I’m Guest Poet at Poets to the People: Sunday 24 September 4–6pm, Hightide Cafe, 43 Marine Parade, Paraparaumu Beach. Should be fun!

From Poets to the People Newsletter

Our next event: Sunday 24 September 4–6pm, Hightide Café, 43 Marine Parade, Paraparaumu Beach

We welcome Tim Jones as our guest poet. His poetry collections include Boat People, All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens and Men Briefly Explained, and his latest, New Sea Land (Makaro Press, 2016). He was the guest poet in Takahe 89 (April 2017). His interest in science fiction is reflected in short story collections and poetry anthologies Voyagers and most recently The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry, co-edited with P S Cottier (Interactive Press, 2014). He was the recipient of the New Zealand Society of Authors Janet Frame Memorial Award for Literature in 2010.

Open mic from 4pm.

$5 entry.

P2P dates for your diary

October 29: guest poet Chris Tse

November 26: guest poet Mary Cresswell

We look forward to seeing you all there.

Elizabeth Coleman and Michael Keith

Why I’ve decided to party vote Green this election

After some careful thought, I’ve decided to party vote Green this election – and give my electorate vote to my excellent local MP, Labour’s Grant Robertson.

In my view, the present National Government has exhibited a disastrous combination of complacency and stupidity, especially on issues such as the environment, climate change, water quality, poverty, transport and housing, and I’m desperate to see the back of them. At this election, for the first time in nine years, it seems they face the real prospect of defeat – now Labour has finally selected a leader that stands for the future rather than the past.

So why am I going to give my party vote to the Green Party, not Labour?

Because, on the issues I care about most, the Labour Party’s actual policies still lag well behind Jacinda Ardern’s exciting rhetoric. And because Labour’s past record in Government has shown that, given the choice, they usually back off from making the big changes that are needed, for fear of offending one constituency or another.

Jacinda Ardern has called climate change ‘the “nuclear free moment” of this generation. I agree. In my view, we are now in a climate emergency. But Labour’s climate change policy tells a very different story.

In 2009, James Hansen wrote a book titled Storms of My Grandchildren, about the massive storms he expected his grandchildren to have to endure if greenhouse gas emissions weren’t sharply reduced. But if he re-released this book in 2017, he’d need to call it “Storms of Us”, because – in Edgecumbe, in Mumbai, in Bangladesh, in Houston, in the Caribbean and in Florida – we are now experiencing those storms.

They are already bound to get worse in response to continuing greenhouse gas emissions, but the world still has a chance to prevent them – and sea-level rise, and fires, and sheer heat – become civilisation-ending. But we must act to quickly reduce emissions, act to prepare ourselves for the consequences of climate change, and act now.

And while leadership matters, policy – the things a party says it would actually do in Government – matters too.

Sadly, Labour’s climate change policy and its more detailed climate change manifesto come nowhere near matching up to Jacinda Ardern’s inspiring rhetoric. Far from a vision of bold action, this is a cautious, incremental, not-stepping-on-any-toes policy, a policy that allows the mining and drilling of the fossil fuels that are cooking the planet – coal, oil and gas – to continue unchecked.

In contrast, the Greens’ climate change policy captures the necessary urgency. A Labour-Greens Government is much more likely to take the necessary action on climate and a range of other issues than a Labour Government with Winston in its ear.

Every vote for the Greens helps the election of a Government that will tackle the major challenges facing this nation. And that’s why I’ve decided to party vote Green this election.

Readings This Month: Poetry At The Fringe on the 17th, Poets To The People on the 24th

Just before we get to the readings: My review of James McNaughton’s New Zealand science fiction/climate change novel Star Sailors is now up on Landfall Review Online.

I have two readings coming up this month: First, I’m reading with Harvey Molloy at September’s Poetry At The Fringe in Wellington – Sunday 17 September, 4-6pm, Fringe Bar, 26-32 Allen St., with Paul Stewart as the guest musician and an open mike to kick things off.

I’ll be reading some poems from my latest collection, New Sea Land (about climate change and sea level rise), plus some of my new poems about music and musicians. Come along!

A week later, on the 24th, I’ll be the guest poet at Poets to the People – which starts at 4pm at Hightide Cafe, 44 Marine Parade, Paraparaumu. I’m told there’s a great open mike at Poets to the People – I hope to see you there! (Poster and further info to follow for this one.)