Looking After the Long Term

Last night in Karori, the Wellington Central electorate had one of its first public meetings of the campaign period.

Sue Kedgley MC'ing

Sue Kedgley MC'ing

Outgoing MP Sue Kedgley, who has stood in Wellington Central for four consecutive terms of Parliament, hosted new Candidate James Shaw and sitting MP Dr Kennedy Graham, from Christchurch, for an evening of presentations and discussion about sustainable options for our economy, a smart green economic plan which has been rolling out in stages over the past couple of months.

Dr Kennedy Graham in mid-flight

Dr Kennedy Graham in mid-flight

Dr Graham spoke first, detailing the development of global policy initiatives developed during his time with UNDP – from the 1992 Rio Summit on Climate Change forwards, he has been in the vanguard of those trying to quantify, and provide a matrix of solutions for, a range of climate issues. He was our Green MP at Copenhagen 2010, and gave a sobering presentation on the changes that have occurred since that first conference in 1992. The win over ozone depletion of atmosphere was the best outcome of those years, but we have lost biodiversity, and seen global CO2 emissions rise far outside the protocols first discussed, then reviewed at each subsequent Climate Conference. The time is now at hand to be bold and bring our country into the possibility of a bright green future; it is not a time to sit on our hands and continue to say, ‘We’re so small, our emissions don’t rate against the big economies of China or the USA’, which is a cop-out taken by too many local commenters.

James Shaw making a point

James Shaw making a point

James Shaw then took the floor, and delivered an impressive presentation of the three key policies that the Greens are working on this election, to alleviate the pressures on kiwis that have been exacerbated by the global recession – Addressing Child Poverty in NZ, launched by Metiria Turei in West Auckland, Cleaning up NZ’s Rivers, launched by Dr Russel Norman in Wellington’s Waitangi Park just ten days ago, and a sneak peek at the next policy around energy sustainability, which I won’t go into here because it’s being launched on the 21st September, a mere three weeks away, so look out for the media on that when it happens.
Best one-line of the evening to James – “as Clinton said, ‘It’s the economy, stupid!’, or as Kennedy put it, ‘It’s the stupid economy!'”; which followed on from Dr Graham’s rather sobering facts and figures very well, as the discussion turned to ways of improving both our economy and our sustainability.

The youtube election

Public Address linked to the youtube video of Stephen Franks where he confronts his own ‘I love my dog but that doesn’t mean I should be able to marry it’ statement.

Yeah. Nice work by the camera wielder – that’s the kind of campaigning I like – people getting out in their local communities to hear politicians, unscripted and unmanaged, saying what they really think.  And it turns out the filmer in question was James Barber who has made a string of other political videos too, including one more from Stephen Franks, this time with helpful advice on poverty:

(I’ve got to assume that his quote, this time, is taken out of context, but it’s still worth a giggle.) Then some more negative politics from Labour.

Sue Kedgley obviously does not own an SUV.  Why does Labour have this current negative politics obsession with attacking other parties rather than running on its own record and policies? Barber has also got footage of a Greenpeace whaling protest with Gareth Hughes playing the silent sidekick role.

And a even a Vote Green video!

Food Show

I love food. I love growing it, I love cooking it and I love eating it, so it was with great enthusiasm that I popped off to the Auckland Food Show this weekend to help man the Green Party stall. It’s interesting that in a time of rocketing prices in almost all kinds of food, including staples abroad and even local produce here, the Greens are the only party that seem to be aware of, and responding to, what’s going on. Unsurprisingly then, we were the only political group at the Food Show, spreading our message of safe, affordable food to people who are as passionate about their kai as us!

I could only attend on the Friday, but it was a fantastic event from what I saw: huge kudos to Sue Kedgley and Lisa Er (Candidate for Mt Roskill) for getting us there and among the public. I found that people, whether they were just domestic foodies or the importers of Australian rice, were really willing to engage with us about our policy on food; having a chat about getting gardening skills back into primary schools, getting mandatory country of origin labeling for the food we import, and having a long hard look at the things we’re throwing into our food to replace the nutrients we seem hell bent on ripping out.

Special thanks to Atomic Coffee for providing good quality Fair Trade coffee at a very reasonable price – and for donating a third of the price of every cup sold to Oxfam. Kia ora!