• 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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  • 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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  • Halt all New Zealand imports of phosphate from occupied Western Sahara
    Two New Zealand fertiliser companies import hundreds of thousands of tonnes of phosphate every year. The phosphate is used by the agriculture industry to make ‘super-fertilisers’ to help the grass grow. 70% of the phosphate supply comes from an occupied territory, Western Sahara. Western Sahara is about the size of New Zealand, a mineral-rich territory controlled by military force by Morocco since 1975. The United Nations' classifies it as a "non-self-governing territory" and many of its people live in refugee camps across the border, in Algeria.[1] Western Sahara is still waiting for a referendum for the local population promised in 1991. In 2017 a boat that contained phosphate bound for New Zealand was detained in South Africa and kept for a year because of its cargo. The South African court concluded that the shipping company had no right to transport phosphates from Western Sahara on behalf of the Moroccan government, as the cargo belonged to the people of the territory.[2] The import of phosphate is one of the darkest sides of New Zealand’s agricultural industry. Not only is it complicit with the territorial occupation, it is applied in huge amounts onto the land, damaging soils and ends up in the groundwater.[3] The phosphate trade from Western Sahara implicates farmers and New Zealanders in the plunder of another country’s natural resources.[4] Mark Wynne, the CEO of Ballance has said he visited Western Sahara and “looked into the social issues”. This is not a credible justification and we ask that the measures of his assessment are made public and transparent.[4] We wish to know what steps Ballance and Ravensdown have taken to obtain the consent of the people of Western Sahara to take their natural resources. Until there is an agreed settlement on a path to self-determination, as the United Nations sets out, and consent given by the recognised representatives of Western Sahara, then all imports from this occupied territory should be suspended. References 1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnHbEz2lZIo Western Sahara: UN welcomes withdrawal of Polisario Front from Guerguerat area, UN News, April 2017 https://news.un.org/en/story/2017/04/556282-western-sahara-un-welcomes-withdrawal-polisario-front-guerguerat-area 2 - Morocco’s Phosphate Cargo Auctioned in South Africa After Pro-Polisario Verdict, 20 Mar 2018 https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/03/242803/moroccos-phosphate-cargo-south-africa-polisario/ 3 - Farmers urged to rethink use of fertiliser, NZ Herald, 15 June 2017 https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=11876596 4 - Morocco's charm offensive to protect phosphate sale to NZ, RNZ, 20 April 2018 https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/355629/morocco-s-charm-offensive-to-protect-phosphate-sale-to-nz Human rights violation: NZ companies under fire for fertiliser imports 29 Mar 2015 https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/human-rights-violation-nz-companies-under-fire-for-fertiliser-imports-6272824
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  • Tell the NZ government to take a stand against death camps for gay men in Russia
    Gay men are being kidnapped and killed in Chechnya, Russia. More than 100 men have been arrested under suspicion of being gay. There are reports of people being tortured and beaten, as well as enforced disappearances, and abduction-style detention camps. At least three men have been murdered. The official response from Chechen authorities is that "gay people do not even exist in Chechnya." The international community urgently needs to act. We must investigate these atrocities and bring to justice all those responsible for the arrests, torture, and killings of gay men in Chechnya. One of the roles of New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade is to provide advice to the New Zealand Government on international human rights issues and represents us at the UN. According to MFAT's own website, "New Zealand has a strong history of protecting and promoting human rights both at home and internationally." Now is the time to ensure those words are more than a good headline. New Zealand has a rich trading relationship with Russia totalling $762 million (MFAT website, 2014). We must use this trading relationship as leverage to advocate for human rights for all. Everyone deserves the right to life, love, freedom, safety and security. Please help speak out against oppression by signing this petition and sharing with your friends. ***MORE INFO*** https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/02/chechen-police-rounded-up-100-gay-men-report-russian-newspaper-chechnya http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39566136 An LGBT+ advocacy organisation, All Out, is running an emergency fundraiser to help the Russian LGBT Network evacuate and support gay men at risk of being captured and tortured in Chechnya. You can make a donation here: https://go.allout.org/en/a/chechnya/
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  • Launch an independent inquiry into the NZ SAS's involvement in civilian casualties in Afghanistan
    “It is easy for people to become merely ‘casualties’. These people had names, lives, stories. None of them were part of an insurgent group or the attack on the New Zealand patrol. Nearly all were small children and women, in a country where women are very unlikely to be fighters. But after careful checks it seems clear that none of the men were either. They were simply farmers.” p.50–51 of 'Hit & Run' by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson. Now we have the chance to do our bit to ensure that anyone whose life was irrevocably harmed by our soldiers can get that kind of closure, and some form of justice. The NZ Defence Force says the claims of civilian deaths were investigated by a joint Afghan and ISAF assessment team, who concluded they were unfounded. A United Nation report on the incident, published in 2011, indicates that the joint ISAF assessment team was unable to complete a satisfactory assessment at the time. NZDF themselves have not conducted an investigation. The New Zealand public has now been presented with good reason to suspect that the joint Afghan and ISAF assessment may have got it wrong. A full and independent inquiry would provide the NZDF with a chance to clear their name, and the public with a chance to feel confident in our military and political leaders. New Zealand prides itself on being a force for good in the world. It won’t be comfortable to admit we’ve also sometimes been a force for great suffering and harm, but avoiding the truth doesn’t make it go away.
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    Created by Hit & Run Inquiry campaign
  • Equal support for Convention Refugees
    The Asylum Seeker Equality Project, initiated by the Human Rights team of the Wellington Community Justice Project and ChangeMakers Refugee Forum, seeks to secure equal resettlement support for all refugees in New Zealand. People granted Convention refugee status, commonly known as asylum seekers, are people who claim asylum upon arrival in New Zealand. In comparison, people with Quota refugee status are brought to New Zealand under the UNHCR Resettlement Programme. This is the only practical difference between the statuses. People under each status come from the same war-stricken circumstances and flee the same persecution. Despite this, only people with Quota refugee status receive official help and support upon their arrival to New Zealand. Through the Government’s Refugee Resettlement Strategy, they receive help with resettlement, accommodation, employment and education for the first 12 months of their life in New Zealand. These processes are imperative to meaningful resettlement. People with Convention refugee status are denied this support and suffer increased hardship across all sectors of their lives. They endure human rights violations, harsh living conditions and are immediately marginalised by the government policy, making their transition into New Zealand society incredibly difficult. By signing this petition you acknowledge that the New Zealand House of Representatives has a moral obligation to ensure all people with refugee status in New Zealand receive the same treatment and support. Read the extensive nature of the inequalities in ChangeMakers's report "Marking Time" here: http://goo.gl/XvIUNF
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    Created by Asylum Seeker Equality Project Human Rights team WCJP Picture
  • Stop Kiwisaver Fund Managers from investing in weapons.
    Some KiwiSaver fund managers have been investing in companies that make land mines and cluster bombs. By extension, hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who are KiwiSaver members are unwittingly investing in companies that make weapons of war. At least five of the nine default KiwiSaver providers have invested in these types of companies, despite them rightly being treated as unethical investments by government agencies such as the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and ACC. Both of these organisations are forbidden to invest in any of these munitions companies because of the government's obligations under international conventions banning the use of these weapons and investment in the companies that make them. Please sign this petition and share it widely with your friends. Together we can let Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith know that New Zealanders do not want their hard-earned savings going to manufacture such things as nuclear warheads , cluster bombs or land mines. Read more: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/311225/kiwisavers-fund-cluster-bombs,-land-mines
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  • No Weapons Expo, No Warships
    Aotearoa New Zealand is a Nuclear-Free Peacemaking nation. We oppose the investment of billions of dollars in the military and new weaponry, which clearly does not deter terrorism, but rather contributes to violence, and war cycles.[1] We will not stand for the government supporting an arms expo for international weapons companies. This is proposed for 16 and 17 November 2016 in Auckland, sponsored by the world’s largest weapons manufacturer and maker of nuclear weapons, Lockheed Martin.[2] In June, 2016, the government announced $20 Billion of new spending on weaponry. At the same time, it extended an invitation to a US warship to visit NZ for the first time in 32 years. In November this year, this will all culminate in a week where warships dominate Auckland Harbour, and 500+ weapons dealers take over the ANZ Viaduct events centre for a trade show. The NZDF, Ministry of Defence and NZ Trade and Enterprise provide funding, personnel, equipment, displays and expertise for the Weapons Expo. The $20 Billion new military spending includes the purchase of new warships and aggressive cyberwarfare capabilities described by Minister Gerry Brownlee as a "significant weapon" [2] This is despite that the government's own evidence that "the country does not face a direct military threat in the foreseeable future." [3] While billions are funnelled to multinational arms dealers, the real threats to ordinary people in New Zealand mount: poverty, homelessness, lack of adequate health care and catastrophic climate change. Auckland Peace Action is a grassroots community group working to oppose the warships and 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! [1] See "Does US Intervention overseas breed terrorism?" Foreign Policy Briefing. The Cato Institute. http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/fpb50.pdf [2] More information on the Weapons Expo can be found at http://www.nzdia.co.nz [3] http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/80835677/defence-white-paper-20b-defence-upgrades-for-new-planes-boats-and-cyber-security [4] Ministry of Defence. 2016. Defence White Paper, p10. http://www.defence.govt.nz/pdfs/defence-white-paper-2016.pdf
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    Created by Auckland Peace Action Picture