• Keep our kids out of police cells
    Police cells are no place for children. But under the current law, kids as young as 14 can be held for more than two days in a Police cell once they have appeared in court. In many cases this is not because they pose any risk but because no beds or homes for them are available. Being held in a police cell for extended periods can quickly lead to physical, mental, and emotional harm, and a real risk of self-harm. A recent news report by Radio New Zealand found that there have been multiple self harm and suicide attempts by kids in police cells every year since 2014. 80% of those kids were estimated to be Māori, who are already drastically over-represented in our youth and adult justice system. In 2018, almost 200 young people were held in police cells last year for periods of more than 24 hours and, in some cases, up to seven days. The instances of young people in police cells for more than 24 hours also almost doubled from 2014 to 2018. We all want children and young people in Aotearoa to be able to flourish. For that to happen we need to support young people who are caught up in our youth justice system, the majority of whom have had concerns raised by the Oranga Tamariki that they or their family need help [1]. Holding kids in Police cells is not an inevitability or necessity, but the consequence of politicians failing to prioritise the well being of young people. Our government can and must act more quickly to build community based alternatives, like the new community home Mahuru, run by Ngapuhi social services in Northland. [2] Police cells are a totally unsafe environment for young people. In many cases they will be subjected to solitary confinement, inadequate food and hygiene and lights on for 24 hours. For kids who are already scared and unsure about what is going to happen to them after being in court or being arrested, this is a really distressing experience. One young person said about their experience in police cells that it made them feel "solitary – depressed, going crazy, feel like you want to cry and flip out at the same time – just go nuts.”* [2] This doesn't need to keep happening. We are calling on the Minister to immediately change the legislation so that our justice system doesn't put any more vulnerable young people at risk. Instead, the government can and must prioritise community alternatives that will keep young people safe and provide them with the support and skills they need to build a better life. [1] Youth Justice Indicators Summary Report 2019 https://www.justice.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Publications/E4NOUP-Youth-Justice-Indicators-Summary-Report-August-2019.pdf [2] https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/367689/iwi-led-youth-remand-service-launched-in-kaikohe [3] Office of the Children's Commissioner, 'Limiting the use of Police cells to hold young people on remand' Position Brief, 2018
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  • Bring Priya and her girls to safety in New Zealand
    Most of us believe family comes first. But in just a matter of days, some people in the Australian government could deport two small girls to their death - unless the New Zealand government offers them safety. Picture this: Two small girls scream with fear as they are forced to watch their mum being physically dragging onto a plane - she fights the attempt to deport her back to Sri Lanka, a country she escaped after watching her fiancé be burnt alive. Priya knows that if she and her daughters are forced back, her daughters may suffer the same fate, or even worse as revenge for her escape, like any mum, she is fighting for her children’s safety. Tharunicaa and Kopika are 2 and 4, they were born in Australia and have lived their whole lives in the town of Biloela, a community that loves them and their parents Priya and Nades and is desperately fighting for them to stay. The whole town wants them back home, but instead the Australian government has sent them to Christmas Island, a detention centre routinely used for the deportation of people with criminal convictions and which our own politicians have described as disgraceful. While the Australian government is refusing to let them go home, we are begging the NZ government to step in and save these two girls from likely death. A temporary court injunction has stopped the deportation until Friday this week but without an intervention, their future remains uncertain and terrifying. New Zealand has previously taken refugees rejected by Australia. In 2001, Australia refused entry to 433 refugees on the Tampa. Those people were welcomed by New Zealand and have gone on to become small business owners, doctors, nurses, public servants, students, keen rugby players and even a Fulbright scholar. Priya’s husband, Nades, who she met in Australia has been working in the Biloela meatworks for over five years until they were taken into detention. He is hardworking and capable and, with meatworks employers across New Zealand screaming out for more workers he can start working straight away to support his family. They are the kind of family New Zealand needs and could have the same incredible impact on any new Zealand community that they have on the families of Biloela. They are now two days away from being deported back to danger. They are the only refugees on abandoned Christmas Island prison. Tharunicaa and Kopika cannot stop crying, asking when they can leave this scary place and go back to their home. It’s time for us to bring them here and allow them to make New Zealand their home. Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/sep/04/biloela-tamil-familys-deportation-blocked-until-at-least-friday
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  • Save Tumu Kaituna
    Tumu Kaituna 14 has been recognised by Heritage New Zealand as land that holds considerable significant historical, archaeological, cultural importance to all of New Zealand and has areas on the land designated for protection and preservation. Our concerns are the proposed urban development will destroy one of the few significant and unique historical, cultural, spiritual and environmental places we have left in Tauranga Moana which runs along our sacred Kaituna River. We want to keep one of the last remaining pieces of Māori-owned land at Pāpāmoa (Aotearoa New Zealand) in Māori hands. We are fighting a plan by Tumu Kaituna 14 Trust, Tauranga City Council, various developers and neighbouring non-Māori land owners that if successful will strip us of our ancestral land. More than 4,900 Māori land owners will be alienated. While the plan is expected to provide new housing for 15,500 people, we have seen no plans that provide housing for Māori land owners and expect the price range will be well out of Māori land owners reach. We have concerns of what that kind of urban development would do to the environment and our sacred waahi tapu sites. The plan lacks Māori values including intergenerational thinking. Our people are really hurt that those they have put their faith in could potentially take away what little land they have left. Save Tumu Kaituna campaign is led by the descendants of the Māori land owners of Tumu Kaituna 14 who lived on the land during the flax trading era and fought for the land in the 1860s. Many died and were buried here. It is well known amongst Māori that kōiwi are buried all along the sand dunes at Papamoa. As recent as December 2017, 600 year old young Polynesian male bones were found on the land by an archaeologist and there have been many many other similar findings of koiwi.
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  • Lets change ACC for the better
    Hello and Kia ora to all the people who take the time to read this campaign. The reason I care about this is because, back in 2014, at the age of 60, when I was working alone with 17 people in a secure dementia facility, I was attacked, seriously assaulted and nearly killed, by a resident. What I have discovered since is: 1. New Zealanders had their choices regarding injury cover changed, after a Royal Commission found that injured workers were not being being compensated enough for them to live on. Sir Owen Woodhouse in the 1967 Royal Commission report stated: "Injury arising from accident demands an attack on three fronts. The most important is obviously prevention. Next in importance is the obligation to rehabilitate the injured. Thirdly, there is the duty to compensate them for their losses." 2. Subsequent governments have altered the original intention by changing the original commission (1977) to a corporation (1991), which has eroded people's ability get compensation. 3. When ACC was first made law in it fully covered all injuries, now it does not, people now receive only 80 % of what they earn. They are also required to pay the difference between what ACC covers and what they are charged for medical services (GP, physiotherapists etc.). Often this is beyond the reach of those who are already struggling to make ends meet due to the 20% difference between their original wages/salary and what ACC now pay them. Often this means they cannot, and do not, get the treatment they need to recover from those injuries, or they have to compromise the needs of their families to do so? 4. No-one in New Zealand ought to have a reasonable application for injury refused, if it has already been assessed as requiring treatment by a medical professional. 5. People in New Zealand are being forced to 'battle' with ACC in order to access the treatment and compensation they need when they are injured. Often they give up because they cannot afford to pay an advocate and are not aware that, in some cases, ACC pays for the support of an advocate. 5. An independent report carried out by Miriam Dean QC in 2015 recognised the dispute process flawed. The report recognised that better access to free advocacy needed to be put in place for people who dispute ACC decisions, as those who have advocates have a better outcome. The ACC annual report for 2018 acknowledged that there has been little or no improvement. 6. When people are injured they require a humanistic and empathetic approach from ACC to receive the assistance they need, otherwise there is a strong likelihood of re-victimisation. 7. If people have serious injuries that are going to require long-term support they need one case manager throughout the recovery time, not several, as is now the process. This means someone who is already struggling, is not having to tell/retell their story or fight ACC for subsequent material needs (Medication, personal requirements such as incontinence pads etc.), which could lead to re-traumatisation). 8. Both the above understandings are supported by most of the worlds leading psychologists (Van der Kolk. B. E; Moore, E, E et al; Briere. J. etc.). 9. If the government account and the investment account are combined ($4,228 million in 2016/$3,140 million in 2017/$4745 million in 2018) they too could fund most of the yearly costs of running ACC. 10.Given all this why are people having to fight for the compensation they need to heal.
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  • Pledge your vote to candidates who care for our Invercargill disabled community
    He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. It is people, it is people, it is people. Invercargill's disabled community has many members who work for Southland disAbility Enterprises. The current recycling contract is 70% of the work, and losing the contract will put many vulnerable people in our community in a very difficult position. The news that they were not the preferred contractor is very disappointing, and goes against the wishes of 15 thousand Southlanders who already signed a previous petition opposing this action by wastenet. The last on the staff is devastating : "The news came as a surprise to the family and employees who heard it. Margaret Fitzgerald said the decision shouldn't come down to money - ''it's a social responsibility''. Ms Fitzgerald, whose sister works on the current WasteNet contract, said losing the contract would have a huge impact. ''She has a purpose in life, she has a purpose to get out of bed every day, they all do ... this contract is everything for them. ''We're not going to give up; there's no way we're giving up now. Today is a very emotional day for us, but we'll fight.'' https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/southland/sde-informs-staff-contract-probably-lost
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  • Support strong gun law reform for a healthy and safe Aotearoa
    The proposed assault weapons ban is now being considered by parliament. The Finance and Expenditure Select Committee is hearing public feedback on the plans. There is only a very short window for public submissions in order to pass these laws as quickly as possible. There has already been vocal opposition to the ban from gun sellers and lobbyists. They will be organised and ready to oppose the proposed changes, and likely attempt to water them down. We are asking you to add your name to our submission, and share your reasons that you want gun law reform, so that we can show there is broad public support for the proposed changes and further regulation. Our submission is based on recommendations that were made by firearms researchers from the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington.
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  • Ask the Govt to define Islamophobia & show solidarity with Muslims
    Defining Islamophobia is the only way to fight it! Right now, there is no definition of what constitutes as Islamophobia. Defining Islamophobia will not only help challenge it but build a common understanding of its cause and consequences, and express solidarity with your Muslim communities. Why hold media to account? An Islamophobic headline plastered over our national newspapers has far greater implication than individual comments on social media. Yet, while individuals can be punished for up to 14 years for hate speech, powerful media companies remain unaccountable. Daily Islamophobic statements in the media continue unchecked for bias because there are no consequences. Clearly, the media believes a public platform does not come with social responsibility. Earlier this week Media company NZME removed some of its online content in the wake of Christchurch shootings because it was "upsetting people" [1] As one user put it “It's not enough to quietly remove your complicity in the racism and hate (and lies) that created this” You’d be forgiven for thinking there is no bias in our media, however in 2017 New Zealand media featured 14,349 stories that included the word Islam - nearly 13,000 of those stories mentioned either terrorism or Islamic Jihad [2] A new study of six newspapers in Australia found 2,891 negative stories about Islam and Muslims in a single 12 months [2017] [3] Per day this represents 8 negative stories! Headlines in Britain “Muslims Silent on Terror,” [later refuted by UK officials], “Muslims Tell British: Go to Hell,”, “Muslim Schools Ban Our Culture,” are commonplace [3]. Often, they are retracted when challenged for bias. But, the damage is already done! Is it any wonder the Christchurch mosque terrorist came to view the world as locked in a violent battle against Muslims he deemed “invaders,”? We are told Muslims are violent and Islam preaches violence. How did Muslims react in the aftermath of Christchurch? So, why does the media keep pushing beliefs and teachings antithetical to Islam. Do we continue to give free reign to our news media which is intent on making us more violent. What is the price of lives lost in Christchurch. We’ve all looked the other way in the face of racism, now is the time to do something different. Aaliya, Safia, Marian, Leslie References 1) https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-shooting/111376467/upset-following-christchurch-shootings-prompts-nzme-to-take-some-content-offline 2) https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/2018687496/mediawatch-midweek-20-march-2019 3) https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/rupert-murdoch-s-islamophobic-media-empire-25079
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  • No Means No - Show NZ Cricket condemns sexual violence
    Scott Kuggeleijn clearly demonstrated a lack of respect for women during his rape trials, and has failed to express any concerns over his behaviour since. He was found not guilty, in cases which many New Zealanders watched via the media in absolute horror. How many times do women have to say no to sex, before we believe them? When Scott Kuggeleijn is picked for New Zealand, what does this mean for cricket fans? Survivors of rape? What does this mean for women in New Zealand? And what does this mean for his team-mates? Having sportsmen represent New Zealand's top teams who show these kinds of views is embarrassing, and in 2019, just unacceptable. Other countries have stopped selecting men with similar views - India https://bit.ly/2R0z2XA - Ireland https://bit.ly/2RDwfox - England https://es.pn/2Dkq43K Our national team says something about all of us. C'mon NZ Cricket, show us that you're not part of New Zealand's sexual violence problem - and that you want the support of all New Zealanders. Other reading: Sexual Politics Now https://bit.ly/2FAxL8k The Spinoff https://bit.ly/2TYcNDy Stuff https://bit.ly/2Cqer9G
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  • PM Jacinda Ardern: Prevent violence against women and invest in support for victims and survivors
    It’s difficult to know how to express the horror so many of us feel about what happened to Grace Millane. She was 21, on the trip of a lifetime, with her whole life ahead of her… and then she was gone. When women are murdered, it is a reminder that our safety is an illusion. We have some of the worst statistics for sexual violence and violence against women in the OECD. Most of that violence is at the hands of our men. For some time people at the front line with first-hand experience of violence against women, and those who support them, have been calling for the nation to do some soul-searching and to seek solution-based actions. Women going on solo adventures or meeting new people for dates are not the problem here. Men who commit acts of violence against women are. But violence is preventable if we work together at an individual, whānau, community, regional and national level. Most decent New Zealanders will be devastated by Grace’s death. The vast majority of us feel horrified for her parents and her family, and send them all our love. But we must open our eyes to the dangers facing women in our country. We must remove our rose-tinted glasses. The government and men of New Zealand must take action; for Grace and for all of the women who have lost their lives to violence in our country. Rest in peace and aroha, Grace. On behalf of all New Zealanders, we are so very, very sorry. We promise to do better as a nation. *** An open letter with the same asks has already been sent to PM Jacinda Ardern and was published in the New Zealand Herald on Saturday 15 December. See the news story here: http://bit.ly/2ULCWGU See the letter that was sent to PM Jacinda Ardern here: http://bit.ly/2zZi9qp For a list of other ways you can take action and organisations you can donate time or money to, visit www.HelpWahine.org.nz.
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  • Double investment in drug treatment in this year’s budget
    By mid-December the Government will have made some important decisions about next year’s Budget. First in their minds should be a focus on improving the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders - especially those who are most vulnerable. Unfortunately, by the time the Government makes their budget decisions there’s also a good chance more people will have tragically died from the use of synthetic cannabinoids. There have been 50 deaths at least over the past 18 months, and there is no chance this public health crisis will fix itself. Continuing to punish people who use drugs will only make things worse. We have a plan to turn things around. If the government makes the right funding decisions now, and follows this up by legislating for a health-based approach to drug use, we can save lives. Investing in health and treatment also makes economic sense. An economic report released in October, "Estimating the Impact of Drug Policy Options", found that if we invest $150million extra in drug-related harm reduction and treatment programmes, this would return a social benefit for New Zealand of at least $225million. Sign the petition to ask the Prime Minister to ensure that next year’s Budget reflects just how urgent this crisis is. Let’s ensure that everyone can access help when and where they need it. This petition is supported by JustSpeak, ActionStation, the New Zealand Drug Foundation, Hāpai Te Hauora, the Needle Exchange and Te Rau Matatini. We’ll be doing more work together to ensure the government treats drug use as a health and not a criminal issue in the lead up to election 2020.
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  • Right to Vote for All
    We believe that in a fair and democratic society all members should have the right to vote, and people living in prisons are part of our society. They are valued members of communities and families. To take away their right to vote is an unfair disenfranchisement We all expect that people in prison have the opportunity to heal and learn so they can contribute to a thriving society when they return to their communities. By not allowing people to vote while in prison, we are removing their ability to invest in and contribute to society and our democratic process. It's cruel and counter-productive. When Parliament changed the law in 2010 they used voting rights as a form of punishment, and this breaches the Bill of Rights. As New Zealanders we seek fairness and community. If we reinstate voting rights for people serving time in prison, it means that come next election time, thousands more people would be able to participate in our democracy, and put their ballot in the box as an investment in their - and our - futures. We believe a thriving society requires the voices of all it's people in order to make decisions that elevate everyone. By including everyone's voices we can have a truly representative democracy.
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  • Tell the government to include ALL survivors of institutional abuse in Royal Commission
    The final terms of reference for the Royal Commission are about to be announced. The Royal Commission has been set up initially to investigate survivors abused in state care up until 1999. We support those survivors and want them to have justice. But we know this would exclude the large group who were abused in the care of other institutions, especially churches, and survivors after this date. These people went through the same experience and deserve justice too. We have many survivors in New Zealand that were abused by members of their church. The abusers have been hidden and protected by the churches, while the survivors have had to deal with the fall out of their childhood abuse. Alcohol, drugs, violence, family issues and failed relationships are common outcomes. A disproportionate number of survivors end up in prison while their abusers walk free. At the moment, these survivors' only option is to expose themselves to the further trauma by reporting their abuse to the Police or returning to the church which allowed the abuse to happen. Often nothing can be done because the burden of proof is so high. It has been suggested that churches could run their own inquiry. This would be impossible. Survivors would have to return to the institutions where they were abused and traumatised. Churches have a history of protecting abusers at the expense of victims. The Royal Commission was set up so state abuse survivors had a safe place to report their abuse and seek justice. We want the same for other survivors of institutional abuse. The Royal Commission can also use its power to hold institutions to account and recommend changes to prevent future abuse. An inclusive inquiry will give the opportunity to prevent future abuse in NZ institutions. This is supported by the network of survivors of abuse in church based institutions, and their supporters. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NZfaithbasedsurvivornetwok/ Church's failure 'serious' https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/churchs-failure-serious Inquiry into abuse in state care https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/inquiry-abuse-state-care
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