• Open Letter: Kāinga Ora must stop their dodgy home sensor project
    To: Hon Dr Megan Woods, Minister of Housing Cc: Sir Brian Roche, Chair of the Board, Kāinga Ora Cc: Andrew McKenzie, Chief Executive, Kāinga Ora Cc: John Edwards, Privacy Commissioner Dear Minister Woods, Damp, cold, mouldy homes are a silent killer in New Zealand. Every year, poor housing conditions contribute to illnesses like pneumonia which can be fatal. Everyone in New Zealand should have a home that is warm and dry, especially those whose homes are provided by our government. But nobody should have to sacrifice their privacy in order to have a healthy home. Recently, the government ran a pilot which put sensors into state homes to collect home health information. With the pilot completed, they are now formally rolling out a Smart Homes project to many government-owned homes, which will use sensors to measure temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide emissions and information on power usage. This week, Kāinga Ora will finish taking proposals from potential suppliers of home sensors so they can begin installing sensors in their tenant's homes next year, but we believe urgent changes must be made before this happens. Why do changes need to be made? The sensors provide Kāinga Ora with a lot of very personal information, including: - When someone is at home. - How many people are in the home. - If someone has opened a window. - When your curtains are closed or not. This sensor data is owned by Kāinga Ora. As part of their privacy statement, they have said they may share that data with other government agencies, including the Ministry of Social Development who are responsible for welfare and benefit provisions to many Kāinga Ora tenants. Families do not have easy access to either data collected about them and their house, or the insights gained from it. Given much of this home sensor information relates to a family’s health, but is not available to them to see, we believe this is a breach of the Health Information Privacy Code 1994. In addition, Kāinga Ora have only told tenants what measures they are collecting (temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide levels and power use), not what that data tells them (such as how many people are in the house). When combined with the power imbalance between a government landlord and public housing tenants, families may feel pressured to agree to sensors in their home in order to get their damp, mouldy, cold homes fixed, but without understanding just how much privacy they’re giving up. This situation would not be one of genuine, informed, consent. The combination of a lack of transparency and the ownership and sharing of family’s data with other government agencies creates a huge risk that family’s home sensor data will be used to control how whānau use their own homes, from policing how many visitors are in the house at any time, to cutting benefit payments to solo parents perceived to be in relationships, to evicting whānau for claimed overcrowding. The potential for misuse of this data is so high that it should not be available to landlords and this project should not be collecting it. We demand the following immediate action: This project must be stopped. The current process of seeking vendors to provide sensors must be withdrawn. Kāinga Ora must be directed to create a process for replacing it that fully engages tenants, iwi and relevant experts, with the aim of a principled, ethical and legally-compliant outcome. We seek the following changes to the program as part of any revised process: 1. Tenants must own the data generated by them and about them. 2. The data should be treated as medical data and handled under the Health Information Privacy Code 1994 (the “Code”). The purpose of this project is to improve the health of tenants by monitoring their houses and house use, so this should be classified as health data, and managed under the Code. 3. Tenants must be able to see the same data and insights as Kāinga Ora, without barriers. Currently, tenants have to make a request under the Privacy Act to get their information. This is totally unacceptable and a barrier for many people. 4. Immediately abandon use of carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors which can accurately measure how many people are in a house at any time. 5. Cancel use of power consumption sensors.This is exclusively a measure of tenant behaviour, not housing. 6. A complete reset of principles and community engagement. As it stands, the project does not outline any principles. Instead, it only focuses on outcomes for Kāinga Ora. There is no empathy, understanding or even acknowledgement of the potential issues and concerns for tenants. Furthermore, education and empowerment - which are a major part of the ability to make change - are not mentioned. Kāinga Ora must restart and engage meaningfully and honestly with communities, sharing the implications of data collection, and listening and acting on concerns. 7. Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Kāinga Ora states they want to partner with Māori and iwi, but so far, the project has completely failed to honour Te Tiriti. Whānau have no autonomy over their own data, the technology and potential solutions for this project, and Kāinga Ora have not highlighted any engagement with hapū, iwi or Māori. As a Crown entity, the role of Kāinga Ora is one of a Te Tiriti partner. They must honour this meaningfully. The next phase of this project cannot begin without early engagement with hapū, iwi and Māori. Anything else is against both Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles and the Bill that gives Kāinga Ora its mandate. --- We the undersigned demand Kāinga Ora immediately stop their home sensors project and start again with better ethics, engagement and transparency.
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  • Fight for Te Rotorua nui a Kahumatamomoe (Lake Rotorua)
    * Lake Rotorua is a taonga as are all the waterways connected to it #TAONGAnotTOILET * Many communities and families still source food from the lake * Serious contaminants will still exist in the treated sewage when it is discharged into the stream that flows into the lake * No lake in Rotorua will be safe if this discharge happens * We must leave a legacy of clean water and air for our mokopuna, Rotorua and Aotearoa * Getting the lake the same legal recognition as a person, will make it more difficult for groups to purposely pollute and disrespect it Te Arawa Lakes Trust says no to treated wastewater in Lake Rotorua, NZ Herald, 4 Dec 2018 https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12170331
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  • 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
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  • Save Tumu Kaituna
    Tumu Kaituna 14 has been recognised by Heritage New Zealand as land that holds considerable significant historical, archaeological, cultural importance to all of New Zealand and has areas on the land designated for protection and preservation. Our concerns are the proposed urban development will destroy one of the few significant and unique historical, cultural, spiritual and environmental places we have left in Tauranga Moana which runs along our sacred Kaituna River. We want to keep one of the last remaining pieces of Māori-owned land at Pāpāmoa (Aotearoa New Zealand) in Māori hands. We are fighting a plan by Tumu Kaituna 14 Trust, Tauranga City Council, various developers and neighbouring non-Māori land owners that if successful will strip us of our ancestral land. More than 4,900 Māori land owners will be alienated. While the plan is expected to provide new housing for 15,500 people, we have seen no plans that provide housing for Māori land owners and expect the price range will be well out of Māori land owners reach. We have concerns of what that kind of urban development would do to the environment and our sacred waahi tapu sites. The plan lacks Māori values including intergenerational thinking. Our people are really hurt that those they have put their faith in could potentially take away what little land they have left. Save Tumu Kaituna campaign is led by the descendants of the Māori land owners of Tumu Kaituna 14 who lived on the land during the flax trading era and fought for the land in the 1860s. Many died and were buried here. It is well known amongst Māori that kōiwi are buried all along the sand dunes at Papamoa. As recent as December 2017, 600 year old young Polynesian male bones were found on the land by an archaeologist and there have been many many other similar findings of koiwi.
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  • Remove Oranga Tamariki as the name for CYPFs
    Oranga is a kupu which implies wellness - culturally the fact that this Ministry uses kupu Maori is distasteful given the bullying tactics used to remove Maori mokopuna and tamariki from their families without engaging with the whanau.
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  • #protectihumātao
    Update 27 July 2019 For over three years, the SOUL campaign to #protectIhumātao has engaged in non-violent, direct action to raise awareness and build public support. This petition was delivered to Parliament in May and the Select Committee reported back this week: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/114507477/ihumtao-eviction-select-committee-urges-parliament-to-note-protesters-concerns The petition was also delivered to Auckland Mayor Phil Goff https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/386696/hikoi-confronts-phil-goff-over-ihumatao-development On Tuesday 23 July more than 70 police turned up unannounced to Ihumaatao to issue eviction notices to mana whenua and destroy the structures that have been set up by kaitiaki (land protectors, guardians). To support the protection of Ihumaatao you can: ❤️ Sign the petition to stay in touch with the campaign and events. ❤️ Send an email to the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister or Auckland Mayor asking to resolve this issue: https://actionstation.org.nz/action/protect-ihumaatao/choose ❤️ Donate for the SOUL campaign: https://donate.actionstation.org.nz/saveihumatao ❤️ Bring yourself, come to the whenua (land). Please be peaceful, no alcohol, take rubbish away with you. ********* 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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  • Secure the Māori seats
    Most New Zealanders value equality, and the way we relate to each other, across cultural differences and other differences in background. We cherish values such as respect, and we speak often about honouring the history and cultures that shape us. Many New Zealanders overseas talk about these values and practices as reasons they’re proud of the country they come from. But our laws and politics don’t always live up to these values. In our Parliament at the moment, the seven seats reserved for MPs to represent Māori are not treated in the same way as the general seats. To abolish a Māori seat you only need a simple majority in the House (51%), whereas to abolish a General seat it takes a 75% majority. Māori seats are more precarious and treated differently from other seats. And there’s no reason for this. The Electoral Entrenchment of Maori Seats Amendment Bill introduced by MP Rino Tirikatene will secure (or entrench) the Māori seats to make sure the Maori seats get the same protections as General seats.[1] There are currently seven Māori electorates and 64 general electorates. Each one represents a seat in Parliament. The Māori seats are a way of making sure the interests of Māori are represented. If you choose to go on the Māori Roll, you will vote for someone in one of the seven Māori electorates. If an MP wins a Māori seat, they are mandated to advocate for Māori. This can allow Māori to advocate for their language, values, beliefs and culture, and to enable Māori to do things in a way that may be different to the dominant Pākehā way of doing things. This advocacy can ensure Te Tiriti o Waitangi is honoured in everything we do, or that Māori language and history is celebrated and taught in communities and schools. This advocacy can help make sure government funding goes toward Māori-led solutions to poverty, homelessness and sick rivers, as well as government and business-led ones. By securing the Māori seats we will guarantee there are people in Parliament who offer a Māori voice, not just a voice of the general population. Entrenching the seats will also remove the chance of some politicians using the Māori seats as a political football when they want media attention. We have the chance right now to make sure the cultural and political diversity of our country is protected. Sign now to show the politicians considering the Bill your support. Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi. With your contribution and my contribution, our community will flourish. Bill to entrench the Māori seats passes first hurdle, NZ Herald, 5 Sep 2018 https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12119877 Harmony and the case for Māori wards, Stuff, 11 May 2018 https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/103750284/harmony-and-the-case-for-mori-wards
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  • Change the discriminatory law that enabled the Māori wards referenda
    We are a community of people that value fairness and inclusion. We want our cities and towns to be vibrant and flourishing democracies where everybody participates, and our children and grandchildren can see themselves reflected in the leaders we elect. We believe the more people participate in local government, the more council decisions and actions will achieve positive outcomes for all of us - everyday people and the land we love - both now and for the future. Sadly, we are being held back from this vision because Māori are under-represented in local government and they have been for a long time. One way to rebalance this and increase Māori representation is to establish Māori wards. These are a bit like the Māori seats in Parliament, but for local government. They establish areas where those who choose to go on the Māori electoral roll can vote for councillors to represent them. Councillors in five areas - Kaikōura, Whakatāne, Western Bay of Plenty, Manawatū and Palmerston North - had voted to establish Māori wards to increase Māori representation. Until Don Brash, Hobson’s Pledge and a handful of anonymous wealthy backers used fear and the politics of the past to force a public referendum using an outdated, discriminatory law. We are all for increasing participatory decision making. But these referenda are unfair for two reasons. ➡️No other ward (e.g. rural) can be subject to a referendum and decided on this way; and ➡️ The rights of a minority group should never be decided by the majority. On Saturday 19 May, all votes were counted and as of writing, all districts have voted against increasing Māori representation. In Whakatāne, 56.39 percent voted against Māori representation. 43.37 percent in favour. The total Māori population in Whakatāne? 43 percent. These referenda shouldn't have ever happened. It's long past time to change the discriminatory law that enabled them in the first place. That is what we are asking Nanaia Mahuta to do. Together, we can create an inclusive community where we all have a voice, and everyone is involved in making good decisions together about our shared future. *** MORE INFO: www.votemaori.co.nz https://thespinoff.co.nz/atea/14-05-2018/why-we-need-maori-wards/
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  • Teach New Zealand and Te Tiriti history to adults
    In 2017 10,000 members of the ActionStation community came together to co-create our united vision in Te Ira Tāngata: a People’s Agenda. This vision looks ahead to a positive future in the year 2040, the 200 year anniversary of the signing of te Tiriti o Waitangi. Our community has the vision that Aotearoa New Zealand in 2040 will be a fair and flourishing country with care, creativity, courage and compassion at its core. We will honour te Tiriti o Waitangi and the rights of indigenous people in our constitution, our institutions and in everything we do. We envision in 2040 that Aotearoa New Zealand’s constitution and structures reflect our Treaty commitments, and rangatiratanga is guaranteed to Māori. Every person in Aotearoa New Zealand understands and respects Te Tiriti as our founding document, understands the harm done by colonisation in our country, and works to heal injustices and to see Te Tiriti honoured. The Government have committed to including New Zealand history education in the core curriculum in primary and secondary schools for 2022. This is necessary and overdue. But adults and wider communities need opportunities to learn too. Sign the petition to ask the Government and political parties to join in building a future where each of us understands, values and honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi and our unique history that brought us here.
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  • Honour Te Tiriti: #ChangeTheOath
    The oath of allegiance, taken by all new citizens, is an important statement on what it means to be a citizen of Aotearoa. Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the nation's founding document, yet the current oath only acknowledges one Treaty partner, the Crown (for more information see http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1977/0061/latest/whole.html#DLM444038). There is a need for the oath to acknowledge both Māori and the Crown, and to reflect that honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the responsibility of all citizens of Aotearoa. Changing the oath to include a statement on honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi would: - Recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of the Nation - Honour both Treaty partners in citizenship ceremonies - Make it clear that honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the responsibility of all citizens of Aotearoa - Encourage new citizens to learn about Te Tiriti o Waitangi and their relationships with tangata whenua - Be one step towards achieving an approach to immigration that recognises Māori rights, responsibilities, and aspirations 'Change the Oath' is a group of Māori and migrants of colour standing in solidarity. The group includes (in alphabetical order) Faisal Al-Asaad, Tahu Kukutai, Ricardo Menéndez March, Pania Newton, Aaryn Marsh Niuapu, Arama Rata, and Julie Zhu.
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  • Save Poroti Springs
    A private water company is applying to build a bottling factory at Poroti Springs, a hapū-owned pure water source, near Whangarei. The plant will not only risk the purity of the spring and aquifer but also add increased activity in the local community and around Poroti Reserve. It will create a significant health and safety issue with 80 truck movements per day, right next door to Poroti School. Please use this form to make an official submission to the Whangarei District Council. Submissions are open until 5pm Wednesday 30 August. Over years the local hapū have been shut out of decision-making over the treasured spring, and the aquifer under their Reserve. For example, the Council spent $1.08 million on establishing the adjacent bore site then sold the site to private interests for $40,000 without hapū knowledge. Now the company with rights to take the water want to build a 3600-square-metre water bottling factory across the road from the Reserve. The factory will bottle up to a million litres of water a day to sell for the domestic and Chinese markets. Your submission on the risks to the spring posed by the factory, from potential groundwater contamination and the increased traffic activity, will help the Council give more consideration to the protection of the spring and aquifer. You will also be standing with the hapū and give support for their right to be heard as guardians of the springs. Make a submission today using this form. If you have local knowledge of the area and/or people you can add a personal message to support your submission. You can make a contribution to the cost of the legal fees to deal with the Zodiac objection here: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/porotisprings Zodiac Holdings Limited - Resource Consent Application http://www.wdc.govt.nz/NewsRoom/PublicNotices/Pages/Resource-Consent-Zodiac.aspx#Expand History: The Whatitiri Māori Reserves Trust is legally responsible for administering the “Whatitiri Māori Reserves” under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 and The Māori Reservations Regulations 1994. The first seven trustees of the reserves were appointed, 28th June 1940 and replaced the people who were originally vested title in the individual blocks. The 1895 Survey Map shows Poroti Springs Reserve as a “water supply” for the benefit of hapu Te Uriroroi, Te Parawhau and Te Mahurihuri subtribes of Ngapuhi’ 1960 Sept 28th Gazette Notice – further confirms Poroti Springs Reserve as a “water supply” for the benefit of hapu Te Uriroroi, Te Parawhau and Te Mahurihuri subtribes of Ngapuhi. Our hapu of Poroti will object to the proposed building of a bottling factory just across the road from our Poroti Springs. The building is huge and will have 40 in and 40 out truck movements heading to Marsden Point. Up to 2.5 million litres of water is consented daily to Zodiac Holdings Ltd to take from the Whatitiri aquifer that feeds our springs and previous WDC takes have dried us up in 1983 and 1987. This water is intended for export to Asian markets and Zodiac has been marketing the business for sale to overseas interests. This company also markets under the name of “New Zealand Spring Water Ltd”. We as a hapu find this situation to be intolerable and yet our local Governments Northland Regional Council and Whangarei District Council facilitate for our water to be plundered by people whom do not belong to our community. We cannot accept to wake up one morning to see up to 16 foreigners loading our water across the road, 16 hours per day to send overseas. "He waka eke noa" "A canoe which we are all in with no exception. We are all in this together" For more info go to https://www.facebook.com/saveporotisprings/ News media Poroti Springs hapu not happy about bottling plant consent application, NZ Herald, 8 Aug, 2017 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11899815 Northland hapū run out of steam in water-bottling fight, RNZ, 11 August 2017 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/337016/northland-hapu-run-out-of-steam-in-water-bottling-fight
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  • Hands Off Our Tamariki
    You can read the open letter in full here: https://www.handsoffourtamariki.org.nz/ You can also join us for a rally on July 30 here: https://www.facebook.com/events/410698589765993/
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