• Genocide in Gaza: Call for New Zealand to live up to its international legal obligations
    Israel’s long running siege of the Palestinian territories and its current destruction of Gaza are illegal under international law. This has been well documented in UN Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions, International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court rulings, and by international legal experts and human rights organisations. On 12 December 2023, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) – a federation of 188 human rights organisations from 116 countries – stated that Israel’s actions against the Palestinian people constitute an unfolding genocide and that states and individuals who provide assistance to Israel are rendering themselves complicit. They called on the International Criminal Court to immediately issue arrest warrants for Israeli officials who are responsible for international crimes against Palestinians. Under international law, all states including New Zealand have the individual obligation to prevent atrocity crimes. Currently, however, the New Zealand Government is ignoring national and international appeals to preserve human life and uphold international law. The Government appears oblivious to the serious humanitarian violations taking place, including the murder of civilians in refugee camps, churches, schools, hospitals and UN facilities. And it has said nothing about Israel bulldozing people as they sleep in their tents, or the collapse of the health system, spread of disease and unfolding famine. This makes our country complicit in the war crimes of genocide, targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, and denying the right of a people to self-determination. New Zealand has traditionally taken a strong moral position on serious injustices around the world, including acting to end apartheid in South Africa and to stop the genocide in Rwanda. New Zealand also recognised universal jurisdiction as a well-established principle of international law in 2018. This provides a legal basis for States to prosecute and punish war crimes and crimes against humanity, regardless of where the conduct occurred and the nationality of the perpetrator. We must therefore ask our Government to show the moral courage to stand up to these crimes against humanity and take immediate action.
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  • Calling Hamilton City Council to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire
    In this present moment, the world is witnessing the merciless genocide of Palestinian people by the state of Israel. It is estimated that over 20,000 Palestinian’s have been martyred, thousands are trapped beneath rubble, and millions have been displaced (2). There is an utmost urgency for us to stand in solidarity with Palestine, rather than “neutrality”, as they suffer under blatant breaches of international humanitarian law. “Silence the guns and return to dialogue – the suffering inflicted on civilians is too much to bear” - UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk, 03/12/23 (3) References: 1. https://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/300543010/civic-service-in-hamilton-to-stand-with-ukraine 2.https://www.aljazeera.com/news/liveblog/2023/12/4/israel-gaza-war-live-israel-expands-ground-attack-in-southern-gaza?update=2532359 3. https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/12/gaza-unbearable-suffering-civilians-demands-end-violence-turk
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    We're asking for Tangata whenua to sign the petition with your name, Iwi affiliations and occupation (optional). This petition will: - Spread awareness of the genocide. - Demonstrate that as iwi members, people and a united collective, we are in total opposition to genocide, apartheid and systemic colonisation of all indigenous peoples. - Put pressure on our government to represent our values internationally. For many of us, the effects of the genocide in Gaza are more acute. We grew up hearing stories, singing mōteatea, and listening to our people recall the ways they experienced harm as a result of colonisation. This intergenerational trauma is still a big part of our lives. As Māori, we are often praised by other indigenous communities as leaders in the fight to decolonise. Our relationship with colonialism is fraught, but we also hold a unique position globally. Now is the time for us to call on our partners of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to use their power to create change and end the harm of innocent civilians in Gaza, the West Bank, and throughout Palestine.
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  • Don't let the Make it 16 bill die!
    16 and 17 year olds are just as impacted by local political decisions as those over 18 and we will inherit the future kawekawe of those decisions. Public transport, infrastructure, community development, and a vast list of other local government issues will continue to affect us and future generations of young people. Despite the effects politics has, and will have, on us, we have no democratic say in their solutions. We are on the brink of making history, but we need your help! Every signature is a step towards a more inclusive democracy. Rangatahi are ready, willing, and capable to vote. We demonstrate this time and time again. It is time for our voices to be heard at local government elections. Sign our petition to bring the Bill to second reading and urge the incoming government to vote for rangatahi human rights. Don’t kill the Bill.
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  • Open Letter: Dear Leaders, don't criminalise our children. Stop the Ram Raid Bill!
    The Ram Raid bill is currently before select committee. It was introduced with the aim of reducing the impact of ram raids. The measures proposed will not achieve this aim. They are not supported by evidence, they include breaches of human rights and the UN rights of the child, and they are out of step with our international counterparts. The impact on children who commit these offenses will be immense, criminalising 12 and 13 year olds who are in desperate need of love, comprehensive support and guidance; potentially sending them further down a destructive pathway; and without delivering the intended benefits or preventing harm in our communities.
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  • Deny Kelly-Jay Keen-Minshull Re-Entry Into Aotearoa
    This request is rooted not only in the impact of her visit in March this year, but also her extensive history of hateful speech and incitement of violence. Her return to Aotearoa would pose a significant threat and risk to public order and the public interest - this holds especially true for our takatāpui, transgender and gender diverse communities. Disinformation Project Researcher Dr Sanjana Hattouwa reported that after Keen’s visit to New Zealand, the amount of vitriol towards the trans community was “to a degree we’ve never studied before ” with “extraordinarily violent” content towards trans people being distributed widely. He described the level of hate towards trans people as “genocidal”. Outside of Aotearoa, Keen-Minshull’s public statements and actions have included: - Threatening that transgender people, gender diverse people, “and anyone else who stands in [her] way” will be “annihilated” - Stating trans men should be sterilised - Calling for men to carry guns to patrol women’s bathrooms against the imagined threat of trans women - Encouraging violent outbreaks at her tours in the UK and US, with her supporters allegedly assaulting counter protestors and inflicting violence on trans people - Organising rallies attended by members of the Proud Boys - a designated terrorist group in Aotearoa - Being excluded by other groups and members of her own anti trans circles because of her racism, Islamophobia and aforementioned ties to far-right white nationalism.* As the Minister for Immigration, Mr. Little, you have the right under s.16 of the immigration act 2009 to deny a visa, entry permission or entry waiver to a person likely to be a threat or risk to public order or to the public interest. The threshold for both appears to be low, considering that it was the same section used to bar the rap group Odd Future from Aotearoa in 2014. At the time, Immigration New Zealand said in a statement that their rationale for the ban under s.16 included "incidents at past performances in which they have cited violence." In an email dated 12 February 2014, obtained by Stuff as part of the OIA, Immigration NZ wrote: "[Odd Future] clearly has a history of promoting and inciting hatred…were they permitted to travel to New Zealand and perform I believe on the basis of their track record thus far, they are likely to incite violence towards women, racial, sexist and homophobic disharmony in New Zealand". Keen-Minshull is a person who causes demonstrable risk of harm to our public. Who employs hate speech and calls for violence against some of Aotearoa’s most vulnerable citizens. Whose public events have already caused disruption to public order here and overseas. TLA believes this justifies you, Minster Little, in exercising your powers under s.16 of the Act to deny her entry to Aotearoa, and for the safety of our trans citizens and the general public interest, we call on you to do so. Yours sincerely, Trans Liberation Alliance Sources: Posie Parker to return to NZ in September: Will Border Officers Let Her In? New Zealand Herald, 2 August 2023 https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/posie-parker-to-return-to-new-zealand-in-september-will-border-officers-let-her-in/QMFZ42LTVNFD7DS5KAF5C6URFQ/ Green Party Aotearoa Veale J, Byrne J, Tan K, Guy S, Yee A, Nopera T & Bentham R (2019). Counting Ourselves: The health and wellbeing of trans and non-binary people in Aotearoa New Zealand. Transgender Health Research Lab, University of Waikato: Hamilton NZ. https://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10289/12942/Counting%20Ourselves_Report%20Dec%2019-Online.pdf?sequence=54%26isAllowed=y Anti Trans Hate in NZ becoming 'genocidal’ - One News, Friday, 5 May 2023 https://www.1news.co.nz/2023/05/05/anti-trans-hate-in-nz-becoming-genocidal-disinformation-project/ Why we need to protest Posie Parker, Redflag, 5 March 2023 https://redflag.org.au/article/why-we-need-protest-posie-parker
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  • Mental Health Policy Reform: An Open Letter to the Government
    The Mental Health Matters Initiative is a group of youth activists who have come together to fight for better mental health care in Aotearoa. We believe in the power of youth voice and experience and we are demanding the government to reform their Mental Health Policy. For years young people have been left to navigate an overworked and underfunded Mental Health System. Current and past Governments have handled the Mental Health Crisis with apathy, leaving behind a dysfunctional system. The Mental Health Matters Initiative holds a vision for what our mental health care system should look like (MHMI - Mission Statement): 1) Empathetic Providers and Leaders. We need empathetic leaders and mental health providers that work hard to ensure that every young person is able to access the care that they deserve, and understands the nuances and trials that come with every individual mental health journey. We need the Government to create policy that protects not only its patients needing care, but the workers who supply it. 2) Accessible Care. Everyone needs to be able to access the care that they need in a simple, stress-free way. We want to create viable pathways to care through policy and breaking Mental Health stigma. 3) Fair and Equitable Treatment. Access to treatment and care should be fair and equitable. Everyone should have access to the care that they deserve and that distribution of resources is fair on not only patients but workers. The current status-quo is not good enough. Experts, young people, workers, and those currently trying to navigate the system are demanding better. It is time to listen. We demand the government to implement these policies to ensure a functioning and supportive mental health system in Aotearoa.You have ignored us for too long, and this is a matter of life or death for many. Ngā Mihi, The Mental Health Matters Initiative
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  • Homes for People, Not for Profit
    All people should have a secure and healthy home to live in. A place to come back to, for quiet and rest, a place to experience joy with friends and family, a place to feel grounded in community. But people in government having a hands off approach to the economy means it is geared towards protecting private profit – treating houses as commodities, rather than homes for living. Housing affects every part of our lives. The stress of hyper-short tenancies, week-to-week emergency housing grants, and the looming threat of rental increases pricing people out of their communities has a major impact on people’s wellbeing and working lives. Public housing can provide stable and safe homes for people, yet successive governments have neglected the state housing programme, choosing to privatise and commodify houses instead of ensuring everyone has a home. [1] Real estate magnates are extracting profits while everyday people are being locked out of homes. We need a bold plan out of this crisis, not piecemeal change and band aid solutions. An ambitious and significant public housing programme is a proven way of truly addressing the issue of housing. In Aotearoa, this must happen alongside a Te Tiriti based housing system where Māori have tino rangatiratanga over housing. Government neglect of public housing impacts everyone. Forty years ago, it was possible for a family to buy a home because household income was equal to the average house price in Aotearoa. Today, families need eight times their household income to buy a house.[2] If the government takes action to prioritise public housing, it can create the conditions where housing will be more affordable for everyone. 1 in 4 renters spend 40 percent or more of their income just on rent. [3] Health care workers and teachers are being priced out of their communities. [4] If we had more public homes available to more people in more areas of Aotearoa it increases people's opportunities to lead thriving lives - teachers can walk to their local schools to educate your kids, and health care workers to our hospitals to care for your loved ones. By the government’s own criteria we have nearly 30,000 people and families waiting for homes right now. [5] But if we consider all the people and families living in unaffordable, uninhabitable and insecure housing who don’t meet the government’s criteria – the need for a build and buy programme able to house everyone becomes abundantly clear. We know from research there are 105,747 people struggling with some form of homelessness or housing deprivation.[6] There are also 346,998 people who are reliant on Accommodation Supplements because they cannot afford homes. This starts to paint a picture of a ‘true waitlist’ that could really benefit from more good quality, affordable public homes. Right now, the government spends millions of dollars a week on the accommodation supplement, and emergency housing. These mechanisms are ways the government subsidise the profits of private landlords and moteliers who can charge exorbitant prices and raise this at will. Instead of doing this, the government can choose to prioritise building and buying public homes, rather than propping up property magnates and corporate profits. Aotearoa New Zealand is falling behind when it comes to public housing, making up just 3.8% of all homes, far behind the UK at 17%; and Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands all above 20%. [8] Countries with higher public housing and more generous eligibility criteria have better housing outcomes for people and families. Public housing is infrastructure for care, connection, cohesion and contribution. We need the Government to look after all of our long-term wellbeing by building and buying more public homes to house everyone. Public Housing Futures (PHF) is a group made up of Aotearoa based researchers and organisers who believe that everyone in Aotearoa should have access to beautiful, accessible, sustainable and secure housing, and that public housing is a pathway towards this. ActionStation has teamed up with Public Housing Futures to work on this campaign. 1. Kāinga Kore: The Stage One Report of the Housing Policy and Services Kaupapa Inquiry on Māori Homelessness. Waitangi Tribunal - WAI 2750, 2023 https://forms.justice.govt.nz/search/Documents/WT/wt_DOC_197630281/Kainga%20Kore%20W.pdf 2. Generation Rent: Rethinking New Zealand’s Priorities. Eaqub and Eaqub, 2015; New Zealand house prices drop again but still out of reach for first-time buyers. Guardian, 10 May https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/may/10/new-zealand-house-prices-drop-again-but-still-out-of-reach-for-first-time-buyers 3. Housing affordability more challenging for renters than homeowners. Stats NZ, accessed Jul 2023 https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/housing-affordability-more-challenging-for-renters-than-homeowners/#:~:text=In%20the%20year%20ended%20June,released%20by%20Stats%20NZ%20today 4. Housing costs driving teachers, aged care nurses away from cities that need them. Stuff, Aug 2021 https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/126061577/housing-costs-driving-teachers-aged-care-nurses-away-from-cities-that-need-them Public Housing Quarterly report. HUD, March 2023 https://www.hud.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Documents/Public-Housing/HQR-Mar23-web-V2.pdf 5. Public Housing Quarterly report. HUD, March 2023 https://www.hud.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Documents/Public-Housing/HQR-Mar23-web-V2.pdf 6. Severe housing deprivation in Aotearoa New Zealand. Amore et al., 2018 (updated Jun 2021) ​​https://www.hud.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Documents/Severe-Housing-Deprivation-2018-Estimate-Report.pdf 7. Over 100,000 people are in severe housing deprivation and struggling to access a home. Human Rights Commission, accessed July 2023 https://housing.hrc.co.nz/over_100_000_people_in_severe_housing_deprivation_and_struggling_to_access_a_home#:~:text=A%202022%20OECD%20report%20found,OECD%20average%20of%207%20percent
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  • Oppose AUKUS: For an independent, demilitarised and nuclear-free Pacific
    AUKUS is an aggressive military pact. Security in New Zealand and the Pacific can only be ensured by centring sustainable development, Indigenous rights, and environmental protection. AUKUS makes the world more dangerous. New Zealand participation in AUKUS would deepen geopolitical tensions in the Pacific, and threaten Pacific nations’ long held policy of “friends to all and enemies to none”. AUKUS impedes climate action. Climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of all peoples of the Pacific. The threat of climate change requires international diplomacy and cooperation, not militarism. AUKUS threatens our nuclear free legacy. Aotearoa New Zealand has a proud history of anti-nuclearism and solidarity with the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific movement. AUKUS is not based on public consultation. It accelerates climate injustice, violates our treaties and regional commitments, and erodes regional decolonisation efforts. We urge the New Zealand government to reject any role in the AUKUS military pact and condemn the use of nuclear weapons and non-peaceful nuclear technologies in the Pacific. We urge the New Zealand government to recommit to an Independent and Pacific-led foreign policy, in accordance with Te Tiriti o Waitangi, our regional obligations, and our national identity. This petition is led by Te Kuaka. More information on MATIKA HAWAIKI campaign events can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/matikahawaiki More information on AUKUS can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fz3DaAXmcll7U-C6Fd063VVq-C37sLgzNPlXFdghl1k/edit
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  • Rule out Residences: Let's do better for our kids
    Time and time again, we have reports that tell us Oranga Tamariki residences are not fit-for-purpose and are not meeting the therapeutic needs of children under their care. Many organisations and individuals have raised concerns about Oranga Tamariki residential care. Still, the urgency of these concerns continues to go unaddressed. This is not just a question of which government department is in charge. It is time these facilities are replaced with a new, more effective system that is fundamentally redesigned to centre the complex needs of the children and young people in their care. Our current system is causing more harm to communities by failing to address the underlying issues that lead to children and young people requiring residential care. Punitive “Tough in crime” approaches to youth crime are holding our country back. We need to build paths that lead young people to better outcomes and address reasons for reoffending by understanding and overcoming issues in a young person's life. It is time these facilities are replaced with a new, more effective system. New Zealand needs a system in which young people who require care or have offended are being met with rehabilitation and therapeutic methods. We need resources and pathways that help prevent offendings, such as mental health support, educational support and addiction services. Our communities deserve to have preventative services to ensure we solve the underlying issues that are causing harm. We want to see whānau and community focused solutions making them less reliant on state care. Having the current workforce trained and upskilled in therapeutic and trauma informed practices will help them support the communities in need better. We also ask for transparency and accountability from those on top so that when things go wrong policies are set in place that allows for real change to happen We all want to see our youth thriving and right now they need our support because the current system is failing them. We ask the Government to do better for the next generation and create new community focused rehabilitation services. References and further reading: 1. Report: How we fail children who offend and what to do about it: ‘A breakdown across the whole system’: https://www.borrinfoundation.nz/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Children-Who-Offend-Final-research-report-March2022.pdf 2. Ko Te Wā Whakawhiti, It’s Time for Change - A Māori Inquiry into Oranga Tamariki https://whanauora.nz/publications/ko-te-wa-whakawhiti 3. Young Adults in the Criminal Justice System in Aotearoa New Zealand Young-Adults-in-the-Criminal-Justice-System-in-Aotearoa-NZ-report.pdf (borrinfoundation.nz) 4. John Campbell on OT youth justice: 'Most of us will never meet kids this broken' https://www.1news.co.nz/2023/07/05/john-campbell-on-ot-youth-justice-most-of-us-will-never-meet-kids-this-broken/
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  • Open Letter: Progress modern slavery legislation before the election
    New Zealanders pride themselves on treating others with dignity, respect and kindness—and this should extend to the people who grow our food, sew our clothes and mine the metals for our phones. Yet, we know that New Zealand is importing billions of dollars of goods at high risk of being made by people forced into slavery and businesses are taking little action to address these risks in their supply chains¹. This is because New Zealand has no law requiring companies to know who makes their products or to ensure they are not using slavery. This disregard for the lives of others is not the New Zealand way. Last year, your government shared a plan to change this. Your then Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Michael Wood, said he expected to introduce a modern slavery bill to Parliament in this current term. It’s now been months, and we’ve seen no action. Prime Minister Hipkins, you said that this matter was a priority for your government and that decisions would be announced soon, but we are still waiting. And while we wait, men, women and children are trapped in slavery making our products. There’s been too much progress to let this legislation fail at the eleventh hour. An open letter from the business community; a 37,000-strong public petition; Modern Slavery Leadership Advisory Group meetings; and a public consultation process demonstrated overwhelming support for the legislation. But your government has failed to deliver. There is a proposal for law ready-to-go that is fit for purpose, well-prepared, and has widespread support from businesses and Kiwis. We’ve heard loud and clear that New Zealanders want legislative action on modern slavery. There’s no time to waste. Introduce the bill to address modern slavery to the House before the election. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpcDxIH3CrQ ¹ World Vision New Zealand (2023), Risky Business report.
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  • #CareNotCagesNZ: Transform our justice system - implement the recommendations of Turuki! Turuki!
    Everyone in Aotearoa deserves a justice system, which addresses the root causes of crime, holds people who have caused harm to account, and helps to heal people who have been harmed. We know that children and young people from communities with high unemployment, low school achievement and a lack of other resources are more likely to be swept into our justice system and end up in prison. Too much of our justice system targets people who have grown up in poverty and under-resourcing. The result is a justice system that creates injustices, by discriminating against people based on how they grew up, their income, or what they look like. This system is so ineffective that it is hurting all of us: victims, whānau, communities and the people who commit crime. It especially hurts Māori. The Police are more likely to arrest Māori than Pākeha for the same minor crimes. While more Pākeha are charged with violent crimes, dishonesty, property and traffic crimes, more Māori are convicted of these crimes. The Government needs to build paths out of the maze of our justice system. These paths have already been proposed in the Turuki! Turuki! report. The report reiterates and builds on decades of research into the criminal justice system that have repeatedly demonstrated that the system fails survivors, those who have caused harm and Māori. This research has been largely ignored by successive governments. The Government has not yet implemented the 12 recommendations put forward by Turuki! Turuki!. Instead of providing these clear pathways out of the maze, the Government has largely continued with the same, failed tough on crime policies. All these tough on crime policies are a dead end. They've been repeatedly tried in Aotearoa and have either failed outright or created more damaging outcomes. It is time to consign tough on crime policies to the dustbin of history. We need a responsible approach to justice, using proven alternatives. We need a system that prioritises restoration, habilitation, transformation, prevention, rehabilitation, healing and honouring Te Tiriti. We call on the New Zealand Government, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Police and the Minister of Corrections to take immediate steps to implement all 12 recommendations made by Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora - The Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group's Turuki! Turuki! report in 2019. Further resources: 1. Turuki! Turuki! report: https://www.justice.govt.nz/assets/turuki-turuki.pdf 2. He Waka Roimata report: https://www.justice.govt.nz/assets/he-waka-roimata.pdf 3. Ināia Tonu Nei report: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/60d12cb5a665b46504ad8b32/t/60fe31b1735d6f7990bf3f5a/1627271661386/d8s653-Inaia-Tonu-Nei-Hui-Maori-English-version.pdf
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