NZ Alternative launch

Thanks to everyone who came out to the launch events for New Zealand Alternative last week! We were really pleased to be able to launch this new organisation at Meow in Central Wellington with a party on Tuesday 23 October and then with a briefing on our new report on Wednesday 24 October at the National Library Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa.

Many people helped out with our launch party and particular thanks go to the team at Meow for hosting us all so warmly, to Cassels and Sons Brewing Company and Fix and Fogg for your support with most excellent beer and peanut butter (separately) and to Porirua Mayor Mike Tana, Robbie Nicol for your welcome and introduction. Thanks also to Fraser Williams and Josh Finegan for the music and to Teri, Victor and Stephen for the photos.

The launch of our report on conflict prevention and peace mediation was covered by RNZ on Lately with Karyn Hay, Breakfast on One, bfm and the NZ Herald on Wednesday morning and a Newsroom article on Wednesday afternoon that had some reaction from Foreign Minister Winston Peters. In relation to conflict prevention, the Foreign Minister was keen to emphasise the good work already being done by his Ministry and said “we can always do more” which we took as an encouragement to build support for the idea across the public, in Parliament and around the Cabinet table. On Thursday the Dominion Post published an opinion piece from our co-founder Nina Hall calling for a broader debate on New Zealand’s role in the world and the Stuff papers ran an editorial endorsing our proposal for an independent Conflict Prevention Unit.

The public and media response to our launch makes us feel like there is strong appetite for more public conversation about the role of Aotearoa in the world. We have had about 30 expressions of interest through the website and within about a week we have had around 900 people and organisations follow us on Twitter.

Our next step will be to reach out to the people who have expressed an interest and work to organise community hui around the country. If you have ideas about an event where people can discuss an alternative vision for Aotearoa’s role in the world, please contact us via the contact form and we will write back to you. In particular, we have had a number of people interested in participating in a launch event in Auckland and we are keen to organise such an event in the next few weeks.

Thanks again for all the support, ngā mihi ki a koutou!

Laura, Max, Nina and Thomas

Thomas Nash