. Those are the sorts of issues and policies that are going to unite our core constituency. Those are also the issues and policies that New Zealand needs to address, rather than having an unfruitful debate about one particular type of punishment." The CHNZ leader went on to say that the party still believed the justice system needed to be tougher and supported longer sentences for violent crime and progressive sentencing to deter repeat offending. CHNZ also wanted families of murder victims to be allowed to make personal impact statements to sentencing judges and to be given direct representation at Parole Board hearings. However Mr McQueen said the root of much crime was family breakdown and there was an urgent need for policies that addressed this issue. He stated, "The rising numbers of fatherless families in New Zealand over the last thirty years has helped to create a generation of alienated and angry young men. It has been one of the key drivers of increasing levels of violent crime. In light of this the best crime prevention programme we can implement is to take steps to rebuild family life. CHNZ's primary commitment is to doing just that." The decision to "park" the capital punishment policy has the strong support of CHNZ members. Over 80% of those who participated in a recent membership vote on the issue were in favour of the change. Mr McQueen said this reflected a genuine desire on the part of the party to avoid unnecessarily divisive issues, and instead focus on the key pro-marriage and pro-life areas that would have strong support in the wider Christian community.
Very Christian of them.

Monday, February 14, 2005

End of temporary lull

Hi all Not sure if anyone noticed but my posts as of late have been limited to announcements. This has been due to a) extreme workload b) a show in the Fringe Festival and c) whanau crises. d) moved house. But anyway, I have a new toy! News which I must share with the world. Bought myself a 12 inch G4 Powerbook and it is so so so serioulsy gorgeous. She does need a name so if anyone has any suggestions, fire them in. So now that I am yet again online at home, I can start wowing you with my deep analysis of the political sitch (/sarcasm). But not today. Note that NRT is reading Forty Signs of Rain. Good book, recommend it (finished it last week). I look forward to reading the next one, which will hopefully have a bit more environmental apocolypse porn in it. As is KSR's style, it is exceptionally wordy (I got bored halfway through Green Mars) and pretty much what I would describe as pop sci fi. But good reading nonetheless and really well researched. For those of you out there wondering what the hell the Greens are on about with all this climate disruption speak (don't call it climate change BTW, that is a corporate term designed to make the permanent alteration of our ecosystems a good thing), read this book. I'm currently reading Living My Life by Emma Goldman and it's fantastic. Truly inspiring stuff. Back to art, I'd like to plug some Fringe stuff at you. Firstly, my friend Matthew opens Mihi tonight at Bats theatre. Mihi got rave reviews from the Dunedin Fringe last year and I'm really looking forward to seeing it. Secondly, I've heard Bad Manor is supposed to be exceptionally brilliant. Based on the trials and tribulations of a Mt Vic flat. And for those freaks out there, Freak will be right up your alley. I'm sure there's more and it's all brilliant. I will recommend more as I go and see more. But I must say, I love Fringe. It's got such an awesome community feel to it, which is really important to maintain in the 'Creative Capital'. It's like they say in rugby (mate), you can't have a strong All Balck side without a strong club level (mate).

And you thought the war on drugs is mad...

Politicians in the American state of Virginia have abandoned a plan to fine people who deliberately wear trousers so low that their underwear is visible. A bill was passed by the lower house of the Virginia Congress on Tuesday, but a Senate committee has struck it down. It said the controversy the legislation had caused was too embarrassing.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

URGENT bypass alert - vigil 5pm today

The Old Bodega on the corner of Able Smith and Willis St is being demolished TODAY - in whole or in part. There will be a peaceful vigil from 5pm on Willis St and Able Smith St TODAY Thursday 10 February. Please come and bring your friends - bring ribbons, candles, stories, poems and whatever else you feel is appropriate. Large numbers of buildings have already been demolished on Willis St and Arthur St, including at least one building that was supposed to be "saved", ie relocated. Many people feel powerless, angry and frustrated by the "bypass" - come and show those doing this work that people care and have not forgotten. ************************** ADVANCE NOTICE A "Tangi for Te Aro" is being planned for Sunday 20th February at 12 noon. More details next week. **************************


Members ballot results, one bill today and the lucky one is.. Peters, Rt Hon Winston - Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill (grumble, grumble...)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Tsunami Relief Acheh Community Dinner

From Acheh Support Group Tsunami Relief Acheh Community Dinner Saturday 12th of February – Achehnese Community Dinner @ St Johns Hall, Willis Street Starts 7:00pm Community dinner which will feature music, speaking, and examples of Achehnese dance, and of course wonderful Achehnese food. It will also include a rare screening of Myles Green's 'Greed and Grievance'. If you have any queries or ticket requests please email or phone 971 6695

Friday, February 04, 2005

Elevate the argument

Here's a nice piece of political satire, aimed at luxury high rise development. But does raise some interesting questions about whether we like space elevators or not. Most arguments in favour of space evelators are along the lines of safety and environmental protection. Although I still have my doubts in terms of the propensity for the military-space complex to dominate space ventures. But in general (to answer questions asked of me earlier about Greens supporting space exploration), I think having access to space is good for humans because it gives us a sense of perspective. As Jeanette said in her State of the Planet address "You have all seen the image on the posters today: that wonderful picture of our planet, taken from space. After thirty years, it still catches our imagination with its beauty, its subtle colours, and its roundness. At ground level, this planet seems huge, indestructible. What that aerial picture brought home was our isolation, our vulnerability, and our planet’s fragility." So one could say the value of comparative research and the planetary consciousness facilitated by pictures, both things of Green value, weigh against the relatively small amount of resulting pollution, although it is also true space programs should try a lot harder to make it cleaner. We do have to ask ourselves though, what is the point of space exploration? Is it the new colonialism? Are we only exploring space so we can conquer new worlds? Capture resources? Or should we instead be exploring the potentials of space as a gravity free space? Hmmm.. For more on space elevators check out the Space Elevator website.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Very interesting idea

Nandor managed to steal Ron Marks thunder on the Goon Squad issue today by proposing an independent prison investigator. And the Prime Minister agreed! I think this is a bloody brilliant idea. Especially since parliament is in the process of dealing with the legislation to set up an Independent Police Complaints Authority. That legislation got put on hold while the rape inquiry is going on. So now is the perfect opportunity to amend that legislation to set up an IPI as well. This will probably help save costs of prisoners going to court every time they get their human rights trampled on at the very least. Hey, it might even get the 'bad' prison guards to treat them with a bit of respect. I look forward to seeing how this one progresses.

I have now seen it all

Who would have thought the peace movement could inspire such CRAP POP!! Seriously this video is the funniest thing I have seen in such a long time. It made tears stream down my cheeks!