Two years ago, a small pocket of land three kilometres from Auckland’s international airport became the most prominent site of a struggle by Māori, New Zealand’s indigenous people, to reclaim land confiscated by the crown more than 150 years ago. Ihumātao contains evidence of New Zealand’s first commercial gardens, where thousands of hectares were planted with kumara, a tropical sweet potato which thrived in the warm and nutritious soil. The adjacent stonefields, today a category one Unesco heritage site, are rich with ancient nurseries and storage pits. When William Hobson, then-governor of New Zealand, founded Auckland in 1840, the produce of Ihumātao sustained the growing population.
A call for help from domestic or family violence is made on average every four minutes in New Zealand, whose high statistics regularly top global lists. And South Auckland is the country’s ground zero, where 23,000 calls come in yearly for family violence. The area also has a large Māori and Pacific Islander population, but New Zealand’s police force is mostly white. Encounters between residents and officers summoned to respond to family disputes have often ended with arrests made and children funneled into emergency state care, where a bewildering bureaucracy of government agencies and community organizations await.
Perhaps the greatest success story is New Zealand, which has stopped local transmission and has a plan to completely eliminate the virus from its territory. "The lesson is that it can be done," says Siouxsie Wiles, an associate professor of microbiology in New Zealand. "Obviously, the longer you leave it, and the more cases there are, the harder it becomes. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try." Wiles heads up the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab at the University of Auckland. Much of her work focuses on antibiotic resistance and infectious diseases. When the coronavirus hit, she got involved in communication efforts in New Zealand to help explain the virus, including by using a popular cartoon. But it wasn't just scientists who led the charge. Wiles — and many other New Zealanders — give much of the credit for their country's success to the swift and decisive leadership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in March.
Over the last year, New Zealand has seen tens of thousands of workers walk off the job, challenging the Labour government’s self-imposed austerity. In early 2018, a New Zealand nurse and union member Elizabeth Alice wrote an open Facebook post that went viral. “Here’s the thing,” Alice wrote. Nurses were fighting for pay, staffing levels, and “the future of our public health system.” “Our communities deserve investment in public health,” Alice continued. ‘If we don’t fight for it now then it will be gone, and we will have a situation like the USA where the rich get premium care and the poor die on the streets from curable diseases.”
As we mourn the victims of the terrorist atrocity in New Zealand -- where at least 50 Muslim worshippers were mowed down by a white supremacist partially "inspired" by Donald Trump -- many are looking for answers to the inevitable questions of why and how. To answer those questions, and explore how we might prevent such terrorist acts, it may be helpful to recognize that what happened at Christchurch -- mass murder produced as the logical result of a long-running political epoch that is almost singularly defined by the dehumanization and demonization of Muslims, Arabs, and anyone perceived as such -- happens every day.
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND — What is without question the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history took place on Friday when shooters, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant among them, opened fire at two Christchurch mosques. Four, including Tarrant, have been arrested for the heinous act, which claimed at least 49 innocent lives. Tarrant was responsible for killing more than 40 victims, among them several children, in a rampage he live-streamed on Facebook, sending chills throughout the Muslim community, particularly Muslims living in Western countries.
The U.S. State Department uses public funds and public employees to market private products designed for mass killing to foreign governments. Few corporations have benefitted more from this socialism for the oligarchs than Boeing. In one recent example, the U.S. government has persuaded the New Zealand government to buy four “Poseidon” planes from Boeing that are designed for working with submarines, of which New Zealand possesses zero. The purchase price of $2.3 billion in New Zealand dollars, $1.6 billion in U.S. dollars, may be too small for White House occupant Donald Trump to hold an illustration-enhanced media event about.
To The Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister Of New Zealand: Please Call A National referendum On The CPTPP Treaty
Now it’s your decision on whether or not to forward the Bill to the Governor-General with a recommendation to sign it into law. In practice, that decides whether or not NZ commits to join the CPTPP treaty. Before that happens, it’s certainly within your powers to ask for a national referendum so New Zealanders can finally get to vote on the controversial treaty. In 2015 and 2016, when the treaty was still called the TPPA, town hall meetings were held up and down the country to express concerns around the treaty.
Perpetual Guardian, a company is New Zealand that helps people with wills, trusts, and estate plans, employs 240 people and pinned the success of the trial down to employee attitudes. After testing out a four-day work week, the company found that employees reported a 7% stress reduction, a 24% increase in work-life balance, and a 20% increase in team engagement. While staff worked a four day week, they were still paid for five days. They also continued to work eight hour days. Company CEO Andrew Barnes announced the experiment in February, and gave his employees time to improve efficiency across departments - putting it in their hands how a four day week could be done without a loss to productivity.
A last-ditch effort to stop the CPTPP has seen protesters cement themselves in concrete as well as dumping pillows and soft toys outside MP’s offices. The CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership) deal will be signed in Chile on Thursday (Chile time), but activists aren’t giving up the fight. Christchurch Direct Action Group members stood in a wooden box cementing their feet into concrete outside Labour MP Ruth Dyson’s office in Christchurch on Thursday afternoon. Earlier in the day pillows and soft toys were dumped outisde Jacinda Ardern’s electorate office in Auckland. The Auckland TPP Action Group dumped dozens of pillows, soft dog toys and homemade rats outside the Prime Minister’s office in Mt Albert, Auckland. Messages written on the pillows include ’Aotearoa is not for sale’, ’Protect Aotearoa and our ecological assets’ and ’It’s our children’s future! We must protect it!’
By Charles Anderson for The Guardian - New Zealand’s new government is considering creating a visa category to help relocate Pacific peoples displaced by climate change. The new category would make official the Green party’s pre-election policy which promised 100 visas for those affected by climate change. As part of the new Labour-led coalition government, the Green party leader James Shaw was given the role of climate change minister. He told Radio New Zealand on Tuesday that “an experimental humanitarian visa category” could be implemented for people from the Pacific who are displaced by rising seas resulting from climate change. “It is a piece of work that we intend to do in partnership with the Pacific islands,” Shaw said. Before the election, the Greens also proposed increasing New Zealand’s overall refugee quota from 750 each year to 4,000 places over six years. Shaw’s announcement comes after the New Zealand immigration and protection tribunal rejected two families from Tuvalu who applied to become refugees in New Zealand due to the impact of climate change. The families argued rising sea levels, lack of access to clean and sanitary drinking water and Tuvalu’s high unemployment rate as reasons for seeking asylum. The tribunal ruled they did not risk being persecuted by race, religion, nationality or by membership of a political or religious group under the 1951 refugee convention.
By Staff of War Resisters' International - In New Zealand, Peace Action Wellington organised groups from across New Zealand to resist the annual New Zealand Defence Industry Association's (NZDIA) “weapons expo”. From 7am on 10th October, around 200 people were onsite to protest the event, with the entrances to the Westpac Stadium blocked by protesters sat in the roads and hanging from banners. Jessie Dennis, a spokesperson for Peace Action Wellington said: “We’re here to stay. We think it’s totally unethical that New Zealand plays host to a Weapons Expo, and we’re not leaving until the weapons dealers do. The Weapons Expo is a trade fair for some of the biggest arms companies in the world. The delegates attending would have us believe that the products on sale and the deals being done at the Expo are somehow benign. But make no mistake, these are weapons and military hardware that play their part in the global war machine.” The protest was heavily policed, with a number of arrests and protesters accusing the police of violence. The coalition taking action included Auckland Peace Action, Peace Action Hamilton, People Against Prisons Aotearoa, Palestine Solidarity Network, Whanganui Positive Activists, It’s Our Future Manawatu, Oil Free Wellington, Unions Wellington, Pacific Panthers, Quakers, Catholic Workers and many other individual activists.
By Morgan Erickson-Davis for The Campaign to Stop GE Trees - Last year the world lost an area of tree cover the size of New Zealand, according to satellite data. That’s around 29.7 million hectares (297,000 square kilometers) – and was a 51 percent jump over 2015. The tree cover loss data came from the University of Maryland (UMD) and were analyzed by World Resources Institute (WRI). While the data don’t just represent deforestation (they also lump in tree plantation harvesting), the analysts attribute most of the tree cover loss to human impacts affecting forests such agriculture, logging and mining. But why the big jump in tree cover loss from 2015 to 2016? The analysis points specifically to fire as the primary culprit. The data indicate big upticks in fires around the world, both in areas where fire naturally occurs — like northern Alberta, Canada — and wetter areas of the tropics where fire is (or perhaps more accurately, used to be) a rare phenomenon. One of these latter areas is the Brazilian Amazon. Rainforest is, by definition, rainy and moist, and the Amazon rainforest is no exception. Rainforest shouldn’t burn on its own — and yet, WRI’s analysis found understory fires contributed to a tripling of tree cover loss in the Brazilian Amazon (3.3 million hectares) over that time.
By Chris Baynes for Independent - New Zealand's new prime minister called capitalism a "blatant failure", before citing levels of homelessness and low wages as evidence that "the market has failed" her country's poor. Jacinda Ardern, who is to become the nation's youngest leader since 1856, said measures used to gauge economic success "have to change" to take into account "people's ability to actually have a meaningful life". The 37-year-old will take office next month after the populist New Zealand First party agreed to form a centre-left coalition with her Labour Party. They will be supported by the liberal Greens. New Zealanders had been waiting since 23 September to find out who would govern their country after national elections ended without a clear winner. Ms Ardern has pledged her government will increase the minimum wage, write child poverty reduction targets into law, and build thousands of affordable homes. In her first full interview since becoming prime minister-elect, she told current affairs programme The Nation that capitalism had "failed our people". "If you have hundreds of thousands of children living in homes without enough to survive, that's a blatant failure," she said. "What else could you describe it as?" Incumbent prime minister Bill English, whose National Party has held power for nine years, has said his party grew the economy and produced increasing budget surpluses which benefited the nation.
By Staff of Green Peace - “Three of us who got in the water yesterday in front of a climate-destroying oil ship have been charged. We have been charged, not by the police, but by “The Ministry of Oil” (the petroleum division of MBIE) - the Government's ministry responsible for supporting, subsidising and propping up the oil industry here in New Zealand, using public money. The science of climate change is unequivocal. It tells us that if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change we cannot burn even known fossil fuel reserves, let alone new oil - which is exactly what The Amazon Warrior is looking for. The oil industry is the most powerful industry in the history of humanity and they have huge influence on governments. Ours is no different.