• Save Foulden Maar
    Foulden Maar is the only site in the Southern Hemisphere that contains such high-quality data about the last major period of de-glaciation in Antarctica. In the face of human-induced climate change, we have no mandate to destroy a place that could help future generations to cope with the impacts of climate chaos and to plan for the future. Foulden Maar is one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent fossil sites that provides a unique window into New Zealand’s geological past and the evolution of our enigmatic biodiversity. The maar was formed 23 million years ago by a volcanic eruption and the shallow crater left behind was gradually filled with layers of microscopic algae to form diatomite. This has preserved an exquisite and detailed fossil record spanning around 130,000 years that includes freshwater fish, flowers, fruits, seeds, bark and fungi, as well as beetles, ants, scale insects, termites and other invertebrates. It is also highly likely to contain moa fossils and possibly crocodiles. New Zealand led research is already studying the fossils that have been discovered in collaboration with experts from all over the world. Plaman Resources plan to mine the entire maar of all that it contains. They will export diatomite for use as a stock food supplement on factory farms and feedlots and as a fertiliser on environmentally destructive palm plantations in south-east Asia. Plaman have an application with the Overseas Investment Office to purchase another 400 hectares of surrounding land, which is required to make their proposal commercially viable. This would give them the ability to fully exploit the maar and establish mine infrastructure that will operate 24/7. This will permanently exclude access for scientists to continue internationally-recognised research, currently funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund. It is critical that the Overseas Investment Office declines this application immediately. The government has an opportunity to protect this unique geological site and the wealth of information it contains by creating a scientific reserve under section 21 of the Reserves Act 1977. This would honour our geological heritage and contribute significantly to the sustainable development of the region through eco-tourism initiatives. It would also allow for crucial science and research in the area to continue unhindered and protect the site for future generations. After all, it was none other than Superman, Christopher Reeves, who said: “so many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” More information: www.savefouldenmaar.co.nz www.facebook.com/savefouldenmaar www.twitter.com/savefouldenmaar (#SaveFouldenMaar) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foulden_Maar Media coverage: Mine threat to fossil record (Otago Daily Times) https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/dcc/mine-threat-fossil-record Dunedin’s ‘Pompeii’ to be mined to make pig food (Newsroom.co.nz) https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/05/10/577063/dunedins-pompeii-to-be-mined-for-pig-food Opposition grows to fossil mining project (Newsroom.co.nz) https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/05/13/581997/growing-opposition-to-fossil-mining Concern about mining in Foulden Maar (RNZ) https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/2018694821/concern-about-mining-in-foulden-maar Otago community takes on major international mining company (RNZ) https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/389113/otago-community-takes-on-major-international-mining-company Who is the fossil mining company? (Newsroom.co.nz) https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/05/14/583737/who-is-the-fossil-mining-company-1 Foulden Maar petition attracts support (Otago Daily Times) https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/foulden-maar-petition-attracts-support Opposition to Foulden Maar mine proposal grows (RNZ) https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018695114/opposition-to-foulden-maar-mine-proposal-grows The Bulletin: Quiet mining battle erupts into the headlines (The Spinoff) https://thespinoff.co.nz/the-bulletin/16-05-2019/the-bulletin-quiet-mining-battle-erupts-into-the-headlines/ Dunedin mayor demands facts from fossil mining company (Newsroom.co.nz) https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/05/16/587509/dunedin-mayor-demands-facts-from-fossil-mining-company Foulden Maar - a 23-million year-old fossil treasure trove (Our Changing World, RNZ) https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ourchangingworld/audio/2018695299/foulden-maar-a-23-million-year-old-fossil-treasure-trove Proposal to mine Foulden Maar – In the News (Science Media Centre) https://www.sciencemediacentre.co.nz/2019/05/16/proposal-to-mine-foulden-maar-in-the-news/ Fossil-dirt nutrition claims under doubt (Newsroom.co.nz) https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/05/17/588070/fossil-dirt-nutrition-claims-under-doubt
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  • Pledge your vote to candidates who care for our Invercargill disabled community
    He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. It is people, it is people, it is people. Invercargill's disabled community has many members who work for Southland disAbility Enterprises. The current recycling contract is 70% of the work, and losing the contract will put many vulnerable people in our community in a very difficult position. The news that they were not the preferred contractor is very disappointing, and goes against the wishes of 15 thousand Southlanders who already signed a previous petition opposing this action by wastenet. The last on the staff is devastating : "The news came as a surprise to the family and employees who heard it. Margaret Fitzgerald said the decision shouldn't come down to money - ''it's a social responsibility''. Ms Fitzgerald, whose sister works on the current WasteNet contract, said losing the contract would have a huge impact. ''She has a purpose in life, she has a purpose to get out of bed every day, they all do ... this contract is everything for them. ''We're not going to give up; there's no way we're giving up now. Today is a very emotional day for us, but we'll fight.'' https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/southland/sde-informs-staff-contract-probably-lost
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  • Reinstate Funding for Te Hā o Hine-ahu-one Palmerston North Women’s Health Collective
    Te Hā o Hine-ahu-one Palmerston North Women’s Health Collective is a unique, holistic, free, easily accessible women’s health service that has a proven track record over many years. It is now inter-generational in its reach, seeing the children, nieces and grandchildren of earlier clients. It is a ‘by women for women’ community development initiative that has always had a particular emphasis on addressing the health needs of low income wāhine/women (and their whānau) in a supportive, welcoming environment of manaakitanga and whanaungatanga. Poverty is a major concern of this government and this service helps to address this and other disadvantages that undermine the ability of women to access sensitive, responsive and empowering healthcare. https://i.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/110556016/community-support-swells-for-trusted-womens-health-centre https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/110396565/anger-and-dismay-about-threat-to-womens-health-service
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  • Support strong gun law reform for a healthy and safe Aotearoa
    The proposed assault weapons ban is now being considered by parliament. The Finance and Expenditure Select Committee is hearing public feedback on the plans. There is only a very short window for public submissions in order to pass these laws as quickly as possible. There has already been vocal opposition to the ban from gun sellers and lobbyists. They will be organised and ready to oppose the proposed changes, and likely attempt to water them down. We are asking you to add your name to our submission, and share your reasons that you want gun law reform, so that we can show there is broad public support for the proposed changes and further regulation. Our submission is based on recommendations that were made by firearms researchers from the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington.
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  • Ask the Govt to define Islamophobia & show solidarity with Muslims
    Defining Islamophobia is the only way to fight it! Right now, there is no definition of what constitutes as Islamophobia. Defining Islamophobia will not only help challenge it but build a common understanding of its cause and consequences, and express solidarity with your Muslim communities. Why hold media to account? An Islamophobic headline plastered over our national newspapers has far greater implication than individual comments on social media. Yet, while individuals can be punished for up to 14 years for hate speech, powerful media companies remain unaccountable. Daily Islamophobic statements in the media continue unchecked for bias because there are no consequences. Clearly, the media believes a public platform does not come with social responsibility. Earlier this week Media company NZME removed some of its online content in the wake of Christchurch shootings because it was "upsetting people" [1] As one user put it “It's not enough to quietly remove your complicity in the racism and hate (and lies) that created this” You’d be forgiven for thinking there is no bias in our media, however in 2017 New Zealand media featured 14,349 stories that included the word Islam - nearly 13,000 of those stories mentioned either terrorism or Islamic Jihad [2] A new study of six newspapers in Australia found 2,891 negative stories about Islam and Muslims in a single 12 months [2017] [3] Per day this represents 8 negative stories! Headlines in Britain “Muslims Silent on Terror,” [later refuted by UK officials], “Muslims Tell British: Go to Hell,”, “Muslim Schools Ban Our Culture,” are commonplace [3]. Often, they are retracted when challenged for bias. But, the damage is already done! Is it any wonder the Christchurch mosque terrorist came to view the world as locked in a violent battle against Muslims he deemed “invaders,”? We are told Muslims are violent and Islam preaches violence. How did Muslims react in the aftermath of Christchurch? So, why does the media keep pushing beliefs and teachings antithetical to Islam. Do we continue to give free reign to our news media which is intent on making us more violent. What is the price of lives lost in Christchurch. We’ve all looked the other way in the face of racism, now is the time to do something different. Aaliya, Safia, Marian, Leslie References 1) https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-shooting/111376467/upset-following-christchurch-shootings-prompts-nzme-to-take-some-content-offline 2) https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/2018687496/mediawatch-midweek-20-march-2019 3) https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/rupert-murdoch-s-islamophobic-media-empire-25079
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  • Regulate firearms advertising in New Zealand
    We are concerned about the way gun advertising is currently managed in New Zealand. Gun City has prominent billboards throughout our major cities. These advertisements are depicting gun use as a fun family activity using quotes such as “get the family outside”. This type of advertising is the first step to the normalisation of gun ownership. In light of the recent events in Christchurch we ask that an immediate moratorium on firearms advertising is put in place. It is highly inappropriate to see these images at a time when the nation is grieving from a horrific gun-related incident. We acknowledge that many New Zealanders have legitimate reasons to own guns for farming, hunting or sporting purposes, however we want the government to take steps to ensure that the advertising of all firearms including semi-automatic weapons are properly controlled. We believe firearms advertising should be regulated in exactly the same way as tobacco or any other harmful product. We want this country to be a safe place for all New Zealanders. We don’t want guns to be a normal part of New Zealand society. Driving past billboards advertising guns just feels wrong to so many people. Children were among the innocent victims of the recent massacre in Christchurch. It is distressing and a major concern that children are exposed to this type of advertising. Principle 1 of the Advertising Standards Code states that “Advertisements must be prepared and placed with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society.” It goes on to say: “Advertisements must not contain anything that is indecent, or exploitative, or degrading, or likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence, or give rise to hostility, contempt, abuse or ridicule.” We believe that the current series of advertisements for Gun City is currently causing widespread offence and can be regulated under this section of the code. We ask for regulation of all firearms advertising under this section of the Advertising Standards Code.
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  • Public Broadcasting of Azan for Jummah Prayer
    Azan is a call to prayer which in many Muslim countries is broadcast publicly to let the community know it is time for prayer. For many Muslims, this call is familiar and very close to home. This act of support and solidarity for our fellow Muslims is beyond powerful and will bring joyful and comforting tears to the eyes of many in our nation. Immense solidarity will be portrayed through this act. This will no doubt condemn any further acts of such kind in the future and, most importantly, will reinstate the welcome Muslims and people of all backgrounds have had here in Aotearoa. This country has given most people, including Muslims and migrants, everything they would never have had in their country of origin. It has given us peace, hope, tranquillity and, most of all, the opportunity to lead a fulfilled life with freedom to express religious, cultural, spiritual and personal beliefs. However, today, these privileges were jeopardised. This was not “an act of unprecedented violence”, instead, it was a violent act of unprecedented racism and Islamophobia. By simply stating it as an act of violence does not do it justice. Muslims and migrants all over New Zealand face discrimination and racism every day. Yesterday’s overwhelming tragedy is an extreme act of that very racism and Islamophobia. In saying that, the support the Islamic community has received from everyone of all backgrounds is incredible, although, misguided. This is New Zealand. This exists in our soil. This may not be us individually, but, this mindset walks and lives among us. It is destructive to deny and refuse any association to this kind of behaviour as it does not address the root causes of the recent act of terrorism. Only when we accept there is such thing as hate in our country will we be able to move forward. These are not the values we hold as a nation, but this is us. The work that has been done by groups and individuals in support of the victims, the victims’ families and others affected by such hate is heart-warming and uplifting. One thing we can do is show the world and the country that this mindset is unwelcome. Standing up for those on the receiving end of such terrorism is more powerful than the victims standing up for themselves. It displays an image of strength through unity, peace through togetherness and alliance between members of society.
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  • #triplethequota
    Aotearoa's Muslim community has suffered a devastating terrorist attack. It's motivation has been to destroy lives, families and divide us. New Zealanders from all walks of life call upon our politicians and leaders send a clear message to our refugee and migrant communities: they are wanted, they are not blamed and, they are welcome here. We call upon the Government of New Zealand to affirm this message with action and, triple New Zealand's refugee quota and lift the ban on refugees from the Middle East and Africa, effective immediately. In 2018 the quota was raised to 1500 from 750, due to come into effect in July 2020. This is still a tiny number and to raise to 4500 is the least New Zealand can do as a country. Let's say it loud and clear, refugees and welcome, racists are not. #TripleTheQuota https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/107203279/refugee-quota-lifting-to-1500-by-2020 https://www.vice.com/en_nz/article/aej3aj/is-new-zealands-refugee-policy-closer-to-trumps-muslim-ban-than-you-think
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  • Ban semiautomatic weapons
    It was a dark day in Christchurch. Innocent Muslim New Zealanders were gunned down in a place of prayer. High-capacity magazines make it much easier to conduct mass killings. The weapons used in this attack were exactly the type of weapon that police have been asking for greater control over. [1] We call upon the parliament to immediately take steps to legislate against the sale and possession of all semi-automatic weapons for private use. Other weapons designed for harm such as high capacity clips, military hardware ordnance, pump action pistols should also be banned. These weapons of war have no place in the hands of private citizens. They are not toys. They are designed explicitly for taking human lives. We call upon the NZ Parliament to take action. Donate to the Christchurch victims https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/christchurch-shooting-victims-fund https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/105882611/the-battle-over-semiautomatics-police-frustrated-by-the-law-firearm-owners-frustrated-by-police
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  • An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa
    We have very limited time to act to avoid irreversible, catastrophic climate breakdown. If we fail to act now, our generation will face the consequences, putting our future on earth at risk. We cannot, and will not, stand for that. It's time for our voices to be put at the front and centre of the conversation around climate change, and for drastic action to be taken now to safeguard our future. Young people are rising up. We are determined to stand up for our right to a safe climate future, and we need your help. We need you to listen to us, to stand with us and to support us in taking action - after all, supporting the youth of today in taking part in these actions is empowering the leaders of the future, who will be tasked with the job of navigating our species through our greatest collective challenge yet. We need you to back us.
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  • Help NZ Thyroid Patients Get Treatment That Works
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DfPLen1DYs&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rl27sOQSNY4&feature=youtu.be Thyroid disease is more common than diabetes and heart disease. The World Health Organisation puts the world’s population of diagnosed thyroid patients at >750 million. New Zealand’s diagnosed population is >155,574. Many more are misdiagnosed or experience mismanaged care. Common symptoms include debilitating unexplained fatigue, unexpected weight gain/loss, depression, miscarriage, cold/heat intolerance and brain fog. Left untreated thyroid disease influences the onset of other diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and dementia; and in some cases early death. In the 1940s and 1950s doctors and endocrinologists diagnosed on signs and symptoms, prescribing treatments that worked. Then came the arrival of the TSH blood test and a synthetic drug called Levothyroxine which changed the way many doctors and endocrinologists diagnose and treat patients. As a result there is a large number of patients for whom these diagnostic and treatment approaches do not work. For example, all too often: - Doctors and endocrinologists miss altogether or misdiagnose thyroid disease in patients because they don’t recognise the signs and symptoms. Patients are often tested unnecessarily for other illnesses imposing cost on them and District Health Boards. - Patients who are prescribed Levothyroxine often experience ongoing symptoms. Alternative thyroid treatments containing a thyroid hormone called T3 work better for many of these patients. Most are never offered this treatment even though it is available, safe and effective. It is now difficult to find a NZ doctor or endocrinologist with the right knowledge to help thyroid patients. Those NZ doctors who are successfully diagnosing and treating thyroid disease need greater support; and the other doctors and endocrinologists need further education. By signing this petition you can help us change this. Each signature represents a patient, or a person who loves a patient who has been misdiagnosed, mistreated or dismissed by their endocrinologist or doctor. Thyroid Association of New Zealand is a patient-to-patient support group, started in July 2008. We are a voluntary organisation, whose founding members came together when Glaxo Smith Kline changed their Eltroxin formulation, causing adverse reactions among users. For more information about the thyroid or help finding a doctor who can help, visit us at: http://www.thyroidnz.org or Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thyroidnz/. References: To read just some of the statistics and clinical evidence supporting our petition go to: http://www.thyroidchange.org/related-research.html or email us at: thyroidpetitionnz@gmail.com.
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  • Save Naenae Community Hall
    In December 2018, Hutt City Council announced their decision to demolish the Naenae Community Hall and replace it with a yet-to-be-designed Community Hub. However current residents are upset at losing this piece of our heritage. This hall is an important feature in the history of Naenae; the Naenae community voted for and agreed to contribute to the project through their rates in 1951. There appears to have been no consideration for the current users of the hall, the functionality and varied purposes. Members of the Naenae community wish the hall could be retained, either as is or through adaptive reuse, to make it more functional and also fit for future possibilities. Naenae residents say hub consultation inadequate, 26 Jan 2019 https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/hutt-valley/110014326/naenae-residents-say-hub-consultation-inadequate
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