• Update the Hamilton City Emblem!
    The current emblem was introduced in 1946 and represents the colonial history of our city as a settler military post in the 19th century. It does not align with the Treaty of Waitangi and Maaori representation in our current emblem is non-existent. Our emblem does not depict any partnerships and the crown is the main overpowering feature in the emblem. It does not hold any in-depth cultural, metaphorical or traditional meanings and is an emblem that was introduced almost 100 years ago!!! Kirikiriroa means 'long strip of cultivated land' and it represents the abundance of people who shared, took care, and lived off the land before colonisation. Gradually, like our city name or street names around our city Hamilton was overpowered by European settlers who made Kirikiriroa their own. Updating our city emblem and discussing it's relevance is important because it currently represents and supports years of our city’s colonial, traumatic history where indigenous people had land taken, were oppressed, and even murdered. Some people might think something small like an emblem doesn't matter, but the history and significance behind something so small has been the meaning of life or death for many. Today, Hamilton is the youngest city in New Zealand and one of the most multicultural cities with more than 160 ethnicities. We are a vibrant young & developing city and we need an emblem that reflects this! We want an emblem that we are proud of. We want an emblem that we understand and can relate to. We want an emblem that represents maaori, our city, and our diverse multicultural population. We want our city emblem to represent 'Kirikiriroa'. We want to have an emblem that we can share with pride! Sign to call on our Council to update City Emblem! To be able to present the petition the Council requires over 150 signatures with postal addresses, to show signatories are residents. Your address will be supplied to Council but not be made public.
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    Created by Jahvaya Wheki
  • Make the NZ courts safe for victim-survivors
    The following excerpt is taken from our open letter. On April 15, Stuff published a detailed case study of one woman’s treatment within New Zealand courts. This poignant story shows state power and ignorance colliding to harm a vulnerable woman: a woman who should have been able to rely on the state and the courts to understand her situation and protect her. Instead, it wrongly criminalised her, causing further harm and suffering. Mrs P was a party in Family Court proceedings. She provided a stack of evidence to the court that she had been abused by her former partner. In one of the documents she submitted in evidence, she twinked out private information that she did not want before the court. She initialled the change. In what was arguably, at worst, a misdemeanour ‘lay person’s redaction error’, the trial judge accused her of lying to the court. He appeared to take umbrage, bullying her during the trial and finding in favour of her former husband who had abused her. Not only did the trial judge disbelieve the woman had been abused, saying “I am in no doubt that she was not abused by [her ex-husband]”, he referred her to the police on the grounds of perjury. The case was prosecuted by the Crown, and Mrs P was convicted, narrowly missing a custodial sentence. Eventually the Court of Appeal overturned Mrs P’s conviction, but not before she had served a sentence of one year on home detention; been ordered to pay $400,000 in costs, resulting in bankruptcy; and lost her job as a teacher. The Government has refused compensation. The story highlights multiple occasions where the system has failed Mrs P – as a woman who suffered domestic violence, she was further harmed by the very institutions that women are urged to turn to for help. The treatment of Mrs P within both the Family Court and the District Court is a stinging indictment of the operations of our courts, and some of the judges and lawyers who operate within them. The detailed revelations about how Mrs P was treated in the Family Court are particularly significant, because such information is rarely provided for public scrutiny. Her mistreatment by the courts may seem extreme. However, core elements of this case resonate strongly with what advocates tell us about women’s and children’s experiences in the Family Court, and with what some of us know from our own practice and/or research. That is, the Family Court is currently unsafe for too many women who have experienced violence and abuse from their male partners, and for children who are subject to violence and abuse from their fathers or father-figures. In 2018, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), as part of its four-yearly review of New Zealand, was so concerned at the treatment of women and children in the Family Court, it recommended that there be a Royal Commission of Inquiry held. In March 2021, in its midterm review of New Zealand’s progress on that recommendation, CEDAW stated that the Government’s review into the Family Court failed to address the root causes of the problems and the issues of safety for domestic violence victims who come to the Family Court. CEDAW has recommended that the New Zealand Government “take appropriate action to address the root causes of the drawbacks for women, the obstruction of justice for women and the hindrances to their safety inherent in the family court system.” And furthermore, CEDAW has recommended that the state “operate the legislative and structural changes necessary to make the family courts safe and just for women and children, in particular in situations of domestic violence.” It is not good enough for New Zealand to say it is committed to preventing family and sexual violence, and to tell our population ‘It’s Not OK’, when the very courts many women will need to turn to for protection and for care-of-children arrangements are at risk of turning on them in their time of need. We continue to be deeply troubled by stories that mothers involved in the Family Court system risk being treated as vindictive and ‘alienating’ if they disclose violence and abuse they or their children suffer. Many of us have heard from women desperate because they have been warned that if they don’t stop raising concerns related to abuse of their children, they risk losing their children. We are writing to you, Prime Minister, with the following requests, because although the most excessive misuse of power in Mrs P’s case was in the Family Court, the problems rippled out more widely, implicating the District Court, the High Court and Crown Solicitors, and with ramifications for the safety and success of New Zealand’s family violence prevention messages. These problems, therefore, need to be tackled in each of these places, but with an overview of the interconnectedness of the problems. --------------------------------------------------------------
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    Created by Action for Mrs P and other women and children in the Family Court
  • Inquiry into the consequences of conversion therapies for autistic children
    We all celebrated to hear of the legislation being enacted that bans conversion therapy after years of campaigning by the LGTBQI+ community. However the win does not go far enough. The same underlying techniques of torture and dehumanising coercion continue to be applied to autistic children. Any legislation which is so selective as to ban only “conversion therapies” that target a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression is in itself discriminatory. If a government moves to ban the mistreatment of one minority in a particular manner but neglects similar mistreatment of other minorities it is more than negligent, it is actively legitimising prejudice. If a ban were to go through with specific reference to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression alone, it would be much like an anti-racism bill that protected black people but left all other people of colour out in the cold. Instead of acknowledging anxiety and depression as the result of the highly stressful environments and dehumanising treatments that autistic children are exposed to, many "autism professionals" prefer to treat autism as the 'problem', and then use medication as treatment. The message to autistic people is very clear: 'you are not normal and we need to fix you'. This is wrong. The University of Auckland and other institutions in New Zealand still teach ABA. In Aotearoa certified ABA practitioners continue to advertise their services for children with “compliance” problems. Many autistic people who have been subjected to ABA and similar “treatments” end up with PTSD. Multiple studies confirm that the suicide rates for autists are are more than twice (1.9 to 9.9 times) the rates found in the general population. It is so important that people, and especially parents of autistic children, start listening to the lived experience of autistic adults. Many of us are in our 50s, 60s and 70s. We all started out as autistic children, without formal diagnosis, and without intensive ABA "therapy". We have found our path in life, we've experienced decades of discrimination comparable to the level of discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people 50 years ago, and we have remained autistic throughout. Neurodivergence is at the core of creativity. Autistic people don’t play social games, instead we actively resist them. Autistic people are best understood as the agents of a well functioning cultural immune system within human society. What are conversion therapies? Conversion therapies are “normalisation” therapies rooted in the techniques of torture and dehumanising coercion developed by Ivar Lovaas and Burrhus Frederic Skinner. The same techniques that are used by ABA therapists have been named as abusive in domestic abuse prevention legislation. Dehumanising abuse of all children, including autistic children, must be made illegal. The actual results that are achieved with conversion therapy include depression, PTSD, suicidal ideation, social expectations that are toxic for autistic people, as well as environments that create sensory overload. Why do we propose to consider a ban of all forms of conversion therapy? Conversion therapy never achieves its stated goal of “normalising” LGBTQIA+ or autistic children. Instead there is overwhelming evidence that conversion therapy results in extreme levels of irreversible trauma. The autistic population is much smaller than the LGBTQIA+ community, but the intersection between the two is significant. Compared to the general population, autists are 7 to 8 times more likely to identify as LGBTQIA+. It makes perfect sense to tie legislation around the protection of LGBTQIA+ rights to the protection of the rights of autistic people. What practices would need to be considered as part of a ban? Of the many labels used “Applied Behaviour Analysis” (ABA) and "Positive Behaviour Support" (PBS) are the most common ones. It is important to focus on all “therapies” that are rooted in the techniques of torture and dehumanising coercion developed by Ivar Lovaas and Burrhus Frederic Skinner. This initiative is part of the global Ban Conversion Therapies project (https://autcollab.org/projects/ban-of-conversion-therapies/), which keeps track of all the bans of conversion therapies that are already in place and all initiatives towards bans. More background information has been compiled by the Autistic Collaboration Trust in collaboration with the autistic community in New Zealand on the following web page: https://autcollab.org/2021/03/10/banning-autistic-conversion-therapy-in-nz/.
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    Created by Jorn Bettin
  • End workplace exploitation and abuse
    We want to convince the prime minister to change employment laws so victims can get prompt and fair justice. Only then will workplace exploitation and bullying stop. 🔥 Who are we? 🔥 UTU for Workers Union is a volunteer organisation campaigning to stop workplace exploitation and abuse. We provide representation to workers in non-unionised workplaces with employment problems. We are registered as One Union. We are an incorporated society and registered trade union. From May 2021 we will legally be renamed UTU for Workers Union.
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    Created by Matt McCarten
  • Disabled people deserve their full equitable rights
    Everyone should feel included in our society and have access to opportunities. The Government has a responsibility to ensure disabled people can access their full and equal rights. They can do this by ensuring the Ministry for Disabled People is led and run by disabled people. This will enable a society where disabled people can be fully included to be able to fully participate. Disabled form 24% of Aotearoa’s population yet experience inequitable access to health and disability services, education, a lack of accessible housing, lower employment statistics and struggle to break out of poverty through no fault of their own. There are many barriers disabled people face because society is built inaccessibly. For too long disabled have been ignored and denied equitable access and it is long overdue to bring them in from the cold. The Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Health announcement of a non-disabled person, in the form of career official Justine Cornwall, to head the establishment unit of the new Ministry for Disabled People is deeply concerning. Disabled are generally unhappy that the new transitional director is not disabled and the voice of disabled is not present. Nothing is transparent and open which is concerning disabled that this will be led but from a non disability framework. We believe that while the position is a fixed-term role, the Establishment Director will be critical in setting a culture of inclusion and accessibility that is different from the judgemental, patronising culture of the past. For the sake of authenticity, a leader who identifies as a member of the disability community should have been in that role. However, the hope is that the appointment of the permanent head of the ministry will lead to a disabled person heading it. We want nothing about us without us, including in the development of the new Ministry. Please support our petition to help us gain full, non-disabling access to society. Remember disability is the only identity that does not discriminate.
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    Created by Huhana Hickey
  • Prevent Cervical Cancer! Introduce HPV Self-Testing to Aotearoa – We Need it NOW.
    A Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) test as a screening test is a proven BETTER TEST than a cervical smear. Cervical cancer is now preventable. We have had the HPV vaccination introduced (free for all aged 9-26 years) - the next urgent step, to save more lives, is the introduction of HPV self–testing. HPV causes almost all cervical cancers. Testing for HPV is now a more effective and safer screening test to prevent cervical cancer than the current screen of cervical cytology (the smear). Everyone with a cervix can do it for themselves! The science is irrefutable. The current screening system is inferior, inequitable and unacceptable. Government have knowingly persisted in using the inferior cervical screening test which will see more women lose their lives. The Ministry of Health is committed to introducing HPV primary screening and self-testing but implementation of this requires government funding to support the programme change - the current screening register is not fit for purpose. HPV self-testing will address inequities in cervical cancer. Wāhine Māori are more than 2.5 times more likely to die of cervical cancer than non-Māori. HPV self-testing is a game changer. The self-test has already been proven to be a very acceptable test for those wāhine under/never-screened. It can be done at a clinic, at home, where-ever is best. Anyone who has a cervix, including trans, non-binary and intersex people can get cervical cancer however it’s hard to love having a cervical smear. It’s uncomfortable, it’s invasive and for some there is also anxiety, whakama, mistrust and previous bad or traumatic experiences. Māori and non-Māori will suffer unnecessary harm and death from cervical cancer unless this new HPV self-test is urgently introduced. We want to see all who are eligible for cervical screening offered this better test. The World Health Organisation is pushing for global elimination of cervical cancer – because of its high level of performance, countries are being encouraged to transition to HPV testing as the primary method of screening. Other countries have already switched to HPV testing as a primary test including England, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Australia. Let's make Aotearoa New Zealand next! Our lives matter. Me aro kī te hā o Hine–ahu-one - Pay heed to the dignity of women. Ngā mihi, Tracey, Francesca, Jordy, Vanessa, Natalia & Kim - on behalf of many others who want this heard, those who are already diagnosed and in memory of those who have tragically lost their lives to this preventable cancer. This petition has the backing of Smear Your Mea, the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā (National Māori Pandemic Group) and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Recent media coverage: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/health/2021/04/why-the-government-should-introduce-self-testing-kits-for-hpv.html More information can be found at: https://www.nsu.govt.nz/health-professionals/national-cervical-screening-programme/hpv-primary-screening
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    Created by Tracey Mackay Picture
  • Paid Paternal Leave
    Right now in New Zealand, paternal leave is optional and only at a maximum of up to 2 weeks of unpaid work leave. Extending this for a longer period of time with pay would have many benefits. Some of which include: a break for mothers, especially those who are suffering postnatal depression. As well as, fathers feeling more encouraged to take time off to spend with their baby, and research proves that this initial bond with fathers improves every aspect of the child hauora further along in life. The paid paternal leave provides the fathers with motivation to actually take time off. Being a parent is hard, although this would not make parenting a piece of cake, however, it would make it that much easier. Paternity leave in New Zealand: https://www.findlaw.co.nz/articles/4283/paternity-leave-in-new-zealand.aspx Modernising Parental Leave - Regulatory Impact Analysis: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/assets/f58553252a/ris-2015-modernising-parental-leave.pdf How does Swedish parental leave work? https://everythingsweden.com/parental-leave-in-sweden/ Few Kiwi dads taking paid parental leave for fatherhood https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/few-kiwi-dads-taking-paid-parental-leave-for-fatherhood/ORMFAUOCSWWZP6OEMQ3ZUR4QDM/
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    Created by Brennaya Lawley
  • Save our maternity sector from crisis
    Whānau forms the foundation of our society. If we treat all families well and support them to thrive from the get go, our communities will flourish. We need to start investing real money and resources into whānau wellbeing, starting with maternity care. Over the last 12 months we’ve seen the ability of our government to respond rapidly and decisively to a crisis. We’ve seen them open their purse and pour money into our economy. We know that they’re capable of making big decisions to save lives and keep our communities safe. And now we need to see them step up with that same kind of energy to address the maternity crisis that we are in. Every pregnant person, parent and baby in Aotearoa deserves the very best care that we can provide as a society. The compassionate and skilled midwives and doctors providing life-changing and life-saving care across Aotearoa deserve to work in conditions where their wellbeing - as well as that of their patients - is protected. Right now we’re not even coming close, but together we have the power to change this. Our government works for us, and it’s our responsibility to join our voices and demand that our government solves this crisis. Not through incremental changes and stop-gap funding, but through a full rebirth of our maternity sector. Thank you for signing this petition. Further Information: PMMRC 14th Annual Report (2021) https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/our-programmes/mrc/pmmrc/publications-and-resources/publication/4210/ PMMRC recommendations https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/assets/PMMRC/Publications/14thPMMRCreport/Appendices_B-F_Recommendation_tables.pdf RANZCOG commentary on Maternal Mental Health https://ranzcog.edu.au/news/ranzcog-backs-call-for-action-to-reduce-inequitabl MERAS 2020 election priorities https://meras.midwife.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2020/07/MERAS-Election-Priorities.pdf Media commentary: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018783765/baby-mortality-for-young-maori-pacific-indian-mothers-needs-urgent-action-report https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018783766/capital-s-hospital-maternity-service-stretched-paper-thin-midwives-union https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/436561/crap-pay-and-horrible-conditions-midwives-at-breaking-point-in-capital-dhb https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/436784/fatigue-burnout-as-dhbs-stretched-to-the-limit-union-warns
    7,702 of 8,000 Signatures
    Created by Kirsten Van Newtown
  • Take Action against Modern Slavery
    40 million people globally are in modern slavery. Unlike many other countries, New Zealand has no legislation that requires companies to undertake due diligence looking into the risks of modern slavery within their supply chains and taking actions to address those risks. Modern Slavery legislation is a key way for New Zealand companies to work together to eliminate modern slavery in private and public sector supply chains. WHAT IS MODERN SLAVERY? Modern slavery is the severe exploitation of other people for personal or commercial gain. Modern slavery is in the clothes you wear, the coffee you drink and the goods you love. WHY DO WE NEED A MODERN SLAVERY ACT? 40 million people globally are in modern slavery. There are more people in slavery now than in any other time in history. The world is small and interconnected. Every time we purchase a product there is a chain reaction felt around the world. No country or industry is unaffected. Unlike many other countries, New Zealand has no accountability legislation that addresses transparency in supply chains. This means that New Zealand companies could unknowingly be importing products or services by which people are exploited and enslaved. WHAT WOULD A MODERN SLAVERY ACT DO? Modern Slavery Acts make it easier for a consumer to expect slavery-free products and services from companies. They help prevent slavery through transparency and accountability. They require businesses to understand the risks of modern slavery in their purchasing, to report on those risks and take action to address them. They give the business community guidance and a level playing field. For further information, resources and to get involved check out our campaign website - https://www.signforfreedom.nz/
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    Created by Trade Aid and World Vision . Picture
  • Support Vaccines for People Not Profit
    Based on current Covid vaccine supply projections, 9 out of 10 people in low-income developing countries won't get a vaccine in 2021. WTO rules allow pharmaceutical companies to enforce intellectual property rules like patents on their vaccines, blocking other manufacturers from producing the vaccine. This artificially restricts the supply of vaccines, driving up prices. In March, Aotearoa New Zealand should support the South African and Indian proposal at the World Trade Organisation to temporarily relax these rules for Covid-19 vaccines, so other manufacturers can increase global vaccine production and bring down prices. Currently wealthy countries are hoarding the limited supply of vaccine doses. Developing countries face a diminished allocation of vaccine doses, and a much longer pandemic. · This is unfair: access to life-saving equipment and medicines should not be based on who can pay; it should be based on need. · It is unsafe: delays on vaccinations around the world could leave us all unsafe. The virus, left to reproduce, will continue to mutate. · The free-for-all in buying up vaccines is exploitative: individuals and communities in developing countries have contributed to trials and are now being abandoned. · It will entrench global inequality: while wealthy countries get vaccines first, and their economies are able to open up, developing countries will still be fighting the pandemic. · Delaying worldwide vaccination will harm the global economy. A new study commissioned by the ICC Research Foundation found that the global economy could lose up to US$9.2 trillion if developing economies are denied access to Covid-19 vaccines. For more information on the People´s Vaccine and the South African and Indian proposal at the WTO, check out our article in The Spinoff: https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/29-01-2021/new-zealand-needs-to-get-on-board-the-peoples-vaccine/
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    Created by NZ Alternative .
  • Deplatform Sia's ableist movie 'Music'
    This film is ableist and includes the torture of Autism Spectrum Disorder people with a restraint method that has caused death and is a cause of massive trauma for those who have survived it. I'm really terrified about the underdiagnosis of autism. I spent 36 years not getting diagnosed for it because of media portrayals like this that are inaccurate and harmful. The fact that this has been greenlit by NZ's cinema complexes is highly disturbing. This will do damage to the ASD community as well as prevent people from getting treatment for ASD. The under diagnosis of ASD because of bad science and media portrayals has been labelled a "lost generation". You can read a harrowing paper on the effects here in a very accessible format for non-science people: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/aut.2019.0069
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    Created by Rory McCarthy Picture
  • Create a Teaching Council that works for teachers
    The teaching profession has been facing a supply crisis for a long time. Attracting and retaining quality teachers is paramount if we are going to maintain the high standards of teaching and learning that New Zealanders expect and deserve. The pressures of the job are already such that young graduates and those considering a career change feel they can earn better money and have a better work-life balance elsewhere. Having to cover the cost of a registration and certification personally – unlike nurses or social workers, for instance, whose registration costs are covered by their employers – is another barrier that the profession cannot afford. Teachers deserve a Teaching Council that they can trust, and that trusts them. If we are to keep the profession to the world-leading standard that it is today, we must honour that with fair fees, a high-trust model of certification, and a Council that performs its core functions effectively and efficiently. Nothing more, and nothing less.
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    Created by Chris Abercrombie