Frogblog already has an extensive post by Green MP Gareth Hughes on the background to these protests, so I won’t go over that again.

There was a much bigger turnout for the Auckland protest, which eventually occupied an entire intersection in Queen St and shut down traffic briefly until the cop cars converged, but Welli turned on a fine day and a bunch of people came with their hand-made placards.

There were representatives of the Pirate Party of NZ, handing out material that they don’t appear to have worked out how to print double-sided yet; and a few from the Open Source Society, and just a bunch of general geeks in blackout clothing.

It was a pleasant enough get-together for a sunny Saturday in Welli, might be useful to do it again when Parli is actually sitting in the House, tho’.

Here’s some cute placards:
Blackout protest Aug 27 2011
Blackout protest Aug 27 2011
Blackout protest Aug 27 2011


Media Advisory:
Meeting 4pm Thursday 18 August, MacLaurin Lecture Theatre,
Kelburn campus, Victoria University

The decision announced earlier today to sack two lecturers in Victoria University’s International Relations programme to make way for new “themes” in the programme based around Security Studies and the Asia-Pacific region will lend urgency to a meeting of staff, students, University Council members and MPs scheduled for 4pm Thursday 18 August at the Kelburn Campus’ MacLaurin Lecture Theatre 102.

“We can’t tell exactly who will be attending the meeting other than students and staff at this stage,” says Tertiary Education Union Organiser, Michael Gilchrist, “but we see the current changes as a watershed issue for the future direction of the university.”

“There is no question of a lack of funds or student demand in the programme. On the contrary, an additional investment is being made. But younger staff, attempting to raise a family and build an academic career, are losing their jobs.

“We are particularly concerned that the university’s Academic and Faculty Boards, representing students and staff have not been consulted and that recent resignations in the programme have not been used to avoid making staff redundant.

“Likewise, students see the alarming implications for the courses they are taught, the relationships they have with lecturers and their plans for progression within disciplines if changes in the wind of management thinking can have this kind of effect.”

**For further information please contact**

Michael Gilchrist 021 770 846 or 04 463 5058

Further information on the situation at Victoria is also available at

There is another meeting happening to discuss the change proposal and responses to the VUW Council, on Wednesday 24 August at 5pm, until 8pm, in the Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington.

This meeting is being called to discuss, organise and coordinate nationwide resistance on campus.

Amongst other things, the university is under attack from the government, with VSM set to pass in the next month. It is also under attack from its own management, with lecturers being sacked and research shut down in Wellington; whilst key academic conditions are being taken from academic staff in Auckland.

Robbie Shilliam, a lecturer in International Relations at VUW, will speak briefly about general issues.

Joe Kelly, an ex-student, will speak about past experiences of occupations which have occurred at VUW.

We will then discuss how to most effectively build resistance on campus, and make some plans.

Please invite anyone you think might be interested.

The change proposal can be accessed here.

DVD image

Tonite, 12 August · 7pm to 11pm

13 Garrett St, Level 2 (Just off Cuba St), Wellington

7pm Sharp – Karakia

Intro: Abi King-Jones, Errol Wright

Korero: Moana Winitana, Annette Sykes, Ati Teepa

Poetry: Ken Vicious

Music: Upper Hutt Posse, Acoustic Activists, Don Franks, DJ Hammond Head, Vanessa Stacy

The DVD launch is being hosted by the ‘Concerned Citizens’ at their art gallery space; level 2, 13 Garrett St (just off Cuba St).
The event is will be similar to an art exhibition opening rather than a formal seated event, although there is seating available.
There will be refreshments, nibbles, tea and coffee available after the Karakia.

police, agents, informants & spies (public & private) are not invited

Ok, so I admit I should have written about this before it happened, so’s any regulars here might join in if they cared to, but meh, I’ve been busy.

And in any case, Jan Logie has got a great team helping her in Mana electorate, and it showed at the Lighthouse Cinema in Pauatahanui, that semi-rural community north of Wellington famous for preserving a fabulous wetlands area which NZTA now want to drive Transmission Gully straight through.

So, as we all scuttled from our various means of transport through the rain into the cinema, there was a Green info stall with some posters and leaflets, also selling last-minute tickets for the early evening showing of Oranges and Sunshine.

Campaign team looking very organised

Campaign team looking very organised

Jan spoke briefly just before we watched the movie, highlighting Green policy around poverty and families, and then we settled down for this directorial outing by Ken Loache’s son Jim; as much of a reason to watch the film as anything else, IMNSHO.

The original book by Nottingham social worker Margaret Humphreys was the result of the events you see in the film, as she uncovered to her horror the evidence of mass, forced migrations of underpriviledged children in the 50’s and 60’s, with the active collusion of both the UK and Australian Governments.

Her book Empty Cradles caused a furore at the time, but as the title sequence acknowledges at the end of the film, it took 23 years after she pieced the facts together for those Governments to apologise to the children who were removed from families into care, and then spirited half a world away while their parents tried to get employment, housing and debts under control.

It certainly makes you think about our current social welfare provisions, particularly those around fostering, adoption and the provisions in law for making children at risk wards of the state. I for one came out of the session in mild shock, and considering carefully the phrase ‘let s/he who is without sin throw the first stone’ … for the judgemental nature of those upper-middle class civil servants in the UK was a very big part of this action, which can only be framed as class war, misogyny and extreme cruelty to parents and children alike.

For anyone interested in the subject of forced removals of children for adoptions in NZ, there is an excellent book on the subject by Dr Anne Else, A question of adoption : closed stranger adoption in New Zealand, 1944-1974, which gives very good background to the shaming of mothers, then-current protections in law so that paternity could not be stated for illegitimate children, particularly if the father was already married, and other grounds under which young women were deemed to be unfit to bring up their children. This was published in 1991 by Bridget Williams books, and should be available in the WCC libraries as well as holdings in the VUW libraries.

Jan Logie speaking before the screening.

Jan Logie speaking before the screening.

The Listener had coincidentally given this film a very good review (by film reviewer Helene Wong) just last week, so the final tally of attendees may have been boosted unwittingly by their aid – Jan is seen speaking in the larger of the two cinemas, but we had screenings in both available cinemas, such was the demand.

I thoroughly recommend both that you see this movie, either as it screens around the country or at some future date on DVD, and also that you see a movie in one of the Lighthouse Cinemas scattered around Wellington region – Petone has one as well as Pauatahanui – and I’d generally say that the experience of seeing movies in smaller, local cinemas has a lot going for it. Wellington particularly has had a resurgence in small cinemas dating back to the re-opening of the Empire Cinema in Island Bay a few years ago, and most recently the refurbished Roxy Cinema in Park Rd, Miramar owned by Sir Peter Jackson, but one of the few he owns which is open to the general public.

Lastly, I’d like to thank every professional social worker who deals with families day-to-day – it is an unremittingly stressful job, as the central character in this film shows viscerally. You are women (and some men, too) who are truly worth your weight and more in gold, and heroes and heroines for all the children whose lives are touched and strengthened by your support.

Concerned citizens logo

Concerned citizens presents

Concerned Citizens and Active Stills Presents


Photographic Exhibition to Raise Awareness About Upcoming UN Decision on Palestinian

Opening Date: Friday 19th August, 2011

Concerned Citizens is a diverse community of more than 60 artists and musicians from around New Zealand that unite regularly to put on public events exhibitions and concerts. These events provide an eclectic showcase of local and international art, music, film, and seminars, while raising funds and awareness in support of a range of positive social and political causes. Our primary focus is to generate discourse about issues of social justice and causes we feel are not getting the attention they deserve.

In September, every country in the UN General Assembly (including New Zealand) will make a decision about whether or not they recognize Palestine as a state. In the case of New Zealand, Foreign Minister Murray McCully will make this decision on our behalf. Despite international opinion being overwhelmingly in favour of recognising Palestinian statehood, Mr McCully’s track record suggests that his decision may be influenced more by NZ-US trade relations than upholding basic human rights.

Since there is likely to be very little media coverage of this issue until after the decision is made, we would like to bring it to the attention of the New Zealand public. A sufficiently widespread expression of public opinion is likely to be effective in swaying McCully’s decision in favour of humanitarian concern.

To achieve this goal, we are currently organising a series of large collaborative photography exhibitions in cities around the country, opening in Wellington on Friday August 19th.

The central exhibit in each city will be a collection of works provided by Active Stills, a collective of Israeli and Palestinian photographers using photography as a creative means of non-violent resistance to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.

To support the central exhibit and extend the exhibition to the broader community, we’re inviting professional and amateur photographers in each city to contribute work. We’re expecting the content to be diverse, involving both political and non-political photography.

The event will be combined with film screenings, public seminars and live music, coordinated through the Concerned Citizens website (
Like previous Concerned Citizens activities, these exhibitions will be community-oriented events that showcase local talent while raising awareness about an important social issue.

Supporting Event
Saturday 13 August at 3:00pm – 14 August at 01:00
Location: Above People’s Coffee, Garrett St

Concerned Citizens, in association with Vic Students for Palestine, are putting on another gig at Garrett St, this time to raise funds for nationwide photography exhibitions to raise awareness about New Zealand’s role in the upcoming UN decision on the recognition/non-recognition of Palestine as a state.

This will be another early-starting, super-diverse, mega-goodtime party with ELEVEN excellent bands!
Seth Frightening, Numbskull, Cosby Pills and Hash, Uncle Thundermaker, Big Rik, The Shadow Blasters, Tommy and the Fallen Horses, Albert Williams, The All-Seeing Hand, Nervous System, Mongo Skato

Early start! Bands at 3pm

The gig will be helping to fund a nationwide series of photography exhibitions in August!

The Exhibition opened fine, and the clever crew at Concerned Citizens even filmed some of the opening. The auction continues until the end of the 1st of September, online at Unrecognised

Le Matt Juste

The right person in the right place

Thoughtscapes - Reimagining

Thoughtscapes - people, place, policy, potential. ....... Think like the mountain, encompass the landscape and its culture, see beyond what we have only come to see

Heart Sisters

For women living with heart disease

Cogpunk Steamscribe

One writer's journey into the world of Steampunk


“The only truth is music.” ― Jack Kerouac

Michael Roberts Blog

blogging from a marxist economist

Warning:Curves Ahead

reasonably photogenic and relatively stylish


Ōku whakaaro e pā ana ki te mahi ako

The Non-Plastic Maori

Taking out trash since forever.

Kia Ora Gaza

KIWI AID TO GAZA --- Please donate generously

Hikurangi Group

Naumai, haramai.

Multi-disciplinary research developing a sustainable energy supply

Flip That Script - Jessie Moss

We can always re-write the scripts we live by.

Auckland Peace Action

Working to end NZ support for war and the global arms trade

Katherine Dewar

Ruby and the Blue Sky author site

Michael Tavares