Living Below The Line…

•July 27, 2011 • 1 Comment

Wow folks, no blog posts in 8 months?! Just where have I been? Busy.. that’s where 😉

I got made redundant from my old job, which was actually a great opportunity for me to step out into something new. So I did just that.

I recently became the NZ Director for the Global Poverty Project… a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to invigorate the global movement to take effective concerted action on extreme poverty.

Living off my savings to get the project kick-started, I’ve just finished a 4-month tour of the country, promoting my project and learning about social change from amazing communities around the country.

And now I’ve just returned to Wellington to launch my first ever national campaign… Live Below The Line.

For five days this August, hundreds of Kiwis will be living below the international poverty line of $2.25 a day to cover their food budget. This difficult challenge is part of a new fundraising campaign aimed at combating extreme poverty around the world.

These participants will use their daily experiences to bring extreme poverty to the centre of conversation in homes and workplaces. They will gain a better understanding of the daily challenges faced by those trapped in the cycle of extreme poverty, and at the same time, they will be fundraising for 5 different charities that are fighting poverty in a myriad of different ways. These charities are The Global Poverty Project, Oxfam, Volunteer Service Abroad, P3 Foundation, and Christian World Service.

When I first decided to roll out Live Below The Line in New Zealand, I knew there would be a great response. This is a country after all that is used to punching well above it’s weight when it comes to making statements about things that matter. Nuclear free… the Springbok tour… Women’s Suffrage. Still a month away from the actual challenge, I am already excited to see how many Kiwis are taking this on board.

I’m taking the $2.25 challenge too. Myself and my fellow participants will no doubt struggle without caffeine, and have a faint feeling of being not quite full for the whole week. We’ll pool money with our friends who are taking the challenge to make that $2.25 stretch just a little further.

We’ll do all of this because whilst we choose to struggle to Live Below the Line for one week, there are 1.4 billion people who have no choice other than to do it every day. Think about that figure – 1.4 Billion – that is over 300 times the population of New Zealand – living every day to live in the most abject poverty.

For people who live in extreme poverty that $2.25 has to cover far more than food and drink. It has to cover everything – health, housing, transport, food, education. It is impossible to imagine, but it is the incomprehensible reality for an incredible number of people.

Many might think that $2.25 goes a lot further in developing countries. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The $2.25 figure represents the amount someone living in extreme poverty in New Zealand would have to live on, for all of their needs.

We’d love a lot more people to get involved though. When they ran Live Below The Line in Australia earlier this year they raised AUS$1.4million for crucial anti-poverty initiatives. Wouldn’t it be great if we could match that! The difference it would make for those living in poverty would be immense.

So, now I’m back home, and the ball is really rolling on my new campaign, you can expect to hear a lot more from me again in the future 😉

aroha ki a koutou katoa


p.s. Anyone wanting to take the Live Below The Line Challenge, or support someone who is, can find out more at

Now Is The Time

•December 20, 2010 • 2 Comments


Now is the time to know

That all that you do is sacred.

Now is the time to understand

That all your ideas of right and wrong

Were just a child’s training wheels

To be laid aside

When you finally live

With veracity

And love.

Now is the time for the world to know

That every thought and action is sacred.

This is the time for you to compute the impossibility

That there is anything

But Grace.

Now is the season to know

That everything you do

Is sacred.


– Hafiz

The Girl Effect: The Clock is Ticking

•November 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I loved this video from The Girl Effect on the importance of empowering women. Spread it far and wide if you like it!

Just how realistic is just war?

•October 28, 2010 • 2 Comments

“For Americans war is a necessity to sustain our belief that we are worthy to be recipients of the sacrifices made on our behalf in past wars. Americans are a people born of and in war – particularly, as I argue in my next article, the Civil War – and only war can sustain our belief that we are a people set apart.”

– Stanley Hauerwas

In 2001 Stanley Hauerwas was named “America’s Best Theologian” by Time magazine, and for me its easy to see why. His deeply considered yet often radical points of view are an appeal to take another honest look at the beliefs and assumptions we often hold as common sense.

In a recent article on Just War theory, Hauerwas (a committed pacifist) explores the origins and true meaning of Just War theory and holds them up against the grim reality of our modern-day conflicts and military operations… and shows that the so-called ‘realists’ are in many ways more unrealistic than the pacifists they love to deride.

Check out the full article here.

1 billion people live in chronic hunger and I’m mad as hell

•October 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Check out this video starring Jeremy Irons, created by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, a United Nations organ. Join the growing mass of voices that are demanding an end to chronic hunger. It’s time to get mad!

Wild Geese

•October 4, 2010 • 2 Comments

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

– Mary Oliver

Passion is infectious

•September 24, 2010 • 1 Comment

“If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to endlessly collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”

– Antoine de St. Exupery

How to live well

•September 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Risk more than others think is safe

Care more than others think is wise

Dream more than others think is practical

Expect more than others think is possible

MDG Summit

•September 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

World leaders have gathered in New York for a three-day UN millennium development goals summit to review ambitious anti-poverty targets adopted in 2000. If you don’t know anything about the MDGs, check out this article. You can keep up to date either by following the live feed or by following the blogs by the Guardian or Oxfam.

Several strong themes appear to emerging from the summit already, including the importance of empowering women and children, and a surprising amount of support for the Robin Hood Tax.

My favorite bit so far has got to be the speech from the prime minister of Bhutan, Jigme Thinley. He told delegates:

“Since happiness is the ultimate desire of every citizen it must be the purpose of development to create enabling conditions for happiness. As it is likely that the relevance of eight MDGs will remain beyond 2015, my delegation would like to propose that we include happiness as the ninth MDG.”

See his full speech here.

21st-Century Enlightenment

•September 16, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Love this video from the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).