Candidate Kōrero #10: Eugenie Sage

Candidate Korero_2In the run-up to the NZ election, we are profiling our Green Party candidates and sharing their messages with Kiwis around the world. Today we have a message from Eugenie Sage, candidate for Port Hills and number four on our list.

Eugenie Sage 2017 election 2

Current Role:
Green MP and Spokesperson for Environment, Primary Industries, Water, and Earthquake Commission.

My Area Of Passion:
Wild rivers and wild landscapes

My Number One Goal in Government:
Ensure that Kiwis are aware of our biodiversity crisis; that the government invests in conservation and works with councils and communities to protect the native plants and animals that are only found here in Aotearoa and we stop any species going extinct.

My favourite thing about being a Kiwi:
Our wonderful wild places and rivers

One lesson we can learn from overseas:
The UK planning system encourages compact cities and towns through “green belts” which protect the countryside from sprawling suburbs.

My favourite place overseas:
Dettifoss waterfall in Iceland and Denmark’s cycle paths.

My favourite place in New Zealand:
The Tarawera Falls where the river shoots out of a volcanic cliff.

My message for International Kiwis:
We can make our “clean, green 100% Pure” image real and look after our rivers and wild places. We can take action on climate change. We need your Party Vote to do that. Party Vote Green in 2017.

Follow Eugenie on Facebook here.

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International voting is open until September 22 in person or September 23 (NZT) online.
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Candidate Kōrero #9: Mojo Mathers

Candidate Korero_1

In the run-up to the NZ election, we are profiling our Green Party candidates and sharing their messages with Kiwis around the world. Today we have a message from Mojo Mathers, candidate for Rangitata and number nine on our list.

16002968_1818073211792554_2447938715125195729_nCurrent Role:
MP spokesperson for Disability, Animal Welfare, Conservation

My Area Of Passion:
Animal welfare, disability rights and our amazing native wildlife!

My Number One Goal in Government:
A recent report highlights that 80% of NZ native birds species are in trouble. In government my priority would be to turn this around starting by significantly increasing funding for conservation.

My favourite thing about being a Kiwi:
Our wonderful wild places and rivers

One lesson we can learn from overseas:
Austerity economics drives social inequality and environmental degradation. Both have got worse in NZ under nine years of a National Government

My favourite place overseas:
I have strong family ties to South Cornwall, near Gorran Haven.

My favourite place in New Zealand:
My home in Peel Forest, South Canterbury!

My message for International Kiwis:
New Zealand has an incredible natural heritage that shapes our identity as kiwis. Only a vote for the Green party will ensure our native birds thrive and flourish and our waterways are cleaned up so that our children and grandchildren can swim in their local river.

Follow Mojo on Facebook here.

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International voting is open until September 22 in person or September 23 (NZT) online.

Globetrotting Greens #4: Kylie in the Netherlands

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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.

Check out our social polices here and our newly announced mental health policy here.


 Enrolment and International voting are now open until 22 September.

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Globetrotting Greens #3: Sarah in London

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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 Sarah – a new Kiwi mum living in London.

Rugby. Lord of the Rings. Lorde. Bungee jumping. Sunshine hours. Sheep. Rugby. Sometimes I want to burst into my own 2017 rendition of the Kiwi Burger song.  It’s become a cliche that when you tell someone you are from New Zealand, their eyes light up and they start listing the things they know (or think they know…) about Aotearoa. Flight of the Conchords famously did a bit on it (“there’s Vikings there, right?”) and now some people add Bret and Jermaine to the list of things to enthusiastically tell you about to prove they know what NZ is. (Though yes, there are still people who look confused and ask if New Zealand is in Europe.)

And everyone says “Oh I’d love to go there!”. People like me – young(ish), educated(ish), middle class globe-trotting lefty types, often have an idea that New Zealand is a utopia. Constant sunshine and social equality, office jobs swapped for days on the beach or in the bush. It’s the blank, sunny canvas on which they project their own dreams.

In my early days abroad I used to revel in this.  But the longer I had been away, the more it felt uncomfortable and like a half-truth.

While visiting European cities in weekend mini-breaks,  I would tell people I was a Kiwi and they’d marvel at how far I must have come. When I added that, actually, I lived in London they would look a little cheated. For a brief time I didn’t have a New Zealand passport, and started telling people I was British. It felt odd. A convenient half-lie to get out of unwanted chat. The “oh, ok” non-reaction was strange. I wasn’t used to not being special!

But it wasn’t just my geographical reality that made me uncomfortable about the universal gushing about NZ. It was a feeling that the world had believed the hype. The 100% Pure marketing had got to them. All the post-Brexit “I’m moving to New Zealand!” types didn’t help.

New Zealand is a wonderful country. It is my country. But it is not perfect. Our child poverty, youth suicide rates and inequality continue to make headlines at home. Waiting lists for medical treatment make me ever more grateful for the NHS. The rivers we see in those “Pure” adverts would make you very sick if you swam in them. And the neoliberal agenda – tuition fees, cutting benefits, the dismantling of the welfare state and state housing – had taken hold back home (shortly…) before I was born. Kiwi experts were brought over to the UK to advise on implementing similar policies here.

We gave women the vote first. We had the world’s first transgender MP. We are proudly nuclear free. We have a lot to be proud of.  But we can’t rest on our laurels and expect the advertising industry to create the appearance of the sort of nation we want.

Clean rivers, healthy and attainable homes, green energy, modern public transport, a commitment to pay equity, a welcome new home for refugees.

This will be my third election in the UK. I will go to New Zealand House on Haymarket, revel briefly in the accents, and give two ticks Green. One day I hope to move back to Aotearoa. In the meantime I will visit and show my daughter where I grew up, and I want her to be proud to say that she is part New Zealander.


Enrolment and International voting are now open until 22 September.

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