• Public Broadcasting of Azan for Jummah Prayer
    Azan is a call to prayer which in many Muslim countries is broadcast publicly to let the community know it is time for prayer. For many Muslims, this call is familiar and very close to home. This act of support and solidarity for our fellow Muslims is beyond powerful and will bring joyful and comforting tears to the eyes of many in our nation. Immense solidarity will be portrayed through this act. This will no doubt condemn any further acts of such kind in the future and, most importantly, will reinstate the welcome Muslims and people of all backgrounds have had here in Aotearoa. This country has given most people, including Muslims and migrants, everything they would never have had in their country of origin. It has given us peace, hope, tranquillity and, most of all, the opportunity to lead a fulfilled life with freedom to express religious, cultural, spiritual and personal beliefs. However, today, these privileges were jeopardised. This was not “an act of unprecedented violence”, instead, it was a violent act of unprecedented racism and Islamophobia. By simply stating it as an act of violence does not do it justice. Muslims and migrants all over New Zealand face discrimination and racism every day. Yesterday’s overwhelming tragedy is an extreme act of that very racism and Islamophobia. In saying that, the support the Islamic community has received from everyone of all backgrounds is incredible, although, misguided. This is New Zealand. This exists in our soil. This may not be us individually, but, this mindset walks and lives among us. It is destructive to deny and refuse any association to this kind of behaviour as it does not address the root causes of the recent act of terrorism. Only when we accept there is such thing as hate in our country will we be able to move forward. These are not the values we hold as a nation, but this is us. The work that has been done by groups and individuals in support of the victims, the victims’ families and others affected by such hate is heart-warming and uplifting. One thing we can do is show the world and the country that this mindset is unwelcome. Standing up for those on the receiving end of such terrorism is more powerful than the victims standing up for themselves. It displays an image of strength through unity, peace through togetherness and alliance between members of society.
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    Created by Atif Hakim Picture
  • #protectihumātao
    The Ihumaatao landscape (of which the land in question, Special Housing Area 62, is a part) is a rare cultural heritage landscape that matters because its stories, relationships, built heritage, ecological values and archaeological sites are critical to our understanding of the histories and futures of our city and country. For mana whenua (local Māori), this place embodies sources of identity and wellbeing as well as family, community and tribal relationships. This area is one of the last remnants of the archaeologically rich stonefields landscapes across Auckland. and is one of the last surviving places where the land and stone walls used by Māori for growing new crops, such as wheat and European vegetables for the Auckland markets prior to 1863, still exists. The land was confiscated ‘by proclamation’ under the New Zealand Settlements Act in 1863 as part of the colonial invasion of the Waikato that drove mana whenua from their lands, ahead of the settler armies. Overnight they were made landless and impoverished. Now, that existence is further threatened by the commercial development. The proposed development site is minutes from the Auckland International Airport and should be considered as a promising cultural, heritage and ecotourism location. For many years there have been aspirations for social enterprise, local employment and sustainability initiatives that enable kaitiakitanga and tino rangatiratanga. Local and central government used the fast-track, developer-friendly provisions of the Special Housing Areas Act 2013 to designate the land. Mana whenua and community concerns were sidelined. Mana whenua have suffered enough for the good of the developing city and every critical account of history agrees with them. For more than three years, the SOUL campaign to #protectIhumātao has engaged in non-violent, direct action to raise awareness and build public support. Our guided walks and events on the land have attracted thousands of visitors. We have presented concerns to the Auckland Council Governing Body and to Parliament, met with politicians and been to the United Nations three times in two years. In 2017 the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racism and Discrimination wrote to the NZ Government recommending that it ensure proper consultation with all affected Maori on this issue. A recent Environment Court decision showed significant flaws in New Zealand’s heritage legislation that did not allow the Court to consider the values of whole cultural heritage landscape when reviewing Heritage NZ’s decision to grant the company the authority to modify or destroy Maori archaeological and other heritage sites on the land. Gaining that authority doesn't make the decision right, it simply puts it within the narrow terms of the existing law and allows the developer to proceed. SOUL has now exhausted every legal means to stop the development. Now we are fast approaching a confrontation on the land but will keep doing everything we can to prevent that from happening. What we need is collective action and innovative thinking to resolve this mounting crisis. We’re now calling on the public to take a stand for this land. Join us in protecting this unique landscape for all New Zealanders and future generations. Please sign this petition now!
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    Created by Cordelia Huxtable
  • Stop work on the Waimea Dam, consider sustainable and affordable alternatives
    The Tasman District Council mayor promised the public that they would “have their say” on the Waimea Dam, however he used his casting vote to prevent a referendum on this highly significant issue. Large numbers made submissions on the dam through the Long Term Plan process, but submissions were limited to governance and funding only. 85% of those submitting on the funding objected to the funding model, which would see all ratepayers forced to subsidize Waimea Irrigators. Petition spokesperson Jon Pawley says, “This petition is simply a way for the public to actually have their say on this hugely significant issue that involves all ratepayers for decades to come.” The reasons given for objecting to the dam are not just about funding, as residents are generally happy to pay for essential regional assets like airports, libraries and museums. A summary of objections include: • The claims of funding in the latest news issued by TDC don’t even mention the ratepayers, or the fact that 82% of the water will be for irrigators whose portion of the costs is less than 20%. Further cost overruns, maintenance and operating costs will be overwhelmingly paid for by the ratepayers. • The block of conservation land needed for the dam will require an act of parliament to inundate. This act could set a dangerous precedent for our natural environment. • The claim that river health will improve, when it is more likely that the increase in intensified farming will result in further degradation of downstream waters. The recent study showing 72% of our freshwater fish are endangered or risk extinction, should be of concern and Dr Mike Joy said this is largely due to increases in irrigation which forces intensified farming methods. • The claim that the dam will secure water supplies for 100 years, never tells the whole story, like that it is limited to a zone of benefit and has NO benefit for the rest of the region who will be paying for it. • The significant leakage from the existing water supply system of 10,000 cubic metres of water per day needs to be investigated for urban needs. All future development, urban and rural, could take increased responsibility, just as all Golden Bay rural development is now required to provide their own 20,00 litres of water storage. External parties have proposed alternative solutions to ensure Tasman District residents have a secure water supply, but so far council has refused to cost these options, focusing instead on presenting the Waimea Dam as the only possible option.
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    Created by Jon Pawley Picture
  • Let's get a dog park at the new Green Road Reserve in Auckland
    Rodney Local board are currently asking "If you were building a new park the size of Auckland’s Cornwall Park, what would you put in it?" They are currently seeking feedback until 21st September 2018. There are over 100,000 registered dogs in Auckland and 33% of them are located north of the Harbour Bridge. One of the key elements of animal welfare for dogs is regular exercise so having dedicated dog areas is important to give dogs the best chance of being well behaved. Also important is to have off leash exercise areas as this helps to have good dog social encounters (this does not always happen if dogs are on lead) and for dogs to have maximum enrichment opportunities while being exercised. Having a fenced dog park within the dog exercise area would also help those with young or new dogs in developing recall when off lead and allow you to train your dog in a safe environment. We believe that Christchurch has great dog parks and dog exercise areas including The Groynes, Victoria Park and Bottle Lake Forest Park. Many are fenced and feature agility equipment. It would be fantastic to get something similar for Auckland dogs and their families to use. In the last year Auckland dog owners paid Auckland Council over $8 Million dollars in dog registration fees. It would be encouraging and positive for those who pay their dog registration fees to see their money being invested in an asset that they can use with their dogs. If you'd like to find out more, or to complete council's feedback survey on what should be part of this reserve, then just click on this link below: http://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/articles/news/2018/8/help-shape-tomorrow-s-park/
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    Created by Claire Teirney
  • Divest the NZ DHBs of the responsibility of Nursing 'safe staffing' agreement
    The DHBs have been asked by the Nurses Union NZNO for more money for more nursing staff to safely staff their (the DHB) workplaces (DHB workplaces are public hospitals), for 14 years, and each year since 2004, the DHBs have failed to provide money for more nursing staff to make their workplaces safe for the patients and the nursing staff. When DHB workplaces are unsafely staffed the patients do not receive the care that they require. Essential monitoring of a deteriorating patient gets missed by the nurse because they have too many patients to safely care for, pain medication gets missed, nurses become exhausted and fail to take their meal breaks which compounds an already unsafe situation, and sentinel events (near misses, and serious injury and death to patients due to unsafe staffing) start to occur. However as the DHB hasn't committed to putting Care Capacity Demand Management into place which is NZNO Safe Staffing request, as advocated for by NZNO, the instances of Unsafe Staffing in DHB workplaces are neither recorded nor audited. So NZNO, NZNO Nursing members, DHBs, or the Safe Staffing Healthy Workplaces Unit have no idea how many instances of care rationing have lead to sentinel events for patients being cared for in DHB workplaces. The DHBs have a conflict of interest and at NZNO nurse wage negotiation times, pit one essential requirement of nurses demanding a pay rise versus the nurses essential requirement for more staffing to safely care for our patients. The District Health Boards honour neither requirement, because it is in the District Health Board's interest to save money. This is a conflict of interest and it makes a mockery of the District Health Board acting as a "Good Faith" bargaining partner. This is the possibility of corruption in a government department, and is not acting in “Good Faith” as an employer. We ask that the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation divest all District Health Boards from New Zealand Nursing Organisations 'safe staffing' agreement. Make the 'safe staffing' agreement between New Zealand Nurses Organisation, Ministry Of Health, and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. The DHB needs to bargain in good faith on the wages and pay increases for its employees. The DHB could then be held accountable to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment regarding honouring the government mandate of providing a safe DHB workplace for the staff and patients. Ensure that care capacity demand management requirements are provided for and achieved in the DHB workplace, and are advised upon and enforced by NZNO. Funding for Safe Staffing would be the only responsibility of the Ministry of Health to avoid future conflicts of interest, and regulated by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and be audited, administered, enforced and staffed by NZNO in the DHB workplace every shift. It is important that an effective government department such as the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, which is bound by the Health and Safety Act 2015, can regulate, administer and enforce laws that protect the patients and staff who work in DHB workplaces. Nursing and Allied Health Staff work in DHB workplaces and provide care for Patients, in the workplace that the DHB provides. The DHB is obliged under the Health and Safety Act 2015 to provide all requirements in their workplaces, to meet Health and Safety standards which include Safe Staffing, specific nurse to patient ratios depending on acuity/comorbidity that are enforced by New Zealand Nurses Organisation 24/7 on site staff who monitor, record, audit, communicate and find staff for unsafely staffed DHB workplaces. NZNO would advise, regulate, enforce, administer and provide staff to monitor DHB workplaces and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment compliance with safe staffing. There would always be a NZNO staff member available within DHB workplaces 24/7 to monitor compliance of the DHB workplace's nurse to patient ratios and reporting, recording, and enabling provision of one or multiple nursing staff members to work should that be required. Having a stronger and more responsive government Ministry in place will make accountability for safer staffing greater, will minimise care rationing by nurses to patients, and will decrease length of hospital stay for patients, it will provide for better care to the patient and more effective nursing care within a shorter time frame, and will diminish the incidence of serious sentinel events (serious and fatal harm caused to patients due to unsafely staffed DHB workplaces). It will also allow the DHB to act as a bargaining employer of Good Faith, and will restore some transparency, integrity and accountability to the DHB's reputation to deliver upon wage negotiation pay rises for Nursing staff. http://nursingnzme2.wpengine.com/right-staffing-happier-staff-finds-ccdm-research/ http://nursingreview.co.nz/right-nurse-right-place-and-right-time/ http://nursingreview.co.nz/safe-staffing-and-nursing-strikes-a-brief-history/ https://www.nzno.org.nz/get_involved/campaigns/care_point/what_is_ccdm https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/opinion/2018/07/duncan-garner-irony-nurses-finally-get-safe-staffing-levels-during-strike.html
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    Created by Anna Dobson Picture
  • Outrage! Wellington Citizens Advice Bureau is under attack.
    The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is under attack from none other than our local council representatives. The Wellington City Council is threatening to cut 85% of the funding from local CAB’s after seemingly minimal consultation. There is no justification for jeopardising an organisation that is so fundamental within our community. The CAB Wellington offers free information services to anyone who needs it. Be it students, tenants, new migrants, employees, employers, bankers, pet-shop owners, people in relationships or hair dressers - support from the CAB's highly trained volunteers is ready and waiting. The CAB is used by us, the service is delivered by local volunteers who care. If council really care about local community, why are they threatening such an important community service? On June 14th local council are meeting to discuss CAB funding amongst other things. We need to show them that any cut in CAB funding is not acceptable and that we the people - stand behind the CAB - support them by signing the petition.
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    Created by Marie Anna Pradine
  • Remove barriers to Māori Wards on Councils
    In 2016 a petition signed by over 5% of the population led to a referendum that blocked the establishment of a Māori ward on the Taranaki Council.[1] The mayor at the time Andrew Judd said “"This is a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation. It is the modern day version of something from 1840, a Crown law to control Maori." A Māori Ward is a seat or seats on a Council that works to guarantee Māori representation. Only people enrolled on the Maori electoral roll can vote in a Maori ward, the same way as the general electorate Māori seats work. Māori Wards on Councils can presently be blocked by a citizens initiated referendum, in the city, district or region that has voted to establish a Māori ward. Five per cent of the voting public can challenge a Council decision to establish a Māori Ward, which means Māori interests will almost always be defeated in this process. No other ward decision, including rural wards, can be forced to a binding poll and Māori Wards should be given the same standing. We ask for this discriminatory legislation to be removed from the law. At present there is very low participation by Māori in local body politics. [2] Māori wards have been established successfully on other councils such as Waikato's Regional Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Te Wairoa and most recently in Whakatane and Bay of Plenty. Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne said it was important to foster strong and meaningful relationships with Maori across the district and ensuring that Te Ao Māori was recognised and supported at the council table.[3] “Māori wards would not only enrich the culture of councils by sharing knowledge about Māori history, significant sites but would also provide appropriate support to address issues facing Māori and others in their respective regions.” Marama Fox.[4] Submissions to the Parliamentary inquiry into the 2016 Local Body elections close on the 31st December. Make a submission today in support of the petition by former New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd for a fair go for Māori wards.[5] The petition asks that “the House of Representatives consider a law change to make the establishment of Māori wards on district councils follow the same legal framework as establishing other wards on district councils”. Make a submission today using this form. Make an official submission today to the Justice Select Committee using this easy form. Final date is 29 November 2017. Your submission will be collated and sent together in support of the petition of Andrew Judd supporting "a law change to make the establishment of Māori wards on district councils follow the same legal framework as establishing other wards on district councils”. Your submission will show the level of support to the Justice Committee in its consideration of Māori representation in local politics. References 1 - Watch: Andrew Judd: How the Taranaki Maori ward debate began https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NS3jmhBcTM 2 - Māori representation in local government https://www.hrc.co.nz/your-rights/indigenous-rights/our-work/maori-representation-local-government/ 3 - Whakatane District Council votes in favour of Maori wards http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11944204 4 - Petition calling for Māori seats in local government http://www.maoriparty.org/maori_party_to_present_petition_calling_for_maori_seats_in_local_government 5 - Inquiry into the 2016 Local Authority Elections https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/committees-press-releases/have-your-say-on-the-inquiry-into-the-2016-local-authority-elections/
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    Created by Peace Province Initiative