by Claire Browning

Look deeper into RMA reforms and you might find it's more exciting than you think: an Environment Minister taking her axe to urban trees, and the latest in a series of “democracy deficits” - this time affecting Auckland

Wake up, New Zealand. Yo, Auckland!

I want you - the 87 percent of you who live in a city or town in New Zealand - to have a think about trees. What do trees mean to you?

The launch tonight aboard the Rainbow Warrior of Greenpeace NZ’s clean economy report recalls the time New Zealand turned away from nuclear energy. Now, as then, we’re at an historical crossroads. But where is the Economic Development Minister?

Forty years ago, New Zealand had to decide whether we’d plan for a nuclear power supply. In the end, we made some other choices: a lot of hydro, some gas, some coal.

Renewable energy options have come a long way since then; so has nuclear of course, but then so has our stance on nuclear-free.

Gwynn Compton's open letter to Gareth Morgan, PR lessons to be learned from failing "quite comprehensively", and a nice response from Tom Cox

In the end, when the dust settled, leaving Gareth preening and Bob Kerridge licking his wounds ... there were these. Three thoughtful, balanced pieces, among the best reading (and writing) you'll find.

The symbolism of the Rainbow Warrior's return to her spiritual home.

As the sun rose on 2013, the new Rainbow Warrior sailed for New Zealand: first stop a tribute to her sister ship, sunk in Matauri Bay.

It’s time for the Rainbow’s return, because 2013 marks another time of defiance, a fight for our country’s soul.

On the so-called catflap, Gareth Morgan's conversation firestarter - because sometimes, "when the fail is so strong, one facepalm is not enough"

Gareth’s speech to our 2012 conference was a doozy.

What does activism mean? How do we reconcile ego and eco, in 2013? And - with apologies for existential crisis - what exactly is my job?

“I don’t do much about climate change, but I’m a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and I do my recycling.”

2012 in review: text of my piece for the Resource Management Journal on the changing legal landscape, and writing loudly on the political wall 

All over the country, on land and at sea, the legal landscape is changing. In pursuit of balance, the National government is rewriting laws that have sustained and built our environment.

The results are good - in parts. Other parts so deeply undermine the precarious balance so far achieved, that they compromise the whole.

We might have fought over it, at the time. Sometimes, we fought bitterly. At Gallipoli, we lost; but we were on the right side of history, and we found a blood-coloured poppy, like a heartbeat in the dust. Later, it would dawn on us: this is who we are, New Zealand.

Last month, business force-for-good Pure Advantage launched their latest Green Race paper. “A race has begun, and we are in it,” they said, and they showed a short film.

In 2012, National Ministers’ environment choices left us 100% poorer - or pooer, in the case of our impure, faecally-contaminated rivers

Three years ago, new to the job, Trade (and former Conservation) Minister Tim Groser said our brand would be built on “world class environmental standards”:

My response to Straterra's Chris Baker, whose comments framed an earlier piece in the New Zealand Herald. In fact, 69 percent of New Zealanders agree: conservation is at the heart of what it means to be a New Zealander (DOC, 2012).

“The misinformation advanced by parts of the community, however well-intended, does not help informed debate on our economic future.”