Jo McVeagh

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Jo McVeagh

Jo a New Zealand activist. She is the partner of Kristin Gillies.


Jo McVeagh, was born and raised in Palmerston North. Ms McVeagh lived here for 22 years, graduated from Massey University and was educated at Freyberg High School.

She joined an environmental group and the student council while she was at school, where she helped to clean up local beaches and encouraged school recycling. After high school Jo McVeagh studied ecology and did volunteer work with as many environmental groups as possible. In February 2006, she began working at Greenpeace, New Zealand, first as the campaigner for whales, and more recently with the climate team.

Student activism

2002 - Massey University contact for visit by Nandor Tanczos.

2004 - spokesman for group of 14 students from Victoria, Massey, and Otago universities on West Coast to protest against proposed Cypress open cast coal mine. [1]

2004 Massey Environment Group.[2]

2004 - new exec member ECO I’m 22, I’m from a little place called the Pohangina Valley, which is near Palmerston North.I was the Environmental Officer at MUSA (the students association) for a year and a half, during which time I ran MEG (the Massey Environment Group), set up student community organic vegetable gardens (which has since collapsed), ran an Environmental Festival, wrote articles and did interviews for student media.... and a whole lot more. I left MUSA mid last year, but kept organising MEG, and also organized a car-pool-convoy, and then later a bus to go from Palmy to Wellington for the two GE Free marches last year.

This year I have been heavily involved with the Save Happy Valley Coalition /Waimangaroa Campaign, and coordinated the occupation of the sit eover Easter, and have since spoken at several public meetings, and been working on preparations for the next occupation!I’ve also been organising MEG,which involves coordinating activities,writing for Chaff (student newspaper),sending e-mail updates to members, and liaising with other community groups.I’m a full time Massey student studying Ecology in my (fingerscrossed) final year!

Save Happy Valley Coalition

In 2005, according to Critic, it is not only the local greenies who are concerned by the mine. People from various environmental groups around the country have formed the Save Happy Valley Coalition. Fiona Gibson, a student from Otago University, has been involved in the campaign from the start and is now the media contact for the Coalition. What brings her to fight in this battle is the conviction that a venture that will destroy New Zealand flora and fauna should be stopped.

Fiona and another member of the Save Happy Valley Coalition, Jo McVeagh, say that the ruling of the Environment Court to allow the mine to go ahead, despite the fact that this could mean the deaths of 10 kiwis and many rare giant land snails, shows that New Zealand species are not as protected as people would like to believe

2006 - SHVC Auckland University spokesman.

Workers Charter

Listed in Unity Sep. 20 05 as endorsing the Workers Charter, student Dunedin.


2006 Jo McVeagh and Josephine Newman from ClimAction will be discussing why Kyoto just isn't good enough, the effects climate change will have on Aotearoa and the Pacific, what people can do to stop climate change, what is being done in Aotearoa to stop climate change.

Greenpeace arrest

Sunday, July 30 2006 Greenpeace arrests. Three Greenpeace protestors in Nelson have been arrested and are in police custody. The trio boarded the fishing vessel Chang Xing this morning to protest against the practice of bottom trawling. Jo McVeagh, who made it to the top of the vessel's mast, says Greenpeace has documented the vessel causing major destruction to deep sea life. She says although bottom trawling is banned in parts of New Zealand's territorial waters, there should be a complete ban in international waters.

Greenpeace "Be The Change"

Kristinfreyberg 0.preview.jpg

Circa 2008, Kristin Gillies was an addition to Greenpeace’s Be The Change Team. He is currently touring touring the country in a bus, spreading Greenpeace’s climate change message to high school pupils.

One of his traveling companions, is partner Jo McVeagh.


  1. Press 14.4.04
  2. Chaff 6