Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Economic and Social Research Aotearoa (ESRA)


All friends and supporters are invited to attend the public launch of ESRA, which is taking place in conjunction with the Social Movements, Resistance and Social Change conference being held at Victoria University, Wellington 1-3 September.


5.30 – 7.30pm Friday 2 September 

Keynote speaker will be UK writer and academic Nick Srnicek, co-author with Alex Williams of Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a world without work (2015). Nick will talk about the development of ESRA within the international context of new political ecologies of counterhegemonic struggle. Sue Bradford and Dylan Taylor will co-host the event which will also include a brief panel discussion with leaders from several key sectors explaining why the development of ESRA is significant for progressive politics in Aotearoa.  

5.30 pm                Drinks & nibbles                  The Hub, Kelburn Parade, VUW.
6.00pm                 Public launch                      Room KKLT303, Kirk Building, VUW.

Attendance is free, but it would be great if you could RSVP by 19 August to:

Whether or not you are registered for the full Social Movements conference, it would be great if you could RSVP on this.  Information about the conference is available here 


Saturday 3 September 

In addition to the Friday night event there will be two further ESRA workshops held as part of concurrent streams on Saturday 3 September.  

Saturday morning – Introducing ESRA 

This is an opportunity for people to meet some of our researchers and find out more about a range of current projects, as well as to learn more about how ESRA operates and our near-future development plans. There will be opportunities for questions and discussion.

Saturday afternoon – Political organisation

The ESRA inquiry group which is researching questions of political organisation is facilitating a participatory workshop looking at issues around the development of new forms of organisation on the radical left in Aotearoa.  
As with the launch event, please RSVP for these workshops to by 19 August.  Thanks!

ESRA Update – July 2016

It’s been a while since our last update and we’d like to extend a warm welcome to all of you who have asked to be part of this network since then.  Please feel free to get in touch with questions and feedback and we look forward to meeting up with you either in September or at other times in the months ahead.

At present a lot of effort is going into preparing for the launch, including developing our website so that it’s ready to go online by the beginning of September.

We have a number of research ‘Inquiry Groups’ up and running – these are small collectives working together on particular projects.  ESRA is also delighted to have its first funded research project underway in association with several union groupings.

In May Dylan Taylor and Sue Bradford visited Dunedin and spoke at a well attended public meeting about the development of ESRA.  We also took part in other activities while in town.  A huge thanks to Marcelle Dawson, the Sociology department and the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Otago University for supporting various aspects of our trip to the south.  In July Sue spoke about UBI at a public meeting in Whanganui hosted by the local Green Party, and found that the presentation created quite a lot of new interest in ESRA as well as in what a progressive Universal Basic Income might look like.

We continue to welcome contact from academics, activists, unionists, cultural workers and others who in different ways would like to help with our work.  At the moment limited resources unavoidably limit our ability to harness all the time, expertise and energy on offer, but we still love to hear from you and look forward to a future which sees nodes of ESRA activity gradually established in different parts of the country.

Supporting ESRA – can you help?

A huge amount of work is going into developing ESRA with very few resources.  Our only income at this stage comes from donations and automatic payments (APs) from supporters, plus one funded research project.  APs made weekly, bi-weekly or monthly are the most useful form of support as they give us the regular income needed to maintain a steady level of activity.

Can you help?  Even a small AP or donation makes a big difference, with huge thanks to all of you who are already contributing.

Bank account: ESRA 38 9016 0380440 00

If you would like to meet up in person at some point, or to help us organise a workshop or meeting in your district please get in touch. 

If you no longer want to be on this email list do let us know, as we don’t wish to bother people with unwanted correspondence.

Should this be your first contact with ESRA, you may be interested in Sue’s PhD thesis A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa – an impossible dream or a call to action? available here.   For more information, to provide feedback, or to add a friend or colleague to the mailing list, please email

Ngā mihi nui - Sue Bradford & Jonathan King (& other ESRA friends)


We are a national left think tank in Aotearoa whose work includes:

Developing an intellectual armoury for the radical left, based on high quality research and the development of theory relevant to the antagonisms and contradictions of our place and time.

  1. Working to build a radical left hegemony in Aotearoa, based on a kaupapa of social, economic and ecological justice, honouring tino rangatiratanga and grounded in Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  2. Generating a body of knowledge which incorporates different traditions of thought and ecologies of knowledge, to nurture and fuel activists and academics.
  3. Seeding a culture of resistance, solidarity and hope, informed by and translating the issues and hopes of exploited, oppressed and marginalised people.
  4. Combatting the political ideologies of capitalism.
  5. Deepening strategic thinking with and for people working in different community organisations, unions, and sectors about how we can move in practical ways beyond capitalism, starting now.
  6. Establishing spaces where we can have respectful conversations, debates and disagreements with each other from different parts of the left, and from academic and activist bases.

Disseminating and popularising alternatives to capitalism and collective visions of a better future.

*Text from ESRA's  August Update, August 8 2016

Monday, 23 November 2015

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Sunday, 1 November 2015

What’s On in Christchurch

CPN November Forum: The Lessons from Europe

7.15 pm, Monday November 2nd - WEA Building, 59 Gloucester Street

Greece – the rise of Syriza
Britain – the Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon.

Steve Howard (activist economist) will background the situation leading to the rise of Syriza in Greece and Joe Davies (Community Board member with direct experience of the UK Labour Party) will talk about the background and challenges faced by new British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Christchurch Speaks- Keep Our Assets public meeting

7.00 pm, Sunday November 8th - Cardboard Cathedral

Hosted by: Keep Our Assets – Canterbury. Christchurch speaks; a wide range of community speakers will explain why the Christchurch City Council's plan to sell $750 million of our assets is unacceptable.

TPP-free Christchurch 'Welcomes' Tim Groser

4.30 pm Monday November 9th – Burnside Park cnr Roydale & Memorial Aves’ 

Minister Groser has made a considerable ruckus about how ‘breathless’ and ‘irrelevant’ those of us concerned about the TPPA are and repeated invitations, to both the minister Groser and MP Key, to publicly debate the issue have fallen in deaf ears. You’d think they’d jump at the opportunity to demonstrate just how ‘irrelevant’ we are eh.

Anyway here’s an opportunity to welcome Minister Groser to our City. 

CPN Organising Meeting

6.00 pm, Monday October 9th - the Villas Café, 290 Montreal Street,

The Progressive Networks monthly organising meeting - Everyone welcome.

The Activist and the Law

7.00 pm, Monday November 9th - WEA Building, 59 Gloucester Street

Co-sponsored by the Christchurch Progressive Network and Canterbury WEA

Wondering what the legal consequences of organising a flash mob may be? Dropping a flyer in a no-junk mail letterbox? Organising, or simply taking part in a demonstration? No matter the scale of your actions, from the picket and march to a simple poster paste-up, activism raises a wide range of legal issues.

Here’s your opportunity to come to grips with the broad legal context of activism in a seminar, co-sponsored by the Christchurch Progressive Network and facilitated by local barrister Michael Knowles.

We Object! TPP Rally Christchurch

2.00 pm, Saturday November 14th – Cathedral Square

The local component of the nationwide TPPA-Stand Up! mobilisation. 

Peoples Climate Parade

12.30 pm, Saturday November 28th – Victoria Square

On the weekend before the Paris Climate talks in December, climate marches will take place in hundreds of major cities, in the world’s largest mobilisation on climate change.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Hobgoblin #9

Available Now

In this issue 
~ Greece

~ Communism: No wonder it has been demonised

~ Thoughts on reform, revolution, social change and elections in light of SYRIZA’s win

~ The First Forty Years:  CAFCA’s History

~ Unite and Zero Hour contacts

~ Engaging in the Class Struggle 
~ Beyond the Selfish Society 

Friday, 27 March 2015

Hands Off Venezuela

CELAC statement just issued. Rejects US measures against Venezuela and calls on Obama to "revert" the Executive Order.

This is all 33 countries in Latin America & Caribbean, including the "right-wing" ones & US allies.

Communiqué of the Community Of Latin American and Caribbean States in Solidarity with the  Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) expresses its rejection of the application of unilateral coercive measures contrary to International Law.

CELAC reaffirms its commitment with the full validity of International Law, the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, and the principle of Non-Intervention.

CELAC ratifies the postulates of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, agreed during the 2nd Summit held in Havana, in January of 2014.

CELAC reiterates the content of its Special Communiqué, approved within the framework of the 3rd Summit of CELAC in Belén on January 29, 2015 and of its Special Communiqué dated February 12, 2015.

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) expresses its rejection of the Executive Order issued by the Government of the United States of America on March 9, 2015, and considers that this Executive Order should be reversed.

Likewise, CELAC calls upon the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to launch a dialogue, under the principles of respect to sovereignty, non-interference in the internal affairs of the States, the self-determination of the peoples and the democratic and institutional order in line with International Law.

CELAC urges both sides to resume dialogue and calls upon the democratic forces of Venezuela to make use of constitutional mechanisms to solve existing differences.