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August 9, 2014

Today, as we mark World Refugee Day, I look back and think about how lucky we are in New Zealand to experience the diversity and culture that various refugees have brought into this country.

Over the years, I have met with many people who came to New Zealand as refugees. They brought with them a great wealth of culture, experience and knowledge – and they have used it to settle into their new lives here. They have also been very willing to share that knowledge with us- so really, we here in New Zealand can go around the world without leaving our shores.

August 9, 2014

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.

August 9, 2014

John Key needs to tell the public why New Zealand is currently involved in a trade deal to benefit Wall Street at the expense of Queen Street, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

The text of a 19-page, international trade agreement involving New Zealand has just been published via WikiLeaks. According to the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Trade in Service Agreement (TISA) 'should expand access to foreign markets for United States service industries and ensure they receive national and most-favoured nation treatment'.

August 9, 2014

The true costs of the Government's asset sales are over $640 million, more than five times the $120.6 million National is claiming today, Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said.

"The Government is being extremely tricky when it says Treasury's cost for the asset sales was just $85.5 million plus the $35.1 million paid by the companies themselves," said Dr Norman.

Among the other costs to get the sales away were:

August 9, 2014

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

August 9, 2014

New Zealand's wild conservation land should be protected from logging, the Green Party said today.

National has announced plans to allow logging of native forest on public land on the West Coast damaged in Cyclone Ita.

"It is illegal to log these forests, a storm is no reason to change the law," Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage said today.

"New Zealanders fought for years to end native logging and protect the West Coast's forests. We shouldn't turn back the clock.

August 9, 2014

National's transport budget for the next decade is a fantasy plan that pretends climate change doesn't exist and locks New Zealanders into their cars for the next 50 years, said the Green Party today.

Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee released the draft Government Policy Statement on Transport late Sunday afternoon. It outlines $40 billion spending for transport infrastructure over the next decade with just 10 percent allocated to public transport and less than one percent for walking and cycling.

August 9, 2014

New Zealanders believe Edward Snowden ahead of John Key when it comes to the US spying on us, the Green Party said today.

John Key has previously downplayed New Zealanders concerns that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has been involved in spying on New Zealanders, but the results of a Stuff Ipsos poll released today shows 71.6 per cent of Kiwis believe United States spy agencies are gathering data on New Zealanders and 61.8 per cent of those people do not support the US being able to do so.

August 9, 2014

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'.