Yep, it’s Wednesday again, and so there is another opportunity to be entertained and informed, whilst supping a beverage of one’s own choosing, by the inimitable Wallace and Damian. (not to be confused with Wallace and Gromit)

This week’s show has Green Party Co-Leader Dr. Russel Norman, Labour MP Dr. Megan Woods, National MP Scott Simpson, and New Zealand First MP Denis O’Rourke.

Topics include performance pay for teachers, and astronomical pay figures for public sector CEO’s .. are they worth it?

C’mon down, June is looming and we need to enjoy as much of this as we can before TVNZ’s overpaid CEO’s put a stop to it ….
Save TV7 petition here.

Update:
That was a very entertaining evening. Russel Norman was very well on form, and there was a huge support crew of Green staff, members and YG’s. Have a looky here for the episode, at TVNZ’s On-demand website. Worth looking at what else TV7 produces, if I may say so, since it’s about the only intelligent programming for grown-ups available in NZ free-to-air.

Wallace looking suitably chuffed at the end of the show!

Wallace looking suitably chuffed at the end of the show!

The pub was as packed as I’ve seen it for a while (possibly since the last of the pre-election shows), and as Wellington had turned on a beautiful day, I suspect happy, well-sunned students were a large factor in the increased attendance. Oh, and that about half the audience was there to cheer Russ on!
There was a marked absence of the student wings of ACT, Young Nat’s, or even Young Labour, which was rather a surprise.

The Maui’s dolphin is the most critically endangered dolphin in the world. In just a few short years, the population of Maui’s dolphins has halved from 111 in 2005 to an estimate of just 55 left today. The time for talk is over and urgent action is needed. The Government …should use the precautionary principle to put in place an immediate set net ban along the Taranaki Coast and to enlarge the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary.

Join Green Party MP Gareth Hughes and the last remaining 55 Maui’s dolphins in front of parliament on Wednesday 28th March to help us call for action and to launch our submission guides to the Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Fisheries to put measures in place to protect this unique species NOW!

12.30pm – 1.30pm, in front of Parliament steps, Wellington.
Facebook event here.

Pictures will magically appear here after the event 😉

Green MP Gareth Hughes at the submission guide launch today

Green MP Gareth Hughes at the submission guide launch today

You can read more about the submission guide here, and see what Forest and Bird have to say as well.

This is a little PR for a group I consider are on the right track.
Disclosure statement: my own children were clothed in a mixture of cloth nappies, both fitted and folded by myself, as well as disposable nappies on holidays, etc, when we needed an alternative. Back in the 1990’s! Hard Green luddite view of parenting, that’s me. My sister has also used some of the more modern cloth nappy solutions, and soon my own daughter will be experiencing the joys of the nappy arguments.

Upcoming Cloth Nappy Week 2012 kicks off with a weeklong road trip with a very specific distance in mind. With one million disposable nappies being thrown into New Zealand landfills each day*, or seven million each week, the number of nappies laid end-to-end would stretch to 2,100km – the distance from Invercargill to Auckland. It is this route the Cloth Nappy Week team of mums will be travelling from 14-22 April, in a bid to raise awareness of the benefits of modern cloth nappies over disposables.

“One million disposable nappies is a lot of landfill,” says Kate Meads, also known as The Nappy Lady, who is leading the nationwide movement toward more sustainable diapering solutions for parents.

“In a household with one baby, disposable nappies could constitute up to 50% of their total household waste. With around 145,000 children under age two-and-a-half using six to seven disposable nappies daily, one million disposable nappies are thrown into our landfills each day.

“Dealing with disposable nappy waste costs local councils tens of thousands of dollars per year, and the decomposing material in landfills creates methane gas, a major contributor to global warming. To put it bluntly, disposable nappies are harming our environment in a big way.

“While waste issues are fortunately becoming more and more important, in the meantime, our world is becoming more and more disposable. The big question for the future is, when our landfills are full, where will our rubbish go? I, for one, don’t want to leave my child with a legacy of garbage.”

Kate explains that a baby will need up to 6,000 nappy changes in the first two-and-a-half years of life, and at around 50c per nappy, parents are literally throwing their money away.

“Disposable nappies are seen as more convenient and less time-consuming than cloth nappies,” she explains. “I understand that mindset when it comes to our parents’
generation, but modern cloth nappies are so advanced in design and materials that they truly are no more difficult than washing a load of laundry.”

Cloth Nappy Week, which is a worldwide event taking place 16-22 April, is focused on educating parents about how stylish and easy-to-use cloth nappies are.

Kate and her team of Nappy Avengers is taking to the roads of New Zealand starting in Invercargill on 14 April, bringing workshops, information sessions, samples, competitions, giveaways and prizes to crowds of Kiwi parents around the country.

Cloth Nappy Week has an active website (www.clothnappyweek.co.nz) and Facebook community (www.facebook.com/clothnappyweek) and excitement is prepared to celebrate all things cloth.

“We are fortunate in New Zealand to have an extremely savvy, intelligent, passionate community of parents who are interested in cloth nappies, and a wide range of brands
to choose from, stocked by a passionate group of cloth nappy suppliers and retailers,” Kate says. “Cloth Nappy Week is the time for everyone to work together to spread the word, and I’m excited to be taking cloth nappies on the road this
year.”

Cloth Nappy Week is scheduled for 16-22 April 2012, and The Cloth Nappy Road Trip kicks off in Invercargill on 13 April, ending in Auckland on 21 April.

* Source: Zero Waste New Zealand (www.zerowaste.co.nz/hot-issues/nappies)

Kate Meads

The Nappy Lady
http://www.TheNappyLady.co.nz

I realise that this may seem to be the only thing that I’m doing lately, which is not true, but I’m just not blogging here about other stuff I’m involved in.

So, moving right along, this week’s lineup is:
Labour MP Phil Goff, Mana Party Leader Hone Harawira, and National MP Michael Woodhouse.
Details here.

Could be worth attending for the fireworks.
TV7 is still likely to be closing down mid-year, so if you’ve ever enjoyed participating in the circus that is live filming of pub politics, come down.

Update:
I once again failed to make it along, but there was certainly a good crowd handy, have a look here. Phil Goff got a minor ragging from Wallace for his first appearance ever on the show (not ever having been a Back Bencher while the show has been recording before now) and both Hone Harawira and Michael Woodhouse had strong showings.

Otherwise, my lovely green friends, you will have to suffice yourselves with Pints’n’Politics, the latest brainchild of the local branch worthies, who fancy sitting and talking about politics without the intrusion of floor managers, cameras, Damian or Wallace.

There was a trial run at the Southern Cross in Te Aro CBD a while back, and it’s being mooted as a ‘first-of-the-month’ travelling circus, so that the day of the week varies each month to capture all those people who are busy every Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday, etc and won’t commit to another regular event.

Kick-off is Sunday April 1st, prolly around 3pm, and venue still being disputed, I mean discussed. I’ll keep you posted about how that turns out, and provide details if the decision comes down that it is to be widely promoted. *sigh*

Tomorrow (wed) on

Back Benches

– Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie makes his debut (Nat), with Kris Faafoi (Lab) & Gareth Hughes (Green).

The C-word..Casualisation, civilianisation of workforces, MFAT and other job cuts, and school discrimination of those with disabilities. Come for a pint 8.30 pm

Update:

Due to another piece of direct activism conducted during the day, I didn’t actually make it to Back Benches this week.
However, Gareth and the crew did, so looky here to see how they handled the topics of the week.
Fun times spotting greenie regulars in the crowd. Green MP Stefan Browning makes an appearance in the crowd, midway through his tour of organic producer regions discussing the up-coming Food Bill.

Brooklynne opening the panel discussion and welcoming participants

Brooklynne opening the panel discussion and welcoming participants


St Andrews on the Terrace was the venue for an oversubscribed panel discussion (don’t worry, more chairs were poached from another room) on Friday evening, organised by Brooklynne Kennedy with help from many who attended.

The hall filled up very quickly, and after each panelist had spoken about their reasons for being part of the event, a lot of very interesting discussion ensued between panelists and audience members.

The panel comprised Brooklynne Kennedy, Nicole Skews, Joseph Hapgood and Griffin, and covered many aspects of the offense that Germain Greer, currently in Wellington for Writer’s and Readers’ week events, has caused to members of the Trans* community over the years. Feminists of many stripes attended and contributed to the discussion, as well as members of the trans* and intersex communities.

This is not the only event being held around issues of transphobia during the week, so if you missed this panel discussion, do try attending Gender Trouble, a Queer Avengers discussion group, to be held at Anvil House, Wakefield Street this Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm.

There’s a facebook event here, with info like a reading list of links if you’re keen.

Back Benches roundup

March 5, 2012

Haven’t done a post about Back Benches for a while. Not because I haven’t been attending (I have had the soggy overcoat to prove my dedication) but because other things going on in my life have interfered with writing posts for a while.

So here’s a compendium of reviews of the past two shows and a plug for the next one.

The first one (22nd Feb) was very busy, the bar was crowded and the topic in hand was the Christchurch earthquake anniversary. Christchurch MP’s were on the panel – Liane Dalziel (L), Nicky Wagner (N), Kennedy Graham (G) and Denis O’Rourke (NZ1). They had all been at commemoration events during the day in Christchurch, then flown to Wellington to be on the show, so kudos for that. The media coverage of the days events was pretty much wall-to-wall, and the MP’s referred to where they’d been under the assumption that non of the audience could possibly have missed seeing footage.

The following week was ‘leap day’, 29th Feb, and a re-shoot of the Hamilton show that didn’t get broadcast during the summer tour. The pub was barely filled, and I was surprised to be invited, with my young companion (a friend’s son) to move to another, closer table so that the cameras had some audience to film. So we did, and ended up sitting right next to National MP David Bennett’s wife and daughter, who both got spots speaking with Damian Christie. Other MP’s on the panel were Cath Delahunty (G), Sue Maroney (L) and Richard Prosser (NZ1). Students with or without jobs got a fair bit of airtime, especially given recent announcements by the Minister for Social Development during that week’s press on welfare reforms.

Pre-show shot of the panel with Damian and Wallace

Pre-show shot of the panel with Damian and Wallace

This week 7th March, the line-up is Labour MP Rino Tirikatene, Dr. Cam Calder (Nat) and Denise Roche (Green) – still from 8pm if you want to get a drink beforehand, at the Back Bencher pub, opposite Parliament in Molesworth St, Wellington.
There’s been some good young Green crews along in the past, now that Orientation is on again, might be nice to get some more yoof down to the pub for a bit of a laff, eh?

Update
That was a very good night out, episode here and here’s a quick pic from before filming began showing all the panellists.

Panel being readied by production crew, March 7th

Panel being readied by production crew, March 7th

There’s still time to email TVNZ about saving TV7, have a look here.

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