• Regeneration not Incineration - for a Zero Waste Aotearoa
    INCINERATORS POLLUTE OUR AIR In the past, incinerators pumped huge volumes of toxic contaminants into our skies. While it’s true that today’s incinerators are cleaner, they’re still not perfect. Among the exhaust gases released by modern incinerators are toxic chemicals that include dioxins [4], mercury [5] and cadmium [6] – substances that cause cancer, nerve damage and birth defects. Anyone who lives downwind from an incinerator is in danger of breathing in these dangerous chemicals and suffering the health consequences as a result. [7] Toxins released into the air fall back onto the land to be absorbed by plants and eaten by livestock eventually finding their way into our food chain and into our bodies causing sickness and disease. [8] But the worst part about the types of toxins released from incinerators is that many of them don’t break down with some persisting in their toxic state in the environment for decades. [9] INCINERATORS POLLUTE OUR LAND Ten to twenty-five per cent of the mass of burnt waste falls to the bottom of an incinerator to become incinerator bottom ash, or IBA. This extremely toxic material is mostly dumped in special hazardous waste landfills, but in some countries it’s also used in roading and construction and sometimes spread on land as fertiliser. [10] Researchers are now raising serious concerns about the dangers of IBA with numerous studies [11] showing the detrimental effects of this highly toxic material. These problems are compounded by disposal to landfill of filters that capture highly toxic fly ash coming out of incinerator smokestacks. These filters are disposed of in hazardous waste landfills along with IBA where they contribute to the toxic load in the landfills. INCINERATORS POLLUTE OUR FRESHWATER AND MARINE ENVIRONMENTS Incinerator toxins falling back on the land are regularly washed into waterways where they combine with leachate from hazardous waste landfills. These contaminants poison fish and other aquatic life as they flow through our streams and rivers into our harbours and eventually into our oceans. Aside from the toll toxins take on our environment, they have the potential to enter our food chain at every stage of their journey to the sea. INCINERATORS RELEASE GREENHOUSE GASES While toxins emitted from incinerator smokestacks cause immediate health concerns, most of the exhaust gas is carbon dioxide, which has long term effects on our climate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that each tonne of waste burnt produces up to 1.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide [12] which can stay in our atmosphere contributing to global warming for decades. Throughout the world, we’re looking for ways to urgently reduce our climate change emissions. Waste-to-energy incinerators work in direct competition with this goal. Incinerators contravene our climate change commitments as signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Climate Agreement, and Agenda 2030. And, they directly contradict support for our Pacific partners through endorsement and support for the Kainaki II Declaration (which declares a climate crisis in the Pacific region) and, our signed commitment to the Boe Declaration on Pacific security. INCINERATORS ARE INEFFICIENT While incineration companies are happy to point out that the waste they burn would otherwise be sent to landfill, they don’t mention that household waste is a substandard fuel. The World Energy Council found that, kilogram for kilogram, waste produces less than one-third the energy of coal and up to one-sixth the energy of natural gas while producing many times the amount of pollution. [13] Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, we currently produce 80% of our electricity from renewable sources. And, we have a plan to increase that to 100% by 2035. [14] Waste-to-energy incinerators compete with our renewable energy goals and undermine our commitment to a low emissions economy. INCINERATORS DESTROY VALUABLE RESOURCES Our society is fast becoming aware than our finite planet does not have an unending supply of natural resources. At the same time, we’re learning the importance of protecting and recirculating our resources. Governments, businesses and communities everywhere are looking for better ways to encourage people to refuse, reduce, redesign, reuse, repair, refurbish and recycle the things we use to make sure our resources are not destroyed. Incinerators work in direct conflict with these zero waste objectives. INCINERATORS DESTROY JOBS A key selling point used by incinerator companies is that they create jobs. Disputing this argument, the EU social enterprise reuse, repair, and recycling group, RREUSE, recently found that for every job that the incineration industry might create, recycling centres create 36 jobs and reuse activities create 296 jobs. [15] Materials recovery and recycling services are set to become a rapidly growing sector in the country as our society moves towards a post-waste circular economy. Incineration undermines this plan. INCINERATORS DESTROY ZERO WASTE EFFORTS As a collective of organisations committed to the principle of zero waste, we recognise incineration as one the most toxic and destructive waste management methods. While we accept that waste is a problem, we know that incinerators aren’t the answer. Waste-to-energy incineration produces a non-renewable source of energy that destroys and contaminates our finite natural resources. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, we can address our waste issues in regenerative ways that preserve rather than destroy valuable resources, prevent pollution, produce sustainable and innovative products and material systems, create jobs, and invigorate a zero waste circular economy. To help achieve this goal, we hope you will join us in opposing waste-to-energy incinerators in Aotearoa New Zealand. Footnotes: https://tinyurl.com/y5chaw5k
    497 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Regeneration Not Incineration .
  • Support the Lets Get Wellington Riding Vision
    We're seeing electric bikes and scooters sales grow at 100% year on year, and we've seen an increase in commute cycling of 25-40% across the city in the last year. They're often the fastest and cheapest ways around the city. We should be doing everything we can to support them. These new vehicles need safe space to operate on the road. The current plans for cycleways were developed before the explosion in these new types of vehicles. As such, it's no longer fit for purpose. We’ve designed the Let's Get Welly Riding Vision for Wellingtonians to take and run with (or ride, as the case may be). We hope you are inspired and join us in making Welly the best place in the world to live!
    282 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Oliver Bruce
  • Save the Amazon - New Zealand Government to act!
    We students and adults from all across NZ express strong concern about the situation in the Amazon rainforest. The world is in crisis. The Amazon rainforest has been burning for over three weeks; it is so large we can see it from space. This is destroying the homes and livelihoods of many people, including Indigenous communities in the region. The Amazon rainforest has thousands of native species that are dying and being displaced as this fire rages. The Amazon produces 20% of the air we breathe, and has 40% of the world's rainforests. The Amazon rainforest holds 20% of the world's freshwater. All of this is going up in smoke and if we don't act now, the whole forest could burn and it will impact our entire world. Protecting these forests are critical because of their crucial role as absorbers of carbon for the whole world. Given the urgency of the situation, we feel that the fires aren’t getting enough attention as it should be by the authorities within the country and require pressure and assistance by those outside of the country. The following link provides more information about the issue https://mailchi.mp/f17f15f32a53/bulletin-world-weekly-a-weather-report-for-the-world-2456737 We urge the general public to stand with us and urge our leaders to act now to save the Amazon rainforest, as this is an issue that will have severe ramifications for the whole world if not addressed immediately. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Jlwad under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license
    540 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Timi Barabas
  • Bring In Subsidies to Encourage Lower Emission Vehicle Purchases
    This is an important issue as it affects all New Zealanders and will continue to affect New Zealanders for many years. If we can reduce the initial price of changing to a more efficient vehicle more New Zealanders will buy them. As a result, New Zeland will have lower private vehicle emissions. As well as later model car ownership. These changes will benefit all New Zealanders as it will help us to meet UN goals for sustainability and also bring us into the future as more people will have electric/ hybrid vehicles and this will create a demand for more charging stations, which will make electric vehicle ownership even easier and more realistic. The changes should be made with inequalities that could result in mind and where possible making changes create equality as well as improve emissions. https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/07/government-announces-proposed-clean-vehicle-incentives.html https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/114097177/national-pushes-back-on-clean-car-feebate-but-is-far-from-rejecting-it https://sciblogs.co.nz/infrequently-asked-questions/2017/11/23/climate-change-inequality-and-why-we-need-cycle-lanes-in-south-auckland/
    8 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Henry Crafar
  • Get Jacinda to Ihumaatao!
    https://youtu.be/6o0SA3X_5CI Ihumaatao is a rare cultural heritage landscape that marks the arrival of the first Polynesians who settled here 800 years ago. The waahi tapu (sacred land) now threatened by destruction is part of this landscape and adjoins one of Aotearoa’s most complex archaeological sites - the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve. In 1863, this land was confiscated because our people refused to pledge allegiance to the English Queen. They were threatened, attacked, robbed and exiled, and sought refuge in Waikato. When they returned, their land had been given to settlers, the Wallace family. In 2014, the Wallace family agreed to sell the land to Fletcher Building. Auckland Council and the Government also approved this whenua as a Special Housing Area for 480 homes. But the most affected people, the Ahikaa (the people of the local marae and whanau of Ihumaatao village) were not consulted. So, six cousins from Makaurau Marae, with the blessing of their people, created the SOUL campaign. For five years the cousins and their supporters have worked hard to stop the development. Since November 2016, kaitiaki have peacefully occupied the land whilst campaigning to #protectihumatao. On Tuesday 23 July around 100 police, along with Fletcher representatives and others, arrived at Ihumaatao to issue eviction notices. Since then, thousands of protectors have come from all over Aotearoa and the world to support our struggle to reclaim the whenua. During the reclamation, we have reached out to the Prime Minister many times, asking her to walk the whenua; to experience, koorero and acknowledge this kaupapa. Until the Prime Minister experiences this whenua for herself, we won’t feel confident she has a true sense of what’s at stake or will deeply appreciate why this whenua matters so much and to so many of our people. When Jacinda became Prime Minister, she promised a kinder approach and we believed her. Under her leadership, the Government can right the wrong of the original raupatu (confiscation) by returning the land wrongfully stolen by the Crown. As Minister of Culture and Heritage she also has a duty to protect this rare archaeological taonga and sacred land from desecration. Your information will be shared with Protect Ihumātao - SOUL campaign and ActionStation who will get in contact from time to time about this campaign and others. You are free to opt out at anytime. Video credit: Conan Fitzpatrick Photo credit: John Kieran Hettig
    27,511 of 30,000 Signatures
    Created by Pania Newton Picture
  • Moratorium on all water-bottling consents in the Hutt Valley & Wellington region
    More than 86% of the aquifer's waters are already allocated. We need security over this precious resource for the future. There is no water bottling operation in the Wellington region yet. It needs to stay that way. Our population is increasing, sea level rise reduces what can be sustainably extracted, and predicted increases in droughts will hinder aquifer recharge. This means every drop is going to be precious over the coming decades. There are two existing consents to draw almost 950 million litres a year from the Lower Hutt groundwater zone and a new consent is being considered to draw another 432 million. The Waiwhetu aquifer sits under the city of Lower Hutt and supplies the whole Wellington Region with 40 percent of its water and more in summer. You can find a recent story from Radio NZ here: https://bit.ly/2ZnWEdI You can also sign this petition which is seeking a national moratorium: https://bit.ly/31WA7GD
    564 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Residents of Te Awakairangi
  • Extend the FREE Bus trial for kids across the whole BOP seven days a week
    Extending the free children’s school bus fares trial to all buses at all times, including weekends, is one of the cheapest ways for Bay of Plenty Regional Council to get more people onto the buses and to reduce carbon emissions. The Council said it would only cost $167,000 per year (lost revenue) to extend the trial and make all buses free for kids across Tauranga and the Western Bay. (We do not have figures for extending the area covered to include the whole Bay Of Plenty but similar logic applies) This is only a couple of bucks a year per household, however it won’t end up costing a cent if the free children’s fares attract another 600 adult trips per week. That is quite possible, as more parents and grandparents will be able to afford to take the bus with their families.
    1,129 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Greater Tauranga
  • Marlborough District Council to Declare Climate Emergency
    This is a call to action for our representatives to declare a climate emergency for Marlborough and to take decisive action. Climate breakdown is a challenge for all humanity, but it is also our biggest opportunity. By declaring a climate emergency we can ensure our representatives make the necessary decisions in time to save our local ecosystems and our planet. The effects of climate change strike to the heart of our communities and will have a major impact on local schools, residents, and businesses. We need urgent and strategic from our local council representatives to address the challenge seriously. We have the means and access to resources to transition, and we also have an obligation to countries worst affected by climate change. Climate breakdown is challenging, but by decarbonising our economy, we will create more time for doing the things we love, with the people we love, in the nature we love. It will mean working less and sharing more. Driving less and cycling more. Polluting less and planting more. A shift away from our consumer culture to re-invigorating community will mean we get to spend more time gardening, cooking, learning, reading, sharing, laughing, dancing, and singing together instead of spending hours on social media, or money on things we don’t need, for connection and validation. It will mean paying the people who work in low-carbon jobs such as caregiving, teaching, nursing, healing, and restoration generously instead of bankers, polluters and corporate billionaires extracting all the wealth from the rest of us and our Earth. We can create a green and beautiful future, we just need to have the courage to take action, and we ask our representatives to show us the way. We can be leaders in the climate action space and set an example for other councils, and the country, to follow. Read and sign 'An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa' by School Strike 4 Climate NZ here: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/climate-declaration-from-the-youth-of-aotearoa-2
    112 of 200 Signatures
    Created by George Glover
  • Better climate education for our tamariki
    We trust that you will share our view that climate change is the single biggest and most significant (and potentially dangerous) global phenomenon that will impact on the lives not only of our children but also of their generation around that planet. It is the issue of our times and, although it comes much too late, we are relieved that at last global and local awareness of this becomes increasingly pronounced. We commend the efforts of the recent youth demonstrations to voice their concerns and appreciate any encouragement that KC has given for students to participate. It therefore seems particularly concerning (and surprising) to see how little global warming and climate change features in the education that our children are currently receiving at KC. We understand that inclusion of a stand-alone module on the issue is optional, but that for now it is not available for any age group. Furthermore, with one or two exceptions, it also seems that there is currently little opportunity taken to embrace it as a cross-curricular issue. This last point is particularly worrying, since the process of climate change could so easily be incorporated into teaching across so many subjects - whether biology, chemistry, physics, ESS, maths or indeed film-making, drama or dance! Furthermore, outside of the relatively small extra-curricula Eco-Action group , we are not aware of any initiatives being taken by the college institutionally to promote behaviour or initiatives to support reductions in carbon-emissions – whether around car-pooling, encouraging more cyclists, carbon-sequestration schemes, renewable energy installations, or indeed on how to undertake effective lobbying and advocacy. We acknowledge and respect that the teaching body is under strong parent-led (and market-led) pressures to focus on maximising examination success and that there is little room to introduce much more to what is already a very full and demanding work load for teachers. We are also informed (although again with surprise) that the Ministry of Education is not currently supplying KC with the necessary relevant and updated teaching guides and educational materials that could be used either for stand alone climate change modules or for helping the subject be introduced as a cross-cutting theme across all subjects. However, we do feel that these constraints could – and should - be overcome.
    19 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Kerren Hedlund
  • Tauranga City Council - take urgent climate action
    This is a call to action for our representatives to declare a climate emergency for our city and to take decisive action. Climate breakdown is a challenge for all humanity, but it is also our biggest opportunity. By declaring a climate emergency we can ensure our representatives make the necessary decisions in time to save our local ecosystems and our planet. The effects of climate change strike to the heart of our communities, and will have a major impact on local schools, residents, and businesses. We need urgent and strategic from our local council representatives to address the challenge seriously. We have the means, and access to resources to transition, and we also have an obligation to countries worst affected by climate change. Climate breakdown is challenging, but by decarbonising our economy, we will create more time for doing the things we love, with the people we love, in the nature we love. It will mean working less and sharing more. Driving less and cycling more. Polluting less and planting more. A shift away from our consumer culture to re-invigorating community will mean we get to spend more time gardening, cooking, learning, reading, sharing, laughing, dancing, and singing together instead of spending hours on social media, or money on things we don’t need, for connection and validation. It will mean paying the people who work in low-carbon jobs such as caregiving, teaching, nursing, healing, and restoration generously instead of bankers, polluters and corporate billionaires extracting all the wealth from the rest of us and our Earth. In taking decisions we urge council members to consult with mana whenua at all times. We support the call of the National Māori Climate Network for urgent action. We can create a green and beautiful future, we just need to have the courage to take action, and we ask our representatives to show us the way. We can be leaders in the climate action space and set an example for other councils, and the country, to follow. Read and sign 'An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa' by School Strike 4 Climate NZ here: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/climate-declaration-from-the-youth-of-aotearoa-2
    74 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Josh Cole
  • Western Bay of Plenty District Council - take urgent climate action
    This is a call to action for our representatives to declare a climate emergency for our district and to take decisive action. Climate breakdown is a challenge for all humanity, but it is also our biggest opportunity. By declaring a climate emergency we can ensure our representatives make the necessary decisions in time to save our local ecosystems and our planet. The effects of climate change strike to the heart of our communities, and will have a major impact on local schools, residents, and businesses. We need urgent and strategic from our local council representatives to address the challenge seriously. We have the means, and access to resources to transition, and we also have an obligation to countries worst affected by climate change. Climate breakdown is challenging, but by decarbonising our economy, we will create more time for doing the things we love, with the people we love, in the nature we love. It will mean working less and sharing more. Driving less and cycling more. Polluting less and planting more. A shift away from our consumer culture to re-invigorating community will mean we get to spend more time gardening, cooking, learning, reading, sharing, laughing, dancing, and singing together instead of spending hours on social media, or money on things we don’t need, for connection and validation. It will mean paying the people who work in low-carbon jobs such as caregiving, teaching, nursing, healing, and restoration generously instead of bankers, polluters and corporate billionaires extracting all the wealth from the rest of us and our Earth. In taking decisions we urge council members to consult with mana whenua at all times. We support the call of the National Māori Climate Network for urgent action. We can create a green and beautiful future, we just need to have the courage to take action, and we ask our representatives to show us the way. We can be leaders in the climate action space and set an example for other councils, and the country, to follow. Read and sign 'An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa' by School Strike 4 Climate NZ here: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/climate-declaration-from-the-youth-of-aotearoa-2
    37 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Josh Cole
  • Horizons Regional Council - declare a climate emergency!
    This is a call to action for our representatives to declare a climate emergency for our city and to take decisive action. Climate breakdown is a challenge for all humanity, but it is also our biggest opportunity. By declaring a climate emergency we can ensure our representatives make the necessary decisions in time to save our local ecosystems and our planet. The effects of climate change strike to the heart of our communities, and will have a major impact on local schools, residents, and businesses. We need urgent and strategic from our local council representatives to address the challenge seriously. We have the means, and access to resources to transition, and we also have an obligation to countries worst affected by climate change. Climate breakdown is challenging, but by decarbonising our economy, we will create more time for doing the things we love, with the people we love, in the nature we love. It will mean working less and sharing more. Driving less and cycling more. Polluting less and planting more. A shift away from our consumer culture to re-invigorating community will mean we get to spend more time gardening, cooking, learning, reading, sharing, laughing, dancing, and singing together instead of spending hours on social media, or money on things we don’t need, for connection and validation. It will mean paying the people who work in low-carbon jobs such as caregiving, teaching, nursing, healing, and restoration generously instead of bankers, polluters and corporate billionaires extracting all the wealth from the rest of us and our Earth. In taking decisions we urge council members to consult with mana whenua of Ngāti Rangitāne at all times. We support the call of the National Māori Climate Network for urgent action. We can create a green and beautiful future, we just need to have the courage to take action, and we ask our representatives to show us the way. We can be leaders in the climate action space and set an example for other councils, and the country, to follow. Read and sign 'An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa' by School Strike 4 Climate NZ here: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/climate-declaration-from-the-youth-of-aotearoa-2
    129 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Anna Bell Chung