• KiwiSaver Parity Project
    KiwiSaver is a crucial tool in saving for retirement and any flaws that create the potential for inequality must be addressed. The voluntary Contribution Sharing Scheme would allow couples (whether married or de facto) to share KiwiSaver contributions to ensure that the person foregoing paid work to have and/or care for children, earning less due to family responsibilities, or earning less due to various pay gaps compared to their full-time working partner, is not financially disadvantaged in retirement. This would benefit all families, which come in different shapes and sizes, and would particularly bring retirement parity to women who have lower KiwiSaver balances due to the gender pay gap and who typically are the ones who take time out of the workforce to have and care for children. • The Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission has reported in 2022 the average KiwiSaver balance for women is 20 percent lower than for men(1). • A one-year parental leave break is expected to cost the average KiwiSaver member $5,100 to an individual’s KiwiSaver balance based on a 35-year-old earning $80,000 per year. That can compound up to $16,000 by the time someone reaches the age of 65 and this will grow exponentially over the years taken off or working part-time to care for children(2). • More often than not, women are paid less than men and those lower salaries translate through to lower KiwiSaver balances (Stats NZ reported the gender pay gap for the June 2022 quarter was 9.2%)(3). I see the impacts of this issue in my own family situation. My wife’s KiwiSaver balance is less than 40 percent of my own, primarily because she has taken time out of the workforce to have and take care of our children. It is not fair that she be penalised when her taking time off work for maternity and childcare has been of great benefit to us both. Introducing this Contribution Sharing Scheme is a relatively simple change that can make a massive difference to people’s lives. And this is not a world first: a similar type of scheme already exists in Australia and has been extremely successful. Sign the petition to ask the Government to address this systemic flaw in the KiwiSaver system, and reduce inequality in retirement savings. Sources: 1. Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission (https://retirement.govt.nz/news/latest-news/new-data-reveals-for-the-first-time-largest-breakdown-of-kiwisaver-balances-across-all-ages-and-genders) 2. Based on a 35-year-old earning $80,000/ year contributing 3% of their salary investing in a growth fund up until they turn 65 3. Stats NZ - June 2022 quarter gender pay gap (https://stats.govt.nz/information-releases/labour-market-statistics-income-june-2022-quarter)
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  • Make our money reflect Aotearoa
    We have an opportunity to honour the people who have contributed to our nation and showcase more symbols that truly represent us as Aotearoa. We have so many people in our country's history that have paved the way for us to be where we are today and how we will be in the future. This is in opportunity to acknowledge and recognise their hard work. We also have so many symbols that are important to us. From trees like the pōhutukawa to plants like harakeke to birds like the huia, all of these and so much more reflect who we are as a country. Our currency is one of the most public and identifiable things in our country, let’s make our money reflect Aotearoa! Right now, our coins and $20 note features the British monarchy who will never live in our country, let alone represent us. This is why we are calling on the Reserve Bank to replace the British monarchy references in the next redesign of coins and notes for our country with people and symbols that represent the country we love. References: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/300683373/what-happens-now-to-new-zealands-coins-and-bank-notes https://www.renews.co.nz/why-im-respecting-but-not-mourning-queen-elizabeths-iis-death-opinion/?fbclid=IwAR3Cmr7SB3MoVzIHdPKsGeGet08sVPznSe8-sfg9sQT05mZ2GZI7Qn4E788
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  • Ensure young people get paid fairly: Make minimum wage the same for ALL
    No matter how old we are, we deserve to be paid fairly for our work. But right now the law in Aotearoa allows young people under 16 to be exploited. Ensuring youth are paid fairly is important due to the rapidly changing economic situations we face as a nation. Living costs are soaring, with food alone increasing 8.3% in the last year.(1) Young people are now beginning to work from a younger age to support themselves or their whanau. Under 16-year-olds are doing the same work as people 16 years and over yet do not legally have to be paid the minimum wage. Employers can currently pay under 16’s as little as they please, meaning youth can be exploited, overworked, and underpaid as there is no law to protect these rights or remove age-based discrimination.(2) References: 1. https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/money/2022/09/cost-of-living-grocery-bills-keep-going-up-as-food-prices-grow-by-8-3-percent-statistics-nz-says.html 2. https://www.business.govt.nz/hiring-and-managing/hiring-people/minimum-pay-rules/
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  • Call on the Egyptian Government to end the death penalty
    In 2011, a civilian led movement held protests which resulted in the country’s long standing dictator President Hosni Mubarak resigning, and inspiring pro-equality and democracy movements around the world. But democracy was short-lived. On July 3, 2013, a military coup ousted the democratically elected President. Since 2014, the person who led the military coup, who was the Minister of Defense at the time, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, has been the president of Egypt. Under President Sisi, people who have spoken out against his authoritarian government regime, including peaceful protestors and human rights advocates, have been arrested, executed and forced into exile. Mass trials of political opponents and reports of confessions forced under torture have become common place.(1,2,3) A 2021 stocktake of the situation in Egypt by Amnesty International found that human rights are severely repressed in the country. “Thousands of people, including human rights defenders, journalists, students, opposition politicians, business owners and peaceful protesters, remained arbitrarily detained. Dozens were convicted after grossly unfair trials or were tried by emergency courts on charges stemming from the peaceful exercise of their human rights. Enforced disappearances and torture continued unabated.” In October and November 2020, official reports are that 57 people were executed, although a pro-government media outlet reported 91 executions, citing anonymous official sources, over the same period. Egyptian authorities do not inform families or lawyers in advance of executions and people often die whilst in custody as a result of cruel conditions including lack of access to medical care.(3) Since 2013, hundreds of people have been killed in the streets, and the peaceful sit-ins that rejected the brutal coup were dispersed, resulting in massacres of civilians, the most famous of which were the Rabaa massacre and Al-Nahda massacre. (4) Climate justice requires an inclusive approach to environmental policy that embeds human rights and tackles system problems, including social injustice, ecological destruction, corruption, and social and economic inequality. COP27 cannot deliver climate justice while ignoring the Egyptian Government’s human rights abuses. Around the world in the lead up to COP27, people are taking action to call on their governments to use their diplomatic influence to join international efforts to push the Egyptian Government to end the death penalty and release the thousands of people who remain arbitrarily imprisoned.
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  • Compulsory Consent Education in Schools
    Students deserve to have the tools to build healthy, consensual relationships. Due to the lack of comprehensive and consistent consent education in schools and kura across Aotearoa, rangatahi are leaving high school with a varying understanding of consent and its importance within interpersonal relationships. Sexual violence has become an epidemic among high school students in Aotearoa. Despite the significant level of sexual harm, consent education is merely ‘advisable’ under the national health curriculum. If we continue to remain complicit in our treatment of sexual abuse within high schools, we are failing our future generations. Learning the importance of consent is vital to the formation of healthy and safe relationships. The Ministry of Education can not afford to continue to leave consent education to chance. Almost half of the victims of sexual assault (47%) are between 15 and 29 years old. Reports also indicate that 50% of wahine Maori have experienced sexual assault or physical violence. Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual individuals are more than twice as likely to experience sexual assault than heterosexual adults. Trans and non-binary experience higher rates of sexual violence than male and female populations (Te Aorerekua, 2020). Therefore, It is imperative to ensure our consent education policies are inclusive and are targeted to our rangatahi. Currently, in New Zealand, there is no legal requirement for high schools to teach their students about consent. The Ministry of Education Relationships and Sexuality Guidelines outline that consent education is crucial to students’ wellbeing and development, but the Ministry of Education has no specific auditing process to ensure schools are implementing these guidelines. After reviewing over 300 testimonies involving sexual harm and/or what education around consent they recieved from young people around Aotearoa, it is clear that our national consent education is severely inconsistent. Many submissions from students explained they felt their consent education was inadequate or received none at all. We want to ensure that our rangatahi are receiving the consent education they both need and deserve. The Guidelines envision a relatively high standard of consent education but have no means of ensuring that secondary schools actually implement it within their curriculum.
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  • Climate Change Chaos: Don't burn Waipā - NO TO TOXIC WASTE BURNING IN WAIPĀ
    Incinerators Pollute Our Air, Land and Water Waste-to-energy incinerators produce outputs in the form of air emissions, ash, and liquid effluent that are all highly contaminated with toxic substances. Incinerator toxins falling back to land are regularly washed into waterways where they combine with leachate from hazardous waste landfills. These contaminants poison fish and other aquatic life as they flow through our streams and rivers into our harbours and eventually into our oceans. These toxins have the potential to enter our food chain at every stage of their journey to the sea. The burning of plastics, tyres and household rubbish is more polluting than coal as a source of electricity. This incinerator threatens Aotearoa New Zealand’s wider efforts to decarbonise the entire energy sector. Environmental impact from this waste-to-energy incinerator: - Te Awamutu would become a net waste importer. In 2020-2021, the Waipā District sent 27,000 tonnes of rubbish to landfill. This is approximately 74 tonnes/per day. This application would allow for up to 480 tonnes of waste per day to be burnt. This means, at a minimum, GCS could import up to 406 tonnes of additional waste into the community per day. Te Awamutu would be exposed to toxic emissions related to the burning of other regions’ rubbish. - Generate approximately 23 tonnes of toxic ash per day, including 2 tonnes of highly contaminated fly ash. This extremely toxic material will need to be dumped in special hazardous waste landfills. - Emit cancer-causing dioxins and furans, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and particulate matter that would impact human health as well as contaminate the surrounding land and Mangapiko stream that is immediately next to the proposed site. - Have a carbon footprint many times greater than the same amount of waste being sent to landfill - there is 150 kilo tons per year of CO equivalent (CO2e) from the combustion itself. - Incinerators release greenhouse gases - for each tonne of waste burnt, up to 1.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide is produced. This will impact on Aotearoa New Zealand’s carbon footprint and progress towards achieving the targets agreed to in the Paris Agreement. Effects on the local Te Awamutu community The waste-to-energy incinerator: - will run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year - be right next door to a residential neighbourhood and schools, and be situated almost entirely in a floodplain area - will effect the health and well-being of residents living in the vicinity of the waste-to-energy incinerator - will use Racecourse Road as the access point for all of the rubbish trucks, this road is lined with residential houses on one side of the street meaning an increase in noise and vibration from the increase in traffic and trucks delivering rubbish to the waste-to-energy incinerator - will expose residents to odour nuisance and cancer-causing dioxins released into the air - will endanger the wider community by increasing impacts of climate change and taking Aotearoa New Zealand further away from the climate change targets it needs to achieve - will source municipal solid waste from the region, this means Te Awamutu could become a dumping ground for waste from as far north as Hampton Downs and as far South as Taupo - will be burning tyres that will be sourced from all around Aotearoa New Zealand - may adversely affect land-values of neighbouring properties - be the first waste-to-energy incinerator in Aotearoa New Zealand. Incinerators are being shut down around the world - Europe closed its last mixed solid waste-fed plant in Germany (the Burgau plant) in 2015 due to climate and safety considerations. Denmark plans to cut its incinerator capacity by 30% (closing 7 incinerators) over the next decade, otherwise they can't meet their climate change targets. Other plants are failing due to technical/engineering issues. In February two further plants in the United Kingdom alone closed due to technical failure. In order to deliver an adequate return on investment for waste-to-energy incinerators, a guaranteed specific volume of continual waste is needed for efficient operation. This directly undermine local and national efforts to minimise waste by ‘locking in’ waste production. CONCLUSION It is hard to overstate what a disastrous proposal this is. Central government has not been willing to help communities to stop these dangerous polluting proposals. Collective action is our only avenue to keep incinerators out of Aotearoa New Zealand. Please take a few minutes to share this petition today - because your actions do make a difference to the decision-making process. Incinerators destroy the progress we have already made. While we accept that waste is a problem, we know that incinerators are not the answer. Regenerate not incinerate, to create jobs, and invigorate a zero waste circular economy. To help achieve this goal, we hope you will join us in opposing the waste-to-energy incinerator proposal. This is conforming to Climate Change Chaos - further supporting more Oil and Gas extraction and promoting pollution. Waipā needs less archaic colonial waste structures of incineration, but leadership and investment in Waste for a cleaner Waipā. For further information, please join our Facebook group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1002070993783725. Ka ora te whenua, ka ora te tangata - when the land is well the people are well.
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  • Close the gender and ethnic pay gaps: Make pay gap reporting mandatory for businesses in New Zealand
    The soaring cost of living is taking its toll on families across Aotearoa, made worse as winter’s heating bills also begin to bite on household incomes. Many women and people in our Māori, Pasifika and other ethnic communities earn much less than they would if they were a Pākehā man. That’s not fair. It’s not the Kiwi way. The playing field is tilted against too many. That means the challenges of making ends meet at a time when the weekly grocery and petrol bills are a growing burden for many. Requiring big employers to report pay gaps will help reduce child poverty and help end discrimination that impacts on the nation’s wellbeing: the aspirations of Māori, of Pasifika; of other ethnic groups. Aotearoa, we're asking you to stand alongside us as we call for action on this important issue. Please add your voice to our call for urgent action. #NotAnotherWinter
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  • BUY BACK PUKETITI (Ōpua Headland)
    https://player.vimeo.com/video/724792566 Puketiti is historic land at the heart of the Ōpua community. This land was used as a strategic lookout by Pumuka and his people and as such, is a vital taonga to mana whenua. Imagine Pumuka scanning the Bay from the lookout. He would have extensive views up the Waikare Inlet, out towards the Black rocks and over the sea to the many visible Pa sites. He would see hundreds of waka transporting people and supplies across the water. Puketiti is a destination. A prominent destination for cyclists and walkers. A safe destination in a tsunami as evidenced in 2021. A perfect lookout to celebrate Matariki and our New Zealand history. A place for future generations to learn and be creative while surrounded by panoramic land and sea views, nature and history. If we do not act now this precious land covered in trees planted by past generations of school children, will be flattened, developed and turned into 17 premium residential sections. Puketiti and the lookout will be no more. I am in no doubt that the underhand way this land was sold was a purposeful act intending to mislead and undermine the Ōpua community and mana whenua. Secrecy appears to have been required to obtain resource consent for the building sites. Without the secrecy, I am certain that this project would have been stopped in its infancy. ‘Save Ōpua’s Soul’ (S.O.S.) is a group of concerned local residents who feel very strongly about the current loss of this land, the total lack of respect shown to mana whenua and the skulduggery surrounding the secrecy of this land sale. We ask FNHL and FNDC to listen to the people whom they represent. A mistake has been made so put it right - BUY BACK PUKETITI! This petition has been made in discussion with and full support of mana whenua who are also represented in our S.O.S membership. In our 2019 petition “Stop Puketiti Development”, we reached 1,232 online signatures! Links to further info: Newspaper Article covering land sale and occupation: https://www.stuff.co.nz/pou-tiaki/124139594/campaigners-plan-to-occupy-key-northland-land-until-its-made-into-a-reserve Newspaper Article covering land sale and protest: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/428730/ngapuhi-protesters-prepared-to-stand-in-front-of-bulldozers-to-stop-development-on-wahi-tapu-land Waitangi Day Protest: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/waitangi-day-labours-maori-caucus-met-with-small-protest-over-land-sale-at-te-tii-marae/LP2Z4EHZS3GWJWHYS6ZL6ZEGOM/ Facebook Page of occupation: https://www.facebook.com/TE-ROROA-KI-OPUA-105941851046020/
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  • Listen to the voices of Care Experienced Rangatahi: Stop the Oversight of Oranga Tamariki Bill
    This bill would disestablish the Children's Commissioner and will result in a weakening of independent monitoring of Oranga Tamariki and effective advocacy for children and young people. Tracie Shipton, CEO of VOYCE, shared concerns that “The Government has not listened to a single recommendation from young people with lived experience on this Bill. These young people have been effectively silenced, and the new systems outlined by the Bill is designed to further muffle and weaken their voices". We join with VOYCE and care experienced young people in calling for this bill to be stopped.
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  • End Islamophobia in India!
    This kind of hatred is often the beginning of worse and worse actions against minority groups which, if left unchecked, could ultimately lead to genocide. So far, young Muslim women have been prevented from attending colleges in India, due to new rules requiring them NOT to wear their hijabs. Men have been attacked in the street with machettis. Muslims have been abused for buying and selling beef. Things will get worse if they remain unchecked. There is already talk of preventing Muslims from attending Friday prayers. Further, hatred and division of this kind will not benefit anyone in India and will have ripple negative effects around the globe. This has already begun, with Middle Eastern and Muslim countries placing sanctions on India and expelling non-Muslim Indians from their countries. Related links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKI2WJnXTxw https://thediplomat.com/2022/04/modis-india-has-no-space-for-muslims/ https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/6/15/muslims-in-india-continue-protests-over-prophet-remarks https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/11/world/asia/india-hindu-muslim-violence.html https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/12/india-muslims-see-wave-of-attacks-hate-speech-on-hindu-festival https://time.com/6185355/india-bjp-muslim-world-prophet/ https://maktoobmedia.com/2022/01/18/soon-after-hindutva-hate-speech-19-year-old-muslim-man-killed-in-karnataka/ https://www.siasat.com/march-2022-violence-continues-as-muslims-across-india-suffer-silently-2297669/
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  • Have your say on the Christchurch Stadium to save the climate
    The construction cost of the Christchurch Stadium is massive and there are a lot of GreenHouse Gases emitted during the manufacture and transportation of steel and concrete that is needed in large volumes for the Stadium’s proposed design. https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/128957620/criticism-over-enormous-carbon-footprint-of-christchurchs-planned-stadium The current stadium has small crowds and the planned stadium is likely oversized. With an expected economic benefit over 25 years of $462.2 million and an expected cost over that time of $847 million (made up of $683m project cost + $4.2m x 25 years operating cost + $59m cost of land purchase), the stadium is expected to lose $385 million with a return of $0.55 on every dollar spent. (Numbers are from the Council's consultation page, and the cost of land purchase being additional was confirmed by email correspondence.) It does not make sense to push on with the Stadium. However previous Council decisions on the Stadium have had great interest from the rugby community, and the Crusaders chief executive has submitted for this consultation that he wants the Council to invest the additional $150 million to continue as planned. Last year, a petition signed by 24,000 people led to the Council opting for the $50m more expensive 30,000 seat option. The Canterbury Rugby Football Union has emailed the 25,000 in its database asking them to express support for the 30,000 seat covered Stadium on the Council's website, and the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce has encouraged its 2700 members to call for the stadium to be built without delay. This is why the submission YOU (Christchurch or neighbouring council resident) make is so important for ensuring a sensible decision is made. Only a week since consultation started and already 18,000 submissions have been received. Aside from some personal details, the consultation only has one question. Should the Council: - Invest an additional up to $150 million to enable the project to continue as planned, - Stop the project altogether, or - Pause and re-evaluate the project. Councillors have said that people may think they pay lip service to consultations, but they would all be paying close attention to this one. They have also said that letters to the editor, posts on facebook, petitions, etc. won't make any difference unless you actually make a submission. This petition will be closed after consultation closes on the 5th of July. So please make a submission now at Te Kaha multi-use arena budget consultation https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/haveyoursay/show/514. It takes hardly any time to tick a box. Spread the word and if anyone knows someone in School Strike 4 Climate this may be something they would be interested in.
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  • Paihia Needs a Voice on our Future - bring the June 15th meeting to Paihia!
    Our Mayor and Far North District Councillors plan to hold a meeting about our Paihia Waterfront, outside of Pahia and exclude the public. They are saying the meeting is "Commercially sensitive". We say "no way!" Commercial interests cannot override open transparent decision-making. The Council and FNHL know how deeply concerned local residents are: - Councillor Kelly Stratford receipt of the 4000 signature 'No Sea Walls' petition 2021 - Community Board member Belinda Ward attended the vibrant Paihia public meeting 2021 - FNHL attended the powerful pleas at the Te Tii Marae hui 2021 - SEACHANGE group has spoken since 2020 at Council meetings. Imagine the future of our community if our needs are not taken into account. For the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and life in our beautiful Bay, everyone MUST be actively involved in decision-making. It's nonsensical to exclude Paihia Residents from decisions that affect us - and of course, that's what the law says too: Section 14 Local Government Act (2002): 'In performing its role, a local authority must act in accordance with the following principles: (a) a local authority should— (i) conduct its business in an open, transparent, and democratically accountable manner; and (ii) give effect to its identified priorities and desired outcomes in an efficient and effective manner: (b) a local authority should make itself aware of, and should have regard to, the views of all of its communities; and (c) when making a decision, a local authority should take account of— (i)the diversity of the community, and the community’s interests, within its district or region; and (ii) the interests of future as well as current communities; and (iii) the likely impact of any decision on each aspect of well-being referred to in section 10: (d) a local authority should provide opportunities for Māori to contribute to its decision-making processes.' If we are to retain trust in the Council, our needs must be heard alongside those of FNHL and other contractors.
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