• Our children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis deserve the same care as adults!
    New Zealand has one of the highest rates of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (known as inflammatory bowel disease or “IBD”) in the world. These diseases are chronic and relapsing illnesses, characterised by sudden flares, emergency department visits, frequent hospitalisations, and, often, surgery. It is estimated that there are 20,792 New Zealanders with these diseases and the number is expected to double in the next ten years. Many of these patients are children. While almost every DHB in NZ funds adult IBD specialty nurses, there is not a single paediatric IBD nurse in all of New Zealand, not even at our largest paediatric centre, Starship Hospital. The issue of equity for this very vulnerable segment of our population needs to be raised. The critical role of the IBD nurse is to provide direct, immediate medical access and assessment to children when their disease suddenly flares. In these situations, it is prompt treatment which prevents lengthy hospitalisations and life-altering surgery. In addition, IBD nurses are the primary educators of both patients and caregivers, they manage immunosuppressive medications, ensure that preventative measures such as vaccinations and screening procedures are up-to-date, provide advice on diet, manage side effects of medications, and ensure compliance with treatment regimens. Not only does the work of the IBD nurse improve patient outcomes, but it significantly frees up time for their physician colleagues to perform other tasks. The impact of the IBD Clinical Nurse Specialist on patient outcomes and hospital costs has been well and repeatedly documented. A recent study reported in the British Medical Journal in 2020, demonstrated a one-third decrease in hospitalisations in the year following the addition of an IBD nurse to the GE team (P=0.002). Similar results were reported in a study from the Royal Adelaide Hospital in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis. Hiring a single nurse will not only save taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, but, most importantly, will help keep our children out of the hospital and out of surgical theatres. It will ensure that our children have access to the same quality care that is routinely available to adult IBD patients in New Zealand and to other children throughout the world.
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    Created by Richard Stein
  • End the Supermarket Crisis
    Everyone needs to eat and we all deserve to be able to afford healthy, nutritious food. But right now more and more families are having to go without because of the high price of food. Even basic items like vegetables, milk and bread are becoming expensive. There is a food cost crisis. The crisis is a result of successive governments allowing two supermarket chains, Woolworths and Foodstuffs, to dominate our food supply. The profits of these 2 big food chains are extraordinary. The Commerce Commission report showed that the profits of the duopolies are somewhere between 12.7 and 13.1%. (1). By international standards a normal rate of return should be 5.5%. (2). The Commerce Commission estimated that Foodstuffs and Woolworths combined are making about $430 million a year in excess profits. (3) It's not just customers they’re short changing either, the people growing and supplying food to the supermarkets are left with little option to negotiate fairer prices for their produce. One supplier reported that “We have two choices 1) sell to them under their terms 2) don’t sell to them at all”.(4) We all want to be able to trust our supermarkets to deliver us decent food at a decent price. But right now, it is clear that these two supermarket giants cannot to be trusted with the reins to our food supply. Our government needs to step in and create legislation to ensure our food system is fair and that families can keep food on the table. We need the Government to take urgent and definitive action to break up the supermarket duopoly. References: 1,2,3,4: Market study into the grocery sector, Commerce Commission, March 2022: https://comcom.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0024/278403/Market-Study-into-the-retail-grocery-sector-Final-report-8-March-2022.pdf
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    Created by Rene Jansen and Sonja Lamers
  • COVID in Our Prisons - An Open Letter to the Justice Sector
    Over the last two years, a crucial piece of the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been implementing health measures to contain and minimise the spread of the virus. This response has been met with widespread support because, as a country, we have understood that the health and wellbeing of every person in Aotearoa New Zealand is worth protecting. We address this letter to you now out of serious concern over the news of the spread of COVID-19 in prisons in Aotearoa. We call on you to apply a common sense health-based approach to better protect incarcerated people from COVID-19. This matter is urgent. As we are seeing, an Omicron outbreak within New Zealand prisons could easily overwhelm prison health-care services and put pressure on the rest of the healthcare services. Incarcerated people cannot meaningfully practice social distancing or have to forfeit what limited opportunity they have for leisure and social interaction to do so. The ongoing practice of double-bunking makes this even more difficult. Family or whānau visits are similarly restricted under the current Covid Protection Framework settings, adding further pressure and stress. The spread of COVID-19 in prisons particularly puts the health of older people, pregnant people, and those with relevant pre-existing health conditions (including COPD, respiratory illnesses and those with compromised immunity) at risk. There is an unacceptably high risk to Māori in prison, prison staff, whānau and communities from COVID-19. The Government must honour its obligations under Te Tiriti O Waitangi, and prevent this pandemic from further entrenching existing inequities for Māori. Reducing the number of people pulled into the justice system and being held in our prisons is essential to avoid further harm caused to Māori communities, individuals and frontline workers in the courts and prisons. This would also demonstrate the Government’s commitment to partnership and long-term wellbeing as promised in the Police strategy Te Huringa O Te Tai and the Department of Corrections strategy Hōkai Rangi. In signing this open letter, we are calling on the government to take action to protect people in the justice system from COVID-19, including through reducing the prison population, and ensuring effective health and safety measures are being implemented.
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    Created by Kirsten Van Newtown
  • Free N95 Masks For All!
    Given the extra risk of exposure and infection because of the recently announced changes, it is becoming increasingly urgent that N95, P2, or equivalent quality masks are available and universally accessible. The Government has said that all healthcare and border workers have access to N95 or equivalent masks. But as the Government opens up the border and eases restrictions internally, the general public of Aotearoa New Zealand need quality masks. These masks are comfortable and breathable, they prevent transmission and save lives. Prevention of infection is the best course of action. Along with concern for the capacity of our health system, we are extremely concerned about the wellbeing of people who cannot social distance or properly ventilate their spaces at work, where they live, or where they study. Good quality masks are vital for our wellbeing. Masks For All! References: 1. https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/annual-inflation-hits-a-three-decade-high-at-5-9-percent 2. https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/renting/127544121/rents-still-rising-as-supply-pressures-remain
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    Created by Communities For Public Health
  • Open Letter: Better support for artists during the pandemic
    Tens of thousands of people are now without any employment or income. I know in the past you have been a large supporter and advocate for the arts, and for this I thank you. I look forward to your response and more importantly your action.
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    Created by Jazmine Mary
  • Save Our National Passenger Rail Network
    Trains connect communities and are an important part of climate change action. State owned enterprise, KiwiRail, has announced the permanent end of same-day intercity services between Auckland/Wellington and Picton/Christchurch. It will be replaced by a luxury multi-day rail cruise. This effectively means the end of most of Aotearoa New Zealand's national passenger rail network after more than 100 years of service. This announcement comes at a time when the Government has said it is committed to climate action and reducing inequality. Trains have connected friends and families for graduations, weddings, holidays, and business for generations. They have connected towns with the cities, and bought our country together. But a period of privatisation and decades of underfunding has limited the development and use of our national rail network. Trains have an important place in our future but it requires investment and planning from this Government. 🛤 Rail provides a more sustainable and climate friendly method of transport across the country. 🛤 Rail can invigorate the social and economic life of small communities by making them accessible to remote workers and tourists. 🛤 Trains can bring our diverse country together by connecting them to people and landscapes across wide distances. 🛤 Trains provide an accessible method of point-to-point transport for the elderly and disabled. Rail is an important part of our past, but it should also be part of our future. Join the campaign to support the retention of a national passenger rail network.
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  • Call to action on housing in Kāpiti
    The 240 houses that Kāinga Ora has across the District are not enough to house long-term homeless people, let alone the growing number of people who are coming onto the list. This includes people who formerly rented in the private sector and who have been given notice to leave their homes as landlords have decide to sell their properties. Even if there was an adequate supply of private sector accommodation, the exorbitant rents mean that people simply can't afford to meet that cost. There is strong support for this call for action across the entire Kāpiti population. Young people who can't afford to leave home; families with children who move in with their parents because they can't afford the rent demanded; an 85-year-old who has lived in the same unit for 17 years being given notice because the landlord is going to rent to a family member; working single people who can't afford a one bedroom flat - the scenarios come thick and fast and we hear them all.
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    Created by Donna Bridgeman
  • End library book fines in Ōtautahi
    There is "...no evidence that library overdue charges are an incentive for returning items on time. The experience of libraries in New Zealand and overseas is that overdue charges are a more effective deterrent and barrier to library usage, disproportionately impacting members of the community on lower and fixed incomes." (1). This change is important as it will bring Ōtautahi up to par with its peers across Aotearoa including Auckland, Carterton, Clutha, Dunedin, Masterton, Nelson, Selwyn, South Taranaki, South Wairarapa, Stratford, Upper Hutt, Waikato and Waimakariri that have, and or are removing these fines because evidence does not support that they work, and that they create barriers to access and learning. We have also seen post lockdown when the Council encouraged people to return books with a fee waiver we did, lets now make that permanent (2). (1). Report to Dunedin City Council from 27 October 2021 when they decided in favour- https://infocouncil.dunedin.govt.nz/Open/2021/10/CNL_20211027_AGN_1542_AT.PDF (2). https://newsline.ccc.govt.nz/news/story/libraries-issue-call-to-return-overdue-books
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    Created by Josiah Tualamali'i
  • Urgently stop National Library from sending thousands of books to the Philippines
    SIGN THIS AND SHARE! We have still a long way to go ! "Esson will not waver​ on her view that the books from the Overseas Published Collection will be officially removed from the library – she just doesn't know what to do with them after that." Stuff Jan 29, 2022 In a recent article, Rachel Esson expresses directly and frankly what she thinks of the Overseas Published Collection, and this shows nothing but contempt for the Literature, Poetry, Philosophy and all the knowledge accumulated in the course of dozens of years by professional librarians of New Zealand extract: "(...)Esson will not reconsider keeping the rarely-used overseas books, which will make way for a larger Māori and Pacific collect [sic]. But sending them to the recycling bin is the library’s “absolute last resort”. “People care so passionately. But the world’s moved on, and we don’t need to keep these,” she says. “It’s not good for New Zealand, and for us, to keep them." Take a look at the library in images on youtube, and see whether this is true https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwpo-kYWb60 And have a look at the Facebook page of Writers Against National Library Disposals to get a better idea of the incredibly rich Collection of the Overseas Published Books https://www.facebook.com/groups/nodisposals Earlier in November 2021, R. Esson informed us that "if they decide to export the Overseas Published Collection, or any part of the OPC, they will provide us with two months notice before any such export takes place" This petition not only asks for the Internet-Archive agreement to be cancelled, but also for public consultation about the future of the National Library of New Zealand, a library where professional librarians will be able to fill the collection with any books of the world they judge pertinent to New Zealand researchers and the public. Info "Let's Keep and Grow the Collection" https://nodisposals.neocities.org/html/LETS-KEEP-AND-GROW.html and "Who is Responsible" https://nodisposals.neocities.org/html/Who-Is-Responsible.html https://nodisposals.neocities.org/html/Situation-end-2021.html November 29: National Library is reconsidering its plan see article in Stuff https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/books/127129379/national-library-hits-pause-on-internet-archive-deal-days-before-deadline?fbclid=IwAR1zWf9KtlXq8XsDjGWcoVw3jf56HrKvaWFCcfViiaLfUbeK4qi2CRZzK See the photos of our Nov. 11 event "Writers against National Library Disposals" at St Peter's Willis St in DomStuff for a good idea of the atmosphere https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/126965961/authors-gather-for-literary-protest-against-national-librarys-internet-archive-deal or check out Karyn Hay’s LATELY for a live cross just after the event https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/lately/audio/2018820187/authors-protest-national-library-book-disposal-in-wellington https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/126965961/authors-gather-for-literary-protest-against-national-librarys-internet-archive-deal What has happened: Two years ago the National Library announced a plan to rid itself of most of its Overseas Published Collection. These books are national assets and should be treated this way. They contain a wealth of knowledge we do not want to lose. They will be costly to replace, and some will not be able to be replaced. Researchers, writers and students use this collection regularly. ▪︎ Over 600 000 books were initially slated for "secure destruction " by the National Library. ▪︎ The National Library's own statistics show these books are used about as much as any other part of the National Library's collection. ▪︎ 57 000 of the books were sent to a massive book sale at Trentham earlier this year. Approximately 10 000 sold. ▪︎ The National Library has entered into a contract to gift 428 000 books to an American company, Internet Archive, in return for digitising the books. The books will never come back again ▪︎ Internet Archive is facing a major lawsuit alleging breach of copyright in the USA and is opposed by writers and publishers groups nationally and internationally The National Library's rationale for getting rid of the books has shifted over time. ▪︎ It started as a cost saving exercise so it did not have to pay for storing them. "Secure destruction " was its original plan. Publishers figures for 2019 showed 2662 books were published in New Zealand. It would take 150 years to fill the space left by getting rid of the Overseas Published Collection. Extract from Scoop. 29 Oct "All the hard work of thoughtful librarians, their acquisitions and curation over the past century (and more), will be undone. The National Library is descended from the General Assembly Library, founded in 1862. Some of our books threatened with disposal, and many in the Alexander Turnbull Library have drawn from that heritage. The books are part of our tradition. They are special items, not worthless, ageing assets – and their value is increasing with time. All attempts to persuade our politicians that responsible curation of these collections is crucial for a fully resourced 21st-century national library have failed until now. These politicians, through the library’s directors, are effectively ‘legislating’ (in the philosophical sense) against our books. Public outcry is now our recourse." William Direen https://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=140249&fbclid=IwAR1tsZqoZ9uxsOyUS_acm17hmVrSgCJYMkcHqEUIDyMpiB263ZVJh5nNVRE We ask that ▪︎The contract with Internet Archive be cancelled Parliament must ensure that the National Library carries out its job in a careful, prudent way as envisaged by those who drafted the legislation it currently operates under.
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  • Call for safe and healthy journeys to schools
    🤸🏽‍♂️ Walking, biking and scooting are fun! 🌱 Being active helps to improve the retention of learning and our physical and mental well being. 🏃🏽‍♂️Our tamariki enjoy being able to get to and from school independently, while also reducing the workload for carers. 🌎 Active transport provides an incredible opportunity to tackle climate change. However, for many whānau, safety is a big barrier to walking, biking and scooting to and from school and access is a barrier to taking buses. When students in Waipa were surveyed, 87 percent said that they would like to walk or bike to school if their parents would let them. That’s why we’re asking the Government to commit to investing in safe infrastructure to school for all students by 2025. This includes installations like pedestrian crossings and protected bike and scooter lanes. We’re also asking the government to make public transport free for all school-aged children. Not only would this encourage more students to travel by bus, but it would reduce financial stress and barriers to education for many of our whānau. Funding dedicated school buses would provide better options for students where public transport routes don’t suit. When the Bay of Plenty Regional Council made bus travel free for all students travelling to and from school, 30 percent more students started taking the bus over just one year. That’s an awesome result! This is our chance to build a school transport system that works. That’s why we’re asking the government to prioritise school travel in its emissions reduction plan. Add your name to urge the Government to take urgent action for the climate, people and a better transport future! Please leave a personal comment to share why free fares and safe routes to school are important for you, your friends and whānau. Photo credit: @Bicycling. https://www.bicycling.com/news/a20046469/-49/
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  • Return to COVID-19 Elimination
    A return to Elimination with improvements to the COVID Alert Levels is the way forward. We urge people to sign, to email their MPs, and to go on social media to say that we support a return to COVID Elimination, with improved economic supports, so we can effectively end the spread of COVID in our communities. The way to Level 1 is a supported Level 4. Our lives depend on it. The lives of our children and our whānau depend on it. We have done it before, we can do it again, if the government enables us.
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    Created by Cassie Withey-Rila
  • Open Letter to the Hon Chris Hipkins – put Māori health needs first
    We are writing to express our extreme disappointment, concern and outrage at your statement on 06 October 2021 that you are not sure the Government would be stepping away from the Covid19 elimination strategy if the general population had the same vaccination rate as Māori. We believe that you have just confirmed the worst fears of many tangata whenua and tangata Tiriti people that the Crown still regards the Māori population as disposable? The implications of your statement are destructive. Firstly, the history of pandemics in this country has been a history of various forms of discrimination and neglect against Māori communities with the mass graves to prove it. Why would you perpetuate this tradition by making a statement that implies a high-risk community is not worthy of the highest level of consideration, protection and resources? The lower vaccination rates are a call to change monocultural strategies not a call to put them at increased risk when you know what that risk amounts to. Secondly you are failing the Crown obligations to be in an honourable relationship with whānau, hapū, iwi and all Māori organisations. Māori are not a minority group or stakeholder in the struggle against Covid 19. Their rangatiratanga means the Crown has an obligation to negotiate regarding changes to a strategy that has direct and potentially disastrous effects on Māori. Thirdly you are undermining the Māori communities and health professionals fighting so hard to work with you and protect people. The success of the vaccination programme in places like rural Tairāwhiti and Te Whānau Apanui, the generous and effective programmes led by urban Māori groups tell us what works. People have been giving their all to ensure this pandemic does not decimate a population with health issues caused by years of inequity in the health system.
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    Created by Heather Came