• Cut ties with iFLYTEK - support the Uyghurs
    The situation for the Uyghur people in China is horrific and urgent. Mass ‘re-education camps’ are now holding at least one million Uyghur people in China, which many are now acknowledging as concentration camps. Thousands of people have vanished. Children are being removed from their parents and being placed in re-education schools. Women are the subject of forced sterilisation. Muslim Uyghur people are unable to practice their religion, associate with each other or travel freely. More and more reports of torture and sexual abuse are emerging from the camps. Uyghurs who have fled their homeland are still not free to speak up on what is happening, as China is enforcing a policy of punishing the families of those who do. Words such as ‘concentration camps’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ should not be used lightly, but it is now widely acknowledged that this is the reality of the strategy being employed by the Chinese Government on the Uyghur people. Even here in New Zealand, we are aware of harassment and intimidation of the small Uyghur community by the Chinese government. Recently released documents obtained from the Chinese Government show what a pivotal role technologies involving data and artificial intelligence are playing in this mass scale repression and ethnic and religious forced assimilation. That iFlytek is involved in supplying technology to the police of the Xinjiang region, where the Uyghur people live, is not speculation but rather well evidenced and documented. Mass surveillance technology has assisted the Government to identify tens of thousands of people recommended for interrogation or detention in just one week. Massey signed a funding agreement with iFlytek in 2017, a chinese artificial intelligence company worth around $15 billion. The arrangement involves the company funding the salary of an academic who splits their time working at Massey and at iFlytek. The New Zealand Government has joined more than 20 countries in an official letter condemning the Chinese Government's treatment of the Uyghur people. Human Rights Watch has published an extensive reports exposing the complicity of iFlytek in the violence against the Uyghurs. The US has blacklisted the company. MBIE alerted Massey to the blacklisting “so it could consider any implications for itself”, but Massey has not responded. Publicly funded institutions like Massey University have no place working in close collaboration, and sharing new technologies and research, with a company involved in these atrocities. Massey ending this funding agreement would send a signal that the world is watching what is happening to the Uyghur people and will not stand by with complicity. More information: Masseys ties with iFlytek: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/11/26/913921/massey-working-with-chinese-firm-blacklisted-over-human-rights# A quick guide on the situation: https://aucklandpeaceaction.wordpress.com/2019/11/28/hard-to-imagine-mass-repression-of-uyghur-people-by-chinese-government/ More info on the camps and mass surveillance: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/secret-papers-reveal-workings-chinas-xinjiang-detention-camps-191125004212642.html Human Rights Watch report on iFlytek: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/10/22/china-voice-biometric-collection-threatens-privacy
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  • Save NZ Review of Books Pukapuka Aotearoa
    A creative culture needs critics and forums for discussion about art. NZ Review of Books reviews books published in New Zealand, it is solely dedicated to NZ books and is the only long form print review channel left in NZ. They have been running for nearly 30 years, and their editors estimate they've reviewed 15,000 NZ books in that time. Without funding this journal cannot survive. Without NZ Review of Books, writers, publishers, readers, librarians, booksellers, academics and students lose a vital part of the conversation about NZ literature. We wish to communicate our dismay at the decision Creative New Zealand have made to stop funding the journal New Zealand Review of Books Pukapuka Aotearoa. We ask that Creative New Zealand reconsider this decision. We believe that by deciding not to fund the journal Creative New Zealand is doing harm to the literary arts ecosystem in Aotearoa by removing one of the load-bearing pillars of critical discussion of books and ideas across multiple disciplines. As writers, readers, librarians, booksellers, publishers, academics, students and promoters of New Zealand writing, we rely on journals such as this to inform how we buy, lend, read and talk about our own literature. Our understanding is that Creative New Zealand’s work is to encourage, promote and support the arts in New Zealand for the benefit of all New Zealanders. We believe the decision to stop funding NZ Review of Books undermines this work. It also sends a message that open discussion, debate and critical exploration of the literary arts and the world of ideas are not valued. We sign this statement as a protest against the withdrawn funding and to ask that Creative New Zealand will reinstate it so that NZ Review of Books can continue to publish.
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  • Solidarity with the people of Chile - NZ to Condemn the actions of the Chilean State
    The Chilean government of Sebastian Piñera have deployed the military on the streets of Chile, they have imposed curfew, shot and killed innocent citizens in acts of repression, and falsified citizen committed crimes in order to justify such acts. We must stand for Chile, in order to stand against worldwide acts of repression and human rights crimes that are being enabled through western systems. https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2019/oct/20/protests-in-chile-against-cost-of-living-in-pictures References and Alternative Media: Please note that the media we are receiving in the western world and the mainstream media in Chile is extremely biased and has been censored. Please be critical about everything you read. https://www.telesurtv.net/news/represion-carabineros-manifestacion-santiago-chile-toque-queda-20191021-0016.html https://resumen.cl/articulos/once-acciones-legales-ha-presentado-indh-por-violencia-policial 11 legal actions taken against the state regarding human rights abuses https://resumen.cl/articulos/veinte-videos-muestran-desmedida-represion-de-militares-y-policia-contra-legitimas-manifestaciones 20 videos that show the police repression against democratic manifestations https://twitter.com/prensaopal?fbclid=IwAR1rf9lENKTJ8xwhTGhK0rzu4zIs8tU4RRbDYcOSmBhANwnEYBKDQCb2G88 https://resumen.cl/articulos/impresionantes-imagenes-aereas-muestran-masividad-legitimas-protestas-populares-ciudad-de-concepcion https://scontent.fpmr1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/73120120_2766637883369215_3859160911549825024_n.jpg?_nc_cat=110&_nc_oc=AQlq82ktaqqoWfOWL_FV90sr9e_K-ttzc-ilgdnZfeaJLXtWXzRXUsnYkOGfi6s_STw&_nc_ht=scontent.fpmr1-1.fna&oh=01430048bc0ce3a7c41d24eccad382c4&oe=5E29B463 13 deaths confirmed - note these have been in 'fires' however the cause of deaths have not been confirmed. https://www.instagram.com/tv/B344eAuBk0A/?igshid=vajyk8cwjq06&fbclid=IwAR0dnHvO97Qa83DwIpJgaLRrfoxV8-D4CPGuZqXnPlhhRG1fi4KTRPpBb8A Information that has not been shared in the wider media https://www.facebook.com/eduardokrtbgihgyt/videos/2790340617701460/ Military advising the people on how to ransack the stores Noticias > América Latina Cifra de muertos por protestas en Chile asciende a 11 La Fiscalía anunció que había un total de 1.554 personas privadas de su libertad, que se encuentran en “audiencia de control de detención”. La Fiscalía anunció que había un total de 1.554 personas privadas de su libertad, que se encuentran en “audiencia de control de detención”. | Foto: Reuters Publicado 21 octubre 2019 (Hace 7 horas 51 minutos) "La cifra de fallecidos oficial que tenemos que lamentar en estos últimos dos días es de 11, tres fallecidos el sábado, y ocho el domingo", informó la intendenta de la Región Metropolitana, Karla Rubilar El número de muertos por las protestas durante el fin de semana en Chile ascendió a 11 personas, informaron este lunes autoridades locales, en el marco del recrudecimiento de la violencia en Santiago, la capital del país suramericano. LEA TAMBIÉN: Chilenos desafían el toque de queda decretado por el Gobierno "La cifra de fallecidos oficial que tenemos que lamentar en estos últimos dos días es de 11, tres fallecidos el sábado, y ocho el domingo", informó la intendenta de la Región Metropolitana, Karla Rubilar en conferencia de prensa. Asimismo, la Fiscalía anunció el domingo que había un total de 1.554 personas privadas de su libertad, que se encuentran en “audiencia de control de detención”. Por su parte, el Instituto Nacional de Derechos Humanos (INDH) presentó acciones legales por “violencia policial”. Se trata de ocho querellas contra carabineros y militares junto a tres recursos de amparo para resguardar la “seguridad de las persona”. Según el director del organismo, Sergio Micco, 283 personas han sido detenidas --151 hombres, 61 mujeres y 71 menores de edad--, 44 han resultado heridas --9 de gravedad--, nueve personas han sido desnudadas en procedimientos policiales. Mientras tanto, el presidente Piñera decidió aplicar toque de queda para toda la Región de Valparaíso a partir de las 20H00 horas locales. El presidente anunció el sábado pasado, la suspensión del alza del precio del metro, después de que el viernes declarara el estado de emergencia en Santiago, una medida que posteriormente se extendió a Concepción y Valparaíso. Pese a dicho anuncio, que fue refrendado el domingo por la Cámara de Diputados, las protestas continuaron durante la jornada, que se saldaron con 76 carabineros heridos. La Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, Michelle Bachelet, pidió este lunes iniciar una investigación independiente sobre las muertes ocurridas durante violentas protestas en Chile el fin de semana, y mencionó "perturbadoras" acusaciones de uso excesivo de fuerza militar. En un comunicado desde la sede de su despacho en Ginebra, la expresidenta chilena instó al diálogo inmediato entre las partes para detener "la retórica inflamatoria"
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  • Make Migration to NZ more Humane
    Families of New Zealand citizens and residents have been separated and kept apart due to unnecessary visa processing delays by INZ. Children are losing out on the much needed nurture provided by both parents. In the last few years, approximately 70,000 international students have been coming to New Zealand every year to gain world class education, making education our 4th largest export at approximately 4 to 5 billion dollars per year. The students are given work rights so that they can gain much sought after work experience and ultimately become part of New Zealand workforce after graduating. This also puts them on a pathway to residence as promoted by NZ government websites and dodgy education agents. However, the reality is different - the students are forced to re-enrol for the same courses repeatedly due to College closures conducted by NZQA. To add to an already stressful situation, the students are left to extend their visas urgently to avoid becoming unlawful in New Zealand. Many have been deported due to the fault of unregulated education agents. Research studies conducted by Dr Christina Stringer (University of Auckland) and Dr Francis Collins (University of Waikato) clearly conclude that migrant exploitation is rampant when temporary work visas are attached to employers, preventing the employee seeking help or whistleblowing to end their own exploitation. The number of new residents settling in New Zealand has reached the lowest level since the turn of the century. At the same time a record number of temporary work visa holders have been approved, topping more than 240,000 in the last year. What does that mean? Uncertainty and displacement surrounds migrants on temporary visas. Many in this category have been in New Zealand for 5 to 10 years in the hope of a more permanent future here. Every time they are close to realising that hope, the immigration instructions are changed to bring them right back to where they started. The National Government closed the parent visa category in 2016 claiming that it was a temporary measure to bring the migrant numbers under control. The Labour coalition government has announced that the Parent Visa Category will reopen in February 2020. However, the income requirements for the sponsors are outrageously high (2 to 4 times annual median salary of $53,040) and out of reach for most, if not all, working class migrants. Under this visa category, only the rich have the luxury of being near their loved ones. Some high skilled migrants earn just enough to sponsor either Mum or Dad - how does one even contemplate such a choice!!
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  • Save the Amazon - New Zealand Government to act!
    We students and adults from all across NZ express strong concern about the situation in the Amazon rainforest. The world is in crisis. The Amazon rainforest has been burning for over three weeks; it is so large we can see it from space. This is destroying the homes and livelihoods of many people, including Indigenous communities in the region. The Amazon rainforest has thousands of native species that are dying and being displaced as this fire rages. The Amazon produces 20% of the air we breathe, and has 40% of the world's rainforests. The Amazon rainforest holds 20% of the world's freshwater. All of this is going up in smoke and if we don't act now, the whole forest could burn and it will impact our entire world. Protecting these forests are critical because of their crucial role as absorbers of carbon for the whole world. Given the urgency of the situation, we feel that the fires aren’t getting enough attention as it should be by the authorities within the country and require pressure and assistance by those outside of the country. The following link provides more information about the issue https://mailchi.mp/f17f15f32a53/bulletin-world-weekly-a-weather-report-for-the-world-2456737 We urge the general public to stand with us and urge our leaders to act now to save the Amazon rainforest, as this is an issue that will have severe ramifications for the whole world if not addressed immediately. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Jlwad under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license
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  • Better climate education for our tamariki
    We trust that you will share our view that climate change is the single biggest and most significant (and potentially dangerous) global phenomenon that will impact on the lives not only of our children but also of their generation around that planet. It is the issue of our times and, although it comes much too late, we are relieved that at last global and local awareness of this becomes increasingly pronounced. We commend the efforts of the recent youth demonstrations to voice their concerns and appreciate any encouragement that KC has given for students to participate. It therefore seems particularly concerning (and surprising) to see how little global warming and climate change features in the education that our children are currently receiving at KC. We understand that inclusion of a stand-alone module on the issue is optional, but that for now it is not available for any age group. Furthermore, with one or two exceptions, it also seems that there is currently little opportunity taken to embrace it as a cross-curricular issue. This last point is particularly worrying, since the process of climate change could so easily be incorporated into teaching across so many subjects - whether biology, chemistry, physics, ESS, maths or indeed film-making, drama or dance! Furthermore, outside of the relatively small extra-curricula Eco-Action group , we are not aware of any initiatives being taken by the college institutionally to promote behaviour or initiatives to support reductions in carbon-emissions – whether around car-pooling, encouraging more cyclists, carbon-sequestration schemes, renewable energy installations, or indeed on how to undertake effective lobbying and advocacy. We acknowledge and respect that the teaching body is under strong parent-led (and market-led) pressures to focus on maximising examination success and that there is little room to introduce much more to what is already a very full and demanding work load for teachers. We are also informed (although again with surprise) that the Ministry of Education is not currently supplying KC with the necessary relevant and updated teaching guides and educational materials that could be used either for stand alone climate change modules or for helping the subject be introduced as a cross-cutting theme across all subjects. However, we do feel that these constraints could – and should - be overcome.
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    Created by Kerren Hedlund
  • Horizons Regional Council - declare a climate emergency!
    This is a call to action for our representatives to declare a climate emergency for our city and to take decisive action. Climate breakdown is a challenge for all humanity, but it is also our biggest opportunity. By declaring a climate emergency we can ensure our representatives make the necessary decisions in time to save our local ecosystems and our planet. The effects of climate change strike to the heart of our communities, and will have a major impact on local schools, residents, and businesses. We need urgent and strategic from our local council representatives to address the challenge seriously. We have the means, and access to resources to transition, and we also have an obligation to countries worst affected by climate change. Climate breakdown is challenging, but by decarbonising our economy, we will create more time for doing the things we love, with the people we love, in the nature we love. It will mean working less and sharing more. Driving less and cycling more. Polluting less and planting more. A shift away from our consumer culture to re-invigorating community will mean we get to spend more time gardening, cooking, learning, reading, sharing, laughing, dancing, and singing together instead of spending hours on social media, or money on things we don’t need, for connection and validation. It will mean paying the people who work in low-carbon jobs such as caregiving, teaching, nursing, healing, and restoration generously instead of bankers, polluters and corporate billionaires extracting all the wealth from the rest of us and our Earth. In taking decisions we urge council members to consult with mana whenua of Ngāti Rangitāne at all times. We support the call of the National Māori Climate Network for urgent action. We can create a green and beautiful future, we just need to have the courage to take action, and we ask our representatives to show us the way. We can be leaders in the climate action space and set an example for other councils, and the country, to follow. Read and sign 'An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa' by School Strike 4 Climate NZ here: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/climate-declaration-from-the-youth-of-aotearoa-2
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  • Porirua City Council - take climate action
    This is a call to action for our representatives to declare a climate emergency for Porirua city and to take decisive action. Climate breakdown is a challenge for all humanity, but it is also our biggest opportunity. By declaring a climate emergency we can ensure our representatives make the necessary decisions in time to save our local ecosystems and our planet. The effects of climate change strike to the heart of our communities, and will have a major impact on local schools, residents, and businesses. We need urgent and strategic action from our local council representatives to address the challenge seriously. We have the means, and access to resources to transition, and we also have an obligation to countries worst affected by climate change. Climate breakdown is challenging, but by decarbonising our economy, we will create more time for doing the things we love, with the people we love, in the nature we love. It will mean working less and sharing more. Driving less and cycling more. Polluting less and planting more. A shift away from our consumer culture to re-invigorating community will mean we get to spend more time with our whānau gardening, cooking, learning, reading, sharing, laughing, dancing, and singing instead of spending hours on social media, or money on things we don’t need, for connection and validation. It will mean paying the people who work in low-carbon jobs such as caregiving, teaching, nursing, healing, and restoration generously instead of bankers, polluters and corporate billionaires extracting all the wealth from the rest of us and our Earth. In taking decisions we urge council members to consult with mana whenua of Ngāti Toa Rangatira at all times. We support the call of the National Māori Climate Network for urgent action. We can create a green and beautiful future however we just need to have the courage to take action, and we ask our representatives to show us the way. Porirua city can be be part of cities like Nelson, Kapiti and Auckland declaring climate emergencies however this can only be done through your voice. The rangatahi of Porirua are calling for the people who represent us to fight for the future because if they do not, we will not be able to live it. Porirua is our home and we need to protect it for generations to come. Sign this petition for our future, karawhiua e te iwi!! Read and sign 'An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa' by School Strike 4 Climate NZ here: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/climate-declaration-from-the-youth-of-aotearoa-2
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    Created by Piata Hohaia
  • Stand up for people in PNG, Manus and Nauru seeking asylum
    Do we want to live in a society that accepts inhumane policies? Current treatment of people seeking asylum and refuge in the Pacific needs changing, sign to let our government know we want a better vision for the future. Let's aim to create equality for all including the most vulnerable. Change the situation for people seeking asylum and refuge and help rebuild lives. There are people who have endured countless sufferings as refugees and are stuck in limbo with little hope for their future and with few rights in the country they now dwell. People living in an open air prison in a country that offers them little hope of a future. In the past months since the Australian elections 12 (as of May 22nd) people seeking asylum on Manus Island have made desperate attempts to end their lives. As of 5 June 2019 26 of these people have attempted to end their lives and /or self harm. On the 10 June 2019 in desperation a young man set himself on fire. The deaths continue. We see it as our responsibility as fellow humans to start acting for a better future creating hope. Helen Clark made special circumstances for 433 asylum seekers from the Tampa in 2001. Without a delay of years in detention those people were bought here, and successfully started new lives. This event sparked the beginnings of what the then Howard Government called the ‘Pacific solution’. The beginnings of what has grown to become a Pacific shame. New Zealanders, Australians and people of the wider Pacific feel shame in what the Australian government has been playing out in our region. The Australian government has been condemned by the UNHCR, and urged repeatedly to bring the asylum seekers to Australia or third country due to the compromised health state of the detainees. This situation has been going on far too long - SIX arduous, unbearable years for innocent people, 12 and counting - who have lost their lives so far. Many have been forced to return to their homelands risking their lives and suffering persecution. They need the hope of building their futures in a safe society. New Zealand has made repeated offers to the Australian government for resettlement and been turned down. As caring people we must act to find solutions, at present we sit beside Australia and accept with complacency the ill treatment of fellow human beings. We want to live in a world free from the barriers that create suffering, hate and injustice. The people seeking asylum and refuge need our protection and they need us to stand up for their human rights. Please Jacinda Ardern and the New Zealand Government reach out to those so desperately in need of help in our big backyard of the Pacific. The suffering of these people must end and politics should not stand in the in the way of it. Help remove the barriers to doing the right thing as fellow human beings. It's time to act. We appeal to you Jacinda Ardern to stand up and do the right thing for these people. We do not accept this policy of ‘Detention’. We push for change. You have shown in your leadership to be guided by what's right, what's fair and just. You are an honest, principled and compassionate leader and we are lucky to have you representing our country. Kia Kaha. With sincere kindness and hope, the undersigned. Links www.refugeecouncil.org.au www.refugeeaction.org.au www.writingthroughfences.org www.amnesty.org www.doctorswithoutborders.org www.msf.org.au www.unhcr.org (search Manus and Nauru from home pages) Until When? The forgotten men on Manus Island, by the Refugee Council of Australia, Amnesty International report, Nov 2018. www.unchr.org Article in Summary of Catherine Stubberfield, 12 October 2018. A. Nazari, As a Tampa refugee, I have seen first-hand the impact when NZ takes moral leadership, The Spinoff, 11 November 2017.
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    Created by Anna Dalzell
  • #triplethequota
    Aotearoa's Muslim community has suffered a devastating terrorist attack. It's motivation has been to destroy lives, families and divide us. New Zealanders from all walks of life call upon our politicians and leaders send a clear message to our refugee and migrant communities: they are wanted, they are not blamed and, they are welcome here. We call upon the Government of New Zealand to affirm this message with action and, triple New Zealand's refugee quota and lift the ban on refugees from the Middle East and Africa, effective immediately. In 2018 the quota was raised to 1500 from 750, due to come into effect in July 2020. This is still a tiny number and to raise to 4500 is the least New Zealand can do as a country. Let's say it loud and clear, refugees and welcome, racists are not. #TripleTheQuota https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/107203279/refugee-quota-lifting-to-1500-by-2020 https://www.vice.com/en_nz/article/aej3aj/is-new-zealands-refugee-policy-closer-to-trumps-muslim-ban-than-you-think
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  • An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa
    To solve this crisis, everyone has a part to play. We are calling on all New Zealanders to support our call for action, and commit to helping drive change.  ➡️ We are asking our business leaders to step up and stand alongside us.  Current business practices are threatening our homes, our families and our communities. We will not stand by while greed for a quick profit undermines our future security, and fuels the loss of homes and livelihoods of our neighbours in the Pacific. If businesses want to continue to have the social license to operate, they need to be a part of the solution. We are the future of the economy, and we will not tolerate inaction on climate change. We ask you, our business leaders, to support our demands of Government and to commit to doing your bit by divesting your businesses from fossil fuels, reducing your emissions, and using your ingenuity and leadership to building the economy of the future; one which doesn’t cost us, and future generations, but instead safeguards our continued existence on earth. ➡️ We are asking our parents, grandparents, teachers and communities to step up alongside us. Think about the things you want for your children or the young people that you love; happiness, stability, freedom, peace, security, health. Climate breakdown puts all of these things at risk. Please listen to us, our hopes and dreams for the world, and help us to make them a reality. Your decisions every day, and your vote every three years, count. Empower your children to fight for their future, and stand in solidarity with them as they strike on September 27. So, will you join us? ❤️ You can also support the local campaigns for councils to take action on a safe climate future - support and share the campaign for your local council here: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/efforts/declare-a-climate-emergency
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  • Protect Timaru's Penguins — Improve Road Safety Along Marine Parade
    Last night (08/12/28) a little penguin (kororā) was hit and killed by a car on Marine Parade in Timaru. The incident happened in front of 90 tourists and locals (including children) who had come to watch the penguins come ashore. The bird was of breeding age and its mate was seen calling for over an hour after it was killed. It is not known whether the pair had eggs or chicks on the nest, however, this is likely to be the case at is currently breeding season for kororā. Forest & Bird South Canterbury is calling on Timaru District Council to use this tragedy as an opportunity to reduce the speed limit to 30 km/hr, install judder bars or road islands, and consider closing the road to non-port-related traffic after dark. The current speed limit is 50 km/hr but our members have witnessed people driving at excess speeds along Marine Parade again and again. We often take down the registration numbers of vehicles that we see speeding and report them to local police, yet people continue to speed past — sometimes at up to 100 km/hr. We are exceptionally lucky to have this breeding colony of endangered penguins (kororā) so close to our town centre. After a short drive or walk, we can watch them come ashore — undeterred by traffic and noise from the port just metres away. The penguins are an increasingly important part of our local economy. Last year, they attracted up to 100 visitors every night, with some people visiting specifically to see them. This is a safety risk. Not just to the kororā, but also to the people who stand along Marine Parade to watch them come ashore. The Timaru District Council must keep visitors and penguins safe from dangerous driving by reducing the speed limit to 30 km/hr, installing judder bars or road islands, and considering the closure of the road to non-port-related traffic after dark. We would also like to see local police targeting speeding drivers with regular patrols in the area.
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    Created by Kimberley Collins Picture