Review ethical political party candidate criteria in regards to sexual violence.Sexual violence is a key social issue undermining the well-being of Aotearoa, New Zealand in 2017. Approximately 1 in 5 NZ women experience a serious sexual assault in their lifetime and only about 10 out of 100 sexual abuse crimes are reported and only 3 of those get to court. It is imperative for New Zealanders, particularly women, to feel safe, validated and valued when speaking up about sexual violence prevention, intervention and recovery. We must ensure all political parties promote an environment where New Zealanders feel safe, validated and free to speak truth and advocate for a society free of sexual violence. Sexual violence in New Zealand will ultimately only be prevented and eliminated by individual, institutional and intentional social change. This petition asks each registered New Zealand political party to include a statement in the candidate selection criteria which will ensure each candidate upholds the principle of a society free of sexual violence in any form. This measure would be publicly available on all political party websites, advertising and promotional material.
The TPPA is dead - keep it that way!Last year the National-led government committed New Zealand to a toxic international trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). If the deal had gone ahead it would have seriously undermined our government's ability to look after our interests and those of the natural environment, now and in the future. New Zealanders from all walks of life stood up against the TPPA, and participated in the biggest public protests in a decade on the day it was signed. The TPPA fell apart when the United States withdrew in the face of strong public pressure, built off the back of years of activism and resistance. The government is refusing to accept it has been beaten on the TPPA. All the countries, aside from the US, are due to meet in Chile on 14-15 March 2017 to talk about how to bring the TPPA back to life. It is important that we stop this process now. Tell Trade Minister Todd McClay that we, as New Zealanders, want to choose for ourselves the rules that govern our future, and that we will resist a zombie TPPA in the ballot boxes and in the street.
Save Our Public Healthcare: Nelson-Marlborough Members of Parliament"It's very dangerous. If this continues we will slide into an American-style healthcare system." - Phil Bagshaw (Canterbury Charity Hospital founder and editorial co-author of the report: Funding New Zealand's healthcare system). We all want our friends and family to be happy and in good health. When illness or accidents happen, we want to know they can get the healthcare they need, when they need it. But the government has been underfunding our public healthcare system for almost a decade, putting good health and peace of mind out of reach for hundreds of thousands of people. Today, our Health Budget is missing $1.85 billion in vital funds.  These are not just numbers on a spreadsheet. Each funding cut represents a person who might not receive a hip operation, cancer screening, counselling service or hospital bed because they can’t be funded. Here are the facts: * One in nine Kiwis are not getting the GP care they need because they cannot afford it.  * There has been an almost 300 percent increase in crisis mental health referrals over the past five years and mental health workers are struggling to cope.  * $1.85 billion is the increase in funding required to restore our overall health budget to the same proportion of the economy (GDP) as it was in the year to June 2010 when the underfunding crisis began. The Government could afford to fund our healthcare system properly. They choose not to. In fact, the reported government surplus is almost exactly the same amount as the amount of underfunding. Please take action today and sign your name. Together we can ensure Aotearoa New Zealand has a public health care system we can all be proud of. --- References:  Did the Budget provide enough for health 2016? CTU Budget Analysis (please note the figures used in this study were conservative and we’ve since spoken to the authors who gave us the updated figure of $1.85b)  Half a million Kiwis not receiving healthcare because of costs, Ged Cann, Stuff News, 3rd November 2016  Mental health workers struggling to cope, RNZ, 7th June 2016
Save Our Public Healthcare: Waikato Members of Parliament"It's very dangerous. If this continues we will slide into an American-style healthcare system." - Phil Bagshaw (Canterbury Charity Hospital founder and editorial co-author of the report: Funding New Zealand's healthcare system). We all want our friends and family to be happy and in good health. When illness or accidents happen, we want to know they can get the healthcare they need, when they need it. But the government has been underfunding our public healthcare system for almost a decade, putting good health and peace of mind out of reach for hundreds of thousands of people. Today, our Health Budget is missing $1.85 billion in vital funds.  These are not just numbers on a spreadsheet. Each funding cut represents a person who might not receive a hip operation, cancer screening, counselling service or hospital bed because they can’t be funded. Here are the facts: * One in nine Kiwis are not getting the GP care they need because they cannot afford it.  * There has been an almost 300 percent increase in crisis mental health referrals over the past five years and mental health workers are struggling to cope.  * $1.85 billion is the increase in funding required to restore our overall health budget to the same proportion of the economy (GDP) as it was in the year to June 2010 when the underfunding crisis began. The Government could afford to fund our healthcare system properly. They choose not to. In fact, the reported government surplus is almost exactly the same amount as the amount of underfunding. Please take action today and sign your name. Together we can ensure Aotearoa New Zealand has a public health care system we can all be proud of. --- References:  Did the Budget provide enough for health 2016? CTU Budget Analysis (please note the figures used in this study were conservative and we’ve since spoken to the authors who gave us the updated figure of $1.85b)  Half a million Kiwis not receiving healthcare because of costs, Ged Cann, Stuff News, 3rd November 2016  Mental health workers struggling to cope, RNZ, 7th June 2016
Make tampons and sanitary pads accessible for everyoneIt is estimated that in a lifetime, someone who uses sanitary products every month will have to spend close to $10,000 on tampons alone. The high cost of tampons, sanitary pads and related products impact most on people with a lower income. All people who need tampons, sanitary pads and other related, reusable products, should have access regardless of income. Background information: [From RNZ] The Salvation Army helped launch a campaign last year, alongside the Countdown supermarket chain, calling for donations of sanitary products for vulnerable young women. The charity's head of social services, Pam Waugh, said Pharmac had an opportunity to improve the lives of the next generation of girls. "Especially for young people, children at school. The young girls are getting to that stage of life and some of them are missing school, because their families can't afford to buy sanitary products. We know the stories of women having to wash store-bought one-use sanitary pads and then reuse them, which is quite unhygienic and also quite degrading in a sense. We're hearing of women getting infections." She said anything to help bring down the cost would be a real blessing. "It would be great to see purchases sit around the $2 or $3 mark rather than up at the $6 or $7." Agencies such as the Salvation Army and budgeting services are finding that young girls in New Zealand are unable to afford tampons and are missing out on school because of this. There have been reports of girls and women using rags, newspaper and even of people washing and re-using sanitary pads which is unhygienic, and infections have been reported. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/324865/pharmac-considers-funding-sanitary-products
Allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabisMedicinal cannabis is used by an estimated 178,000 New Zealanders to treat a variety of ailments such as chronic pain, epilepsy, Parkinson's, appetite loss and nausea. It is currently possible to get legal access to cannabis drugs for medical purposes, however it is a very lengthy, expensive and prohibitive process. People in severe pain or discomfort, who have found medical cannabis gives relief, must ask their doctor to make a submission on their behalf which then must receive personal approval from the Minister of Health or the Associate Minister - with the result that only 170 patients have gone through process to gain the necessary approval. Patients seeking simple pain relief who can't afford the process, or are unable to wait official permission, are being forced to find cannabis medicines by breaking the law. Besides such bureaucracy being costly in time and money, this can be a life or death situation for some acute cases. Sick people simply seeking a better quality of life are at risk of being locked up. If this petition is successful it means patients using medical cannabis products can be properly supervised. There is a danger in taking a product that is untested in strength and quality - while this is a drug with the potential to help many it should be monitored and regulated to minimise harms for patients. Medical cannabis mouth spray Sativex has an exemption and is approved for treatment of multiple sclerosis, and there are other cannabis-based medicines that have been approved around the world that could be used here. Sign the petition now to make sure people whose health and well-being depend on access to medicinal marijuana treatments can get them from their doctor, safely and without risk of criminal charges." Stories “I hadn’t thought much about medicinal marijuana until Helen Kelly campaigned for better access last year. It’s not something you really have to think about, until you or someone you love is sick and in pain, and could be helped by a cannabis-based treatment. That is now the case for me. So, no more sitting on the sidelines. It’s time to make sure people whose health and well-being depend on access to medicinal marijuana treatments can get them from their doctor, safely and without risk of criminal charges.” Marianne Elliott, Director of Strategy and Story, ActionStation Jessika Guest moved from Whangarei to Colorado so that her daughter Jade, 7, could use medical marijuana. Jade's diagnoses include hypotonia (a state of low muscle tone) and epilepsy, which used to cause up to 40 seizures a day. In Colorado, she has been on skin patches containing cannabinoids and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid - a non-activated THC which means the cannabis does not have high-inducing properties. Mrs Guest said her daughter's seizures have since decreased in frequency by 90 per cent. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11415156 [Alex Renton’s] treatment included groundbreaking use of medicinal cannabis oil, Elixinol, after a campaign by mother Rose and family after conventional treatments did not work. http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/70155247/cannabis-treatment-teen-alex-renton-sparked-national-debate McKee had his leg amputated 30 years ago after a car accident and smokes cannabis to relieve phantom pains. Last year, he fought charges of selling and cultivating cannabis all the way to the Supreme Court but lost and is now serving a six months' home detention sentence. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9655674/Cannabis-spray-priced-out-of-reach-say-patients More information Changes to medical cannabis legislation http://www.nzherald.co.nz/national/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503075&gal_cid=1503075&gallery_id=171181 Why isn’t medical marijuana a shoe-in? (Toby Manhire & Toby Morris) http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/297299/why-isn't-medical-marijuana-a-shoe-in Support for cannabis reform: why so high? http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/311073/support-for-cannabis-reform-why-so-high Nelson lawyer Sue Grey takes government to High Court over cannabidiol http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/88612808/nelson-lawyer-sue-grey-takes-government-to-high-court-over-cannabidiol Ministry of Health investigates medicinal cannabis use Mr Dunne also spoke about how "compassion, innovation and proportion" should be front of mind in the development of drug policy. "We, as a global community, must continue to move away from rigid law and order responses, and apply a health lens when dealing with those adversely affected by drug use," Mr Dunne told the gathering. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11415156 Helen Kelly backs medical marijuana http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/helen-kelly-backs-medicinal-marijuana-2015060910 New Zealand urged to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/77453718/New-Zealand-urged-to-grow-cannabis-for-medicinal-purposes Medicinal cannabis https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/cannabis/medicinal-cannabis https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/matters-of-substance/august-2015/QandA-Toni-Maree-Matich
Tell Anne Tolley and the National Government you want specific homelessness policy now!We are in a housing crisis. Skyrocketing house prices and the cost of living mean one in 100 New Zealanders are now homeless, including children, the elderly and young families.  Over the course of the last year we’ve seen far too many harrowing stories of families forced to live on the streets, in cars, or crammed into garages.  A recent inquiry found that the current level of homelessness in New Zealand is "larger than any other time in recent memory and is continuing to grow".  It’s never been worse, and the Government needs to act. It's time for a comprehensive plan to end homelessness. The recent cross-party enquiry has made 20 recommendations, with the core recommendation being create a national strategy to address homelessness. But the Government’s has brushed them off, saying homelessness has always been a problem, and that they are already solving it. It’s not good enough. We are in a crisis, and we demand action. Will you join us to demand immediate national action to end New Zealand’s homelessness crisis? Want to support us more? Don't forget to follow us on Facebook. www.facebook.com/GimmeShelterNZ References:  http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/305536/one-in-100-nzers-are-homeless-study   http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/85147550/Govt-must-find-political-will-to-tackle-homelessness-cross-party-inquiry
Sports games of national significance should be live and free-to-air for everyoneSport is a part of our cultural identity. We invest $960 million each year in sports and recreation, but most live 'Games of National Significance' are only available to Kiwis who can afford a $1,000 a year pay-TV subscription. That's paying twice. All New Zealanders should be able to watch our sportspeople competing at the highest levels. New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell, has put forward a Bill that would make sure "games of national significance" are broadcast, live and free-to-air, on TV for all New Zealanders. The bill would cover the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, all Rugby World Cup matches involving New Zealand, all domestic rugby test matches, the Super Rugby final, all domestic netball test matches, all Netball World Cup matches, and major cricket, rugby league, football, tennis and basketball matches. Sky Television currently holds the rights for many of these events, including all All Blacks games. Statistics show more than one million homes in New Zealand don’t have Sky Once upon a time, when New Zealand was a more egalitarian society and not divided as sharply into the haves and have-nots, the All Blacks test matches in New Zealand were free to view on television. Kiwis love our sport, and should be able to have access to live coverage of 'Games of National Significance' without having to pay ridiculous amounts to private broadcasting companies for the privilege. Australia and the UK already have 'anti-siphoning' laws that prevent pay-TV media getting exclusive broadcast rights. Let's even the playing field here.
Fair Play for Public HolidaysShift workers deserve the same rewards as Monday to Friday workers! At the moment, Monday to Friday workers get 11 paid days off a year, via Mondayisation if a public holiday falls on a weekend, and because many holidays fall on a Monday. If they have to work on the public holiday they are guaranteed a day in lieu and time and a half. They are never required to work on Easter Sunday. Meanwhile, as an example, Mary the shift worker works a 4 on, 2 off roster. If her normal days off happen to fall on a public holiday, she doesn't get any extra paid days off as would happen for a Monday to Friday worker through Mondayisation. It would just be a standard week's wage and no extra time off. Too bad for her! Or, Brian works Tuesday to Saturday every week and misses out on an extra paid day off every time there's a Public Holiday on a Monday. And Harry works Sundays to Thursdays so has to work Easter Sunday on his normal rate but misses out on having Good Friday as a paid holiday as it's his regular day off. Is that fair? And how fried is your brain? Wouldn't it be better to just give everyone the same number of paid Public Holidays every year, whether in lieu or on the day? There are many people out there working weekends and crazy routines in order to keep our essential services going. They deserve at least the same number of paid days off a year as Monday to Friday workers, or fair compensation for working on important calendar days.
Ban Suicide Videos on FacebookResearch [1,2,3] has shown that people who are emotionally distressed and vulnerable can be influenced by the reporting of details of suicide, and as such, there can be “copycat” attempts and deaths following high-profile suicide events. This has been dubbed the “Werther Effect”  Facebooks own Community Standards state: “We don't allow the promotion of self-injury or suicide. We work with organizations around the world to provide assistance for people in distress. We prohibit content that promotes or encourages suicide or any other type of self-injury, including self-mutilation and eating disorders … We also remove any content that identifies victims or survivors of self-injury or suicide and targets them for attack, either seriously or humorously.”  Yet despite this, Facebook have recently refused to block or delete posts that link to videos of people taking their own lives. [6,7] We believe this is not only in contravention of their own Community Standards and policies but also a wholly irresponsible act. Facebook has a community responsibility to ensure the safety of its users and in allowing the publishing, and circulation of such triggering and disturbing “snuff videos” it is failing in this basic human responsibility. In short, there is no good, ethical, empirical or reasonable argument to allow the posting of such content, especially when it may promote suicide or further loss of life References: 1. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00031539.htm 2. https://publichealthwatch.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/are-copycat-suicides-real-a-new-study-says-yes-and-media-coverage-makes-it-worse/ 3. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(14)70225-1/fulltext 4. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/01/teen-copycat-suicides-are-a-real-phenomenon.html 5. https://web.facebook.com/communitystandards?_rdr#self-injury 6. http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2017/01/video-of-suicide-doesn-t-violate-community-standards-facebook.html 7. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11777767&ref=NZH_fb
Designate Funding in the 2017 Budget for Postnatal Depression Early InterventionThe Current Situation • 1 in 8 women experience Antenatal Depression and 1 in 5 women experience Postnatal Depression. It is understood that women are experiencing significantly delayed and sometimes missed diagnosis (1) – estimated at around 63% of women with PND (2) • These women are missed due to poor screening and referrals while under midwifery care (3 &4) • Once diagnosed, General Practitioners (GP’s) are expected to manage a woman’s PND in their short 10-15 minute appointments at an estimated cost of $50 to the patient. Both the limited time and the cost of this appointment are barriers to a woman getting sufficient help for her mental illness. • The only treatment/intervention currently available to assist women in their recovery from mild-moderate PND is to obtain medication through a paid appointment with their GP and private counselling. There is no Government-funded holistic programmes with proven outcomes of recovery from depression/anxiety available to women who have mild-moderate PND • In most cases, counselling is only subsidised by the Government if an individual has a community services card and a diagnosis from their GP to apply for WINZ funding. This leaves a large portion of New Zealand women who are unable to afford counselling for PND and therefore, they are not adequately recovering from it What are we needing funding for? • Professional Development training of midwives in the onset, prevalence, identification, screening, treatment and intervention of AND/PND and when and whom to refer • A service delivering early intervention assessments and recovery programmes with proven outcomes to women with AND/PND who do not fit Maternal Mental Health criteria in the Primary Health sector • Subsidised (free) counselling for all women experiencing Antenatal or Postnatal Depression/Anxiety Why is it needed? Undiagnosed and untreated AND and PND has a significant impact on a woman, her partner and her child. • For the woman and the child, depression has been associated with substance abuse, an increased risk for pregnancy-induced hypertension contributing to pre-eclampsia, gestational bleeding, diminished uterine artery blood flow and poor birth outcomes including foetal death, preterm birth and labour, small infants for gestational age, low birth weight, low Apgar scores and increased risk of neonatal special care and intensive care unit admission (4). She is more likely to develop chronic (ongoing) depression and anxiety the longer it continues untreated. It is more likely to increase in its severity and this puts her at greater risk of suicide. In fact, suicide is the leading cause of maternal deaths in New Zealand (5&6) • The partner is at-risk of developing “partner depression” and their relationship is at-risk of breaking down/divorce the longer her depression is left undiagnosed and untreated (5&6) • The unborn child is at risk of developing anxiety and cognitive, emotional and behavioural issues (4) • In the first three years of life, a child to a mother with undiagnosed and untreated postnatal depression is more likely to experience insecure attachment. This means that the child is more at risk of developing learning difficulties, mental illness, addictions, delinquency, and is at greater risk of suicide as a child or later in life (7,8.9) • Failing to provide prevention and early intervention assessment and recovery services to women at-risk or experiencing Antenatal or Postnatal Depression/Anxiety has a far greater cost to New Zealand than the cost of providing it (10) We believe that the funding of early intervention services to women at-risk or experiencing Postnatal Depression is imperative and needs to be addressed urgently by designated funding in the 2017 budget. References: 1. New Zealand Guidelines Group. (2008). Identification of Common Mental Disorders and Management of Depression in Primary Care [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.health.govt.nz 2. Mothers Helpers. (2015). Postnatal Depression in New Zealand and Feedback on Maternal Mental Health Services. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mothershelpers.org.nz 3. PANDA (2010). Australian Postnatal Depression Website Recognised As World’s Best . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.panda.org.au/. 4. Jones, C. J. (2009). Emotional Disturbances During Pregnancy & Postpartum: A National Survey of Australian Midwives & An Educational Resource. Griffith University, Gold Coast. 5. Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand (2012). Report finds suicide remains leading cause of maternal death. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.hqsc.govt.nz/. 6. Best Practice Journal (2009). Purpose and Introduction. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bpac.org.nz/. 7. Stein, A., Gath, D. H., Bucher, J., Bond, A., Day, A., Cooper, P. J., (1991). The relationship between post-natal depression and mother-child interaction. British Journal of Psychiatry. 158, 46-52 8. Fergusson, D.M., Horwood, L.J., Lynskey, M.T., (1995). The stability of disruptive childhood behaviors. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 23 (3), pp.379-396 9. Ministry of Health (2012). Healthy Beginnings. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.health.govt.nz 10. Mothers Helpers (2015). Mothers Helpers' Submission to the Ministry of Health. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mcagnz.org
NZ: Stand against the Global Gag Rule!The Global Gag rule yanks the funding from reproductive health providers in developing nations who provide, or even dare to mention abortion. This will not stop abortions from happening, it will drive them underground, to the black market where patients face the risk of dying from unsafe, botched, septic abortions. Under Trump, the rule forces the withdrawal of ALL funding from the offending NGO, not just the funding for reproductive health services. If you care about making sure people do not suffer needlessly, please sign the petition. Thank you!