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Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

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Thursday, November 28 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Environment and Community

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Shaaliny Jaufar
Sustainable citizen perspectives on citizenship in the Maldives and New Zealand
As the environmental movement has grown, a specific type of citizenship practice characterised by environmentally conscious lifestyles and activism has emerged. Alongside this, we can see the evolution of theorisations of citizenship within the green citizenship paradigm move away from a focus on individual action towards acknowledgement of the influence of wider structural factors in the understanding and practice of citizenship. The engagement of young people is emerging as critically important in achieving sustainable outcomes both locally and in the global context, particularly as they face the consequences of action or inaction on the threats caused by climate change and environmental degradation. The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development emphasises a critical role for young women and men, hailing them as critical agents of change. With the challenges in inhabiting the kind of lifestyles that promote and embody sustainability within a system that is environmentally exploitative, groups of young people are managing to carve a space for themselves as “sustainable citizens” within the context of a wider contradictory system. This paper reports on research that has examined the experiences of activism and conceptualisations of citizenship among active and engaged young citizens in Maldives and New Zealand. The findings indicate a strong sense of responsibility among the participants, and allow for the identification of factors that foster an ethic of civic engagement and citizenship that is committed towards a sustainable future.

Luisa Leo
Pacific Climate change and the Politics of Diaspora responses in New Zealand
As the consequences of climate change alter our physical, social, and political environments, diasporas are being identified as transnational actors capable of facilitating effective climate adaptation strategies via the exchange of information, finances, and human and social capital. Increasingly many international organisations are also acknowledging that the process of migration, of which diasporas are an integral part, may be “one of several adaptation strategies and coping strategies” to climate change. Now that the potential contribution of diasporas to climate adaption has been identified, it is also urgent to consider how diasporas themselves are positioned within the complex meeting point of climate change adapation and migration, in relation to their own wellbeing. These questions are particularly pressing in the context of the Pacific where concern has been raised that Pacific diaspora are under increasing strain, facing growing expectations of their ability to support new migrants and community members facing compounding and interrelated problems of climate change
This paper outlines how my phd research into this topic will be undertaken in relation to Samoan-New Zealand diaspora because recent governent reports have increasingly anticipated that diaspora communities may be able serve as support organisations for increased climate-related migration. This research therefore asks, how is the wellbeing of Samoan diaspora in New Zealand impacted by the intersection of migration and the climate crisis? From this, three points of enquiry have been outlined: 1) how diasporas view wellbeing, migration, and adaptation to climate change, in relation to one another; 2) how diasporas understand their own engagement in the transferral of information, finances, and human and social capital; 3) how diasporas view their own roles in adaptation strategies. Interviews in the shape of Talanoas (open-ended conversations) will be undertaken. These will be guided by Teu le va, a methodology based on Pacific relational ethics, that is a “strategic, evidence-based, outcomes focused, Pasifika success approach” to research.

Bronwyn Hayward 
Climate Policy in New Zealand: Resisting the rhetoric of Emergency
In August this year I tentatively tweeted that I could not commit to a “declaration of rebellion” beginning this is”‘our darkest hour”. I was commenting on the publication of the Extinction Rebellion handbook “This is Not a Drill”, published by many thoughtful colleagues I admire. In this paper I want to discuss my concerns with the rhetoric of emergency. In this paper I will argue against the Extinction Rebellion’s and others’ narratives of climate emergency which minimise how indigenous and religious communities have experienced genocide, and nations have experienced horrific wars. The general overwhelming fear associated with emergency rhetoric narrows opportunities for imaginative political action and denies the present realities of renewed creativity, resistances & new connections of youth led and indigenous and minority community movements
Having observed the use of emergency powers by governments I am also so cautious about the appeal to the use of state force embedded in the idea of a declaration of emergency (which I argue is very different from talking of a crisis). As climate campaigner Adam Currie noted in a related twitter exchange, “any call for an emergency mobilisation of government resources lends itself to top-down solutions instead of people-powered ones and "It’s clear that when emergency powers are invoked, people of colour and those on the margins of society bear the consequences." My concerns about the declaration of emergency extend further. Like Bonnie Honig, I’ve argued that as emergencies become more frequent in a changing climate, our challenge is to find a way to sustain democracy, not keep suspending democratic decision making to address each new crisis. In this context it is also necessary to resist the claim in the opening of This is not a Drill which declares the bonds of the social contract null & void’ . That position is not only unhelpful, it assumes that the social contract is ground in agreement between the citizen & state, rather than for example, Rousseau’s vision of an agreement continually forged and renewed over time between citizens (& nonhuman nature/families/tribes). I also object to the framing of the IPCC 1.5 report, (a report for which I was a lead author) that we “only have 12 years left”, something the Special report on 1.5 Global Warming did not say. And yet, if we resist the rhetoric of emergency how should we respond to the climate threat? My argument recognises the role of civil disobedience as a democratic responsibility and I do not advocate a Pollyanna sense of hope against deeper grief/despair. But my concern is to uncover ways to maintain sustainable development, address poverty eradication and advance long term societal transformation for example through decentred Radical Hope projects, led by indigenous communities and just-degrowth movements for “well-living”.

Brian Roper
The Climate Change Policy Framework of the Sixth (Ardern) Labour-led Government: Description, Explanation, Critical Evaluation

Environmental issues, especially climate change and the pollution of New Zealand’s waterways, were prominent during the 2017 election campaign. In an Auckland campaign speech, Ardern argued that the fight against rising carbon emissions and climate change “is the challenge that defines my generation” and “is my generation's nuclear-free moment, and I am determined that we will tackle it head on.” This raises the question: has the Labour, New Zealand First, and Green Ardern-led Coalition Government tackled the problem of rising carbon emissions ‘head on’? The first section of the paper addresses this question with a descriptive account of the Government’s climate change policy framework. The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which will establish an independent Climate Commission to monitor emission

avatar for Pascale Hatcher

Pascale Hatcher

University of Canterbury


Shaaliny Jaufar

PhD Candidate, University of Waikato

Brian Roper

University of Otago

Professor Bronwyn Hayward

University of Canterbury

Luisa Leo

University of Canterbury

Thursday November 28, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm NZDT