This week we had confirmation via the Waikato Times that Mayor Andrew King was going for a second term – the only real surprise being that he will not be putting himself forward for his west ward seat as well. All eggs in one basket so to speak. His claim that the government is giving $250 million for development was refuted as “porkies” by Rob Pascoe. You can read more here. It’s all semantics really. Needless to say it’s going to be an interesting year.
A decision on whether to go ahead with the demolition of the Municipal pools at a cost of $1 million will happen within six months. I will let you know on the show when you can given feedback to the council on this issue. To follow advocacy to save the pools you need to follow Sink or Swim.
No so much news, more of an observation. In November 2018 the New Zealand Tax Payers Union thought it would be a good use of ratepayer paid time to request the cost of the hold music when calling the Hamilton City council. I wish I was kidding. However it serves as a reminder that we are all able to request information from the Council, and can expect it back in 20 days. You can check out all OIA’s made in 2018 here.
A farmer was fined over $8000 for burning tyres on his property. He know that tyres are an environmental problem – but what do we do about end of life tyres in Hamilton? I’ll find out and get back to you.
It looks like 2019 will be another year of strikes. Junior doctors are next. There are 450 within the Waikato district health board. The strike, impacting nearly 1500 patient appointments, will occur between Tuesday the 15th of January and Thursday the 17th.
The end of a year is a great time for reflection. I’ve had over 70 guests on Kelli from the Tron in 2018 ranging from politicians, environmental and social advocates / activists, event organisers and bands. For the last two weeks of the year, I’ll recap some of the bigger stories and themes covered in the show and share tracks from 10 of the bands I’ve been lucky enough to interview.
She should have been safe, but she wasn’t. That’s the message our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern relayed to Grace Millane’s family on Monday as her suspected murderer faced court. The outpouring of sorrow, grief and guilt from Kiwis led to two candlelight vigils being held in Hamilton and throughout the country on Wednesday, and in true 2018 fashion a torrent of attention on social media focused on how this could happen here.
I found it hard not to think back to the case of Margery Hopegood who unfortunately found a similar fate here in Hamilton in 1992, days after arriving in the country. It reminds me that she should have been safe, but wasn’t. We should all be safe, but aren’t. It’s a reminder to us all that Aotearoa has an secret uglier than our less than 100% pure image – which is our rate of physical and sexual violence towards women. I feel compelled to discuss this today due to #notallmen trending online. No, it’s not all men. But, it’s too many men, and this is one instance where you don’t get the luxury of putting up a wall to deny blame. We all have to take responsibility for this.
Whenever we read an article about violence towards women there is an element of victim blaming. Why was she travelling solo? (How dare she be independent). We check what she was wearing in her last photo. (Skirts a little too high, Dear). We give well intentioned warnings to our daughters to, keep a phone with them, not drink too much and stay with friends. What we don’t do is spend enough time telling our boys and men that they have no right to touch a woman without express permission, that “no means no” and that it’s not okay to “keep trying lest she changes her mind”. Violence is never justified. I was pleased to see strangulation and assault towards family members highlighted in the Family violence Act. We don’t spend enough time telling the #notallmen brigade that it would be more useful for them to be pulling up their friends or family members who act or talk out of line. Speak up against the violence. Intervene.
If you find yourself wanting to direct your anger and sorrow anywhere – it should be at changing our culture that is currently accepting violence towards women. We all have a responsibility to keep women like Grace safe, our daughters safe, my daughter safe.
Golriz Ghahraman, an Iranian-Kiwi became the first refugee to be sworn in as an MP in 2017. She is a member of the Green Party of Aotearoa and is spokesperson for a raft of portfolios including human rights and corrections. I really admire the work that she is doing and felt privileged to have the opportunity to speak with her this week.
I asked for her views on the Grace Millane case, which has stunned the country this week. We discussed violence towards women and the need to stop tolerating devaluation of women. She gave her advice to women looking at putting themselves forward for governance roles – pointing out that there needs to be a change in culture and systemic changes to make working within those roles possible for those with a family.
We discussed human rights, in terms of the right to vote, which Golriz is advocating we return for prisoners; the UN migration pact and the CPTPPA.
1m “Spy vs Spy” Snake Oil Peddlers
13:50m “I’m in love” 5 Girls
18:57m Angela O’Leary – Hamilton City Councillor about Your Vote Matters – a presentation by Angela O’Leary
35:30m “Out for the count” Knightshade
40m Murray from Shaw’s Bird Park about an unwanted road going through his property and a chance to check out the park this Sunday.
47:15m “Surfin Taniwha” The Hollow Grinders
50:10m Local events
This Free FM podcast is brought to you with support from Hamilton Taxi’s. Next week on the show Golriz Ghahraman from Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand will be joining me.
Have you seen that cartoon with Santa taking his sleigh of gifts straight to landfill called ‘Cutting out the middle man’?. Sadly this is reality and it’s not good for Papatūānuku or our wallet.
I don’t want to sound like the Christmas Grinch but, I do worry about the pressure Christmas puts on us to buy gifts that we can’t really afford and then have them end up in landfill in the next spring clean. Where is the sense in that?
Most of us don’t have dedicated funds to call upon at this time of the year and clock up credit card debt, skip bills or do without to get through. Yet we do it, every year – because we want our loved ones to know we care… It’s human nature and it’s habit. But, I’m calling on Hamiltonians to make some small changes this year for an ‘as ethical as possible Christmas’.
Consider buying secondhand or “vintage”, diverting quality, unique items from landfill, supporting charity and saving you loads of money. You’ll be amazed at what you can find at the Dump shop, or Sallies. Spit, polish and wrap.
A little bit crafty? Make something useful like a reusable bag or produce bags from an old t-shirt or fabric lying around. Youtube has numerous DIY videos to help you out. Your friends and whanau will appreciate it immensely in less than 6 months when the plastic ban kicks in. Yipee on that.
Our tamariki will remember that time they went to the zoo, movie or theatre more than they will another expensive plastic toy. Make memories not waste. I know that 90% of the fun is unwrapping, so make a game of it. But remember that foil wrapping paper isn’t recyclable so stick to the paper stuff (which is cheaper anyway).
I also think it’s time we called ‘time’ on the dreaded workplace Secret-Santa. It’s always novelty crap that has no function. Why not change your workplace tradition to be $5 or $10 towards a charity, you agree on. Win Win.
Christmas doesn’t have to be about debt, gifts destined to landfill and stress. But, it will take some changes. What will you do differently this year?
9:50m NEW music “Death you brought to me” Loudhailer
13m Hamilton Fringe Festival NZ committee members Macaila and Chris join me to talk about the festival opening. We then heard from Ben whose exhibition ‘Coloured Sound’ runs alongside Chris’ ‘Sensory explorations into Quantum Imaginary Spacetime’ at the Beggs Wiseman building. <Warning, big words>