• Divest the NZ DHBs of the responsibility of Nursing 'safe staffing' agreement
    The DHBs have been asked by the Nurses Union NZNO for more money for more nursing staff to safely staff their (the DHB) workplaces (DHB workplaces are public hospitals), for 14 years, and each year since 2004, the DHBs have failed to provide money for more nursing staff to make their workplaces safe for the patients and the nursing staff. When DHB workplaces are unsafely staffed the patients do not receive the care that they require. Essential monitoring of a deteriorating patient gets missed by the nurse because they have too many patients to safely care for, pain medication gets missed, nurses become exhausted and fail to take their meal breaks which compounds an already unsafe situation, and sentinel events (near misses, and serious injury and death to patients due to unsafe staffing) start to occur. However as the DHB hasn't committed to putting Care Capacity Demand Management into place which is NZNO Safe Staffing request, as advocated for by NZNO, the instances of Unsafe Staffing in DHB workplaces are neither recorded nor audited. So NZNO, NZNO Nursing members, DHBs, or the Safe Staffing Healthy Workplaces Unit have no idea how many instances of care rationing have lead to sentinel events for patients being cared for in DHB workplaces. The DHBs have a conflict of interest and at NZNO nurse wage negotiation times, pit one essential requirement of nurses demanding a pay rise versus the nurses essential requirement for more staffing to safely care for our patients. The District Health Boards honour neither requirement, because it is in the District Health Board's interest to save money. This is a conflict of interest and it makes a mockery of the District Health Board acting as a "Good Faith" bargaining partner. This is the possibility of corruption in a government department, and is not acting in “Good Faith” as an employer. We ask that the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation divest all District Health Boards from New Zealand Nursing Organisations 'safe staffing' agreement. Make the 'safe staffing' agreement between New Zealand Nurses Organisation, Ministry Of Health, and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. The DHB needs to bargain in good faith on the wages and pay increases for its employees. The DHB could then be held accountable to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment regarding honouring the government mandate of providing a safe DHB workplace for the staff and patients. Ensure that care capacity demand management requirements are provided for and achieved in the DHB workplace, and are advised upon and enforced by NZNO. Funding for Safe Staffing would be the only responsibility of the Ministry of Health to avoid future conflicts of interest, and regulated by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and be audited, administered, enforced and staffed by NZNO in the DHB workplace every shift. It is important that an effective government department such as the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, which is bound by the Health and Safety Act 2015, can regulate, administer and enforce laws that protect the patients and staff who work in DHB workplaces. Nursing and Allied Health Staff work in DHB workplaces and provide care for Patients, in the workplace that the DHB provides. The DHB is obliged under the Health and Safety Act 2015 to provide all requirements in their workplaces, to meet Health and Safety standards which include Safe Staffing, specific nurse to patient ratios depending on acuity/comorbidity that are enforced by New Zealand Nurses Organisation 24/7 on site staff who monitor, record, audit, communicate and find staff for unsafely staffed DHB workplaces. NZNO would advise, regulate, enforce, administer and provide staff to monitor DHB workplaces and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment compliance with safe staffing. There would always be a NZNO staff member available within DHB workplaces 24/7 to monitor compliance of the DHB workplace's nurse to patient ratios and reporting, recording, and enabling provision of one or multiple nursing staff members to work should that be required. Having a stronger and more responsive government Ministry in place will make accountability for safer staffing greater, will minimise care rationing by nurses to patients, and will decrease length of hospital stay for patients, it will provide for better care to the patient and more effective nursing care within a shorter time frame, and will diminish the incidence of serious sentinel events (serious and fatal harm caused to patients due to unsafely staffed DHB workplaces). It will also allow the DHB to act as a bargaining employer of Good Faith, and will restore some transparency, integrity and accountability to the DHB's reputation to deliver upon wage negotiation pay rises for Nursing staff. http://nursingnzme2.wpengine.com/right-staffing-happier-staff-finds-ccdm-research/ http://nursingreview.co.nz/right-nurse-right-place-and-right-time/ http://nursingreview.co.nz/safe-staffing-and-nursing-strikes-a-brief-history/ https://www.nzno.org.nz/get_involved/campaigns/care_point/what_is_ccdm https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/opinion/2018/07/duncan-garner-irony-nurses-finally-get-safe-staffing-levels-during-strike.html
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  • Extend the Income-Related Rent Subsidy to all Wellington City Council Tenants.
    Dear Hon Phil Twyford, Wellington City Council is landlord to in excess of 2500 social housing units within Wellington. Rental rates are based on 70% of market rent , and rents are reviewed and increased annually by approximately 3-5%. This year, however, City Housing tenants have been hit hard with one of the largest rent increases in recent years — double that of last years. Contrary to public belief, Wellington City Council is an expensive landlord and its social housing rentals are no longer an affordable option for those who need it most. An external operational review of the council's social housing unit, recently released to media under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, reveals that "two-thirds of tenants are paying well over 35 per cent of their income on rent." Now, more than ever, Wellington City Housing tenants need "a fairer and more equitable rental scheme." It is a matter of urgency that council tenants can access the same Income-Related Rent Subsidy that is automatically applied to all Housing New Zealand tenants. Despite Wellington City Council voting to pursue the Government to help ease the burden on its low-income tenants by extending the rent subsidy, the Government has responded by saying it favours this subsidy, but "not this term." Why not? https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/104904348/wellington-city-asks-government-for-rent-subsidies-and-votes-to-review-social-housing-rents This government claims to care about New Zealand's most financially and materially disadvantaged people. It also claims to be making affordable housing for those who are most in need a priority. By failing to extend the Income-Related Rent Subsidy to all social housing tenants, while rent rates continue to rise annually, the Government is putting low-income tenants at considerable risk of being excluded from accessing their most basic human right to a roof over their head. Wellington City Council tenants are are an ethnically and socially diverse group of residents . Many are elderly, refugees and migrants, live with disabilities and/or suffer from long term chronic health problems. Some have overcome homelessness, domestic violence, and have first hand experience of discrimination and exclusion.  The Wellington City Council's Social Housing Service Policy (last updated in 2010) states: - Over 80% of the Council's tenants are Work and Income New Zealand beneficiaries. "The largest priority group of city housing customers — a group that comprises 38% status — are categorized as “multiple disadvantaged”. https://wellington.govt.nz/~/media/your-council/plans-policies-and-bylaws/plans-and-policies/a-to-z/housingsocial/files/housing.pdf?la=en Please sign and share this petition.
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  • Fix Renting
    Everyone deserves a home that is safe, healthy, affordable and stable. The half of New Zealand who lives in rental accommodation should be no exception. But our rental market is broken. Too many renters find that their homes are unsafe, unhealthy, unaffordable and insecure and their existing rights are poorly enforced. This year the government will review tenancy laws, giving us a once-in-a-decade opportunity to call for the reforms renters need. To seize this moment, Renters United has developed a Plan to Fix Renting. Last year we heard from over 600 renters who shared their experiences in the People’s Review of Renting (rentingreview.nz). We have listened to their stories and consulted experts to develop 36 recommendations that will make life better for renters. The Plan proposes solutions in four areas: 1) Stable homes, so renters can feel secure ➡️ We recommend an end to no-fault evictions and a shift to indefinite tenancies as the norm. ➡️ We also recommend that renters be allowed to keep pets and make their house a home through reasonable changes – like hanging pictures on the wall. 2) Fair rent, so homes are affordable ➡️ We recommend rent be increased only once per year and by no more than the Consumer Price Index in the preceding 12 months. 3) Safe and healthy homes, so renters live healthy lives ➡️ We recommend that every home be required to comply with the He Kainga Oranga rental Warrant of Fitness, enforced by local councils. 4) Meaningful enforcement, so renters can stand up for their rights. ➡️ We recommend reforms to the Tenancy Tribunal, funding of tenant advocacy services, and licensing and regulation of all property managers. Read the full Plan at fixrenting.org.nz. We call on the Housing Minister to implement the Plan so we can fix renting. By signing this petition, you agree to be contacted by Renters United and ActionStation about this and similar campaigns. You can opt out at anytime. If you’d like to join the campaign by joining regular online meet-ups or organising renters near you, contact organiser@rentersunited.org.nz.
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  • Let's reform homosexual laws in Samoa
    A reform of these sections in the Crimes Act is important because gay rights = human rights. People should be able to love, free of judgement and potential persecution. Polynesia has been sexually diverse for many years and, before colonisation and Christianity, was accepted as apart of the norm. No one should have a permanent criminal conviction, simply for loving who they want to. These laws do not reflect well on the progressive nature of young Samoans today, along with future generations and this inflexible view of sexuality is non-inclusive, discriminatory and extremely conservative. A reform would mean our LGBTQ+ peers are more protected from discrimination and would have the ability to love freely. We understand that, typically, when laws change, mindsets do as well and therefore are asking the Samoan Government to reform these laws to grant this change. Crimes Act PDF for reference: http://www.palemene.ws/new/wp-content/uploads//01.Acts/Acts%202013/Crimes_Act_2013_-_Eng.pdf
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  • Homes for all
    Right now too many people are living precariously in rented homes that are making them sick. Families continue to live in cars, it’s due to be one of the coldest winters and people are freezing while sleeping on the street, in garages, or huddled up in overcrowded lounges. But together we can fix it. Solving such a complex problem needs multiple solutions. After decades of neglect the Government is finally starting to get it’s hands back on the steering wheel to fix the housing crisis. With our support it can go further. Sign the petition so everyone can live in a stable home.
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  • 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.
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  • Hey Auckland Transport, please keep your word on Lynfield bus routes
    Auckland Transport (AT) is about to implement the New (Central Bus) Network in July 2018, without the 191 route they had promised in 2016. After consulting with the community in 2015, AT committed to the new 191 bus route to link Lynfield-Blockhouse Bay-New Lynn in 2016. A map including the new 191 route was produced and the ‘Consultation Summary & Decisions Report’ said “The Puketapapa Local Board has advocated for a bus service to link Lynfield with Blockhouse Bay… This is able to be accommodated by extending the limited (hourly) local service route 191”. This was great news, as many years ago, when the old Auckland City was deciding between putting a new library at Blockhouse Bay or Lynfield, they had gone with Blockhouse Bay and promised Lynfield a bus link that was never delivered. The population of Lynfield has grown a lot since then too, and is about to grow even further with the addition of a large Ryman's retirement village on Commodore Drive. Sadly Lynfield has also lost a lot of the services it used to have - the last bank has gone now, the pharmacy has recently closed (with a new pharmacy coming at some point in the supermarket), and a postal agency but no longer a post shop, as well as the lack of library and civic services. This link to Blockhouse Bay is even more needed that it was when it was first promised many years ago. However AT changed their mind about the 191 route, which will not go ahead. We are calling on AT to keep their word to Lynfield and re-instate this important local service as promised. There isn't another route for people to get from Lynfield to the west, and won't be in the new network either - they will have to catch a route in towards the city and then another one back out (and most likely won't do that at all in many cases). There's a very large steep hill that people would need to walk up, as part of quite a long walk, to get to the bus services that go west. It's not practical for people with mobility issues, and is generally avoided even by fit school children (too many of whom get driven to nearby Lynfield College when this would help them to get there another way). Some people will be driving more, without this vital link, others will be more socially isolated. Organised by Roskill Community Voice and your local Labour MP, Michael Wood. Please sign the petition to add your voice.
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  • We demand a public inquiry into banks
    Right now, in Australia, an inquiry into banks and financial insitutitions is uncovering shocking misconduct. “ANZ's financial planners were found to have forged signatures, impersonated customers, fraudulently used power of attorney, falsely witnessed of documents and transferred customer's funds to advisers' personal accounts. AMP was found to have falsely charged customers for service it didn't provide, and then lied to the regulator and customers repeatedly about it.” - Newsroom Pressure is mounting behind the scenes, for us to have trust in our banks there must be a public, transparent inquiry. Secret meetings of men in suits isn’t going to fix this. Will you sign the petition calling for a public inquiry into NZ Banks? Now’s the optimal time to call for an inquiry. The story has been on RNZ’s Morning Report - one of the most listened to news sources - everyday this week. Media attention is powerful, but our collective voices can tip this over the line. Refs: 1. 8 Things Monday, Newsroom, 23 April 2018. https://pro.newsroom.co.nz/articles/2690-8-things-monday-orr-says-no-need-for-nz-bank-inquiry-richard-macmanus-on-spark-s-streaming-tech-challenge 2. The royal commission changed this week - from awful and dumb to utterly shocking, ABC, 21 April 2018 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-21/royal-commission-changed-this-week-awful-to-shocking/9681942 3. Q+A: Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr, Q+A, 22 April 2018. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1804/S00237/qa-reserve-bank-governor-adrian-orr.htm 4. Kiwi banks told: Prove you're not dodgy too, Stuff, 25 April 2018. www.stuff.co.nz/business/103353429/kiwi-banks-told-prove-youre-not-dodgy-too
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  • Save Social Housing!
    Housing is a right and a basic need. Right now, the Palmerston North City Council has proposed to charge market rent for their social housing. Council social housing must be affordable; for our current tenants, pensioners, vulnerable communities, and for the next generations. To charge market rents is a betrayal of citizens who need subsidised housing the most. Even a $7-$17 increase in rent paid will eat into the basic needs of those with little to spare and opens the door to further increases. Suitable housing is a human right and needs to be considered in terms of people lives first and foremost. Please stand with us and sign the petition. Even better, tell your local councillors to vote no for market rent on social housing. https://www.pncc.govt.nz/yourcouncil/mayor-and-councillors/councillors/
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  • Stand Together for Social Work - Change the Registration Bill!
    Social work is an integral part of our health and social service sectors. Whether you think of a ward in a hospital, a women’s refuge, a primary health organisation, a school, emergency accommodation, child protection or one of a hundred other settings, we are there. Our profession brings a unique skill set to the table, synthesising theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledges. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. We are a strong and important profession, who play a vital role in supporting families and communities as well as challenging the systemic injustices that generate inequalities. We are worthy of recognition and protection from erosion, undervaluation and manipulation. Yet the Social Work Registration Bill currently before the house does not recognise the complexity and importance of our work. The Bill ignores the views of the overwhelming majority of the sector. It conveys a strong message that social work is vague, confusing, unimportant and fundamentally, unskilled. The Bill does not define or reference a scope of practice for social work. It makes registration virtually meaningless. And it means if your job title includes the words “social work” or “social worker”, you’re covered – and if it doesn’t, you aren’t. And as if that weren’t confusing enough, there are exemptions for some people even if they do have that job title. The end result: the public can’t be sure if the person they’re dealing with is qualified, skilled and accountable. We reject the idea repeated by the select committee and Ministers that the practice of social work is difficult to define. This work has been done by our international community and by our social work registration board. If anything else is needed we have more than enough skill and knowledge in our community to define and articulate our own work. It’s laughable to imagine a situation where an employer decides who can call themselves a nurse, or a dentist, or a lawyer. The same should apply for social work. It will create a situation where employers can pay lower wages and cut corners to avoid paying registration and supervision. It will only be a matter of time before this leads to a critical incident within our communities as the quality of practice is diminished in favour of affordability. This bill is outrageous and shows how far we still have to go in valuing work traditionally seen as “women’s work.” If you think that social work can be done by anyone and is not highly complex, skilled and emotionally demanding work we urge you to go into the field with a social worker. If you vote this bill through to law, you will cripple our profession. We urge you to urgently redraft the bill taking into account the views of those working in the sector. We are, after all, the experts in our own work. The Social Work Community of Aotearoa New Zealand and our allies. Social workers call for govt to scrap registration bill 24 April 2018 https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/355836/social-workers-call-for-govt-to-scrap-registration-bill Social work bill ‘nonsense’ - Dr Ian Hyslop, University of Auckland 24 April 2018 https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/04/23/106052/social-work-bill-nonsense# Social Workers Registration Legislation Bill https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_74844/tab/submissionsandadvice
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  • Fair wages for Huckleberry workers
    Huckleberry is a chain of organic supermarkets that is rapidly expanding across New Zealand. It is owned and backed by the same group as EcoStore. Huckleberry workers are paid as little as 50c above the minimum wage. On the whole, Huckleberry workers are paid less than workers at most mainstream supermarkets. FIRST Union has been bargaining with Huckleberry since December 2017 for increased and better conditions. Union members originally asked to be paid the Living Wage (then $20.20 per hour), but this was refused. The Living Wage is the hourly wage a worker needs to pay for the necessities of life and participate as an active citizen in the community. It is calculated independently each year, and is currently 20.55 per hour. As it stands, many workers at Huckleberry struggle to pay their rent, or to afford the organic and ethical products they sell each day. Recently, the L'Oreal Distribution Centre in Mangere jumped from a the minimum wage to the Living Wage: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/103003822/loreal-to-pay-living-wage-in-mangere-distribution-centre Another New Zealand organic company, Tonzu, was the first Auckland-based employer to sign on to the Living Wage movement: http://tonzu.co.nz/about/living-wage/ Huckleberry has demonstrated that it has the resources to open new stores and expand its business. It should take a leaf from Tonzu's and L'Oreal's books and invest the resources to fairly pay its staff. FIRST Union members at Huckleberry are taking industrial action to support their cause. Your support would help a lot. Please sign the petition and share widely. More on the Living Wage: https://www.livingwage.org.nz/
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  • 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
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