• OPEN LETTER: Stop sending our plastic waste to developing countries
    New Zealand has exported over 98,000 tonnes (and counting) of plastic waste offshore since the beginning of 2018. More than 46,000 tonnes of this has been shipped to Malaysia and Thailand. In the case of Malaysia, the plastics are imported from New Zealand and illegally burned next to schools and homes, causing a health and environmental epidemic. Cancer and asthma cases have increased. Microplastics leach into the waterways. The air is polluted with burnt plastic and ecosystems have been destroyed. The Ministry for the Environment has just published a consultation document on New Zealand's waste management strategy, "Te kawe i te haepapa para - Taking responsibility for our waste". Disappointingly, the consultation document does not “take responsibility” because it completely ignores the fact that our plastic waste exports are not being recycled by the receiving countries and the repercussions of this. The plastic waste is able to be exported because of a major loophole in the law: our kerbside recyclables and industrial plastics are not sufficiently regulated under the Imports and Exports (Restrictions) Prohibition Order (No 2) 2004 because they are considered “easily recyclable”. Section 11 of the Order requires a permit to be issued by the Environmental Protection Authority for hazardous plastics. Polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recyclables are exempt from this law (under Part 2A of Schedule 3) and therefore are assumed to be “disposed of or managed in an environmentally sound and efficient manner in the importing State." Just because something is deemed to be “easily recyclable” does not mean that it is guaranteed to be recycled at the receiving country. We therefore call on the New Zealand government to immediately ban all plastic waste exports by December 2022 which is the last month that Parliament will sit in that year. New Zealand authorities still operate under the assumption that, as long as our plastic exports are easily recyclable, shipping them overseas is a satisfactory solution to our waste problem. In reality, New Zealand is shipping its emissions to developing countries. Some may say that the issue lies with Malaysian authorities not enforcing its own laws to stop the open burning of plastic waste. We reject this argument. The issue lies with New Zealand turning a blind eye to the reality on the ground. We are just as culpable when we knowingly export our waste to countries with poor resources, capacity and capability for effective monitoring, reporting, compliance, and enforcement and weak environmental and human rights protections. This is also a human rights issue and our moral obligation to Malaysia (and other developing countries) and its people should be paramount. We want the New Zealand government to invest urgently in systems and infrastructure that will reduce our reliance on plastic. It is not enough to tweak our regulations on the way our waste is exported, as the bigger problem lies with our overconsumption, poor import restrictions on toxic and single use plastics, and resins that cannot be recycled domestically. New Zealand is drowning in plastic and we cannot manage that amount responsibly, here or offshore. We need to turn off the tap and the government must establish policies and invest in systems and infrastructure that empower people to dramatically reduce their plastics consumption . We must reduce the range of plastics we import into New Zealand to those deemed non-hazardous by the Basel Convention: PE, PP and PET type plastics. We want the government to invest in companies that enable consumers to refill and reuse, rather than investing in a plastic innovation fund that will only preserve our plastic addiction (bioplastics, for example, are not necessarily good for the environment). We need the government to make plastic-producing companies responsible for their product’s lifecycle. New Zealand is embarrassingly behind other OECD countries in requiring companies to implement product stewardship schemes to address the problem at the source. We strongly urge the government to establish import controls and product stewardship laws. Use the regulatory tools we already have to streamline the type and amount of plastics that we do use to fit with our onshore recycling capacity. We also demand greater transparency and accountability from recycling and waste management companies to ensure that all post-consumer plastics are safely and domestically managed without any leakage to the environment. Even so, none of these measures will amount to much if we continue to send our waste overseas to vulnerable countries. We call on the Prime Minister to ensure that the waste management strategy is as transformative as its title suggests - that we are "taking responsibility for our waste" and not polluting other countries. To do this, we must immediately ban the export of plastic waste while transitioning to a safer circular economy in which plastics are minimalised. The government has boldly banned single-use plastic bags and microbeads, so it is no stranger to making bold decisions for the greater environmental and social good. Signed, Lydia Chai Niamh Peren (Founder of Tino Pai Aotearoa / Thumbs Up New Zealand)
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  • Tax the use of virgin plastics in manufacturing and imports
    Plastic is a highly recyclable material. However, the vast majority (around 90%) ends up in landfills. And that's because recycling costs money, and in the end, virgin plastics end up being cheaper. If we want to make a difference in this pollution epidemic, we need to work it at the source... Money. Plastic pollution has become a massive issue for New Zealand and the planet. But the issue lies in the economics of recycling it: it's simply not profitable. By shifting the tides, even just a little bit, towards the use of recycled plastics, we can drive local entities towards making greater efforts to fight this war on pollution. We can also ensure that there is large, bold labelling of plastic types so consumers are able to sort their recyclables with greater ease and accuracy. It's important because we're currently using little plastic bags that last for 200 years as single use packagings for things like instant rice. The problem of plastic recycling and its longevity have been on peoples minds since around the 50s until the oil industry convinced the general public that it'd all be recycled. In 2016, next to all of the plastic recycling stopped because China stopped taking it, so now we've got to come up with long-term strategies to avoid massive plastic pollution, and all the health and ecological repercussions that come with that. Not only would taxing virgin plastic imports and production change the economics of recycling, it also addresses a party that has been getting away with poisoning New Zealand's land, waters, and people for over 50 years. Perhaps they deserve a very high tax, but that's up to the policymakers. For more information visit: https://sciencenorway.no/.../why-is-so-little.../1457439 https://www.npr.org/.../how-big-oil-misled-the-public... https://www.ft.com/.../360e2524-d71a-11e8-a854-33d6f82e62f8 YouTube.com/watch?v=KXRtNwUju5g
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  • Let’s spend the $1 billion a year on actually reducing emissions please
    Overseas carbon credits have proven to be a dodgy and unreliable way to reduce emissions (at its simplest, if we all paid another country to reduce emissions for us then no one would reduce emissions). Most developed countries and businesses have chosen to buy carbon credits rather than actually reduce their emissions. Even carbon credit schemes run by the UN have had problems [2]. In 2030 we will be paying $1 billion a year for carbon credits. Most likely this would be through tree planting in the Pacific. While trees are great, there are so many much cooler things we could do with $1 billion a year focused on climate action. --We could buy over a hundred thousand E bikes, or hundreds of thousands of regular bikes, so that every household has access to the option of cycling. --Or we could purchase 60,000 Nissan Leaf EVs for use in the public sector, or a smaller number of slightly more expensive EVs, to help the government actually meet its target for EVs in the public sector. --Or we could subsidize regenerative farming in Aotearoa so farmers are paid to make the transition which is needed (seeing as we’re signing an international agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030 this would seem an obvious move). --Or we could use a tiny fraction of this $1 billion per year to help transition schools and the public service away from burning coal for heating. (The Government recently invested $55 million to fund 90 schools to switch to clean heating. So, part of the $1 billion would easily help the other hundreds of schools still burning fossil fuels for heating and probably the rest of the public sector [3]). --Or we could use that $1 billion a year for free public transport. (The free public transport during the first lockdown in 2020 cost $110 million. $1 billion a year would actually be quite close to covering the costs [4]). --Or, we could do a whole combination of these things every year with the billions and billions we wouldn’t be spending on carbon credits every year. These things are way more useful than paying an international company to "plant trees" for us! This is because they would actually lead to a reduction in emissions. I love trees. They’re great. But let’s spend this money on reducing emissions here, please, rather than planting trees in someone else’s country. To learn more about the complex and confusing double-think behind carbon trading you can read these articles: [1] https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/300442463/climate-change-target-nowhere-near-as-ambitious-as-it-sounds [2] https://www.vox.com/2020/2/27/20994118/carbon-offset-climate-change-net-zero-neutral-emissions [3] https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/125082069/is-your-school-burning-fossil-fuels-even-the-government-may-not-know [4] https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/no-such-thing-as-a-free-lunch-free-public-transport-cost-110m-during-covid-19/ZU524M4TRES7YKCXZQ3MLU4XW4/ Henry Cooke from Stuff gives a basic explanation about the recent climate commitment and the complicated accounting of carbon credits https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/300442463/climate-change-target-nowhere-near-as-ambitious-as-it-sounds Or, for a longer and more detailed description, you can read this piece by Umair Irfan at Vox https://www.vox.com/2020/2/27/20994118/carbon-offset-climate-change-net-zero-neutral-emissions
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  • Call for safe and healthy journeys to schools
    🤸🏽‍♂️ Walking, biking and scooting are fun! 🌱 Being active helps to improve the retention of learning and our physical and mental well being. 🏃🏽‍♂️Our tamariki enjoy being able to get to and from school independently, while also reducing the workload for carers. 🌎 Active transport provides an incredible opportunity to tackle climate change. However, for many whānau, safety is a big barrier to walking, biking and scooting to and from school and access is a barrier to taking buses. When students in Waipa were surveyed, 87 percent said that they would like to walk or bike to school if their parents would let them. That’s why we’re asking the Government to commit to investing in safe infrastructure to school for all students by 2025. This includes installations like pedestrian crossings and protected bike and scooter lanes. We’re also asking the government to make public transport free for all school-aged children. Not only would this encourage more students to travel by bus, but it would reduce financial stress and barriers to education for many of our whānau. Funding dedicated school buses would provide better options for students where public transport routes don’t suit. When the Bay of Plenty Regional Council made bus travel free for all students travelling to and from school, 30 percent more students started taking the bus over just one year. That’s an awesome result! This is our chance to build a school transport system that works. That’s why we’re asking the government to prioritise school travel in its emissions reduction plan. Add your name to urge the Government to take urgent action for the climate, people and a better transport future! Please leave a personal comment to share why free fares and safe routes to school are important for you, your friends and whānau. Photo credit: @Bicycling. https://www.bicycling.com/news/a20046469/-49/
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  • No more food waste to landfill Thames-Coromandel
    Food wastage is a global problem that has lasting effects on the surrounding physical and cultural environment. In Aotearoa-New Zealand, it is estimated that approximately 571,000 tonnes of food waste are dumped in landfills every year. The flow-on effects are seen in soil and water contamination, and the release of greenhouse gases from landfills, which contributes to climate change. In the Thames-Coromandel district, 60.9% of kerbside rubbish bags are food and organic waste (food/kitchen waste makes up 52.4%, garden and other organic waste is 8.5%). Thames Coromandel District Council’s (TCDC) solid waste contract is up for renewal shortly. The current contract with Smart Environmental finishes in October 2023, and a new contract needs to be available for tender no later than October 2022. The new contract is likely to run for the next 10 years, until 2033. This is a window of opportunity within the Council’s waste management planning, to prevent further food waste from going to landfill, and implement other measures that transform waste into resources. We need to make sure that this contract is part of the solution, and does not continue to send food and organic waste to landfill, when it can otherwise be transformed into resources. The Council is required to consult with the community on this contract. To avoid filling up our landfills unnecessarily with food waste, the Thames Food Waste Minimisation Group (TFWG), together with the Seagull Centre Trust and Whangamatā Resource Recovery Trust, are calling on TCDC to: 1. Subsidise home-scale food waste solutions such as worm farms or compost bins, as has been done in Taupō. 2. Implement a kerbside food waste collection and composting scheme, alongside existing rubbish and recycling schemes. This is already taking place in Ruapehu, Hamilton, Tauranga, Christchurch, Auckland, Timaru. 3. Provide free support (e.g. waste audit and a professional advisor ) to businesses that commit to reducing their food waste, as has been done in Taupō. 4. Develop and deliver an education campaign for households and businesses to maximise the use of the previous initiatives, and promote ideas for food waste minimisation (eg. better planning, use of leftovers, sharing excess, composting). 5. Adopt more ambitious waste minimisation goals in the next Long Term Plan (LTP), ensuring sufficient funding is allocated to attain the above initiatives. TFWG is made of Thames residents that came together a couple of years ago. Our group is made of representatives from the Seagull Centre Trust, Transition Town Thames, and passionate residents. Our vision is that Thames is taking innovative action in whole community food waste reduction, which will help to reduce emissions, conserve resources and increase food security. To further support this campaign, please answer our 5 min survey here - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfDst-0bRmUiI1guyj3tmbQlKX8P7czhiJPktQXKcWAj6Lvww/viewform?usp=sf_link And connect with us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/FoodWasteReSource
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  • Respect The Rāhui - Supporting the protection of our Oceans
    Our moana is under increasing stress from many different effects including chronic overfishing by industrialised methods such as dredging and trawling in the coastal marine areas which has led to the significant decline of treasured species to both Māori and the wider community. The community supported the actions of hapū / iwi to make the applications of protecting these taonga species. Mauri o te Moana hosted an online hui with Māori leaders in this space, who have been waiting for months for a response from the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, David Parker. The Fisheries Act has provisions for Māori values through its customary regulations, however these provisions are problematic and challenging for tangata whenua to use. The Fisheries Act, section 186A temporary closure application that has been sitting with the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, David Parker for over 8 months, this delay has resulted in the continuation of destructive activities. Māori leaders have found the tool to be prohibitory, slow and disconnected from addressing the chronic marine degradation caused by overfishing. Several hapū and iwi of Te Moananui a Kiwa have applied under the Fisheries Act regulations for closure to fisheries to speed up recovery of taonga species. Link to Hapu and Iwi Applications: - Ngāti Hei https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/proposed-temporary-closure-of-the-eastern-coromandel-coast-to-the-harvest-of-scallops/ “I’m really blown away by the support and I believe it’s going to start a chain reaction of rāhui.” - Joe Davis https://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/300344835/hallelujah-moment--pito-bay-scallop-rhui-unites-community-creates-ripple-effect - Ngāti Kahu - Whangaroa Harbour https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/proposed-temporary-closure-of-the-whangaroa-area-to-the-harvest-of-scallops/ The closure was requested by Nga Hapū o Karangahape marae, Whānau pani, Ngāti Kaitangata and Ngāti Kauwau, who are concerned scallop stocks have been depleted due to flooding, sediment, dredging, water quality, overfishing and climate change. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/far-north-scallop-ban-public-in-favour-of-whangaroa-harvesting-rahui/LWFRLFWGLQ2HDU625NVTZOAWGY/ - Ngāti Pāoa - Te Moutere o Waiheke https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/proposed-temporary-closure-around-waiheke-island-to-harvest-of-scallops-mussels-rock-lobster-paua/ "There's nothing to actually take anymore, so that's the real concern for our iwi. So it was quite a simple, easy decision to make, to actually put on the table that we need to lay down a rāhui to restrict everyone from taking particularly species that are now extinct," - Herearoha Skipper https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/two-year-rahui-for-waiheke-island-waters-to-protect-kaimoana/4Z7OHUUDFR2VZJZ22FTAAG2NVE/ Tangata whenua, marae, hapū and iwi are experiencing the degradation of their rohe first hand. The loss of taonga species associated with these areas has been distressing and made the maintenance of tikanga (customary practices) more challenging as localised extinction occurs in the near shore coastal environment. #RespectTheRāhui #MaurioteMoana https://www.facebook.com/mauriotemoana
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  • #BusFair 🚌
    https://vimeo.com/596169867 Public transport is crucial in the fight against climate change, making our cities more liveable and supporting sustainable mobility for vulnerable and low-income communities. However bus drivers, passengers and the environment have been victims of a decades-long experiment in privatisation. The Climate Commission has called for a doubling of public transport use nationwide, however poverty wages are making it impossible for operators to recruit new workers. Cancellations are rife, and further industrial action looms on the horizon. The bus privatisation experiment has failed. In July 2021 FIRST Union’s #BusFair campaign called for the Ministry of Transport to abolish the current tendering model (the “PTOM”), massively increase investment in public transport, and work together with stakeholders to bring our public transport back into public ownership. That’s because three decades of bus privatisation has been disastrous for drivers, passengers, and the environment, shifting wealth from workers’ wages into offshore private equity firms that control our network. The PTOM tendering model put this approach on steroids, rewarding operators with the lowest labour costs. Significant investment is needed to lift workers’ wages, increasing the reach and regularity of our bus network, progressively reducing fares and establishing more bus-only infrastructure. However private ownership is a barrier to addressing these concerns. Support for public ownership is now growing, with Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Green Party supporting, as well as bus drivers and passengers across the country. Tell the Minister of Transport that it’s time to bring #ourpublictransport back into public ownership.
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  • No New Fossil Fuel Permits or Expansions in Aotearoa
    The oil and gas industry has exploited Taranaki for over a century. The contaminant discharges of the industry into the land, water and air degrade our environment and negatively impact on the people who live nearby. A recent Court case and local district plan shows there are potential fatality risks and consequences beyond the boundaries of petroleum sites. 2021 has seen an alarming increase of petroleum activities in Taranaki, with Todd Energy’s 24 proposed new wells around Tikorangi and Greymouth Petroleum and New Zealand Energy Corporation’s widespread seismic surveys across the province. Seismic surveys using explosives or vibroseis trucks are highly invasive, with risks of damage to water supply, structures, land value and the well-being of people and animals. The industry does not have a social license to continue to operate in Taranaki. Meanwhile, the coal industry continues to seek resource consents for new and expanded coal mines, despite the social and environmental harms locally and globally, and the urgent need for heat plants, boilers and electricity generation to transition to 100% renewable energy. There is no place for new or expanded coal mines in a climate emergency. We need a planned, just transition to low-carbon jobs for coal mining communities. The continuation of coal, oil and gas exploration, extraction and reliance is not consistent with our obligations to reduce greenhouse emissions and contribute to keeping global warming below 1.5C. Energy experts like Sven Teske, the UNEP Production Gap Report, and even the IEA now all agree that there's no room for new fossil fuel production if we are to limit warming to 1.5ºC. Aotearoa is not doing enough and has stockpiled masses of unspent carbon credits from polluters or given some companies like Methanex and Rio Tinto a free ride while not enough trees are being planted fast enough to counter our rising emissions. The Climate Change Commission recommends a substantial reduction in fossil gas use for industries and homes, and significantly reducing the reliance on internal combustion engines for transport. The current petroleum production permits will allow time for transition away from fossil fuels, as serious efforts are put into reducing and re-prioritising energy use. Notably the preferred closure of Methanex by 2029 or earlier, without it going to Huntly power station, will free up 40% of Taranaki’s natural gas production for better uses in the transition period. The use of fossil fuels to produce methanol, synthetic fertilisers or hydrogen for export is too wasteful and polluting. The Taranaki Regional and District Councils Mayors, along with many others, have all signed onto the Local Government Leaders Climate Change Declaration. It is time to deliver the promises - implement ambitious emissions reduction action plans and support resilience within councils and local communities. As pointed out in the Declaration, these will also substantially benefit our communities, create new jobs and business opportunities, improve public health, and create stronger, more connected communities. GROUPS IN SUPPORT OF THIS PETITION: Unite Union Ora Taiao: New Zealand Climate and Health Council Para Kore Pacific Panther Network Te Waka Hourua Pou Take Ahuarangi, National Iwi Chairs Forum Generation Zero Fridays for Future, Wellington 350 Aotearoa Oxfam Aotearoa Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of NZ Greenpeace Aotearoa Parents For Climate Aotearoa Environment & Conservation Organisation of Aotearoa NZ (ECO) World Wildlife Foundation (WWF-NZ) Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa NZ Environmental Justice Otepoti Frack Free Aotearoa NZ Ecologic Foundation Wise Response Society Inc Waikato Environment Centre Trust (Go Eco) Stop The Coal Monster Campaign, Nelson Tasman The Rubbish Trip Oil Change International Peace Action Wellington To learn more, go to: ⭑ www.climatejusticetaranaki.info/lock-the-gate ⭑ www.taranakienergywatchnz.org/seismic/ ⭑ www.coalaction.org.nz ⭑ www.orataiao.org.nz ⭑ www.climaterealitycheck.net/flipbook ⭑ http://www.nzlii.org/cgi-bin/sinodisp/nz/cases/NZEnvC/2020/165.html?query=Taranaki%20Energy%20Watch ⭑ https://www.southtaranaki.com/repository/libraries/id:27mlbegko1cxbyf94es5/hierarchy/Documents/District%20Plan/District%20Plan%202015/Sections/Section%2012%20Hazardous%20Substances%20Rules.pdf
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  • #ProtectPūtiki
    When consent to this marina was granted, our stories were excluded. If we are not heard now, developers benefit directly from the displacement of our people, the displacement of our mātauranga and further colonise our environment in the process. Auckland Council and the Crown have a relationship with us under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. They are in a partnership with Ngāti Pāoa as mana whenua. In fact, when our iwi had our treaty settlement at Wharekawa Marae earlier this year, the Crown explicitly recognised the many historical grievances that Ngāti Paoa have endured which have directly caused the fragmentation of our people. As Uri o Ngāti Paoa, we want this recognition to go beyond words by enabling us the right to be heard now that we have begun to regather and heal. The partnership we are in comes with the responsibility for Tiriti partners to recognise and respond to the dynamic contexts and history of different hapū and iwi in a way that is more than just a minimal box-checking consultation process. It is imperative that developers engage in a robust consultation process that enables wider representation from mana whenua. This way, mātauranga which is directly relevant to the consideration of resource consents can be heard. A Rūnanga cannot speak for all voices of an iwi, for all hapū of that iwi, and for all people who whakapapa to that iwi. Active protection from Tiriti partners requires an inquiry into whether notification and “consultation” has reached those who are affected by a proposal. Through the Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust, this did not occur. Auckland Council have acknowledged that the legal mandated entity for Ngāti Pāoa at the time (the Ngāti Pāoa Trust Board) and the people of Ngāti Pāoa were not consulted, but the Supreme Court determined that nevertheless, this does not need to be reheard by the environment court. We say that this does not come close to fulfilling Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations and the principle of Active Protection. We say that we need to be heard by the environment court in order for an active relationship and partnership that supports tino rangatiratanga to be upheld. ⭑ Background Our bay at Pūtiki is under threat from the construction of a 7.3 hectare marina by developers Kennedy Point Boatharbour Limited. Amongst the plans of this marina are 186 berths sized from 10 to 30 metres, two septic tanks for blackwater and greywater sunk into the seabed and Aotearoa New Zealand's first floating car park. Hundreds of steel piles could be drilled into the seabed of the moana here at Pūtiki Bay to float the concrete structures of the marina. Tikapa Moana is an ancestral taonga for many hapū and iwi, including Ngāti Pāoa. Pūtiki bay is a wāhi taonga, a significant cultural landscape. The bay is the landing site of the ancestral Arawa and Tainui waka. After its great ocean crossing, Te Arawa waka named and journeyed through Tikapa Moana, finally coming into Pūtiki to be relashed. The day of relashing resulted in the awa, wetland, moana and nearby whenua being called ‘Te Rangihoua’ (The Day of Renewal). After exploring Tikapa further, the Arawa journeyed on to Maketu in the Bay of Plenty. Kahumatamomoe, (Son of Tamatekapua, Captain of the Arawa waka) and some of his whānau returned to Rangihoua to settle and named their pā site ‘Te Pūtiki o Kahumatamomoe’ (The Topknot of Kahumatamomoe). The whanga (bay) and moana, they named Pūtiki. More than 65 recognised archeological sites as well as other wāhi tapu surround this bay. Pūtiki Bay is a significant cultural landscape and a visual repository of our taonga, our whakapapa, our history. Tikapa Moana as a whole is already under threat. In every successive Hauraki Gulf Forum ‘State of the Gulf’ report, Tikapa Moana is found to be suffering continual environmental degradation. The State of the Gulf 2017 report states that the marine environment is seriously depleted and contaminated by developments, such as marinas. Any marina here on Waiheke would continue this destruction of our moana. The State of Our Gulf report 2020 found that many things have been lost or degraded from Tikapa Moana, and it has been progressively reshaped by human activities, often irreversibly. We know this marina would desecrate the cultural landscape of Pūtiki in a way which will be hugely damaging, character changing and irrevocable for Tikapa Moana. It will impact the taonga species that call Tikapa Moana and Pūtiki bay their home, amongst which are kororā (little blue penguins), makō (sharks), aihe (dolphins) and parāoa (whales). Our growing mātauranga of Pūtiki and connections with this bay are critical as a representation of our relationship as Ngāti Paoa, as Waiheke Islanders, and as people with nature and with our ocean at large. Now and for future generations, urgently encouraging and nurturing relationships of connection with the taiao (environment) are even more critical because this very moana is on the brink of ecological collapse. The proposed marina does not encourage a relationship of nurturing our natural environment, nor connecting with the mātauranga that carries life, culture and history. Instead, it furthers the monopolisation and privatisation of our cultural landscapes and environment. It is urgent that we actively protect and preserve our moana and restore its mauri which is under threat. Protect Pūtiki. #ProtectPūtiki @protectputiki https://www.facebook.com/protectputiki
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  • We want more homes for all in Wellington - pass an ambitious Spatial Plan
    We have a crisis. Wellington can be a city built for people – with thriving communities, green spaces, and well designed homes and buildings that improve everyone’s lives. But Wellington’s housing crisis is hurting the people who live here. Decades of inaction mean house prices and rents are out of control, while badly maintained properties rot from underneath us. People are being priced out of the city, spending hours each day commuting while the city sprawls and our emissions rise. This crisis is different for everyone. Migrants, the LGBTQI+ community, and Pacifica & Māori are discriminated against in the rental market. Disabled people have very little choice of accessible homes. Everything is too expensive. We need more homes, but the Council hasn’t listened Last year, the Council asked the public for feedback on its 30-year Spatial Plan to make space for more housing. It didn't go far enough. The housing crisis needs serious long-term solutions like drastically increasing the number of homes. So we told them we needed more townhouses. More apartments. More homes close to where people work, live, and play. We asked them to make it easier to demolish bad quality homes and build new ones by reducing the protections on colonial character houses - these “character” houses are overcrowded, falling apart, and making people sick. They push out the real character: our young people, renters, and creatives who make this city great. The Council didn’t get feedback from everyone in Wellington. They heard a lot from homeowners and people with money who benefit from the status quo. But what about everyone else? 84% of young people (18-24) told the Council they want more housing and demand more ambition. The Council should be listening to the people who are experiencing the housing crisis, not the loud few pulling the ladder up behind them. We are asking the Council to do the right thing. The Spatial Plan should allow Wellington to plan for the future so that new generations of Wellingtonians can share the city we love. But to create that city, we need our Council to act. Now’s our chance. Ngā mihi nui, A City for People, Generation Zero, and Renters United We have come together to achieve a long-term solution to our city’s housing crisis. Contact: Wellington@generationzero.org.nz
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  • Liberate The Lane!
    We ask Waka Kotahi to hear our dismay that years of promises about a Skypath have come to nothing at all. We ask Waka Kotahi to understand that it would be irresponsible to wait years, when a swift conversion is possible, simply by better using the available space. We ask Waka Kotahi to give us the chance to cycle across the Bridge and show what is possible. We ask Waka Kotahi to understand that cross harbour ferry services are swamped at peak hours with bikes and e-scooters, and are not suitable to cope with future demand as micro-mobility continues to grow. We ask Waka Kotahi to look across the city and recognise how many Aucklanders are turning to bikes as the better, healthier, more responsible transport option. We ask Waka Kotahi to look upon the map of existing and planned cycling routes that will soon connect the entire city in a giant ring, and consider how critical a link the Harbour Bridge is to unlocking an entire alternative transport network. We ask Waka Kotahi to recognise that delivering this critical link is a matter of urgency, due to climate catastrophe. It’s time to give Aucklanders more transport choice, with better low carbon options. We ask Waka Kotahi to see the shape of the future and open the Bridge to a trial cycle lane this summer.
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  • TVNZ: End ties with Mobil and commit not to take money from fossil fuels
    Public broadcasting has the opportunity to do good in Aotearoa - helping us have informed kōrero about the issues that matter. Even ethical advertising can be positive for the world. Yet every evening, more than 800,000 people turn on the TV to tune into 1 News for an informative take on the day gone. But when the sports section comes up, viewers are bombarded with a dominating Mobil logo, and a message proudly declaring: “1 News Sport, brought to you by Mobil.” Make no mistake; Mobil NZ is synonymous with ExxonMobil - the international giant oil and corporate monolith. ExxonMobil has known about climate change since at least 1982.[1] Back then, their own report predicted CO2 level models that are extremely accurate to the present day. Many of ExxonMobil’s former lead scientists have testified to how Exxon management spread doubt about the dangers of climate change setting a model for other oil companies to follow.[2] One of their early chief scientists, Martin Hoffert, said “Exxon was publicly promoting views that its own scientists knew were wrong, and we knew that because we were the major group working on this.”[3] ExxonMobil knew about climate change from its own top-notch research groups - even taking sea level rise into account while building their resource-sucking, earth-polluting oil rigs - all while spending many tens of millions lying to the public and funding politicians advocating against climate action. that would affect its bottom line. Yet despite all this, TVNZ says it has “no ethical concerns” in regard to its Mobil sponsorship. That is ludicrous - if they don’t have ethical concerns with a corporation knowingly destroying the planet, committing human rights abuses, and funding climate denialism; then who do they have ethical concerns with? TVNZ has the means, and as a state funded media organisation, the responsibility, to end its contract with Mobil - whose continued and willful ignorance of the climate crisis is a slap in the face to our Pacific neighbours, who are seeing their homes and sacred graveyards destroyed by intensifying storms and sea surges - a direct consequence of criminal policy from corporates like ExxonMobil. There’s a precedent for this. In January of last year, Britain's second-biggest newspaper, The Guardian, announced an outright ban on taking money from companies that extract fossil fuels. TVNZ has the opportunity to follow in their footsteps and show Aotearoa that taking money from climate criminals in 2021 is not acceptable. In these times everyone needs to be part of change and protecting Papatūānuku. Generation Zero is calling on TVNZ as a publicly funded media organisation to end its association with fossil fuels and follow an ethical sponsorship policy. Sign on to join our call! Feel free to contact adam@generationzero.org.nz for any questions or queries! References 1-http://www.climatefiles.com/exxonmobil/1982-memo-to-exxon-management-about-co2-greenhouse-effect/ 2. https://docs.house.gov/Committee/Calendar/ByEvent.aspx?EventID=110126 https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/10/opinion/exxons-climate-concealment.html?_r=0 3 https://youtu.be/Ms-vVR7o-nM
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