• An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa
    We have very limited time to act to avoid irreversible, catastrophic climate breakdown. If we fail to act now, our generation will face the consequences, putting our future on earth at risk. We cannot, and will not, stand for that. It's time for our voices to be put at the front and centre of the conversation around climate change, and for drastic action to be taken now to safeguard our future. Young people are rising up. We are determined to stand up for our right to a safe climate future, and we need your help. We need you to listen to us, to stand with us and to support us in taking action - after all, supporting the youth of today in taking part in these actions is empowering the leaders of the future, who will be tasked with the job of navigating our species through our greatest collective challenge yet. We need you to back us.
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    Created by SchoolStrike4Climate NZ Picture
  • Protect Timaru's Penguins — Improve Road Safety Along Marine Parade
    Last night (08/12/28) a little penguin (kororā) was hit and killed by a car on Marine Parade in Timaru. The incident happened in front of 90 tourists and locals (including children) who had come to watch the penguins come ashore. The bird was of breeding age and its mate was seen calling for over an hour after it was killed. It is not known whether the pair had eggs or chicks on the nest, however, this is likely to be the case at is currently breeding season for kororā. Forest & Bird South Canterbury is calling on Timaru District Council to use this tragedy as an opportunity to reduce the speed limit to 30 km/hr, install judder bars or road islands, and consider closing the road to non-port-related traffic after dark. The current speed limit is 50 km/hr but our members have witnessed people driving at excess speeds along Marine Parade again and again. We often take down the registration numbers of vehicles that we see speeding and report them to local police, yet people continue to speed past — sometimes at up to 100 km/hr. We are exceptionally lucky to have this breeding colony of endangered penguins (kororā) so close to our town centre. After a short drive or walk, we can watch them come ashore — undeterred by traffic and noise from the port just metres away. The penguins are an increasingly important part of our local economy. Last year, they attracted up to 100 visitors every night, with some people visiting specifically to see them. This is a safety risk. Not just to the kororā, but also to the people who stand along Marine Parade to watch them come ashore. The Timaru District Council must keep visitors and penguins safe from dangerous driving by reducing the speed limit to 30 km/hr, installing judder bars or road islands, and considering the closure of the road to non-port-related traffic after dark. We would also like to see local police targeting speeding drivers with regular patrols in the area.
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    Created by Kimberley Collins Picture
  • No more plastic fruit or vegetable stickers for NZ produce
    Removing plastic labels is publicly supported. As at 24 November 2018 86% of Stuff readers think plastic stickers on fruit should go.^^ Just two NZ produced fruit alone in 2016 resulted in an estimated 3.98 billion plastic labels.*** Plastic stickers also cause issues at compost facilities.^^^ This is unnecessary personal hassle for consumers and unnecessary use of plastic and environmental pollution. * https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10352393 ^ e.g. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/jan/16/ms-and-swedish-supermarkets-ditch-sticky-labels-for-natural-branding ** http://www.hortnz.co.nz/news-events-and-media/media-releases/new-zealanders-want-country-of-origin-labelling-on-fruit-and-veges/ *** In 2016 124m trays of Zespri kiwifruit were produced and 350,000 tonnes of apples. http://www.freshfacts.co.nz/files/freshfacts-2016.pdf ^^ https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/105890179/Fruit-stickers-are-overused-say-the-creators ^^^ https://modernfarmer.com/2018/03/little-produce-stickers-are-big-waste-problem/
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  • #protectihumātao
    The Ihumaatao landscape (of which the land in question, Special Housing Area 62, is a part) is a rare cultural heritage landscape that matters because its stories, relationships, built heritage, ecological values and archaeological sites are critical to our understanding of the histories and futures of our city and country. For mana whenua (local Māori), this place embodies sources of identity and wellbeing as well as family, community and tribal relationships. This area is one of the last remnants of the archaeologically rich stonefields landscapes across Auckland. and is one of the last surviving places where the land and stone walls used by Māori for growing new crops, such as wheat and European vegetables for the Auckland markets prior to 1863, still exists. The land was confiscated ‘by proclamation’ under the New Zealand Settlements Act in 1863 as part of the colonial invasion of the Waikato that drove mana whenua from their lands, ahead of the settler armies. Overnight they were made landless and impoverished. Now, that existence is further threatened by the commercial development. The proposed development site is minutes from the Auckland International Airport and should be considered as a promising cultural, heritage and ecotourism location. For many years there have been aspirations for social enterprise, local employment and sustainability initiatives that enable kaitiakitanga and tino rangatiratanga. Local and central government used the fast-track, developer-friendly provisions of the Special Housing Areas Act 2013 to designate the land. Mana whenua and community concerns were sidelined. Mana whenua have suffered enough for the good of the developing city and every critical account of history agrees with them. For more than three years, the SOUL campaign to #protectIhumātao has engaged in non-violent, direct action to raise awareness and build public support. Our guided walks and events on the land have attracted thousands of visitors. We have presented concerns to the Auckland Council Governing Body and to Parliament, met with politicians and been to the United Nations three times in two years. In 2017 the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racism and Discrimination wrote to the NZ Government recommending that it ensure proper consultation with all affected Maori on this issue. A recent Environment Court decision showed significant flaws in New Zealand’s heritage legislation that did not allow the Court to consider the values of whole cultural heritage landscape when reviewing Heritage NZ’s decision to grant the company the authority to modify or destroy Maori archaeological and other heritage sites on the land. Gaining that authority doesn't make the decision right, it simply puts it within the narrow terms of the existing law and allows the developer to proceed. SOUL has now exhausted every legal means to stop the development. Now we are fast approaching a confrontation on the land but will keep doing everything we can to prevent that from happening. What we need is collective action and innovative thinking to resolve this mounting crisis. We’re now calling on the public to take a stand for this land. Join us in protecting this unique landscape for all New Zealanders and future generations. Please sign this petition now!
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  • Tell the government: act for a safe climate future
    Last year Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called climate change our generation's ‘nuclear free moment’ - a moment in history when New Zealanders stood up to global powers and said ‘we will do what we consider right’. It’s time to walk the talk. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report calls for ‘unprecedented changes’ to avoid the world warming more than 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial averages.[2] As part of our efforts to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming we must stop looking for more oil. Email the Energy Minister Megan Woods today to: 🌏 fully support no new petroleum prospecting, exploration, and mining permits anywhere offshore with clear commitments to a timeline for phasing out the existing permits; 🌏 support a ban on extension of all petroleum mining permits, on and offshore, as they reach their expiry dates; 🌏 not support any new petroleum prospecting, exploration, and mining permits in onshore Taranaki or anywhere else in Aotearoa; 🌏 strongly object to allowing new or existing onshore petroleum permit holders to access conservation land for any petroleum associated activities, including minimum impact activities. The oil industry is using all its lobbying power to pressure our elected representatives to keep our dependence on oil and gas. We need to act to support the government to take the necessary steps to move to a clean energy today. References 1. OMV more time to drill in Great South Basin, Interest, 17 Oct 2018 https://www.interest.co.nz/business/96379/warning-bells-rung-loud-and-clear-over-oilgas-exploration-ban-adding-pressure-already 2. IPCC climate change report calls for urgent action to phase out fossil fuels, The Guardian, 9 Oct 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2018/oct/08/ipcc-climate-change-report-urgent-action-fossil-fuels-live
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  • Soft Plastics Recycling Bins for Whakatāne
    Being included in the Love NZ Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme will help communities of the Eastern Bay of Plenty recycle: • Carrier Bags • Bread, pasta & rice bags • Fresh produce bags and net citrus bags • Frozen food bags • Confectionery wrap and lolly bags • Dairy wrappers • Plastic packaging around toilet paper, kitchen towels, nappies and sanitary products • Courier packs • Newspaper and Magazine wrap • Chocolate & muesli bar wrappers and Biscuit packets (wrapper only) • Chip packets • Ice cream wrappers • Cereal box liners • Recycle bubble wrap and large sheets of plastic that furniture comes wrapped in (cut into pieces the size of an A3 sheet of paper first) Basically anything made of plastic which can be scrunched into a ball. It will allow us to divert all these things away from landfill. Soft plastic packaging is not collected for recycling by councils because it can contaminate the recycling process. New Zealanders use over 1.6 billion plastic bags in the home every year! Soft plastic waste is being used to produce other objects such as park benches and fitness circuits for playgrounds. These bins will help us move up the waste hierarchy from, disposal, to recycle and might even get some of us thinking about how we can go further and prevent such waste in the first place.
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  • Stop multi-nationals profiting from our natural water resources
    Our Overseas Investment Act allows 'jobs, exports productivity and additional capital investment' to take absolute priority on any decisions made regarding our resources, natural or otherwise. These are apparently 'substantial and identifiable benefits'. This petition is founded on the concept that the health of our waters, our planet (in respect to production methods of plastic bottles, access to groundwater, and bottles destined for landfill at the very least) our iwi, and in fact everyone who relies on things like water and planets to live well, factor in as 'substantial and identifiable' points of consideration. There may be up to 60 jobs created over four years as a result of this operation, but at the risk of polluting sensitive land and further severing trust and relationships with tangata whenua. The 'jobs' and 'capital' arguments are the very same arguments employed again and again throughout history in spite of tangible damage to land and water, that often cannot be repaired. We are in the midst of a climate crisis, we are in a recycling and landfill crisis, and our waters are one of the most threatened aspects of the collective health of our country to date. Over one billion litres of water each year hold infinite value in ways that cannot be measured in jobs and capital. Let's not turn something pristine into a product that ultimately expands landfills, and further insults the deepest priorities we face right now, and let's prevent this from continuing to happen via outdated laws. Please also sign: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/stop-the-sale-of-otakiri-springs-to-chinese-bottling-giant-nongfu Overseas Investment Act: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0082/latest/DLM356881.html?search=ts_act_overseas+investment&sr=1 https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/104651548/overseas-investment-for-otakiri-springs-bottling-giant-approved-in-principle
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  • Add bikeways to light rail on Dominion Road!
    Dominion Road is both a route AND a destination for people on bikes. Now, light rail is on the way – but with no clear plan for keeping bikes in the picture. That's a worry, because the potential is huge. So let's raise our voices to make it happen! 👧 Hundreds of people already bike along Dominion Road every day. Imagine thousands more of us on bikes. Kids biking to school. Residents going to the shops. Visitors and tourists exploring this iconic boulevard and the lively neighbourhoods along the route. 🚈 Light rail projects are a once-in-a-lifetime 'big dig", the perfect opportunity to future-proof major transport arteries. We won’t get another chance to do this for many decades. Cities around the world successfully combine light rail and bikeways to boost public transport AND bike travel. Auckland can, too! 🚲 Bikeways are the perfect combo with light rail. Everyone’s public transport journey starts and ends at a different point – and bikes expand easy access to stations from a few hundred metres on foot to a few kilometres on wheels. 🛍️ Bikeways on Dominion Road will bring more bike trips to and through the town centres, helping local shops thrive and grow. ♻️ Light rail is about creating car-free and carbon-free travel options for everyone along the route. Why compromise the environmental benefits of the project by leaving bikes out of the design? ✅ This is also a golden opportunity to solve the ‘Bike Bermuda Triangle’: the absence of safe north-south bike routes through the isthmus. Bridging this gap is as vital to a strategic bike network as Skypath. 📣 With tens of thousands of Aucklanders of all ages taking to cycling each year, adding great bikeways to light rail on this key route is smart, sustainable and strategic. This is a pivotal moment in the life of our city. Please join our call for bikeways as the key to making light rail truly transformational for Auckland! Check out Bike Auckland's design suggestions here: https://www.bikeauckland.org.nz/light-rail-isthmus-room-bikes-bike-akl-proposal/ And see an overview of the light rail project here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKdybt7F4os
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  • Replace plastic straws with paper straws at Tank NZ
    New Zealand is facing a big plastic pollution problem and straws have a significant contribution to the environment’s suffering. Tank juices sells an abundant amount of juices served with a plastic straw everyday, if they were to use paper straws instead it would a small step to a big change in New Zealand's environment. My school has two local Tanks so it’s relevant to us and also as we care about our contribution to fighting the plastic pollution problem in NZ. All fast-food outlets, street-vendors, bars & cafes should be looking at how to sell their products in biodegradable packaging only. There is no need for another 100,000 plastic straws to end up in the sea. The technology is here. Most straws are used only once before being thrown away and take up to 200 years to break down. Single use plastics, including straws, make up more than three-quarters of all the 1.3 million litres of rubbish they've removed from New Zealand beaches.[1] Others are showing it’s possible. Wellington Hospitality Group, which owns 25 venues throughout Wellington has already stopped using plastic straws. Group retail manager Andrew Williams said all its bars and restaurants had been trialling the "no straw approach" for months, and most customers had embraced it.[2,3] With a world is awash in plastic waste Tank Juice can help a great deal by stopping the use of one-time-use plastic that will immediately go into our landfills, into our streets, into our drains and into our ocean. This is a small step to a big change in saving our planet! 1 - https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/347498/contributing-to-plastic-waste-the-last-straw 2 - https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/99987970/plastic-straws-disappearing-from-auckland-food-stores 3 - https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/101706914/wellington-hospitality-group-to-stop-using-plastic-straws 4- https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/-disabled-people-care-environment-include-us-in-plastic-straw-debate-says-disability-community
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  • Open Letter: Honour the Commitment to Protect Coromandel Conservation Land from Mining
    Precious conservation land in the Southern Coromandel is under increasing pressure from mining activities. Within the Karangahake Gorge, an important ecological corridor and popular visitor destination, New Talisman Gold Mines is preparing for what they hope will be a second gold rush. Deep in the hills behind Whangamata, Oceana Gold is busy exploring for gold in the habitat of the world's most endangered amphibian the Archey's frog. Please sign the open letter and support the call to the Minister of Conservation and the Minister of the Environment to honour the commitment to protect these special places.
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  • Responsible Packaging Now: Open Letter to Hon Eugenie Sage
    Consumers do not have consumer choice in packaging material associated with the products they purchase. They are usually left with difficult to recycle polystyrene, plastic bags and other packaging. If consumers are guaranteed the ability to return all packaging material to the retailer where the product was purchased from, this would drive retailers to demand (from manufacturers) that products are encased in easy-to-recycle packaging materials. Such laws were implemented in Europe during the 1990's, and have led to changes in community awareness and packaging. [1] While some NZ retailers may currently accept such material when returned to them, consumers often lack confidence in returning packaging due to concerns that they may be refused. Legislation guaranteeing consumers the right to return packaging would alleviate concerns, and encourage packaging to be returned for recycling or reuse. The proposed legislation would ensure that those who have the greatest ability to affect change in packaging material types (retailers and manufacturers) assume responsibility for the costs associated with end of life management of the packaging, therefore driving change. 1. EUROPEAN PACKAGING POLICY The consequences of a deposit system for disposable packaging based on the German example http://www.foodnet.cz/soubor.php?id=11315&kontrola=47963fffea4a1dfa9745ec4015fa54aa&foodnet=
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  • Stop the sale of Otakiri Springs to foreign bottling giant Nongfu
    Associate Finance Minister David Clark and Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage granted an application under the Overseas Investments Act 2005 for Cresswell Ltd to purchase land to expand the existing Otakiri Springs water bottling plant near Whakatāne. A decision that will see 1.1 billion litres of Aotearoa New Zealand freshwater being bottled and exported. There is little information as to where the aquifer that supplies Otakiri springs comes from and how fast it recharges. The science behind the allocation of these aquifers is flawed. The data collected is not reliable enough to ensure that it is safe to collect water from. The depletion of the aquifer could potentially leave permanent damage to surrounding waterways. Tangata whenua believe that freshwater including groundwater has important cultural value. It is the belief that the mauri (life force) of the body of water (seen and unseen) needs to be intact to ensure the physical and spiritual survival of all living things. The mauri of Otakiri Springs or as local iwi and hapū know it as Te Otākiritanga ō Te Toki a Iratumoana, is at risk. The removal of water for the purposes of bottling for foreign exchange violates the mauri and sacredness of the water. This activity 1. Allows the continued contribution of plastic waste. 2. Sells New Zealand natural resources (freshwater) for corporate benefit. 3. Compromises the health and wellbeing of the waterways and aquifers. 4. Ignores the concerns of the local Whakatāne community who are directly affected by this activity. 5. Disregards section 6e of The Resource Management Act being the relationship of Māori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands. Who really benefits in this transaction? Not tangata whenua. Not Aotearoa as a nation. But multi-billionaire foreign investors - Nongfu. Bay of Plenty Regional Council still have the power to determine the safety and preservation of our natural resource (mauri) by denying the resource consent. The New Zealand Government cannot continue to market Aotearoa as “clean green” then make decisions that directly compromise the well-being of the waterways and aquifers. Intergenerational and sustainable approaches to the environment need to be implemented to ensure we are not leaving our children a barren wasteland. But firstly, we need to stop selling our natural resources at the detriment of ourselves. When our children ask, “What did you do?” Will the response be: “I cared?” Or will it be: “I sold out.” Mo nga uri whakaheke te take. For the future generations. Please also support the petition: Stop multi-nationals profiting from our natural water resources https://bit.ly/2MQQ38B Relevant articles: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/chinas-ban-foreign-waste-wake-up-call-nz-environmentalists https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/104695650/consent-granted-for-chinese-water-bottling-giant-to-purchase-otakiri-spring
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