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A busy day of activism on Thursday 26 July

A protest on the farrowing of sows takes place at lunchtime tomorrow, with talks on fresh water quality and the housing crisis in the evening, and a Plastic Free Resistance Party going into the night.

Princess Buttercup talks to RNZ.

In March, New Zealand’s leading animal advocacy organisation SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation) gave Parliament the biggest petition in five years. Over 112,000 people supported the call to ban the practice of confining mother pigs to small farrowing crates in New Zealand. A Rally for Pigs at Parliament tomorrow intends to remind the Government, and the committee considering the issue, that support for a ban on farrowing crates should follow the successful banning of sow stalls that happened in December 2015. Supporters should meet on Parliament lawn at 11:45am to show solidarity with around 16,000 pigs suffering annually from the practice of farrowing. Speakers will include Gareth Hughes MP and celebrity pig Princess Buttercup.

At 5:30pm, two conflicting events highlight ecological and social issues

The St Peter’s on Willis Ngā Kōrero speaker series continues with The Housing Crisis: Can It Be Solved?

Speakers on the issue include: Minister for Housing Phil Twyford, Kay Saville-Smith, Director of the Centre for Research, Evaluation and Social Analysis, Taimalieutu Kiwi Tamasese, Pacific Section coordinator at the Family Centre, and Paul Gilberd of the New Zealand Housing Foundation.

The evening starts with soup at 5:30pm with the main event running from 6:00pm to 7:15pm at at St Peters church, corner of Willis and Ghuznee Streets. Registration is free but RSVPs are appreciated for catering purposes to Questions can be sent to [email protected]

New Zealand’s Dirty Little Secret: Our Fresh Water is the latest event from the Social Change Collective, focusing on the degradation of New Zealand’s freshwater environments. From 5:30 to 8:00pm at Biz Dodo, 115 Tory Street, three speakers address different aspects of this issue, with drinks and nibbles are provided.

Environmental historian Catherine Knight will provide a historical perspective on the topic. She is the author of New Zealand’s Rivers: An Environmental History, which explores the relationship between New Zealanders and our rivers and explains how we have arrived at a crisis point.

Freshwater ecologist Dr Mike Joy will address the science behind the current state of New Zealand’s freshwater environments. He has published extensively in this area, especially in relation to what he terms our “deadly nitrogen addiction”.

Jacinta Ruru, a Professor of Law at the University of Otago, will speak to the Māori point of view, and her research on indigenous peoples’ legal rights to own, manage and govern land and water. She has written prolifically in this area, including advocating for the legal personality of water in New Zealand.

Also starting at 5:30pm, but going through to 10:00pm (and a possible second stop for those people going to hear about housing or water) is the Plastic Free Resistance Party, hosted by Waste-Ed at Thistle Hall Community Venue, corner of Cuba and Arthur Streets.

Waste-Ed was formed to bring together the waste conscious community, empowering Wellington to be the coolest waste-free capital in the world. They are celebrating the success of Plastic Free July, in which people have said no to single-use plastic bags, used keep cups and containers, and gone without plastic wrapped items in a protest against the ongoing plastic assault on the planet.

The Plastic Free Resistance Party is an opportunity to meet other plastic free warriors and make a plastic pledge to carry into the future.