Nicky Chapman was privileged to speak to some of the Greens’ older supporters recently, and shares some of their insights.
Eli Kerin grew up on a small mixed farm in Australia and spent a lot of time observing nature.
It was a harsh climate with extremes of flood and drought. “I noticed the native plants and animals could cope but the introduced species needed more help to survive. Also I noticed the reduction of bird life after we started using DDT and other sprays in our orchard. This particularly reduced the number of small birds that ate insects hence we had to spray more.
I did not have a religious upbringing so I developed my own spiritual views/beliefs which are centred on respect for our environment and the view that humanity needs to stay in a symbiotic relationship with its environment rather than attempting to control and dominate.”
As a young adult, Eli turned his close observational skills to consumerism. “As an apprentice tradesman I thought a lot about how the standard of work we did determined the longevity of our products. I naively thought things should be made to last and then we would not have to work as long to have our needs met. As I got older I realised this is not how our economy worked but I could not imagine this approach being sustainable in the long term.”
While still in his twenties, he “became more aware of the unfairness and negative consequences of the way wealth is distributed and became a supporter of socialist views.”
Eli now supports the Green Party because it “respects our respects our environment and aims to protect it; does not believe we can have continual growth in wasteful consumerism without destroying our environment; and believes in social justice and democracy – and practises those values in the way it is organised”.
Authorised by Jon Field, 2/17 Garrett Street, Wellington