• 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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  • 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
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  • 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.
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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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