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News from Down Under (NZ-Australia)

Opening Our Hearts and Minds Across the Cultural Divide

After attending my first formal Maori meeting (hui), I took home a new perspective on a culture I thought I already knew. Turns out I know very little but would love to learn more and I’ll become a better person for it. This experience for me has brought to life a mantra I already believe in—‘Treat others the way you want to be treated yourself’, I just understand it better now.

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What’s the Measure of Success for Good Urban Form?

What’s the measure of success of good urban form? For me, it’s equity. This looks like all members of the community enjoying access to safe, reliable and affordable transport that connects them within the community and to amenities. It’s housing that doesn’t have labels like ‘social’ and ‘affordable’ – everyone gets to live in a space that benefits their wellbeing. It’s also when the intrinsic value of nature is incorporated into our spaces, not built out.

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Extinction Emergency – We Need Action Right Now to Save New Zealand Dolphins

Human activities are pushing some marine species towards extinction, including some of the smallest dolphins in the world. Collectively known as New Zealand dolphins, Hector’s and Māui dolphins live only around the coast of New Zealand and they are dying in fishing nets at a rate that will see them extinct if we don’t change our behaviour around them and remove the destructive fishing nets from their home.

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Striking for System Change, Not Climate Change

Students have been striking all over New Zealand. Much has been said about the rights and wrongs of them skipping school to march the streets. From my experience, these students understand more about the problem and solutions we’re facing than many of the adults making decisions on their behalf. I spoke to a few of them at the strike to get their thoughts on what the government should be doing to take action against climate change and what they were doing individually.

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Water Bottling – The New ‘Gold Rush’ Industry

I oppose the expansion of the Otakiri Water Bottling Plant in the Eastern Bay of Plenty (New Zealand) for a number of reasons, but it’s got me thinking about equity of resources and what that means from a humanitarian perspective.  At some stage, unless we experience a massive global sustainability shift, water will become the most precious resource we have. We will need it and so will others.

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The Zero Carbon Bill Through the Eyes of an Everyday Activist

The Zero Carbon Bill was released by the New Zealand Government on the 8th May, 2019 and everyone has an opinion on it.  Will it be any good for us, the biodiversity we cherish and the planet? The jury is definitely out on that one as scientists, academics, economists, politicians and everyday activists like me try to figure out what it will mean. Its intention is to get New Zealand on a pathway of no more than 1.5C warming, in a way which includes all sectors.

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