• Call for NZCOM to remove transphobic keynote speaker & make conference a safe space for all
    The New Zealand College of Midwives is holding their biennial conference in November of 2021 with the theme “Celebrating Diversity, Growing Stronger Together.” While the theme of this conference is diversity, the college has invited an openly transphobic writer to present as their keynote speaker. This writer and proposed keynote speaker has actively perpetuated harm within rainbow communities, shared hate speech toward gender minorities, and had her connection with large organisations in the UK severed in response to her continued harm towards rainbow communities. These organisations include Birthrights who said the following in response to terminating their connection with her: “Birthrights is very clear that we are an inclusive organisation and are here for everyone who gives birth, regardless of how they identify. We reject any suggestion that respecting pregnant non-binary and trans people diminishes women’s rights. I have also seen other social media comments/replies where you undermine trans and non-binary people and state that people can only be male or female. This is harmful and distressing and in my view not compatible with a rights-based approach to pregnancy and childbirth. I’m afraid that Birthrights isn’t able to work with people who don’t share our inclusive values.” Despite NZCOM's conference theme of diversity, the college of midwives only has one presentation about gender and sexual diversity within pregnancy & birth. The college did not make any effort to reach out to members of the LGBTTQIA+ community within their own workforce, or adjacent workforces, to present their work. To hold a conference with the theme of “Celebrating Diversity,” and to make no effort to engage with the rainbow communities on being visible and safe at their conference is concerning. To have a keynote speaker who actively engages in perpetuating harm against rainbow communities is alarming. This keynote address also jeopardises the safety of any members of the rainbow community wishing to attend the conference. Further information and background on this speaker can be found by reading our open letter here: https://sites.google.com/empwr.nz/no-transphobia-in-midwifery/home The Rainbow Midwives Alliance are calling on the New Zealand College of Midwives to urgently remove Milli Hill as keynote speaker, apologise for the harm this has caused to LGBTTQIA+ communities, engage a local member of the community as keynote speaker, and outline their commitment to doing better going forward.
    2,123 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Rainbow Midwives Alliance
  • #BusFair 🚌
    Public transport is crucial in the fight against climate change, making our cities more liveable and supporting sustainable mobility for vulnerable and low-income communities. However bus drivers, passengers and the environment have been victims of a decades-long experiment in privatisation. The Climate Commission has called for a doubling of public transport use nationwide, however poverty wages are making it impossible for operators to recruit new workers. Cancellations are rife, and further industrial action looms on the horizon. The bus privatisation experiment has failed. In July 2021 FIRST Union’s #BusFair campaign called for the Ministry of Transport to abolish the current tendering model (the “PTOM”), massively increase investment in public transport, and work together with stakeholders to bring our public transport back into public ownership. That’s because three decades of bus privatisation has been disastrous for drivers, passengers, and the environment, shifting wealth from workers’ wages into offshore private equity firms that control our network. The PTOM tendering model put this approach on steroids, rewarding operators with the lowest labour costs. Significant investment is needed to lift workers’ wages, increasing the reach and regularity of our bus network, progressively reducing fares and establishing more bus-only infrastructure. However private ownership is a barrier to addressing these concerns. Support for public ownership is now growing, with Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Green Party supporting, as well as bus drivers and passengers across the country. Tell the Minister of Transport that it’s time to bring #ourpublictransport back into public ownership.
    362 of 400 Signatures
    Created by FIRST Union .
  • Fix this State Highway 3 Intersection and save lives
    This State Highway Intersection is a historical unresolved community problem for the businesses residents, road users, and emergency services of the district. There have been countless attempts by the local community to engage Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to implement a safe and effective traffic management plan for this intersection. The local businesses witness and are affected by vehicle accidents and near misses at this intersection on a daily basis. Yet Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have no plans to upgrade this intersection. The current configuration of this intersection is poorly planned, not fit for purpose and is the cause of life-threatening incidents to users every day. Ambulance response times to the community at large are adversely affected by the poor traffic flow through this intersection. If this intersection is not rectified in the foreseeable future lives will (are) being put at unnecessary risk and will ultimately result in a loss of life. The upgrade of this intersection will provide a safe and efficient state highway intersection that will enable effective traffic flow and enhance the safety of all road users. With this petition we are bringing the safety issues of this intersection needs to the immediate attention of the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. Sign today as part of the community calling for urgent action!
    1,582 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Sam Bennett Picture
  • Increase the Psychologist Workforce
    **** We delivered the petition on Wednesday 8 September but you are welcome to still add your name to be part of this campaign **** It is not good enough that we keep encouraging people to reach out for help when there is no help available. It is not good enough that the government talks about creating and expanding mental health services whilst failing to invest in growing the workforce. Psychologists are mental health experts who have thorough training in understanding, assessing, and providing treatment for people experiencing a range of psychological difficulties. Notably, psychologists are well equipped to help people experiencing acute mental health difficulties, who are currently being let down by inpatient care. Psychologists’ therapeutic practices are guided by best available local psychological research and theory, and adapted to meet the needs of each client and family. Psychologists also play key roles in training and supervising other health and mental health professionals. In the report of the 2018 New Zealand Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, He Ara Oranga, it was acknowledged that an immediate priority was to increase the Psychologist Workforce. Despite this, there has been a minimal increase in the number of psychologists being trained. At Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University Wellington, for example, the number of students being trained has increased from 10 to 12, despite there being more than 9 times that many people applying to the course each year and estimates suggest we currently need more than 1000 psychologists to fill the workforce shortage. New Zealand’s mental health crisis has reached a tipping point once again. Private clinical psychologists are turning away up to 60 clients a month, and access to psychologists through the public health system is even more dire. We are calling for a long term commitment to increasing the workforce. The barriers to training more psychologists are currently two-fold. Firstly, at a university level, more upfront investment is required in order to hire new staff and fund associated facilities such as expanding internal training clinics. Secondly, new psychologists require internships, and due to the lack of streamlined funding there are not enough services with capacity to supervise and pay intern psychologists. The wellbeing budget of 2019 led to an increase of 8 additional Ministry of Health funded internships for clinical psychologists, increasing the number from 12 to 20. There are currently around 120 intern psychologists registered across different programmes, meaning that the funding of 8 new internships barely makes a dent in this problem. Unpaid internships are a barrier to equitable workforce participation and the lack of streamlined funding must be fixed in order to develop a workforce which reflects the populations with highest mental health needs. With adequate funding and coordination these barriers can be overcome and more psychologists can be trained and registered. This is just one imperative, and logical step - amongst many needed - in order to address the mental health crisis in Aotearoa New Zealand. I imagine a New Zealand where psychological support and therapy is accessible and equitable. I dream of being part of a workforce where people are able to do their best work to help others in a way that is sustainable. I hope for a day when people can access therapy before they reach crisis point. This cannot happen unless we grow the workforce of psychologists. Add your name to join this call for more psychologists and better mental health care! #growthepsychforce --- About --- My name is Lucy and I am a clinical psychology student coming towards the end of my training. Previously, I worked for years as a telephone crisis counsellor, where I witnessed the reality that people facing severe mental health difficulties and attempting suicide often do not have any access to mental health services or psychologists. I burnt out badly in this role and experienced first-hand the difficulties in accessing a psychologist as a client. I decided to pursue clinical psychology training but feel scared about the current realities of this work and the future of our workforce. Together, with a group of fellow clinical psychology students, we have decided to raise our voices and demand something changes. ---Links--- https://www.newsroom.co.nz/anna-rawhiti-connell-a-problem-ignored-for-far-too-long https://www.newsroom.co.nz/mental-health-units-should-provide-more-than-meds-and-beds https://healthcentral.nz/new-zealand-needs-extra-1000-psychologists-estimates-taskforce/ https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018803716/psychologists-turning-away-clients-due-to-high-demand https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/122695066/new-zealands-psychological-crisis-putting-lives-at-risk https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/125485828/people-in-distress-being-turned-away-from-specialist-mental-health ---Banner image description--- Banner image shows a person with long hair and a beanie looking out along beach. The weather is grey. There is white text on a black background which reads "Increase the Psychologist Workforce: Call on the government for training and internship funding."
    14,541 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by Lucy McLean
  • Honouring Asylum: Bring Andika Refugees to Aotearoa New Zealand
    Australia's turnback operations are illegal. The New Zealand government has stated this, and that it respects the right to asylum. Therefore, intervention in this case is critical. Offering resettlement to these refugees would make the government’s commitment to its legal obligations clear, and would uphold its reputation as a humanitarian leader.
    236 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Honouring Asylum Picture
  • Power to the people: A right, not a privilege!
    The energy industry is full of solutions for people AFTER they have felt the impacts of power poverty and AFTER they have been disconnected. What is missing is an electricity retailer specifically designed to support vulnerable consumers, that can work with whānau to prevent those things from happening. The only way that this retailer can exist is if Generators, Government and all other players in the industry commit to work together in the Spirit of Manaakitanga. This is what true partnership looks like between tangata whenua and tangata tiriti. Solving this issue is not one that can be done alone - but one in which Māori must be involved in. Let us demonstrate a partnership our Tūpuna (ancestors), Tangata (people) and Tamariki (children) will be proud of. Power companies can switch off electricity for vulnerable whānau who aren't able to pay their power bill and turn others away if they have struggled to pay their bills in the past. With 17% of people saying they had trouble paying their power bill last year (Consumer NZ, 2020), hundreds of thousands of Kiwis are vulnerable to going without sufficient power to meet their needs, not in the future but right now! According to the ICCC report (2019), if the Government’s 100 per cent renewable energy goal is achieved by 2035, the average power costs for households would increase by 14%. And while we stand with the Government’s goal of decarbonising Aotearoa, we want to make sure policy is in place that means no whānau is left behind. If nothing changes, the amount of whānau living in energy hardship will accelerate. We believe money should NOT be a prerequisite to accessing sufficient energy to keep a whānau warm. No one should have the power to deny a parent the ability to feed their tamariki and keep the whare warm and dry. Over the past year, Nau Mai Rā has proven that if whānau are treated like whānau they will pay their bills on time every time, regardless of their credit history. By allowing us the responsibility to take care of power for vulnerable whānau, no New Zealander will be left out in the cold. Let's work together in the spirit of manaakitanga and ensure no whānau is left behind. Your support of this petition could solve power poverty in Aotearoa. Let us look after whānau Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi With your food basket and my food basket, the people will thrive Ezra Hirawani Te Āti Haunui-a-Paparangi / Ngāti Rangi / Ngāpuhi / Ngāti Hako / Waikato Tainui Ben Armstrong Ngāti Hine / Waikato Tainui Read Stuff's recent article here for more information: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/125262459/many-of-our-energy-assets-are-built-on-mori-land-so-why-do-mori-disproportionately-endure-power-poverty
    4,065 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Ezra and Ben
  • Careers in Kapa Haka
    The current issue with recruiting and the retention of qualified and professional kapa haka tutors in schools is a serious concern… Tamariki love kapa haka! The number of students who are participating and passionate about kapa haka is growing all the time! The student's knowledge of Te Reo me ona Tikanga Māori and confidence grow as they learn waiata, haka and other skills. We have seen improvements in the attendance and engagement of many students through a good quality kapa haka group. But finding the right people to fulfil that teaching role is a major and ongoing struggle. The Problem for Kura... As a national education priority (NEG 9 and NEG 10), the ability to find affordable, suitable and committed tutors shouldn't be so difficult. Schools are scrambling around every year to find professional tutors. On more than one occasion we have had people commit to tutoring our groups and then pull out in week one, term one! The anxiety this induces when you have up to 140 kids sitting in a hall ready to learn kapa haka is intense! The solution to this has been employing independent professional tutors. However, they are expensive, especially for smaller schools. Furthermore, the pull between priority curriculum areas and funding Māori performing arts is difficult for principals and boards of trustees. Funding is often prioritised to literacy and numeracy, science and technology, PE and LEOTC (NEG 5). The responsibility for funding Māori Performing Arts is a choice that should not be on the heads of individual principals and boards. As we are bound by Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Article Two), to protect this taonga and this should be done at a national level. Tutors are hard to find and relying on whānau to do the teaching of kapa haka is neither a respectful nor a sustainable option. Once you do find a volunteer (or someone who does the job for koha) the retention of tutors is difficult, life circumstances change for volunteers, more financially viable opportunities come up, new educational opportunities arise and family commitments, at times, take precedent. Many tutors cannot commit (for free) long-term to a school program. The problem for professional tutors... To run a free-market-style business funded by schools can be difficult for kapa haka experts. Particularly in relation to supporting families and maintaining a start-up business model or in the long term. Tutors can only charge what schools can afford and need to do all the mahi of running a business, understanding finances and organsing amongst many schools. They, therefore, need to have a certain amount of energy, confidence, and know-how to take these risks to manage this effectively. This is not an easy model for many people to set-up and run long term. As stated previously, schools are left to rely on whānau who volunteer or are given koha. This often puts pressure on whānau who have their own work and family commitments. It is not respectful to ask for so much for free, in a world where money is the formal acknowledgment of value. This feels disrespectful and is disheartening, to say the least for those who are asked to give so much for so little. On top of that, some tutors may not have the teaching skills required and it can be a daunting task for a whanau member (or two) to tutor a large group of children. There is usually little or no teaching training for these people and it can be seriously challenging for them. In summary, there are few or no professional and secure career pathways for people skilled in kapa haka. We need to create a system where people can achieve success in a Māori world and then have that honored with financial stability and security in the wider community. In short, the current system is not respectful of Māori mahi or the enormous value and importance placed on kapa haka by our tamariki. The schools are doing the best they can to fill this gap, but it shouldn't be this difficult to honour our commitments to Te Reo me Ona Tikanga Māori, me, Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We are calling that the taonga of kapa haka is protected through supported career pathways, that our tamariki have no obstacles to participation and that the Government and Iwi in partnership have a discussion and make a plan to implement structures for a long term tautoko of kapa haka. So join us to fight for paid professional kapa haka tutors in every school!
    287 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Anna-Marie Stewart
  • Update the Hamilton City Emblem!
    The current emblem was introduced in 1946 and represents the colonial history of our city as a settler military post in the 19th century. It does not align with the Treaty of Waitangi and Maaori representation in our current emblem is non-existent. Our emblem does not depict any partnerships and the crown is the main overpowering feature in the emblem. It does not hold any in-depth cultural, metaphorical or traditional meanings and is an emblem that was introduced almost 100 years ago!!! Kirikiriroa means 'long strip of cultivated land' and it represents the abundance of people who shared, took care, and lived off the land before colonisation. Gradually, like our city name or street names around our city Hamilton was overpowered by European settlers who made Kirikiriroa their own. Updating our city emblem and discussing it's relevance is important because it currently represents and supports years of our city’s colonial, traumatic history where indigenous people had land taken, were oppressed, and even murdered. Some people might think something small like an emblem doesn't matter, but the history and significance behind something so small has been the meaning of life or death for many. Today, Hamilton is the youngest city in New Zealand and one of the most multicultural cities with more than 160 ethnicities. We are a vibrant young & developing city and we need an emblem that reflects this! We want an emblem that we are proud of. We want an emblem that we understand and can relate to. We want an emblem that represents maaori, our city, and our diverse multicultural population. We want our city emblem to represent 'Kirikiriroa'. We want to have an emblem that we can share with pride! Sign to call on our Council to update City Emblem! To be able to present the petition the Council requires over 150 signatures with postal addresses, to show signatories are residents. Your address will be supplied to Council but not be made public.
    307 of 400 Signatures
    Created by Jahvaya Wheki
  • Inquiry into the consequences of conversion therapies for autistic children
    We all celebrated to hear of the legislation being enacted that bans conversion therapy after years of campaigning by the LGTBQI+ community. However the win does not go far enough. The same underlying techniques of torture and dehumanising coercion continue to be applied to autistic children. Any legislation which is so selective as to ban only “conversion therapies” that target a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression is in itself discriminatory. If a government moves to ban the mistreatment of one minority in a particular manner but neglects similar mistreatment of other minorities it is more than negligent, it is actively legitimising prejudice. If a ban were to go through with specific reference to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression alone, it would be much like an anti-racism bill that protected black people but left all other people of colour out in the cold. Instead of acknowledging anxiety and depression as the result of the highly stressful environments and dehumanising treatments that autistic children are exposed to, many "autism professionals" prefer to treat autism as the 'problem', and then use medication as treatment. The message to autistic people is very clear: 'you are not normal and we need to fix you'. This is wrong. The University of Auckland and other institutions in New Zealand still teach ABA. In Aotearoa certified ABA practitioners continue to advertise their services for children with “compliance” problems. Many autistic people who have been subjected to ABA and similar “treatments” end up with PTSD. Multiple studies confirm that the suicide rates for autists are are more than twice (1.9 to 9.9 times) the rates found in the general population. It is so important that people, and especially parents of autistic children, start listening to the lived experience of autistic adults. Many of us are in our 50s, 60s and 70s. We all started out as autistic children, without formal diagnosis, and without intensive ABA "therapy". We have found our path in life, we've experienced decades of discrimination comparable to the level of discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people 50 years ago, and we have remained autistic throughout. Neurodivergence is at the core of creativity. Autistic people don’t play social games, instead we actively resist them. Autistic people are best understood as the agents of a well functioning cultural immune system within human society. What are conversion therapies? Conversion therapies are “normalisation” therapies rooted in the techniques of torture and dehumanising coercion developed by Ivar Lovaas and Burrhus Frederic Skinner. The same techniques that are used by ABA therapists have been named as abusive in domestic abuse prevention legislation. Dehumanising abuse of all children, including autistic children, must be made illegal. The actual results that are achieved with conversion therapy include depression, PTSD, suicidal ideation, social expectations that are toxic for autistic people, as well as environments that create sensory overload. Why do we propose to consider a ban of all forms of conversion therapy? Conversion therapy never achieves its stated goal of “normalising” LGBTQIA+ or autistic children. Instead there is overwhelming evidence that conversion therapy results in extreme levels of irreversible trauma. The autistic population is much smaller than the LGBTQIA+ community, but the intersection between the two is significant. Compared to the general population, autists are 7 to 8 times more likely to identify as LGBTQIA+. It makes perfect sense to tie legislation around the protection of LGBTQIA+ rights to the protection of the rights of autistic people. What practices would need to be considered as part of a ban? Of the many labels used “Applied Behaviour Analysis” (ABA) and "Positive Behaviour Support" (PBS) are the most common ones. It is important to focus on all “therapies” that are rooted in the techniques of torture and dehumanising coercion developed by Ivar Lovaas and Burrhus Frederic Skinner. This initiative is part of the global Ban Conversion Therapies project (https://autcollab.org/projects/ban-of-conversion-therapies/), which keeps track of all the bans of conversion therapies that are already in place and all initiatives towards bans. More background information has been compiled by the Autistic Collaboration Trust in collaboration with the autistic community in New Zealand on the following web page: https://autcollab.org/2021/03/10/banning-autistic-conversion-therapy-in-nz/.
    437 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Jorn Bettin
  • Reclassify Autism and ADHD
    Quick and accurate health diagnosis means people are able to access the medical attention and medications we need with respect and speed. However in Aotearoa the approach to ADHD/autism is out of date as it is still classified as a mental health disorder. There is a serious lack of diagnostic support. This means that people are not correctly diagnosed. The diagnosis process is currently not achieving the desired outcomes and affecting daily lives of those seeking a diagnosis of autism / ADHD. People with ADHD/autism can feel stigmatized to be treated as a mental health patient. It also overloads the mental health system unnecessarily. This is a major public health issue affecting all ethnic groups, social classes and occupational groups: and this found in all government departments. Reclassification will give recognition that autism is a real inherited neurodevelopmental disorder and reduce stigmatisation. When ADHD/autism is correctly classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder it means primary medical professionals such as GPs are able to diagnose, authorize medications and care for patients. If ADHD is treated, then it has been proven that Autism is also often treated. This in turn positively affects the children and adults and their families and education, employment and in social situations. NZ Disability Advisory Trust is the organization leading this petition as voice and lived experience of having staff with ASD Diagnosis.
    2,719 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by NZ Disablity AdvisoryTrust
  • Ban the showing of Sia's movie "music" in New Zealand cinemas
    Here's why. Music does not aline with our values in New Zealand. It is discriminatory and has the power to change our society for the worse. The first problem that can be seen is blinding. Maddie Ziegler, a neurotypical actress is playing the lead role of Music, an autistic young girl. Ziegler mimics stereotypical behaviours of an autistic person, such as stimming. Given that Ziegler herself is NOT autistic, watching her stim and be paid for it has been described as an insult by many autistic people. Whilst many people would have been alienated for stimming in real life, Ziegler is being paid for forcing the natural behaviour of an autistic person. A second problem is that if in one of the first scenes, Music is launched into a colourful world of flashing lights, something that has been described by Eden, author of the autism self-advocacy website autisticats as a "sensory nightmare." The flashing lights make the movie totally inaccessible to people who have sensory problems, or people that have photosensitive epilepsy, a common trait within autistic people. Yet another problem within the movie is that Sia has not consulted with autistic people, and has no idea what she is talking about, being a neurotypical person herself. She continuously misrepresents the autistic community and one scene that highlights this is the fact that she has portrayed Music as a character with a special interest in dogs. Music reads a book that is big and bulky and has complicated vocabulary, yet her AAC device (A device that enables nonverbal people to communicate) has only simple preprogrammed words like "happy." Despite the fact of showing Music as a highly literate girl, with her own thoughts, the only insight that we get into Music's mind, is "nauseating dance sequences". There are so many more problems, both where Sia has been racist, ableist, and more that you can read about on the autisticats website which you can find here,: (https://theautisticats.weebly.com/) but I haven't even begun to address the most fatal mistake of the film. In many scenes, Music is having a meltdown caused by sensory overload and starts flailing her arms around. The response of one of the characters is to jump on top of Music and hold her down in a restraint called prone restraint. This restraint is deadly as it can cut off airways, and the fact it is being shown could normalise this restraint causing people to use it on friends and family who are autistic and may not be able to tell them to stop if they are experiencing sensory overload. With all of these problems of the movie, it is clear that New Zealand should not show this movie, or we will increase the dangers towards disabled people. This movie could very much increase fatalities, decrease acceptance and understanding of autistic people, and put us back many years.
    43 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Maya Ando
  • Activate the Emergency Sirens in our Community!
    We have a shared vision of our Mercury Bay and surrounding areas that is safe, and feels safe in any emergency. Emergency sirens are a crucial component of our alert system for the Community. A lot of thought, discussion and research went into implementing them. The elderly, parents, workers, school children, outlying areas - the Community relies on the sirens and they have been the most reliable medium to alert people. Our Community cares, and many when hearing the sirens immediately act to assist others in need also. Deactivating our sirens not only affects people’s lives, it actually puts them in jeopardy in critical situations. There have recently been 3 major earthquakes in a 6-hour period and our community was alerted three hours after the last earthquake of 8.1. We request this decision be reversed and real community engagement is invited before the siren system is deactivated or any changes implemented. Community consultation is essential for everyone to feel safe and the best decisions made. We understand the Council is also interested in safety and are also making decisions based on what's best for the community. We have heard that: • 18 of the 27 sirens in our area are non-compliant with FENZ (Fire and Emergency) so have to be deactivated. • The coverage is patchy due to nature of the hills. • To get very good sirens will cost $5-6 million. The Council wants to explain to communities that sirens have 44% coverage and phone alerts have 93%, which still leaves some people out, but they are going to launch education that you do not wait for advice - "if long and strong get gone" and help your neighbours. We consider sirens an essential part of any emergency system for an empowered Mercury Bay community to ensure its safety. Sign to bring our concerns to Council to keep our emergency sirens.
    1,875 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Linda Cholmondeley Smith