A Kōrero from the Director

Our director Kassie Hartendorp sitting in front of a tapa cloth and woven basket. She has shoulder length dark hair and is smiling.

Kia ora tātou, 

In a previous life, I played a lot of video games. If 2021 was a video game, it felt like an endless, gruelling level on the high difficulty setting. When we thought we’d adjusted, and sussed out how to do life, another obstacle would burst from the ground. 

For many of us, we used every resource in our toolkit. We locked down, we distanced, and we changed plans (often). We watched press conferences and we turned off press conferences. We made do, we melted down, we got back up. We weathered work, or a lack of it. We made it through MIQ. We missed whānau in different parts of the world. We found new ways to mourn loved ones who left us. 

Oh, Aotearoa. We did so much last year. We changed, we grew, we got by in all kinds of ways. 

Many of us made it through this wild video game called 2021, despite the odds. Perhaps you have the scars to show it. I definitely have my own. 

What’s striking, is that even in hard times, our ActionStation community kept coming through for people and Papatūānuku. The ways we showed up were different. Yes, we still led and supported bold campaigns. We still stood up for what mattered in whatever way we could. But we also took the time to learn how to move with the ebb and flow of pandemic life, and look after ourselves and each other.

After one year in the role as Director, what I know to be true is that our progressive movement for change is powerful. It is deep and strong, made up of interwoven networks and the accumulated actions of many.

The ActionStation community consists of people who have taken an action through our petition platform. This adds up to almost 900,000 people since we started in 2014. Signing a petition may seem like a small act - but it shows that nearly a million of us care about a flourishing people and planet.

In the bigger picture, we are strong. We care. We are determined. And we are everywhere. 

2022 will call on us to level up. It already has.

Our pandemic response has amped back up again to protect us from the Omicron variant. Our Government’s Covid-19 policies have dramatically increased inequality - making wealthy people hundreds of billions of dollars richer, while people who are struggling have been pushed $400 million further into debt. Around 10% of our population own up to 70% of our country’s wealth. We are in the midst of an unending housing crisis with no meaningful solutions on the table. We can expect more climate-related events. We have no promise from global leaders that they will take the strong action required to look after our planet. [1]

Yes, we are encountering existential challenges. But haven’t we always?

And when good people sit by and watch, we leave our fate in the hands of the most wealthy and powerful. 

The ActionStation community has never been one to sit by and watch. Together we can change the path we are on. Away from inequality and devastation. Towards fairness throughout our country and a restored balance with our natural world. We can achieve collective liberation for all, regardless of our background, identity, or access to wealth.

As this report goes live, our team is busy preparing for the coming year. You will hear more from us very soon. In the meantime, you should know the following:

Thank you for all that you do in your own world, and for being a part of the ActionStation community.

We hope that you enjoy reading our Annual Report 2021, and look forward to connecting with you very soon.

Ngā manaakitanga, ngā kotahitanga, 


[1] Unfair shares: The rich own more than you think, and the struggling own much, much less. Stuff. November 21 2021.