My farewell blog
Submitted by Gareth Hughes on Fri, 29/01/2010 - 09:55

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Much of my early work for the campaign was planning, researching and meeting various people to get their ideas on how we could run the most effective campaign possible. Approaching high-profile New Zealanders to become Sign On ambassadors and the face of the campaign was interesting, exciting, and a little daunting too. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of enthusiasm immediately demonstrated by the budding faces of Sign On, and we ended up with a great, large team of trusted, high profile Kiwis from really diverse backgrounds. Actors, business people, mums, sports stars, a scientist... they all contributed hugely, from writing opinion pieces in newspapers, to dressing up as nurses at climate emergency stalls, to school visits, to meeting climate impact victims, to giving speeches, lobbying politicians, using their voice to speak up in the media and of course appear in a TV ad that brought the urgency of the issue direct into people's homes. They all stuck their necks out. Some even very nearly got them chopped off. Lest we forget John Key's politically dense comments about how Keisha Castle-Hughes should stick to acting.

I was pretty anxious when we officially launched the campaign at Lucy Lawless' house - what reception would we get in the media? Would people get the campaign? Would people actually Sign On? And would we be able to actually get that beautiful, antique and heavy-as-hell boat into Lucy's pool for a photo shoot? It all went well: got the boat in (despite Rhys Darby trying to tip it over) and the reaction from both the public and media was overwhelming.

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A simple, clear message was a mantra of the campaign team. However Lucy Lawless said it best: there is no Planet B.

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If there is one image that for me sums up the campaign, it's the photo of thousands of people marching in Auckland on the Planet A march just days before the start of the Copenhagen talks. It was incredible to see up to 5,000 marching in Auckland and 2000 marching in Wellington making the day the single biggest climate event ever in NZ's history. It's so empowering to be walking shoulder to shoulder with other people calling for a positive solution - C'mon John the climate needs us. The Planet A march was followed by a concert in Myers Park with Opshop, Midnight Youth, Don McGlashan, Lucy Lawless and Band, the Sami Sisters, and the irrepressible Rhys Darby as MC. For me, it truly was a moving experience when everyone got on stage and sang John Lennon's Instant Karma, with reworked lyrics, "...and we all Signed On, like the moon, and the stars and the sun." There was little more we could do to influence the talks in New Zealand, now it was up to the delegates at Copenhagen.

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Source.


News submitted by Barbara Davies.