GPJA #495 (1 of 2): What’s on in Aotearoa (19/3/14)



Thursday, March 20, 5-7pm, Sir Paul Reeves Building, WG809 – Level 8, City Campus, AUT University
Pacific Media Centre seminar: Climate change, conflict and global news: Critical issues facing Pacific micro states | David Robie and Taberannang Korauaba (Pacific Media Centre). Three key notions of a professional free media that emerged more than two centuries ago were that the press should be 1) watchdogs on political abuse of power, 2) provide accurate facts for citizens to make informed choices in general elections, and 3) provide a platform for critical and informed debate. These traditionally fundamental attributes of a free press with declining credibility have been under question in Western democracies for the past few decades (McChesney, 1999. McChesney & Pickard, 2011; Peters & Broersma, 2013), but nowhere has the legitimacy of the twin assumptions of ‘impartial reporting’ and ‘objectivity’ been more severely tested than with environmental journalism and evaluating risk. The new risks involve issues such as climate change, extraction industries degradation, depleted fisheries, genetically modified (GM) food and crops, nuclear waste and oil spills. Living in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to the impact of climate change and the challenges of aid effectiveness and adaptation funding (Coates et al, 2012), South Pacific journalists are at a critical crossroads. In this seminar, PMC director Professor David Robie explores traditional journalism values and the Pacific profession’s own challenges of ‘adaptation’. ALSO: Doctoral candidate and Kiribati Independent editor Taberannang Korauaba will respond and give an overview of his research into climate change and the media in Micronesia.

Thursday, March 20, 5pm, Lecture Theatre: LgeChem (301-G050), The University of Auckland
"TEACH-IN": Students and Staff for a Living Wage University. “A living wage is the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life. A living wage will enable workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society”.
Speakers include:Jennifer Frost, History; Campbell Jones, Sociology; Edward Miller, Law;Strategic Advisor for FirstUnion; Annie Newman, Living Wage Aotearoa.
As the gap between rich and poor grows in New Zealand and poverty increases, more and more New Zealanders don’t get paid enough to meet their needs, enjoy their lives and participate in society. The Living Wage campaign in Aotearoa New Zealand aims to unite communities together around the goal of achieving a living wage as a necessary step to reduce inequality and poverty. Right here at the University of Auckland, many workers are paid well below the living wage. While the University offers a world class education for some, it is the site of thankless work and low pay for others. Vice Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon received a pay rise of $20,000 in the year to the end of June, to put his annual salary at between $650,000 – $660,000.[1] That’s while cleaners make $14.10 per hour. The UoA Living Wage Network has been established to bring together concerned communities on campus to demand a living wage for all who work on our campuses. At $18.80 an hour, a living wage ensures that all workers can live with dignity and are offered the opportunity to meaningfully participate in our society. At this ‘teach-in’ we’ll hear about the difficulties faced by workers at our university trying to support a family on less than a living wage; we’ll hear about the national Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand campaign and the arguments for the living wage; we’ll discuss how we can engage with the University’s administrators to ensure that the University of Auckland is a site where all workers are paid a living wage. The University of Auckland Living Wage Network

Thursday, March 20, 8pm, The Classic, 321 Queen St, Auckland
Climate change comedy night in Auckland. My friends and I are part of a small, new, non-profit collective of professional artists and designers who want to use their skills to promote the profile of climate change through art, film, books etc. The first event we’re holding is a comedy night in Auckland on Thursday 20 March. Some of New Zealand’s best known comedians are taking part – and it’ll be an exciting night – it’s not often that climate change and comedy share the billing! Everyone is very welcome and tickets are $20 from . All money from ticket sales goes towards the costs of this and future events. It would be great if Green members would support this event.Contact: Suzanne Stickney 021 412 001

Friday March 21st 2014, St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont Street, Ponsonby, Auckland
A personal invitation to you to the launch & blessing of BUT IS IT FAIR? Faith, Communities & Social Justice. Edited by Neil Darragh. A faith response to inequality in New Zealand! Guest speaker Rod Oram Leading NZ economic & political commentator. RSVP: by 14th March to info Phone: 0274300943 Books at the special launch price of $25. Looking forward to offering you refreshments and conversation

Friday, March 21, 7.30pm, St Lukes Community Centre, 130 Remuera Rd, Auckland
HOPE …….. In 2001, the boat SIEV X sank on its way to Australia. Of the 400 asylum seekers on board, Amal was one of only 7 who survived. Amal’s courageous life as a survivor in Australia is sensitively and sincerely told by acclaimed documentary maker Steve Thomas, in collaboration with Amal, in the documentary ‘HOPE’ jwakim Or Post cheques with surname, number of tickets required & contact details to: The Treasurer ~ ARFT ~ PO Box 47008 ~ Ponsonby. Tickets will be available at the door. Tickets $25 (includes drinks & nibbles). PROCEEDS TO AUCKLAND REFUGEE FAMILY TRUST.

Saturday, March 22, 6pm, Kauaeranga Hall, Kauaeranga
Watchdog is holding a Thank-yoU! Party for Renee at the Kauaeranga Hall on March 22and from 6pm. Pot luck dinner and BYO drinks and instruments. We look to seeing you all there to celebrate the input of Renee and the evolution of Watchdog over the last 4 years.

Tuesday, March 25, 6pm, Cityside Church, Newton Auckland
Child Poverty Youth Forum: Interested in child poverty and want to make a real difference? Got an idea of how to help end child poverty? Want to support Child Poverty Action Group but not sure how? You may be interested in joining the CPAG’s youth forum. This is a bunch of youth (15-35 years), who develop and run projects which will help raise awareness of child poverty in Aotearoa and eradicate it! This could mean anything from fundraising to speaking in schools, or better yet, developing your own idea and implementing it with the support of one of New Zealand’s leading advocates against child poverty! How will it work? On Tuesday 25 March at 6pm anyone who is interested is invited to come along to Cityside Church, Newton Auckland. There we will meet CPAG board members who will tell us about CPAG and their strategy for this election year. We will then discuss what things we (that’s us youth!) can do to support them. Bring your creativity and critical thinking! This year is election year and poverty is a hot topic! What will you do to ensure more New Zealanders and politicians make decisions which end child poverty? There’ll also be food and drink afterwards so please let us know if you’re coming. We look forward to seeing you there. RSVP Here

National Day of Action on 29 March to Commemorate 4 years of TPPA negotiations and demand they pull the plug.

Saturday, April 5, 5-7pm, Art Station, Ponsonby Rd, Auckland
"I will die the way I lived", 15 prison paintings for 15 years.

Wednesday, April 9, 4-7pm, 35 George St, Kingsland, Auckland
Living Wage Campaign Auckland network planning. It’s election year and we have a strategy to develop to put public pressure on politicians to make the Living Wage a reality. Join us at for our planning workshop.

Tuesday, April 15th, 7pm, The Wine Cellar, St Kevin’s Arcade, Auckland
Boots Riley of The Coup! Tickets $25 pre-sale or $30 on the door. Doors 7pm. Boots will be doing a political discussion and q an a, followed by an acoustic performance. Since 1991, Boots Riley has been the dynamic lyricist behind hip hop group THE COUP, whose albums have been lauded by everyone from Rolling Stone to Village Voice, but most importantly, by the fans who have been inspired by the message and launched positive social change through such projects as The Young Comrades, and Guerilla Hip-Hop Concerts”. His collaborations have included the likes of Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine, Dead Prez, and E-40 and Spice-1.

Sunday, April 27, 2-4pm, Thorndon School Hall, Wellington
Memorial Service. Part of the Workers Memorial Day events. We are having three events – the forestry memorial service on 27 April and the collection and procession to Parliament on 28 April to remember all workers killed at work. Plans are shaping up well for the three events to mark workers memorial day but we need some assistance from affiliates to ensure that these Wellington events are great for members from all unions.

Monday, April 28, 2 noon, Midland Park to Parliament, Wellington
Workers Memorial Day procession

GPJA Special Forum: Monday 5th May 7.30pm at Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road Grey Lynn.
Guest Speaker Murray Horton from the Christchurch-based CAFCA (Campaign against Foreign Control of Aotearoa) and the ABC (Anti Bases Campaign) Murray will be speaking on: “Who’s running the show and in whose interests?” and focusing on:

  • People’s Rights before Corporate Profit
  • Public service, not private profit
  • An independent foreign policy
  • No unjust secret treaties

Murray’s GPJA forum is part of a nationwide tour. We don’t see him often in Auckland so we welcome everyone to what will be an entertaining, amusing and politically important presentation.

Friday, May 9, 4-6pm, Room WG808 (Level 8), Sir Paul Reeves Building, AUT University
WHAT THE MEDIA DON’T TELL YOU: WHO’S RUNNING THE SHOW? AND IN WHOSE INTEREST? "We want an independent Aotearoa, based on policies of economic, military and political self-reliance, using Aotearoa’s resources for the benefit of the people of Aotearoa. "This country needs people power to let the world know that Aotearoa is not for sale." – Murray Horton, spokesperson for the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) and the Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC)

Saturday, May 10, 7.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington.
DREAMS LIE DEEPER – A CONCERT COMMEMORATING MINERS EVERYWHERE. The Orpheus Choir of Wellington, the city’s much-acclaimed symphonic choir, has programmed a major concert entitled Dreams Lie Deeper, as a tribute to miners the world over. It brings together three premières of choral music dedicated to miners, inspired by historical events that recall the tragedies, the struggles and also the rejoicing when rescue from a mining disaster was achieved. The theme of the evening will be dedicated to mining communities and a commemoration of events that have irrevocably changed the course of their lives. The major work in the programme is the New Zealand première of 17 Days, by young UK composer James McCarthy. He was commissioned to compose a piece by Crouch End Festival Chorus, dedicated to the dramatic rescue of the Chilean miners in 2010. The work was premiered in the Barbican Theatre London in 2011 and received a standing ovation; a second performance last year was received with the same acclamation. It is a very moving expression of the tremendous emotion the whole world felt during those 17 days when the miners were underground and no word had yet been heard from them. At our concert, the award-winning Wellington Brass Band and Wellington Young Voices, a recently established children’s choir in the city, join us in this very powerful presentation. The second première is If Blood Be the Price, a work by New Zealand composer Ross Harris, inspired by the 1912 Waihi Miners’ Strike, and is set to a poem by NZ Poet Laureate Vincent O’Sullivan. The significance of the tragic consequence of the industrial action by those Waihi workers is indelibly written into mining history in this country, and the performance will be an evocative reminder of the working life of those who work under the ground. The final focus of "Dreams Lie Deeper" will be on the tragedy that threw a whole community into turmoil and brought their plight into every New Zealand household overnight – the Pike River Mine disaster. The concert will showcase a new work by high profile and well-loved singer/songwriter, Dave Dobbyn, who has been commissioned to write both the lyrics and music for a tribute to the miners who lost their lives in the tragedy of 2011.


Please save the date for CPAG’s annual post budget breakfasts on Friday, May 16. What will the 2014 budget hold for children? Join us for breakfast to hear our analysis of how the 2014 budget affects children and young people. We’re holding breakfasts in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch with the possibility of extending events to Whangarei, Hamilton and Dunedin! Watch out for more details soon.

Bridget Williams Books has just launched a new short work, ‘The Inequality Debate: An Introduction’, which is drawn from the opening chapters of Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis. Available in paperback for $14.99 and as an e-book for just $4.99, it sets out the basic facts about how inequality has grown in New Zealand, and brings the figures in the original work right up to date. I’m excited about this publication – it’s an ideal ‘way in’ for people not yet familiar with the issue. So if you know anyone who’s curious to know more but who wouldn’t immediately pick up the longer work, this could be the book for them. It’s available to purchase here and in selected bookshops.
Thanks, Max Rashbrooke


On February 10 of this year Prime Minister John Key revealed a small number of New Zealand citizens had joined rebel groups in Syria, “some of which have ties to Al Qaeda.” He said the Government had “pretty good” intelligence on rebel supporters in New Zealand.

Two weeks later Radio New Zealand recorded GCSB, a 60-min radio drama looking at a surveillance operation mounted by the Government Communications Security Bureau.

Chad Huber sits with Rory McGrath. “Syria’s on our agenda, Rory. We monitor everyone connected to it, everyone going to it, coming from it. People get—” Chad pauses, searching for the word “—radicalised by what’s going on there. Doesn’t mean anyone would seek out targets here, but it’s sensible to take precautions.”

A Syrian refugee, Yana Walid, has enrolled in Dr Rory McGrath’s course in security studies at Auckland University.

Why? Something to shove on the CV? Something more sinister?

An agent attached to the GCSB, Chad Huber, seeks out Rory for information.

Rory’s an old friend, a defender of the New Zealand intelligence network. He’s appeared before Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee and spoken in favour of the Government Communications Security Bureau Amendment Act, allowing for increased intelligence internet surveillance.

He’s happy to help Chad out.

He questions Yana, reports back to Chad that Yana’s family background is that of support for the regime there and she’s here simply as a refugee from a never-ending civil war.

Rory thinks that’s the end of the matter—until his teenage son tells him Rory’s computer is running slow. Why is it running slow? Because all Rory’s incoming internet and email data is being re-routed and copied elsewhere.

Rory is being monitored…

Two weeks after GCSB was recorded, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden claimed the United States’ spy agency helped find or create loopholes in New Zealand law to enable widespread spying.

GCSB, National Radio, 3pm, Sunday April 6.


Murray Horton is the long serving Organiser and spokesperson for two Christchurch-based groups, the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) and the Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC). He has been a political activist since the late 1960s and has a national profile as a campaigner, writer, speaker, organiser and researcher. Between the end of March and the end of May he is undertaking an election year national speaking tour, from Dunedin to Kaitaia, and many places inbetween (he has been doing these election year tours for a couple of decades, most recently in 2011). The full itinerary is at

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network. Registrations are now open for the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s 2014 solidarity tour to revolutionary Venezuela.

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