• 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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  • 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: Nelson-Marlborough 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: Hawkes Bay Members of Parliament
    "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: Auckland 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: 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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  • Minister Anne Tolley: Forgive WINZ Motel Emergency Accommodation Debt
    When people are in desperate need, Winz loan people money so they can rent out a motel room as emergency housing. [1] People then have to repay the debt, and many say that is just not possible. This is a ridiculous and inhumane policy in effect locking people who are already in such dire straits that they are homeless, into further debt. Furthermore, it does nothing to solve the housing crisis and is open to exploitation by the Motel owners, and the people themselves have little choice but to agree. Take Nicole in the picture, who is living in a motel with her three children, including an eight-week-old baby, but the family is facing the real possibility of having to live in a car. https://www.youtube.com/embed/vxTATpTGaVU Nicole is among many Work and Income (Winz) clients who are being put up in $190-a-night motels because there simply isn't enough emergency housing to cope with the demand, a ministry source says. All of them will have to pay the motel costs back even if they can't afford it. [2] This needs to change. Sign the petition. References: 1) Homeless borrow thousands for motels, RadioNZ, 17 May 2016 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/304122/homeless-borrow-thousands-for-motels 2) Eight-week-old baby among hundreds homeless, RadioNZ, 18 May 2016 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/304200/eight-week-old-baby-among-hundreds-homeless
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  • Tell Anne Tolley and the National Government you want specific homelessness policy now!
    **LATEST NEWS** We delivered the petition! On 3 May the petition was accepted by Labour Party Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern and MP Phil Twyford. This has now been referred to the Social Services Committee for consideration on the 21st of June. We will of course be right there asking why we don't have a member of parliament directly responsible for homelessness. Thank you so much for your support to get effective strategy to end homelessness in New Zealand. We’ll keep you updated as the petition goes through the Select Committee process, as there will be opportunities to take action once again. While the petition is closed you can sign to receive updates of future events in the campaign to end homelessness in New Zealand. You can watch Jacinda Ardern’s FB live recording of the presentation here: https://www.facebook.com/jacindaardern/videos/10154326485732441/?pnref=story News coverage by the NZ Herald and Maori Television: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11849240 and https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/petition-calls-end-homelessness-nz We are in a housing crisis. Skyrocketing house prices and the cost of living mean one in 100 New Zealanders are now homeless, including children, the elderly and young families. [1] Over the course of the last year we’ve seen far too many harrowing stories of families forced to live on the streets, in cars, or crammed into garages. [2] A recent inquiry found that the current level of homelessness in New Zealand is "larger than any other time in recent memory and is continuing to grow". [3] It’s never been worse, and the Government needs to act. It's time for a comprehensive plan to end homelessness. The recent cross-party enquiry has made 20 recommendations, with the core recommendation being create a national strategy to address homelessness. But the Government’s has brushed them off, saying homelessness has always been a problem, and that they are already solving it. It’s not good enough. We are in a crisis, and we demand action. Will you join us to demand immediate national action to end New Zealand’s homelessness crisis? Want to support us more? Don't forget to follow us on Facebook. www.facebook.com/GimmeShelterNZ References: [1] http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/305536/one-in-100-nzers-are-homeless-study [2] [3] http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/85147550/Govt-must-find-political-will-to-tackle-homelessness-cross-party-inquiry
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