• Keep our kids out of police cells
    Police cells are no place for children. But under the current law, kids as young as 14 can be held for more than two days in a Police cell once they have appeared in court. In many cases this is not because they pose any risk but because no beds or homes for them are available. Being held in a police cell for extended periods can quickly lead to physical, mental, and emotional harm, and a real risk of self-harm. A recent news report by Radio New Zealand found that there have been multiple self harm and suicide attempts by kids in police cells every year since 2014. 80% of those kids were estimated to be Māori, who are already drastically over-represented in our youth and adult justice system. In 2018, almost 200 young people were held in police cells last year for periods of more than 24 hours and, in some cases, up to seven days. The instances of young people in police cells for more than 24 hours also almost doubled from 2014 to 2018. We all want children and young people in Aotearoa to be able to flourish. For that to happen we need to support young people who are caught up in our youth justice system, the majority of whom have had concerns raised by the Oranga Tamariki that they or their family need help [1]. Holding kids in Police cells is not an inevitability or necessity, but the consequence of politicians failing to prioritise the well being of young people. Our government can and must act more quickly to build community based alternatives, like the new community home Mahuru, run by Ngapuhi social services in Northland. [2] Police cells are a totally unsafe environment for young people. In many cases they will be subjected to solitary confinement, inadequate food and hygiene and lights on for 24 hours. For kids who are already scared and unsure about what is going to happen to them after being in court or being arrested, this is a really distressing experience. One young person said about their experience in police cells that it made them feel "solitary – depressed, going crazy, feel like you want to cry and flip out at the same time – just go nuts.”* [2] This doesn't need to keep happening. We are calling on the Minister to immediately change the legislation so that our justice system doesn't put any more vulnerable young people at risk. Instead, the government can and must prioritise community alternatives that will keep young people safe and provide them with the support and skills they need to build a better life. [1] Youth Justice Indicators Summary Report 2019 https://www.justice.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Publications/E4NOUP-Youth-Justice-Indicators-Summary-Report-August-2019.pdf [2] https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/367689/iwi-led-youth-remand-service-launched-in-kaikohe [3] Office of the Children's Commissioner, 'Limiting the use of Police cells to hold young people on remand' Position Brief, 2018
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    Created by Tania Sawicki Mead
  • Bring Priya and her girls to safety in New Zealand
    Most of us believe family comes first. But in just a matter of days, some people in the Australian government could deport two small girls to their death - unless the New Zealand government offers them safety. Picture this: Two small girls scream with fear as they are forced to watch their mum being physically dragging onto a plane - she fights the attempt to deport her back to Sri Lanka, a country she escaped after watching her fiancé be burnt alive. Priya knows that if she and her daughters are forced back, her daughters may suffer the same fate, or even worse as revenge for her escape, like any mum, she is fighting for her children’s safety. Tharunicaa and Kopika are 2 and 4, they were born in Australia and have lived their whole lives in the town of Biloela, a community that loves them and their parents Priya and Nades and is desperately fighting for them to stay. The whole town wants them back home, but instead the Australian government has sent them to Christmas Island, a detention centre routinely used for the deportation of people with criminal convictions and which our own politicians have described as disgraceful. While the Australian government is refusing to let them go home, we are begging the NZ government to step in and save these two girls from likely death. A temporary court injunction has stopped the deportation until Friday this week but without an intervention, their future remains uncertain and terrifying. New Zealand has previously taken refugees rejected by Australia. In 2001, Australia refused entry to 433 refugees on the Tampa. Those people were welcomed by New Zealand and have gone on to become small business owners, doctors, nurses, public servants, students, keen rugby players and even a Fulbright scholar. Priya’s husband, Nades, who she met in Australia has been working in the Biloela meatworks for over five years until they were taken into detention. He is hardworking and capable and, with meatworks employers across New Zealand screaming out for more workers he can start working straight away to support his family. They are the kind of family New Zealand needs and could have the same incredible impact on any new Zealand community that they have on the families of Biloela. They are now two days away from being deported back to danger. They are the only refugees on abandoned Christmas Island prison. Tharunicaa and Kopika cannot stop crying, asking when they can leave this scary place and go back to their home. It’s time for us to bring them here and allow them to make New Zealand their home. Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/sep/04/biloela-tamil-familys-deportation-blocked-until-at-least-friday
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    Created by Karen Skinner
  • Support the Lets Get Wellington Riding Vision
    We're seeing electric bikes and scooters sales grow at 100% year on year, and we've seen an increase in commute cycling of 25-40% across the city in the last year. They're often the fastest and cheapest ways around the city. We should be doing everything we can to support them. These new vehicles need safe space to operate on the road. The current plans for cycleways were developed before the explosion in these new types of vehicles. As such, it's no longer fit for purpose. We’ve designed the Let's Get Welly Riding Vision for Wellingtonians to take and run with (or ride, as the case may be). We hope you are inspired and join us in making Welly the best place in the world to live!
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    Created by Oliver Bruce
  • Save the Amazon - New Zealand Government to act!
    We students and adults from all across NZ express strong concern about the situation in the Amazon rainforest. The world is in crisis. The Amazon rainforest has been burning for over three weeks; it is so large we can see it from space. This is destroying the homes and livelihoods of many people, including Indigenous communities in the region. The Amazon rainforest has thousands of native species that are dying and being displaced as this fire rages. The Amazon produces 20% of the air we breathe, and has 40% of the world's rainforests. The Amazon rainforest holds 20% of the world's freshwater. All of this is going up in smoke and if we don't act now, the whole forest could burn and it will impact our entire world. Protecting these forests are critical because of their crucial role as absorbers of carbon for the whole world. Given the urgency of the situation, we feel that the fires aren’t getting enough attention as it should be by the authorities within the country and require pressure and assistance by those outside of the country. The following link provides more information about the issue https://mailchi.mp/f17f15f32a53/bulletin-world-weekly-a-weather-report-for-the-world-2456737 We urge the general public to stand with us and urge our leaders to act now to save the Amazon rainforest, as this is an issue that will have severe ramifications for the whole world if not addressed immediately. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Jlwad under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license
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    Created by Timi Barabas
  • Bring In Subsidies to Encourage Lower Emission Vehicle Purchases
    This is an important issue as it affects all New Zealanders and will continue to affect New Zealanders for many years. If we can reduce the initial price of changing to a more efficient vehicle more New Zealanders will buy them. As a result, New Zeland will have lower private vehicle emissions. As well as later model car ownership. These changes will benefit all New Zealanders as it will help us to meet UN goals for sustainability and also bring us into the future as more people will have electric/ hybrid vehicles and this will create a demand for more charging stations, which will make electric vehicle ownership even easier and more realistic. The changes should be made with inequalities that could result in mind and where possible making changes create equality as well as improve emissions. https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/07/government-announces-proposed-clean-vehicle-incentives.html https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/114097177/national-pushes-back-on-clean-car-feebate-but-is-far-from-rejecting-it https://sciblogs.co.nz/infrequently-asked-questions/2017/11/23/climate-change-inequality-and-why-we-need-cycle-lanes-in-south-auckland/
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    Created by Henry Crafar
  • Get Jacinda to Ihumaatao!
    https://youtu.be/6o0SA3X_5CI Ihumaatao is a rare cultural heritage landscape that marks the arrival of the first Polynesians who settled here 800 years ago. The waahi tapu (sacred land) now threatened by destruction is part of this landscape and adjoins one of Aotearoa’s most complex archaeological sites - the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve. In 1863, this land was confiscated because our people refused to pledge allegiance to the English Queen. They were threatened, attacked, robbed and exiled, and sought refuge in Waikato. When they returned, their land had been given to settlers, the Wallace family. In 2014, the Wallace family agreed to sell the land to Fletcher Building. Auckland Council and the Government also approved this whenua as a Special Housing Area for 480 homes. But the most affected people, the Ahikaa (the people of the local marae and whanau of Ihumaatao village) were not consulted. So, six cousins from Makaurau Marae, with the blessing of their people, created the SOUL campaign. For five years the cousins and their supporters have worked hard to stop the development. Since November 2016, kaitiaki have peacefully occupied the land whilst campaigning to #protectihumatao. On Tuesday 23 July around 100 police, along with Fletcher representatives and others, arrived at Ihumaatao to issue eviction notices. Since then, thousands of protectors have come from all over Aotearoa and the world to support our struggle to reclaim the whenua. During the reclamation, we have reached out to the Prime Minister many times, asking her to walk the whenua; to experience, koorero and acknowledge this kaupapa. Until the Prime Minister experiences this whenua for herself, we won’t feel confident she has a true sense of what’s at stake or will deeply appreciate why this whenua matters so much and to so many of our people. When Jacinda became Prime Minister, she promised a kinder approach and we believed her. Under her leadership, the Government can right the wrong of the original raupatu (confiscation) by returning the land wrongfully stolen by the Crown. As Minister of Culture and Heritage she also has a duty to protect this rare archaeological taonga and sacred land from desecration. Your information will be shared with Protect Ihumātao - SOUL campaign and ActionStation who will get in contact from time to time about this campaign and others. You are free to opt out at anytime. Video credit: Conan Fitzpatrick Photo credit: John Kieran Hettig
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  • Moratorium on all water-bottling consents in the Hutt Valley & Wellington region
    More than 86% of the aquifer's waters are already allocated. We need security over this precious resource for the future. There is no water bottling operation in the Wellington region yet. It needs to stay that way. Our population is increasing, sea level rise reduces what can be sustainably extracted, and predicted increases in droughts will hinder aquifer recharge. This means every drop is going to be precious over the coming decades. There are two existing consents to draw almost 950 million litres a year from the Lower Hutt groundwater zone and a new consent is being considered to draw another 432 million. The Waiwhetu aquifer sits under the city of Lower Hutt and supplies the whole Wellington Region with 40 percent of its water and more in summer. You can find a recent story from Radio NZ here: https://bit.ly/2ZnWEdI You can also sign this petition which is seeking a national moratorium: https://bit.ly/31WA7GD
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    Created by Residents of Te Awakairangi
  • ECE Parity
    In July 2019 the Ministry of Education agreed on behalf of the government to maintain the provision for pay parity for teachers who work in kindergartens with teachers in primary. Pay parity was first given to teachers in kindergartens in 2002 but has yet to be extended to all teachers in publicly funded teacher-led ECE services. Pay parity is a right that the Ministry of Education supports for all teachers who are employed by a kindergarten association, whether or not they are members of NZEI. The problem comes as teachers are required to meet the same qualification and certification requirements whatever ECE or school setting they work in. It is unfair that the Ministry of Education and Government support lesser pay for some teachers and its discriminatory. Teachers who don’t work in kindergartens are valued substantially less with their salary set at a minimum of $45.481 by the Ministry of Education. The same teacher in kindergarten with 6 years’ experience would earn $67,302. Effectively the only difference is their employer, yet they earn 50% more. This is about to grow. A teacher is a teacher and being paid 50% less just because you don't work in a kindergarten isn't fair. See video of the ECE teacher pay meeting and related materials and views at: Source: https://www.childforum.com/early-childhood-education-courses/pay-parity-teachers.html
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    Created by James Lochead-Macmillan Picture
  • Save Tumu Kaituna
    Tumu Kaituna 14 has been recognised by Heritage New Zealand as land that holds considerable significant historical, archaeological, cultural importance to all of New Zealand and has areas on the land designated for protection and preservation. Our concerns are the proposed urban development will destroy one of the few significant and unique historical, cultural, spiritual and environmental places we have left in Tauranga Moana which runs along our sacred Kaituna River. We want to keep one of the last remaining pieces of Māori-owned land at Pāpāmoa (Aotearoa New Zealand) in Māori hands. We are fighting a plan by Tumu Kaituna 14 Trust, Tauranga City Council, various developers and neighbouring non-Māori land owners that if successful will strip us of our ancestral land. More than 4,900 Māori land owners will be alienated. While the plan is expected to provide new housing for 15,500 people, we have seen no plans that provide housing for Māori land owners and expect the price range will be well out of Māori land owners reach. We have concerns of what that kind of urban development would do to the environment and our sacred waahi tapu sites. The plan lacks Māori values including intergenerational thinking. Our people are really hurt that those they have put their faith in could potentially take away what little land they have left. Save Tumu Kaituna campaign is led by the descendants of the Māori land owners of Tumu Kaituna 14 who lived on the land during the flax trading era and fought for the land in the 1860s. Many died and were buried here. It is well known amongst Māori that kōiwi are buried all along the sand dunes at Papamoa. As recent as December 2017, 600 year old young Polynesian male bones were found on the land by an archaeologist and there have been many many other similar findings of koiwi.
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    Created by Save Tumu Kaituna Picture
  • Climate Change Emergency
    This is an important issue our district needs to be behind, because the weight of scientific evidence tells us that we only have a window of 10-12 years before the effects of climate change become irreversible. Climate change is causing the loss of biodiversity and is having a significant impact globally and on us here in the Hurunui. Lots of SH 1, within the Hurunui is at sea level. In the near future it will be under water. Our small, rural towns such as Amberley, Gore Bay, Leithfield are located dangerously close to the present sea level. This is going to affect family incomes, water supplies and current housing development. Droughts and flooding will become a more frequent issue that will impact many of our local farmers and threaten the viability of farming. Our local economy relies heavily on farming and agriculture. Farmers have already been affected by climate change, so if we are going to do something we need to start now. Recognizing a climate change emergency and signing the Local Government Leaders Climate Change Declaration Act would be the best start.
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    Created by Tessa Allan
  • Stop the Warkworth Rodeo
    The Rodney Local Board is now the only local board in Auckland which continues to host rodeo on land under their management. The Warkworth Rodeo occurs every New Years Day at Warkworth Showgrounds. This is a decision made by the local board. Each year the controversy and public debate heightens around rodeo and its inherent animal welfare issues. Modern perspectives on the treatment of animals is causing rodeo's social license to wear thin. A 2018 report by the New Zealand Animal Law Association found rodeo to be illegal in New Zealand. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes has tabled a private members bill that will amend the Animal Welfare Act to outlaw the rodeo activities that cause the most pain and distress to animals - specifically calf roping, steer wrestling and the use of flank straps. Every year since 2016, large protests have been held outside the Warkworth Showgrounds during the Warkworth Rodeo event. Over the 2018/19 rodeo season, three horses and one bull lost their lives in New Zealand rodeo arenas. Rodeo stands out in our country amongst events using animals, as being the only practice where animals are intentionally goaded and harassed to show behaviours they would normally only display under extreme stress. It has already been banned in parts of Europe, Australia, Brazil, Canada and the U.S, and there is a partial ban in the U.K. Animal abuse in the guise of entertainment is no longer acceptable in modern society. There is no place for rodeo in New Zealand. References: NZALA Press Release; “Rodeo is Illegal” http://nzala.org/nzala-press-release-21-march-2018/ Green Party of New Zealand Aotearoa: Let's outlaw the worst rodeo practices https://www.greens.org.nz/rodeo_animals_protection_bill Political Roundup: Should rodeos be banned in New Zealand? by Bryce Edwards https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12192026 *Your information will be shared with Direct Animal Action and ActionStation who will get in contact from time to time about this campaign and others. You are free to opt out at anytime.*
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    Created by Direct Animal Action Picture
  • Extend the FREE Bus trial for kids across the whole BOP seven days a week
    Extending the free children’s school bus fares trial to all buses at all times, including weekends, is one of the cheapest ways for Bay of Plenty Regional Council to get more people onto the buses and to reduce carbon emissions. The Council said it would only cost $167,000 per year (lost revenue) to extend the trial and make all buses free for kids across Tauranga and the Western Bay. (We do not have figures for extending the area covered to include the whole Bay Of Plenty but similar logic applies) This is only a couple of bucks a year per household, however it won’t end up costing a cent if the free children’s fares attract another 600 adult trips per week. That is quite possible, as more parents and grandparents will be able to afford to take the bus with their families.
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