The following is a recent press release from the New Zealand Green Party. This is another shining example of the sort of people power we’ve been seeing all over the world in the last year.

The Green Party is today welcoming the news that Meridian Energy is pulling out of plans to dam the Mokihinui River.

The campaign to save the Mokihinui has been running since 2007. Meridian’s proposal would have resulted in the inundation of conservation land destroying 300 hectares of irreplaceable river gorge habitat for kiwi, blue duck, kaka, falcons, giant land snails, native bats, and the long-finned eels that live along the Mokihinui.

“New Zealanders love our wild rivers and want them protected. This is a great day for all New Zealanders,” said Green Party Coleader Dr Russel Norman.

“New Zealanders love our wild rivers and want them protected. This is a great day for all New Zealanders,” said Green Party Coleader Dr Russel Norman.

“It is great that the new Meridian Energy CEO, Mark Binns, has listened to thousands of New Zealanders who love this river and is backing away from the destructive dam proposal.

“Given that potential for a dam was a major factor for its exclusion from Kahurangi National Park, the Government can now take this opportunity to include the Mokihinui River in Kahurangi National Park.

Meridian’s decision confirms the wisdom of a Landcare Research report that it was not possible to offset the loss of biodiversity values the proposed dam would have caused.

“The dam would have caused irreplaceable losses of our treasured native species,” said Dr Norman.

“Meridian’s decision highlights the importance of the Department of Conservation (DOC) taking a strong advocacy role under the RMA.

“DOC scientists and technical specialists have collected much valuable ecological, landscape, and other information in preparing a strong Environment Court case against the dam. It is one of the few RMA cases with which the Department is still involved.

“I am concerned about the impact of continuing funding cuts to DOC for future cases. Will we have the resources to protect our treasured places with the continued poor choices the National Government is making ahead of the Budget on Thursday,” said Dr Norman.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

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The following words recently arrived in my inbox from the co-convenors of the New Zealand Green party.

Mojo Mathers

Mojo Mathers joins six other new Green MPs in Parliament as our newest MP.  Many of you will know Mojo for her outstanding work as the Greens Strategic Policy Advisor for many years, and she was a key member of the Campaign Committee in 2008. As a deaf person who lives and breathes green issues she will be a strong advocate for inclusion for everyone.   You can read Mojo’s full biography here: http://www.greens.org.nz/candidates/mojo-mathers

Our final percentage of the party vote was 11.1%, up from 10.6% on election night, which is an outstanding achievement for our Party after 12 years in Parliament.  While the low turnout is a concern, our level of support represents a critical tipping point, delivering a strong clear Green voice in the new Parliament and a powerful platform on which to build our future support.

In response to strong feedback from members in 2010, our Party set a 10% vote target for this election and we have more than reached it! We can all take pride in what we have achieved together.  Our late co-leader Rod Donald was a strong advocate of aiming at 10% and beyond and he would also be very proud of this year’s Green party vote.

In practice, there is still a 121 seat Parliament and National is still able to form a government with ACT and United Future.  They will however need either (i) both of United Future and ACT, or (ii) the Maori Party, to secure a majority, which may moderate some extremes.  Some of you may wonder about appointing a speaker – in an MMP Parliament that doesn’t affect the balance of votes.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

The following  is a letter I intend to submit to the New Zealand Herald. It is part of my little bit to get people to think about voting a in a way that can result in real change rather than just fiddling while Rome burns with promises of tax cuts and the like.

As you know Einstein once stated that you can’t solve a problem with the same consciousness that created it. We have an election coming soon. It continues to amaze me how many people conclude they only have two options when voting—National or Labour. It’s the same all over the democratic world. In theU.S.: Republican or Democrat. InCanada: Conservative or Liberal. InEngland: Tory or Labour.

Labour is a scion of the much needed early 20th century labour union movement and has accomplished much in creating a nation of fairness and equality since it first rose to power in 1935. It is the oldest existing political party inNew Zealand. The National Party grew out of a mandate for private ownership of production, distribution and exchange. The National Party did much to create prosperity in a post-war nation once it gained power for the first time in 1949, and has consistently displayed more favour to farmers and business than the Labour Party. Each of these long-standing parties was created with noble intentions and has served New Zealanders well. But has not the economic, environmental and social predicament we are in today resulted from thinking that, no matter how well intentioned, has not moved to new and appropriate ways of seeing the world?

Our political system is fraught with problems. Its very nature encourages short term thinking and empty promises. This system and its incumbent thinking continue to embrace a global economy based on power and greed rather than people and the environment. Our current thinking has created the largest and fastest mass extinction of species in the planet’s long history, even more dramatic than whatever resulted in the demise of the dinosaur 65 million years ago. We are arguably overheating the planet while we’ve created an economy dependent on a limited and ever-diminishing resource—oil.

Isn’t it time for a change in consciousness?

The Green Party is far from perfect as it battles within an imperfect system. But it is a product of new thinking. It sprang onto the world stage in 1972 inWellington as the New Zealand Values Party. The name ‘Green Party’ came into being in 1980 in what was thenWest Germany. In March 2011 the Green Party claimed its first ever premier in a German state.

The Green Party rose from obscurity in New Zealand in 1999 when, after special votes were counted, it had obtained 5.2% of the Party vote and 7 MPs. At present the Green Party has nine MPs and is the strongest party in the country after National and Labour. The Greens are an imperfect party in an imperfect system. But, like National and Labour before them, they have arisen from the real needs of the time. A time that has come. A time that honours people and the natural world over power and greed. Which other party has co-leaders who are male and female? Which other party has co-leaders who are Maori and Pakeha? Which other party truly supports the little person? Which other party speaks for a natural world that can otherwise only speak through natural calamities and global warming?

In the coming election we can choose as our parents and our grandparents have, with the best of intentions, for National or Labour. In doing so we choose for more of the same—a global economy that exports our jobs to Asia, increases unemployment and crime, widens the gap between rich and poor and fouls the air, water and soil on which all life, including us, depends.

Isn’t it time to choose for a new consciousness and new thinking that can truly overcome the thinking that has created the serious problems our country and the world are facing today? Isn’t it time to make political choices that truly think of our children and our children’s children? Isn’t it time to choose for lasting, positive change? Isn’t it time to walk hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, man and woman, all races and all religions, to a brighter, greener more prosperous future for everyone? Isn’t it time to vote Green?

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

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Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.

 John Kenneth Galbraith

Dr. Kennedy Graham was a recent guest on Voices from the North The complete interview can be listened to below:

Ken teaches international politics and international law at the School of Law, Canterbury and Victoria University, and has previously worked for NGOs, the UN and as a diplomat. He was involved in negotiating the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone, defending the policy as a NZ diplomat before the UN in Geneva and New York and was also Director of a UN programme in the Middle East. Having returned to New Zealand he now aspires to contribute his experience and perspectives to helping the country tackle the global problems we face.

Ken is now a Green Party MP and he was touring the Far North in order to share his perspectives on sustainable economic principles. He also enunciated some of the details of his Private Members’ Bill to augment the economic indicators (like inflation, GNP and GDP) that economists and politicians presently use when forming or justifying policy.

In economics, the majority is always wrong.

John Kenneth Galbraith

One of the greatest pieces of economic wisdom is to know what you do not know.

John Kenneth Galbraith

 

Some of the ground covered in our talk included:

The ‘growth’ philosophy

The greatest myth of the age – that we will be better off if everything grows. The impact on the environment is becoming unsustainable. 

Population growth

We know world population now is nearing 7 billion and the prediction is that we will reach 9 billion by mid century.  Some claim that a sustainable world population is much lower than this. How can we cope with this rise in population and still maintain fair standards of living for all people?

The growing gap between rich and poor

Success is often measured in the amount of ‘stuff’ we have.   How can we create a more ‘holistic’ way of life that brings in social, environmental and spiritual aspects to balance the economic side?

Again the complete interview can be found here:

Find out more about Dr. Kennedy Graham here:

http://www.greens.org.nz/people/kennedygraham

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

Sue Bradford, Green Party Member of Parliament in New Zealand, has twice been named backbencher of the year. She is ranked number three on the Green Party List voted on by all Green Party members, coming in behind the co-leaders Russel Norman and Jeanette Fitzsimons. Sue had three private member bills passed into law in the last 2008 parliamentary session, more than anyone ever has. Listen to the complete interview below:

 

She speaks with passion of the role of the Green Party being a voice for the environment and for the voiceless members of society. She eloquently elaborates on how the Greens look to the long term—50 to 100 years—rather than the superficial perspective the big parties tend to have.

 

Sue explains how the Vietnam War influenced her as a teenager during a year her family spent in Wisconsin. Her lifelong passion for standing up to injustice was initiated during that North Amercian sojourn. Her comments on the upcoming US elections (this Voices from the North Interview was recorded in October, 2008) are insightful. She describes America as an empire in collapse. She calls tax cuts superficial and ‘like fiddling while Rome burns.’

 

She speaks of the damage in low income communities of ‘pokies’ (slot machines) and how the main parties seem to have a ‘conspiracy of silence’ with issues like this. Sue, herself a mother of five children, elaborates on the importance of early childhood education for all socio-economic classes. This was a timely interview as the New Zealand elections were November 8th, 2008.

 

 

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews