• 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.
    4,802 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Sacha Green
  • 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/
    1,314 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Laura Rapira Picture
  • Fix Facebook
    It’s been revealed that Cambridge Analytica used tools provided by Facebook to suck up personal information about millions of people, and used it to spread targeted misinformation during the US election. Similarly manipulative tactics were used in the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom. The problems with Facebook don’t end with the manipulation of personal data for political micro-targeting. Facebook’s algorithms are designed to be both addictive - using the insights of neuroscience to keep us scrolling longer - and polarising. Content that outrages us gets more of our attention, and our attention is the product Facebook sells to advertisers. Those same algorithms allow the rapid spread of disinformation and fake news by people who want to disrupt democratic processes. Some people have responded to these problems by deleting their Facebook account or changing their privacy settings. But just as we’ve learned in relation to climate change, individual behaviour change can’t replace effective government regulation. The only long term solution to these problems is government regulation of the mega-companies making massive (and often untaxed) profits from the use of our personal data. Only government action can prevent further breaches of privacy and erosion of our democracy by Facebook, it’s time for the government to step in. Read more here: https://medium.com/actionstation/is-facebook-good-or-bad-for-democracy-de411db3beec
    689 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Team ActionStation Picture
  • Write "Pākehā" as your ethnicity in the Census
    When it comes to ethnicity, lots of us think of ourselves as Pākehā, rather than the current option for people like us in this month's Census which is "NZ European". Pākehā is a New Zealand word for a New Zealand ethnicity. The origins of the word Pākehā are not that clear but it has been used since the early 1800s by non-Maori New Zealanders to distinguish themselves from Maori New Zealanders. According to the Stats NZ website, an ethnic group is made up of people who have some or all of the following: - a shared culture, such as traditions or ways of doing things, customs, beliefs or language - a common ancestry or history - a similar geographic, tribal or clan origin. Stats NZ says ethnicity is the group that we identify with or feel we belong to. For people like us, "Pākehā" seems to fit the bill far better than NZ European. Of course, if people prefer "NZ European", they will have that option. There used to be an option "NZ European or Pākehā" in the 1996 Census but it was removed, apparently because some people objected to the word Pākehā in the option (even though it also said NZ European). We want the "Pākehā" option back and will petition Statistics NZ for this but it is too late for them to change this Census. If enough of us write in "Pākehā" in this Census, it will go along way to persuading Stats NZ to offer this option next time, either on its own, "Pākehā", or as part of "NZ European or Pākehā".
    189 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Peter Hosking
  • 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.
    362 of 400 Signatures
    Created by Deaf Action Picture
  • 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
    562 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Catherine Murupaenga-Ikenn Picture
  • 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/
    3,352 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Tracey Mapu Picture
  • AA New Zealand - improve representation of members and all road users
    It's really important that New Zealand's largest non-government democratic organisation reflects the diversity of the membership. The AA has more than 1.4 million members throughout New Zealand, and yet the present Board is 100% male.[1] While the National Council is elected from active members, the organisation should be doing much more to encourage members belonging to groups under-represented on the National Council and Board - particularly women, Maori and members of other ethnic and cultural groups, people with disabilities and younger people. This lack of representation means the needs of its membership are not truly being met and the organisation is not meeting its full potential. AA is an important institution in New Zealand, a powerful lobby group with a long history and huge potential to do good for the country. In advocating for a better and safer driving environment for New Zealanders it is crucial it is talking to all its members. The priorities of the organisation need to be guided by the needs of all communities - and people with more diverse backgrounds at the governance will level create better outcomes for members and the country as a whole.[2] 1 - http://www.aa.co.nz/about/the-aa/governance/board/ 2 - https://diversityworksnz.org.nz/benefits-of-diversity/
    30 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Manu Caddie Picture
  • Open letter to Jacinda Ardern: Put People and Planet first in TPPA-11
    In less than two weeks Jacinda Ardern will be heading to Vietnam to try to finalise the TPPA-11 deal. As it stands, the TPPA-11 is nearly identical to the original TPPA. Both agreements have been negotiated in secret with no chance for meaningful public participation. This is not how democracy should work. If the TPPA-11 is signed, New Zealand would have to either change or freeze national laws to suit the interests of overseas investors from the other TPPA countries. It would restrict the ability of the current and future governments to respond to the needs of their citizens and the natural environment. Our ability to clean up our rivers, address climate change and fix the housing market would all be undermined. Let's encourage Jacinda to put the deal on hold until the new government can develop a fresh trade policy taking into account the views of New Zealanders. For more information on TPPA-11 see: https://itsourfuture.org.nz/tppa-1/
    8,348 of 9,000 Signatures
    Created by It's Our Future
  • Email TVNZ to ask them to replace Mike Hosking
    Over 80,000 of us signed one of two simultaneous petitions in the last week when we heard Mike Hosking would be the moderator for the upcoming election debates.[1] Mike Hosking is over-opinionated, biased, polarising and unfit to be the moderator of the Election Debates. This election event is too important to be left to TV personalities with well-known political views. When asked by media whether TVNZ would consider replacing Hosking, John Gillespie told Mediawatch no. "I'm not prepared to reconsider at the moment. I'll keep an open mind and look at what the numbers are saying, but more than a million people tuned in to our election coverage last time. I'd expect that to be similar or maybe increase so I'd weigh any number against a million," he said.[2] I believe if John knew the depth of our feelings and outrage that TVNZ is treating the Election Debate so casually he may be more open to reconsidering. TV ratings are not the aim for the 2017 Election Debates - the quality of debate, sharing of ideas, and openness to solutions is what's important. I read many of your comments on my petition and I know you’re as outraged as I am - but to effect change, TVNZ needs to know that too. The nationally televised election debates are widely viewed and have the potential to engage and influence a lot of voters. It is vital that media surrounding the election and debates is unbiased, and offers parties and their candidates fair opportunities to promote their policies. Email John Gillespie, Head of News at TVNZ now to let him know you won’t be watching the Debates as long as Hosking is moderator, and encouraging others not to also. You can also post a comment on TVNZ’s Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/TVOneNZ/ 1 - https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/replace-mike-hosking-as-election-debate-presenter / https://www.change.org/p/tvnz-remove-mike-hosking-as-presenter-for-2017-election-debates 2 - Mediawatch http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/201854325/mike-in-the-middle-of-debates
    3,867 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Erica Finnie Picture
  • Replace Mike Hosking as Election Debate Presenter
    It is vital that the nationally broadcasted election debates offer an unbiased opportunity for candidates representing their political parties to debate on policies. Mike Hosking's socially irresponsible style of presenting has led to public campaigns for his removal, notably his comments on Andrew Judd in 2016. Hosking is an inappropriate choice to present the election debates in a fair, unbiased manner.
    23,780 of 25,000 Signatures
    Created by Erica Finnie Picture
  • 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
    416 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Team RockEnrol Picture