Anne-Elise Smithson: Gareth Hughes said he’d love to see a generational change in politics. Where would you like to see social change head?

Admittedly, I did laugh a wee bit when you asked me to explain “without saving the world”, because I’m not sure what else I am trying to do here!

Gareth Hughes is right. He says: “unlike previous generations a first home, a good job and an affordable education are considered luxuries by many of my generation”. This seems to be the way of the world now (unless we change it).

To answer your broad question of where I would like social change to lead from my personal perspective, I would like humans to rediscover their home – that is where I would like social change to lead. We need to find ways to live in balance with other species, our biosphere, because we are living on one planet and we are close to squandering all our resources. So this is a matter of our own, and other species’, survival.

I definitely have hope that we will create a richer home for future generations, but that will require us to create a different meaning about what we consider to be true wealth.

I like what a group of veterans of the WWII Resistance movements had to say at an anniversary of the Resistance in 2004: “We continue to call for a true peaceful uprising against the means of mass communication that offer nothing but mass consumption as a prospect for our youth, contempt for the least powerful in society and for culture, general amnesia and the outrageous competition of all against all. To you who will create the twenty-first century, we say, with affection, to create is to resist. To resist is to create’. 

– Anne-Elise Smithson, The Green Party.of Aotearoa New Zealand