The way we do recycling is rubbish. It is rubbish because the main goal has been to make money out of it.
In New Zealand, local councils thought they could make money by saving the costs of running their local landfills. Companies thought they could make money by collecting it up, doing a bit of rough sorting and shipping off the raw materials to somewhere else where labour is cheap and worker health and safety and environmental regulations next to non-existent. Places where there were plenty of people willing to clamber over the piles of imported ‘recyclables’ pulling out the stuff that is clean enough and easy enough to reprocess, for next to nothing in wages. And with no idea of the damage being done to their health, and the health of the environment they lived in, by exposure to many of the items in the piles. Continue reading
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said last week that she is open to having a debate on taxpayer funding for political parties. And that she personally would “like a scenario where political parties did not have to fundraise.”
We say, “bring it on.” Our current election funding system is an affront to democracy. It allows wealthy individuals, businesses, and interest groups to put undue pressure on existing political parties by way of large donations. And as we have seen in the past two elections, only the very wealthy are in a position to form new political parties and seriously contest the election. Continue reading
Our planet is awash with stuff. Stuff produced using energy provided by fossil fuels, in the main. Stuff that is made out of petroleum-based products. Stuff that uses up valuable and finite resources, such as fresh water and minerals. Stuff that requires pesticides and other harmful chemicals to grow and to process. Slowly but surely, all this stuff is stuffing up the planet. Continue reading
The world has changed significantly since the emergence of ‘free’ trade in the 1980s. In 2017 tariffs are the least of our worries.
We now know that the earth’s resources are finite and are being used up much faster than they can be replenished.
We know that carbon dioxide emissions are set to cause catastrophic climate change if we do not act quickly to reduce them. Continue reading
New Zealanders are concerned about global warming. The whole world is concerned about global warming. Somehow we all have to drastically reduce our emissions as soon as possible. So what can New Zealand do? Continue reading
Environmental issues and social justice are intertwined. Global warming can only be averted by using the Earth’s resources in a fair and sustainable way.
Likewise, social justice can only occur if global warming is at least contained. Those most at risk from a planet with frequent extreme climate events, pollution, and scarcity of resources, are the same people at risk from unscrupulous employers who refuse to pay a living wage and provide safe working conditions. Continue reading
“It’s official – 2050 is the point of no return for climate change,” according to Emeritus Professor Jim Flynn. Professor Flynn was speaking at an open lecture on climate change as part of the Alliance Party conference in Christchurch yesterday. Professor Flynn, who has been researching climate change for an upcoming book, painted a bleak picture. We need to get to zero emissions as soon as possible to avoid sea level rises as high as 12 metres by 2100, dwindling water resources, and an ever-increasing amount of non arable land. Continue reading
Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says it is amazing that DOC is even contemplating allowing the building of a privately owned and operated road and tunnel, spanning not one but two of New Zealand’s National Parks, Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks. Continue reading
The Alliance Party says that it is clear that the grounding of the Rena is a disaster that didn’t need to happen, and is the result of deregulation of the maritime industry.
Alliance Party maritime spokesperson Trevor Hanson says he has long predicted an incident like this since “ships of shame” had been allowed to operate freely on the New Zealand coast.
Mr Hanson has many decades of experience in the maritime industry, and is the former General Secretary of the Waterfront Workers Union and the Maritime Union of New Zealand. Continue reading
The Alliance Party says it is deeply disturbing that anti-whaling activist Peter Bethune could be jailed for up to 15 years in Japan.
Alliance Party fisheries and maritime spokesperson Trevor Hanson says it’s time for the New Zealand Government to tell Japanese authorities enough is enough.
“The whaling issue is not about to be resolved in the forthcoming world whaling conference and people of New Zealand are being quietly prepared by our National Government for a soft agreement which will allow the slaughter to continue at a lesser rate of kills.”
Mr Hanson says New Zealand has been part of all the meetings and agreements permitting the current abhorrent “scientific kill.”
He says “scientific kill” is an absolute misnomer.
“Twenty years have gone by with no reduction in the Japanese kill and the actions of New Zealand Governments during this time have all been to follow a path of diplomacy which has produced absolutely nothing.”
Mr Hanson says the Japanese Government simply don’t care and it is extremely unlikely that they will agree to any reduction in whale kill.
The New Zealand Government is too scared to take a firm line because of trade implications, he says.
“If the Government stand back and watch a New Zealand citizen jailed because of his actions against the Japanese whalers, actions supported by a majority of New Zealanders, then this Government will stand to be judged by not only New Zealanders but internationally.”