Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good

Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good

A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly by the St Andrews Trust for the Study of Religion and Society and Public Good Aotearoa NZ.

The aim of the conference is to kick start a conversation about the health and quality of democracy in New Zealand. NZ has a rich democratic history with an early start to universal suffrage, the adoption of the MMP system and high scores on openness and transparency internationally. However the frequent use of urgency in Parliament, the lack of local democracy in Canterbury, the difficulties for the very poor in a highly unequal society and the recent news that only 69% of 18-24 years olds are enrolled to vote are signs that all is not well in NZ’s democratic arrangements.

The conference speakers, including some of New Zealand’s best- known academics, will develop a framework, and presentations from community and advocacy organisations look at democratic issues in specific sectors. The conference will include workshops and participants will have a chance to develop new thinking about the issues.

Following the conference, Public Good will publish the key outcomes and an action plan.

Venue: St Andrews on the Terrace
Friday 7.00pm – 9.00pm
Saturday 9.00am – 4.30pm

ENDS

The conference is open to the media and will be recorded – video on Friday, audio on Saturday
Most speakers are willing to do media work in connection with the conference.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Public Good Aotearoa NZ
Public Good (www.publicgood.org.nz) is a network focused on the public sphere. It has three areas for its work: the need for a strong and well-resourced public sector; genuine democracy and engagement; and community wealth – strengthening community assets and capability. The network brings together activists, academics and others interested in supporting the work.

Conference programme
Full conference information including registration details are at http://www.publicgood.org.nz/demconf

Friday evening (7-9pm)
• Bronwyn Hayward, an academic based at the University of Canterbury, will talk about how for a healthy democracy children need more than civics education. They need hands on experiences of deliberative democracy. She will discuss her recent research to help us understand the kind of democracy we are creating.
• Michael Macaulay the newly of appointed head of Victoria University’s Institute of Governance and Policy Studies will talk about the Open Government Partnership and the opportunities for New Zealand from the perspective of his UK and NZ experience with transparency and integrity systems.
• Auckland University Law Professor Jane Kelsey will be addressing the risks to democracy of international ‘free trade’ treaties including the way they bypass the usual democratic controls.

Saturday (9am – 4.30pm)
• Wendy McGuinness, CE of the McGuinness Institute will talk about the Institute’s work with young people on the 2013 Consitutional Review and the future focussed work including identifying what is necessary to bring to fruition Prof Sir Paul Callaghan’s desire to make New Zealand a place where talent wants to live.
• Sandra Grey and Charles Sedgwick will be speaking on grass roots organisations and the challenges posed by the joint role they have in society of advocating for their constituency as well as providing contracted government services.
• Bill Ryan Associate Professor in the School of Government at Victoria University will talk on the pressures on government caused by social media, openness and 24 hour news cycle and a public sector legislative framework that is overdue for renewal.

There will also be a series of shorter panel presentations and the opportunity for participants to debate and discuss the issues in a series of workshops throughout the day.

Other speakers are:
• Myles Thomas will talk about the issues with a lack of quality public broadcasting in NZ.
• Barbara Bedeschi-Lewando will talk about the participatory democracy approaches being used in Brazil and elsewhere.
• Cath Wallace will address the impact of recent changes to the Resource Management Act.
• Ben Knight from Loomio will be discussing participatory democracy and its role in supporting collaborative decision making.
• Stephanie Rodgers will talk about social media and new generation feminism.
• Meg Howie will talk about the election engagement initiative AskAway and Kieran Stowers will profile On the Fence. These initiatives are part of Massey University’s Design & Democracy Project.
• Max Rashbrooke will address the democracy and participation issues related to high levels of inequality.
• Julia Amua Whaipooti, Ngati Porou from youth justice organisation JustSpeak will speak about justice and imprisonment issues and the impacts of the removal of the right to vote.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news