• Reduce Alcohol Harm: Pass the Bill!
    Most of us want to live, work, play and raise our children in communities that are healthy, safe and connected. When our communities are safe and healthy we give ourselves and our families the best chance to thrive, grow, and enjoy the things that are most important to us. But the massive and varied harms to health, relationships, and livelihoods from alcohol gets in the way of so many of the things that are important to us. We currently have a rare opportunity to address this problem and make our communities better places to live, work, and play with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Amendment Bill about to go before parliament. Sign this petition to ask your Member of Parliament, representing your community and our nation, to support the best chance for alcohol reform we have had for ages. What makes the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Amendment Bill so great? ⭐️ The Bill will remove the special appeals process from local alcohol policy development, so that communities, not alcohol retailers, have a greater say when it comes to local decisions around where, when and how alcohol can be sold. ⭐️ The Bill will also end alcohol advertising and sponsorship of broadcast sport, implementing some of the recommendations from Sir Graham Lowe’s 2014 Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship. These measures are among the strongest tools available to turn around heavy drinking in our communities. And they are long overdue. Our communities have suffered the effects of our failed liquor laws. Māori, Pasifika and low income communities continue to shoulder the greatest burden of alcohol harm. Alcohol retailers have endlessly appealed Councils’ local alcohol policies so that they no longer resemble the wishes of their constituent communities. Councils’ have expressed frustration at their alcohol policies being watered down to appease the alcohol industry. For this reason, many Councils have formally endorsed the Bill. Ending alcohol sponsorship of broadcast sport serves to protect current and future generations from the established harms of alcohol marketing, especially children who are heavily influenced by their sporting heroes. Winding up alcohol sponsorship of broadcast sport allows communities to experience the richness of connection and community through a healthy activity, without being harmed by the influence of alcohol advertising. Reducing alcohol harm means better mental health, improved child wellbeing, reduced family harm, less pressure on our health system, less pressure on police and emergency services, and improved productivity and economic growth. Alcohol harm impacts almost everything we care about as New Zealanders. Urge your Member of Parliament to be brave and go on the public record with their support of this Bill. Ask them to vote for this Bill at first reading and engage in the Select Committee process. Let’s not squander this opportunity. Together, we can create safer, healthier and fairer communities. The next steps for the Bill: The Bill could be debated as early as August. So it's important to show your support now! The Bill needs 61 votes from MPs to pass its first reading in Parliament so it can proceed to Select Committee. Then communities will be able to have their say on the Bill through the public consultation process. Read our evidence-based factsheets for more information: 👀 The Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Bill https://www.ahw.org.nz/Portals/5/Resources/Fact%20Sheet/2022/Factsheet_Alcohol_Harm_Minimisation_Bill_2022.pdf 👀 Alcohol Sponsorship of Sport in Aotearoa New Zealand https://www.ahw.org.nz/Portals/5/Resources/Fact%20Sheet/2022/AHW%20Alcohol%20sponsorship%20factsheet%20June%202022.pdf For more information, check out our website at www.passthebill.org.nz. This community action initiative is a collaboration between Alcohol Healthwatch and Hāpai te Hauora.
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    Created by Alcohol Healthwatch Picture
  • Ensure funding and timely access to diagnosis for neurodivergent people
    Everyone, no matter where they live, or how unique their minds are, deserve to have the support they need to live full and happy lives. But at the moment, someone seeking a diagnosis for autism, ADHD, dyslexia and other cognitive, learning and sensory disabilities, has to navigate a complicated and stressful system. Wait times within the public system can be years long and the cost to go privately can be anywhere from $500 - $3500. This means that many people have to go without a diagnosis for long periods of time and therefore miss out on access to the support they need. This is an unfair system that needs to change. People should not have to be privileged or wealthy to access the assistance they require.
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    Created by Saoirse Lynch
  • Our children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis deserve the same care as adults!
    New Zealand has one of the highest rates of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (known as inflammatory bowel disease or “IBD”) in the world. These diseases are chronic and relapsing illnesses, characterised by sudden flares, emergency department visits, frequent hospitalisations, and, often, surgery. It is estimated that there are 20,792 New Zealanders with these diseases and the number is expected to double in the next ten years. Many of these patients are children. While almost every DHB in NZ funds adult IBD specialty nurses, there is not a single paediatric IBD nurse in all of New Zealand, not even at our largest paediatric centre, Starship Hospital. The issue of equity for this very vulnerable segment of our population needs to be raised. The critical role of the IBD nurse is to provide direct, immediate medical access and assessment to children when their disease suddenly flares. In these situations, it is prompt treatment which prevents lengthy hospitalisations and life-altering surgery. In addition, IBD nurses are the primary educators of both patients and caregivers, they manage immunosuppressive medications, ensure that preventative measures such as vaccinations and screening procedures are up-to-date, provide advice on diet, manage side effects of medications, and ensure compliance with treatment regimens. Not only does the work of the IBD nurse improve patient outcomes, but it significantly frees up time for their physician colleagues to perform other tasks. The impact of the IBD Clinical Nurse Specialist on patient outcomes and hospital costs has been well and repeatedly documented. A recent study reported in the British Medical Journal in 2020, demonstrated a one-third decrease in hospitalisations in the year following the addition of an IBD nurse to the GE team (P=0.002). Similar results were reported in a study from the Royal Adelaide Hospital in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis. Hiring a single nurse will not only save taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, but, most importantly, will help keep our children out of the hospital and out of surgical theatres. It will ensure that our children have access to the same quality care that is routinely available to adult IBD patients in New Zealand and to other children throughout the world.
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    Created by Richard Stein
  • Healthy Food and Drink in Schools
    We believe that every child and young person in New Zealand deserves the best start to life and what they eat and drink is vital for optimal physical and mental health. Research in New Zealand has highlighted ‘free sugars’ as contributing significantly to high rates of poor physical health, poor oral health, diabetes and other health-related diseases.[1] The consumption of free sugars in sugar sweetened beverages contributes to 26% of the total sugar intake of children.[2] Studies conducted by the Environmental Health Indicators New Zealand (EHINZ) note that dental decay is now the most common disease reported among children in New Zealand. But sugary drinks are not the only problem. The food our children eat also needs to be healthy and nourishing. Research has demonstrated that children who eat healthy food are better behaved and better able to concentrate in class and learn.[3] Education is key to improving health outcomes in our community and schools need to lead the way. Promoting healthy food and then selling unhealthy food in our school canteens does not make sense. We already have Healthy Food Guidelines, Schools need to be given the duty and support to implement them. [4] For more information, please contact: Shona Jaunas (President Open Forum for Health Information) [email protected] https://www.openforumforhealthinformation.com/nz-schools-consultation [1] Free sugars are defined by the World Health Organisation as monosaccharides and disaccharides added to food by both the manufacturer and consumer, including sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, and fruit juice. [2] Sundborn et al, “New Zealand’s growing thirst for a sugar-sweetened beverage tax”, New Zealand Medical Journal, 2015. [3] Rucklidge and Kaplan, “The Better Brain, How Nutrition Will Help You Overcome Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and Stress, Vermillion, 2021 [4] 20210927-Nutrition-Guidance-Formatted-FINAL.pdf (education.govt.nz)
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    Created by Open Forum for Health Information New Zealand
  • Condemn Israeli aggression against peaceful Palestinian worshippers
    According to international news sources, more than 300 Palestinians were detained on Easter Friday in Al-Aqsa Mosque in what rights groups say was the largest en masse arrest over the course of one hour and in one location in more than 20 years.(1) At least 158 Palestinians were injured in the ensuing violence. Most recently, Israel has prevented Palestinian Christians from entering the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to observe the Easter Vigil associated with the Christian Orthodox celebrations.(2) Tensions across the occupied territories continue to mount as the Israeli Occupation forces use violence against Palestinian Muslim and Christian worshippers and peaceful protestors. Every thirty-three years Ramadan, Easter and Passover coincide. It is especially sad that the recent aggression by the Israeli Occupation forces has occurred at a time of religious festivity for all three of the world’s monotheistic religions. Israel’s aggression not only endangers civilians at a holy moment, it also violates the sanctity and meaning of all three holidays. New Zealand has a strong record of supporting human rights including the freedom of thought, conscience and religion as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. New Zealand’s response to the March 15th Mosque attacks demonstrates its commitment to ensuring that religious communities should be able to observe their faith free of harassment and violence. We call on the New Zealand Rt Hon Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta to demonstrate their commitment to religious freedom by condemning the aggression of the Israeli Occupation forces against worshippers and peaceful protestors and extending the same concern the New Zealand government has expressed for Muslims in Aotearoa for Palestinians at worship. New Zealand has consistently held a principled position on Palestine through the United Nations in keeping with international law. This includes New Zealand’s vote in 1974 in favour of issuing an invitation to the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO’s) chairman Yasser Arafat to address the UN General Assembly (UNGA). New Zealand’s principled stance can also be traced in its 2012 UNGA vote to upgrade the status of Palestine to non-member observer state. When it comes to Palestine, the New Zealand state and its people have historically maintained an even-handed, diplomatic, and consistent approach to the Israeli conflict. We call on the New Zealand Government to maintain its strong principled stance in relation to Palestine and its commitment to Human Rights by condemning the recent Israeli violence. References: 1. https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-palestine-aqsa-mosque-jerusalem-storm-raid-settlers 2. https://www.palestinechronicle.com/israel-limits-access-to-holy-sepulcher-church-for-holy-fire-ceremony-video/ This petition has been created by Palestinians in Aotearoa Coordinating Committee (PACC). This petition has been signed by Alternative Jewish Voices (AJV).
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    Created by Palestinians in Aotearoa Coordination Committee Picture
  • Ensure access to ERP therapy for people living with OCD
    Fixate is an online community for NZers living with OCD or supporting someone living with OCD, with over 800 members. Personal experiences shared within Fixate reveal heart-breaking stories of individuals and families struggling with untreated OCD. Aside from the enormous personal cost, there is a hidden public cost in the “revolving door of care'' where people receive ineffective support for unrecognised, misdiagnosed or untreated OCD. Early diagnosis and targeted interventions would reduce both suffering and the need for costly support and long-term therapy down the track. When emerging OCD symptoms that could be “nipped in the bud” are left untreated, they become embedded and more resistant to treatment. The best practice treatment for OCD is ERP therapy (2). Sometimes this can be accompanied by medication that ‘quietens the obsessive thoughts’, making it easier to do the exposure work. Most people who access these treatments experience substantial improvement and/or recovery (where troublesome unwanted thoughts still occur, but are manageable and no longer disrupt everyday life). In Aotearoa New Zealand, people experiencing severe OCD are referred to secondary mental health services. However there is a high bar to acceptance of referrals and staff with expertise in ERP therapy are reportedly scarce to non-existent. Even when a referral is accepted, people are added to long waiting lists and don’t access treatment for many months. Those who don’t meet the threshold for referral are left in primary care where health professionals lack training in ERP therapy. 1. https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/wellbeing/125409931/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-convinced-woman-she-was-a-dangerous-murderer 2.https://journals.lww.com/intclinpsychopharm/Fulltext/2020/07000/Clinical_advances_in_obsessive_compulsive.1.aspx To learn more about people living with OCD and ERP therapy, go to www.ocd.org.nz https://iocdf.org/blog/2017/03/31/view-the-new-documentary-living-with-me-and-my-ocd/ https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/news/lawtalk/lawtalk-issue-944/obsessive-and-compulsive
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    Created by Marion Maw
  • Commission of Inquiry into dyslexia & neurodiversity in New Zealand
    Dyslexia/neurodiversity affects around 15% of people worldwide, and impacts on their education, their working lives, and wider social interactions. Dyslexia/neurodiversity are best described as differences, as opposed to disabilities, but the way that society treats them turns them into disabilities. Dyslexia/neurodiversity are poorly understood and often overlooked in government policies. Currently New Zealand gathers no statistics about dyslexia/neurodiversity and New Zealand Human Rights legislation is silent on them. Many people with dyslexia/neurodiversity are not aware they have it and many people with it strive to hide it to avoid ridicule. Sadly, most teachers in most schools are poorly equipped to support children with dyslexia. Pre-service teacher training provides minimal dyslexia/neurodiversity instruction for new teachers entering the education workforce. Without change the challenges facing dyslexic children and adults are not likely to be addressed. Meeting the needs of Kiwis with dyslexia/neurodiversity is an equity issue. Sadly dyslexic/neurodiverse Kiwis have been ignored. It is demonstrably unfair that this group of Kiwis continue to be short-changed and treated poorly. This is also a major workplace productivity issue. No country can achieve to its full potential when 10 – 15% of its population are not fully engaged. This petition is about giving all Kiwis a fair go.
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    Created by Mike Styles
  • Free N95 Masks For All!
    Given the extra risk of exposure and infection because of the recently announced changes, it is becoming increasingly urgent that N95, P2, or equivalent quality masks are available and universally accessible. The Government has said that all healthcare and border workers have access to N95 or equivalent masks. But as the Government opens up the border and eases restrictions internally, the general public of Aotearoa New Zealand need quality masks. These masks are comfortable and breathable, they prevent transmission and save lives. Prevention of infection is the best course of action. Along with concern for the capacity of our health system, we are extremely concerned about the wellbeing of people who cannot social distance or properly ventilate their spaces at work, where they live, or where they study. Good quality masks are vital for our wellbeing. Masks For All! References: 1. https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/annual-inflation-hits-a-three-decade-high-at-5-9-percent 2. https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/renting/127544121/rents-still-rising-as-supply-pressures-remain
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    Created by Communities For Public Health
  • Save Our National Passenger Rail Network
    Trains connect communities and are an important part of climate change action. In late 2021, KiwiRail, announced end of same-day intercity services between Auckland/Wellington and Picton/Christchurch. They were to be replaced by luxury multi-day rail cruises. In a win for this campaign, KiwiRail recently reversed that decision and reinstated the Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific effective September 2022. While this is a win for the travelling public, it is not the end of the issue. Much of Aotearoa New Zealand remains disconnected by from the rail passenger network and other services, like the the Capital Connection between Wellington and Palmerston North, remain under threat from underinvestment. This comes at a time when the Government has said it is committed to climate action and reducing inequality. Trains have connected friends and families for graduations, weddings, holidays, and business for generations. They have connected towns with the cities, and bought our country together. But a period of privatisation and decades of underfunding has limited the development and use of our national rail network. Trains have an important place in our future but it requires investment and planning from this Government. 🛤 Rail provides a more sustainable and climate friendly method of transport across the country. 🛤 Rail can invigorate the social and economic life of small communities by making them accessible to remote workers and tourists. 🛤 Trains can bring our diverse country together by connecting them to people and landscapes across wide distances. 🛤 Trains provide an accessible method of point-to-point transport for the elderly and disabled. 🛤 Trains can help take traffic off the roads and improve road safety. Rail is an important part of our past, but it should also be part of our future. Join the campaign to support the retention of a national passenger rail network.
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    Created by Patrick Rooney Picture
  • Call to action on housing in Kāpiti
    The 240 houses that Kāinga Ora has across the District are not enough to house long-term homeless people, let alone the growing number of people who are coming onto the list. This includes people who formerly rented in the private sector and who have been given notice to leave their homes as landlords have decide to sell their properties. Even if there was an adequate supply of private sector accommodation, the exorbitant rents mean that people simply can't afford to meet that cost. There is strong support for this call for action across the entire Kāpiti population. Young people who can't afford to leave home; families with children who move in with their parents because they can't afford the rent demanded; an 85-year-old who has lived in the same unit for 17 years being given notice because the landlord is going to rent to a family member; working single people who can't afford a one bedroom flat - the scenarios come thick and fast and we hear them all.
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    Created by Donna Bridgeman
  • RNZFB: Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi in your decision making
    Kāpō Māori Aotearoa members and whānau have lost confidence in the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) Incorporated governance practices and decision-making processes. - Kāpō Māori, kāpō youth and parents’ do not have a seat at the governance table. - Tāngata kāpō and parent consumer leadership funding continues to shrink. - "We know what’s best” governance approach that incites controversy and distrust of RNZFB governors and employees. - Reactive governance actions that polarise the kāpō sector. - Apathy and disregard to affirm through governance action the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Our rangatiratanga is being marginalised and will continue to be if we do not take urgent action to fix what is obviously broken! This petition is the first step towards affirmative change. Show your support by signing our petition.
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    Created by Chrissie Cowan Picture
  • Emergency MIQ entry for pregnant couples to birth safely in New Zealand
    Pregnant women and their unborn children are being put at risk because MIQ emergency allocation request guidelines do not address pregnancy needs. Very few get access to return to NZ. It has been reported that of 229 applications for pregnancy only 23 were approved.(1) We believe it is essential that pregnant people and their partners can return to NZ for antenatal, birth, and postpartum care, and that their health requirements be recognised as critical. Approaching birthing solo without the support of whānau, especially the other parent, is extremely stressful for pregnant people. Having to wait until you are heavily pregnant to return to New Zealand creates an added risk to both mother and baby. There are a number of cases where we’ve managed to get access to MIQ for pregnant people or their partners but it should not be left to individual advocacy. The New Zealand government must recognise and support the rights of pregnant people and ensure they can safely return home to birth their children. You can read more about this issue in the links below: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/126612589/pregnancy-should-be-a-miq-priority-because-stress-endangers-the-baby-sir-peter-gluckman-says https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/first-up/audio/2018816139/father-of-prem-baby-applies-for-emergency-miq https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/127001444/miqsplit-couple-reunited-but-too-late-for-babys-sudden-and-traumatic-birth Reference: 1. https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/126598255/how-will-i-manage-pregnant-womans-fears-after-husbands-miq-denial
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    Created by Roshni Sami