Climate change #1 issue

There is a fear of the future, and frustration at missed opportunities driving some of our young candidates to stand in the upcoming election.  On Tuesday night nine Waikato candidates under 35 years took to the stage at Seed Waikato’s Let’s give a shit about local politics event.  Currently only 51% of Hamiltonians under the age of 24 are enrolled, so the event came with a 101 on how to enrol and vote.  While local government elections usually fly under the radar of young candidates it was clear that issues of climate, housing and transport had motivated some to stand.  Sarah Thomson, a Hamilton West candidate who took the government to court over inaction on climate change set out a vision for what our city could be doing better, particularly with redirecting money from roads to cycleways and public transport.  Dan Armstrong, a Waikato Regional Council candidate for the Waipa-King country seat highlighted the need to prepare some communities around the region to retreat from eroding coastlines.  While, climate was high on the list of priorities Tim Young, Hamilton East candidate spoke about needing a council who looked to science and technology to form policies led by educated views. Next Tuesday the University of Waikato are hosting a panel on Getting out to vote: Youth and the elections with local leaders focused on issues currently not being addressed by council. Register through eventbrite. 

Episode 141: Politics and Music

Kelli from the Tron is a show about local politics, the environment and social issues for the Tron. Listen to the latest episode here (July 19th)

Nominations have (finally) opened for people wanting to represent our communities in local government. In this episode we are joined by Dan Armstrong, who announced his election campaign for a Waipa-King country seat at the Waikato Regional Council. We talk about his motivations, what he sees the opportunities (and challenges) for the region are, and what he has to offer. Have a listen – and follow his page for updates on his campaign. (Note: if you are a Hamilton resident, you can’t vote for him -but you can support him by sharing his page with people you know in that region). You’ll hear more from him in the upcoming Seed Waikato “Let’s give a shit about local politics” event.

As well as a chat with Dan, we are joined by Mukuka – a local singer songwriter who released a new single on Friday! “Time + Space” is the first single from her EP Autumn. We chat about what she’s been up to since “Just Fine” which as it happens was one of the songs I shared on the first episode of Kelli from the Tron! Mukuka uses her music to celebrate and explore her heritage. As well as sharing Mukuka’s new track, we’ve got the new one from Date Month Year – “Haunted” and it really is. Check out the video for that track.

Listen to the latest episode here (July 19th)

Podcast: Politics with Paul

On the first Friday of every month Paul (the other one) Barlow joins me on Free FM to recap the month in city politics.  We talk about the players, the game and the issues. In this podcast (from 17min) we round-up the candidates who have announced their intention to campaign in the upcoming election.  Candidates for Hamilton East have been coming through thick and fast (and I’m excited by them all!) – West and Regional Council a bit slower – but hey, its over a month until nominations actually open (July 12th).

New candidates include Matthew Small, Meleane Burgess, Louise Hutt, Anna Smart, Tim Young and Kesh Naidoo-Rauf.  Please spend time from now until October getting to know more about the people who want to make city decisions – on your behalf.

If you’re specifically interested in finding out more about the women campaigning – and want to support them – Political Women Waikato.

In terms of our city’s low voter turnout and lack of diversity, its been exciting to see new and diverse faces announce.  Which took us to talking about diversity, and what “f##k the status quo” actually means. 

Have a listen to the podcast – let us know what you think!

Disclaimer:  Our own un-paid opinions.  Please feel free to clarify facts if we get them wrong – we do try to be fair. Please join me in thanking Hamilton Taxis for sponsoring local content on Free FM.

One of the last taboo subjects

About 25% of women in Aotearoa have had an abortion, yet we don’t talk about it and it still comes under the Crimes Act.

In this Free FM podcast I speak to Terry Belamak from ALRANZ (Abortion law reform). I ask why this matters (human rights), the current process to access abortion in NZ, whether there is equal access across New Zealand and the process to change a 40 year old law.

Listen to the podcast, interview starts at 12min:

To support ALRANZ’s petition to government – giving ministers a clear message that we want the law to change. Sign the petition below.…/reform-our-abortion-law

You can sign more than one! Here’s another petition to change the law

Before this interview – I watched Paula Penfold’s Big Decision. Recommend!

Episode 132: Climate (in)action and uncomfortable words

In this podcast I wrap up the week in local political news (Hamilton NZ).  Have a listen or check out the summary below…..

Hamilton’s grey wall of shame is about to get a make-over (at long last).  The $100,000 price-tag will be fundraised by Beyond Tomorrow Trust – who we don’t know much about except that Councillor Ryan Hamilton is a trustee.  According to the Charities register the purpose of the trust was religion and education… regardless, I look forward to the design being one that recognises the cultural significance of that site for Maaori. 

Go Eco presented their ‘State of the Environment’ report which included a presentation by a Hillcrest High Student – who is a first time voter this year – asking for urgency in response to the climate crisis.  He’s involved in the School strikes for climate movement who you can find out more about here.

However, it was the attempt by Mayor Andrew to censor a couple of paragraphs of the report that attracted nationwide media coverage.  You can watch the live streamed video of the meeting here.  In my opinion, councillors who were uncomfortable over words like ‘colonisation’, ‘privilege’, ‘pakeha’ or ‘oppression’ need to start reading history books, getting out into the community they claim to represent and need to reflect rather than get defensive and upset about facts presented.  We’ve got to acknowledge the problem before we can find workable solutions.

Friday the 17th was the last day to send in a submission to the Gambling Commission to oppose Sky City swapping three blackjack tables for 63 pokie machines.

We had the first candidate announcement for the Waikato Regional Council, with former CEO of the Waikato Chamber of Commerce William Durning putting his hat in the ring.  

Why I think women say no to politics

In 2013, I watched the election campaign of father and son Nick and Paul Ravlich. I liked seeing people who weren’t politicians putting their hand up to make decisions for our city. Councillors always seemed the same and they certainly weren’t hanging out where I did, or making decisions congruent with my priorities. So, in 2016 I thought… ‘I’ll give it a go’ and stand as a Hamilton West candidate.

Apart from wanting to prove that you don’t have to be a rich old white man to be elected, I love this city and want to look after the things that are important to me and my family, like the environment, our community and arts and heritage. I saw local politics as a way of doing that. I changed my mind the day the nomination forms were available… there were lots of reasons – I’ll break them down.

Here are 10 reasons I think women don’t run for council

  1. It looks boring. Have you watched a council meeting?
  2. The vagueness of expected time commitment makes it hard for people with young families to decide if they can do it or not.
  3. We don’t have thousands of dollars to risk on a campaign.
  4. The job is one thing, but putting together a campaign and trying to sell ourselves to strangers is terrifying.
  5. Public speaking
  6. Being vilified in media, abused and threatened while doing ‘our job’. Particularly the stress on our family when this happens.
  7. The other councillors don’t look like ‘my kind of people’.
  8. Even if I do vote one way, the rest will vote against and I won’t be effective. What’s the point?
  9. I’m not sure I want to participate in a broken political system.
  10. Rinse and repeat.

Tomorrow I’ll be meeting with other women who want to change politics, and support other women to campaign in the election. Watch this space.

If you want to come along 10-12pm Saturday May 4th. YWCA Hamilton (Pembroke Street).

Cycleways, infill, foamy rivers and the Tron express. Episode #130

Listen to the podcast

I read through some local news, before being joined by Paul Barlow for ‘our own political opinions’.

What makes a good campaign? Who sets the agenda? Does it even matter?

Music: the NEW track from Cheshire Grimm, the latest from Strangely Arousing and a tribute to dDub.

This Free FM show is supported by Hamilton Taxi’s so please show your thanks by flagging them when you need a taxi.

Listen to the podcast
or tune in to Free FM89.0 at 9am Saturday for the encore.