Sustainable Canterbury ~ Mauriroa Waitaha

Charter contents:
0 Definition
1 Vision
2 Governance
3 Principles
4 Broad philosophical alignment

0.0 Definition

Sustainable Canterbury, Mauriroa Waitaha is a collaborative group for the contesting of representative elections, for greater educational work, and for economic transformation. Our work focus is upon the linked issues of water use rights and restraints, climate conservation, and cultural and political proportionality in elected representation.

Environmental lobby groups – such as Greenpeace, Forest and Bird, and the Mount Cass Ridge Protection Society, for example – give expression to people’s significant concern for retaining value in the natural world around us: untouched landscapes, wilderness areas, and indigenous flora and fauna. It has been a long-term and genuine struggle for protection of these values to be translated into effective and lasting social action, and governmental policy, around Waitaha/Canterbury.

Similarly, the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand exists as social infrastructure – to support the rise and election of ecologically-principled political actors to Parliament, carrying forward environmental and social values for a significant community sector – but where their ability to effect sustainable change in Canterbury has proved quite limited.

Time and experience indicate the necessity to engage with the local government reform process now, via local electoral politics. This is where the relevant legislated planning – under the Resource Management Act, National Environmental Standards, National Policy Statements, and the Local Government Act, etc. – is applied. There is no choice for the environmental movement, but to become increasingly more skilled in the navigation of these regulatory legal instruments – how and where they are applied.

Sustainable Canterbury, Mauriroa Waitaha is founded to progress the local politics of sustainable development, with particular emphasis upon the interlinked nature of water use issues, climate protection emissions reduction, and elector proportional representation.

We are so formed.

1.0 Vision

1.1 Canterbury is a great place to live, work and play – we feel we belong here.

1.2 Our regional life is based on social justice – a fair go for all.

1.3 The economy is thriving and all people are purposefully engaged in the community.

1.4 Everyone has access to warm housing, good education, and affordable leisure facilities.

1.5 Maori and non-Maori have a genuine partnership based on the Treaty of Waitangi, which should include best-practise land and water use that shows kaitiakitanga / sound stewardship for future generations, inter-cultural harmony, and biodiversity.

1.6 People participate in open, democratic decision-making.

1.7 Our environment is protected and preserved – our precious water, our rivers, beaches, hills, parks and reserves.

1.8 Eco-friendly transport options are preferred, including walking, cycling and public transport, with the goal of phasing out fossil fuel use.

1.9 Our homes, industries and transport are energy-efficient, and our air is clean.

1.10 Our basic services – roads, footpaths, drainage, sewerage and water supply – are maintained to a high standard.

1.11 Our ports, airports, electricity networks, social housing and other strategic assets remain in the people’s ownership.

1.12 We are free from the fear of crime.

1.13 Young people are nurtured and the elderly are secure.

1.14 People of all cultures are respected and valued.

1.15 The energy deficit is solved and consigned to economic history

1.16 New, sustainable production has been introduced for a thorough balancing of the books

1.17 Less churn and waste in governance has become the norm

1.18 Elected regional representation is (immediately reinstated and) never abrogated again

2.0 Governance

Sustainable Canterbury, Mauriroa Waitaha meetings are facilitated, with each meeting deciding how.

3. 0 Principles

3.1 Economic redistribution and regeneration

Sustainable Canterbury, Mauriroa Waitaha is diametrically opposed to the increasingly centralised corporate control of natural resources, and proposes egalitarian, democratic and local decision-making over natural assets and values.

This we propose will give real effect to the Treaty of Waitangi, and we support constitutional reform of New Zealand to fully protect all common and popular rights, into the future.

We seek to establish a Universal Basic Income irrespective of earning power, and will raise corporate taxation to fund the means for meeting every basic human need. Spending power in the hands of the many can do more for economic revitalisation than anything else.

3.2 Agrarian reform

Necessarily, the people can be reconnected with the land, productively and as of right, for new industries and technologies to lead sustainable change forward. Specifically, we wish to see dependence upon unsustainable agriculture monoculture cease, as that is predicated on overuse of ecological services and natural resources.

3.3 Non-violence

Political change must be consensual to be good and lasting – ‘the means is the end’.

3.4 Democracy

Means for perfecting and advancing democratic processes can and must be found. Proportional representation – MMP if not STV – is a foremost cause along that track.

3.5 Evolution

Our thinking is based upon the best available science, for the accelerated and inclusive progress of humanity: in full material and spiritual harmony with our universe, the living environment, and with each other, there can be enough resources for all individuals and species – if the collective economy is organised with that goal in mind; holism.

4. 0 Broad philosophical alignment

Where the Sustainable Canterbury, Mauriroa Waitaha political programme is incomplete, we tend to support policy platforms that are fair and well-debated – for a principled and authoritative position. We refer to the Sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand Inc. document “Strong Sustainability for New Zealand: principles and scenarios” that recognises:

“New Zealand is currently very far from being sustainable and does not have policies and practises that can achieve sustainability. … The crucial changes required for sustainability are a shift to a new set of societal ethics, values and ‘world views’, as well as a major overhaul of economics and approaches to population growth. All of this has to be considered in the context of unprecedented global changes which, in themselves, will be highly challenging for society and people. It is time for these matters to be raised and debated with urgency.”

Sustainable Canterbury, Mauriroa Waitaha wishes to see built a more capable, complete and widely-supported environmental movement for social responsibility, that can help to address this defined action deficit. We are so formed.

15 May 2011, Charter adopted

Save Our Water Forum series on sustainable water use

One response to “Charter

  1. Pingback: Kia ora | Sustainable Canterbury

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