• Ban the showing of Sia's movie "music" in New Zealand cinemas
    Here's why. Music does not aline with our values in New Zealand. It is discriminatory and has the power to change our society for the worse. The first problem that can be seen is blinding. Maddie Ziegler, a neurotypical actress is playing the lead role of Music, an autistic young girl. Ziegler mimics stereotypical behaviours of an autistic person, such as stimming. Given that Ziegler herself is NOT autistic, watching her stim and be paid for it has been described as an insult by many autistic people. Whilst many people would have been alienated for stimming in real life, Ziegler is being paid for forcing the natural behaviour of an autistic person. A second problem is that if in one of the first scenes, Music is launched into a colourful world of flashing lights, something that has been described by Eden, author of the autism self-advocacy website autisticats as a "sensory nightmare." The flashing lights make the movie totally inaccessible to people who have sensory problems, or people that have photosensitive epilepsy, a common trait within autistic people. Yet another problem within the movie is that Sia has not consulted with autistic people, and has no idea what she is talking about, being a neurotypical person herself. She continuously misrepresents the autistic community and one scene that highlights this is the fact that she has portrayed Music as a character with a special interest in dogs. Music reads a book that is big and bulky and has complicated vocabulary, yet her AAC device (A device that enables nonverbal people to communicate) has only simple preprogrammed words like "happy." Despite the fact of showing Music as a highly literate girl, with her own thoughts, the only insight that we get into Music's mind, is "nauseating dance sequences". There are so many more problems, both where Sia has been racist, ableist, and more that you can read about on the autisticats website which you can find here,: (https://theautisticats.weebly.com/) but I haven't even begun to address the most fatal mistake of the film. In many scenes, Music is having a meltdown caused by sensory overload and starts flailing her arms around. The response of one of the characters is to jump on top of Music and hold her down in a restraint called prone restraint. This restraint is deadly as it can cut off airways, and the fact it is being shown could normalise this restraint causing people to use it on friends and family who are autistic and may not be able to tell them to stop if they are experiencing sensory overload. With all of these problems of the movie, it is clear that New Zealand should not show this movie, or we will increase the dangers towards disabled people. This movie could very much increase fatalities, decrease acceptance and understanding of autistic people, and put us back many years.
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  • Tell the SPCA to take Metro Paws to Court for Animal Cruelty
    Metro Paws Doggy Daycare has now been the subject of two separate SPCA investigations after more than 13 ex-staff members have reported witnessing animal abuse and more than 13 customers have alleged that their dogs have been severely injured at Metro Paws. Neither of these investigations have resulted in the SPCA taking Metro Paws to Court. The SPCA says it's because they don't have enough evidence and there's not enough public interest in the case. We believe that with so many direct eyewitnesses to abuse and with customers providing x-rays and veterinary records of their dog's injuries that match up with the stories that ex-staff are coming forward with, there is more then enough evidence to take them to Court. Several ex-staff members and customers say they have contacted the SPCA with these stories, only to have them close the case without even returning their calls. One person even claimed that when they tried to give information to help with the investigation, they were told that the SPCA didn't need any more information because they already had enough for the case. We want the SPCA to re-open their investigation into Metro Paws and to take them Court for these alleged animal welfare violations. We understand that the SPCA is an under-funded charity that does the best they can with the limited resources they have, which is why we also support SAFE's campaign asking the Government to establish a fully-funded Commissioner for Animals. Ultimately it should be the Government's responsibility to investigate and prosecute animal abuse instead of relying on charities to do it. The blame here doesn't lie with the SPCA, but with the severe lack of resources the Government puts into investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty cases. But until the Government steps up and establishes a fully-funded Commissioner for Animals, asking the SPCA to re-open the investigation into Metro Paws and to take them to Court is our best hope for getting justice for the dogs who have suffered at the hands of Metro Paws.
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  • Rename Colonial Street Signs in Kirikiriroa/Hamilton City.
    This is important because street signs must be names of people who have up-held honor and integrity in their lives. They must be those who were role models and mentors, so our children and community can grow a sense of pride for themselves, in the same way: selfless and serving. Instead, we have names of those who committed violent crimes of theft and murder against women, children and the elderly. Bryce Street, Cameron Street, Grey Street and Von Tempsky Street must be among the first street signs to be removed. They are cruel reminders "of the devastating effects of British imperialism and its continous impact on Maori" (Pokere-Phillips, 2020). And which impact affects ALL New Zealanders. Please act now!
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    Created by Jacquelyn Elkington
  • Space for Peace
    Rocket Lab is scheduled to launch the US military Space Missile Defence Command payload 'Gunsmoke-J' in March 2021 for 'warfare combat targetting purposes'. The 'Gunsmoke-J' could breach the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act (1987) because technological warfare systems in Space will include nuclear weapons. In addition, it could violate the 'Approach to payload assessments under OSHAA 2019' which states that the NZ government will not approve 'payloads with the intended end use of harming, interfering with or destroying other space craft or systems on Earth.' Thus, the Government should immediately rescind the 'Gunsmoke-J' permit, pending a full review of space-launch regulations in concert with the government-mandated review of the Outer Space and High-Altitude Activities (OSHA) Act 2017. An open letter was sent to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern by The Peace Foundation International Affairs and Disarmament Committee asking her to refuse approval for this launch. The letter is supported by people and organisations around New Zealand, as well as residents near Mahia — the site of Rocket Lab’s launch pad. Rocket Lab is now US owned, a major client is the US military Space Force and a key investor is Lockheed Martin the world's biggest manufacturer of conventional and nuclear weapons. Thus, the New Zealand government must ensure the OSHAA regulations prohibit the use of NZ for Space warfare by these entities with vested interests in the warfare business. Stuart Nash, the Minister of Economic Development who is responsible for approving Space launches, should reject 'Gunsmoke-J' because it contributes to the technological development of warfare in Space, which is contrary to the interest of ordinary people in New Zealand. READ MORE HERE: NZ rocket launches may breach nuclear-free laws, say peace groups, The Spinoff https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/09-03-2021/nz-rocket-launches-may-breach-nuclear-free-laws-say-peace-groups/ Rocket Lab Monitor - is a group of volunteers focusing on information collection and education https://rocketlabmonitor.com/ Gisborne Herald: Payload disquiet http://www.gisborneherald.co.nz/frontpage-featured/20210309/payload-disquiet/
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  • Call for Independent Inquiry into Institutional Racism and Racial Profiling by the Waikato Police
    Inquire into racial profiling by the Waikato Police and how the leadership and policies of the Waikato Police are impacting negatively on Maori, Pasifika and migrant communities. Examine Waikato police's views about their behaviour and attitudes toward Maori, Pasifika and migrant communities in the Waikato District. Investigate the factors associated with attitudes among the Waikato command structure, it's hierarchy and policing staff to assess likely responses to proposed changes for building responsiveness to Maori, Pasifika and ethnic communities. Examine the extent to which police attitudes are impacting on police practice and how Waikato Police aims to assess likely responses to the systemic changes in building responsiveness for Maori, Pasifika and ethnic communities. Examine the cultural competency of the Waikato Police command structure, its hierarchy and officers. In 2015, the Police Commissioner Mike Bush admitted unconscious bias in the NZ Police service. Negative attitudes, discriminatory behaviour and racist abuse within the police towards Maori, Pasifika and ethnic minorities is reported to be wide spread in the Waikato District. How does the Command Structure examine police views about their behaviour and attitudes toward Maori, Pasifika and ethnic communities to look at factors associated with different attitudes among police officers and to assess likely responses to proposed changes for building responsiveness and to avoid the over-policing of Maori, Pasifika and ethic communities? Six years from the Police Commissioner admitting that unconscious bias exists, what cultural competency education/awareness programmes does the Waikato Police have in place to address the bias and how is the success or failure of these programmes measured in terms of police management and staff becoming more effective in their roles and exhibiting cultural responsiveness? Nearly 70 percent of the prison population is made up of Māori and Pacific Islanders, who also make just over half the number of people arrested, despite being a small proportion of the population, how is the Waikato Police utilsing and implementing Te Huringa o Te Tai into it's everyday practice, professional development and liaison throughout all Maori, Pasifika and ethnic communities in the Waikato district? https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/437944/police-using-app-to-photograph-innocent-youth-it-s-so-wrong https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/438000/police-photographing-inquiry-extends-to-wider-public-s-experiences https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/437944/police-using-app-to-photograph-innocent-youth-it-s-so-wrong https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/racial-stereotyping-by-police-systemic-institutionalised-race-relations-commissioner/KY7MLSJLUKALPCFZIYSBLFYK5Y/ https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2103/S00090/te-pati-maori-is-calling-for-royal-commission-of-inquiry-into-police-racial-profiling-of-maori.htm https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/treatment-m-ori-police-more-than-just-unconscious-bias-in-force-psychologist-says https://www.hrc.co.nz/files/2914/2409/4608/HRC-Structural-Report_final_webV1.pdf
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    Created by Lou Hutchinson
  • Activate the Emergency Sirens in our Community!
    We have a shared vision of our Mercury Bay and surrounding areas that is safe, and feels safe in any emergency. Emergency sirens are a crucial component of our alert system for the Community. A lot of thought, discussion and research went into implementing them. The elderly, parents, workers, school children, outlying areas - the Community relies on the sirens and they have been the most reliable medium to alert people. Our Community cares, and many when hearing the sirens immediately act to assist others in need also. Deactivating our sirens not only affects people’s lives, it actually puts them in jeopardy in critical situations. There have recently been 3 major earthquakes in a 6-hour period and our community was alerted three hours after the last earthquake of 8.1. We request this decision be reversed and real community engagement is invited before the siren system is deactivated or any changes implemented. Community consultation is essential for everyone to feel safe and the best decisions made. We understand the Council is also interested in safety and are also making decisions based on what's best for the community. We have heard that: • 18 of the 27 sirens in our area are non-compliant with FENZ (Fire and Emergency) so have to be deactivated. • The coverage is patchy due to nature of the hills. • To get very good sirens will cost $5-6 million. The Council wants to explain to communities that sirens have 44% coverage and phone alerts have 93%, which still leaves some people out, but they are going to launch education that you do not wait for advice - "if long and strong get gone" and help your neighbours. We consider sirens an essential part of any emergency system for an empowered Mercury Bay community to ensure its safety. Sign to bring our concerns to Council to keep our emergency sirens.
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  • Adopt the Sustainable Development Goals in Aotearoa
    In 2015, New Zealand joined countries around the world by signing up to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. New Zealand is one of the many countries who made a commitment to implement the SDGs at home, and support the UN in achieving the SDGs in other parts of the world. But we are not doing enough. An independent Commissioner is recommended by Dr Girol Karacaoglu. He calls this an ‘Office of Wellbeing’, similar to the ‘Future Generations Commissioner’ in Wales. This should provide advice on long-term environmental, social and economic objectives with associated targets and monitor progress towards these objectives. The Inter-Parliamentary Union and UNDP have published a report recommending parliaments build an understanding of the SDGs. We should also be “mainstreaming the SDGs within parliamentary mechanisms”. It is promising that the Auditor-General is reviewing NZ’s preparedness to implement the SDGs, but our NZ Parliament could be doing better. In the lead-up to Election 2020, Judith Collins and Jacinda Ardern seemed to agree on something – a four-year parliamentary term. Research New Zealand then found that out of a survey of 1000 people 61% supported moving to a four-year term. If we’re going to encourage long-term planning for future generations under the SDGs, then we need to revisit extending our Parliamentary term. Let’s not forget it until the next election. If you care that: Everyone in New Zealand has enough and nutritious food too eat; Everyone in New Zealand can visit a doctor when the person needs to; Women and girls enjoy the same rights, opportunities, and outcomes as men and boys; Everyone has access to clean drinking water; New Zealanders have decent work which is safe and pays for a living; and Aotearoa's environment stays beautiful, Then you should be caring for the SDGs and signing this petition. The SDGs will help you to talk to your whānau, friends and colleagues about what we can and need to do to make NZ a better place to live for all. Our Parliament and Government can do better on the SDGs and in planning for our future.
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  • Disabled people deserve their full equitable rights
    Everyone should feel included in our society and have access to opportunities. The Government has a responsibility to ensure disabled people can access their full and equal rights. They can do this by setting up an independent regulatory body that is led and run by disabled people. This will enable a society where disabled people can be fully included to be able to fully participate. There are many barriers disabled people face are because society is built inaccessibly. For too long disabled have been ignored and denied equitable access and it is long overdue to bring them in from the cold. If the Government was able to prioritise a Racing Ministry, why a regulatory body to oversee the rights and needs of disabled, led and run by disabled? Please support our petition to help us gain full, non-disabling access to society. Remember disability is the only identity that does not discriminate.
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  • Make All Resource Consents for Factory Farms Open to Public Submission
    The Waikato Regional Council is currently processing two applications to build industrial factory farms in the region. Buchanan Ellis Ltd have applied to build 6 new sheds that will house 42,000 chickens each in Waerenga and PIC New Zealand Limited have applied to triple the size of their commercial piggery to house 12,000 pigs in Maramarua. Both of these applications are limited notification, meaning the Council is not allowing the public the right to make submissions on these resource consents. We believe that factory farms are an issue of importance for the entire Waikato community due to animal welfare, environmental and health concerns, not just an concern for those who happen to live directly beside one. More than 70 percent of New Zealanders are opposed to factory farming and the overwhelming majority of Waikato residents do not want more factory farms built in our region. We should have the right to express this view to our local council in a healthy democracy.
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  • Paid Paternal Leave
    Right now in New Zealand, paternal leave is optional and only at a maximum of up to 2 weeks of unpaid work leave. Extending this for a longer period of time with pay would have many benefits. Some of which include: a break for mothers, especially those who are suffering postnatal depression. As well as, fathers feeling more encouraged to take time off to spend with their baby, and research proves that this initial bond with fathers improves every aspect of the child hauora further along in life. The paid paternal leave provides the fathers with motivation to actually take time off. Being a parent is hard, although this would not make parenting a piece of cake, however, it would make it that much easier. Paternity leave in New Zealand: https://www.findlaw.co.nz/articles/4283/paternity-leave-in-new-zealand.aspx Modernising Parental Leave - Regulatory Impact Analysis: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/assets/f58553252a/ris-2015-modernising-parental-leave.pdf How does Swedish parental leave work? https://everythingsweden.com/parental-leave-in-sweden/ Few Kiwi dads taking paid parental leave for fatherhood https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/few-kiwi-dads-taking-paid-parental-leave-for-fatherhood/ORMFAUOCSWWZP6OEMQ3ZUR4QDM/
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    Created by Brennaya Lawley
  • End school streaming - let all our tamariki thrive
    As a nation we pride ourselves on being fair. We want to believe that no matter where you are born or into what circumstances, we all have an equal opportunity to achieve our potential. Fairness, getting a ‘fair go’, is a key New Zealand value. But sometimes, as a nation and as educators, we let ourselves down. We have all seen the data that shows such a huge disparity in our education system between Māori and Pākehā. Decade after decade, in both high and low decile schools, there has been and still is, a significant disparity. One of the reasons for this disparity is streaming. Streaming is a systemic barrier to Māori success that operates at every level in our schools, particularly in mathematics and science. At primary school it is often called in-class grouping. From earliest days, students know if they are in the top or bottom group for reading or mathematics. The top groups get more challenging work and the expectations are higher. At secondary school, it is often known as banding. There is the extension class, a middle band, and the foundation class, sometimes referred to by students as the ‘cabbage class’. “For us, we felt like people already thought we were dumb.” Māori student For Māori, streaming is especially damning. Stereotyping, deficit thinking, and racism all play a role that leads to extension classes being predominantly European, and foundation classes largely Māori and Pasifika. This leads to further stereotyping and to the risk of Māori and Pasifika students internalising these stereotypes. “It definitely does take its toll on your mental well-being.” Māori student Streaming also acts as a gatekeeper. Many of those students who have been labelled by teachers as low ability, do not or cannot enter full NCEA courses. Career choices are significantly narrowed to low skill, low paid, and high risk jobs and employment. “Streaming is one of the most destructive things in our education system” Professor Bill Barton This is why we are saying 'stop streaming our tamariki'. The solution is for the government, schools and communities to build an equitable education system that enables all rangatahi to be inspired by their future, confident in their culture, thriving in their work and empowered to succeed. One important way to help achieve that is for the government to end the practice of streaming in schools and ensure cultural competency for all teachers. Horowhenua College ended streaming in 2017 and NCEA results for Māori and Pasifika students improved. This is a movement led by Tokona Te Raki - The Maori Futures Collective http://www.maorifutures.co.nz/. Add your name today to join us in calling on the government to end streaming in schools and stand up for our tamariki. *** Read the report: End streaming in Aotearoa, 2021: http://www.maorifutures.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/TTR_Streaming_Document.pdf He Awa Ara Rau - A journey of many paths, 2019 http://www.maorifutures.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/He-Awa-Ara-Rau-A-Journey-of-Many-Paths-Nov-2019.pdf Unconscious bias and education: A comparative study of Māori and African American students, 2016 http://www.oranui.co.nz/images/oranui_reports/unconscious-bias-and-education.pdf
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    Created by Philip Prendergast
  • Save our maternity sector from crisis
    Whānau forms the foundation of our society. If we treat all families well and support them to thrive from the get go, our communities will flourish. We need to start investing real money and resources into whānau wellbeing, starting with maternity care. Over the last 12 months we’ve seen the ability of our government to respond rapidly and decisively to a crisis. We’ve seen them open their purse and pour money into our economy. We know that they’re capable of making big decisions to save lives and keep our communities safe. And now we need to see them step up with that same kind of energy to address the maternity crisis that we are in. Every pregnant person, parent and baby in Aotearoa deserves the very best care that we can provide as a society. The compassionate and skilled midwives and doctors providing life-changing and life-saving care across Aotearoa deserve to work in conditions where their wellbeing - as well as that of their patients - is protected. Right now we’re not even coming close, but together we have the power to change this. Our government works for us, and it’s our responsibility to join our voices and demand that our government solves this crisis. Not through incremental changes and stop-gap funding, but through a full rebirth of our maternity sector. Thank you for signing this petition. Further Information: PMMRC 14th Annual Report (2021) https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/our-programmes/mrc/pmmrc/publications-and-resources/publication/4210/ PMMRC recommendations https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/assets/PMMRC/Publications/14thPMMRCreport/Appendices_B-F_Recommendation_tables.pdf RANZCOG commentary on Maternal Mental Health https://ranzcog.edu.au/news/ranzcog-backs-call-for-action-to-reduce-inequitabl MERAS 2020 election priorities https://meras.midwife.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2020/07/MERAS-Election-Priorities.pdf Media commentary: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018783765/baby-mortality-for-young-maori-pacific-indian-mothers-needs-urgent-action-report https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018783766/capital-s-hospital-maternity-service-stretched-paper-thin-midwives-union https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/436561/crap-pay-and-horrible-conditions-midwives-at-breaking-point-in-capital-dhb https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/436784/fatigue-burnout-as-dhbs-stretched-to-the-limit-union-warns
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