Ep #188 Rimu Bhooi – Green candidate for Hamilton East

Kelli from the Tron is a Free FM radio show and podcast made especially for people living in Kirikiriroa Hamilton. Each week I share local news, views, events and music.

🎼🎸Song 1 – I started the podcast with ‘Ocean Baby’ from Summer Thieves who were awesome on Raglan Roast Live recently (watch it here). They’re kicking off their ‘Bandaids and Lipstick’ tour from the Yot Club on the 17th July. More here.

Pitopito korero

Hamilton City Council – Te Kaunihera o Kirikriroa (HCC) are reviewing the voting system we use to elect our mayor and councillors in August. Head to yourcityelections.co.nz to read more about the pros and cons of First Past the Post (FPP) and Single Transferable Voting (STV). Or – fast forward to signing this petition for better representation 👉 https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/vote-stv-for-hamilton

HCC have released a report they commissioned alongside Waikato-Tainui, “Historical report on Hamilton Street and City Names” by Dr Vincent O’Malley Read the report here.

The latest episode of William Ray’s Black Sheep. “The story of statues” Listen to the podcast

🎼🎸Song 2 – ‘Fall into you’ by Looking for Alaska (you should check out their merch here).

🎤Interview with Rimu Bhooi – Green candidate for Hamilton East

Rimu is an activist, uni student and the Green party candidate for Hamilton East. She talked about the experience of students during lockdown, representation, fighting for human rights and her positions on both referendum questions.

Listen to the interview via podcast 👉 (🎧 10_July_podcast)

Last week

I was joined by Looking for Alaska‘s Amy and Aaron to talk about the release of “Fall into you” from their upcoming album (due for release November). Listen to last week’s podcast 👉 (🎧03-07-20 podcast)

One more thing; If you want to support this show, and other independent community media from Free FM in the Waikato – consider becoming a Patreon. The money helps maintain the studios, provide training and get this content to it’s national and international audiences https://www.patreon.com/freefm89

Ep #187 Looking for Alaska

Kelli from the Tron is a Free FM radio show and podcast made especially for people living in Kirikiriroa Hamilton. Each week I share local news, views, events and music.

A new episode broadcasts live on Free FM at 10am every Friday with the podcast available shortly after on Spotify / iHeartRadio / Apple podcasts or accessmedia.nz

Last week

Dr Gaurav Sharma – Hamilton West candidate for the Labour party joined me in the studio to share his background in medicine and business and why politics is the natural progression; what it was like to be on the frontline (as a GP) during covid19 and his priorities for primary health. Listen from 9min 👉 (🎧26-06-20 podcast)

Pitopito korero

Hamilton City Council / Te Kaunihera o Kirikiriroa wants you to have your say on the voting system we use to elect our mayor and councillors. First Past the Post (FPP) or Single Transferable Voting (STV). The yourcityelections website is a great place to educate yourself on the pros and cons of both. I support the change to STV because I think we will have a better say in the make up of the elected council. The only benefit of FPP is that its easy. If you support a change, make sure you have your say in the poll, AND sign the Politics in the Tron petition. If you’re feeling particularly supportive – please consider making a written or verbal submission.

Sign the petition 👉 https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/vote-stv-for-hamilton

Despite the Waikato Regional Council and Waikato Tainui criticising Watercare’s management of infrastructure in Auckland – they are set to allow Auckland to increase their water take from the Waikato River – at least as an short term solution. The latest update.

Last week the Hamilton City Council released an historical account by Dr Vincent O’Malley into the historical figures for which our city and streets are named.  Hamilton, Grey, Bryce and Von Tempsky.  This report seeks to inform on the facts of history, to help navigate a way forward in how we deal with our difficult history.  Read the report here.

Yesterday the infamous in Kirikiriroa Mem drive was demolished, despite a campaign to save it as a part of our cultural artistic history.  Sad day for those who inhabited it, and for those who were a part of its history.  Read more. Speaking of arts – Skinroom in Frankton has been repurposed and rebranded as Never project space. Read more

🎼🎸New music

“Fall into you” by Looking for Alaska

‘Fall Into You’ is the first single from their upcoming album ‘Light and Shadow,’ which is due for release this November. Check out the video which dropped yesterday too.

🎤Interview with Amy and Aaron from Looking for Alaska

Like two weary vagabonds hitch-hiking along the open road with nothing but a guitar and a suitcase of songs and wayward memories, pop-folk duo Looking For Alaska are ready to set the music scene alight. Members Aaron Gott and Amy Maynard offer up a sound rooted in country-style guitar and soaring harmonies woven together at their very fiber, intensified by their on-stage chemistry.

Listen to the interview via podcast 👉 (🎧03-07-20 podcast)

Next week

Rimu Bhooi – Hamilton East candidate for the Green party will be in the Free FM studio to talk about her candidacy and the issues she’d like to hear talked about ahead of this year’s election on September 19th.

One more thing; If you want to support this show, and other independent community media from Free FM in the Waikato – consider becoming a Patreon. The money helps maintain the studios, provide training and get this content to it’s national and international audiences https://www.patreon.com/freefm89

Ep #186 Gaurav Sharma for Hamilton West (Labour party)

Kelli from the Tron is a Free FM radio show and podcast made especially for people living in Kirikiriroa Hamilton. Each week I share local news, views, events and music. Podcast available on Spotify / iHeartRadio / Apple podcasts or accessmedia.nz

Last week

I spoke to Deborah Nudds, manager of The Meteor theatre about their Boosted campaign. Please donate if you can. (Or buy a brick like I did. I can’t wait to see it!). Listen to last week’s show (🎧19-6-20 podcast)

Actually while we’re talking about the arts, on Tuesday’s Free Breakfast show I spoke to Dr Jeremy Mayall, CEO of Creative Waikato about the ‘Kotahitanga through Creativity’ project, Mesoverse and Ihirangaranga (vibrations). You can listen to that interview here (🎧23-06-20 podcast) It had some good tips for how we can support the arts community too.

Pitopito korero

I lost my show notes a minute before going live-to-air so I made a fumbly mess of the news this week. Apologies. Here are the stories we’ve been following:

The Hon. Nanaia Mahutu has been presented with a petition for parliament to Protect Pukeiāhua from development. You can still sign the Action station petition calling for protection of the whenua / archaeological sites. 👉 https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/protectpukeiahua

Hamilton City Council / Te Kaunihera o Kirikiriroa wants you to have your say on the voting system we use to elect our mayor and councillors. First Past the Post (FPP) or Single Transferable Voting (STV). The yourcityelections website is a great place to educate yourself on the pros and cons of both. I support the change to STV because I think we will have a better say in the make up of the elected council. The only benefit of FPP is that its easy. If you support a change, make sure you have your say in the poll, AND sign the Politics in the Tron petition. If you’re feeling particularly supportive – please consider making a written or verbal submission.

Sign the petition 👉 https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/vote-stv-for-hamilton

Waikato Tainui offers support to resolve Auckland’s water crisis. Te Ao Maori news

I also recommend you watch the Waikato Regional Council’s live video about Watercare and Waikato allocation for their thinking on the issue.

What you need to know about giving prisoners back the vote. Re: News

🎼🎸New (ish) music

“First world problems” by Sit down in Front

Gisborne based punk rock band Sit down in Front have just released their new album “Confessions of a pie thief” and a video for recently released single “First world problems”. It was cool to see frontman Corey on Breakfast yesterday, talking about gigs/tours and winning the Supreme – Attitude Award. Music on all platforms.

Speaking of music – are you catching the Raglan Roast Live series? It’s got performances from the coolest bands… Lost Tribe Aotearoa, Cloak bay, Strangely Arousing, Otium and this week – Summer Thieves. Live from their facebook at 8.30pm Saturday.

🎤Interview with Dr Gaurav Sharma, Labour party candidate for Hamilton West.

Go straight to the podcast 👉 (🎧26-06-20 podcast)

Dr Gaurav Sharma - Hamilton West Labour candidate in the Free FM studio

It’s no secret I’m a Green party voter, but this week I welcomed Labour party candidate for Hamilton West, Dr Gaurav Sharma into the studio. As far as I’m aware there won’t be a Green candidate for Hamilton West (Rimu Bhooi is the Hamilton East candidate) so I need to look at my options… I hope you find the interview useful. #partyvotegreen

It’s his second election campaign for the ward; he’s a GP in Nawton – lives in Frankton and is a super nice guy. His C.V. is fancy – from medicine to business but with a passion for good policy and politics – having worked with Phil Goff, and on Hillary Clinton’s campaign while studying in Washington. He sees politics as a way to make a bigger impact on wider issues. I hope to interview him a couple more times before the election – so let me know if you have any questions or comments.

For more info: gmsharma.info and https://www.facebook.com/gmsharmanz/

Latest podcast (🎧26-06-20 podcast)

Next week

Looking for Alaska will be in the Free FM studio to celebrate the release of “Fall into you”! Heads up that they have a Single release show at Nivara Lounge that night – July 3rd – tickets selling fast so get yours now.

One more thing; If you want to support this show, and other independent community media from Free FM in the Waikato – consider becoming a Patreon. The money helps maintain the studios, provide training and get this content to it’s national and international audiences https://www.patreon.com/freefm89

Podcast: Is it time for Aotearoa to become a republic? 🎧

In the first Kelli from the Tron podcast for 2020, I ask the question “Is it time for Aotearoa to become a republic?” (79% of you had said Yes in the poll on my facebook page).

To find out more I spoke to Lewis Holden, the campaign chair for New Zealand Republic to ask what our current constitutional arrangement is, who (according to the polls) support replacing the English monarchy with a New Zealand citizen and the pros and cons of doing so. We talk about how it might impact on Te Tiriti o Waitangi and finally the steps we need to take if we want this to happen. Have a listen, and head to http://www.republic.org.nz/ for more info or if you want to get involved in the campaign.

Then, I talk to Hamilton based indie folk duo Lhasa (Micaela and Sam). 🎤 🎼 They met studying music at Vision College but are now on a North Island tour which includes Nivara Lounge on the 22nd of January). (You’ll also see them at Parachute this year).

Listen to the podcast, and get in touch via social media if you have comments or questions 🙂  🎧 http://bit.do/KFTT-Spotify 

Episode 159 – Two new councillors on their first month on the job

Listen to the Podcast http://bit.do/ep-159

Councillors Jen Nickel (Waikato Regional) and Sarah Thomson (Hamilton City) in the Free FM studio

It’s been just over a month since the election which saw both Jennifer Nickel and Sarah Thomson elected to council for the first time. I invited them into the Free FM studio (in what we hope is a regular thing) to hear about how they’ve found the first month on the job… what’s induction like and what roles have they been given?

Jen is chair of the Climate action committee at the Waikato Regional Council and Sarah is deputy of the Environment committee at Hamilton City Council. These are both new committees – set up due to calls during the election for these issues to be a priority. They talk about the opportunities to work together and what is on the cards for 2020.

Listen to my interview with Jennifer during the election period here or my interview with Sarah on Free Choice here if you want to know more about their background and priorities if elected.

Listen to the Podcast http://bit.do/ep-159

Episode #158 – Day of climate action

Latest Free FM podcast – also available on Spotify / Apple Podcasts

Hannah Huggan is a local climate activist who I met in July after she (and other students) presented to Hamilton City Council on why they should declare a climate emergency. The HCC decided they knew better, and didn’t – but it hasn’t deterred Hannah and other Student Enviroleaders from mobilising both other students and Hamiltonians to take action on climate, through climate strikes and next in a Day of Climate Action.

We talked about why she is motivated to ‘do something’ about our climate emergency; the actions she’s been involved in to date – and what next…

Here’s a message from Student Enviroleaders about the Day of Action!

In this podcast I share some NEW tracks – “Take me from here” from Rubita from her upcoming album “Distinctive Thrill” and “Kanikani kiwi” a track off the new album “Awa” by Maciek Hrybowicz. #localmusic

I also share “Green Room Scuffle” – a cover of a Glass Shards song, by Camoria – whose album I’m calling “Best album from the Tron in 2019”. Just saying… have a listen if you don’t believe me. #localmusic

Jake and Tess are Camoria!

Finally, I wrap up some upcoming events;

Kids Eco Festival – Waipa / Timmy Dee’s Birthday Bash! / Hamilton Crown Lynn Market / Music Swap Market / White Ribbon Hikoi Hamilton

Thanks for listening!! Latest Free FM podcast – also available on Spotify / Apple Podcasts

Just pay the Living Wage

First published in Hamilton News on 1 November 2019

Photo credit: Living Wage Aotearoa

With thanks to Wellington carpenter Samuel Parnell, we were among the first in the world to claim the right to an ‘8 hour working day’ in 1840, celebrated as Labour day since 1890.  

Today, the problem isn’t necessarily long hours spent in a factory, it’s businesses paying their staff less than the cost of living.

You’ve probably heard the term the working poor.  A growing number of Kiwis who work full-time and still cannot afford, food on the table, medical or dental work or continually increasing rents. 

While this government is increasing the Minimum Wage to $20 by 2021 it still isn’t enough, nor calculated to match the cost of living each year like the Living Wage does.

A Living Wage is the hourly wage a worker needs to pay for the necessities of life and participate as an active citizen in the community.  It is calculated annually and is currently $21.15 per hour.

If you’re an employer and “can’t afford to pay a living wage”; you should be rethinking your business model and budgets, to work out how you can do this.  It isn’t just about doing the right thing, it’s the business smart thing to do with research showing a Living Wage can lead to increases in productivity, reduced absenteeism and staff turnover.

This week was Living Wage week, I urge you to set a goal to be paying all of your employees a Living Wage by Labour Day 2020.  For more information livingwageaotearoa.co.nz

The youth, gender and climate quake hits Hamilton

First published in the Hamilton News on 18 October 2019

Well if that wasn’t a disruption to the status quo I don’t know what is.  With such a big shake up to our elected council let’s look at the winners and losers.  To start with, the winners were women and those who wanted a better gender balance around the council table.  Regular readers will know this is something I’ve been working behind the scenes on for over a year, so it’s been hugely satisfying for that mahi to come to fruition.  In 2016 we had eight female candidates stand for council with only three elected.  Fast forward to 2019 – there were sixteen women campaigning and six (possibly seven) elected.  That’s phenomenal.  A mihi to the YWCA of Hamilton who did some great work in that space too.  The millenials are celebrating!  In 2016 we had no councillors under 35, and now we have two (possibly three).  I was fortunate to have been involved with Seed Waikato who have championed the work to support candidates and get more people enrolled to vote – ka pai to mahi e hoa maa.  The decreased average age of the council is great for representation and advocacy for issues young people care about.  Another winner was the environment and those pushing hard for climate action.  This is a far more progressive council than we’ve seen in the past with many campaigning for cycleways, restorative planting / green spaces and public transport.  Finally, democracy wins.  Yes our voter turnout is still far too low, but a 5% increase, and being the highest since 2004 is certainly something to celebrate.  The losers? I’ll keep it short.  The candidates who pushed for keeping rates down with no other platforms or vision…  Climate change deniers, racists and anti-vaxxers.  This election result is off the chart!  Thank you Hamilton.

The election results – in short

Well that’s a wrap. Another election pretty much done and dusted and thankfully without the huge disappointment experienced in 2016 – in terms of participation and diversity.

If you haven’t been keeping up… Paula Southgate is our new Mayor elect beating incumbent Andrew King. She’ll be joined in the council chamber by…

East Ward
Mark Bunting
Kesh Naidoo-Rauf
Maxine van Oosten
Margaret Forsyth
Ryan Hamilton
Rob Pascoe

West Ward
Angela O’Leary
Martin Gallagher
Geoff Taylor
Sarah Thomson
Dave Macpherson
Ewan Wilson

Those following the voter returns for the weeks leading to election day know we were tracking to beat turnout for 2016 and 2013, and with special votes still to be counted we’re at 38.78% a 5 % increase. The highest turnout since 2004. Still painfully low but an encouraging increase nonetheless.

I’m celebrating – improved gender balance in our elected council, going from three women to six.

I’m celebrating because in 2016, none of our councillors were under 40, this time we have two – and an overall younger council.

I’m celebrating – councillors elected who advocated for the environment, climate action and cycleways.

I’m celebrating because we unseated four incumbents, which is basically unheard of – we traditionally like the status quo. Consequently we got rid of climate change deniers / racists and an anti-vaxxer.

We get the final final final results on Thursday – I’ll post again then. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for Louise Hutt to take the sixth seat for the West.

Using local government to get what you want – start by voting

Ae, e hoa. This is another opinion piece encouraging you to vote in the local elections. But, stick around – I’m not going to tell you to vote because it’s ‘your civic duty‘ or because people have literally – literally, died for this democratic right. I’m not going to use those reasons because to be honest, they didn’t work for me.

This is me voting… super easy!

I’m also not going to tell you to vote because what local government does impacts on our day to day life; from clean water to your tap, how you get around the city, the parks and community facilities in your neighbourhood to how much your rates bill is as a result.

FInally, I’m not going to pretend that the sky will fall in if certain people are elected, or not elected. We elect a mayor and twelve councillors across the city, who have equal votes – so by nature of it – nothing drastic will happen because they need a majority. In fact, local government is painfully slow and conservative – probably more due to the ties and requirements of central government than anything else- but it means ‘things tick by’ regardless of who we vote for.

So, why bother? Well, I bother – by way of voting last week, and spending the last three years committed to sharing information and encouragement to you via Politics in the Tron because I’m rethinking the role of local government and how we use it to get what we want. I want you to join me in this movement.

I want us to use local government to get more for our city. How so? Vote for the candidates who are talking about the issues you care about. Then, stick with them… support those candidates / elected councillors to get those issues across the line with their peers. Here’s an easy example…

We all care about the climate emergency right? (Okay, so we have at least three Hamilton City Councillors who still don’t get it – so I’ll rephrase). Most of us care about the climate emergency and damage to papatuuaanuku. We know that one of the biggest things we can do (right after having one less kid) is to address our obsession with cars. At a getting around town level, this inevitably leads to cycle-ways.

Choose candidates who bang on about cycleways. Easy. You wouldn’t choose a candidate who continually talks about ‘loving their car’ because they are clearly stuck in 2005 and aren’t looking to what our climate / environment needs; and aren’t considering the impact of congestion as our population grows, or heck even our increasing obesity rates which require us to get more active.

After finding out which candidates care about that issue; vote for them. Then, keep an eye on the local news, heck be proactive and message them and ask them to keep you (in fact all residents) up to date with when decisions are being made about cycleways. (I think Councillors are really bad at asking us for support on issues sometimes, but this might change if enough of us try to change things).

Funding decisions are usually during the 10 year plan or annual plan but you’d be surprised how often it pops up during the rest of the term. Once you know a decision is about to be made, get involved. Ask the councillor what they need and mobilise others to support you.

Look, I’m not so completely out of touch, that I think everyone has the time or inclination to get involved in these sorts of decisions, what I’m trying to highlight is that we can get more of what we want, and less of what we don’t – if we choose candidates who look or sound like us, and if we pay attention to the issues we care about throughout the three year term.

This includes, asking questions – or ‘holding the buggers to account’ if they vote differently to what they said they would. Accountability is a huge part of a better system.

So, this was a longer post than I expected – and I may not have articulated it well, but what I’m trying to say is – we can get more for the city we love if we choose the candidates who ‘care about what we care about’ and support them once elected. We need less of the ‘us and them’.

If you don’t like ‘them’… don’t vote for them … vote for someone else. There are a heap of new candidates standing this year who deserve your vote.

If that envelope is still on your kitchen table – here are some links to help you choose and vote.

🧐 Information on candidates www.politicsinthetron.co.nz
📫 Post/ballot boxes https://www.yourcityelections.co.nz/vote

If the voting papers didn’t turn up call the Electoral office on ☎ 0800 922 822. (Tell your boss you have permission from us to make the call on work time). #votethetron