• #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
    We have very limited time to act to avoid irreversible, catastrophic climate breakdown. If we fail to act now, our generation will face the consequences, putting our future on earth at risk. We cannot, and will not, stand for that. It's time for our voices to be put at the front and centre of the conversation around climate change, and for drastic action to be taken now to safeguard our future. Young people are rising up. We are determined to stand up for our right to a safe climate future, and we need your help. We need you to listen to us, to stand with us and to support us in taking action - after all, supporting the youth of today in taking part in these actions is empowering the leaders of the future, who will be tasked with the job of navigating our species through our greatest collective challenge yet. We need you to back us.
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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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  • Illegal Israeli settlement goods – Make labelling compulsory, not optional
    At the expense of Palestinians, Israel continues to expand its presence and control in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) through the establishment of settlements. Israeli settlements have caused the displacement of thousands of Palestinians from their homes, contributing to the current Palestinian refugee crisis. According to UNRWA, the number of Palestinian refugees was 5.34 million as of January 1, 2017. The international community (including New Zealand) considers the establishment of Israeli settlements illegal under international law, because the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits countries from moving population into territories occupied in a war. Many products are made in Israeli settlements which are exported worldwide. In 2017, New Zealand’s total imports from Israel totalled around 185 million NZD. However, there exists no mandatory bill in New Zealand which states that goods must be labelled indicating their country of origin. This means that New Zealand consumers may not know or be able to find out where the goods that they purchase were made. We believe that consumers should be able to know if a product was made in Israeli settlements. Through the mandatory labelling of Israeli settlement consumer goods that are imported into New Zealand, we seek to raise awareness about Israeli settlement goods and subsequently decrease support for Israel’s illegal actions. If New Zealand consumers know where products are made, we believe that they will make more informed choices and can help influence change through their collective power as consumers by boycotting Israeli settlement goods. If the New Zealand government remains indecisive on this issue, then New Zealand consumers may never receive the information they need to make informed choices and the injustices against Palestinians will continue to worsen. If New Zealand and other nations do not act, Israel will continue its illegal land grab causing severe consequences for peace, stability, and security in the region and abroad. If you want to see the mandatory labelling of Israeli goods implemented in New Zealand, please add your signature to the petition. We appreciate your support! We are Massey University BA students working together on a group project for Peace and International Security. Julia Welsh-Morris, Preston Hiew, Llorne Howell, Callum Huntley, and Michaela Licht Links to Further Information About the Topic: Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/files/Israeli-settlements-good-ban-FAQs-FINAL_0.pdf The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement: https://bdsmovement.net/ Consumers’ Right to Know Bill: https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/00DBHOH_BILL72059_1/consumers-right-to-know-country-of-origin-of-food-bill Irish Bill to ban Settlement Goods https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/bills/bill/2018/6/ New Zealand imports by country: https://tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/imports-by-country Petition to release medical supplies for Gaza https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/israel-military-must-release-medical-supplies-on-gaza-flotilla?bucket&source=facebook-share-email-button&time=1535557559 UNRWA Palestinian Refugees Jan 1 2017 https://www.unrwa.org/resources/about-unrwa/unrwa-figures-2017
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  • Dear Winston, let's double the refugee quota and do our bit
    The Government already has plans underway to support the small number of families that will come with a rise in the refugee quota. The opening of facilities in Invercargill and Christchurch will make it easy to meet the needs of people granted refuge in New Zealand.[2] What we really need to do is fix both the housing crisis and help those in need. We could be taxing extreme wealth in individuals and corporations so the government has enough money to do both. Millions of people around the world are looking to rebuild their lives where it’s safe. To raise our refugee quota from 1000 to 1500 is still a small number compared with other countries - even Australia accepts many times more people seeking refuge than New Zealand per capita.[3] With 60 million people around the world looking to set up a safe home, an increase from 1000 to 1500 is a small number for us, but will mean the world for those people.[4] Email the Rt. Hon. Winston Peters to urge he gets behind lifting the quota. Use the email template to send a quick message. 1. NZ is a long way off its international aid commitment, but is moving in the right direction https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/103751999/nz-is-a-long-way-off-its-international-aid-commitment-but-is-moving-in-the-right-direction 2. Invercargill chosen as new refugee settlement location https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/media-centre/media-releases/invercargill-chosen-new-refugee-settlement-location 3. Fixing NZ's 'dismal' refugee figures https://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/fixing-nzs-dismal-refugee-figures/news-story/d5ad0c7d3c6a7d17d0642fc5767a924f 4. Figures at a Glance http://www.unhcr.org/figures-at-a-glance.html Also: Winston Peters declares U-turn on Government's plan to boost refugee quota https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/09/winston-peters-declares-u-turn-on-government-s-plan-to-boost-refugee-quota.html NZ works to double refugee quota as others close their borders https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/104837520/NZ-works-to-double-refugee-quota-as-others-close-their-borders Winston Peters: NZ should increase refugee numbers https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11451314
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  • Reconsider the purchase of the P8s
    The New Zealand government is about to spend $2.3 billion to buy four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, replacing six old P-3K2 Orion planes.[1] The planes are due to be delivered and begin operations from 2023. These planes are designed to hunt submarines and signals a troubling shift in foreign policy, moving away from an independent stance.[2] The P8s are war-fighting planes and as such will spend much of their time overseas on exercises with Five Eyes partners (an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States), or on coalition missions, most likely in the Middle East. They will be less available for what we really need - for fisheries patrols or search and rescue over our Exclusive Economic Zone, the Southern Ocean and the South Pacific. There are plenty of maritime surveillance planes with high technical specifications that can be purchased for less than $100 million.[3] The $2.3 billion to be spent on the P8s could be saved for much needed social spending such as increasing wages for teachers and nurses, building houses and fixing our health and mental health systems. The New Zealand P8s will be fitted out with surveillance systems, communications platforms, and weapons targeting, all geared to work in tandem with the American and Australian P8s. In effect they do the same job. The P8 purchase can only be interpreted as siding militarily with America, against China. These surveillance planes, optimised for anti-submarine warfare, are only useful to fight alongside America in a major war. The purchase of four signals an even closer military alignment with the United States, and reflects badly on our non-aligned status. Sign to show your support for New Zealand is as an independent player, acting as a mediator, peacemaker and a general advocate of progressive policies. 'The officials considering our national maritime patrol requirements concluded that New Zealand does not need to maintain a maritime patrol force that includes an anti-submarine capability.' Prime Minister Helen Clark, 2001 World BEYOND War is a new global nonviolent movement to end war and establish a just and sustainable peace. We aim to create awareness of popular support for ending war and to further develop that support. We work to advance the idea of not just preventing any particular war but abolishing the entire institution. We strive to replace a culture of war with one of peace in which nonviolent means of conflict resolution take the place of bloodshed. https://worldbeyondwar.org References 1 - Govt to spend $2.3b on planes to replace aging fleet https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/361421/govt-to-spend-2-point-3b-on-planes-to-replace-aging-fleet 2 - New sub-killer planes may never fire in anger but Govt wants the option https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/105452173/New-sub-killer-planes-may-never-fire-in-anger-but-Govt-wants-the-option 3 - Canada’s Field Aviation provides such planes for clients including Australia and Sweden. http://www.fieldav.com/ Comment: Campbell: Five reasons not to spend billions replacing P-3s http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1807/S00058/campbell-five-reasons-not-to-spend-billions-replacing-p-3s.htm Splashing $2.3bn on aircraft erodes NZ’s independent foreign policy https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/14-07-2018/splashing-2-3bn-on-aircraft-erodes-nzs-independent-foreign-policy/ New Defence purchase deserves close scrutiny https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/361568/new-defence-purchase-deserves-close-scrutiny Editorial: $2.3b Poseidon purchase is a questionable adventure for Defence Force https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/editorials/105375361/editorial-23b-poseidon-purchase-is-a-questionable-adventure-for-defence-force
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  • Condemn the Trump Administration's Policy of Separating Families
    Since October 2017, at least 2700 children have been separated from their parents upon entering the United States. In some instances, these families have presented themselves for asylum - a legal means of entering the country. But even those who enter illegally do not deserve to be separated. This is happening due to a policy to increase the prosecution of people seeking to immigrate. Parents are placed in immigration detention. There are rules against children being placed in immigration detention, so families become separated. There is concern about the adequacy of the facilities the children are kept in and whether effort is being made to reunite families. The experience of being separated from their parents, in itself, also causes needless trauma for the children. People seeking to enter the United States are often doing so to flee violence in their own country. This is not a decision they are making lightly. To be met with such inhumane treatment is unjust. These families just want a new chance at life - instead they are being separated and (literally) housed in cages. More information can be found below: https://www.vox.com/2018/6/11/17443198/children-immigrant-families-separated-parents http://time.com/5314128/trump-immigration-family-separation-2000-children/
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  • Get Victoria University Fair Trade Accredited!
    Fair trade has wide-reaching benefits for disadvantaged producers in developing countries, including commitments to fair wages, environmental protection, gender equality, community development projects and policies against forced and child labour. As students, we want our university to stand with us in our belief that our purchases should empower rather than exploit. Read more about the benefits of fair trade at: fairtrade.org.nz/What-is-Fairtrade/What-Fairtrade-does University of Otago, University of Canterbury and Otago Polytechnic are all Fair Trade Accredited - all we need is for the University Council and VUWSA to pass a resolution in support of fair trade! Other requirements include that fair trade products are readily available at at least 30% of on-campus retail outlets (already achieved!), that a Fair Trade Steering Group be established, that fair trade tea and coffee be the default in university meetings and in 50% of department kitchenettes and staffrooms and that fair trade is promoted within the university. All these conditions are achievable and the Victoria Development Society is working hard to raise awareness on campus of the incredible benefits of fair trade for both producers and consumers. Sign your name and show Victoria University that students care about the people that make our everyday goods!
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  • Tell PM Jacinda Ardern to stay strong on Manus
    28 Nov 2017 - Update: Thousands of outraged Australians demonstrated on Sunday in the major cities after the month-long stand-off at the refugee centre on Manus Island ended violently on Friday. Police carrying batons raided the centre and forced out about 330 remaining refugees and asylum seekers. Yesterday a group of priests locked themselves to the Australian Prime Minister’s front gate in protest. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, World Vision, Oxfam, Rhodes Scholars, Australian Medical Association have all spoken out, asking for the Australian government to show humanity and compassion. Our own Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been outspoken with her Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull, from their very first meeting, and raised it consistently in the media, but she needs to know the public are behind her on this sensitive issue. Not everyone understands these are genuine refugees who deserve a new start. Let Jacinda know we’re behind her and to keep the offer open to bring the refugees here. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reaffirms pledge to take Manus Island refugees http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11947867 22 Nov 2017 - It's been three weeks since water, food, power and medical services were cut to the Manus Island Detention Camp. But nearly 400 men remain inside. The UN has called it a 'humanitarian crisis' — while the Australian Government are doing everything they can to shirk responsibility for the men successive governments have unlawfully detained on Manus for more than four years.[1,2] But our Government is refusing turn a blind eye to our government's human rights abuses. For the last three weeks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has offered time and time again to help resettle 150 of the men detained on Manus Island. She's making sure Australia can’t hide from its responsibilities, and she’s also making progress — with media reporting that Australian and NZ officials are finally beginning to discuss screening procedures for refugees.[3] She’s getting some criticism and comments that we’re risking our friendly relationship with Australia. But real friendship is about being both kind and firm, especially when there is harm being done to others. As the situation continues to spiral downwards on Manus — the only way to avoid further injury, illness or death is for these men to be immediately evacuated to safety while a longer term solution is found. A permanent resettlement process will take at least five months to implement from the point it is agreed.[4] We need to show our PM that the ActionStation community stands behind her calls for action, and urge her to keep the pressure on the Australian Parliament to evacuate the camp. Can you send Jacinda Ardern an email commending her actions and calling on her to go further? References: 1 - Humanitarian emergency, https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/18/australia-must-act-to-stop-humanitarian-emergency-in-manus-says-unhcr 2 - Refugees Trapped Far From Home, Farther From Deliverance https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/18/world/australia/manus-island-australia-detainees.html?_r=0 3 - Australia, New Zealand start talks about Manus refugees screening process, http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/11/20/australia-new-zealand-start-talks-about-manus-refugees-screening-process 4 - New Zealand will give $2.7m to Manus and Nauru refugees http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/jacinda-ardern-new-zealand-will-give-27m-to-manus-and-nauru-refugees-20171114-gzlj5m.html 5 - Nothing prepared me for Australia's refugee camp http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11946142 6 - https://theconversation.com/three-charts-on-whats-going-on-at-manus-island-87354
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  • Bring Them Here: NZ should urgently welcome 700+ refugees in danger on Manus Island
    Dear Ms Ardern and Mr Lees-Galloway, On 31st October 2017, the Australian Government will close its Manus Island offshore detention centre, abandoning over 700 asylum seekers and refugees, some of whom have been held there for many years. In doing so, the Australian Government leaves these refugees in an extremely precarious situation, where local people have threatened violence against them if they remain on the island outside of the detention centre [https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/10/25/australia/png-refugees-face-unchecked-violence]. This situation is unacceptable for both local people and refugees being held on Manus. Local people on Manus Island were never consulted about the offshore detention centres and although the Papua New Guinea government has received huge payments from Australia, little of this has trickled through to local villagers - causing unrest, as their lives have been disrupted by the centres [https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/27/manus-island-closure-faces-local-opposition-and-legal-challenge]. The Papua New Guinean Supreme Court ruled the detention centre illegal in 2016 because it breached the asylum seekers’ fundamental human rights [http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-26/png-court-rules-asylum-seeker-detention-manus-island-illegal/7360078], which is why it is now being closed. Refugees, who attempted to flee terrible situations in their home countries have now been thrust into a new nightmare. Some have been held in the offshore detention centre in Manus for years [https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/getfacts/statistics/aust/asylum-stats/detention-australia-statistics/]. Conditions have been horrific in the detention centre and many experience psychological trauma due to their uncertain future. Many have taken their own lives in desperation and others have died in unclear circumstances [http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/thebordercrossingobservatory/publications/australian-border-deaths-database/]. Some have been forcibly repatriated to their home countries where they are unsafe [https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/aug/21/asylum-seeker-on-manus-forcibly-returned-to-iran-amid-court-challenge]. The Australian government, as a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, should be responsible for these refugees, regardless of how they entered Australian territory to seek asylum. Instead, the government brought them to Manus Island as part of their ‘Pacific Solution’ policy of preventing any people fleeing war or persecution reaching safety in Australia if they seek asylum by boat. It is very clear that Australia is washing their hands of these people, in the same way that they washed their hands of the refugees who tried to reach Australia on the Tampa. On 31st October, they will shut off water, electricity and sewage systems to the detention centre and give the people the choice to either be moved to Nauru, another of their offshore prisons, or to remain in a nearby town where they will be extremely unsafe [http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/food-water-power-to-be-cut-at-manus-island-centre-as-refugees-forced-to-depart-20171020-gz51r9.html]. We demand that the New Zealand government do what the Australian Government will not. We should show manaakitanga, take a strong stand for justice and welcome these desperate people to Aotearoa New Zealand immediately.
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  • Stop the 2017 Weapons Expo!
    The Weapons Expo is an annual event for arms companies and the military to buy, sell and lobby for more weapons of war. Sponsors of the Expo include Lockheed Martin, currently the world's largest arms company manufacturing nuclear weapons. Local NZ companies such as MAS Zengrange, who make mortar firing devices, also attend to boost their profits from war. Wellington City Council describes Wellington as the ‘coolest little capital’ and brands the city as being ’absolutely positive’. It also declared itself nuclear free in 1982, two years before NZ officially did. By allowing the Weapons Expo to be held in Wellington, the council is running contrary to any positive image it is trying to create. Further, it is making all its population tacit in supporting militarisation and war. We, the undersigned, do not want the weapons expo to be held in this city and demand that the WCC do not allow any part of this city to be used to support or enable the weapons expo to occur. We also ask that the WCC develop ethical guidelines for the booking of Council owned venues and we ask that these guidelines be promoted with non-council venues. Peace Action Wellington is a grassroots community group working to oppose the weapons expo. We believe that it is not possible to build a peaceful and just world while simultaneously acquiring ever more weapons and doing more planning for war. This petition is an important part of our campaign this year to bring pressure on the government. Join the campaign for peace! More information on the Weapons Expo can be found at http://www.nzdia.co.nz/forum/ 'Profiting from war' - New Zealand's weapons and military-related industry http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1511/pawreport.pdf
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  • Transfer defence force funds to peaceful purposes
    This petition is supporting the Peace Hikoi of Ian Upton, who is walking from Cape Reinga to Parliament. Ian believes the use of taxpayer money to fund the capability of making war is unacceptable.[1] In November 2016 the Government announced a $20 billion budget for the NZ Defence Force, with plans to replace the Air Force Boeing 757, the C130-Hercules, the Orion maritime patrol aircraft and the ANZAC frigates.[2] This is while homelessness reaches new levels and the prison population recently passed 10,000. The number of children living below the poverty line is estimated at 300,000.[3,4,5] Huge capital expenditure for military purposes is inevitably at the expense of other spending the country needs in areas like transport and housing. Ian is walking to Parliament to give the message that the funds will be much better spent on peaceful purposes. There are many good organisations doing essential work that could benefit with more funding, for example work such as that carried out by the 1000 Days Trust, which supports children through their first 1000 days of life.[6] Taking the example of Costa Rica, who have had only a civil defence force and border patrol since 1949, why can we not do something similar? It is reasonable to defend our borders with vigilance, but we don't need the capability to wage war overseas. We teach our children that fighting is wrong. Common sense security is all that is required, not offensive capability. Ian expects to arrive at Parliament on 28 June. References 1 - Peace campaigner hits Tauranga on marathon march http://beta.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11866168 2 - http://beta.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11652807 3 - Homelessness http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/332032/urgent-housing-need-big-concern-going-into-winter 4 - Protest as prison population hits 10,000 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/324283/protest-as-prison-population-hits-10,000 5 - New Zealand child poverty a source of deep concern, says UN https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/07/new-zealand-child-poverty-a-source-of-deep-concern-says-un 6 - The first 1000 days of a child's life http://www.1000days.org.nz/
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