• No Plastic Bags at Wellington City Markets
    Like many people I used to be addicted to plastic. I purchased plastic products in plastic bags and this plastic waste went into plastic bin liners and ended up in a mountain of plastic. Some ended up in our oceans too. If I'm honest I just didn't think about it. I consumed and I wasted. More recently I realised that my individual actions have a part to play in collective destruction. Plastic is a scourge on our beautiful planet and I am ashamed that plastic is still commonplace in our communities. Sometimes issues like global warming, pollution and the scale of environmental degradation overwhelm me and I don't know what to do. But I know that I can reduce my plastic consumption. This is within my power and control. One tangible change I made was buying a stash of tote bags. Now I use them for the markets, shopping at the supermarket and running errands every day. They're a part of my life now. It isn't hard to carry them with me to the market and they're much stronger than plastic bags which is great because I buy a lot of produce! If plastic bags weren't an option at the markets I'm certain that people would transition to reusable bags quickly, especially if there was a bit of warning in the lead up. It makes no sense to have plastic bags at our markets when they're so harmful and the alternatives are just so easy! Wellington is a city that leads the way. Progressive Enterprises, which runs Countdown supermarkets, announced all its stores would be ditching single-use plastic bags by the end of the year. If a large corporation can make the switch then a local market can do the same. There is no reason good enough to continue with plastic bags.
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    Created by Benjamin Johnson Picture
  • Hospo-Go-Bio!
    There is no need for another 100,000 plastic straws to end up in Wellington harbour. The technology is here. With a world is awash in plastic waste Wellington can help a great deal by stopping the use of one-time-use plastic containers and packaging that will immediately go into our landfills, into our streets, into our drains and into our ocean. Most straws are used only once before being thrown away and take up to 200 years to break down. Some bars used up to 800 straws a day over the summer period. 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] Wellington City Council has said it plans to bulk purchase paper straws to help its local food places make the switch to more sustainable alternatives. [2] 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.[3] Our beautiful, coastal and windy city has been contributing an outsize amount of pollution to an environment that is not coping - It has to stop. Wellington leads the world in our own special ways - let's make Hospo-Go-Bio and add another! 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
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    Created by Duncan McGill
  • Save the All Wheels Cruiseway Trial on Pilot Bay!
    A trial for a proposed cycleway (“all wheels cruiseway” for skateboards, scooters jogging prams, wheelchairs etc) around Pilot Bay is at risk of not getting off the ground. Councillors are voting next Monday 9 April whether to allow a six month pilot testing a one way route from Pilot Bay around Adams Ave to Maunganui Road to go ahead. Currently there is a 50/50 split in support for this project from elected members. TCC transport team have researched this proposal and refined it to ensure it meets balanced needs of our community for both car users and cyclists, they believe as we do, that combined with connecting cycle routes, this will give options for local people to not bring their cars in to an already overloaded network. The trial would create a 3 metre wide two-way cruise way, and only ONE less car parking space overall. One concern of councillors is that this proposal will create more traffic congestion on Maunganui Road. We dispute this thinking. The provision of this cruiseway system provides the very cycling infrastructure that Tauranga residents are asking their Council to provide for them so they can move around the communities without their cars. We need the community to tell Council there is much to gain with this proposal - from retailers who will enjoy increased sales, to the opportunity to reduce car congestion, to restoring the relaxed holiday vibe that makes Mount Maunganui one of the great destinations in New Zealand. The other important thing to remember, is that this is a trial, so it can be adjusted and modified in response to issues. We do not see positive change in our community without making change, and a trial empowers people to have a say in the final outcome, while giving a new approach a chance. Your support is vital to this petition, please sign and comment, if you live in The Mount, please briefly state this and how you and your friends and family would benefit. Grateful thanks Bike Mount
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    Created by Greater Tauranga
  • Don’t mine under Waihi
    A multinational mining corporation is planning to expand its exploitation of Waihi by literally digging under the town. It must be stopped. OceanaGold, which owns the giant open cast pit mine in Waihi, has notified the local council that it wants to expand and mine under people’s homes. Mining under residents houses will be a disaster for a town that has had years of disturbance from the mine activity. There have been landslides in the mine and earth slips causing homes to sink. The uncertainty around the mine activity has affected house values and is wearing down the patience of residents. This is the same corporate giant that tried to sue the El Savador government $300million for regulating to protect the environment. It’s time we put people and our precious planet first and stop this giant private corporation undermining Waihi for its private profits. The corporation plans to lodge consents to mine with the local council which will be pressured by financial interests to accept it. With sustained public pressure against the company right now we can force the corporation to ditch its plans to dig under the town. Sign the petition to OceanaGold now to demand it withdraw plans now for their mine expansion. References OceanaGold proposes new underground mine at Waihi, 29 Mar 2018 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12021586 Waihi homeowners close to deal over subsidence 2013 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10857990 OceanaGold sues El Salvador https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/03/australian-mining-is-poisoning-el-salvador-it-could-soon-send-it-broke-too Map of Waihi gold mine: https://watchdog.org.nz/info/gold-mining-and-eden-park/
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  • Keep Kirikiriroa Hamilton Beautiful
    We want to protect our environment from future damage to land, water, air and soil as well as restoring damage already done. We believe it is our responsibility for future generations to ensure we leave our environment better than we received it. A clean green Kirikiriroa isn't just about the environment it is also about well-being of people, communities and has an economic benefit as well.
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    Created by Go Eco
  • Save Mangamaunu Surf Break
    The loss of Mangamaunu through mis-use of the emergency legislation is the loss of democracy by purposely cutting out community self-determination and thorough assessments and the democratic right of consultation. Mangamaunu and surfing in general is a significant contributor to the regions tourism industry, this surf break attracts tourists nationally and internationally. Mangamaunu is recognised as one of New Zealand's "17 best of the best" surf breaks. If these coastal works proceed, they will set a precedent, by skirting the best legal protections available to the environment, which Mangamaunu is entitled to. We believe any plans or construction of a cycle way should have the benefit of thoroughness of the RMA process to ensure no irreparable damage is done and good outcomes can be achieved for all. Mangamaunu holds the highest level of protection afforded under the RMA and NZCPS, equivalent to that of Te Mata peak and conservation lands potentially affected by the Ruataniwha dam in Hawkes Bay, or that of any national park. Avoid means avoid, and these consents do not even offer mitigation on a nationally significant surf break.They must be stopped. For more Information: www.surfbreak.org.nz https://www.facebook.com/savemangamaunu/?fref=nf https://www.facebook.com/Surfbreak-Protection-Society-158580380850950/
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  • Save Christchurch’s water, stop the water bottle exports
    Newshub revealed last year that a water bottling company has drilled a 170m deep bore hole into the pristine aquifer that supplies Christchurch’s drinking water. The company, Cloud Ocean Water, plans to suck 1.6billion litres of water out of the aquifer each year, bottle it in a mega factory, and export it for private profit overseas. Now Cloud Ocean Water has revealed it has bought land for a second factory. The company has purchased a site at 55 Belfast Road and lodged a resource consent application for a water bottling plant. If that wasn’t bad enough, Christchurch City Council warned that drilling the bore risks contaminating the drinking water for people living in the city. It’s time we put people and our precious planet first and stop this private company profiting off our pristine water supply. Sign the petition. In 2017 experts warned that levels in Christchurch’s aquifer were getting dangerously low - putting at risk the city's drinking water supply. We mustn’t let a private company drain the town supply and export it untaxed. The company could earn $12m each day, or $4.3billion per year, off the public resource they pay nothing to use. Sign the petition to stop the exports of our pristine water. https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/christchurch/cloud-ocean-water-eyeing-second-christchurch-site/ https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/102307238/ecan-accused-of-bending-the-law-over-consents-for-water-bottling-plants Aotearoa Water Action are crowdfunding to help cover court costs to stop the bottling. Support them by donating here: Aotearoa Water Action 38 9019 053 0141 00
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  • Swimmable Hātea 2020
    We get our drinking water from this river, and it is a taonga in the heart of our city. It is a normal expectation for this waterway to be clean, unpolluted, and swimmable. The people of this city want it clean, and living. https://youtu.be/kjp9j7xMUIg About the Hātea Catchment: The Hātea sub catchment of the Whangārei Harbour catchment covers 4,470 hectares (15%) of the greater harbour catchment. Land cover is a mix of urban land uses (including some light industry), exotic forest, indigenous vegetation and pasture. There are no dairy farms in the catchment and most of the pasture area is in lifestyle blocks, with a handful of small (e.g. c.70ha) beef farms. There are approximately 140 properties over 1.5ha in the Otuihau / Whangārei Falls catchment with land in pasture. The upper catchment has pine forestry, which was established originally for soil conservation purposes. Harvesting the areas in this catchment has now been completed and the next rotation has been planted. Two main streams join approximately 1km upstream of the Falls. Most of the catchment has relatively gentle rolling or flat contour and streams are mostly shallow and slow flowing, with clay streambeds. What's the state of the Hātea right now? The Land Air Water Aotearoa monitoring shows that the Hātea is in the worst 50% of all waterways in Northland/Tai Tokerau for E. Coli, Nitrogen, and one indicator of Phosphorus. It is in the worst quarter of all waterways for Ammoniacal Nitrogen - for which human and animal wastes are the major cause. https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/northland-region/river-quality/hatea-river/ What's being done so far? In 2015 Northland Regional and Whangarei District Councils began to focus together on improving water quality at Otuihau. Together they formed a working group which includes representatives from both councils, community groups like Tiki Pride and the Otuihau Community Development Trust, Pehiaweri Marae and Northland District Health Board. They're working together to raise awareness of water quality issues in the Hātea catchment and how individual people can make a difference. Why sign? We agree with the work the councils have begun to change the water quality in the Hātea - what we are hoping to achieve with the submission of this petition is to enable this beginning to be prioiritised so it can be completed in a shorter timeframe, provide sustainable support to those who are working on the project, and set a precedent for other waterway health projects in Northland/Tai Tokerau.
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    Created by Ash Holwell Picture
  • Reduce waste in New Zealand
    On 01 January 2018 a Chinese ban on New Zealand waste imports came into force [1]. Aside from meaning thousands of tons more waste either has to go to landfills or be processed here, it brings the spotlight onto our rather poor efforts at recycling, and reducing waste. It has been noted that New Zealand is lacking an up to date strategy fit to deal with the waste issue confronting New Zealand in 2018. A strategy exists, but it is out of date and the Associate Minister for Environment, Eugenie Sage, has acknowledged this [2]. A few days before Christmas, the United Nations criticized our handling of electronic waste. The absence of any significant measures to reduce waste being introduced by the previous Government, means potentially 9 years have passed when New Zealand could have been acting on our growing waste problem. One of the most dangerous waste forms which has been recently highlighted is e-waste. This is waste computer hardware - mouses, keyboards, screens, printers, CPU's, speakers, and so forth - as well as cellphones, microwaves, televisions, alarm clocks, smoke alarms, iPads, the radio systems from cars, sound systems and so on. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) singled out New Zealand and Australia just before Christmas to say together we produce the highest volumes of e-waste in the world while noting we have among the lowest documented rates for recycling [3]. Here is a list of every day devices and some of the toxic elements in them: SMARTPHONES: Lithium (battery), Silicon (screen), Boron, Antimony, Neodymium, Praesodymium FLAT SCREEN TV: Neon, Xenon SMOKE DETECTOR: Americium LAPTOP/DESKTOP: Beryllium, Lead, Mercury, Chromium MICROWAVE: Beryllium COMPACT DISC: Aluminium DVD PLAYER: Silicon, Aluminium BATTERIES: Lithium, Cadmium There are substantial and long lasting gains to be had that extend beyond a healthier environment. These gains also include healthier soils, water, vegetation and atmosphere. There will be less risk of contaminants leaching into ground water. Economic benefits exist too as a demand for parts, valuable metals and so forth can be extracted and reused with some potential for job creation to enable this work. So let us have this necessary conversation about an out of date framework. Let us get the appropriate framework into place and let us tackle a problem that could rubbish our reputation as clean and green. You may have read "The Lorax", a simple yet brilliant kids story about how a cartoon figure who stood up for the truffler trees, as one by one they were all cut down to make "thneeds". The environmental theme present in the story which you can see below is as important today as it was when the movie was made. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V06ZOQuo0k ---- References [1] http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/100286427/21m-of-nz-waste-turned-away-from-china [2] http://www.mfe.govt.nz/waste/waste-strategy-and-legislation/new-zealand-waste-strategy [3] https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/99848483/unbacked-body-singles-out-new-zealand-as-an-ewaste-laggard
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  • Stop all new oil, gas, and coal mines!
    The Government has taken a strong leadership role in working towards a safer climate future. If they're serious about it then they must stop extracting fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas which cause climate change. Many leading institutions such as the World Bank have committed to stopping funding oil and gas exploration given the threat they pose to a safe climate future. So far, the Conservation Minister has pledged to stop new coal mines on conservation land, yet has refused to rule out granting a permit for a giant open cast coal mine on conservation land near the Buller Gorge. On the same day as the Prime Minister announced the timeframe to implement the Zero Carbon Act she also refused to rule out new oil coal and gas mines, instead saying they would be treated on a 'case by case basis'. The science is clear - our climate won't cope with any new oil, coal, or gas mines. This can't be dealt with on a 'case by case'. New mines must be banned. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/12/uk-banks-join-multinationals-pledge-come-clean-climate-change-risks-mark-carney https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/west-coast/minister-urged-refuse-te-kuha-coalmine http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/five-oclock-report/audio/2018626848/prime-minister-to-consider-new-mining-permits
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  • Save our Precious Drinking Water
    New Zealand is in a dire situation regarding a stable consistent clean safe and consistent drinking water supply. A Government inquiry into the Havelock North drinking water crisis in 2016 has revealed 20% of New Zealand’s drinking water doesn’t meet safety standards.[1,2] In April 2016, the Ministry of Health warned that "the overall burden of endemic drinking water-borne gastrointestinal disease has been estimated at 18,000 to 34,000 cases per year" - but with this sort of illness going often unreported, it could be higher.[3] There are presently in December record temperatures all over the country and these show no sign of abating.[4] High temperatures have been partly causing algal bloom in Taupo, leading doctors to warn the algae may cause rashes, nausea and breathing difficulties. [5] The situation in Napier in the first week of December was dire. Huge amounts of water were drawn off and the supply was left wanting, with some discoloured water. Residents were distressed and lacking information.[6] In the Waitakeres in West Auckland people with tanks are ringing for water and being told it cannot be delivered until after Christmas. On the West Coast there is warnings of a looming problem if the dry weather continues.[7] We ask that the Minister of Local Government direct Local Bodies in New Zealand to adopt a comprehensive standard for safe drinking water and that Local Bodies adopt this standard and monitor the situation during the summer on a daily basis. Communities are nervous about their unstable water supply and cannot trust its quality. A consistent standard must be imposed and accepted as urgent and this standard must be monitored over summer on a daily basis by council staff. This will mean members of the community will feel more secure about their water supply over summer. As part of water monitoring, there must also be water restrictions imposed over the hot summer, the conservation message for water must start immediately. Communities need to be directed to conserve at the right times and know why they are conserving. Restrictions need to be put in place now and not left to the last minute. Communities must have trust that drinking water supply is safe and secure. References 1 - https://www.dia.govt.nz/Government-Inquiry-into-Havelock-North-Drinking-Water 2 - https://www.interest.co.nz/news/91258/government-inquiry-havelock-north-water-contamination-finds-widespread-and-systemic 3 - Douse the water deniers http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11958203 4 - http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/98647685/2017-set-to-break-records-for-extreme-weather 5 - https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/safety-concerns-over-algae-in-lake-taupo-causes-ironman-scrap-swimming-leg 6 - https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/99532411/water-shortage-in-napier-worsens-as-consumption-soars and http://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=11953334 7 - https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/west-coast/water-shortage-looms-west-coast
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    Created by Heather and Jerry Tanguay
  • Let's limit single-use plastic plant pots
    If we're banning single use plastic bags why not plastic pots? By growing our own vegetables, fruit and plants we are trying to be more eco-conscious, sustainable and enjoy their benefits - but polluting the environment with plastic waste to do so, does not make sense. One plastics recycling drive by gardening stores in the USA brought in 4.5 tonnes of plastic in each store! [1] While we appreciate that some keen gardeners reuse their plastic pots, most will end up in landfills - this is because many recycling centres do not accept them. There are smaller independent retailers who sell in biodegradable pots which shows it can be done. Many larger retailers are hesitant to change, it's up to us to demand it. We need non-plastic options so we can choose the way we buy our seedlings and plants! 1 - https://www.lowes.com/cd_Garden+Center+Gets+Greener+With+Recycling_283670888_
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    Created by Monique Russell-Groothuis Picture