Democracy you can touch.

Teall Crossen worked on climate justice issues in New York for the Pacific. She returned home to be part of changing the government with the hope NZ could step up show some real leadership on climate change.

She came by for a chat not long after the new government was formed. Teall described New Zealand’s democracy as something you can reach out and touch. Certainly its starting to seem that way to me now.

A sight for sore eyes.


We have a new Government. One like no other before it. We have a young attactive woman in charge and a coalition party full of them. Large parts of the country are currently losing their minds over the result for a variety of reasons but this is one of them.

From the farmer bearing a banner stating that he felt conflicted by the fact that he was ideologically at odds with Labour’s leader yet felt an attraction to her nonetheless, to the talk show host ignoring his producer’s looks of horror while speculating on the sexual tension between older man and younger woman as they came together to plan the country’s future, we men appear to have some growing up to do. I’m a good deal older than the new round of female politicians and I can concur that I too find them attractive.

Its more than skin deep. They are warm, thoughtful, tolerant and disarmingly funny. Golriz Ghahraman’s quip “This is what meritocracy looks like” is one of the most delicious moments of the election. Yes that implied that women appeared to be better than men by a ratio of three to one. That’s a sweet burn right there. And its a turning point.

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After Winston’s decision Marama Davidson soothed David Seymour’s fears that she would bring the government down by pointing out she was in fact on the bus. This was followed by posters loving everything from the comeback to the lipstick.

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We’ve had women in government for years but this moment feels brand new and I’m very glad to be part of it. I’ve just found our women leaders to be a bit terrifying lately, but that’s partly because I was only seeing two (or three) of them. Marama Fox called me out in Twitter recently and I was taken by how gently she did it.

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I never did find the reference, so that makes it hearsay for now, and reminds me I should take better notes.

In the last couple of weeks right leaning pundits have abandoned Twitter in a tiny drove, starting with Matt Hooten and followed by Sean Plunket and Duncan Garner. The latter two were rage-quits, complete with media releases. To me Twitter is equivalent of the school playground. Everything happens there at once. Its very hard to control for good or bad, but its where the people are.

Listening to Garner and Plunket complain makes me glad they had retired to the staff room. I can’t hear the intercom from my corner, unless someone retweets it. No doubt they did get called a few names, but I saw many reasoned discussions about the lines they were both crossing. To see them so hurt by this makes me wonder whether they have ever spoken truth to power. It seems that real threats still come the old fashioned way. There is no shortage of men and women on the left that can explain this to them.

I posted a link to Bob Dylan’s ballad ‘I want you’ the day after the election. No song seemed to capture more perfectly that wistful, lonely feeling that the three years ahead were going to be lost, and with it our chances of avoiding catastrophe.

Surely the world in general would not take it to mean that I wanted the Labour leader to myself, that just I wanted her to win the election. Later I looked at the video with the clip I’d posted and it was from Cinema Paradiso – the one with all the kissing. Doh.


I’m telling you all this because I feel confident that this new breed of politician will be fine with our awkwardness so long as we can own it. I want them to know how very badly we’ve needed them and how extraordinarily glad I am to see them now. Teall Crossen of the Green party joined me for a talk yesterday and I will share that episode in the next few days.

Affordable Electric Cars – (Climate Change in NZ)

Sigurd Magnusson is a software developer turned EV advocate in Wellington, New Zealand. He and I talked about our hopes for the growth of Electric Vehicles here where we live.

While EVs have been seen as too expensive and not practical enough for some time now we both believe they have recently hit a point where they can pay for themselves.

We’re both shameless fans of the Nissan Leaf, and we do go on about it a bit. We’ve been talking with someone from about doing EV reviews and look forward to seeing more about them in the future.

Next episode we’ll likely have a government again and I’ll be talking to Teall Crossen of the Green Party about the three years ahead.

Thanks to Sigurd for coming by and putting up with the recording mistakes and over-cooked Oato-bahn cookies. The doom and gloom has been getting a bit much lately and having his relentless positivity in the room was a treat for me.

If you’re thinking about getting an EV yourself jump into the EV facebook group for your area and make yourself known. They’re a mighty helpful bunch.