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An Insider's Account of New Zealand Political Campaigning

An Insider's Account of New Zealand Political Campaigning: New from BWB Texts

While I’ve spent enough time in universities to understand the meaning of various freedoms, I’ve also spent enough time in the world to see the opposite of freedom: persecution, detention, and the slow drag of less obvious oppressions.

In 2013, Murdoch Stephens began a campaign to double New Zealand’s refugee quota. Over the next five years he built the campaign into a mainstream national movement – one that contributed to the first growth in New Zealand’s refugee quota in thirty years.

Doing Our Bit is a remarkable insider’s account of a grassroots political campaign in New Zealand. Stephens describes his personal journey – from someone with little knowledge of political campaigning to leading a successful and influential mainstream movement. He also evocatively describes his time living in Aleppo, Syria, and how the experiences and friendships of that period inspired him to begin the campaign.

This new BWB Text lays out the blueprint for how an idea was turned into government policy. In Doing Our Bit Stephens explains the range of techniques and platforms the campaign used, from meetings with ministers to social media, from fundraising to collaborations with other groups. The story is a fascinating insight into how political change happens in New Zealand.

About the Author
Murdoch Stephens established the Doing Our Bit campaign in June 2013 to double New Zealand’s refugee quota. He recently completed a PhD focused on how four contemporary critical theorists have written about climate change, which led to the publication of Critical Environmental Communication: How does critique respond to the urgency of climate change? in 2018 by Lexington. He is also an editor at Lawrence & Gibson publishing, which has released two dozen works of fiction, and co-managed the 17 Tory Street open source community gallery. Born and raised in rural South Otago, Stephens lives in Wellington.

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