What’s on in Aotearoa/NZ (01/09/15)


Wednesday, September 2, 6.30pm FIRST Union Office, 120 Church Street, Onehunga

Beating the Big End of Town: How a Community Defeated the East-West Toll Road
Anthony Main, one of the spokespeople of the 2014 Melbourne community campaign, will tour his new book ‘Beating the Big End of Town’; an account of the successful struggle that stopped one of the world’s biggest infrastructure projects….

Not only did the campaign stop a destructive toll road but it also helped bring down a Liberal state government in the process. If allowed to go ahead the East-West Link would have demolished hundreds of properties, ruined historic parks and seen billions of taxpayer dollars handed over to private corporations. Thanks to people standing up, organising and protesting it was stopped in its tracks.

Come along to discuss with activists and celebrate a significant example of people power!

The East-West toll road was going to be one of the largest infrastructure projects in Australian history. Its defeat – and the Napthine government’s simultaneous fall from power – defined the 2014 state election and undoubtedly altered the course of Victoria’s future.

But how did a multi-billion dollar infrastructure project – supported and promoted by the major parties, big business and the media – come to be seen by Victorians as a despised rort that had to be stopped? This is the question media commentators and establishment politicians – many of them previous supporters of the East West toll road – have been trying unconvincingly to answer in the months since the election.

Socialist Party writer Anthony Main was one of the main leaders of the community pickets against the project. His new book ‘Beating the big end of town: How a Community defeated the East-West toll road’ provides the strongest answer yet to this question.

Tracing the community campaign against the East-West toll road from its modest beginnings to its dramatic heights and hard won victory, Main provides a colourful account of the forces at play within and without the campaign, the victories and setbacks that defined it, and the politics that competed for strategic dominance of the campaign’s direction.

More than simply a blow-by-blow description of events as they unfolded, ‘Beating the big end of town’ puts the dispute firmly in the political and economic context of contemporary Australia. Big business, with its relentless pursuit of profits, absolutely dominates politics in this worldview, making and influencing decisions against the interests of ordinary people.

Situating the growing campaign against this backdrop became a crucial task for the Socialist Party. Successfully doing this at key junctures opened the door for some of the strategies that would ultimately see the campaign succeed. Not least among these was an orientation towards working class people across the state. Ordinary people were set to lose out big from the East-West Link but were hearing the exact opposite from the entire establishment. The support of these people – either for the toll road or for public transport – would ultimately determine the campaign’s outcome.

Aside from the dramatic scenes on the picket lines, this debate around strategy is where Main’s take on events is most compelling. Victory was never a given. Had the different strategies put forward at various points in the campaign been adopted – an electoralist focus, an orientation towards politicians rather than ordinary people, a pro-Labor Party position – the outcome would have been quite different.

This book is more than just an account of a dispute. Its analysis will be useful for any socialists, environmental activists or community campaigners wondering how to successfully fight back against what can seem like insurmountable odds. Its key lesson is that this fight back cannot ignore politics or the economic realities of neoliberalism and austerity.

This lesson might have previously seemed abstract to young people who didn’t have many successful examples of community victories to point to. In the context of this dramatic win of ordinary people against the establishment this lesson is very real.

Examples of successful community campaigns on this scale are few and far between in today’s world. For this reasons the defeat of the East-West toll road by a community must be analysed and learnt from. The self-promoting and blatantly false version of events that have come from Labor politicians won’t shed much light on things. To find out how it was done, start with ‘Beating the big end of town’ instead.

See facebook events

Wednesday, September 2, 7-9pm, St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby, Auckland

Caritas social justice forum

Thursday, September 3, 7pm, Revelry, Ponsonby Rd, Auckland
It can be hard yakka on the frontline of the fight to keep the Coromandel beautiful, our rivers clean and our land intact, but coming to Auckland and getting support from our friends certainly helps! This is a very special fundraiser as we are very lucky to have one of Aotearoa’s rising stars Estère headlining for us. Supported by a growing list of talented musicians and DJs: Sunny Ray; R.I.A; and Chica Licorica. Will you join us? Thursday 3rd September From 7pm Tickets $20 or $15 for students. You can find more details about the event here. And buy tickets here. We would be very grateful if you would help us promote it via your personal networks too.

Thursday, September 3, 7pm, Unite Union, 6a Western Springs Rd, Morningside, Auckland

Capitalism, Education and the Schooling System- what would a socialist alternative look like? A Marxist forum this Thursday 7pm at Unite. Organised by Socialist Aotearoa 0294455702

Saturday, September 5, 2-3pm, Downtown Shopping Centre, Cnr Queen and Customs Streets,Auckland
Rally for Palestine. Add your presence and make a difference at the only regular public display of support for Palestine in Auckland!

Monthly Rally at Downtown Shopping Centre Cnr Queen and Customs Streets 2pm to 3pm, 4 July 2015 and every first Saturday of each month.

Tuesday, September 8, Business School, University of Auckland
Save the date! Auckland CPAG summit on Welfare fit for families in a changing world. Welfare fit for families in a changing world
The Government has one view of the way it would like to see the welfare state transformed. If family, child well-being and changes in work patterns are put at the centre how should policy be framed and what changes must occur? Join the discussion and analysis
Speakers: Dr Ben Spies-Butcher – Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Macquarie University, Australia. Other speakers include Speakers include: Dr Ben Spies-Butcher; Trevor McGlinchey; Assoc Prof Mike O’Brien; Sarah Thompson; Moira Lawler; Max Rashbrooke; Hirini Kaa; Alan Johnson; Prof Innes Asher; Assoc Prof Susan St John; Dr Claire Dale; Mike Treen;
Reb Fountain; Len Cook; Deborah Morris-Travers; & a Panel of guest speakers For more information click here.

September 8-26, Whitespace, 12 Crummer Rd, Ponsonby, Auckland
Art exhibition by Bob Kerr: Bob Kerr is New Zealands leading history painter and the subject matter for this exhibition is Tim Armstrong who was jailed in Lyttelton Prison for sedition in WW1. Later in life he was the Labour MP for Christchurch East.

Thursday, September 9, AUT’s Auckland campus.
Diversity Forum 2015 – “Empathy in the Face of Diversity”. Our keynote speaker is Dr Gill Hicks, a double amputee and survivor of the London bombings, in 2007 she founded the not for profit organisation M.A.D. for Peace, a platform that connects people globally encouraging us all to think of Peace as verb. As well as Gill, AUT Associate Professor Gail Pacheco (Co-Director of the NZ Work Research Institute) and Professor of Diversity Dr Edwina Pio will be presenting research findings on the impact discrimination has on physical and mental wellbeing at work. Other speakers include Race Unity 2015 winner Kimberly De Mello, the Police Commissioner Mike Bush and many others from our communities. A platform to bring together people to share ideas and best practice about positive race relations and cultural diversity, the Diversity Forum is free and we encourage you let people in your networks know about this year’s event. Please click here to find out more: https://www.hrc.co.nz/news/empathy-face-diversity-2015-diversity-forum/

Thursday, September 10, 10am to 3pm at the Western Springs Garden Community Centre.
ADCOSS FORUM ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: This is an interim notice for you to diary the event. ADCOSS is holding a forum on Domestic Violence on Thursday 10th September. The purpose of the day: to consider the figures on the occurrence of domestic violence, identify who is most affected and to examine what impact poverty has on domestic violence. The aim of the day: to work towards setting up a violence protection group in the isthmus area. The programme for the day: will be emailed to you in a couple of weeks and will consist of speakers in the morning followed by discussion and strategy development in the afternoon. Lunch will be provided. Further information: Contact Angela Maynard: a.maynard 445 9996.

Thursday, September 10, 9am-5pm, Waipapa Marae, University of Auckland, 14 Wynyard St, Auckland
The New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice invites you to the below symposium:
Asylum-Seekers: The New Zealand Experience. This symposium provides an opportunity for legal practitioners, decision and policy-makers, civil society organisations and community members to review how the Immigration Act operates in practice, whether it meets the needs of claimants and New Zealand’s obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention. Presentations include the experiences of asylum-seekers; the perspectives of lawyers and ngos who work with them, and those of officials implementing the law and current policies; a review of developments by the Immigration and Protection Tribunal; and an analysis of the economic, social and cultural rights involved. Most significantly it provides an opportunity for focused discussion between those who work with asylum-seekers and those who decide on their status. For more information please visit www.aucklandrefugeecouncil.org We are now on Facebook.(www.facebook.com/ARCI.NZ) If you want to be part of our conversation and growing community, please “friend” us.

Saturday, September 12, 10am to 12pm, Community of St Luke, 130 Remuera Rd, Remuera, Auckland

As governments in the Asia Pacific grapple with solutions, close borders and push back boats, refugees desperate for protection suffer. As the world faces the biggest refugee crisis of our lifetime the need for regional cooperation to improve the protection of refugees has become clear. How realistic is this? What would it involve? Where would we start? And what is New Zealand’s role?
Please join us for a one-off panel event with visiting delegates from the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) as they explore this issue.
Auckland Refugee Council Inc. Tel: 09 378 7434 – PO Box 78 024 Grey Lynn, Auckland 1245 https://www.facebook.com/ARCI.NZ

Sunday. September 13, 4:30 pm, St. Heliers Community Centre, 100 St. Heliers Bay Road, Auckland
Film Showing for Amnesty International: Columbia. Cost – $10 suggested donation. Bookings essential. In an unknown Colombia, where the 40-year civil war never ended, the battle is over gold. In the Cauca region, two extraordinary Afro-Colombian women fight to hold onto the gold-rich land that has sustained their community through small-scale mining for centuries. Post-film discussion will be led by Felipe Forero, Columbian human rights lawyer, community worker for the ALAC and member of the Auckland Refugee Council. This is the second in a planned five-part film series called Women, War and Peace, dealing with women’s activism in war-torn countries. Contact: Richard or Jeanette at rebgjfm

Wednesday, September 16, 6-7.30pm, GridAKL, 132 Halsey Street, Auckland Central
Women’s Health Action’s Suffrage Commemoration? “Pumahara 45 : Reflections” – with guest speaker Dr Ngahuia Te Awekotuku.
Tickets: $20 include glass of juice or wine and nibbles. Cash raffle tickets available on the night. Dr Ngahuia Te Awekotuku is an academic, curator, prolific writer, and Māori lesbian activist. In 2010, she was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori culture. Tickets can be purchased online or by cheque or direct deposit by contacting Women’s Health Action on info, or phone 09 520 5295.

Thursday, September 17, 12.30pm, Otarkaro 109 Dovedale Ave campus, College of Education Health and Human Development, University of Caterbury, Christchurch

Effects of poverty on families and young people. We warmly invite you to attend a Christchurch CPAG talk on the effects of poverty on families and young people Thursday 17th September 12.30pm – 2pm. BYO LUNCH – tea and coffee provided. Speaker: Dr Sue Bagshaw. Dr Sue Bagshaw is a Senior of Paediatrics at University of Otago in Christchurch, Director of the Collaborative for Research and Training in Youth Health and Development Trust and a Senior Medical Officer for 298 Youth Health.
Sue will present findings from the Youth2000 study into the effects of poverty on high school students and their families.The Youth2000 survey series asks secondary school students a wide range of questions that contribute to their health and wellbeing.
The findings examine indicators of socioeconomic deprivation among secondary school students and present associations between household poverty, neighbourhood deprivation and health outcomes. There will be a chance for discussion following the presentation. Register now.

Saturday, September 19, 7pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn Auckland

The power of Song with the Newcastle Peoples Chorus. Support Act: “Union Made” For more information contact: Ph: tbristow

September 19 to October 3
“The Power of Song” New Zealand Tour : The Newcastle People’s Chorus was formed by delegates and friends from Newcastle Unions in 1988. The choir is formed labour movement activists. and supporters and are having a return New Zealand tour with gigs organised in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington, Blackball and Christchurch. Influences on the repertoire include the traditional plus Flying Pickets, Billy Bragg, Pete Seeger. The choir will be performing with local union support acts in:

  • Auckland – Sat 19th Sept. at 7pm Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road.
  • Palmerston Nth – Wed 23rd Sept. at 7pm, Globe Theatre, 312 Main St.
  • Wellington – Frid 25 Sept. at 5.30pm, St John’s Conference Centre – cnr of Dixon & Willis streets.
  • Blackball – Wed, 30th Sept. at 7pm, Workers Club.
  • Christchurch–Frid.2nd Oct.7pm,KnoxHall, cnr Bealey Ave & Victoria St.

Saturday, September 19 & Sunday, September 20, Sir Paul Reeves Building, Auckland University
A World without war conference. The webaddress is: http://action4peaceww100.org.nz/content/main-programme for the most up to date programme

Saturday, October 3, 7pm, Quad 2 lecture theatre, Otago University, Dunedin
Bryan Bruce child poverty talks in Auckland and Dunedin. In 2015 the Quakers have been hosting events around the country with Bryan Bruce speaking on child poverty. Bryan Bruce is the author and maker of documentaries such as Inside Child Poverty and Mind the Gap. He will discuss the growing inequality in NZ society and how it impacts on our children. Bryan Bruce will be talking in both Auckland and Dunedin over August and October.

October 12-17
National speaking tour

Tuesday, October 13, 12 noon, Civic Square

Friday, October, 16, 6-8.30pm, Sir Paul Reeves Building, AUT University, City Campus
Eflida will be addressing issues relating to disaster relief in the Philippines, in particular associating it with the misdirection of funds provided for relief purposes and corruption at various levels of government. Given the rise in the frequency of such events, almost certainly related to climate change, this is a topic very relevant to civil society groups who are often heavily engaged in relief efforts. Organised by the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Coalition (APHRC). Supported by the Pacific Media Centre

Save the date: Hikoi for homes – 28th November
On Saturday 21st November CPAG will join with grassroots housing and other organisations to hold a Hikoi from Glen Innes to to Britomart as a protest against the terrible housing situation the most vulnerable New Zealanders are facing right now. More details on the Hikoi will be coming soon.


Reminder: Entries are Open for 2015 Jesson Journalism Awards

Have you got a journalistic project that you want to complete, but can’t get enough money or time to do it? If so, a Bruce Jesson journalism award may be able to help. Applications for the 2015 awards are now open, and close on Friday 18 September. There are two awards, a senior one to fund a planned journalistic project and a journalism student award for work that has already been published. The senior award is unique in New Zealand because it funds time and research costs of up to $4000 in advance for projects that could be newspaper or magazine articles, reports on the internet, books, films, radio or TV documentaries or “any other publication which is aimed at, and accessible by, the general public of New Zealand or any part of New Zealand”.
Projects must be “critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism or writing which will contribute to public debate in New Zealand on an important issue or issues”. Past winners have included Nicky Hager, Max Rashbrooke and Rebecca Macfie for books; Jon Stephenson, Amy Richardson and Peter Malcouronne for magazine articles; Tina McIvor for a research report; and Alister Barry for his 2014 film on New Zealand’s climate change policies, Hot Air. Applicants should submit an outline of their proposed project and explain how it meets the criteria set out on the foundation’s website www.brucejessson.com. It is usual to submit references and/or examples of previous work, and a budget for the project.
The Emerging Journalism Prize for student journalists offers $1000 for “outstanding recent work by New Zealand print journalism students.” It is nominated by the heads of New Zealand journalism schools or journalism programme leaders for work by student journalists published between the closing date of last year’s award, 26 Sept 2014, and this year’s closing date 18 Sept 2015. Entries for both awards will be assessed by members of the Foundation’s Journalism Sub-committee: Geoff Kemp (convenor), Camille Guy, Joe Atkinson and Simon Collins.
Applications and nominations can be submitted online, or mailed to the foundation’s secretary Dr Anita Lacey, c/- Political Studies Department, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland (a.lacey). The deadline is 5pm, Friday 18 September 2015.
Contacts: Dr Geoff Kemp, 021 445 721; Camille Guy, 021 299 2995; Dr Joe Atkinson, 021 320 069; Simon Collins, 021 612 423

The Roger Award For The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating In Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2015
Here is the link to the 2015 Roger Award online nomination form
http://canterbury.cyberplace.co.nz/community/CAFCA/roger-award-2015-form.html You can also download the hard copy nomination form from there.

Campaign Bootcamp NZ – For people between 18 – 30 years – Campaign Bootcamp NZ

Learn how to effect change. Our aim is to empower the next generation of campaigners in New Zealand to accelerate the pace of change. Campaign Bootcamp NZ gets the best campaigners in New Zealand to deliver a one week intensive training to 30 young people from September. The bootcamp will run over six days, and will involve participants learning a complete set of skills to run campaigns, as well as simulating campaigns throughout the course of the training. Follow-up will involve four group follow-up days throughout the year, and a connection with a mentor who will be expected to meet four times with the individual or group to provide support. Additionally, there will be a newsletter for community updates, ongoing support and work opportunities, and if the project is successful, participants will be invited to be trainers and mentors in the subsequent Bootcamps. The boot camp will run over six days. Each day will have a specific focus. For each day we’ll bring in an expert in the relevant field who has been creating change for over a decade.

DVDs Available For Sale Of CAFCA’s 40th Anniversary Speakers

Sam Miller filmed all of CAFCA’s 40th anniversary celebration event, held in Christchurch on May 2. He advises that DVDs are available of the five speakers – myself, Bill Rosenberg, Warren Thomson, Jane Kelsey and Robert Reid. Details of cost and from where to order them are below. Please communicate directly with Sam Miller about this, not with CAFCA. Best wishes, Murray, CAFCA 40th Anniversary speakers’ DVDs available $20 for twin disc 3h 45m set inc postage/packaging and Jewel Case. Individual 2x speakers single DVD’s available for $10 on application. Orders: samuel or 021 147 4019 – payment by Internet Transfer or Cheque.

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