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2016 BINZ Roadshow Diary

The annual International Basic Income Week is coming up (19th-25th of September). In the build-up, and during the week, Basic Income New Zealand will be conducting a roadshow to promote Universal Basic Income. New diary entries will be posted here as the roadshow progresses. Just click on the 'Read More' button below. A schedule (which will be updated) is posted on the main events page. You can also check-in on Facebook.


International Basic Income Week Roadshow 2016! We had a ball! The crowds were not large but the individuals we connected with were very engaging and we made some fantastic connections. Will Matthews, President Auckland Student Union Association who before we left committed to accepting the task of publicly presenting our proposal for a basic income becoming one of a number of advocates for Basic Income New Zealand including Zachary Bennett a student studying Science and Technology.

“The challenge will be to maintain contact with Will and Zachary before, and after engaging them with a plan that develops them as public presenters for Basic Income New Zealand”.

This will require us to set-up a Think Tank/Workshop to think this through.

Other very good contacts included Mike Treen, Phil Harrington, Susan St John our host Denise Bijoux, our comrade Malcolm Holt, Chloe Swarbrick and Vic Crone (both of whom I committed to call after the Auckland Mayoral elections and make a time to discuss basic income) and Sarah and Tania who both left their mobile numbers with Lowell, parting with “how can we help?” And there were other people who supported all of what we are doing and that of itself was uplifting. The flip side is there were people that challenged our thinking and of course that goes with the territory. By and large we represented Basic Income New Zealand with conviction and dignity.

An introduction to Nicole Kean, Producer of The Nation could prove worthwhile. I will call Nicole early next month as a follow up to the conversation we had about a basic income segment on The Nation with Lowell before the end of the series this year.

Thank you:

Thank you to our host and great friend:

Denise Bijoux who virtually left her home (which is right across the street from the front Gates to Eden Park) to us for the week. But as she worked her own very busy schedule our paths crossing occasionally. But it was very central to the venues we worked and that was hugely rewarding.

Susan St John and Phil Harrington for meeting us and sharing the aspirational goals of Child Action Poverty Group. And especially to Will Matthews, Zachary Bennett and Sarah and Tania. I will be in touch and keep the connection there.

Mike Treen for making the organisation’s PA system available to us all week and especially for agreeing to support us. Unconditionally.

To the very kind chap who went the extra mile manoeuvring (very skilfully, in the pouring rain, I might add) his BMW to get it close enough to the van in order to connect his jumper leads to the battery because I left the headlights on before we went into the Grey Lynn Library to access the WIFI. Thank you!

Malcolm Holt for being there and supporting us every day and for transporting the PA system around Auckland, helping us to set-up at all the venues and working the crowd with us talking up a basic income storm.

Our Rotorua comrade, Melissa Selwyn who didn’t make it after all but who kindly loaned her van to transport our props and other materials.

And finally to our comrades Lowell and Iain. Without the two of you the Roadshow would not have been the same. As I said, “we had a ball!” Hard work, but we had a ball.


Sunday 25 September

We were booked to set up at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market but the rain put paid to our plans so we said our goodbyes to Malcolm and headed south, home for me to Rotorua, Kapiti for Lowell and Wellington for Iain. A very challenging drive along the Auckland motorway due to inclement weather but it settled the further south we drove. With a quick lunch at home in Rotorua, Lowell and Iain were on the road again.


Saturday 24 September

We spent the morning at the Otara Shopping Centre chatting one-on-one with people. Took the opportunity to connect with Mayoral candidate the Right Honourable Phil Goff requesting him to meet with us after the Mayoral Elections to discuss basic income. The idea being to gain his support and see what opportunities there are of engaging the Labour Caucus in the coming months. Goff was engaging and referred us to his campaign manager Nirupa who gave me her mobile number with the parting words “if you don’t hear back from me soon after the campaign call me and hassle me”. LOL! Guess what?


Friday 23 September

We all met and engaged with Associate Professor Susan St John and Senior Lecturer, Phil Harrington at the University of Auckland. Iain filed the following report on that meeting.

"On Friday 23rd, the roadshow team met with Associate Professor Susan St John, a founding member of Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and the CPAG spokesperson on economics, and Principal Lecturer Phil Harrington, both of Auckland University at Auckland University. It proved to be a very fruitful discussion on Basic Income and related matters. Susan St John opened by saying that she liked and supported a Universal Basic Income in principal and had worked on Universal Basic Income ideas but considered that child poverty was, for them, a more urgent concern and said that this could be tackled with a smaller sum of money of around $500 million directly targeted at those in most need, compared with the $2,600 million proposed for the $40 per week for each child for the “Kids Basic Income”. We agreed, but added that while both CPAG and BINZ are concerned about child poverty and agreed that while the $500 million would tackle the immediate problem we saw the “Kids Basic Income” as having many additional and longer term benefits associated with a universal payment. We considered that a basic income for children would not only help reduce child poverty but would be the start of a Universal Basic Income that could be extended to give a basic income for life. Phil Harrington also liked the concept of a Universal Basic Income. With him, we discussed some broader aspects involved with the introduction of new ideas into the political arena. We agreed to maintain future contact."

Lowell, Iain and Malcolm had a very productive meeting with Mike Treen, President Unite Union yesterday gaining an undertaking from Mike that he will take a remit to their next national meeting supporting Basic Income New Zealand.


Thursday 22 September

We are here at AUT City Campus. The weather forecast isn’t promising but right now the sun is out. Here’s hoping.

A way bigger group of students with a better contact/engagement score card and pleasant environment.

This afternoon Lowell, Iain and Malcolm meet with Mike Treen, President of Unite Union and I am meeting with Will Matthews, President, of Auckland University Student’s Association to discuss a potential speaking/presenting role for him as part of Basic Income New Zealand. Other matters up for discussion will be what role the University of Auckland Debating Club can have in universal basic income and particularly our proposal for a basic income for children up to the age of 18. I will propose the motion “that a Basic Income for Children up to the age of 18 years, as proposed by Basic Income New Zealand (BINZ) is too expensive” or words to that affect. I will propose this motion on the basis that I will put it to our full committee at our next meeting for consideration.

One other matter I will discuss with Will is how we (BINZ) attract the attention of the University TEDX forum.

Another Roadshow update next week

We can take encouragement from the words of Demosthenes, a Greek Orator who lived between 384-322 BCE:

'Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.'


Wednesday 21 September: Launch Day: A Kids’ Basic Income

We didn’t see the interview on the Paul Henry Show but Lorraine Butler did which was great. I have accessed the online link to the story and emailed out and hopefully the audio will follow sometime.

Anyway, before the launch we worked the student quad. The weather was cold and wet. The Student Union President, Will Matthews arranged a PA system for us and it helped hugely. Placing our BINZ banner in a prominent spot we (Lowell, Iain, Malcolm and I) began spreading the word with students and anyone willing to stop and listen and chat.

By and large the elements have been reasonable but it was very wet all day.

Some highlights:

Will Matthews (President AUSA) provided the contact details for the President of the University of Auckland Debating Association, something to work on for the immediate future, “that a Basic Income for Children up to the age of 18 years, is timely”, but you get the idea, right?

Will has indicated he is willing and happy to join us and informed me further of a TEDX facility at the University which led me to ask Zachary Bennett, (student) whether he would consider representing Basic Income New Zealand at future public presentations. And Zachary said he would love to. Sharp Intellect ( ), young ( ), articulate ( ), academic ( ), presentable ( ) ticking all the boxes! Including having a very good grasp of the many strands for basic income, our society social ills, economics, and technology. So our coming debrief on the 16th of October will be very full.


Tuesday 20 September

AUT on the North Shore. Another Free Feed event and getting our message across to more students.

After stopping at a bar on Mt Eden Road we crossed the road to have dinner at Ika Restaurant, walking (unknowingly) into a face-off between five Auckland Mayoral candidates Vic Crone, Chloe Swarbrick, Penny Bright, Phil Goff and John Palino. The restaurant, owned by Laila Harre and her partner Dr Barry Gribben was full, but what with Lowell knowing Laila, Barry and other people from days gone by, we were in!

Following the mayoral candidate face-off I took the opportunity to work the media presence crossing paths with Amanda Gillies and Nicole Kean from TV3 putting our case for attention with regard to our launch for a Basic Income proposal for a Kids’ Basic Income. Thus the telephone call from Harrison Christian (TV3 News Hub journalist) the following day and subsequent telephone interview with Lowell that evening. Incidentally, Harrison Christian’s initial call was to request an exemption on the embargo and after discussing the matter with my committee colleague Iain Middleton on the implications (Lowell was away when the call came in) for an exemption we agreed to the request. As it turned out there was no media presence at the launch and despite being informed that seventy students indicated showing up (University Facebook page) it was a very low turn-out. So taking the step of breaking embargo paid off. And as always, Lowell’s presentation was well received by those in attendance.


Monday 19 September

A very slow, but productive day. The day started with Lowell, Iain, Malcolm and I at Manukau Institute of Technology Campus. What a fascinating new building. Arriving at the Reception desk we were greeted with Lowell’s photograph on the main reception monitor promoting the BINZ presentation in Room 202 between 11.30am and 1.00pm. That set in motion an air of excitement for us. Introducing ourselves to receptionist Mandy was a terrific start to our visit. What a wonderful person to meet and greet people, providing us with all the help we needed including swipe card access, room and facility familiarisation, photocopying and WIFI access making our arrival a seamless experience.

Next stop was the AUT South Campus a few kilometres down the road. A number of challenges at this site including parking and WIFI access, and “who was doing what” but it soon got sorted, and the day progressed.

Back at MIT, Lowell and Iain took charge while Malcolm and I talked with students during the “Free Feed” event which AUSM (AU Student Movement) are responsible for organising. That was the good news. The not so good news is that only a small number of students showed. And this is when the philosophical thinking needed to kick including “going with the flow”, vital to the state of mind. Lowell and Iain reported back talking of a similar experience with no students turning up until Tasha (the student rep who organised the arrangement) showed turned up and rallied a number of “mingling” students outside the lecture room. Mostly Asian with a number of non-English speaking, but at least, the presentation was underway. Certainly a let-down of minds but not the spirits and anyway, tomorrow is another day.


You can Participate in Universal Basic Income Week!

19 September- 25 September 2016


By calling Radio Talkback

Radio LIVE

Phone 0800844 747 from 9.00pm til Midnight Monday to Friday

Host: Karyn Hay

You can actively support our Roadshow by calling Radio LIVE during International Basic Income Week and talking up a Universal Basic Income storm with Radio LIVE Host Karyn Hay every night between 9.00pm and midnight

Monday 19 – Friday 23 September, 2016

We need your help

Funds: There are financial costs associated with our promotional campaign during Universal Basic Income Week. The Team are being accommodated at a friend's home in Auckland and a koha will be given. There have already been costs in preparing for this campaign. For example, printing a pamphlet to distribute, producing a banner seen in photos in this diary, the logo for Lowell's car, magnetic stickers for Melissa's van, and petrol are some of the costs that have been incurred.

The BINZ committee and BINZ members,John and Mary Ellen Warren have contributed to a fund to help with costs. We have a total of $900. If you would like to assist with a contribution to our BINZ Basic Income Week Fund this will be much appreciated. Donations can be deposited at our Bank Account:

Kiwibank 38 9017 0211892 00. Please include in the reference fields your name and code Roadshow.

An outline of how the money has been spent will be made available.


Weeks of 5 September to 16 September

Preparation for International Basic Income Week 19 – 25 September 2016

Well......,we (our President Lowell Manning, committee member Iain Middleton, and support crew Melissa Selwyn and I) are about to head into the big smoke on Sunday 18 September. Tamakimakaurau (Tamaki of the Hundred Lovers)

Another, volunteer member Malcolm Holt will join us. Malcolm has kindly agreed to operate our PA, System setting it up and packing it away at each venue where required and that is a huge relief. The PA is on loan to us from the Unite Union.

These last two weeks has been about crossing t’s and dotting I’s, calling, confirming, making new connections, and generally working the phone. Like the first two weeks here in Rotorua there are no guarantees that everything will come together even with it being International Basic Income Week. We are up against a busy time for many organisations.

For the Catholic Church this is Social Justice Week and one of the agenda items is the Living Wage. This is also a hectic month for University students. Christians Against Poverty and Auckland Against Poverty, all have their work cut out. Te Puea Memorial Marae have just stood their support crew and volunteers down after hosting many, many homeless people. And the plight of the homeless left sleeping in their cars continues.

Rev Bob Hornburg from St Barnabas Church in Mt Eden (just down the road from where we are staying on Reimers Avenue) has given us a work room for briefing/debriefing if required.

Billie Dell from Waikato Community Law Centre called this afternoon and a presentation is set for Thursday 3 November, and it will be my role to go and put our case for a universal basic income to the staff and volunteers. And I am looking forward to that. The idea is that Juanita Bennett (Law Centre Manager) will get an understanding/appreciation of the basic income background and as she suggested through Billie, will be in a position to pitch the idea to her CEO for BINZ to present at their 2017 Annual Conference.

What is becoming clear is that our call for a universal basic income will be better aimed at political parties, Maori Trusts, professionals, business, the Church, senior secondary schools/universities, Unions and NGO’s. Breaking through that ceiling will be the challenge.


Week of 29 August to 2 September

Presentation Highlights:

John Paul College Rotorua, meeting with Year 13 Students: Twenty students attended the presentation, 13 young woman and 11 young men. Lowell did a fantastic job as he usually does. One student said she didn’t get it. However, Amelia (18) really did, asking all the right questions and even coming for a chat afterwards, and when asked whether she would consider helping us we received a very enthusiastic response. Following the correct protocols I will call and speak with her parents to gauge their reaction. Amelia has the right attributes, energy, personality and enthusiasm and would be a wonderful BINZ advocate. Watch this space.

Tauhara College, meeting with Year 12 and Year 13 students. This was a captive audience of about 160, our largest audience! Did they get it? A fair number of hands shot up when Lowell popped the question. Malcolm, an Auckland BINZ member drove through to support the roadshow and sat in on the presentation before coming to.....

........Reporoa College with us where we presented to a group of nine very enthusiastic young girls and we connected with Alana and her friend who both expressed an excited interest to be BINZ advocates, so another two sets of parents to speak with! The idea I imagine, is to establish a Rangatahi/Youth Council/Committee . Something for the BINZ committee to consider.

Malcolm then joined Lowell, Melissa and myself at home for dinner. A great day in great company.

We acknowledge and thank Sheryl Hewitt (Careers Advisor, John Paul College), Keith Buntting (Principal, Tauhara College) and Steven Hughes (Acting Principal, Reporoa College) who openly welcomed us before briefing their students and provided us with a fantastic opportunity of presenting to an important group in our community. This opportunity helped us to meet three very enthusiastic, potential, future young BINZ advocates.

We also acknowledge and thank Melissa and Mark who have supported Lowell and I every day bringing a fantastic attitude, great smiles and lots of enthusiasm to our Kaupapa.

Outside of the above presentations we continued setting up at City Focus here in Rotorua where the Lakes Council Permit has allowed us to continue to engage one-on-one with the public.

On Thursday we travelled to Tauranga where we met up with Tom Brian another young, enthusiastic and engaging fellow, but equally important our BINZ graphic artist! and engaging fellow but equally important our BINZ graphic artist. Before travelling to Tauranga, we had obtained a permit from Tauranga City Council, allowing us to set up our Gazebo, Banner, table and chairs and work the Square. Not the easiest of crowds to engage but we did have another great day.

On a personal level, I have been preparing my power point presentation and last evening I kind of managed a very informal ad lib, in front of my friend Veena and Lowell. A few more hits like this and look out Mr President!

Debrief: I have asked my comrades to consider taking a break from the Road Show. I haven’t been able to secure sufficient presentation space and organisation contacts in Hamilton for things to really work well enough and I would only be making it up as we went along as it were. Plus, International Basic Income Week in Auckland is when we will really need our A game. While we have some significant venues in Auckland, there is some organisational matters either side of those commitments that require attention. And anyway I need a bit of a rest and it will be more productive to ensure our time in Auckland is well prpepared.


Saturday 27 August

Here is a link to the newspaper article on the BINZ Roadshow published in the Rotorua Daily Post


Thursday August 25 & Friday 26 August

Diary Entry from Te Rangikaheke

Tena koutou!

Rain, rain go away! Wet and miserable here in Rotorua but it hasn’t stopped us from parking up outside WINZ and working the crowd. A captive audience sure, but an opportunity to get our message across, with many asking “is BINZ taking over WINZ. Will BINZ be its new name?” Funny that!

Our presentation at the Rotorua Youth Centre attracted low turnout but engaging and challenging evenings.

Our presentation at Waiariki Polytech was another low turnout with three Polytech staff: Steven Cox, Business Developer Centre for Business, Research and Enterprise, Rebecca Lausberg, Business and Research Administrator and Dr Vincent Wijeysingha, Senior Lecturer, Social Work and with titles like these who wouldn’t be impressed. On a more notable point what a wonderful opportunity to present our case for a Universal Basic Income to an esteemed group of academics. Fantastic connections!

We had the pleasure of hosting our colleague Iain Middleton and the support he gave us on the streets of Rotorua has been invaluable. Leaving Rotorua yesterday (Saturday) after lunch Iain texted us on arriving at Waiouru and again when he reached his hometown of Tawa. Iain will return to Auckland during International Basic Income Week to support us again.

Another highlight for the week has been an interview with the Daily Post newspaper that included an online video of Lowell being interviewed by Daily Post journalist Georgina Harris

This coming week we are back on the streets of Rotorua. On Tuesday we will present to some senior students here at John Paul College before attending Tauhara College in Taupo and Reporoa College where Meleissa will present to another group of senior students, her first presentation. Tumeke Meleissa!


Wednesday August 24

Diary Entry from Te Rangikaheke

Tena koutou!

Brrrrr! A cold but productive day. I think we are slowly finding our mojo. Our day started with a hearty breakfast of oranges, a bowl of porridge for Iain and I and muesli for Lowell, toast when Mark turned up with freshly smoked eel and Melissa bringing a packet of biscuits for morning tea.

Last night Lowell shouted us to a wonderful Indian dinner at Lovely India a “to-die-for” dining experience during which Iain filled us in and fascinated us with some wonderful tales of when he and Gaylene visited Nepal recently.

This evening Lowell, Melissa and Iain are at the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce while I have been relegated to the kitchen cooking dinner.

Tomorrow, Thursday, and Monday and Tuesday next week we have a Permit to set-up alongside the local WINZ office and promote Basic Income New Zealand. Watch this space!

Meleissa's Diary: 'We are all feeling happy with the way in which we are engaging with the people of Rotorua. Lowell and Terangikaheke are working hard to ensure we are a all on task. Great support from the support team here on Rotorua. Breakfast was Kapai - caught by Mark, smoked by Mark. Kia ora Mark!

The evening's presentation was at the Chamber of Commerce. Just two people but a most valuable exchange.


Tuesday August 23

As Te Rangikaheke wrote Monday's diary entry at 7.02am, the weather outside looked promising! Better than Monday! So fingers crossed for today's activities. Iain Middleton is travelling up to Rotorua from Wellington to join the team.

Diary Entry from Te Rangikaheke

1 or 101

Tena koutou!

When I submitted the Roadshow Summary to the committee recently, I commented on having a philosophical view in relation to number turnouts to our public presentations, and yes the numbers to date have been disappointing. What hasn't been, is the engagement of the people who have turned up.

Last night was an example. Nine people including six of us. But the three women who attended were very engaging, I thought.

Before the presentation I received an email from Darrin Walsh the CEO of Rotorua Chambers of Commerce advising that despite promoting the Novotel Hotel presentation to its membership the response was poor. Only one member! Leaving Darrin with the decision to cancel!

Darrin canvassed with me whether we would consider presenting to the one person who had put his hand up. Absolutely! Thus, 1 or 101! So this evening Lowell and Melissa will present our case to one person at the offices of the Rotorua Chambers of Commerce. Oh and I am sure Darrin will also be there!

This little pearl will be our jewel in the crown in future Basic Income New Zealand storytelling.

From Meleissa:' Rotorua team members are feeling more confident in their conversation. People of Rotorua are open and interacting well with the team. A good day,guys!

There was another evening presentation at the Rotorua Youth Centre. Iain has arrived safely and joined the Team. Welcome Iain and thank you being here to support the kaupapa- Basic Income. Again another good presentation by Lowell. There were three guests and another returned from the night before to help grasp the korero a bit more. A good question and answer session and good feedback.The Team headed out for a lovely meal and debrief. Another good day!'

The photos of Te Rangikaheke and Lowell were taken by two photography students from Rotorua Boy's HighSchool


Monday August 22

Diary Entry from Te Rangikaheke.

Tena koutou!

Our Rotorua weather changed yesterday from beautiful, to cold, as we battled the elements taking our case for a Universal Basic Income to our city streets. Thanks to our team, Lowell, Bernie Hornfeck, Grant Rogers, Jason Hamon, Golam Morshed, Melissa Selwyn, Geoff Fischer and Mark Agee, we had a very reasonable day engaging on the one hand some very reluctant passer-by's to some very supportive people.

Lowell’s vehicle with the signage was well placed providing more exposure. Not sure we are allowed to park it alongside of us. Mark’s set up of his pergola shielded us a little from the elements and our banner is small enough to be big enough if you get my meaning. All in all a reasonable day but we have to start somewhere.

The really sad part is there are people who have little else to do here in Rotorua, unemployment is obviously high and seem to wander the township, a little aimlessly. Mental health like everywhere else in the country is evident.

Last evening at the Rotorua Youth Centre we had ten people other than ourselves come and hear Lowell introduce a Universal Basic Income. The Q & A session was engaging.

I received an email from the CEO of the Rotorua Chambers of Commerce, which I shared with Lowell, that despite promoting the presentation at the Novotel Hotel tomorrow evening, none of the members have registered and the Association has had to cancel. No one said this was going to be easy.

Meleissa Selwyn is our second diarist Meleissa writes of the Monday evening presentation at the Rotorua Youth Centre. " Excellent turn out:11 guests and 3 children. Audience engaged well.Lowell presented a power point.Question and answers session, good conversation ... Interest was sparked!'


Sunday August 21, Early this morning, BINZ President, Lowell Manning, left for Rotorua, where he has met up with committee member Te Rangikaheke Kiripatea. Te Rangikaheke has been helping to organise the different events and will be travelling with Lowell.

The Roadshow will begin tomorrow in Rotorua so look at the schedule on the Events page for times and venues. In the mean time check out the signage for the car that Lowell and Te Rangikaheke will use to travel to these events.

Lowell arrived as the shadows lengthened, to a warm welcome from the Rotorua Team headed by Terangikaheke, who were all awaiting his arrival with enthusiasm and anticipation, ready to take the conversation of a Basic Income into the city of Rotorua. There was time for a group photo before contemplating the coming weeks in the setting sun. An introductory training session by our President, Lowell and Team leader, Te Rangikeheke helped with preparation to begin a Universal Basic Income Conversation with the people of Rotorua


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