• Consent Education should be compulsory for First-Year Tertiary Students
    In a world free from sexual violence, students would be able to learn and achieve, without fear, harm or violence. Students would be able to walk through campus, attend lectures, engage in tutorials, knowing that they are valued, respected, and treated equally. Starting tertiary study is an important time in a young person's life, and sets them up for their entire life course 'pipeline'. When a student faces barriers or trauma during their study, it often has lifelong ripple effects and consequences. Recent research shows that 1 in 3 students will experience sexual harm during study [1], and this mirrors Thursdays in Black's own findings, which highlighted that over 50% of participants had experienced some form of sexual harm during study [2]. Research on wider populations shows that in Aotearoa, 1 in 3 women, 1 in 6 men, and 1 in 2 transgender people will experience sexual harm. Research also shows that women, Māori, Queer/Takatāpui, and disabled students are at significantly higher risk of experiencing harm in comparison to other identities, and that 90% of sexually harmful situations happen between people that know each other, for example friends, relationships, colleagues, or family. At Thursdays in Black, our vision is to improve these circumstances, by mandating sexual consent education for first years students. This education will empower young people by giving them the skills to navigate and create their own healthy sexual relationships, help prevent harmful behaviours, and contribute to the ongoing culture change of tertiary institutions. By teaching these skills to students aged 17-20, we will be setting them up with a kete of tools that will benefit them throughout their life, and help make our communities safer. Yet at present, there is no legal requirement for tertiary institutions to offer compulsory courses to teach students about sexual consent. New Zealand institutions currently have a fragmented approach to consent education, with different institutions offering different levels of engagement, different approaches, and some with out any programmes at all. At Thursdays in Black, we believe that Aotearoa can do better, and see that implementing such an education policy as not only urgent, but long overdue. We request that the Minister pass legislation requiring tertiary institutions in Aotearoa to provide sexual consent education to all first-year tertiary students. Such education should be a research-based program, created with and facilitated by subject matter experts and the sexual violence sector, it should engage student leaders, operate on a bi-cultural model that upholds Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and reflect an intersectional approach that respects the disproportionate impact sexual violence has on specific groups. Tertiary institutions, for the most part, remain out-dated and traditional in their thinking -- often reinforcing a rape culture of power imbalances, misogyny, and toxicity. This does not make a safe environment for our tertiary students. Help make education safe. Sign the petition today to call on the Minister to implement compulsory consent courses for first-year students. 1. Unpublished Phd Thesis by Kayla Stewart, for a preliminary discussion of her findings, see https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/113090659/a-third-of-women-university-students-report-being-sexually-assaulted-what-do-we-owe-them 2. In 2017, Thursdays in Black Aotearoa conducted a report titled ‘In Our Own Words’, which details the extent to which tertiary students experienced sexual violence prior to, and during, their studies You can find it here: https://library.nzfvc.org.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=5557
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  • Supporting paid leave for women after abortions
    The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has a focus under Goal 5 on safe abortion as part of protecting “human rights and promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”. Target 5.6 seeks to ensure “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences”. We believe that the Holiday Amendment Bill act could be changed to better suit the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to better support women in Aotearoa. We hope you consider our suggestion as young people and women going into the workforce. As a society, we believe we need to do more to ensure women have equal rights and have equitable working conditions. Thank you for helping us in our fight to remove the word ‘unplanned’ from Ginny Anderson’s Holiday Amendment Bill. Ngā mihi, Lorna Hallett Renee Hamilton Kate Chu Athena Kapralos Ella Murdoch Evie Harrington Bella Redshaw Bintou Fiti-Jaiteh Natasha Taylor Valora Leilua-Tiatia Tia-Rhiena Martin-Upton Nicole Askari Ruby McGovern Sophie Irving
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  • 6 PROMISES FOR 6000 (CHILDREN IN THE STATE CARE SYSTEM)
    Aotearoa New Zealand has over 6000 children and young people in our state care system. VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai believes 6 PROMISES must be made to them. These are promises you would want to make to your children should they ever be in a position to need the care system. We are putting a call out to every New Zealander to compel their elected representatives to stand behind these promises and ensure they are fulfilled. VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai worked with care experienced young people to come up with 6 PROMISES FOR 6000 – a call to all those running for elected office to agree to uphold six basic asks. Our Members of Parliament are uniquely placed to deliver on these promises. With your support, we can amplify the voice of children and young people in care and seek commitment to these promises during the next electoral term. Through a groundswell movement of people across Aotearoa, we would like to see all our politicians sign up to these 6 PROMISES to ensure the care system becomes a truly caring system. Please sign the petition asking all elected representatives to commit to these 6 PROMISES. Also, please express your support for the movement via your social channels using #6promises. VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai was created by children with care experience for children with care experience. Established in 2017, VOYCE is an independent organisation that helps to advocate for the more than 6000 young people young children living with whanau or foster families, all over New Zealand. We exist to amplify the voices of tamariki and rangatahi and ensure they are at the centre of all conversations and decisions being made within the care sector. We see the potential, abilities and strengths apparent in the care community every day and know we can have a system that ensures they realise their full potential. Thank you for your support.
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  • Support families in need. Extend the Winter Energy Payment
    As New Zealanders, we believe in justice and compassion. We want everyone to have the opportunity to thrive. But, right now, hundreds of thousands of people in our country are living in poverty. Despite our differences, we share a responsibility to make sure everyone has a decent standard of living and the same chances in life. Poverty in New Zealand affects people of all ages and situations – children and their parents, young adults, people in and out of work and people with disabilities. The stress that comes with poverty can erode people’s mental and physical health. Showing compassion as a society means making sure no-one has to endure the harms of poverty. On October 1, 2020, the Winter Energy Payment that is provided to people on government income support, to assist with heating a home, is due to expire. This will cut the already low incomes for people locked in poverty by $63 a week for couples and $41 a week for an individual. But as research has shown, $40 - $60 less per week means not being able to go to the dentist or doctor, not being able to afford emergency bills and not being able to pay for kids to participate in extracurricular activities like sports, art or volunteering. At a time where food banks are reporting record demand and the number of people needing government income support had its biggest jump in 24 years in April, the government needs to show some compassion. By permanently extending the Winter Energy Payment, the government can help make it possible for everyone to do well.
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  • Recognise the rights of moko
    Moko, a divine treasure etched into the skin to enhance the cultural identity of Māori in New Zealand. Moko, beautiful markings reflecting the whakapapa (geneology), history and mana of the wearer. Moko, an important traditional practice used by Maori since time immemorial. Please support this petition to include 'moko','moko kauae','mataora', 'ta moko' as prohibited grounds for discrimination. History tells us our tipuna enjoyed freedom of movement as moko wearers, a legacy we should able be able to carry on as well.
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  • Youth Justice Demerit Points Bill Fails Young People: Ask the Select Committee to reject it!
    To the Social Services and Community Committee We ask that you reject the Oranga Tamariki (Youth Justice Demerit Points) Amendment Bill. This Bill, though well intentioned, fails to understand and respond to the complex and layered challenges facing our rangatahi. At the heart of this bill lies a lack of understanding of the drivers behind youth offending, and the sort of interventions needed to support rangatahi to thrive. According to the Youth Offenders summary report in 2019, of those referred to a FGC, 94% of kids 11-13, and 81% of young people aged 14-17 had been the subject of a report of concern to Oranga Tamariki relating to their care and protection. This data highlighted "that young people who offend often have complex problems, which can be among the underlying causes of their offending." If you speak with Youth Development Workers, or Social Workers supporting these rangatahi and whanau, they will testify to the reality that a large proportion of rangatahi who end up reoffending are often victims of abuse, with a history of poverty, mental illness, housing instability, intellectual disability, and severe trauma. They are also predominantly Maori, facing regular, and constant discrimination. The Youth Justice Demerit Points bill fails to provide an answer to these very real and significant issues that lie at the root of youth offending. Another failure of the Bill is its assumption that our inability to support rangatahi early enough is a failure of identification. However, if you once again were to speak to Youth Development Workers, Social Workers, and other community workers who are serving and supporting our whānau and rangatahi, they will tell you that identifying rangatahi at risk of reoffending is not the problem. Our communities know who these young people are. The issue lies in the lack of resources and supports available for young people within our community. The idea of using demerit points to characterise young people, is also out of step with the Government's own Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa (YDSA). The YDSA commits the Government to thinking about, and walking alongside young people utilizing a Strength Based approach. The YDSA outlines that any additional support designed for young people "needs to be consistent with the youth development approach - that is, it needs to avoid defining the young person as 'the problem'." The Youth Justice Demerit Points Bill is out of step with the YDSA. It fails to approach our young people in a strength based manner, and it contributes to further stigmatizing and marginalizing young people. We are also concerned about the negative impact labeling our young people with Demerit Points will have on their overall mental and emotional well-being. Instead of passing a bill that will have very little direct impact on reducing the risk of a young person re-offending, we ask that Parliament turns its focus to: ★ Reviewing the Family Group Conferences (FGC) system: Audit the FGC system and provide the necessary resource and support needed to ensure that it is functioning in a manner consistent with the principals of Restorative Justice and Youth Development. ★ Focus on Early Intervention: Provide local communities with resourced and dedicated support so that they can meet the needs of the young people in their communities who are struggling and at-risk. ★ Develop a Strategy to address the Youth Homelessness crisis: We know that when young people experience homelessness they are more likely to offend as a matter of survival. A Youth Specific Homelessness Strategy would address the factors that lie at the root of youth offending. Child poverty, mental illness, disability, unstable and inadequate housing, trauma, discrimination and racism are all factors that would be addressed. Young people living in stable housing, with their mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being taken care of, are less likely to become involved in the Youth Justice System. ★ Provide each young person entering the Justice System with a trained Youth Development Worker: A service designed in consultation with the Youth Development Sector, with a specific focus on supporting rangatahi who enter the Youth Justice system, would be one way to provide early intervention to rangatahi as soon as they enter the system. If each rangatahi had a dedicated Youth Development Worker, their needs could be assessed immediately, and they would than be able to be connected to the right supports before they become entrapped within the system. The Oranga Tamariki (Youth Justice Demerit Points) Amendment Bill fails to understand or acknowledge the driving factors behind youth offending, and thus it fails to adequately respond. For this reason, the Bill should fail. You can read more about our concerns with the Bill here: https://whenlambsaresilent.wordpress.com/2020/07/30/will-demerit-points-stop-youth-offending-a-j-hendry/ You can find the bill here: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/member/2020/0229/latest/whole.html#LMS323852
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  • End Systemic Racism in New Zealand Schools
    The education system's purpose should be to nurture and support children, unfortunately this is not the case. Not all children are treated equally in our current system. Countless children have experienced racial abuse in the New Zealand education system, this disturbing problem has persisted for decades with little to no improvement. The effects of racial abuse on children has been well documented in academic literature. The Ministry of Education has been negligent in their response to the problem and have failed to protect vulnerable children from racial abuse. https://www.renews.co.nz/endless-stories-of-racism-in-nz-schools/ Testimonies of racial abuse victims will be included with this petition. Testimonies of racial abuse can be emailed to endracisminnzschools@gmail.com or @ngati_frybread on Instagram. If you sign this petition please also consider to writing your local MP with your thoughts on this kaupapa. https://www.parliament.nz/en/mps-and-electorates/members-of-parliament/ We can make change, ngā mihi!
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  • Remove 'Waitangi Day' from the Waitangi Day Circle Line Pub Crawl event name & cancel the drunk Haka
    This is important because the inclusion of Waitangi Day in the pub crawl title enables and perpetuates the dishonouring of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and is culturally insensitive. It also provides (and has done so on many accounts) an opportunity for intoxicated pub-crawl-goers to try to perform the Haka while wasted. The Pub Crawl (that has been going for 37 years) encourages New Zealanders in the UK to drink a lot of alcohol and 'celebrate' Waitangi Day by dressing up as 'kiwi icons' (eg. beer brands and marmite) and hop from one British Pub to another. As well as this, photographs have long-ago emerged of people trying to imitate traditional Māori Korowai, Tipare and drawn-on Moko Kauae poking out tongues and attempting pukana. Does this enhance mana? Does this contribute to British & European people seeing Haka performed incorrectly in London and therefore enables more terrible 'performances' of Ka Mate and Tika Tonu? Does the use of Waitangi Day by a non-Māori lead organisation and community respect the pain, loss and struggle Māori people have endured and still fight for when it comes to Te Tiriti and the reclamation of land, reo and culture? Related links: The Spinoff Article - There's something off about the Waitangi Day Pub Crawl by Madeleine Chapman https://thespinoff.co.nz/atea/06-02-2019/theres-something-off-about-the-london-waitangi-day-pub-crawl/ NZ Herald Article - Pleas for drunk Kiwis to abstain from haka during London Waitangi Day Pub Crawl by Michael Neilson https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12305813 Te Ao Tapatahi Interview with Creator of Petition - Ashley Clark https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=295723318220150
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  • BLACK LIVES MATTER
    A black person is just human like everybody else. There is no reason for a black person to feel scared to approach somebody just because they are scared of how that person would react because of the colour of their skin. The story of George Floyd is just enough to explain this, a normal black man but suspected of a crime. He had allowed the officer to arrest him but the officer was still violating his rights while George begs him saying 'I can't breathe'. This whole situation resulted in George losing his life. George had no gun on hand but he was murdered purely because of the colour of his skin. Since January 1st, 2015, 1,252 black people have been shot and killed by police, according to the Washington Post's database tracking police shootings; that doesn't even include those who died in police custody or were killed using other methods. Often there is no need for the police to use weapons but it is just purely because the victims are black that the instinct of the police is to shoot. Every loss hurts it really does. We live in a colonised country here in Aotearoa, and that our solidarity includes standing against racism and I think it is time the silence is broken. Let us not forget things have fired up in America but this shows us what a lot of black people are facing around our world even in our very own backyard. We have taken on so much as black people and have had excessive patience but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
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  • End Youth Homelessness
    During Covid-19 young people experiencing homelessness have been at increased risk. There has been no coordinated, or youth specific strategy to provide for the needs of young people, and no housing made available to specifically meet their needs. We know that young people are over-represented in the homeless community, with young Maori, and rainbow youth, disproportionately affected. We know that there is limited safe, secure and suitable accommodation for young people experiencing homelessness. We know that - due to limited resources - Youth Housing services are having to turn hundreds of young people away. Yet, our nation has no youth specific strategy - and has provided limited resources - to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our community. If you are a young person, and you experience homelessness in New Zealand, your options for finding emergency accommodation are low. If you're 16-17yr's old, your chances get even bleaker. With the gains made during COVID19 for our homeless community we have an opportunity as a nation to end rough sleeping in Aotearoa for ever. However, to end homelessness, we must first End Youth Homelessness. To do this, we need your help. Manaaki Rangatahi call on Aotearoa, and the NZ Government, to join with us to #EndYouthHomelessness. Will you sign the petition and support the call and help us to #EndYouthHomelessness? You can read more about Youth Homelessness here: Youth Homelessness is Hidden Homelessness: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/116095068/the-hidden-homeless-alarming-child-and-youth-homelessness-in-auckland If we truly want to end homelessness, we need to start here: https://www.noted.co.nz/currently/currently-social-issues/nz-ending-homelessness-starts-with-helping-young-people
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  • School Strike 4 Climate NZ & 4 Tha Kulture Open Letter Calls For Covid Green Response
    As the youth of Aotearoa, it is important that the decision and projects that we put forward work around securing our generation a safe future. The children of New Zealand will be paying off the debt collected from the stimulus project. We demand that you, as the leaders of today, ensure us a safe future
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  • Abolish interest during mortgage holidays while the Covid-19 crisis occurs
    Banks have only offered the same mortgage holiday terms applicable in ordinary circumstances (pre-pandemic). While other businesses are pulling out all stops to help and may not survive, banks are effectively doing nothing. We have been told that the recession arising out of this crisis will be far worse than the GFC, therefore the measures put in place need to be stronger. Many people are in greatly reduced circumstances due to lock down. Many have, or will, lose their jobs and may take some time to find a new one. In the short term this greatly affects young people with new mortgages, low income mortgage holders, and people who have had to re-finance recently due to unforeseen reasons. It also penalises people who have been paying diligently for some time, causing them to go backwards too. Landlords who hold mortgages over their properties may want to ease the pressure on their tenants finding rent, by decreasing their liabilities too. In the longer term adding interest increases household debt so people will have less spare cash to spend in the economy after the crisis, slowing recovery.
 Lack of money in society at this time can lead to increased social problems and crime. These are extraordinary times, we need extraordinary social measures. New Zealand banks are not following our Government’s and other NZ Business's good example, and we are well aware of the huge profits banks have been making in recent years. Your signature here will make a difference to the world we experience after this pandemic passes.
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