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Dedicated to democratic Climate Polycrisis-megamobilisation and the Mahurangi

Dare to be wise!

Buy Waiwera plan b or End child poverty in Aotearoa, now !

author Cimino
published as a work in progress 20231005–

Aerial view of the greater Mahurangi Regional Park from above Waiwera

Buy Waiwera plan b: An end-to-end  Mahurangi Coastal Path would instantly unlock private-light-vehicle-free access to 1000 hectares of regional parkland, and  Te Araroa—the national walkway—from Waiwera. image ImageShack

Myriad reasons make it preferable, for Buy Waiwera plan b, to instead be: Buy Waiweraphase 2. That said, should the Buy Waiwera moonshot fail to make it to the launch pad, an end-to-end Mahurangi Coastal Path would make for a stunningly salubrious plan b.

Buy Waiwera, in this context, is the proposition that the former Waiwera Pools property be purchased and redeveloped in the genteel style of the family-friendly pre-hydroslideNew Zealand vernacular: water slide era. Purchased through a novel, social-networked public subscription, state-and-corporate leveraging process, the new ‘old Waiwera Pools’ would be operated as a self-funding park. A major point of difference would be that the prime real estate, adjacent the beach, would not be occupied by a public bar and beer garden, but would see the public pools in pride of place.

Back at the Mahurangi Coastal Path, end-to-end, would be end-to-ends, given that the Waiwera end of the coastal path would connect to Pūhoi in the west, and Algies Bay in the north. Connecting to Pūhoi also means connecting to Te Araroa, the national walkway. And not merely connecting to it, but providing it with a world-class, stupendously scenic, first great link from coastal suburbia to rural pastureland and indigenous forest, via the splendid isolation of Te Muri. Such a link would introduce more young New Zealanders to the magnificence of backcountry Aotearoa than any other imaginable measure, and help build pride in what desperately needs to be embraced…and commensurately invested in as New Zealanders’ big low-carbon oe.

Appropriately funded, Te Araroa must represent New Zealand’s single greatest societal and economic opportunity. The overall cost-benefit, both in societal and economic terms, would be through the roof. Aotearoa wallows amongst the worst Western-world social equity rankings, demanding that, after the immediate elimination of child poverty, strenuous work must begin on ensuring that young New Zealanders have equitable access to backcountry experiences. Making Waiwera the gateway to Te Araroa, and adding the appropriate trail infrastructure to allow groups of secondary school pupils to readily experience the loop to Pākiri and back along the coast via the Leigh Marine Laboratory and the Ōkakari marine reserveWhy anybody believed naming a marine reserve Cape Rodney-Okakari Point Marine Reserve, with or without the addition of (Goat Island), had utility … for crying George-Bridges-Rodney-1st-Baron-Rodney out loud! would represent Outward Bound for the proletariat—100% of young Aucklanders, as opposed to the lucky maybe 1% who currently get to experience the real thing.

Te Muri Beach, Chris Eady

Beach Candy: Because is will only ever be accessed by foot or by boat, Te Muri Beach will always retain its sense of splendid isolation—the just reward for a little walking. image Chris Eady

As magnificent as a Buy Waiwera plan b might be, its enormous challenge is that it is not  Buy Waiwera. Most New Zealanders already know what Waiwera is. Few, even if told about it, will begin to imagine the Mahurangi Coastal Path until they have experienced it. When they do, chances are they will assume that such an obviously sublime coastal walk always existed. If, however, somebody known and respected by pretty well everyone was to tell the world about it, Waiwera’s acquisition as a public-good, charitable-trust-owned self-funding park would not be an utter prerequisite. The likelihood of discovering that the Mahurangi was Will Smith’s special place and coastal walks were his thing, of course, is remote. Having said that, the 6.6 degrees of separationmathematically: collaboration distance phenomenon, and a world-famous-in-Aotearoa name, could turn the first phase of the campaign into a Find the faces  of Buy Waiwera plan b. Then, if that recruited the faces capable of convincing New Zealanders to support an Auckland-scale project, all bets would be off. With Buy Waiwera forming part of the background narrative, and boosted like billy-oh by Will—or by Tom, Brad, or Leonardo—there is every reason to suppose that Buy Waiwera plan b could inexorably morph into Buy Waiwera plan a and  b—provided the unique Waiwera properties had not already been irrevocably consigned to apartment building.

Waiwera ki Mahurangi—Waiwera to Mahurangi, aka plan b—would compete with Waiwera in appeal. The opportunities for grand, day- and overnight- loop walks abound. These and a rich range of other opportunities are detailed in the joint submission to the Auckland Regional Parks management plan made by Mahurangi Action and the Mahurangi Coastal Path Trust, and in that made by Ngāti Maraeariki emphasising the cultural opportunities. Many of the paths already exist, but currently can only be accessed piecemeal, or, famously in the case of Te Araroa, in any safety, by the staunchly well-equipped. plan b, primarily, involves connecting the bounteous Mahurangi so it may be enjoyed on foot, and by public transport. This is meaningful, equitable low-carbon infrastructure, not the pervading, skin-deep, ev-charging-station-equals-problem-solved delusional policy response.

Mahurangi Coastal Path map

Million Miles from Metropolis: One thousand hectares of regional parkland coastline affords splendid isolation in spades. This map requires updating to display the compelling, future-proofed Pūhoi Estuary crossing now entirely possible. map Mahurangi Magazine

The beyond-urgent imperative of meaningful climate action self-evidently trumps pretty much every other consideration. While Hippocrates never actually said first do no harmPrimum non nocere is first recorded in 1847, he certainly did caution the limitation of it. A modern maxim would counsel that climate exacerbation must be considered in every action. This necessity applies even in the supreme human imperative to instantly intervene to stop child abuse in all its hideous manifestations, but particularly the starvation resulting from child poverty. Irrespective of that inescapable imperative, a starving child needs food now. Now, not when dutifully low-carbon delivery mechanisms can be devised. Firstly, by ensuring school breakfasts and lunches are appealing and accessible in every school, and  by stocking and maximising access to foodbanks. Of course it is prima facie  a parental responsibility. Collectively, though, child poverty is the state and society’s failure; it is patently not  the child who is hungry’s fault.

Buy Waiwera and/or plan b were always totally dependent upon establishing a novel, game-changing public-good campaign management platform. Game-changing, in regard to providing the public with the means of convincing government and its corporate backers to back a project which governments would otherwise studiously ignore or politicise to a standstill. A positive, put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is alternative to nobbled-democracy defeatism is not just desirable, but critical to survival. Were most of the world’s leaders to declare MarshallMarshall Plan, à la George Catlett Marshall Jr., not, of course, Chief Justice Marshall law, and the masses obediently complied to sharply curtail greenhouse-gas emissions and bulwark the murderous impacts of the global heating and sea-level rise already locked in, that would be one thing. But building a fit-for-purpose global democracy on the fly, peacefully, is infinitely better than precipitating another world war, over climate.

Neither climate nor child poverty can wait for global reform. Ending child poverty in Aotearoa certainly can’t wait for campaign finance reform, nor for the raft of reforms needed that neither National nor Labour would ever otherwise acquiesce to. Aotearoa has everything to gain by ending child poverty now. As its first truly democratic action since Labour cheer-led them into the swamp of neoliberalism, New Zealanders could shame their country’s parliament, and the corporations active in their country, into comprehensive action. The mechanism that mobilised that achievement, would then be available to be targeted upon the next big thing. If it were Buy Waiwera, partly as a kind if paying the favour forward, so be it—by that time, most people pledging to End child poverty in Aotearoa, now ! would have also recorded their preferences for the next moonshot. Not the final vote, of course, which would only come when contending launch-ready campaigns had had a chance to have been evaluated—a process that would include the availability of faces to front the specific campaigns.

Crucial, to the novel fund-raising concept, is that the all-important pledger community grows, and grows exponentially until it exceeds the 76.2%down 1.2 percentage points from 2020 who voted in this general election. Buy Waiwera could  provide the springboard from which End child poverty in Aotearoa, now ! was launched. This, to a large degree, is dependent upon finding the face of Buy Waiwera. A seriouslydouble entendre intended famous face, coupled with Waiwera’s world-famous-in-Aotearoa appeal, could conceivably attract more pledgers than the distressing presence of child poverty. It is not a question, of course, as to which cause is the worthiest—that, hands down, is ending child poverty, now! The valid question is: Can  Buy Waiwera help ensure that Professor Richie Poulton’s last-reported words…

This election is not going to be focused on children in poverty, because we’re bored of that. We’re tired of that. We’re sick of that. We’ve tried that, haven’t we? Have  we tried that?

…were not wasted?

One thing is for sure, the Find the face of Buy Waiwera has not been tried. Generically, it could be called, Find the Face of Your Moonbeamsvernacular possibly peculiar to Aotearoa–Australia: stratospherically costly Moonshot—an end-to-end campaign strategy, and the online platform to launch and manage it. The genesis of the concept was the need to address the next 50 years of regional-parkland acquisition, following the 2010 demise of the Auckland Regional Council. (Without the regional council’s new-regional-park-every-other-year momentum, and with Auckland’s population likely to at least treble, access to uncrowded coastline is set to become problematic, particularly if accessed predominantly as at present: per private light vehicle.)

In-motion-charging trolleybus wireless section, Vossloh Kiepe

Best Current Thinking: Equitable, low-carbon access to regional parks is best delivered via in-motion-charging trolleybuses. In-motion charging minimises battery economic and environmental costs, and—in this context—prioritises precious parkland for people, not parking. Meanwhile, inviolate villages such as Waiwera and Pūhoi, and destinations such as Wenderholm, are spared the catenary hurrah’s nestshad mariners not so consummately cornered the market on the term crow’s nest, and had the magpie’s nest not be known principally for its kleptomania, an unidentifiable, possibly imaginary, bird name would not have been needed to describe messy situations such the unsightly web of wires needed, post lead-acid batteries, to power trams and trolleybuses through intersections that blighted the intersections of old-school trolleybus routes. cartoon Vossloh Kiepe

At the heart of the concept is the pledger community, which would be treated intelligently and respectfully, and not badgered. Pledgers would find it easy to share, and would see, in real time, what their sharing leveraged, in cash and in kind. And because of the moonbeamsvernacular possibly peculiar to Aotearoa–Australia: stratospherically costly–moonshot distinction, the campaigns would be few, bold, and invariably successful. Campaigns would also be fee-free, with every cent pledged going to the cause.

To permit pledges to be fee-free in perpetuity, however, would require a platform maintenance contribution of perhaps 0.5% of total funds raised, from each subsequent campaign. In the example of the Community Chest of Hong Kong—which partly inspired the moonbeams moonshot campaign concept—the administration costs are donated by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. While transparency should always be the byword with charitable causes, in any End child poverty in Aotearoa, now ! campaign, the entire  cost of the campaign would have to be donated, one way or another. The inviolate principle is that every cent pledged—when the campaign target is reached, and the pledgers make good on pledges—goes to the cause, and is not syphoned off for administration, appearance fees, and especially for not consultants.

Whether Buy Waiwera or End child poverty in Aotearoa, now ! is the first cab off a moonbeams-moonshot-campaign rank is probably, back to the challenge of recruiting a first, compelling face. If that face is up for the mother-of-all moonbeams moonshots, then, indubitably, ending child poverty has the potential of being supported by every sentient New Zealander of school age and over. Certainly, building the moonbeams-moonshot platform would be a mammoth undertaking. A masterly, philanthropically inclined platform builder may be more likely to be convinced and recruited for the mega end-child-poverty-now cause that would instantly make the platform a household name, than for a more modest project. If, on the other hand, a bevy of faces could be readily rounded up to front Buy Waiwera, and  a serviceable prototype platform could be pulled together, Buy Waiwera, or even Buy Waiwera plan b, ultimately, be instrumental in having the child-poverty heavy-hitters seriously contemplating End child poverty in Aotearoa, now !

United States global leadership survey

Better Model of Democracy: New Zealanders’ poll-leading poor opinion of the United States as a model of democracy is every reason to think Aotearoa could do a better job of global leadership—that, and it being the world’s first full democracy. chart Pew Research Centre

First order of business: Finding the first face.



Exceeding the 76.2% who voted Growing a community of moonbeamsvernacular, possibly peculiar to Aotearoa–Australia: stratospherically costly-moonshot pledgers to match or better the percentage of general-election voters is not far-fetched. Not only would every pledger have the satisfaction of voting for the winner—the cause—pledgers would be eligible to ‘vote’ from the time they started school—adding about 852 000 young people to the, five-year-old-and-over, cohort.


End child poverty and arrest climate change While it is entirely practicable, and of course morally imperative, to End child poverty in Aotearoa, now !, the same can’t be said for child poverty globally. At least, Aotearoa can’t singlehandedly end global child poverty. The country could, however, precipitate  the beginning of the end of global child poverty. It wouldn’t, of course, need to be Aotearoa that sparked the global action, but New Zealand would be as good as any nation to lead the revolution—it wasn’t the world’s first full democracy for nothing.

For New Zealanders to fancy they can lead the democratic world is far less preposterous than President Joe Biden’s 20 October:

American leadership is what holds the world together.

Former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, while in office, kicked off the Christchurch Call initiative, the impact of which is stated to have been transformative in instigating a content-incident protocol. It can only be hoped it will be the social media pollution equivalent of the ozone-layer-hole-healing Montreal Protocol.

Some may argue that ending the child poverty that has been allowed to persist for so long, has missed to boat, given the global poverty that climate change will precipitate, without unprecedented, extraordinary levels of mobilisation to mitigate the impacts. But one team of five million, having demonstrated emphatically that child poverty is an imminently eradicable scourge, could easily become the global showcase for practicable climate-action mobilisation. Wretchedly, that demonstration may be far less convincing unless Winston Petershis opportunity to expose the paucity of Green Party policy supporting Lake Onslow? can take time out from his viciously disinforming conspiracy-baiting to convince a victorious National Party to revisit its free-market-pandering, egregiously carbon-illiterate determination to axe the heroic Lake Onslow pumped hydro storage project. The failure of both the government and the mainstream media to respond to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s call for a national discussion on future electricity pathways vividly illustrates the urgent need for deep, democratisationre-democratisation, arguably.


Failure to deliberate sinks democracy index and  low-carbon electrification Without deep democratisation, powerful, narrow sectional interests were effortlessly able to scuttle New Zealand’s most economic pathway to deep decarbonisation. Aotearoa should be the  deliberative democratisation world leader, not languishing at 33rd in the deliberative component index. As for the healthy egalitarianism that the 1984–1988 Labour government put to the Rogernomics sword: It remains to be seen as to whether someone can now do what neither Cunliffe nor Ardern could: survive their party’s hierarchy long enough to meaningfully amend for the four decades of harm that their unbridled neoliberalism unleashed.

Country scores for the liberal democracy index (ldi) and all component indices, 2022

What We Got Here: Is a failure to deliberate, or to egalitise, in desultory contrast with index-acing Denmark. Ending child poverty in Aotearoa, deliberatively and decisively, would represent—for the world’s first full democracy—a wondrously humane redemption. chart V-Dem Institute


Disclosure The author of this article is the secretary of both Mahurangi Action Incorporated and the Mahurangi Coastal Path Trust, and has voted Māori, more than once—although the particularly stringent strategic-voting demands, in 2023, that Green be supported, heavily outweighed any lesser-of-two-neoliberal-evils usefulness of voting for that which masqueraded as Red. The article published here, meantime, is that of the editorially independent, independently funded Mahurangi Magazine.



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