• Legalise the use of medicinal cannabis
    In June 2017 the ActionStation community won a campaign to allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis. The changes are welcome but do not make a big difference for people in need. There is a lack of CBD only products on the international market and none being approved in New Zealand – meaning no greater access to products in the short term, and no real difference to the current situation. Let’s now get behind the proposed Bill. The medical use of cannabis should be legal, accessible and affordable. Many thousands of Kiwis, often older people, are using cannabis products for medicinal purposes, and in doing so are breaking the law as it now stands. Support the legalising of medicinal use of cannabis, and show MPs that we want common sense approaches to an issue that is about our health, not law and order. UPDATE - 2 June 2017 WIN! Today Associate Minister for Health, Peter Dunne, has just announced that the Government will allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis. Thanks to you and the over 6000 people who signed the petition calling for this change! Associate Health minister Peter Dunne on Friday announced the medicinal cannabis product cannabidiol (CBD) would no longer require a person to get Ministry of Health approval to use it. The changes mean CBD would be able to be prescribed by a doctor to their patient and supplied in a manner similar to any other prescription medicine. Mr Dunne said it was a move towards legalising medicinal cannabis, but wouldn't "immediately bring about a revolution". "I have taken advice from the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) that CBD should not be a controlled drug, and am pleased Cabinet has now accepted my recommendation to make this change. "Therefore, I am now taking steps to remove restrictions accordingly." Common sense has prevailed with overwhelming public support. This will make a huge difference to people dealing with severe chronic pain and improving their quality of life. You can email the Associate Minister to congratulate him on his decision at p.dunne@minister.govt.nz News coverage: Kiwis will now be able to get medicinal cannabis from their doctor, Government announces http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/93268869/restrictions-on-medicinal-cannabis-product-to-be-removed-government-announces **** Medicinal 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 expensive and prohibitive process. 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 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
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  • Sports games of national significance should be live and free-to-air for everyone
    Sport 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.
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  • Commit to Ending Homelessness
    Too many kiwis are sleeping rough; living in garages, or overcrowded, damp houses. According to a recent study by Kate Amore of Otago University, more than 40,000 kiwis are homeless. More than half are under 25. It's just not good enough. We can, and must do better. Many generous community workers and organizations are doing their best to help, but without government commitment, this problem will not end. Every kiwi deserves a decent place to live. It's a human right. Sign this petition if you agree.
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  • End poverty in New Zealand by 2030
    All parents want their children to do well but many kids won’t get the start they deserve because lots of families are over-stretched by things like rising rents. Meanwhile, the rules of the New Zealand economy have been rigged in favour of the rich. This small minority of people now siphon off almost half of all wealth generated in this country. It’s not fair, it’s not right, and the Government has the power to change it. We know what it would take to turn around the lives of ten of thousands of families living in New Zealand who are living on the brink, and we have the resources to make it happen. For example, we know that the Government loses up to $9 billion in revenue per year to tax dodging, evasion and fraud. Imagine if that money was spent on a coordinated plan to eradicate poverty in this country for good. We don’t need imagination for this to happen, what we need is political courage. New Zealand already has a goal to halve all poverty by 2030. We want our Government leaders to increase their ambition and work together to end poverty in New Zealand by 2030. *** Further reading and references: Economic crimes cost up to $9.4b, RNZ, 14th October 2014 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/257185/economic-crime-costs-up-to-$9-point-4bn The cost of economic crime, RNZ, 19th October 2014 http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/20153949/the-cost-of-economic-crime United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal: End Poverty http://nzchildren.co.nz/ Key data from Child Poverty Monitor Report 2016: * 14 per cent of children (155,000) are in households living without seven or more items - from a total list of 17 - considered necessary for their well-being. * Eight per cent (or 85,000) are in even worse material hardship in households without nine or more items. * 28 per cent (295,000) are in homes where money is tight and are considered to be in income poverty - up from 14 per cent in 1982. Read the report here: http://nzchildren.co.nz/
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  • NZ Herald, report on our women sporting heroes as you do our men!
    This is important for women, girls, men and boys everywhere who want a world where we're equal. Your paper reaches a huge audience, both online and offline, and shapes how we perceive our country and our people. If you must cover so much sport, at least cover women with the same adoration as men. You have a responsibility to champion our successful female sportspeople . You owe it to a society where the pay gap between men and women is at it's worst for almost 10 years. Photo credit: Photosport
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  • Reinstate Helen Kelly's nomination to the NZer of Year Awards, mate.
    Dear NZer of The Year Awards, We the undersigned New Zealanders imagine the decision to remove Helen Kelly was not lightly made. Nevertheless we think your decision should be reconsidered. And if a rule change is needed to achieve this we ask you to make that rule change. Helen is a hero and inspirational role model to tens of thousands of New Zealanders - many of whom nominated her for the award while she was alive (till Oct 14th) and still fighting to stay that way.  Voting closed for nominations for the award on September the 30th. At that time she had received the most public nominations. That Helen had such widespread support for this recognition is far from surprising. In the final months of her life Helen connected with thousands more NZers as she continued to do what she had always done - fight for justice and fairness for the benefit her fellow Kiwis. Her death itself, up to her last breath, was the most dignified you could possibly imagine. A week before her death she was still tweeting in defence of the rights of others. As she approached death she gave up precious time to media interviews to highlight the suffering of her fellow Kiwis, mounting the final campaign of her life in support of making access to medicinal cannabis for terminally ill New Zealanders easier. Public polls showed Helen's final campaign was supported by an overwhelming majority of the public. Helen accomplished an enormous amount in her 52 years of life, before her time with us all was cut short by an aggressive lung cancer. We agree with the chorus of eulogies following death which have said that she would have doubtless accomplished a great deal more if she had survived. But for us she was a hero for what she had already done, for her Trade Union work and support of workers rights - whether unionised or not, New Zealander or not - for her integrity and for her kindness. For all these reasons, if ever there were a case when the New Zealander who has died should remain eligible for this award it is this one. Respectfully Your mates. ----------------------------------------- Media Coverage Of This Petition ---------------------------------------- Newshub >> http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/petition-to-put-helen-kelly-back-on-the-shortlist-for-new-zealander-of-the-year-2016102913 Stuff >> http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/85874277/helen-kelly-ineligible-for-the-new-zealander-of-the-year-award-category RNZ >> http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/316789/helen-kelly-ineligible-for-nzer-of-the-year NZ Herald >> http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11738289 TVNZ >> https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/online-campaign-helen-kelly-made-eligible-honour Paul Henry Show >> http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/huge-respect-but-no-honour-for-helen-kelly---pm-2016103109 Stuff >> http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/85897243/john-key-agrees-with-not-awarding-new-zealander-of-the-year-posthumously Scoop >> http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1610/S00096/5000-nzers-back-helen-kellys-reinstatement-to-nzer-of-year.htm Scoop >> http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1611/S00034/helen-kelly-and-the-compassionless-people.htm ----------------------------------------- UPDATE NOVEMBER 8th : - ADDING A PLAN B ---------------------------------------- Many New Zealanders believed Helen Kelly might have become a great Prime Minister had she not been taken so young. In this context Helen's style of principled, enlightened, and selfless political activism serves as a wonderful example to future generations of activists and politicians. These days few people are willing to consider a move into representative politics – the nastiness and apparent futility makes it appear to be a frightening path to pursue. But it is one which we need to encourage people to consider and then choose to pursue. With that in mind a solution for honouring Helen Kelly becomes obvious. Let's create a new award - bearing Helen's name (with her family's permission) - to celebrate selflessness, achievement and courage in political service – either as activist or politician, to be awarded annually to someone who is truly the best of us, as Helen undoubtedly was. If you would like to help put together some kind of meaningful memorial for Helen Kelly – either this idea or another - then please email me at alastair@scoopmedia.co.nz - It is going to take a coalition to get something like this flying. Read more here >> http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1611/S00034/helen-kelly-and-the-compassionless-people.htm#proposal
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  • Tell My Food Bag to drop Talley's!
    As customers and/or supporters of My Food Bag, we want to know the fellow Kiwis who are working to produce the food in our bags are being treated fairly at work!
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  • Commission an Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction Services in New Zealand.
    It is no secret that New Zealand has one of or if not the highest youth suicide rate in the developed world. Suicide is a serious health and social issue. Suicide rates are a sign of the mental health and social wellbeing of a society. The suicide statistics are so high in New Zealand that it is now the third highest cause of death after heart disease and lung cancer. While awareness of risk factors are increasing, prevention programmes and strategies have been in place for more than a decade and the overall figures remain unchanged. Our current medical model's have done nothing to assist with the reduction of suicide and self harm rates. As a nation it is time to facilitate and hold a national conversation surrounding mental health and addictions, suicide prevention and the direction of these services into the future. This conversation must be incorporated across all social and justice sectors within a multicultural framework.
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  • Keep our sleeping babies safe- National pēpi-pod/wahakura programme
    The Ministry of Health announced last year that they will work with researchers and other paediatric experts to develop a programme using pēpi pods, to help save babies lives. But as the programme stands only certain babies (the most vunerable) will get access to them, not all babies. Recent research released findings showed that pepi pods/wahakura are safe and in fact significantly increased the level of breastfeeding, as the baby is in arms reach. (Read the full article here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11779101) It's super that we now have the science to back us up and this makes our case for the government rolling out a nationwide scheme even stronger! What we need to do now is gather our voices, make noise, spread the word and collect more signatures to make this campaign bigger and bolder. Let's tell the government that all New Zealand babies/pepi are precious and deserve a safe space to sleep in. We demand action! If you haven't already, you can write to the Minister or give his office a call, as it’ll let him know that we’re not going away. Here are his details: (email) jonathan.coleman@parliament (phone) 09 419 8021 Please can you share this message with your family, friends, colleagues and all people who love babies. --------------------------- New Zealand has the worst rate of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) in the industrialised world. Every year 50 babies die from SUDI, with half being accidentally smothered by parents. Māori babies are eight times more likely to die from accidental suffocation because of high smoking rates and the cultural custom of bed-sharing. A sleeping device, a wahakura or pēpi-pod, was designed in 2006 to prevent deaths while bed-sharing. http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11673356 Pēpi-pods/wahakura allow parents or caregivers to sleep close to their babies while allowing pēpi to stay safe in their own individual space. Being close to your baby is important to be able to respond sensitively and remain in tune during the first few weeks of life. Pēpi-pods/wahakura support cultural values of co-sleeping within our Māori and Pacific families and communities. Internationally renowned cot death expert Professor Ed Mitchell, of the University of Auckland, believed in the device from day one. "When David [Tipene-Leach] first invented the wahakura, I stuck my neck out very early on and supported this Māori initiative," he says. With the right prevention strategies in place, such as a national pēpi-pod programme and targeted anti-smoking campaigns, Mitchell believes New Zealand's SUDI rate could be cut down from 50 deaths a year to as few as five. "In my heart, I know we can get it down.".http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11670826 The recent fall in post perinatal mortality in New Zealand and the Safe Sleep programme. Mitchell EA, Cowan S, Tipene-Leach D. The deaths of babies in New Zealand in their first month of life was reduced by 29% from 2009-2015. The reduction was most prominent in Māori infants. This recent fall is likely to be due to a combination of strategies including; pēpi-pods/wahakura and educational intiatives. Over 16, 500 pēpi-pods/wahakura have been distributed nationwide due to this safe sleep programme. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27254483
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  • Equal Pay - It's Time
    This is a historic opportunity to do the right thing by the women – and men – doing low-paid and crucial work. Join us and make a stand for equal pay. Because It’s Time.
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  • Save Our Public Healthcare: Gisborne / Tairawhiti Members of Parliament
    The local petitions for each DHB area were handed in to Parliament in May 2017! Read the story of the local volunteers and their campaign to Save our Public Health system: 'Health volunteers step it up a level' https://medium.com/actionstation/our-volunteer-campaigners-step-it-up-a-level-ebe7fdc8ea74 Background "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. [1] 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. [2] * 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. [3] * $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: [1] 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) [2] Half a million Kiwis not receiving healthcare because of costs, Ged Cann, Stuff News, 3rd November 2016 [3] Mental health workers struggling to cope, RNZ, 7th June 2016
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  • Save Our Public Healthcare: South Canterbury Members of Parliament
    The local petitions for each DHB area were handed in to Parliament in May 2017! Read the story of the local volunteers and their campaign to Save our Public Health system: 'Health volunteers step it up a level' https://medium.com/actionstation/our-volunteer-campaigners-step-it-up-a-level-ebe7fdc8ea74 Background "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. [1] 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. [2] * 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. [3] * $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: [1] 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) [2] Half a million Kiwis not receiving healthcare because of costs, Ged Cann, Stuff News, 3rd November 2016 [3] Mental health workers struggling to cope, RNZ, 7th June 2016
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