• End exploitation in Tokoroa now
    We want all the citizens of Tokoroa and all who support them to sign this petition to help end exploitation in Tokoroa and set an example for the rest of NZ. Three workers were employed at the two Challenge NZ stations in Tokoroa. They were deliberately exploited and abused over three years by the franchisee and his son. They had to pay money to keep their jobs. They also had to work 15-20 extra hours a week for no pay. OneUnion is a union protecting workers in small workplaces. The union accuses the father and son of extorting $130,000 from these workers. The three workers were at the mercy of these two men because they relied on them for their visas. OneUnion has filed claims against the franchisee and his son in the Employment Relations Authority. The father ‘sold’ the business to his son to avoid the legal consequences. We must not let them get away with it. Their criminal behaviour was extremely cruel. One of the workers was not allowed to leave work when his wife was in labour. A young mother was forced to send her baby to India so she could work longer hours (for free) for the employer. Both were told that if they caused trouble they would be deported. These two men are greedy and ruthless. We as a community must send a strong message that criminal exploitation and lack of human decency will not be tolerated in Tokoroa. This behaviour is not the kiwi way and has no place in Tokoroa. Please read the attached two articles published by the OneUnion that detail the full story. https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/09/21/exploiter-extorts-and-blackmails-workers/ https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/09/29/casual-cruelty-destroys-young-mums-boss-demands-35000-to-prevent-dismissal-more-evil-than-we-thought/ OneUnion and Migrant Workers Association are working together to get justice for these workers. We advised Challenge NZ of the franchisee’s criminality. We have provided our case file to Challenge NZ and demanded they investigate. WHAT CAN YOU DO? Tokoroa has a proud history of fighting for workers’ rights. We have no doubt the good people of Tokoroa will show the rest of the nation how to win justice for workers who are exploited. Challenge NZ needs to support the franchisee and his son in making this right. A worker would already be in prison if they did a fraction of what these two men did. Blatant exploitation is becoming a normal state. New Zealanders have to step up. Communities have to come together and force exploiters to apologise and make amends. Please sign our petition and get your family and friends to sign it too. Bring everyone to the Rally! 1pm Sunday 15 November. Pine Man, Huttloc Ave, Tokoroa. Tokoroa Rally to End Exploitation. Starting at the Pine Man Statue in Tokoroa on Huttloc Drive, next to McDonald's. Please RSVP when you sign this petition. We will be bringing our UTU bus to the Tokoroa Rally. If you want to help us cover travel and rally costs by donating a small koha please do so here: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/utuforthepeople And lastly, if you have any more information or you would like to help in any other way, email us at justice@oneunion.org.nz TELL YOUR FRIENDS! BRING EVERYONE TO THE RALLY! 1pm Sunday 15 November. Pine Man, Huttloc Ave, Tokoroa. Tokoroa Rally to End Exploitation. Thank you, Ngā Mihi.
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  • Help Dame Sue Bagshaw build her Youth Hub
    We are all concerned about our young people, and regular health services do not always provide the spaces they need. By signing this petition we show our support for Youth Hub Trust chairwoman Dame Sue Bagshaw who has worked her entire life toward the realization of a youth hub in Christchurch. She has helped thousands of young people find a way through difficult periods in their lives. Now the dream is about to come true were it not for some people who do not understand the significance of such a facility and are trying to stop the project. This new facility will provide day support as well as some temporary housing. For years we have understood the mental health issues in Christchurch due to a succession of disasters, the site was gifted to the trust and in my eyes the building will not particularly impact on the surroundings. Every town should have such an opportunity. The facility will include 22 one-bedroom units, one four-bedroom and four three-bedroom units as well as accommodation for two supervisors and a site manager. To be eligible for housing the young people must be in education/training or looking for employment. There will be a healthcare centre, office spaces for 13 different youth-related organisations, private and communal outdoor living spaces, a basketball court, cafe, events centre seating up to 200 people, a rooftop greenhouse and indoor recreation and art space.No alcohol or drugs will be allowed and the Christchurch Methodist Mission will manage the housing. Please sign this petition so the trust can present this to the Christchurch council as support for their plans. https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/122915886/central-christchurch-residents-fighting-muchneeded-youth-hub/
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  • Open Letter: Five To Thrive
    Too many of our children in Aotearoa are missing out on the basics they need to thrive. With political will, we can change this to ensure all of our children have a bright future. We are asking our friends, whānau, and colleagues - Kiwis that care about our children, to sign on to this open letter to ask that every child in Aotearoa gets the five basics they need to do well now, and into the future. To find out more, check out Five To Thrive https://www.fivetothrive.nz/ To keep you updated with the campaign your signature details will be shared with the four organisations leading this campaign; Barnardos, Save the Children, Te Kāhui Mana Ririki Trust, and Whānau Āwhina Plunket.
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  • Calling for immediate action to improve mental wellbeing for diverse Asian communities in Aotearoa
    Since the outbreak of COVID-19, demand for linguistically and culturally appropriate Asian mental health services has increased notably in our communities. Front-line clinicians working with diverse Asian communities have seen how high stress, anxiety and isolation of living in a pandemic are taking their toll on Asian people’s mental health. Historically, Asian communities have low utilisation of mainstream primary and secondary mental health services in Aotearoa compared to other ethnic groups [1]. Therefore, despite the increase in demand for mental health care identified by Asian mental health services during COVID-19, Asian clients are unlikely to seek mental health care from mainstream providers and will continue to rely on Asian specific providers. While resettling in a linguistically and culturally different country is already a stressful experience for newer settlers within the Asian communities, we are seeing more complex family distress, mental health and social care needs of our clients since COVID-19. In addition to needing help with depressive and anxiety-related issues brought on by the pandemic, Asian people are also dealing with heightened stress and safety concerns around discrimination, long-term impacts of unemployment, financial hardship, domestic violence and abuse, loneliness and isolation due to separation from family members. The Human Rights Commission has reported a 30% spike in racially motivated attacks towards Asian people, particularly those of Chinese and East Asian descent, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic [2]. This figure is reflective of the increase in distress reported by our clients from bullying, verbal and non-verbal attacks. Although there is no official reporting of suicide rates connected to COVID-19, we are alarmed by the increase in the suicide rate amongst the Asian population in the recently published provisional suicide data released by the Chief Coroner. The suicide rates for the Asian population had increased from 5.09 to 7.91 per 100,000 between July 2019-June 2020, which went against the declining suicide trends for all other ethnic groups in Aotearoa [3]. The Covid-19 pandemic has further brought to the fore the significant service gaps and unmet needs within Asian communities. We reiterate the urgent need for a national-level strategy and interventions to be put in place to stop the increase in suicide and poor mental health outcomes amongst this diverse and growing population group. The NAMAA (group) acknowledgement of the place of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Tangata Whenua and a willingness to work in partnership with Tangata Whenua. Please sign the petition to support our call for the Ministry of Health to address the mental health needs of diverse Asian communities in Aotearoa. Thank you for helping us! You can read the full version of our Open Letter here: [https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:4f785297-35d8-4d97-a569-6156d2957b95] Ngā Manaakitanga, The National Asian Mental Health and Addiction Advocacy and Advisory (NAMAA) Group Kelly Feng – National Director, Asian Family Services Dr Gary Cheung – Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry, School of Medicine, The University of Auckland Dr Elsie Ho – MNZM, Honorary Academic, School of Population Health, The University of Auckland Dr Aram Kim – Psychiatrist, Chairperson of the Korean Community Wellness Society Patrick Au – Registered Psychiatric Nurse and Counsellor in Private Practice Rebecca Zhang – Psychologist, Project Lead, Te Pou Ivan Yeo – Deputy Director, Asian Family Services Shirleen Prasad – Asha Programme Lead, Asian Family Services Cecilia Wong-Cornall – Professional Teaching Fellow, School of Population Health, The University of Auckland Kristy Kang – Project Coordinator and Youth Representative, Asian Family Services
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  • Consent Education should be compulsory for First-Year Tertiary Students
    In a world free from sexual violence, students would be able to learn and achieve, without fear, harm or violence. Students would be able to walk through campus, attend lectures, engage in tutorials, knowing that they are valued, respected, and treated equally. Starting tertiary study is an important time in a young person's life, and sets them up for their entire life course 'pipeline'. When a student faces barriers or trauma during their study, it often has lifelong ripple effects and consequences. Recent research shows that 1 in 3 students will experience sexual harm during study [1], and this mirrors Thursdays in Black's own findings, which highlighted that over 50% of participants had experienced some form of sexual harm during study [2]. Research on wider populations shows that in Aotearoa, 1 in 3 women, 1 in 6 men, and 1 in 2 transgender people will experience sexual harm. Research also shows that women, Māori, Queer/Takatāpui, and disabled students are at significantly higher risk of experiencing harm in comparison to other identities, and that 90% of sexually harmful situations happen between people that know each other, for example friends, relationships, colleagues, or family. At Thursdays in Black, our vision is to improve these circumstances, by mandating sexual consent education for first years students. This education will empower young people by giving them the skills to navigate and create their own healthy sexual relationships, help prevent harmful behaviours, and contribute to the ongoing culture change of tertiary institutions. By teaching these skills to students aged 17-20, we will be setting them up with a kete of tools that will benefit them throughout their life, and help make our communities safer. Yet at present, there is no legal requirement for tertiary institutions to offer compulsory courses to teach students about sexual consent. New Zealand institutions currently have a fragmented approach to consent education, with different institutions offering different levels of engagement, different approaches, and some with out any programmes at all. At Thursdays in Black, we believe that Aotearoa can do better, and see that implementing such an education policy as not only urgent, but long overdue. We request that the Minister pass legislation requiring tertiary institutions in Aotearoa to provide sexual consent education to all first-year tertiary students. Such education should be a research-based program, created with and facilitated by subject matter experts and the sexual violence sector, it should engage student leaders, operate on a bi-cultural model that upholds Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and reflect an intersectional approach that respects the disproportionate impact sexual violence has on specific groups. Tertiary institutions, for the most part, remain out-dated and traditional in their thinking -- often reinforcing a rape culture of power imbalances, misogyny, and toxicity. This does not make a safe environment for our tertiary students. Help make education safe. Sign the petition today to call on the Minister to implement compulsory consent courses for first-year students. 1. Unpublished Phd Thesis by Kayla Stewart, for a preliminary discussion of her findings, see https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/113090659/a-third-of-women-university-students-report-being-sexually-assaulted-what-do-we-owe-them 2. In 2017, Thursdays in Black Aotearoa conducted a report titled ‘In Our Own Words’, which details the extent to which tertiary students experienced sexual violence prior to, and during, their studies You can find it here: https://library.nzfvc.org.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=5557
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  • Supporting paid leave for women after abortions
    The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has a focus under Goal 5 on safe abortion as part of protecting “human rights and promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”. Target 5.6 seeks to ensure “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences”. We believe that the Holiday Amendment Bill act could be changed to better suit the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to better support women in Aotearoa. We hope you consider our suggestion as young people and women going into the workforce. As a society, we believe we need to do more to ensure women have equal rights and have equitable working conditions. Thank you for helping us in our fight to remove the word ‘unplanned’ from Ginny Anderson’s Holiday Amendment Bill. Ngā mihi, Lorna Hallett Renee Hamilton Kate Chu Athena Kapralos Ella Murdoch Evie Harrington Bella Redshaw Bintou Fiti-Jaiteh Natasha Taylor Valora Leilua-Tiatia Tia-Rhiena Martin-Upton Nicole Askari Ruby McGovern Sophie Irving
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  • 6 PROMISES FOR 6000 (CHILDREN IN THE STATE CARE SYSTEM)
    Aotearoa New Zealand has over 6000 children and young people in our state care system. VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai believes 6 PROMISES must be made to them. These are promises you would want to make to your children should they ever be in a position to need the care system. We are putting a call out to every New Zealander to compel their elected representatives to stand behind these promises and ensure they are fulfilled. VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai worked with care experienced young people to come up with 6 PROMISES FOR 6000 – a call to all those running for elected office to agree to uphold six basic asks. Our Members of Parliament are uniquely placed to deliver on these promises. With your support, we can amplify the voice of children and young people in care and seek commitment to these promises during the next electoral term. Through a groundswell movement of people across Aotearoa, we would like to see all our politicians sign up to these 6 PROMISES to ensure the care system becomes a truly caring system. Please sign the petition asking all elected representatives to commit to these 6 PROMISES. Also, please express your support for the movement via your social channels using #6promises. VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai was created by children with care experience for children with care experience. Established in 2017, VOYCE is an independent organisation that helps to advocate for the more than 6000 young people young children living with whanau or foster families, all over New Zealand. We exist to amplify the voices of tamariki and rangatahi and ensure they are at the centre of all conversations and decisions being made within the care sector. We see the potential, abilities and strengths apparent in the care community every day and know we can have a system that ensures they realise their full potential. Thank you for your support.
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  • Support families in need. Extend the Winter Energy Payment
    As New Zealanders, we believe in justice and compassion. We want everyone to have the opportunity to thrive. But, right now, hundreds of thousands of people in our country are living in poverty. Despite our differences, we share a responsibility to make sure everyone has a decent standard of living and the same chances in life. Poverty in New Zealand affects people of all ages and situations – children and their parents, young adults, people in and out of work and people with disabilities. The stress that comes with poverty can erode people’s mental and physical health. Showing compassion as a society means making sure no-one has to endure the harms of poverty. On October 1, 2020, the Winter Energy Payment that is provided to people on government income support, to assist with heating a home, is due to expire. This will cut the already low incomes for people locked in poverty by $63 a week for couples and $41 a week for an individual. But as research has shown, $40 - $60 less per week means not being able to go to the dentist or doctor, not being able to afford emergency bills and not being able to pay for kids to participate in extracurricular activities like sports, art or volunteering. At a time where food banks are reporting record demand and the number of people needing government income support had its biggest jump in 24 years in April, the government needs to show some compassion. By permanently extending the Winter Energy Payment, the government can help make it possible for everyone to do well.
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  • Leave no-one behind: Campaign to address digital exclusion
    Have you or someone you know ever tried to fill out a government form online? How about doing that on your phone? And uploading documents to it? What if your internet connection was limited? Or English wasn’t your first language? Or you were vision impaired? Or didn't have a credit card? What if you needed help to understand, and what you really wanted was someone to talk to? Consider the frustration this causes you and what it looks like when you’re made further vulnerable as you stare into the digital divide. The digital-only or digital-first approach being embraced by government agencies is excluding some of Aotearoa’s most vulnerable people and communities. This is unacceptable. We want to see people’s needs put at the centre of public services and are asking candidates seeking election as our representatives in Parliament, to pledge to ensuring this is the case. Interacting with government services is often about accessing rights and entitlements and it’s important that there aren’t any barriers in the way. Digital services are not the right response for all people or in all circumstances. There needs to be genuine choice for people about how they can interact - whether online, face-to-face, through others or by phone. It is critical that as a country we don’t allow the digital transformation of public services to further entrench disadvantage and vulnerability. We have written to election candidates asking them to commit to addressing digital exclusion so that no-one is left behind or left out because they can't or don't wish to engage online. As part of this campaign, we are also seeking funding to cover the transfer of costs that has resulted from government agencies closing up shop in communities and sending people to get help from CABs, including to get paper copies of forms. Join us in this call to address digital exclusion so that we leave no-one behind! This campaign builds on the findings and recommendations of our report, ‘Face to Face with digital exclusion’. You can read the full report here: https://www.cab.org.nz/what-we-do/social-justice/digital-exclusion/
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  • Save our school libraries
    The School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (SLANZA) is launching a nationwide campaign to highlight the plight of our school libraries. SLANZA is deeply concerned about the demise of school libraries in Aotearoa. It is estimated that of the 2500 schools in New Zealand only 900 have a library. Stuart McNaughtons recent report entitled “The literacy landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand” states that 52% of 15 year olds only read if they have to and 28% think reading is a waste of time. Yet his report did not mention School Libraries once and we know from international research that schools with a well-resourced library and specialist library staff positively impacts learning outcomes across all year levels. Our libraries are being closed, relocated to hallway cupboards, are having budgets slashed. We have low decile high schools trying to raise literacy rates but can only fund their library $1000.00 a year to operate and are buying books from Op Shops to stock the shelves. These stories are not acceptable in New Zealand. SLANZA believes that all school students in New Zealand, at every level of their education, should have access to effective school library services that will support their reading and learning. We plan to promote the value and necessity of every student having access to a school library, supported by a specialist librarian with a budget and hours to provide a high-functioning learning environment within all school communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Ministry of Education will mandate every student to have access to a school library staffed by specialist school librarians and is Ministry of Education funded. We know school libraries make a difference for our students for their well being, hauora, their learning outcomes, their ability to critically analyse and their growth in empathy. School libraries transform and we in this campaign will be informing our nation of the lack of funding, space and staffing within our school libraries. We want the government to listen and to act, so our school libraries can be resourced fully to continue to transform the lives of all of our students. Our campaign will be launched on September 1st and is called “School Libraries Transform.” Please refer to our website for further information pertaining to our campaign. http://www.schoollibrariestransform.org.nz/
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  • Recognise the rights of moko
    Moko, a divine treasure etched into the skin to enhance the cultural identity of Māori in New Zealand. Moko, beautiful markings reflecting the whakapapa (geneology), history and mana of the wearer. Moko, an important traditional practice used by Maori since time immemorial. Please support this petition to include 'moko','moko kauae','mataora', 'ta moko' as prohibited grounds for discrimination. History tells us our tipuna enjoyed freedom of movement as moko wearers, a legacy we should able be able to carry on as well.
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  • Huarahi Māori o Te Awakairangi
    Huarahi Māori o Te Awakairangi is a social action campaign started by six Year 13 students at Wainuiomata High School. We strongly believe that colonial street names are controversial and not reflective of our communities. We have conducted some research and found that less than 22% of the street names in Te Awakairangi are Māori. With the support of our community, we want to have meaningful street names which reflect our culture. We must keep our culture alive and not celebrate those who have stripped that from Māori. For example, the two Wakefield brothers ended up in prison for three years for abducting a 15 year old girl. Here in Aotearoa William Wakefield manipulated the lands out of Māori hands and condoned and promoted colonisation of our country. That name does not deserve to be represented on our whenua. "...These are the names we say everyday with ease while ancient names, names with stories, and genealogies tied to this place get erased, replaced, and sometimes butchered beyond recognition..." -Dr Emalani Case (from 'Lost in Wellington') We aim to bring change through our values of manaakitanga and peace. Please sign our petition and help us make this change.
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