If you’d like to become involved, you can find out what’s happening in your part of the world by emailing us at overseas.greens.org.nz or checking out our social channels. You can also join the party from anywhere around the world – (drop us a line when you do join – we love meeting new overseas kiwis and would love to have new people on the team!)
There’s just one day to go before the New Zealand election.
It feels like just yesterday we were sat in a North London pub in 2014, watching National win a third successive term. There were tears then for a missed opportunity and for all the people back home who would be disadvantaged in the next three years.
We made a promise to ourselves on that day: next time would be different.
We’ve kept our promise and built the biggest international political network New Zealand has ever seen. For our dedicated global team, the last three years has whizzed by in a flurry of activity.
The Greens are the only New Zealand political party with an international presence. Our London branch was founded by James Shaw in 2008 with a vision and a couple of supporters. One decade later, we have volunteers in five continents and more than two dozen countries.
No one knows quite how many Kiwis live overseas, although best estimates are that it’s somewhere between 500,000 and one million. But, last election, only 38,000 New Zealanders voted from outside New Zealand. This is a voice that is hugely underrepresented.
The Greens are still the only party to try to engage with these voters. We believe the values, hopes and voices of overseas New Zealanders matter just as much as any other Kiwi. We believe they have a valuable perspective to offer New Zealand, and that their voices are worth listening to.
International New Zealanders come in many shapes and sizes. There are economic migrants who have sought a better life for themselves in Australia. There’s the traditional OE crowd in London or North America. There are NGO employees, backpackers, digital natives, students, Kiwis chasing the snow, Kiwis chasing the sun, Kiwis following their heart and Kiwis living life day-by-day with no firm plans. We’re in all corners of the globe, doing all sorts of things.
All of us are Kiwis who have built a life overseas- permanently or temporarily – while still caring deeply about Aotearoa.
The Green Party understands this.
Our first decision was to expand our international presence, beyond London, to reach New Zealanders all around the world
We surveyed Kiwis overseas to find out what really mattered to them. The answers we got back from our Global Kōrero survey were illuminating. And they meshed with Green Party values: poverty, the environment, transport and housing are all issues we care about. Most respondents wanted New Zealand to be a place they could be proud to call home, and where friends and whānau living there could thrive.
But a lot respondents simply hadn’t voted in the last election because they didn’t feel engaged, or didn’t know how.
So we got to work building a comprehensive international network. For the first time ever, we set up an international campaign team with two volunteer coordinators (Megan in the Southern Hemisphere and Simon in the Northern Hemisphere) and a NZ liaison and creative director (Bryce). For the first time since James Shaw ran for parliament from London, we also had a dedicated international candidate (Bridget).
Then we put the word out for international volunteers – and they poured in! We’ve had volunteers in traditional Kiwi destinations like the US, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Hong Kong and Australia. And we’ve also found supporters in more obscure places like Guernsey, Chile and Niue.
This is a global movement! And we’ve achieved a lot…
- We launched Kiwi Greens Global as a dedicated space for all volunteers, supporters or interested parties to chat and keep up to date with the NZ political scene. It’s across the web, with a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and a blog.
- We built a standalone campaign and volunteer recruitment website.
- Bridget Walsh spent the last six months travelling the world hosting pop-ups for Kiwis far and wide, helping Kiwis enrol and sharing our vision for Aotearoa. She engaged with local musicians and artists across the world to help build a global community of progressive Kiwis.
- Our London team visited COP21 in Paris to campaign for action on climate change and link up with activists from across the world.
- James Shaw visited London for a Q+A session to keep us up to date what was happening back home.
- We hosted a session on urban planning with expert Kiwis working in the UK on lessons to be learned from the London and New Zealand experiences.
- We welcomed Metiria Turei to the UK, where she meet Kiwi community leaders and hosted an open drop-in session to say hi to all London-based Kiwis. We even made the news back home.
- We popped up to Liverpool for the Global Greens conference and networked with Green Parties all over the world. We shared our knowledge on campaigning for international votes – it turns out we’re becoming a model for the rest of the world!
- We’ve run a series of profiles of our volunteers explaining why they’ve committed their time to the campaign.
- Our volunteers have been on the ground at Kiwi events like Waitangi Day and the Big Day Out in London. We’ve handed out flyers at Kiwi pubs before All Blacks and Black Ferns games all over the world. We’ve hung around queues when Kiwi bands come to town and stood outside Kiwi pubs. One of our team also spoke to football fans before All Whites games in Russia. That’s commitment!
- We’ve forged links with cultural groups, businesses and networks around the world, promoting Green values and community-building among international Kiwis.
- Our top lists candidates shared their messages for international Kiwis and lessons we can learn from overseas, as well as what makes NZ special.
- Bryce designed collateral and merchandise unique for the international team and campaign – T-shirts, lanyards, stickers and flyers and with a close connection to the brand team in Wellington, kept the graphic design looking sharp and on-brand.
- We got really adept at targeted online promotion and had a social media presence like never before.
- We produced a video to remind Kiwis overseas to vote, and show how easy it is. s This was a truly international piece as it had segments filmed both in the UK and New Zealand, and the volunteers involved in professional production and post-production came from Italian, Spanish, Argentinian and British backgrounds. Between different edits, it now has over 140,000 views across all platforms!
- We’ve door-knocked in a half-a-dozen cities across the world.
- We instigated a collaboration with MP Marama Davidson on a series of online Te Reo lessons for Londoners and we even roped her into sharing a waiata for international Kiwis from Waitangi.
- We’ve phoned almost 1000 Kiwis living abroad to ensure they know how to vote. Even today we were still having conversations with people who hadn’t voted.
Our international team comes from a wide range of backgrounds. We are students, designers, campaigners, hospitality workers, musicians, IT people, dancers, netball players, health workers, journalists.
We are mums and dads. Single and married. Pākehā, , Māori, Asian and Pasifika. Straight and gay. We come from poor backgrounds and rich backgrounds. Urban and rural. From the North Island and South Island.
We are Aotearoa in microcosm. And we share a common goal to make our home the best it can possibly be. We want New Zealand to be a place we’re proud to call home. We want all our whānau in New Zealand to be able to thrive.
Between us all, we’ve spent the last 18 months exploring every avenue for engaging international Kiwis. In 2014, we reckon we reached 6,000 international voters. This time around we think we’ve increased that ten-fold. More than 60,000 Kiwis all around the globe have heard our message.
International votes will help change the government and put a Green heart in the middle of it.
We will do things better.
We can eliminate poverty in NZ. We can clean up our rivers. We can lead the world on climate justice.
We made that promise to ourselves three years ago – no more crying over results. Let’s get out and get this done. Every international Kiwi we’ve meet has been warm and friendly and amazing. Now we’re asking you for one more favour.
We need your vote. And your friend’s vote. Everyone’s vote!
A vote for the Green Party is a vote for a government led by Jacinda Ardern supported by the Green party. We will make sure Labour prioritise your values. Because they’re our values too.
If you haven’t voted from overseas already there’s still time to do so. Either pop into an international voting post (most close their doors around 4pm on Friday) or upload or fax your ballot paper to arrive in NZ no later than 7pm on Saturday 23rd New Zealand time.
Party vote Green for a country you can be proud to call home, no matter where in the world you live.
Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui
From Megan, Simon, Bryce, bridget and the entire Kiwi Greens Global volunteer team.
In the lead-up to the election on September 23, we’re profiling some of our widespread international volunteers and asking them to share why they’re voting Green in 2017. Today, meet Kylie. She’s a Kiwi living in the Netherlands with her husband Mark. She is a freelance communications consultant and enjoys geeking out on scifi, kiwi music, and pop culture in general.
New Zealand has a lot to be proud of. We’re great at sports. We make awesome films, produce phenomenal music, and write amazing books to great acclaim all around the world. We are inventors, and innovators. We make unfathomably delicious wine and chocolate! Our little corner of the world is breathtakingly gorgeous. We are lucky to come from Aotearoa, a place with a deep and rich culture. Living overseas has shown me that internationally we have a fantastic reputation for all of these things, people want to talk to us about them all the time. They are things to absolutely be proud of.
But what makes a country really, truly successful? Is it that we look beautiful to the outside? Or is that just clever marketing?
In what other ways do we lead the world?
New Zealand has the highest youth suicide rate in the world. Our rangatahi are killing themselves at a rate twice as high as their American counterparts, and five times that of British young people.
We have the highest rates of family (child) and intimate partner violence in the world.
We have the highest percentage of homelessness in the OECD. 42,000 Kiwis now live in “precarious” housing such as garages, caravan parks and cars.
More New Zealand children are killed by poverty-related diseases linked to cold, damp, and overcrowded housing than are killed by car crashes or drowning accidents.
We top the IMF’s housing unaffordability list.
I’m not proud of these statistics.
They are all interconnected, and reflect a Government and a society that has the wrong priorities. We see the consequences of this inaction in our education, health and crime statistics. All of these factors disproportionately impact Māori.
If solutions aren’t found for these systemic problems, our people don’t thrive, limiting our potential. If our government continues to prefer running at a surplus over properly funding programmes to improve these outcomes, they are part of the problem. If we are to judge the success of our country by how we treat our most vulnerable, we are failing. Catastrophically.
Multiple governments have tried and failed to fix these problems. Something’s got to change. We have to try something new.
Watch this short excerpt from when Kylie and Mark met our international candidate Bridget Walsh on her recent global pop-up tour.
This election I’m proud to be voting for the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. Along with a clear plan to tackle climate change, they have become the strongest opposition voice in parliament for our most vulnerable. A representative democracy can only be strengthened by having Māori, youth, queer, disabled, and refugee voices in government. As a member, I am proud that all of these voices and perspectives are represented in the top ten of our party list. I believe in the Green kaupapa, and I believe we have policy to begin to combat all of the challenges we face. A Green heart in the next Labour Government will ensure a truly progressive government, working to improve life for all New Zealanders.
International voting for the New Zealand election is open!
Overseas-based Kiwis have two weeks to cast their vote in person or by digital upload, post or fax. It must reach New Zealand by September 22. Click here to cast your vote!
The Green Party is asking for your party vote – we’re serious about being at the heart of a new progressive government. We have the policies and experience to bring meaningful change to Aotearoa and we need your support to ensure we are around the cabinet table.
It’s important every Kiwi has their voice heard, no matter where in the world you happen to live. Here’s ten reasons why you should party vote Green from overseas this election.
10. CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT
The Greens and Labour are the only two parties who have committed to changing the government this election. Polling suggests there is a mood for real change in New Zealand, and only a party vote for the Greens can ensure that Labour and Jacinda Ardern can form a stable coalition government.
We will support Labour but also put pressure on them to keep their campaign promises and fight hard for everyday Kiwis and our environment. A party vote for us means we can have more influence in the next government, while providing stability and leadership.
9. TE REO IN SCHOOLS
The Greens have been guided by Te Tiriti o Waitangi since our formation – it’s the founding document of our country and the backbone of our democracy. We think Māori culture is something to be celebrated and nurtured.
We will ensure that kaupapa Māori thrives in Aotearoa, including putting te reo on the curriculum for every school kid. What better way for our tamariki to learn about our history than in the native language of New Zealand?
Check out our full te reo in schools policy here.
8. A DIVERSE ECONOMY
We believe it’s possible to have an economy that extends beyond our farms and mines, and provides real value to the whole of our country. New Zealanders are never short of good ideas and the Greens will support good old-fashioned Kiwi ingenuity.
We will introduce a Minister for Manufacturing to provide support for Kiwi business that produce jobs and who are committed to responsible business. We will also financially incentivise clean energy projects and smart ideas.
It’s always better to support Kiwi innovation instead of just importing products from overseas. The Greens will reward entrepreneurship in New Zealand.
Check out our Minister for Manufacturing policy here.
Kiwis who have spent any time overseas will know how wonderful a reliable public transport system can be. Sadly, New Zealand is lagging far behind the rest of the world.
The Greens will invest in comprehensive public transport networks in Auckland and Wellington, including airport links in both cities. We will introduce and protect commuter rail services on key routes, like Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga, Palmerston North-Wellington and Picton-Christchurch. Public transport will be made free for young people, students, apprentices and people living with a disability. And we will make it easier to get around our cities on a bike.
Regular light rail and buses, along with dedicated cycleways, means more people can get from A to B more easily. We can reduce gridlock and pollution on our roads. It’s a win-win!
Check out our full transport policy here.
We’ve always taken clean drinking water for granted in New Zealand, but that basic human right is under threat. Too many Kiwis have had to start boiling tap water to ensure they don’t get sick. How scary is that?
We will ensure our cleanest water goes to our national infrastructure grid, rather than private bottling companies. A 10c/litre levy will be applied to commercial water bottling and exports, and no new water bottling consents will be granted until we can be sure that all New Zealanders can access safe, clean drinking water. The Green Party will ensure that aquifers, where 40% of New Zealanders get their drinking water, are protected from pollution and commercial exploitation.
We have the most diverse and qualified list in our history. Our candidates represent all of New Zealand and have devoted their lives to making New Zealand and the world a better place – they would make outstanding ministers.
James Shaw has a bold vision for New Zealand to lead the way in transitioning to a high value, clean-tech, post-carbon economy. He draws on his expertise from his Masters in sustainable development and business leadership, as well as his experience helping international companies transition to more environmentally friendly business practices.
Marama Davidson is dedicated to social justice, particularly in the areas of poverty, housing, violence, Māori politics and women’s rights. She continues to stay strong to her activist roots, with strong links to communities and flax root organisations.
Julie-Anne Genter is an expert on urban design and transport. She leads the conversation on smart public transport in Aotearoa, and has spent time as the Green’s Climate Change and Finance spokesperson.
Eugenie Sage has devoted her life to protecting Aotearoa’s beaches, forests and biodiversity, including fighting countless Environment Court cases against irresponsible development. As a Christchurch resident, she works towards rebuilding Ōtautahi to become a resilient and sustainable city.
Gareth Hughes is a dedicated environmentalist and has spent years protecting our oceans against whaling, illegal fishing and deep-sea oil exploration.
Jan Logie has worked tirelessly to support those affected by domestic and sexual violence, and to reduce the prevalence of it. She is at the forefront of anti-violence, feminist and LGBT*QIA issues in New Zealand.
The Greens have the experience and passion to implement change from day one. We just need your help to get seats at the cabinet table!
As well as our current MPs and potential Ministers, we have amazing new candidates on the list. Golriz Ghahraman, Chlöe Swarbrick and Jack McDonald will bring a youthful passion and new ideas to our caucus. They are the future of New Zealand politics.
Check out our full candidate list here.
Our iconic national wonders are under critical threat. 100% Pure NZ is a bad joke, and we need to take immediate to save our environment and protect what makes New Zealand special.
One-third of our native birds are on the brink of extinction yet the current government insists on turning over native bush to mining companies.
This has to stop. The Greens will immediately halt any further mining on conservation land, double the budget for the Department of Conservation and double-down on pest control.
New Zealand is a special place and the Greens are the only party committed to keeping it special so that Kiwis can enjoy native bird-song and walks in the bush for generations to come.
Check out our full list of environment policies here.
New Zealand is facing a calamitous housing crisis which is quickly becoming the defining issue of our generation of many people’s lives. House prices are rising at an unsustainable rate and ordinary Kiwis are being locked out of the market by speculators who only care about their profits.
Many Kiwis with dreams of returning home and buying their first home are in for a nasty surprise.
There aren’t enough good quality houses to go around and renters are being forced to live in cold and damp flats. We have the highest homeless rate in the OECD. This isn’t good enough. We must take action.
The Greens will start by building more state houses and affordable homes so no Kiwis have to live out of their cars. We will reduce irresponsible speculation by introducing a capital gains tax on investment properties. We will introduce a warrant of fitness for rental properties to ensure rental houses are healthy environments to live in. .
Learning from cities like Copenhagen, we will investigate alternative housing models and prioritise affordable, good quality and sustainable housing.
It’s not too late to reclaim the dream of the Kiwi home, but we need urgent action and smart solutions.
Check out our full housing policy here
You might not notice it from overseas, but in the last nine years National has entrenched poverty in Aotearoa. We are now one of the most unequal societies in the developed world.
There is no excuse for hardship in New Zealand, but the shameful reality is that more than 300,000 Kiwi kids grow up below the poverty line.
National have plowed ahead with tax cuts for the mega-rich while dismantling the safety net for those doing it tough.
The Greens will flip this – anyone earning up to $150,000 will be better off under our plan. We will reduce the bottom tax rate to just nine percent and introduce a new top rate of 40 percent for our highest earners.
We will ensure every Kiwi can afford a roof over their head, food on the table and power to keep their houses warm. We will improve WINZ culture so every New Zealander is treated with dignity and given support to attend training courses and skills training.
Most Kiwis just want a fair go, and we’ll make sure everyone has a decent quality of life and the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
Check out our full social welfare policy here.
1. CLIMATE CHANGE
New Zealand must become a leader on climate change. The world is looking for inspiration and National has been dragging it’s feet – hiding behind token gestures while stubbornly hanging on to our tradition of burning oil and gas.
The Greens will ban new dirty power plants and make New Zealand’s power supply 100% renewable by 2030. We already have extensive renewable hydro and geothermal infrastructure. These aren’t perfect but we can make them as clean as possible while investing immediately in wind, solar and marine energy.
We will replace the ineffective Emission Trading Scheme with transparent levies on greenhouse gas emissions for private business.
Globally, we will use our voice and mana to demand action on climate change across the developed world. Regionally, we will support our Pacific neighbours in adapting to a world of rising sea levels where their entire nations are threatened.
Action on climate change must start now and New Zealand should be leading the way.
Check out our full Climate Change policy here
Click here for more information on how to cast a vote for the Green Party from overseas. New Zealand needs your voice!