Bloggreen: June 2005

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Stop the Tour - join in the fun game

NRT has an excellent call for a sposor target action over the Zimbabwe tour. I have obliged and my letter which I sent to National Bank and Wellfit is pasted below. I will copy responses when/if they arrive. Feel free to steal.

Tena koe Thank you for your sponsorship of the New Zealand Cricket team. Cricket is one of the few sports I enjoy watching and I commend your company's commitment to supporting healthy, non-violent recreational sport which is enjoyed by many thousands of New Zealanders. One other thing thousands of New Zealanders have an interest in is the plight of the people living in Zimbabwe under the Mugabe regime. Hundreds of thousands of people are being evicted from their homes and at least one young life has been tragically lost in the process. Many people are calling on the NZ Cricket team to boycott their tour in protest at this terrible situation but for many reasons - mostly financial - this tour is still going ahead. This is an issue that should be of concern to your company as your brand will be associated with this tour and many of your customers will be unhappy that they will be indirectly supporting this tour. You may not be aware but there has also been a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe and at least 14 people are now dead, hundreds are very ill. Homelessness is a major contributor to the spread of cholera. The people of this country deserve our solidarity. Please send a message to New Zealand cricket that you do not want your logo associated with the cricket tour of Zimbabwe. I look forward to reading your response. Kindest regards Kakariki

Have ya?

Have you signed the student debt e-card yet? Have ya, have ya? Go on, do it now!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The other side of the world gets it

The Independent (UK) has an article about the aid distribution efforts in tsunami affected regions. I am appalled at the level of undelivered, committed funds and would really like to know how NZ is doing. I know we're usually pretty good at delivering what we promise but in this situation, I would like to see us being a shining example. For those who are interested in the latest in Aceh, it ain't looking too good. The Indonesian Military has been clamping down hard on citizens and foreign aid workers. There have been many, many people, including children killed and kidnapped since December 26. And the surveillance on aid workers is pretty intense. While the tsunami was a devastating blow to the people of Aceh it has also been a blow to the Indonesian Government because they've had to let people in to help. So now outsiders can see for themselves what's been really going on. But the Government is definitely shutting it down now. Even the Jakarta Post is running stories about how Indonesian legislators are concerned at the internationalisation of the issue. In other words, they don't want the rest of the world to know what's going on there. It's time people started to put some real pressure on the Indonesians to lay off the Acehnese people. But it is exceptionally difficult to do. But if the internationalisation of the issue is freaking them out, then let's bloody well internationalise it. Starting with our Foreign Affairs Minister email him now

Check out the latest toon

I'm afraid I have to do another plug for the Tadpole Toon over at frogblog. Todays toon is rather witty (and I get it this time!).

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The frog spawns

Frog has a new friend! Meet Tadople Toon And frog has done a very nice job of remaking the NAT/ACT billboard

Another reason to stop bombing Iraq

Iraq has just become the first country to make the endangered cultural sites list. That is, the ENTIRE FUCKING COUNTRY. Not just a few monuments or places. This is unprecendented. Givent that Iraq is the geographical location for one of the oldest civilisations in the whole world, and home to many historically significant places like, I dunno, anyone heard of Babylon? Would it be possible to pull our collective heads in just a wee tiny bit and try not to blow up so much shit in the process of 'liberating' these people?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Another ACT billboard

Rodney has another billboard on his site which features our favourite dreadlocked MP. I reckon take the full stop out of the last panel and it's about right!

Watch this!

An anonymous person dropped this link on the comments. It's very good!

Monday, June 20, 2005

In case you're wondering

Yes I did just make the font bigger again. I was tired and couldn't read it properly. And realised that when I go on big rants it's probably easier for you pseudo people out there to read it if you're not squinting.

Nagasaki 60 years later

American George Weller was the first foreign reporter to enter Nagasaki following the U.S. atomic attack on the city on Aug. 9, 1945. Weller wrote a series of stories about what he saw in the city, but censors at the Occupation's General Headquarters refused to allow the material to be printed. Weller's stories, written in September 1945, can be found below.
Read it here Wow.

Thanks taxpayer!

Excellent! Here's a nice piece of self referential art wank for you. The freedom from tax party has this great new tool on their taxpayer funded website where you can design your own ACT billboard. Oh the potentials.... Unfortunately most of the ones I can think of aren't suitable for public consumption, but I'm working on it. But I hope you all notice this:

You can also suggest your own billboard ideas, by typing on the billboard below and adding your contact details. Send as many as you want, and if we use your idea, we'll send you a bottle of wine to say thanks.
Yeah go ACT, saving money on marketing. Better be made overseas and involve exploiting some workers or it's no fun.

Go the French!

That 'today in hostory' bit in the DomPost is rather interesting sometimes. Today is the same day the French Revolution started. And that all happened on a tennis court. Hmm, tennis, golf, infrastructure colapse, revolution...

Must be election year

Even Helen's watching the golf. As much as I HATE golf (mostly for psychogeographical reasons), well done Michael. Stick it to them! Or should it be club it to them, putt? I'm going to sit down before I hurt myself. See this is what happens when I blog about golf! YAAAAAHHHHHHHASKDN,.SDVNKLM/';S,LDV?

Howz about this kid?

Meet Zach, his parents locked him in a "straight camp" to cure him of his homosexuality. Poor bugger. Send him messages of support. And if you're thinking about voting Destiny, this is the sort of parent-child communication you could be encouraging. Great eh? Reminds me of a GREAT film I saw once But I'm A Cheerleader very funny film.

Stuff, abortions and a bit more stuff

Apologies for the lack of posting, think posting will be a bit less frequent for a while.. Anyhoo, some stuff... Did you see this on Thursday night? It was cool! Big ups to Tze Ming Mok yet another brilliantly written piece. I've been finding her posts incredibly interesting, informative and damn funny! Left and Lefter has some brilliant photos of Israeli road signs. Span has a great post and interesting discussion about abortion. Have to say this is an area that I'm quite passionate about. I have been studying this issue intently from a policy perspective for a year or so now and my perceptions have changed. I have always been pro-choice (as I am with most moral issues) and was staunchly so in my idealistic university days. I was always quite hostile to critiques of the current laws because I always saw it as a smokescreen for banning abortion. But then I forced myself to read some critiques of the laws from all angles and learnt some interesting things. The main thing I read which changed my perspective was a book called "Abortion in the Netherlands - Why Holland has the lowest abortion rate in the Western world" by Marilyn Pryor (who passed away earlier this year, RIP). While there was a lot of assumptions in this book I didn't agree with, it was still a damning critique of the current law. Context: Legally in this country, we do not have abortion on demand. In fact, if you assist someone to have an abortion and you don't comply will all relevant parts of the Crimes Act, you will be liable for up to 14 years in prison. And there are only certain reasons that you can legally deliver an abortion. The Crimes Act (S187A) says: (1)For the purposes of sections 183 and 186 of this Act, any act specified in either of those sections is done unlawfully unless, in the case of a pregnancy of not more than 20 weeks' gestation, the person doing the act believes— (a)That the continuance of the pregnancy would result in serious danger (not being danger normally attendant upon childbirth) to the life, or to the physical or mental health, of the woman or girl . . .; or [[(aa)That there is a substantial risk that the child, if born, would be so physically or mentally abnormal as to be seriously handicapped; or]] (b)That the pregnancy is the result of sexual intercourse between— (i)A parent and child; or (ii)A brother and sister, whether of the whole blood or of the half blood; or (iii)A grandparent and grandchild; or (c)That the pregnancy is the result of sexual intercourse that constitutes an offence against section 131(1) of this Act; or (d)That the woman or girl is severely subnormal within the meaning of section 138(2) of this Act. (2)The following matters, while not in themselves grounds for any act specified in section 183 or section 186 of this Act, may be taken into account in determining for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) of this section, whether the continuance of the pregnancy would result in serious danger to her life or to her physical or mental health: (a)The age of the woman or girl concerned is near the beginning or the end of the usual child-bearing years: (b)The fact (where such is the case) that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the pregnancy is the result of [[sexual violation]]. (3)For the purposes of sections 183 and 186 of this Act, any act specified in either of those sections is done unlawfully unless, in the case of a pregnancy of more than 20 weeks' gestation, the person doing the act believes that the miscarriage is necessary to save the life of the woman or girl or to prevent serious permanent injury to her physical or mental health. So when you go and get an abortion in this country, you need to tick one of the above boxes. Usually, the reason given is the first option. And it is very loosely applied. If you can get two certifying consulatants to believe that completing a pregnancy will result in serious damage to your health (physical or mental), you can have your abortion terminated. So while legally we don't have aborion on demand, in practice, we do. Now this is where I have a problem with the law. I agree with Right to Life, it is deceitful. And at the same time, I agree with ALRANZ, it is deceitful. Obviously, both organisations come to this conclusion for very different reasons. You need to understand the context of how the law was passed. Cast your mind back to 1977 (if you were alive - I wasn't). Parliament was a private den of seedy men, legislation debated over glasses of scotch and serious debate of issues was sporadic (oh how times have changed). The Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Bill was passed under urgency after a long and heated nationwide debate on the issue. The issue was debated in a remarkably different context to how we debate it now. The legislation was not constructed around the idea of how to making it work or not, it was around whether to have it or not. This is the problem with any kind of intial social reform legislation. Especially if it is a split conscious issue. Legislators who are emotionally stuck in the issue will always struggle to write a good law if they don't agree with it. And some of them even try and make the law unworkable just to prove their point... So I was interested to see the difference of approach in the Netherlands. When they passed their abortion laws they acknowledged that as many people in society were split on the issue, this would mean that users of abortion services would also be split on the issue to an extent. So they set up a system where women who want to have an abortion must have a counselling session and they must wait 24 (or 48 maybe) hours between their counselling session and the actual procedure. But the difference is that both pro-life and pro-choice approach counsellors are equally funded. You can go to either one and the clinic isn't going to know which you go to, as long as you go and talk to someone. Also, there is the option for follow up help. This in my mind is a 'very good thing'. And I will use my own experiences to say why. confession time I have had two abortions in my life. The first time I was 19 and it was bloody terrifying. I think even up to the time I arrived at the clinic I wasn't 100% sure I was making the right decision. My partner at the time was a freaked out critter too. I had to sit in a room with a woman I had never met, who was obviously busy and really didn't have the time to engage in the pure terror I was experiencing. She wanted to know exactly why I didn't want to have this child. And I didn't want to tell her. She scared me. I didn't know or trust her. She said if I didn't tell her, she would send me home. So I naturally burst into tears. The reasons I had for not wanting to continue that pregnancy were numerous and all interlinked. I would have to be really honest about a whole lot of stuff and this woman was so intimidating, how the fuck was I supposed to be honest with her? So she ticked the 'mental reasons' box. Great. An hour later I was bustled into a room with a whole lot of strange people and then put through hell for 10 minutes. I couldn't feel what was going on but I could hear and smell. They were all talking about me but not to me and I felt so removed from the whole process. Once it was finished they picked me up and bustled me out (past the waiting room and I was bawling my eyes out). And once I was ok, I was packed off again. I cannot emphasise how traumatic that was. But I do realise that it wasn't what I was having done, it was how it was done. Then a couple of years ago I found out I was pregnant again *sigh* I was aware from the moment I suspected I was pregnant that I didn't want this child and discussing it with my partner, neither did he. So the decision was already made. But I did get to experience a radically different approach to services. This time, I had to make two visits. One to see a counsellor and one to have the procedure done. The woman I spoke to was a hell of a lot nicer as well but I don't think that's relevant to the comparison. I had a thorough opportunity to discuss any concerns I had, even ones not relating to my pregnancy and it was a safe and supportive environment. On the actual day I had plenty of time beforehand to prepare myself. When I was in theatre, there were only two people there and they talked me through every little step of the way and constantly checked my well being. And afterwards I was given as much time as I needed in a private room before I went home to fully recover. Now I can say that one of the main reasons I handled my second termination better than the first one was because I had aged/grown up/matured/turned into a more staunch feminist. But I know that the environment was a major contributor to my capacity to deal with it. So when I read Marilyn Prior's book I thought the idea of having equally funded seperate counselling services a pretty smart one. I have discussed abortion with a number of women from all sides of the debate and one of the themes I have noticed is that those who are pro-life and have had an abortion relate a story of trauma in regards to their abortion. They have all related stories of not feeling supported, not being sure of the decision they were making and not understanding the process. This has led to regrets, anger, resentment and a whole host of other negatives which everyone agrees is not what we want as an outcome of abortion services. So would seperate counselling help? In my opinion yes. I think it is essential that there is a time gap between counselling and the procedure itself. There can be a whole lot of emotional baggage floating around when your dealing with emotional healing/therapy and it can't be good to have that baggage floating around while you're going through a major piece of physical surgery. Secondly I believe (and I lose friends on this one) that the abortion services in this country are too staunch. I don't blame them for this as I believe it is a result of the law, they are staunch to protect the right for women to use their services and good on them for that. However, if I was pro-life and I went in for an abortion I would like to have the option of speaking to someone who held a similar worldview. The problem with this suggestion is of course the difficulty that would be faced in finding qualified pro-life counsellors willing to do the work, but I think that could be overcome. I am interested to hear what people think about these ideas. I have discussed these issues with a number of feminist women recently and I have to say have been disappointed with their attitudes. Sure, women have a right to control their own bodies and the fact we treat pregnancy as a sickness and the termination of pregnancy as a criminal issue is a major problem. But those are bigger issues to tackle and in the meantime it would be good to think people are thinking about constructive strategies to deal with the high rate of abortion in this country. I believe that as a nation we do need to revisit this issue. Not to decide if women have a right to abortion or not but how we, as a nation, will support women with unwanted pregancies to make the decisions they need to make. Span has a follow up post today and it deals with the issue of contraception. This is of course another BIG ISSUE in this debate but for the sake of brevity, I decided to leave it for another time. And in other news, Tamaki is now a Bishop But did anyone see the photo in yesterday's Herald? That particular style of stick he was carrying is referred to as a crook, something to do with the internal design which is geared around torturing baby sheep. Go figure.

Friday, June 17, 2005

New book for hippies

The Australian edition of Greeniology is now available digitally as an 'eBook'. To buy the Australian eBook edition visit the Greeniology page on the digital bookstore site. Greeniology is the definitive 'how to help the environment' guide, written by sustainable living expert and Planet Ark campaigner Tanya Ha. It's a fun, practical, accessible and informative guide to greener living in Canada. It also features a foreword written by respected Canadian environmentalist Severn Cullis-Suzuki and contains useful advice and contacts locally relevant for Canadians. More info For more information and to read reviews of Greeniology

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Watch, Ride and Report

Watch, Ride and Report
Originally uploaded by kakariki.
This poster from a train in Maryland US. You can't help but laugh at the use of imagery in this poster. The designer either a) has no imaginatiopn whatsoever or b) is pissing their pants laughing at the stupidty of patriotism...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

But he's keeping his job

Press Release by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade New Zealand's High Commissioner to Ottawa, Graham Kelly Commented as follows. "I presented evidence to the Canadian Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans on 14 April 2005. In the course of explaining New Zealand's fisheries management system I made some remarks which have clearly caused offence. I acknowledged they were inappropriate and apologised when the Secretary of Foreign Affairs raised the matter with me shortly after my testimony to the Committee. I also acknowledged the same points in apologising to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade when he was in Ottawa earlier this month. I now apologise unreservedly to all New Zealanders for the offence my remarks have caused."

Cool educational site

Can you beat the Energy Hogs?

Off with his head!

I'm not one to agree with most calls for resignation but the Maori Party is right, these comments are completely unnacceptable for anyone to make, let alone someone in that position. Fire him. Now.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Bill draw results

Yay Sue! Sue Bradford - Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill Interested to hear what this one's about Mahuta, Nanaia - Legal Services (Territorial Customary Rights) Amendment Bill Oh and this one Shirley, Hon Ken - New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control (Nuclear Propulsion Reform) Amendment Bill

Members Bill draw

So there's enough room on the ballot for three bills to be drawn today as the House gave leave for another two to be put on the order paper. There's 41 Bills in the Ballot. 13 related to crime/justice areas 5 related to constitutional, electoral or citizen law 3 related to drug regulation 3 related to animal welfare and control 2 employment related 2 education related 2 regulation related 1 food related 1 abortion bill 1 superannuation related 1 mental health related 1 euthanasia bill 1 about nuclear free laws and finally one about what side of the road we drive on. Results come out after 12.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Green Party AGM - day three

Originally uploaded by kakariki.
Was AGM day and I won't go into that cause it was either a) boring business stuff or b) none of your business ;o) Was great to re-elect Rod and Jeanette, marking 10 years of their leadership was pretty exciting. They're two of my biggest heroes and I damn glad we have them! Thanks heaps to their families. We also had the second of the Co-Leaders speeches from Jeanette titled Connecting the dots between a fairer society and a sustainable one. Personally I found Jeanette's speech the more inspiring of the two. She gave a lot of her time to issues of water and the importance of them. Not surprisingly there was no mention of this in the media. As was predicted in her speech:
This is now the main threat to rivers, and largely responsible for the next big scary number – our publicly-owned research institute NIWA tells us that 95 percent of our lowland rivers and streams do not meet water quality standards – not just for drinking, but even for swimming! That’s right – it’s no longer safe for our kids to swim in a river unless you take them way up into the mountains. Someone stole their clean water, their birthright. Does that make you angry? It makes me angry. Angry that my new grandson will be deprived of so many things I grew up taking for granted. Angry that so little is being done to turn the tide. Angry that the media, and especially the political media, always think a few Iraqi immigrants are more dangerous to New Zealand than our water quality and who Tom Cruise is in love with this week is more important than how dirty our rivers are.
Jeanette dedicated the rest of her speech towards the work of other "progressive-minded forward-thinking" movements. Firstly, the feminist movement (you all know how I feel about that other conference)
and secondly, the Maori self-determiniation movement. Jeanette went to great lengths to describe the numbers and the threats of current political environments to the gains these movements. What I don't think she clearly identified is the reasoning behind these attacks on women and Maori. It's not that these groups are gaining actual power, but the threat is there. The use of 'PC Madness' and other fun terms like this doesn't represent anything going majorly wrong in our society. Really, how much has 'PC' hurt anyone except maybe taking away some of their power? Well, if anyone has lost any power over the last century, maybe it was because there was an imblance in the first place. A thought maybe... So overall it was the best Green Party conference I've been to. Pretty tiring and some pretty good arguments, but that's what being Green is about, having diverse positions but coming to agreed consensus. Works pretty well I think. Bring on the election, Go Green!

Green Party AGM - day two

The highlight of Saturday for me was the launch of the Green Student Support Policy and eCard campaign. I must say, I'm so impressed with it. The policy was rewritten for this election to reflect the progress in student support policy over the last few years. In 1999 and 2002 when the Greens campaigned for Parliament, we campaigned on a policy of a universal student allowance and the end to the student loan scheme. This has been a fantastic policy to campaign on because it makes so much sense. Over the last few years other parties have developed similar policies and students have started to get more practical in the 'how's' of this policy. So the time came for the Greens to spell out exactly how they would make these things possible. The first policy point that the Greens are proposing is a year for year debt write off scheme. That means every year you work in New Zealand, paid or unpaid, and you make all your compulsory repayments, we will wipe off the amount of debt it took a year to accumulate. To deal with debt, the Greens will also remove interest from the student loan scheme. The second major policy point is the introduction of a Universal Student Living Allowance. It is absolute stupidity that the people we are relying on to run, manage and administer our nation for the next few decades are being forced to borrow to live while they train themselves how to do it. As Nandor pointed out:

When you treat tertiary education as primarily a private good, as the loans scheme does, why would you expect students not to do the same? Why would you expect students to have any other intention than to simply maximise their individual earnings is what ever way they can? While right wing apologists would tell us that that is the natural disposition of human beings, we know that is not the case. The very existence of the Green movement, and its growth in numbers and strength, is testament to the natural human instinct to cooperation and care for others. We know that the extreme individualism that makes a virtue out of greed and disrespect for others is not natural to people, but that it can be engendered by the social and economic order.
The Greens will move towards this policy by reducing the age cap and increasing parental income levels. They will also reintroduce the ICA based on work history, increase the accomodation supplement, reintroduce the unempolyment benefit over summer and enforce the ruling that income needs to be calculated annually not weekly. The third policy point is around reducing fees. The Greens have strengthened their stand towards free tertiary education and have committeed to capping and reducing fees. The fourth and final point is around reducing barriers to tertiary education. For example, transport, disability access and support, and childcare. There has been criticism that this is an expensive policy and yes, it is. But as Nandor said, the question is: Can we afford not to? What I was surprised about was the cost of the debt write off scheme. There will be an initial cost of $12.3 million and after that $1.8 million a year, which isn't that expensive but it will make a major impact on the lives of graduates. I hope this policy sits high on the list of negotiating points after the election. Also on Saturday we had the first of the Co-Leaders speeches from Rod called The Stark Choice Facing New Zealanders. This speech has been well-reported and prompted a lot of discussion around the conference delegates about where the boundaries lie in regards to personal attacks. Personally, I don't think Rod went too far. He identified and articulated the understandings of many people in this country. That there is a swing towards reactionary right politics going on. That there is a nasty level of racism that has been floating around for the last couple of years that is having a very real impact on peoples lives. That some people in parliament are direct contributors to this reality and if we do not identify and condemn this divisive politics it will entrench within our political reality. Therefore, I wholeheartedly support Rod in what he said. I am not afraid of diversity, in fact I embrace it. What I am concerned about however is politicians making political strategy decisions baed on playing to peoples fears. That is not constructive politics and should be condemned for the harm it does. We also heard from Ross Wilson of the CTU and Laila Harre from the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, but I was busy with something else so missed that. The highlight for conference goers was of course the party on Saturday night but can't say I saw much of that either...

Green Party AGM - day one

Here it is finally, my report from the AGM. I'll do it in parts as it is a bit of a lengthy report, starting with Friday. We had an awesome flight down, checking out the awesome scenery of the South Island. Thanks to the wonderful people at Origin Pacific I got to sit next to one of our great young candidates and we both admired the beauty of the mountains and the rivers. Seeing this wonderful country from above gives one a great perspective to admire it. And that perspective can always serve as a fantastic reminder as to what a taonga this place is. Makes me more glad I'm a Green; putting the planet first. Firstly a bit about the place. We had the AGM at CPIT at Te Matauranga Maori. This is an amazing space and we are very privileged to be welcomed here. Our powhiri was quite magic and we had some very special acknowledgements. The venue was particularly amazing and it was great to sleep on a heated floor! There were a number of things on Friday afternoon, mostly for candidates and some of the decision-making groups within the party We then moved onto a wonderful meal and people took the opportunity to catch up with friends who they haven't seen in a while. That's one of the wonderful things about the Greens, we're all really good friends! Friday night brought to us the privilege of gathering in the wharenui with members of the public to hear Australian Green Senator, Kerry Nettle speak. We were supposed to have Bob Brown speak but he had to stay in Australia to appear in court. So instead we got Bob via DVD to explain that he is in federal court in Melbourne to challenge the logging of rainforest in Tasmania. He did give us a rather inspiring speech about the important role of Greens worldwide. I guess that's a fair enough excuse, good luck Bob, kia kaha! We also saw a short film about the destruction of the rainforests in Tasmania and it was pretty humbling. Hope to hear some good results from his case. Then we got to hear from Kerry herself. Kerry is very active in campaigning for the rights of refugees and she gave some good warnings about how far things can go when you have harsh immigration policies... We also got a good overview of the work of the Australian Greens. Great to have you here Kerry, hope you enjoyed your weekend!

Let's have this debate again shall we?

Matt Robson's Bill has passed the first reading and will be referred to select committee. Get ready to make your submissions...

More crap in our sea

Originally uploaded by kakariki.
This is a close up view of what is making the sea blood red.

Happy World Oceans Day

Originally uploaded by kakariki.
Today is World Oceans Day, when we can all celebrate the wonderful world that lives out of our sight beneath the level of the sea. It is also a time to acknowledge how little we, as humans, know about what lives beneath the waves.

Given that we know so little, today is also a time for us to reflect about how much damage we are doing to an environment we know so little about.

These photos were taken at the PPCS meat processing plant at Pareora, south of Timaru, which has consent to discharge up to 15,000 cubic metres of wastewater per day into the South Pacific Ocean. During peak killing time between 10,000 and 12,000 cubic metres goes into the sea each day.

This has to stop.
And don't forget of course the hideous mass destruction of the forest floor through Bottom Trawling. Check out the Rainbow Warrior blog as they travel around the Tasman Sea hassling the hell out of bottom trawling vessels. Massive respect to the crew on board!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

And the movement keeps on growing

Congratulations to the Russian Green Party who took World Environment Day as a great opportunity to form and vote on their charter and new Leader. Best of luck to them! And as we say here in Aotearoa, Пойдите Зеленые!

In case you're wondering

No I haven't died... I spent the weekend at the Green Party AGM. I'm working on a great big long post about my thoughts of the weekend. Should be up tonight. In the meantime, I'm trying to recover from the exhaustion of the weekend.... Back soon.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

More on prisons

There is an interesting conversation going on at Just Left regarding the punish/reform debate so thought it might be timely to point people towards an article that Nandor wrote for the Herald earlier this year called 'Lot more to it than longer sentences.' It's a good thought-provoking article, I recommend a read.

Victory for Human Rights

The Green Party has managed a major win over the last 24 hours with the Prisoners and Victims Claims Bill. It sounds like United Future had the Government over the barrel and wanted them to remove the Prisoner part of the bill out. The Government weren't having a bar of it so they went to the Greens. This is fantastic news because the Green approach to justice is one of creating a "fair, peaceful and sustainable world." rather than the lock em up and throw away the key approach taken by the other parties. Yay for having rational 21st century discussions about corrections policy! You can read Nandor's releases here and here but the most important point I think is the independent prison inspectorate. I look forward to some heated debate tonight when the House goes into urgency! This has created a bit of a stir around the blogosphere, see NRT here and here rightly pointing out that wee issue of Habeas Corpus. DPF tries to blame the government for the sunset clause even though it was one of the things the Greens negotiated into the Bill (funny wee discussion in the comments there too). Carnifex Senatoris has an interesting analaysis asking why all victims shouldn't be given compensation, not just the victims of offenders who later get mistreated in prisons. It's a good point and this is one of the main reasons why the Greens didn't support the Bill in the first place (see Nandor's Second Reading speech). But I agree, this is a sign that the Greens know realpolitik but I'll expand that to say it's a sign of further good relations between the Greens and Labour. Nandor has got the Government through some shitty patches this term in the Justice area, noteably the Supreme Court Bill and the Corrections Bill. He has demonstrated his political maturity, ability to negotiate and his deep knowledge of the issues concerned. Further proof that there isn't much difference between the Greens and United Future as to who works better with Labour. The difference is what part of Labour do each party work well with. I suggest that those who support Labour for their left traditions know the answer to that one. And of course the Frog joins in with a rather witty wander off into the definitions of Hell... I must say though, it's rather sad to see United Future spack out on this one. Although Alexander did calm down a wee bit and acknowledge that UF doesn't support abusing prisoners which I thought was rather gracious of them.