I’m a Wellington Regional Councillor; Chair of the Council's Environment Committee and Environmental spokesperson for the Wellington Regional Council.
I'm also a member of the Capital and Coast District Health Board; the Consumer NZ Board; the Consumer Foundation; the New Zealand National Committee for UN Women and the Women's Empowerment Principles New Zealand National Committee. I am Deputy Chair of Consumer NZ.
I’m a passionate Wellingtonian, a long time consumer, women and animal welfare advocate, and founder of the Safe Food Campaign. I was a Wellington City Councillor for 8 years from 1992-9: a Green MP for 12 years from 1999 until 2011. I was Chair of Parliament's Health Select Committee and Green Party spokesperson for Health, Safe Food, Animal Welfare, Local Government, Transport and Broadcasting. Before that I was a television broadcaster with TVNZ, and I worked at the United Nations in New York for 8 years.
I’ve lived in Wellington most of my life and am a writer and author of six books, my most recent being 'Eating Safely in a Toxic World'. I was awarded a Women of Influence Award in 2016.
I’ve fought for years to improve public transport, cycling and walking on Wellington; promote genuine local democracy; protect our stunning natural environment and attract high-tech, creative businesses to Wellington. You can read some of my articles on these issues below.
The Government appears to have quietly added "the intensification of agriculture" to its list of contentious policies it believes will bring new jobs, and economic growth, to New Zealand. Its master strategist, Steven Joyce, signalled this in a speech to the National Party conference. "If New Zealanders want more jobs," he warned, "they should stop being fearful of foreign investment, accept the intensification of agriculture, not forgo oil and mineral exploration ... and do a few things that might make us uncomfortable."
Mr Mallard argues that this committee is too important to be a political plaything, and that someone who is more independent, and not beholden to ministers, should chair it. This is an excellent idea. But why just the finance committee? All of Parliament's select committees are important, and they all need more autonomy. Select committees are supposed to be the engine room of Parliament.
A new law would cut home-grown produce in shops and create a black market, writes Former Green MP Sue Kedgley, a safe-food campaigner. A friend of mine has a magnificent garden on Waiheke Island, and every now and then she sells surplus organic produce to the local fruit and vegetable shop.
We are still waiting, a year later, for the Minister of Agriculture to announce a new Code of Welfare to Hens. I predict that he will ignore the vast majority of submitters who called for an end to the cruel practice of keeping hens in cages, and will instead approve a new code that says hens can be kept indefinitely in ‘colony’ cages –cages that sound a bit better than a battery hen cage, but which still give a hen around the size of an A-4 sheet of paper in usable space.
*/ All around the world people are questioning the relevance of political institutions, and public cynicism is growing, not only with politicians, but with the whole political system. In America, the Occupy Wall Street movement is calling for a clean-up of the American political system, which they say is corrupted by lobbyists and by dysfunctional and bitter partisanship.
Two years ago, Food Standards Australia New Zealand set up an expert panel to look at our food labels, and how they could be improved. The panel came up with 61 excellent and wide-ranging recommendations for improving our labels--improved allergy labelling, disclosure of palm oil, trans fat, traffic light labels etc But unfortunately, our government has rejected most of them It says mandatory labelling ‘conflicts with our free trade liberalisation agenda,’ and could be perceived to be an ‘unfair trading barrier.’
There is growing concern about the health effects of electromagnetic radiation, particularly new technologies such as wifi. Growing numbers of people are becoming electromagnetic sensitive and Sweden recognises electromagnetic sensitivity as a recognised disease. There is no requirement for new technologies like wifi to be safety tested before they are rolled out. The present standards on electromagnetic sensitivity are far too lax and dont take into account health effects, as exposed by the important BioInitiatives Report.