• Save Wellington Citizens Advice Bureau!
    Wellington Citizens Advice Bureau provides a free information and advice service to people in need. It helps people know about their rights and responsibilities and the services available in their community. It is there for everyone, about everything. Despite this, Wellington City Council wants to cut its services and leave its citizens without this essential support. Last year Wellington CAB helped over 30,000 people with questions and problems across the range of issues people face in their lives. These include helping with enquiries about emergency accommodation, noisy neighbours, overhanging trees, abandoned vehicles, relationship issues, enquiries about consumer rights, tenancy rights, employment rights, as well as information about local services - the whole range of questions and queries imaginable. It also includes referrals from the City Council and helping people to fill in Council forms! Wellington CAB has had a long-term strategic partnership with Wellington City Council. In spite of this, the Council have, without consultation, made a recommendation to stop funding the Wellington CAB via its long-standing contract for services, and give a one-off six month grant for the CAB to completely redesign its operation, including shutting the doors on its physical premises. The Council have said there is “no guarantee of funding beyond that”. The CAB is core community infrastructure. It is locally responsive, and staffed by dedicated volunteers from the local community. The people who come to the CAB often don’t know where to go, don’t know what assistance is available to them, can’t access information, or are excluded from services. Without the CAB those people will fall through the cracks. Please show your support and save this essential community service.
    4,806 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Sacha Green
  • Restore the postgraduate student allowance now
    In 2013, the previous Government scrapped postgraduate allowances. Last year, Labour pledged to bring them back, and NZ First and the Greens have also shown their support. Now, we're looking for a start date! Restoring the postgraduate allowance isn't just good for students, it's good for the country. Across Aotearoa, postgraduate students are studying in fields that are crucial to our country's future success - clinical psychology, teaching and learning, and environmental studies to name a few. The current Government is committed to important national issues such as addressing the mental health crisis, uplifting the teaching profession and tackling climate change. In order for this work to succeed, we urgently need to be empowering and supporting our people to gain skills in these areas. A postgraduate student allowance is an easy first step towards making this a reality. Supporting postgraduate success is supporting our country's success. We're calling on the Government to restore the postgraduate student allowance now! No post-grad allowances for first semester, no set start date http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/11/no-post-grad-allowances-for-first-semester-and-no-set-start-date.html
    5,623 of 6,000 Signatures
    Created by NZ Union of Students' Associations (NZUSA) Picture
  • Let Us Finish! Remove student loan cap for future doctors
    UPDATE: Prior to the 2017 Election, we secured promises from the Labour, New Zealand First, Greens, and ACT parties, that they intended to lift the cap if elected. We now have that new government, with Hon Chris Hipkins as Minister of Education. However, despite these assurances, unfortunately removal of the EFTS cap was not included in Budget 2018. The government has failed to live up to these expectations and we intend to hold them accountable. Hon Chris Hipkins has suggested that lifting the cap is still an intention for the government, but we need to show him that this is URGENT. We are already aware of students having to go to extreme measures, such as fundraising, to pay their fees. The longer the government waits, the more future-doctors we risk losing. Sign our petition to help us help others! Say YES to letting us finish! #LetUsFinish BACKGROUND: In 2017, NZMSA and Te Oranga conducted a survey of New Zealand medical students and identified at least 142 students affected by this cap - many of whom may be prevented from finishing their degrees. Medical degrees are at least six years long, making them the longest programme in New Zealand. Each year, approximately 30% of medical entrants are selected from a pool of applicants who have already completed a previous degree. Most of these graduate students will have used at least three of their allocated 8 EFTS in this process. Without a student loan, students will have to come up with approximately $25,000 per year to fund the remainder of their studies and living costs. Without the support of a guarantor and no source of income, it is almost impossible for students to access a private bank loan. The reality is, without an affluent background to shoulder the enormous cost of completing a medical degree, the EFTS cap negatively impacts students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Graduate students have completed extremely valuable study in their respective fields. These students are essential for the development of an effective and diverse health workforce in order to best address the changing health needs of our communities and health system. The previous Minister of Education Paul Goldsmith stated that he wanted students to complete their study as quickly as possible, yet also encouraged students to take time out from their programmes to save money for fees. This not only delays future doctors from taking their much-needed place in the health workforce, but also is completely out of touch with the realities of working New Zealanders. With the EFTS cap in place, some students will have to save more than $50,000 to afford the remainder of their studies. All this, whilst simultaneously having much of their paycheck deducted to service existing student loans. We know medical graduates tend to repay their loans quickly, however we can’t do this if we can’t finish. By enforcing this cap, the government is undercutting their own investment, negatively impacting our health workforce and the health of New Zealanders. How is this the best use of taxpayer dollars? Answer: It’s not. Every student that is affected by this cap is a missing doctor for New Zealand. These are hard working, dedicated people who are passionate about making a difference and improving the health of all New Zealanders. Without student loan support, we will not be able to work for the betterment of our communities, and our health system will remain overloaded and understaffed. MEDIA: RNZ: Med Students Disappointed by Broken Budget Promises https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/357727/med-students-disappointed-by-broken-budget-promise Stuff: Medical students upset Budget didn't extend student loan cap https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/104055757/medical-students-upset-budget-didnt-extend-student-loan-cap TV3: The Project: https://www.facebook.com/TheProjectNZ/videos/1066642473472405/ Newshub: Medical student debt could cost the health of New Zealanders http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/06/medical-student-debt-could-cost-the-health-of-new-zealanders.html Te Kāea: Māori medical students push loan caps to be lifted http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/national/maori-medical-students-push-loan-caps-be-lifted Women’s Weekly: My dream has a price https://www.pressreader.com/new-zealand/new-zealand-womans-weekly/20180115/281608125837244 Radio NZ: "I'd already need to be a doctor to save for it" https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/344614/i-d-already-need-to-be-a-doctor-to-save-for-it Radio NZ: Med Students face dropping out over loan cap https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/336713/med-students-face-dropping-out-over-loan-cap Stuff: Medical Student forced to turn to Givealittle after hitting student loan borrowing cap https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/99581590/medical-student-forced-to-turn-to-givealittle-after-hitting-student-loan-borrowing-cap
    4,654 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Kera Sherwood-O'Regan
  • Save Our Kindergartens!
    The free public Kindergarten model has existed in New Zealand society, and served our families well, for over 120 years. Currently a child can be at Kindy for five mornings a week and be fully funded with 20hrs free ECE (early childhood education). However the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association has indicated that the current Kindergarten model enjoyed by thousands of Kiwi kids should change to survive ‘future societal demands’. These changes will mean: · It will cost whānau to use their 20hrs free ECE. Three days at a Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association Kindy using the government's 20 hours free ECE could cost up to $735 a year after the changes; · In most Kindys the stand alone morning session will be abolished and only a 7 hour day will be offered; · There will no longer be term breaks and families must pay even if their child does not attend; · Teachers will lose hundreds of hours of non-contact time per year. We strongly believe this new strategic directive is not in the best interests of children and is a fundamental change in the concept and tradition of Kindergarten in New Zealand society. These changes are taking away the choices for our children at Kindergarten in favour of finding ‘efficiencies’. Forcing families to have our small children at Kindy for a longer day than a school aged child is not OK. Penalising families for wanting to spend quality family time with our children during the school holidays, and essentially making them pay to spend time with their children is not OK. We do not support “bums on seats” early childhood education, or the current funding model that promotes this. We are advocating on behalf of our tamariki, our taonga. They must be put first in all choices. If there are funding challenges then solutions must have acceptance from users. The Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association claimed less than 2% of its whanau oppose the changes currently being rolled out. This petition is to show the Board of the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association (and The Ministry of Education, and other Kindergarten Associations in New Zealand proposing similar strategic changes) that families and communities do not support them. We expect robust governance of the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association to include consultation with families, communities and individual kindergartens to inform strategic direction, rather than be part of the implementation of that plan. The Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association needs to show greater responsibility as a community service to children and families, and to the quality of early childhood education in New Zealand, and focus on retaining kindergarten's distinctive point of difference in the early childhood system. If something isn't broken, don't fix it. Please stop the roll out of the changes now. Reconsider the options to manage funding and make Kindergarten a sustainable model for the future without compromising the well-being of our tamariki.
    303 of 400 Signatures
    Created by Frances Cross
  • Choices for our Children - Whanau against Auckland Kindergarten Association changes
    These changes are taking away the choices for our children at kindergarten in favour of maximising government funding. Forcing families to have our small children at kindy for a longer day than a school aged child is not ok. Penalising families for wanting to spend quality family time with our children during the school holidays, and essentially making them pay to spend time with their children is not ok. The current session structure is perfect for little ones beginning their kindy journey in the mornings, who are then able to go home for quiet time or a nap. It is a rite of passage when they can cope with a longer day, adding the afternoon session too. - The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states in Article 3 1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration. - Currently a child can be at kindy for five mornings a week and be fully funded with 20hrs free ECE. - Three days at an Auckland Kindergarten Association kindy using the government's 20 hours free ECE will cost $735 a year after the changes. - How can teachers provide the same quality of early childhood education with 480 less non-contact hours each year? The best choices are not being made for our children by the Auckland Kindergarten Association. Join the Facebook page Stop Auckland Kindergarten Changes Visit saveourkindergartens.co.nz
    2,246 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Marnie Wilton
  • Reinstate the Postgraduate Student Allowance for 2019
    Labour made a promise they will reinstate the Postgraduate Student Allowances which the National Government removed in 2013. However they have not set a date and in the meantime students planning to continue or enter postgraduate study are left in limbo. At the present time a student is only eligible if they are doing a Bachelor degree with Honours. No postgraduate students (4th year students who want to further their studies) are able to get a Postgraduate Student Allowance. This impacts most on students who can’t rely on financial support from their families and means they graduate in much higher debt, creating stress when entering the workforce. These students are our future scientists, doctors and business leaders. Most will already have debt from their undergraduate studies and should not be discouraged from finishing further study in their chosen field New Zealand should not limit the ability of individuals from all backgrounds to reach their potential. Ask Labour to keep its promise and reinstate the Postgraduate Student Allowance so our young women and men can reach their full potential! https://www.labour.org.nz/tertiaryeducation
    63 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Pip Clere