Candidate Kōrero #8: Teall Crossen

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 Teall Crossen, candidate for Rongotai and number fifteen on our list.

-Crossen_Teall-006-crop-webCurrent Role:
Candidate for Rongotai and 15 on Party List

My Area Of Passion:
Environmental justice: climate change, biodiversity and rivers.

My Number One Goal in Government:
Legally binding commitment to reduce our domestic emissions to net zero by 2050, and a plan to get there.

My favourite thing about being a Kiwi:
The accessibility of our wild places, rivers, beaches, forests and mountains. All here on your doorstep. And I really love our food and wine.

One lesson we can learn from overseas:
Invest in public transport and cycling infrastructure to reduce our carbon emissions and make our cities easier to get around for everyone. I lived in Amsterdam for three years working for Greenpeace and fell in love with the cycling culture over there – giving colleagues a lift home from work on the back of my bike. Loved it.

My favourite place overseas:
Vancouver Island. Beautiful rugged beaches, surf, rainforest and amazing hiking/tramping.

My favourite place in New Zealand:
Wellington where I live. It has a little bit of the edge of New York, great places to eat, amazing coffee and I can walk through the town belt to my local beach. Magic.

My message for International Kiwis:
Party Vote Green for a NZ you can be proud of and that you want to come home to. And encourage everyone you know to too.

Follow Teall on Facebook here.

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Enrolment is open now and International voting begins on September 6.
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Globetrotting Greens #3: Bryce in Brighton

I’d always voted Green. But I only took serious notice of politics and joined the Green Party in 2011, while I was living in London. It was a bit of a quick ‘statement to the universe’ really, and I certainly never expected to be involved so deeply nearly three elections later.

Between myself and a few dedicated other volunteers, including the stalwart Simon Wood, we evolved the overseas presence that James Shaw had pioneered. We grew the London branch into an active and imaginative grassroots campaign targeting the overseas vote in the UK in 2014. Despite the frustrations of that election, we kept things ticking over so there would be an established structure to give the 2017 effort a head start.

Late in 2015 I received the news that my sister had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

I was luckily in a position to be able to completely pack up my UK life and head back to Auckland to be with her and my family for her last months. I thought that was the end of my Green involvement, and was given my first ever pounamu (which ironically has also now had a story of there-and-back-again) as a beautiful but bittersweet farewell gift from the London team.

Back in Auckland, my then 11-year-old nephew asked “are you still running the Green Party?” I said that was just in London, and in New Zealand I was nothing. He replied with a very definitive “You’re not nothing. You’re my uncle.”

I’d committed to stay in New Zealand for at least a year to be with the family following my sister passing away. But I was desperately seeking out familiarity and purpose. I was in the midst of not only grief but also reverse culture shock (it really is a thing). Being around South Auckland – especially Manurewa, where my sister had lived – was a big jolt from a London media lifestyle.

So once again I started championing the buildup towards an overseas campaign. Firstly as a way to keep connected with feeling like a global citizen, but also to put energy where it was still sorely needed. This time however I was able to understand how to get things done with the Green Party structure and people right at the source instead of 18,000km distant. Local branch and province meetings, joining the energising Fundraising and Marketing committee, and getting to know some of the Wellington office team in person instead of just by email, all gave me new insight and resource for overseas campaigning.

But being back in NZ gave me more than that. I got to properly meet and spend some time with MPs and the up-and-coming new candidates. From filming Marama Davidson for a Maori Language Week initiative, to racing around Mt Albert in the dark of night helping Julie-Anne Genter pull down her hoardings before the next day’s by-election, to drinking plenty of Chloe Swarbrick’s coffee at her new cafe, this exposure reinforced my gut instinct from the occasional meetings with James Shaw and others:

New Zealand Green MPs are a different type of politician. In it for real reasons. And the right reasons.

Of course New Zealand doesn’t have the extreme level of “career politician” manufacturing such as you see in the UK from the likes of Eton College, and I’m sure there are MPs in other NZ parties who are in it make a difference too. But the candidates and MPs I’ve met in the Greens have consistently and completely impressed me with their totally genuine passion for making life and the world better – and, well, absolute ordinariness.

Along the way also I got past my reverse culture shock, and rejuvenated a, shall we say more informed and perceptive love of New Zealand. So as 2016 rolled into a 2017 of intense election campaigning and political events, I got more involved than ever in the overseas campaign. Thanks to the energy of our international candidate Bridget Walsh, the dogged commitment of other volunteers, and the support of the Wellington marketing team, it has grown from being a UK-based effort into a global presence. We’re meeting and connecting with Kiwis all around the world online and in person like never before.

Outlining the overseas campaign plans to an Auckland Province meeting with Bridget

In July I returned to live in the UK again.

It’s been more than a bit odd moving back after the emotional journey of the last nearly two years. Things have changed. I’ve changed. But my enthusiasm for protecting Aotearoa is stronger than ever, and I believe a green heart in government is the way to do that. In a way, everything I’ve done with the Greens since 2011 has led up to this point and I’m committed (to the point of obsession at times) making this election the one where things really change for the better.

A lot of people said how good a person I was for dropping my UK life and going back to do what I could for my sister and family. But as much as I did for my sister nearly two years ago, it’s what I can do for her kids, my nephews and niece, and in fact the planet they live on, that feels like one of the most important and worthwhile things I’ve done.

Overseas votes can make a world of difference in Aotearoa. Make yours Green.

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Candidate Kōrero #8: Bridget Walsh

Candidate Korero_2

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 Bridget Walsh, our international candidate.

Current Role:
I’m a touring musician, based mostly between the UK, the USA and Aotearoa. I’m also the founder of a social enterprise and online community for artists and musicians (www.indhe.org) and humbled to have been selected as the International Candidate for the Green Party of Aotearoa. I’ve taken a summer off festivals and shows to focus instead on “political touring”, rallying together overseas-kiwis in cities around the world, and helping to get them ready to #votefromanywhere ❤

My Number One Goal in Government:
My main goal this year is to get as many of my incredibly talented, wise, brave and inspiring friends and colleagues into parliament as possible, by mobilising and uniting our overseas community of kiwis and empowering them to use their voice to vote this year, and help us to change the government. I believe that, if I myself was to be voted into parliament, it would be a really positive sign for the wider Aotearoa community, that someone like me was being brought to the table, given that my background is not terribly typical of those with political aspirations. I am political by nature, and believe wholeheartedly in communities working together, making positive choices and speaking up for the things they believe in. My background is in the arts, media and education, so creating collective experiences and spaces for expression, exploration and having your voices heard and your feelings reflected is something I’m hugely passionate about.

My favourite thing about being a Kiwi:
It is a privilege to call a beautiful land like Aotearoa home, and the rich and diverse culture, history and mana of New Zealand is something that I am truly grateful for, and carry humbly with me in everything that I do wherever I am in the world. I think that we as a nation have a lot of work to do to get things back on track, but I believe the essence of Aotearoa is something truly special, and that if we can work together to look after each other, to honour and cherish the stories and experiences that have shaped us, and to truly care for the world around us, that we will all be able to be truly proud to call ourselves Kiwis, wherever we are in the world.

One lesson we can learn from overseas:
I learn new things from people, places and experiences every day, which I suppose is the answer to the question – there is such a big, wide world out here waiting to be discovered and explored so my piece of wisdom is to “show up”. Take part in life, be open to meeting new people, learning new things and seeking new experiences – whether it is simply going a few streets beyond where you’d normally stroll and saying hello to new faces, getting on a train and taking a little adventure to a new part of Aotearoa, or backpacking your way across the other side of the world. Show up and take part in life. There is SO much to be found, loved and learned from!

My favourite place overseas:
Oh my gosh. I couldn’t possibly name one! I really strive to, when I’m in a new city, connect with locals and experience things as if I live there. I’m not great with the “tourist” vibe – it stresses me out a bit with so much consumption, jacked-up prices and excessive “stuff” everywhere. Of course I love to see and experience all the historic and significant landmarks and sites, just like everyone else, but I’m not a great “tourist” as such. Which is probably why some of my favourite places are say, Broadway Market on a Saturday morning in London, around the corner from where I used to live. And Champs vegan diner in Brooklyn. Singing with jazz musicians in Philadelphia or Cuban musicians in Mexico.

There’s a beautiful city in Switzerland called Basel, which is a joy to visit, explore and perform in, and a crazy little spot in Wales called Southstack, near where one of my producers lives, which feels like the edge of the world. I stayed in a capsule hotel in Tokyo, which was just as ridiculously wonderful as I expected. I LOVE going to little Cantonese eating spots in Hong Kong, with friends there who are locals and can order delicious vegan food for me, that I wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to order myself! I love walking around Montmartre in Paris, and I always enjoy efficient and affordable public transport. Like I say… I can’t even begin to try and name just one! Everywhere has got a little bit of magic hiding somewhere – you just have to go out there and find it!

My favourite place in New Zealand:

I grew up in Auckland, but moved to Wellington in 2008 to do my Post Grad in teaching, before moving to the UK in 2009. I love Wellington, a lot – the food, the coffee, the art, the music, the people, the vibe. But I also really love standing in the middle of some of Aotearoa’s natural beauty and absorbing the magic of the world around me. Somewhere like Karekare or Muriwai, or the shores of Lake Taupo. But there are little hidden miracles everywhere in Aotearoa, some of which I haven’t even scratched the surface of, which is why I feel so passionately about helping to look after it all!

My message for International Kiwis:

I know first hand that “home” is wherever you choose it to be. Home is about a little bit of comfort, a little bit of security and a whole lot of love, and you can find that or build that in any corner of this beautiful planet, if you so desire. But if you identify Aotearoa as having some meaning to you as “home” in your past, present, or future, then I would urge you to please help us work together to look after it.

It doesn’t take much research to see that things have slipped in the last few years, and that our “100% Pure” imagery isn’t quite what we’d like it to be. New Zealand (and the world as a whole) is facing some real challenges at the moment, with people, communities and our wonderful natural resources not receiving the care they need and deserve. I met up with a wonderful kKwi couple in Brooklyn this month, and we discussed that this election isn’t really about getting New Zealand back to it’s “former glory”, it’s about acknowledging the REAL work that needs to be done to get us back on an even keel – this work that must be done before we can start focusing on the bells and whistles.

We have to protect and restore our land, our water and our people as a top priority, before we can get back to work on the proactive stuff. The Green party is committed to doing the mahi that is desperately needed to truly help Aotearoa back onto a path that will help us be a global pioneer for kind, progressive, sustainable and joyful living, but we need your help to do so. This is no longer a matter of a “fresh lick of paint” approach – we need to tackle the big foundational issues of our time, and tackle them now… and THEN we can do the redecorating!

Follow Bridget on Facebook here.

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International voting is open until September 22!

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Top 10 reasons to vote Green from overseas

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.

7. TRANSPORT

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.

6. WATER

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.  

Check out our drinking water policy here and our Clean Groundwater Bill here.

5. CANDIDATES

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.

4. ENVIRONMENT

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.

3. HOUSING

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

2. POVERTY

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!


 

 

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