Kirikiriroa Kids

Last week of the school holidays – the weather hasn’t been kind so what is there to do this week?

  •  Professor Novum’s Adventures in Orbit – a rollicking adventure and a celebration of imagination and creativity, adapted from stories written by local kids.  This show runs from 17-21 July at The Meteor.  Price: $9 child, $13 adult.  Tickets from themeteor.co.nz

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  • Peter Pan – an all time favourite play about a free spirited and mischievous young boy who can fly and never grows up.  This Hamilton Playbox show runs until the 21st July at Riverlea Theatre – Tickets from $20

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  • Chill in the Park – This huge event is back for another year of School Holiday Fun at the Western Community Centre! This year we have 18 Ton of Snow, Nawton’s Got Talent, cool prizes and much more.  Just $3 per child
  • Hamilton Gardens Adventure.  Download the free Discovery Trail sheet (in both English and Mandarin) from the Hamilton Gardens’ website to see where the bees, hens and woodland critters are hiding.

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  • Outdoor Kids A website which showcases the fantastic nature walks and trails around the Waikato!  Free outdoor fun! There is the added bonus of info on each walk to tell you which ones are suitable for strollers too!  Check it out!

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A sh*t sandwich for the Mayor

Have you heard of a sh*t sandwich?  It’s a tool for giving feedback which protects the recipient’s feelings slightly while also allowing you to tell them how unhappy you are with their performance.

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Mayor Andrew King has been a regular guest on Free FM. (Pictured alongside fellow Free Breakfast host Mike Williams).

Most work-places have regular performance reviews – in the case of the elected Hamilton City Council it’s every three years when we vote  – except there are so many flaws in the democratic process that residents vote on name recognition – or don’t hold Councillors to account for the crappy decisions they may have made during the term … or just don’t vote.  So, I thought that given we’re “celebrating signing off the 10 Year plan” (cough) – that I’d offer a performance review of Mayor Andrew King – mid-term … Although, I think even he knows he’s a one-term Mayor.

It would be unfair to review performance without first acknowledging some things he has done which he needs credit for.  He and the Chief Executive Richard Briggs proposed an increase of the minimum wage for Council staff to $20 to take effective on 1 July 2018.  It wasn’t quite the living wage – but an increase that would have helped all the Council staff trying to pay rent and bills in a city they spend their working week maintaining!  Great resource from Dorrington Wright to show you how Councillors voted on this back in December.  While it didn’t go ahead we acknowledge that he tried.  Council Minimum Wage.

We can also credit him (though some may disagree with me here) for generating discussion on the Hamilton vs Kirikiriroa debate …  While he was only proposing a change to Kirikiriroa for the Council – it sparked a city-wide korero on our name and our history which I think should always be welcomed.  Though I did wonder if he’d approached the issue more strategically or if someone else had proposed it, if it would have gone down differently with the public.  Read more: Hamilton Mayor proposes name change to Kirikiriroa City Council.

This is a sh*t sandwich, so it’s time for the bit you came for.

The Mayor sat on an Audit NZ report, seemingly for so long that it couldn’t be released before the Councillors were forced to sign off on something that the report was concerning.  WTF? Now, I know – Councillors who voted for the $7 million being set aside – have justified their decision to back it because “we wouldn’t want a fast food business there” or “we need skin in the game” or “no-one is saying which buildings the money is for” …  but at the end of the day – actions and decisions like this  impact on residents trust of local government – the whole idea of “Councillors doing what they want anyway” prevail.  I’m appalled that this has happened.  Audit NZ report into council process over park expansion delayed

Another thing: on the central city park idea – Who the heck’s idea was that?  Oh yeah … The Mayor’s.  I know, because I asked him in a Free FM interview last year.  Well guess what buttercup, that is not a community mandate.  The 10 year plan should be made up of conversations, briefings and tried and tested ideas with the community – not vanity projects, sprung on other Councillors last minute.

Anyway … I’m going to say something nice again because that’s  how a sh*t sandwich works.  I’ve found myself defending him on lots of occasions, because despite him being rather awkward (I relate to this) you can tell he is genuinely nice and wants what is best for us all, not just the rich – proof of this is the proposal to increase developer contributions significantly.  So next time you think he’s doing deals for mates – you might remember that he was about to charge them tens of thousands of dollars more for developments.  That took leadership.  Read more  If increased charges are in, we’re out: Hamilton Developer.

A sh*t sandwich pats someone on the back for a good job while also telling them to pull their socks up.  What would you tell the Mayor if you had to give good and bad feedback?

 

 

 

Waikato 125 – the women who shine

Podcast available for Episode 89 (22 June 2018).

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Angela O’Leary (Hamilton West City Councillor) joins us in this episode to talk about an exciting project she’s driving called Waikato 125.  The project is calling for nominations of great Waikato women (past or present) who embody strength, vision and honour.  They will then be commemorated at a Suffrage 125 event in September.   We also discuss the lack of  Women in Politics – and what we can do to tip the balance for the 2019 elections.

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Later in the episode I go on a bit of a plastic bag rant – after discovering plastic bags replacing plastic bags at Countdown…  sigh.

Continuing on with the wahine theme… Music on this show is from Auckland emo-pop band Openside; Coral (who is off to represent the Waikato in Hollywood next week!) and Tami Neilson and The Miltones (in town on August 1st).

 

 

Taking on… plastic bags

You have to have been living under a big plastic rock if you weren’t aware of the damage plastic is doing to our planet, in it’s generation and end of life.  So, when I walked into Countdown last night and saw a new plastic bag intended to replace the old plastic bag I sighed…  Here’s what I have to say to those who are having trouble breaking up with the plastic bag.

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Nooooo. Countdown replaces plastic bag with plastic bag.

1,  Suck it up Buttercup.  It’s that simple.  When you consider the damage plastics are doing to our environment, the small sacrifice that we have to make is insignificant.

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11 minutes in your hand, a lifetime in the sand.

2, Use your Scout or Girl Guide experience and Be prepared.  Take one or some of the million bags you already have at home to the supermarket with you next time.

3, Stash stash stash.  Think ahead, put some in your glovebox, roll some up into your handbag or revert back to point 1.

4, You didn’t plan on going to the supermarket and now you have 12 items?  It happens to the best of us – ask for a box… failing that – play tetrix and balance them for your walk to the car – treat it like a game, it’ll be Fun and is infinitely rewarding.  DO NOT CAVE IN to the bag.

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This guy knows

5, You can usually juggle half a dozen pieces of fruit, but if you get caught out use the brown mushroom bags… it might cost you .01c more but provided you fling it into compost or recycling after you reused it – ka pai e hoa.   You might just save a dolphin.

Plastic bags are just the tip of the plastic iceberg.  Personally I think our toughest battle is going to be food packaging – but lets start with the bags.

Now that I have your attention I want to let you know about two fantastic volunteer groups in Hamilton.  Both make reusable bags out of reused fabric to give away!! Check them out, find out where you can get your hands on a bag, donate some fabric or volunteer your time!

Plastic Bag Free Hamilton East and Plastic Bag Free Glenview.

It’s coming up to Plastic Free July – sign up to do the full challenge, or tackle one item… if nothing else let that item be the plastic bag.

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We are not paying “The True Cost” #fashionrevolution

On the 24th of April 2013, 1138 people died and 2500 others were injured when an eight-story building with several garment factories inside collapsed.  The Rana Plaza disaster became a tragic illustration of the consequences of fast fashion, largely thanks to the 2015 documentary “The True Cost”.  I urge you to watch it if you haven’t already.

As a result of this disaster a campaign called #fashionrevolution was launched and this week I looked a little bit more into the social and environmental costs of fashion and what we can do to join this revolution.

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While up until the 1980’s it was more common than not to find “Made in New Zealand” on clothing tags – since then, most manufacturing has been outsourced to developing countries.  There are 40 million garment workers in the world, mostly in Bangladesh and China, with some working in substandard physical conditions and many more being exploited – all for the sake of our obsession with cheap fashion.  While the $2 or $3 a day might seem better than the alternative for people in these countries; the constant pressure to produce more clothing for less money is having an impact.  We, in New Zealand are not paying the True cost of our clothing.  The workers are.

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While pressure continues to provide safe conditions and a living wage for these workers, both in New Zealand and around the world, we are still having to address the fact that fashion is our 2nd biggest polluter after oil.  So, how does fashion impact on our environment?

“The True cost” shared the impact of genetically modified cotton – being intensively farmed and sprayed with Roundup to control pests.  I’m talking large scale – millions of acres of soil being drenched in poison to try to keep up with the demand for fast fashion.  I knew Monsanto was a dirty word – but it wasn’t until I started looking more into it in terms of a cyclical trap for farmers that I realised how significant this is for all of us.  Google it.

After we destroy our soil, air and biodiversity we move to dying textiles with toxic chemicals which not only causes disease and death to workers, but gets into water ways, and the soil they use for food production.   Speaking of water, the 2700 litres required to  produce one t-shirt is a crime in itself, particularly given how many people don’t have access to clean drinking water.

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<Sarcastic tone> But that’s okay because we now have a $5 t-shirt, which is considered disposable.

Clothing has become so cheap that we think nothing when we dispose of it or “donate it” to the op-shop.  But, did you know only 10% of what we donate to op-shops sells in their shop?  The rest is bundled, shipped overseas where they don’t want it either so is incinerated or sent to landfill.  We in New Zealand are not paying the True cost of our clothing.  The environment is.

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So we, as consumers of cheap fashion find ourselves responsible for a dying planet and exploitation of people.  We need systematic change.  That’s where #fashionrevolution comes in.  Change starts with us. 

This list isn’t exhaustive but here are 5 ways you can do something.

  1.  Shop wisely.  Do you really need it?  Chose quality over quantity, or just say “No”. (Added benefit of being good for your wallet too).
  2. Check out the label.  Tearfund is one of the organisations who have made it easy for us to find out how ethical different brands are.  If a label is an “F” leave it on the rack.  Better yet – send a letter requesting ethical compliance.  If we don’t buy it, they can’t justify making it.
  3. Shop local.  We’ve got so many awesome local designers who you can support that there’s no need to ship in your fashion.
  4. Feel it. Think about what happens at the end of a garments’ life.  Fair trade organic cotton, hemp or wool is good because it can break down naturally, unlike synthetic material.  Another way to look after the environment is to avoid polyester or if you do wear it, wash it when it needs it not after every wear.  Microfibres are getting into our waterways and is now in the fish food cycle. Yuk.
  5. Buy second hand.  It keeps clothes in the cycle longer; stops the need for new clothing to be made and again, saves you money without the exploitative side.

#fashionrevolution is held around the 24th of April each year so we don’t forget the lives of those who died bringing us fast fashion.

Kelli from the Tron Episode 80

On this week’s podcast we’re joined by Ryan Hamilton, newly elected Hamilton City Councillor.  We began by talking about his background, the journey to be elected into the Hamilton City Council and what it’s like stepping into the vacancy left by the late Philip Yeung. I was really pleased to hear him being cognisant of the importance of connecting with the community and his attempts to do so.

During the campaign I found it hard to figure out “what he stood for”; and how he would vote on issues – but humbly, I appreciated his response; which was that as an elected member, they are there to listen with an open mind to what their constituents tell him. You can’t do that if you’ve already stated your intention. So, I’m genuinely looking forward to his contribution during the 10 Year Plan.

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Then, we have Ashley, one half of the duo False Heights on the phone to tell us about their music, and an upcoming gig at Nivara Lounge on the 21st.

Last but not least we have Phil Grey, from the Hum106.7 in the studio to tell us about an upcoming gig with Graeme Jefferies, Matthew Bannister and Elephant Face.

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Listen to the podcast here.

Kelli from the Tron – Episode 79

On today’s show I talk to Anna Casey-Cox from Go Eco about “Keep Kirikiriroa Hamilton beautiful”; a petition calling for the Hamilton City Council to make the environment a priority in the 10 Year Plan.  You can sign it here.

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I was then joined by Mark Bunting, a Hamilton East City Councillor (and fellow FreeFm Breakfast show host) to hear his views on some of the issues we need to give feedback to Council about.  We discuss growth – including how we can get more housing and services without the sprawl and price tag; central city parking, rates and more.  You can make your submission here.

Music from Half Eaten Pie, Snake Oil Peddlers, Cheshire Grimm and System Corporation.