The future starts here!

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Below is the final report of the Alternative Aotearoa Seminar held in Wellington on 25 July 2020

It is rich in policy proposals to avoid the country going back to “business as usual” and bringing all our pre-Covid problems with us.

The report has been sent to National and Labour but we have not had responses yet from Act, New Zealand First or the Green Party.

Report to Political Parties from Alternative Aotearoa Seminar

August 2020

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On 25 July 2020 several hundred people attended a seminar at Pipitea Marae in Poneke/Wellington, and several thousand more joined the discussion online, in the wake of Covid-19 and the lead-up to the general election to imagine an Alternative Aotearoa to that which political parties are offering the nation.

The focus of the seminar was what would be needed for the social, environmental and economic transformation of Aotearoa to avoid the deeply embedded problems from the pre-pandemic era.

The seminar was co-chaired by two marvellous New Zealanders, Justice Advocate Julia Whaipooti and 2020 New Zealander of the Year and President of Equity New Zealand Jennifer Te Atamira Ward-Lealand.

The organisations represented at the seminar included: Greenpeace, Better Futures Forum, Pacific Climate Warriors, Forest and Bird, Child Poverty Action Group, State Housing Action Network, School Strike for Climate, Extinction Rebellion, Te Reo o Nga Tangata/The People Speak, Unite Union, Council of Trade Unions, Migrant Workers Association, Quality Public Education Coalition, Action Station, Generation Zero, 350 Aotearoa, Auckland Action Against Poverty, People Against Prisons Aotearoa and Te Ara Whatu.

(The agenda for the seminar along with video and transcripts of the presentations can be seen at https://chchpn.blogspot.com/)

This short report cannot hope to capture the richness of that discussion from more than thirty contributors from our diverse communities, tangata whenua, Pasifika, migrant and Pākehā, young and old, unionists and academics, local government and community activists. However, it does capture the core themes and messages from the seminar and practical solutions to deep seated problems that confront our nation.

These are not new issues. But Covid-19 has brought them to the fore in ways that we can no longer ignore. We challenge your Party to commit to adopt these should you form part of a future government.

Vision, values and principles
We seek an Aotearoa where everyone can flourish. Surely no political party can reject that vision?

We seek an Aotearoa without racism and where te Tiriti o Waitangi and the principles of whanaungatanga, manākitanga, kotahitanga and aroha unite us. Again, surely no political party can reject that vision?

We seek communities that are empowered from their roots to draw on their strengths and build their own solutions, supported by local and central government, but not beholden to them.

We seek dignity, security and respect for migrants; secure livelihoods for those in paid work and for who don’t have that option, whether they are elderly, or survivors of abuse, or disabled by physical or mental health; a fundamental right to safe warm housing; and support that enables people to live the best lives possible.

We seek positive and aspirational goals that everyone, including the most vulnerable, can share in and achieve rather than a divisive and repressive agenda driven by fear which, through the use of state agencies of police, prisons, and immigration, perpetuates institutional racism.

We seek a tolerant process to navigate differences and embrace diverse cultural practices to seek consensus or at least accommodations based on mutual understandings.

Confronting racism
Aotearoa is a Tiriti-based nation. Tino rangatiratanga is an inalienable right under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It is not a gift from Crown, it is an intrinsic right of hapū. As the COVID checkpoints showed, its exercise works to the benefit of all. Yet constitutional change has been resisted out of Pakeha fear and unwillingness to surrender privilege. Matike Mai Aotearoa, the report on constitutional transformation, provides a framework to deliver on the promises made in 1835 in He Whakaputanga o Nu Tireni and Te Tiriti o Waitangi in 1840. We need to let go that fear, empower tangata whenua, and embrace the Pacific and other diverse cultures that make up our 5 million.

The climate crisis, inequality, hate speech are not separate problems. The mosque killing was an act of hate. Diseases of colonisation and poverty kill people much more slowly. These are not separate issues.  Poverty has a colour problem – poverty is racism. Underlying the lovely notion of the ‘team of 5 million’ racism continued, towards the Chinese community, migrant workers, tangata whenua checkpoints. There is not a quick fix. Racist individuals do not exist as individuals in isolation. As a nation we need to move out of our siloed communities and develop a strategy to have conversations where we come to understand the realities of those who are disabled, addicts, abused, exploited.

Whakapapa is the connector between the living world, the natural world and the spiritual world. That web of relationships provides a blueprint for how to achieve change. Everyone in their difference has something to contribute. Silos are not enough. We are collectively interdependent. Everyone has a role in creating new futures.

Policy solutions

  • Establish a bicultural agency to promote community discussion of Matike Mai and directions for constitutional change

A responsive, empowering and accountable state
The state is not benign. It has responsibilities to uphold the democratic will of the people and those in positions of leadership must be accountable to this goal.

Lessons have been learned during the Covid-19 outbreak which provide a model for the longer term. We have learned what can be done when people work together and there is political leadership to facilitate this.

The state will remain dominant in our lives for a long time to come and working together to solve social, environmental and economic problems points the way to the future.

Almost forty years after the neoliberal coup, the government must address the causes of systemic and repeated market failures and reform public policy to prioritise the wellbeing of people, not capital. That requires fundamental redesign of laws on public finance and market-driven regulation to taxation and state owned infrastructure and services.

New Zealand is a land of plenty which can easily provide a decent standard of living for all its citizens. However our economic structures and taxation system has allowed a very small group to become fabulously wealthy at the expense of the rest of the community. Poverty and inequality dominate at the expense of dignity and self-respect.

Taking into account income tax and GST, people on low incomes pay a higher proportion of what they earn in tax than the wealthiest New Zealanders. Taxation is highest on wages and salaries while the super wealthy can easily avoid tax on their massive unearned incomes. Fundamental change is essential.

Our laws should be underpinned by our core values. Our economy must serve these fundamental values, not undermine them.  The economy must serve the common good.

A long list of reports have been commissioned to examine and address the nation’s social, environmental, and economic crises, including the Tax Working Group, the Welfare Export Advisory Group, Our Freshwater 2020, the Trade for All Advisory Group, among others. Yet most of their recommendations have been shelved in a pattern of inaction and neglect. We don’t need rhetoric and empty promises. We need action.

Policy solutions

  • Implement the recommendations of the reports of the Tax Working Group, the Welfare Expert Advisory Group, Our Freshwater 2020, and the Trade for All Advisory Group
  • Commit to a community-wide discussion of “tax fairness” which includes information on the regressive nature of GST and the progressive nature of death duties, financial transactions, capital gains (or net equity), redistributive income and wealth taxes
  • Tax housing appropriately using the Risk-Free Rate Method that aggregates a person’s net equity in real estate and treats it as if it had earned interest at the bank
  • Make available government credit for community-based co-operatives providing local services for local communities

Empowering youth
Young people are the future of Aotearoa. Yet they are a generation under immense pressure. A recent ActionStation survey identifies mental health, education, body image, discrimination and stress, related to insecurity and inequality, as among their most pressing problems.

The privatised, fragmented and colonised system of education, including early childhood education, creates conditions for social harm. Diverse, bottom-up models of education that build human ability and maximise the potential of every person would unleash the human spirit in the country to envision and achieve a different future.

Young people need a sense of hope with real options for the future. That requires real commitments to address the crises of climate and racism. It requires safe community spaces. It means empowering young people with knowledge of their rights and ways to protect themselves against exploitation. Above all, they need to see themselves in the decision making processes that will shape their futures.

Policy solutions

  • Establish a youth assembly (modelled on a citizens assembly) to recommend policy directions for young New Zealanders into the future
  • Shift discussion from a “climate emergency” to a “policy-change emergency” to fight climate change rather than simply manage its negative impacts

An ecosystem that allows us to survive
A healthy ecosystem is the key to survival. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the inter-dependence of humankind with all elements of the natural world. That knowledge is foundational to Māori and Pacific worldviews, but ignored in our extractive, growth-driven mode of capitalism. If we fail to heed the warning from COVID-19 pathogenic crises will become a systemic and catastrophic part of everyday life.

Everything flows from safe, healthy and sustainable communities and environment. Investing in safe, healthy and sustainable communities also pay social and economic dividends. That requires joined up thinking. Sustainable transport, energy, land and water cannot be relegated to remedial piecemeal efforts once the market has let rip.

The climate crisis is not just happening offshore. The legacy of land confiscation and exploitation and rejection of tikanga and indigenous science are evident as storms and floods devastate local communities, and force tāngata whenua to relocate marae and urupā.

Aotearoa is a Pacific nation. That carries responsibilities for our collective survival. We must value the knowledge and wisdom of peoples who have nurtured this place for millennia and hear messages of young Pacific activists who are making sacrifices now to preserve our future.

Aotearoa is already approaching the point of no return. Today’s young people are inheriting multiple crises not of their making. The most existential is the survival of life on the planet itself. We need to recognise when we have ‘enough’. Those who bear responsibility for the climate emergency need to take responsibility to act now to avoid a lethal legacy to their children.

Policy solutions

  • Set emission reduction targets that are consistent with keeping temperature increases to 1.5°C.
  • Bring all agricultural emissions into the carbon trading scheme as a matter of urgency
  • Phase out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and support farms to transition from industrial to regenerative farming
  • Phase out fossil fuel infrastructure and invest in clean, locally-owned and Māori-owned energy, as well as accessible public/active/electric transport and warmer housing
  • Phase out all single use plastics and invest in a circular economy, including systems for refillable and reusable packaging
  • Establish a national and regional assemblies based on participatory democracy to based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi and include all aspects of the constitutional rights of tāngata whenua
  • Invest in rail for mass transportation of goods and people
  • End subsidies for trucks on roads with big increases in road user charges for heavy vehicles (one single eight-tonne axle does the same road damage as 10,000 cars)
  • Make public transport free across the country by prioritising public transport funding in the NZTA budget rather than new roads
  • Place cameras on all New Zealand’s 1100 commercial fishing boats and implement a zero ‘by-catch’ target
  • Insist that Fisheries New Zealand act on illegal fishing practices to stop rampant seabird and marine mammal by-catch
  • Lobby the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to remove exemptions on fossil fuel use from aviation and shipping, and encourage other nations to do likewise

Restore nature:

  • Provide better resourcing for the Department of Conservation and hapū and iwi partnerships so we can be more effective in protecting our natural heritage. This includes trapping predators, removing weeds, restoring waterways and planting trees.
  • Implement tougher rules to protect our fresh water
  • Phase out environmentally damaging irrigation schemes
  • Invest significantly in the restoration of nature, working alongside iwi and hapū to restore harbours, wetlands, riverbeds and forests

Workers and Livelihoods
There is a human right to life. People need access to money for life. We pretend not to see the trauma of people when they can’t afford to live. Decades of neoliberalism have left a legacy that has to be addressed. This country has relied on poverty wages, precarious employment weighted by racism and age, and an exploited migrant workforce, to maintain essential services and sustain an economy that enriched an elite.

COVID 19 has redefined essential work. Our society depends on our cleaners, our caregivers, our checkout operators. CEOs need the workers, not the reverse. The emergency measures for these workers have provided short-term relief but leave the structures of inequality and exploitation intact.

Social investment and prioritising livelihoods and wellbeing pay dividends. Government can and must create quality employment as a foundation for the future where the market has failed to do so. We need strategies to create green jobs through a just transition for workers, especially those affected by climate mitigation strategies and digital technologies.
The state used to train people and employ people. Social procurement policies that channel local and central government contracts to sustainable New Zealand firms and co-operatives that pay a living wage, especially from Māori and Pacific communities, can create real jobs and support small businesses that are the backbone of our economy.

Migrant workers are part of the ‘5 million’ but have been excluded from our kindness and care for each other and are treated as political footballs. Those who are here need to be allowed to stay and their visas delinked from employers. Into the future, we must provide real protection for those who blow the whistle on slavery and exploitation.

Everyone needs to be able to access benefits from agencies that have been purged of institutional racism and racial profiling and are driven by manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and humanity.

The legacy of the Employment Contracts Act needs to be confronted. Workers and families need legislation to support unionisation and provide real protection for workers, and ensure workers having a voice at the table at both industry and government levels.

Policy Solutions:

  • Provide a government guarantee of full employment
  • Extend sick leave to 10 days per year which is able to be used from day one of employment so workers are not having to go to work unwell in a pandemic situation
  • Progressively increase the minimum wage to the living wage
  • Implement law changes to move more employment from casual, insecure work to permanent part-time and permanent full-time work
  • Unshackle migrant worker visas from a single employer to reduce rampant exploitation of migrant workers
  • Insist migrant workers are employed directly by businesses rather than through labour contractors
  • Provision of union membership for new employees who can resign if they decide to
  • Provision of employer-allocated hours for union delegates to assist in building positive experiences for employees and stronger employment relationships
  • Provide a legal minimum redundancy pay of 4 weeks for the first year worked and two weeks pay for each successive year worked. These to be paid with no tax to allow a smoother transition to alternative employment
  • Provide Worksafe with sufficient resources and legal powers to investigate, prosecute and enforce health and safety protections for all workers.
  • Criminalise wage theft as is being done in Victoria, Australia.
  • Create a simplified mechanism for workers on self-employment contracts to be reclassified as employees at the direction of a labour inspector. (The onus would be on the employer to then appeal the decision to the employment court)
  • Provide Income protection for precarious workers with early retirement options
  • State provided employment and training to ensure quality jobs and a skilled workforce (see proposed state house building agency)
  • Use social procurement by local and central government to sustain local firms, local co-operatives, workers and communities

Wellbeing
Colonisation, institutional racism, neoliberalism, disinvestment and runaway anthropogenic climate change are conditions that deny wellbeing. They were all created by deliberate actions. Deliberate actions are needed to counteract them.

Whanau and communities need to be empowered to define their own needs and drive the decision making process. Again, COVID-19 showed how communities can care for each other. Localised solutions, supported by public funding, saw the homeless homed and supported with flow-on gains for health and policing. This can provide a blueprint for the future.  But investing in four lane expressways will not solve child poverty. Nor will it build the homes we need to address the overwhelming housing crisis that continues to grow. The money can be found; it depends on how we order our priorities.

Policy Solutions:

  • Move to a system that provides citizens with public services that meet their basic human rights and needs built on constitutional reforms established through Matike Mai
  • Implement the findings of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group report on the welfare system
  • Government funding for the building of 10,000 state houses every year till we don’t need any more (the state house waiting list is increasing at twice the rate the government is building state houses)
  • Establish a government agency to design and build state homes and use this agency to employ and train the next generation of apprentices
  • Fund community solidarity initiatives to fight racism, prejudice and supremacist views
  • Introduce compulsory Te Reo in schools and prioritise the history of Aotearoa in the wider school curriculum
  • Invest in education to reduce class sizes – starting in schools in low-income communities
  • Initiate a plan for whole school reform to reduce bullying and violence and improve outcomes for Māori and Pacific students
  • Bring Early Childhood Education back into the state sector, make all teachers qualified and make it free to improve outcomes for all children.
  • Remove, through state funding, the dependence of the public education sector on foreign fee-paying students.

Health
Healthy lives require much more than a well funded, professional and pro-active health care system. Despite the rhetoric about kindness and compassion during the COVID lockdown, we are far from ensuring a safe and caring society. The business model that imposed managerialism, rationing, and market models on health care in the 1990s has utterly failed, but continues to dominate the health system. More restructuring of the health bureaucracy will not address the underfunding, a failed competitive model, lack of leadership and a managerialist culture.

Promises of change are wearing thin. Despite repeated inquiries and new funding the mental health system continues to destroy too many lives, especially of young people and their whānau. Government has not grasped the need to empower and fund Tiriti-based Māori health initiatives.

The power and vested interests of corporations and lobby groups that defend big tobacco, alcohol, food, oil and energy must no longer be allowed to drown out the voices of those they harm, in particular children and young New Zealanders.

A holistic approach needs to reimagine health and wellbeing and guarantee safe, affordable and secure housing and decent food for all, especially our children. Policy priorities need to focus on the social, economic and cultural determinants of good health and draw on the strengths and knowledge of Māori and Pacific communities, instead of the treatment of ill-health created by conditions of poverty and stress that result from flawed policies and priorities.

Policy Solutions

  • Commit to increasing spending on health to cover for the decades of underinvestment
  • Develop a new investment model for all Health funding that takes account of:
    • the backdated funding shortfall;
    • current unmet healthcare need – including all ethnic, cultural and other socioeconomic deprivation factors;
    • changing population demographics and future service developments. (The Proportionate Universalism Model is recommended for starting to address the socioeconomic deprivation factors)
  • Work with iwi and hapū to establish a national Maori health agency with the resources to end the shameful disparity in health outcomes (The Māori Health Authority proposed by the Simpson review lacks the power and resources to create change. The alternative plan for the Māori Health Authority proposed by the Māori advisory group to the review and by the majority of the panel is what should be implemented)
  • Work with community groups to redesign mental health and addiction services so they meet the needs of individuals and their families
  • The Ministry of Health undertake a comprehensive national population survey to assess the quantity and nature of unmet secondary elective healthcare need every three years. (This should be incorporated in the New Zealand Health Survey)
  • End the culture of managerialism whereby decision-making is centralised in senior management and clinicians are side lined through the use of democratic and participatory decision-making processes
  • Empower the entire health workforce employed by DHBs, including through comprehensive distributed clinical leadership and recognise that what makes good clinical sense also makes good financial sense
  • Devolve, implement and embed a wide range of preventative health strategies and services at all levels in communities with local leadership along with the resources to do it

More widely:

  • Promote “joined-up” policymaking that is pro-health, pro-environment and pro-equity. (The challenges we are facing in each area are linked, and so are the solutions)
  • Prioritise the wider determinants of health, in particular: warm, dry, affordable homes, adequate income and freedom from violence and discrimination. (The shocking disparity in health outcomes will persist until everyone has these basics for a healthy life)
  • Embed health equity across all our social and economic goals so health investment moves from the bottom to well back from the top of the cliff. Health should be a priority for all sectors of governments (DHBs and health workforces structures etc are tools to achieve this but the foundations/priorities are not right yet)
  • Protect consumers (particularly children) from purveyors of unhealthy commodities e.g. stronger marketing/retail restrictions on alcohol, tobacco, vapes, gambling and junk food

Justice
Black Lives Matter. Aotearoa has the highest imprisonment rate of indigenous women among rich countries and the second highest overall to the US. Most prisoners are those being held on remand. The criminal justice system misidentifies the root cause of anti-social behavior and seeks only to remove individuals while leaving the causes unresolved: the legacy of colonisation, an ideology of individualism and a reality of economic deprivation and alienation. People need to experience consequences of their actions, but locking people up and armed response teams are not the solution.

Policy solutions

  • Reduce the prison population substantially by repealing the Bail Amendment Act 2013, and invest in social programming outside of the criminal justice system (as detailed elsewhere in this report) to prevent poverty-driven crime
  • Establish a cross-party working group to investigate the Finnish model of prison reform (which has reduced the prison population by two-thirds) with a view to adapting it to Aotearoa to achieve a similar reduction in prison numbers
  • Decolonise our justice system at all levels through a bi-cultural engagement with Maori which is driven by Maori values

24 COMMENTS

  1. The future, must be a covid free New Zealand.

    The only way to stop the virus now is a full Level 4 Lockdown.

    As seems likely, the point source of the outbreak was packaging on frozen goods brought in to New Zealand by a frozen goods importer.

    If this is the case, the implication for New Zealand’s frozen food export industry is dire.

    With massive job losses in this industry, and massive bankruptcies of farms and other producers.

    The option is protect public health, and damage the economy.

    The other option, is damage public health, and damage the economy.

    Will the Prime Miinister call it?

    Winston Churchill promised the British people, Blood, sweat, toil and tears and then delivered on his promise.

    Yet Churchill is the most popular Prime Minister and Britain of all time.

    This is Prime Minister Ardern’s Churchillian moment, will she step, or step back?

  2. ‘We seek an Aotearoa where everyone can flourish. Surely no political party can reject that vision?‘ – agreed

    Starts banging on about white privilege – yeah, nah. Lost me.

    Back to square one.

  3. Your comments are rubbish. The idea of bring the virus in on frozen goods has been counted out. We cannot go to level 4 if time there is a case . We need to improve testing and tracing and wearing face masks . The government is arid to go hard on the public as it does not fit with her saint like style. Some of the front line workers at the border have never been tested despite assurances .
    Churchill was voted out of office as soon as the war finished . HI story has been kind to him and his image but when I was growing up in the 50s he was not popular with many .

    • WHO announced that the mortality rate for COVID is currently around 0.60%. Or a tad over 1 in every 200 people – or – 37 people for every 6,700. That’s actually very high for a disease that readily and easily transmits through the air.

      • Sam the death rate is only that. It does not give an indication of numbers who contract covid19 and end up with a life long damaged or badly compromised health.

        Cut NZ off from the infection source and reorganise the economy on a different basis.
        As long as we continue with globalism then pandemics will keep occurring.

        • It is most often transmitted through liquid droplets through the air, which is why masks have been so effective in New York and why nations that didn’t mandate masks have been spiking. I can understand scepticism in a dearth of information, but we’ve seen New York City prove mask efficacy.

          Yknow what I mean? cut what off? your arm? lol, I got a kitchen knife if you need one.

          • Globalisation means sharing diseases unless barriers are solidly in place.

            Less globalisation would have many benefits for NZ but would change our lifestyle and many would say for the better. “Mother Earth” would benefit and we see evidence of that just in the short time since the pandemic started.

            Masks make good sense in spite of them being politicised by rednecks.

            • Nah, we can buy unassembled goods and do 100% of the assembly and packaging in NZ Ikea style while making adjustments to new corona conditions. This shit ain’t hard.

        • John, are you proposing to completely and permanently close the borders of Aotearoa? Are you prepared to immediately and permanently transition to a life that looks like something out of a McGillicuddy Serious manifesto?

          This would mean no:
          * computers (or anything that depends on them): it takes decades of development to set up a silicon chip industry from scratch, even with imports of outside experts and tools
          * coffee: it can’t grow here in the volumes we currently consume
          * even underwear: if anyone can point me to a local company making underwear, you’ve made a sale. Rebuilding a local grud production industry needs to happen, but will take years.

    • The future stalls here.

      “Churchill was voted out of office as soon as the war finished….

      ….in the 50s he was not popular with many”

      Churchilll couldn’t have cared less about popularity, or re-election. All Churchill cared about was victory….

      “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be….”
      Winston Churchill

      We need leadership like this now.

      The question that will be answered tonight at 5:30 is this:

      Will the government stick with elimination (victory), as their aim, or change to suppression, (appeasement), as their aim?

    • “Your comments are rubbish. The idea of bring the virus in on frozen goods has been counted out….”
      Trevor Sennitt

      Hi Trevor, this possibility has not been ruled out.

      Health Minister Chris Hipkins has poured cold water over Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters’ claim the Covid-19 cases came from a border breach.

      Hipkins said this morning there was “no evidence” to support Peters’ allegations.

      Peters yesterday told Australian Patricia Karvelas of Australia’s ABC 24 News he had “inside information” there’d been a breach of the quarantine system.
      NZ Herald
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12356481

      If there wasn’t a breach in the border, then how the hell did it get in?

      New Zealand coronavirus outbreak ‘could have been imported via food packaging’, authorities say as Auckland re-enters lockdown

      https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/newslondon/new-zealand-coronavirus-outbreak-could-have-been-imported-via-food-packaging-authorities-say-as-auckland-re-enters-lockdown/ar-BB17QxKD?fbclid=IwAR0t3QNDJfkSTeZ0TxMacvsEtevczdDKp9VVt5La047wcEHVHc9UEVBXcec

      (So much for being discounted).

      The future starts, (or stalls), here

  4. YAWN!
    Another Marxist wish list from Minto.
    Still fighting for relevance since the early 1980’s Springbok rugby tour.
    Against so many Maori in prison by just saying system is racist without actually showing/proving racism
    Pick 2 or 3 Maori prisoners that have been incarcerated due to racism and you have a great case to take to Parliament and the NZ public!!!…unfortunately finding one never mind 3 with less than sayyyy 20 previous convictions? must be tough eh, otherwise would already have been done.

    • Thanks for telling us how it is I’m Right. It must be so time saving to just spout prejudices, or repeat someone’s rant instead of thinking through the complexities of humans and particularly of yourself and your own manias.

    • I’m Right is reversing the burden of proof. The racism of the NZ justice system is self-evident in the consistent differences in the rates of incarceration between ethnicities. The counterclaim that one ethnicity get into trouble more than others because they are inherently more criminal is also inherently racist. There is simply no scientific basis for a that kind of difference between ethnicities being possible.

      > Against so many Maori in prison by just saying system is racist without actually showing/proving racism

      A number of researchers have shown that NZ law enforcement arrests, charges, convicts, and imprisons people of one ethnicity at *much* higher rates than other ethnicities – for the same behaviour!

      > Around 40% of Māori in jail are there because of minor drug possession or supply charges. As Professor Khylee Quince, Director of Māori and Pacific Advancement in the AUT law school, says, Māori are far less likely to be granted the benefit of their convictions being clean slated. “If you have two defendants convicted of the same cannabis offending and the Māori one goes to prison and the Pākehā one doesn’t, one is able to be clean slated after seven years, the person who goes to prison cannot have that clean slate. That is a lifetime consequence from exactly the same offending.”
      https://thespinoff.co.nz/partner/health-not-handcuffs/07-09-2019/nz-drug-foundation-unify-rally/

      But there are none so blind as those who will not see.

  5. I’d like to see in the headline caption open hands and hand-tohand clasping rather than raised fists. The strong determination of people to gain a decent life for all with sharing and mutual commitment is what will enable this, clenched fists as symbols of the struggle are passe’.

  6. The future stalls here.

    Even though the government has not achieved its avowed aim to trace the cause of the community transmission to its the source, the government will bow to the pressure from the right not to go to a level 4 lockdown.

    Instead the government will most likely keep the country at Level 3 partial lockdown.

    The result; within a few weeks NZ will resemble the US, or Victoria.

    • Let’s not catastrophize Pat. Blaming the right for this decision is a conspiracy theory that gives them credit they don’t deserve. If Bloomfield and his team said level 4 was necessary, Cabinet would have actioned it. If they start to find cases they can’t trace back to the cluster within a few days, Bloomfield will give the level 4 advice, and Cabinet will action it. In the meantime, keep calm and …

  7. I will be looking forward to the post congratulating the peace deal with Israel and the UAE…..Minto/Lois/Leslie I will await your posts as to how this is a terrible thing and your conspiracy theories.
    Always good for a laugh!

    • Israel is no laugh, at least not for a sane person.
      The Israeli public are not in support of the genocide of Palestinians. US is keeping Bibi afloat but not for much longer.

  8. The future stalls here

    “We will not need zero cases to go down a level” Prime Minister Ardern

    With this statement the government moves their aim from elimination to suppression.

  9. … empowering young people … hate speech … woke lives matter … decolonise …

    Dear me, what a woke-athon. But, great to see that among all the sound and fury they eventually did get round to economics, and put the boot into GST – one of the worst things that ever happened to low-income Kiwis. Another great point is the shame of our dreadful housing estate.

  10. Kia ora,

    Thank you very much for the summary of the important ‘Alternative Aotearoa’ conference.

    Certainly, this seminar was one of the most emancipatory political events of the past weeks and months, leading the way for urgently needed social and ecological change in New Zealand / Aotearoa.

    Well done.

    From my point of view, further institutionalization of the process is the next milestone to be achieved.

    Laura O’Connell Rapira, the Director of Action Station, made some very valid practical suggestions on how to proceed, possibly through:

    1. A common agenda.
    2. A shared measurement system.
    3. Mutually re-enforcing activities.
    4. Continuous communication
    5. Backbone support organization.

    Horizontal and vertical organization, yes.

    Self-empowerment on burning social and ecological problems that are by-passed by the mainstream parties in the national parliament.

    Rolling back neo-liberalism.

    Yes. Great.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGN7PVsrAUM
    Playing for Change Band | Himno de mi corazon

Comments are closed.