Have yourself an as ethical as possible Christmas

Published first in Hamilton News 7 December 2018

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.

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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?

 

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Episode #109 – Hamilton Fringe Festival

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Podcast http://bit.do/hamiltonfringe

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>


25:31m “Don’t blink” Cartoon Villain


27:50m Joseph and Luke talk about their Skinroom exhibition What To Carry.
38:44m ” Indigenous” The Nukes


42:13m Dave from The Nukes joins us to talk about their band, workshop and show at The Meteor.

This Free FM show is brought to you with support from Hamilton Taxi’s – who can get you home safe from a night out – so call them! 0800 477 477

Podcast http://bit.do/hamiltonfringe

Situation vacant: Female city councillor

Published first in Hamilton News 30 November 2018

Situation Vacant: Hamilton City Councillor.  Fixed term role starts October 2019.  Remuneration starts at $71,638.  Job description:  To represent and lead the community, set policies, make regulatory decisions and review council performance.  Preference: Female.

Women hold a mere 25% of the seats in our current city council.  Did you notice?  Probably not.  We’ve become used to our local government lacking diversity in gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background.  But, imagine how different the dynamics and decision-making process of a council that truly represented our city would be.  I’m not asking for quotas to achieve diversity, we don’t need them – but we do need to support more women to put their name forward for next year’s local elections.  Will you join me?

Are we lacking strong female community leaders?  Are we short on ambitious, strategic professional women?  Would Mums with young families prefer to stay in the home?  Heck no, definitely not and no thanks.

The under-representation of women in our council was the topic of a kōrero I initiated last week.  I was interested in barriers to women standing and what other women could offer them to help.  The experiences of women are different, but in general we are reluctant to stand for family reasons, financial reasons and because, rather sadly we don’t back ourselves enough.  Women ponder over a longer set of criteria than males before considering themselves ‘qualified’ enough to stand.  Basically, women don’t rate themselves as highly as a similarly or even lesser ‘qualified’ male would. Go figure.

The shining beacon of hope from that kōrero was that a group of strong, capable and passionate women have offered experience, skill, creativity and knowledge to support other women to stand next year.  This is exciting, encouraging and could be transformational for how public service looks going forward.

So today, I’m asking the women of Kirikiriroa Hamilton to consider themselves worthy of representing our city and to know that there is support for them to do this.  If it’s not your cup of tea, make sure you shoulder tap an inspirational wāhine to put themselves forward and then join us in supporting them to succeed.

Episode #108 – Waikato Women’s Fund and Femininera

 
9min “So much for the summer” from Cheshire Grimm
15:24m Melissa about Waikato Women’s Fund
23:07m “Dedicated” from The Changing Same
27:15m XXSSY about Femininera
38:02m “Ataraxia” from XXSSY
41:45m My Top 5 ish local events for the week
49m “Let the games begin” The Recently Deceived
54:21m “Thompson is in trouble” The Scones.
 
Huge thanks again to Hamilton Taxi’s the sponsor of this Free FM show.
 

Episode #107 – A new approach to housing & “Drunken nights in Dublin”

Episode #107 Podcast link. 

11:11m – “Painting pictures” a track from 80s pop rock band Step Chant Unit.

15:30m – Connected living and affordable housing – it can be done, but will involve putting our current presumptions and systems aside.  Speakers from around the motu will present the community with innovative ways to address our housing crisis – through land trusts, co-housing, ecological building and truly affordable homes.  In today’s podcast we are joined by organiser – Samantha Rose from SHAMA to hear more about the kaupapa and event.  Tickets are available from eventbrite for $10, or $15 at the door.

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26:07m – “Hamilton” Chris Thompson

29:37m – Pinenut Records released it’s first album by Sneaky Feelings in 2017 and is following up with the release of “Drunken Nights in Dublin” by folk artist Chris Thompson.  44 years after it was recorded.  The provenance of the acetate which was picked up on Ebay last year is fascinating – and the craftmanship that my guest Donald McLeod of Pinenut records has put into pressing the LP and screen-printing the album cover is a testament to good things taking time.  The album is being released at a one-off full band gig at Nivara Lounge on November 24th.

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40:30m – “Fox’s minstrel show” Chris Thompson

44:30m – Top (more than 5) local events.

50:11m “The Simpsons” The Recently Deceived

50:50m – “La la land” Coral

Listen to the podcast here.

Episode #106 – A sustainable path to politics – Paula Southgate

Listen to this week’s podcast.

6m “One eye open” – Albi & The Wolves
10m INTERVIEW with Paula Southgate Hamilton City
28:30m “It ain’t easy” Albi & The Wolves
30:45m INTERVIEW continued
48:32m “Don’t blink” Cartoon Villain
50:30m Local events
54.30m “Mayday” The Recently Deceived

We’re joined by Hamilton East City Councillor, and current chair of the Community services and environment committee Paula Southgate Hamilton City  She shares her journey from kindergarten committee to Hamilton City Councillor – as we talk about some of the barriers to entering politics when you have a young family.

She explains what the ‘Local indigenous biodiversity pilot’ is and why she’s ‘speaking for the bats’.  Sometimes its hard to reconcile growth of cities with environmental protection – and this is a current concern with the plans for Peacocke.  It seems the best way to ensure that the environment is not forgotten is to make sure the Councillors know it is a priority for you.  Paula was with the Waikato Regional Council for 15 years so is well versed in environmental issues – which is a win for us as she understands the interconnections.

We discuss how we might improve feedback to council, and encourage more residents to have their say on the issues.   She shared advice on encouraging some of the skilled and passionate leaders in our community to campaign for a seat at the council table next year.  (Interview starts at 10min).

Podcast link here.