On Saturday I went up to visit the families who farm on the affected land and who live close to the coast. I have to say the violence of this event terrified me. I have seen a lot of floods and slips over more than 30 years in our area but nothing as bad as this. The weather bomb hit Te Moehau, the mountain and gouged swathes of native forest off the back country slopes. Tonnes of water, trees and large boulders roared down the mountain and blocked up creeks which turned into debris choked rivers. The silt and boulders tore through fences and paddocks all the way to the coast.
I rise to take a call on the Vote Labour appropriation and it is kind of appropriate that I do that today given that yesterday there was a major celebration from 'The Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand Campaign', which was celebrating the 20 businesses that have signed up to pay their workers a living wage of $18.80. I think that is something that we should celebrate, because the only way that workers are going to be lifted out of poverty is through decent wages and through employers modelling the behaviour that we would like to see other employers adopt.
I rise to speak on the second reading of the Land Transport Amendment Bill , which we are very happy to support, although we do note that it has taken quite a long time for the Government to finally realise that this is an issue that does need to be dealt with. As has been noted by previous speakers, it is unclear why this has taken over 4 years to come before the House. So many lives could have been saved if it had been implemented earlier. There is no question that simply changing the law is not enough to reduce the harm of drink-driving.
The Green Party has long advocated for ethical investment by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. Several companies, in which the Super Fund invests, have been accused of human rights violations, the production of nuclear arms, and causing severe environmental damage.
The Green Party is accusing the Government of systematic inaction over climate change, as New Zealand scientists warn the extreme weather battering the country is a "picture of the future".
"The extremes of weather we're seeing fit with predictions. Climate change is not some distant threat. It is happening now in the form of extreme weather and it is costing communities," said Green Party climate change spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham.
I’ve been going around the country hearing from refuge and sexual violence organisations and presenting an overview of what’s been happening at a national level and the Green Party ideas for reducing violence.
It would be an epic blogpost to convey all of the detail and ideas but here are a couple of things I’ve been hearing and talking about. It is all very worrying – to put it mildly.
Funding for support services
The Green Party is calling on the Government to join with all political parties in Parliament to develop a national strategy and accord on domestic violence and child abuse, in the wake of a review that shows the current system is not working.
The People's Report of the Glenn Inquiry into Child Abuse and Domestic Violence out today describes the current system as a 'hazard to those who use it'.
Today over in the US, John Key is drumming up support for a UN Security Council seat and Murray McCully is attending John Kerry’s Oceans conference but it seems no one in National has thought of joining the two issues up. I would love to see New Zealand sitting at the United Nations top table and I support our bid to be represented on the UN Security Council. I think the world needs our voice for peace and environmental protection around that table as it debates thorny issues like Syria, Ukraine and climate change.
EUGENIE SAGE (Green): One of the few things that I would agree with Nicky Wagner on is that things have been tough in Christchurch. Research out today from Healthy Christchurch shows that 65 percent of Christchurch residents reported feeling tired in 2014, and that is a 10 percent increase on 2012.
The Green Party has welcomed the Environment Protection Agency's (EPA) decision not to allow massive seabed mining in the habitat of the world's most endangered dolphin - the Maui's Dolphin - and close to a blue whale breeding ground.
The proposal was to allow iron sand mining of the seabed off the Taranaki coast. The EPA declined the application, saying evidence provided to support the application was uncertain and inadequate.