• 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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  • Save Wellington Citizens Advice Bureau!
    Wellington Citizens Advice Bureau provides a free information and advice service to people in need. It helps people know about their rights and responsibilities and the services available in their community. It is there for everyone, about everything. Despite this, Wellington City Council wants to cut its services and leave its citizens without this essential support. Last year Wellington CAB helped over 30,000 people with questions and problems across the range of issues people face in their lives. These include helping with enquiries about emergency accommodation, noisy neighbours, overhanging trees, abandoned vehicles, relationship issues, enquiries about consumer rights, tenancy rights, employment rights, as well as information about local services - the whole range of questions and queries imaginable. It also includes referrals from the City Council and helping people to fill in Council forms! Wellington CAB has had a long-term strategic partnership with Wellington City Council. In spite of this, the Council have, without consultation, made a recommendation to stop funding the Wellington CAB via its long-standing contract for services, and give a one-off six month grant for the CAB to completely redesign its operation, including shutting the doors on its physical premises. The Council have said there is “no guarantee of funding beyond that”. The CAB is core community infrastructure. It is locally responsive, and staffed by dedicated volunteers from the local community. The people who come to the CAB often don’t know where to go, don’t know what assistance is available to them, can’t access information, or are excluded from services. Without the CAB those people will fall through the cracks. Please show your support and save this essential community service.
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  • Sensible Sentencing Trust should not have charitable status
    On March 31, Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) founder Garth McVicar took to Facebook to congratulate police for fatally shooting a 29-year-old east Auckland man after a police chase. He said: "One less to clog the prisons! Congratulations to the New Zealand Police, our thoughts are with the officer who was forced to take this action to protect the public." McVicar founded SST in 2001 for the purpose of lobbying government for a more punitive justice system that is based more on his ideology than actual evidence. McVicar later stood as a candidate for the Conservative Party. In 2010, SST were stripped of their charitable status because they had become a lobby group rather than a charity. The Charities Commission found that the trust "...had not provided any evidence of how ensuring stricter laws concerning violent crimes will protect human life." To get around this, in 2015, the McVicar family set up the Sensible Sentencing Group Trust (SSGT) which is a seperate organisation that has been granted charitable trust status and all of the tax benefits that come with it. The SSGT Administrator is Anne McVicar. Given the Independent Charities Registration Board's recent decision to deny Greenpeace charitable status because of their "independent purpose to promote its own particular views", it seems correct to independently reassess whether the activities of SSGT are in fact charitable. Please sign and share so that we together we may force a review. *** REFERENCES: https://www.charities.govt.nz/news-and-events/hot-topics/update-on-greenpeace-of-new-zealand-incorporated-from-the-independent-charities-registration-board/ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12024068& https://www.charities.govt.nz/news-and-events/media-releases/sensible-sentencing-group-trust-registration/
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  • Remove Official Language barriers towards political participation in NZ by 2020
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YoNWym2Lus NZ's official languages are not being utilised enough during Elections and within political party and campaign groups. Not for profit organisations and volunteer groups are having to beg for volunteers or use their own limited funding to cover the cost of NZSL/Te Reo Interpreters at Meet the Candidates events around the country. This is unreasonable to expect NZSL Interpreters to give up their time to volunteer when they need to pay rent, rates, mortgages etc too. This puts Deaf and Hard of Hearing voters/candidates in a position of having limited means of communication to ask questions or give presentations at these events. TVNZ refusing to make available NZSL Interpreters on our state broadcasters Television Election Debates is a prime example of electoral prejudice against voters who depend on an official language to fully participate in a democratic progress. Deaf/Hard of Hearing members need NZSL interpreter and communication support funding that allows them to fully participate within their chosen political party/campaign group throughout the year. We request the Speaker of the House to set aside funding to allow full political party/group participation in an accessible democracy society. Lets make Elections barrier-free for our official languages by 2020.
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  • Stop the industrial water consents!
    In 2016, some private business owners (including industrial horticulturalists) began applying to Northland Regional Council (NRC) for resource consents to extract water from our aquifer in Te Hiku.[1,2,3] Together known as the Motutangi-Waiharara Water Users Group (MWWUG) they have applied to pump up to 2-million-cubic-metres a year from the Aupouri aquifer, north of Kaitaia. By 'limited' notification on 27 October 2017, NRC announced it was considering these applications. The scale and the ramifications of the proposal from the MWWUG greatly concerns those of us who have been attempting to protect our underground water supply for several decades. We are very concerned that consent decisions will be based largely on financial and profit-making concerns, and fail to give proper regard to important environmental, social and cultural values of this community resource. The industrial avocado industry has been described as a ‘gold rush’, with the perception that NRC allocates water rights on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis. Such an approach is incompatible with the required “sustainable” management of our precious freshwater resources. Expert peer reviewed hydrology advice says the overall take could lower water tables in some areas on the peninsula by about 2 metres at peak times, and that in turn could affect existing bores and wells.[4] The Northland Environmental Protection Society president Fiona Furrell has said there was insufficient data or monitoring of the aquifer, to allow much more than guesswork on the likely effects of the water-take. She said the greatest danger was salination as the aquifer came under pressure, which would ruin Aupouri's many tiny lakes and wetlands.[5] NRC’s MWWUG aquifer resource consent decision-making process so far has demonstrably failed to meet its good governance and decision-making obligations, especially with respect to tangata whenua/whānau, hapū and iwi. We call on NRC to STOP this consents process unless and until all affected ratepayers, tangata whenua and wider community have had the meaningful opportunity to effectively participate in proper, good faith consultation with NRC about these applications - including comprehensive, transparent engagement about the full effects and implications of the proposed freshwater extraction for (1) our natural environment, (2) our human rights to access safe drinking water, and (3) community well-being. We also call on all responsible authorities, elected officials, business and industry and wider civil society to actively support and encourage NRC to do what's right to protect our aquifer, our human rights to water and democratic decision-making. We are in an age of unprecedented and converging climate, economic, geo-political and other crises which threaten habitat collapse, societal implosion and humanity's very existence. Without water, there is no Life. Therefore, Aotearoa must build local resilience. To achieve this, we must restore and protect our freshwater ways and systems which are under relentless exploitation pressure from business and industry, and in steep decline. All responsible authorities are also obliged to uphold their legal and moral obligations to its citizens and to the natural environment - under Te Tiriti o Waitangi 1840, the Local Government Act 2002, Resource Management Act 1991, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007 and other internationally recognized standards. For more campaign information, see: ♣ Our "Aquifer Protection Action!" page at https://www.catherinemikenn.com/copy-of-community-action; and ♣ Our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1105337399603221/ References: 1 - Limited Notification - Motutangi-Waiharara Water Users Group (MWWUG) https://www.nrc.govt.nz/Consents/Notified-resource-consents/limited-notification-motutangi-waiharara-water-users-group-mwwug/ 2 - Water use worries http://www2.nzherald.co.nz/northland-age/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503399&objectid=11947026 3, 4, 5 - Water worries as avocado industry spreads to Far North https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/country/343325/water-worries-as-avocado-industry-spreads-to-far-north
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  • Taihoa on the water bottling plant planned for Murupara
    New Zealand Aquifer, a private company trading as Murupara No 1 and Murupara No 2, in partnership with Te Runanga o Ngati Manawa and an as yet unknown foreign investor is proposing to construct a water-bottling plant in Murupara which would extract up to 18 million litres per day.[1] The creation and expansion of a water export industry on Murupara could have severe and wide-reaching consequences for the management of this critically important public resource. The petitioners ask that the Whakatane District Council cast a wide net to engage the community and the iwi in consultation and to conduct an environmental impact study prior to approving any water consent. There has been no meaningful consultation done with whanau and hapu of Murupara, many of whom have real concerns about this proposal. The company behind the project has a record of failed projects and it’s claims of ‘no impact’ is not realistic with such huge amounts of water being taken. The claims of 500 new jobs also seem exaggerated.[2,3] We ask the Murupara Community Board to resource a community-wide consultation to provide a means by which local residents can contribute to and influence the discussion about this proposed venture. Please support the Murupara community’s urgent request for full transparency and engagement to achieve the best outcome for our pure water source. 1 - Plans to build NZ's biggest water-bottling plant http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/11/plans-to-build-nz-s-biggest-water-bottling-plant.html 2- Missing history in bottling bonanza reports http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/2018622593/missing-history-in-bottling-bonanza-reports 3 - Ashburton council reneges on controversial water bottling deal http://www2.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=11672314 4 - Director of water bottling plant has yet another attempt http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/director-of-water-bottling-plant-has-yet-another-attempt/
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  • Introduce robust citizenship education in schools and lower the voting age to 16
    We believe young people have amazing ideas, creative thinking and energy to offer our country, but they are being locked out of a political process and system that is not set up to engage, inform or inspire them to participate fully and that is why so many young people don't vote. There is a lot of research as to why this happens. Young people don't identify with the left-right political spectrum; they care for issues but not party politics. They have aspirations for a different type of politics, one that feels more values-based and authentic. They feel doubtful that the current political system can deliver the kinds of change they want to see. Their time, energy and money are tight, so they don't always feel confident they have all the information they need to make a meaningful contribution to politics. The young people least likely to vote are of Māori, Pasifika or Asian descent. Recent migrants are less likely to vote than long-term migrants, as are young people who live in rural areas, or are low paid or have only a basic education. In short, if you are part of a group that is already marginalised in our society and economy, you're likely to be marginalised in our democracy too. This cannot be fixed with simple get-out-the-vote tactics and brilliant one-liners. To shift this, it requires government-led commitment, investment and a strategy. We are calling for the New Zealand government to implement universal and robust citizenship education in schools. The programme should focus on fostering agency, critical thinking and teaching the power of social movements and activism, alongside parliamentary politics. We need to work out how to cater for teacher bias and undue influence, but that can be done. As well as this, we are also calling for the government to lower the voting age to 16. This would signal to young people we take them seriously and care about their views. It starts the voting habit early and would challenge political parties to aim their campaigns and policies at the new generation. The age was permanently changed to 16 in Scotland, after 75 per cent of 16- and 17-year-olds turned out to vote in the 2014 referendum to leave the United Kingdom. We know there is no silver bullet to youth participation in politics, but these two interventions will go a really long way toward creating a democracy that represents and involves everyone. Please sign and share today. *** RockEnrol is dedicated to engaging, inspiring, informing and activating the political power of rangatahi (young people) in Aotearoa New Zealand. Read more about us here: www.rockenrol.org.nz
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  • Fund GeoNet to provide 24/7 hazard monitoring
    Getting early and clear tsunami and other disaster warnings and advice saves lives. But GeoNet, New Zealand's official source of geological hazard information is not funded to provide 24/7 staffed monitoring. In the wake of recent quakes and tsunamis, GeoNet's Director Dr Ken Gledhill, made a strong case for funding this essential service: "Because we do not have a 24/7 monitoring centre we have to wake people and get them out of bed to look at complex data and make serious calls very quickly. It is not an ideal situation given the past few months and I’d like to change that by getting support for a 24/7 monitoring centre for geohazards. I’m going to be blatant in my campaigning for this, because I think we need a 24/7 monitoring centre to respond to these kinds of events." GeoNet does an incredible job with the resources they have. But, this is a clear and reasonable plea from the director of this essential public service, and it's time to listen. Add your name to the petition to show your support for GeoNet, and let the Government know this should be a funding priority.
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  • Save Radio NZ's Funding
    LATEST UPDATE On 11th April the Coalition for Better Broadcasting and ActionStation, combined with the petition of Jo Bond (Fund RNZ campaign) delivered this petition to Parliament. The Minister for Broadcasting Maggie Barry declined to accept but Labour MP Clare Curran accepted and tabled it in the House the next day. You can read about the delivery event here: https://medium.com/actionstation/32-337-demand-government-unfreeze-radio-new-zealand-funding-2b310ed3271d In the first week of April RNZ's Auckland studio was sold. [read https://blog.greens.org.nz/2017/03/21/national-killed-the-radio-station/] We wait now for news on a Select Committee process - watch this space! Also watch out for the people-powered report and policy recommendations from CBB and ActionStation as part of the Make Our Media Better public inquiry to be delivered to the Government in May. [http://www.makeourmediabetter.org.nz/] ***** To the Minister of Broadcasting, RNZ is well loved across the country: - Listened to more than any other radio station - Four out of five Kiwis say it’s a valuable service - 87% think public service radio, like RNZ, is important for New Zealand [1]. RNZ is vital to all New Zealanders. It is our only public national broadcaster [2]. It’s our only commercially independent media organisation and it’s the only media that tells all of NZ’s stories for all New Zealanders. This government is slowly making it impossible for RNZ to continue. Despite the importance of RNZ, our government refuses to fund it properly. They imposed an 8 year funding freeze on RNZ which after inflation amounts to a 12% cut in funding. At the same time the government expects RNZ to expand into digital and online media, which comes with a significant cost. After years of cost-cutting, RNZ is planning to sell its Auckland studios and rent them back from the new owners. RNZ would receive a cash injection but would also go from earning rent to paying rent. Before long that cash will dry up and RNZ will be worse off than before, with less money available for quality journalism and radio programmes for all New Zealanders. All New Zealanders benefit from RNZ’s work to provoke debate, report on the issues of the day, entertain people throughout the country and reflect our national identity. It is a crucially important national treasure and we need to fund it properly. Will you join us to call on the Minister of Broadcasting to unfreeze RNZ’s funding? Unfreezing the funding will allow RNZ to: - Retain ownership of its studios and resources - Invest in digital and online media - Continue high-quality radio services for the whole country - Tell more of our stories - Hold those in power to account with quality investigative journalism. References: [1] RNZ is New Zealands most popular Radio Network and 87 % of New Zealanders think public service radio is important, see RNZ Annual Report 2014/15, page 1: http://www.radionz.co.nz/assets/cms_uploads/000/000/074/RNZ_Annual_Report_2015.pdf [2] RNZ National and its sister station Concert are New Zealand's only public national broadcasters. See NZ On Air http://www.nzonair.govt.nz/radio/what-we-fund/radio-new-zealand/
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  • Golden Bay Local Board: local decisions by local people
    Golden Bay is defined as an 'isolated distinct community' under the Local Government Act, requiring specific political representation. This is due partly to its geographic remoteness (2 hours drive from the District Council offices), but also to its unique culture, history and social values arising from a close relationship to its pristine natural environment, diverse peoples and communities, and other socio-economic difference to the wider Tasman region. The Tasman District Council continues to make decisions over Golden Bay's local governance issues which do not reflect our community's local knowledge, customs and interests. TDC has refused to delegate powers to the GB Community Board (the community's elected representative body) as required within the spirit of the Local Government Act, and often ignore its recommendations. This lack of local democracy negatively impacts our community's ability to optimise our current and future well being. One example of the negative impacts from the lack of local democracy is TDCs decision making over a local recreational facility (a grandstand).* TDC voted to demolish the facility, ignoring the Community Board recommendation to retain the historic building highly valued by a significant section of the community. After $200,000 in legal costs and much public protest (reported in the national press) TDC rescinded their decision but continue to frustrate local community efforts to cost-efficiently maintain this building for community use. *https://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/opinion/81626242/golden-bay-grandstands-demolition-decision-shut-public-out
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