little green envelope

inspiring snippets about changing the world

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23 Reasons I’m voting Green #8: Gender equality

I’m voting Green because trans people face huge barriers to getting adequate healthcare, and to getting their gender legally recognised. It is still legal to discriminate against someone because they are trans and that is not ok.

I’m voting Green because women still earn less than men and, unlike the current government, the Greens actually care and want to measure the problem and do something to fix it.

I’m voting Green because the victims of domestic violence and sexual violence, who are predominantly women, are not getting the help they need because this government is cutting funding to essential services like rape crisis centres and Women’s Refuges. These should be properly funded, and we should also be providing specialist education to stop these kinds of violence happening in the first place.

I’m voting Green because a woman should be able to decide for herself whether or not to continue with a pregnancy.

I’m voting Green because the Greens actively make sure to have gender balance in the party list.

I’m voting Green because Jan Logie is a strong and effective voice on these issues in parliament, and is actively working with and consulting people affected by these issues.

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23 Reasons Why I’m voting Green #7: I’m voting for animals

I’m voting Green to give animals a strong voice in parliament. There are millions of animals who are being treated horrifically in this country and they need law changes so they can live better lives.

Chickens should be able to live happy lives with grass, trees and sunshine, not imprisoned in tiny cages or huge barns with thousands of other chickens.

And we need much stricter laws about the treatment of farm animals. I was deeply affected when I saw the videos of abuse of the pigs that was exposed by SAFE a few months back. It is so wrong that this cruelty is allowed to continue on NZ farms.

We need stricter rules, like outlawing horrible farming practices such as sow crates and battery hen cages, and we need better enforcement of the rules. The government needs to do random checks on farms instead of just waiting for someone to complain before they investigate like they do currently.  

We need better labeling laws, so people know what they’re really buying. Right now, egg companies can write ‘free range’ on their egg cartons when the eggs actually come from chickens living crammed inside a huge barn with a tiny square of outside area to share between hundreds of chickens.

Mojo Mathers is the Green spokesperson on animal welfare and she’s been doing a great job. I’m voting Green to keep her there to continue her work.

Filed under whyimvotinggreen green2014 LoveNZ animals factory farming

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If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do? 

Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.

Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?

On September 10th, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.

If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here:

Everyone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown:  


(via climate-changing)

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23 reasons I’m voting Green: #6 I want to bathe… in the river…

Mmm. Swimming in fresh water is the best. I have so many good memories of swimming in rivers around New Zealand and I hope that I’ll continue to have many more. And I hope kids growing up today get the chance to as well. But it’s going to be pretty difficult if National continues with it’s plan to let our rivers be degraded until they’re only safe enough to boat in.

photo of river

Last summer I went to Raglan and was someone recommended swimming in the pool. Well, when we got there, there was a huge pond at the bottom of the waterfall that looked perfect for swimming, and there were newish, official orange signs posted around saying ‘This river is NOT safe for swimming due to effluent runoff.’ Well it wasn’t just that river that wasn’t swimmable. Last summer, 2/3 of our popular swimming places were too polluted for swimming.

It seems to be mostly caused by the huge increase in this country’s dairy farming industry. Cows are allowed to wander through rivers and poo into them, and also huge amounts of fertiliser washes into the waterways from farmland.

I’m glad that the Greens are prioritising the health of our rivers and want to make sure they’re safe for swimming again.

And while we’re on the topic, here are my two favourite songs about rivers:

Filed under rivers lovenz green2014 whyimvotinggreen

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23 Reasons I’m Voting Green: #5 Inequality

The gap between rich and poor is getting bigger and bigger and it’s bad for everyone. Inequality leads to higher rates of pretty much all social problems, like crime, poverty, mental illness, disease, environmental degradation etc.

The more equal our society is the better it will be, so I’m pleased the Greens have lots of good, well thought out policy to create a fairer, more equal society:

  • Create a tax free band so we all pay no tax on our first $2000 of income each year, making households about $300 better off (paid for by the carbon charge, see why I’m voting green #1).
  • Put up the tax rate on the highest incomes (over $140k) and reinvest that money into children to ensure every child has the best start to life.
  • Crack down on tax evasion (which is currently costing our country between $1 and $6 billion dollars every year - imagine what we can do with that?!!)
  • Increase the minimum wage over 3 years to $18.
  • Introducing a capital gains tax so that people who earn money from buying and selling property pay tax on their income, just like everyone else does on their wages etc.
  • Make sure all kids get the basics of food, shelter, healthcare so they have an equal chance to thrive and live their best possible lives.
  • And loads of other stuff which you can read about here.

Filed under whyimvotinggreen inequality loveNZ

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23 Reasons I’m voting Green #4: We can’t let these little treasures go extinct!

Maui’s dolphins

Look! They’re so little and cute! I wish I could find a good picture that shows how small they are. They’re smaller than a human anyway - about 40-60kgs fully grown.

They’re some of the world’s smallest dolphins and they only live off the west coast of Te Ika a Maui (the North Island).

And there are only 55 of them left in the world, mostly because they keep getting killed by fishing nets :(

They’re only found in NZ - they’re as precious as kiwi, kakapo and tuatara. We should be doing everything we can to increase their numbers.

Instead of pulling out all the stops to make sure Maui’s dolphins survive, the National Party has done nothing about it.

On paper there’s a Marine Mammal Sanctuary to protect the dolphins, but National’s done nothing to stop people using fishing nets there and accidentally killing them. And now they’ve said they are going to let oil drilling start up in the sanctuary too. These people are committing environmental vandalism.


Here’s the Greens plan to save the Maui’s:

  • Ban fishing methods that kill Maui’s anywhere within the Marine Mammal Sanctuary and the entire area that Maui dolphins live.
  • Ban oil, gas or mineral mining or exploration within the Marine Mammal Sanctuary (the Greens don’t support any of these anyway)
  • Help fishers who’s livelihoods are affected to switch over to dolphin-friendly practices over a 3 year period.

I’m giving my party vote to the Greens to save the Maui’s dolphins.

P.S. If you want to save them too, visit Dolphins Against National Government (DANG), where you’ll find lots of things you can do to help.

Filed under whyimvotinggreen lovenz maui dolphins dolphins

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23 Reasons I’m voting Green #3: Warmer, drier, healthier houses

Eek I’m getting behind with this already! I will try to do two more today after this but no promises.

Reason #3 is healthy homes

NZ is a wealthy country - there’s no reason anyone here should be living in a house that’s doesn’t provide adequate shelter. But we have some of the coldest, dampest houses in the developed world so I’m really pleased the Greens have made some good progress on this issue. I’m Party Voting Green to make sure they can do even more.

The Warm Up New Zealand program, that provides subsidised home insulation, was initiated by the Greens who worked with the National government to get it started in 2009. The scheme has already insulated more than 235,000 homes. Go Greens!

Insulating houses is a good idea - it because it makes our homes warmer, cheaper to heat and therefore much healthier, which means we can get out and enjoy our lives instead of being sick with asthma and other respiratory problems. Making homes healthier is particularly good for kids and old people because they get sick more easily.

The Greens want to make sure every kid grows up in a healthy home. Houses will have to reach a minimum standard and get a Warrant of Fitness before they can be rented out.

This will make such a big difference to so many people - more than 1 million people live in rented houses in this country. If you want you can read more about the policy here.

Filed under whyimvotinggreen lovenz health insulation

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23 Reasons I’m Voting Green: #2 Civics education

We should be teaching kids about why we have a government, what it does, how laws are made and how they affect our lives, and how each one of us can have a say in making laws and in how the country is run. It’s not just about voting (though obviously that’s important), it’s about making sure everyone understands the system we’re living within.

I’m not saying everyone has to be a politics nerd. But I think it’s so unfair that kids are growing up without getting a proper explanation of how the rules are made and what they can do to improve them.

Of course it’s possible for us to just coast along letting all these new young citizens just pick things up by osmosis, but clearly it’s not working for everyone or more young people would be doing things like voting.

The Greens will encourage schools to teach civics so that young people understand and can participate fully in our democracy. I think that would definitely be a good step towards a fairer society.

Filed under whyimvotinggreen LoveNZ civics education