Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2009

The top image is the last sunset for 2008, the bottom image is the first sunset for 2009. I had to wait until yesterday  to get it because New Years day didn’t present a sunset, more of a slight tinge and the 2nd and 3rd were overcast!They were taken at the same time each night yet they are so different from each other! No 2 the same as they say.I’m hoping to be back blogging now each day as I was before Christmas and I’m looking forward to getting around my world tour via all of your blogs again too!

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I don’t consider myself to be a political person but this year I actually took an interest in politics. Not in ‘the politics’ but in the parties that have policies that support positive environmental changes and who’s policies are focused towards the family.

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

McClean House. McClean Street, Tauranga. The venue where I voted although it was one of many in Tauranga. The building was opened by former PM Sir Robert Muldoon in 1980. 

Greens are a natural choice for me. Their policies mean they put money into keeping houses warm- which results in healthier families and that means more children in school getting an education instead of at the doctors or at home sick. It also means less fossil fuels are being used to warm draughty homes. They make noise on issues like climate change and genetically modified food, things that really matter to me and support NZ image as a clean, green country. Labour has led the country for the last 9 years, with the same leader- Helen Clarke at the helm. This year though NZ voted ‘Right’ not ‘Left’ and now NZ has a new Prime Minister, National Party leader John Key. Under our system,MMP, there are 122 seats in Parliment. In NZ there are 2 main parties and several smaller ones. Governement is made up of a coalition and National won more seats than Labour (but not enough to govern by themselves.) This means they’re reliant on making up a majority with the support of other parties. They could have done so with  the Greens  but have chosen to cut a deal with 2 smaller parties, ACT and United Future (who only has one party seat!) and National doesn’t require the support of either the Green’s or the marginally smaller Maori party. Labour governed the last term with the support of these parties and I would feel much more secure right now if that were still the case. But its not and this is the first time that the elections haven’t promised such a green future. Not that the Greens have lost their voice. The green party still has 9 of the 122 seats,the Maori party has 5 and the Labour party has the remainder. *Numbers are correct as far as I know.

Copyright Lisa Sarsfield 2008

Election night boasted another great sunset and so different to last nights! I was pleased to capture the wild flowers in the photo this time too. Photo taken on my driveway, the pond I keep talking about is just over the wildflower crowned ‘hill’ that you can see. (The hill is actually a vacant section. I wish I could put- NOT for sale on it!)