• Fully fund sexual violence support and prevention services in Budget 2019
    ActionStation is campaigning to end sexual violence in our communities for good. Providing enough government funding for sexual violence support and prevention services is a critical first step, and is one of the three asks in this petition that we’ll be delivering to Greens Co-Leader Marama Davidson on Thursday 6 December. We want to see a massive funding boost to sexual health in the May 2019 Budget. Help us hit 10,000 signatures to help make it happen.
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  • Provide a shelter for Rotorua homeless
    Rotorua is second to Auckland for its number of homeless.[1] Given the comparative size of the two cities and those elsewhere in the country, this constitutes a large proportion of the local population. Many of the homeless become particularly ill over winter. The majority of Rotorua's homeless prefer to live outdoors, but the weather takes its toll. Many are not use to living indoors, however they need a place of refuge near the city centre, when inclement weather occurs. They also need a place to wash, go to the toilet and a place to store such equipment as sleeping bags. An open sided shelter, with possibly one wall to provide privacy and protection from prevailing winds would provide more comfort and safety. The make up of homeless is complex and has indeed been exacerbated by the problem with housing unaffordability.[2] The reality is that while unaffordability of housing appears here to stay there is a large proportion of the population who simply do not know how to live in houses and sleep in our parks, under thermal pipes and for many in Rotorua on the verandah of the Tea House in the Government Gardens. Currently there are up to 110 who meet regularly at the Government Gardens where they are given an evening meal. A similar number receive an evening meal from the Love Soup initiative. Approaches have been made to the City Council. Unfortunately any requests to them appears to go under their radar. The fact that Phil Twyford, Minister for Housing, is alarmed at the homeless situation means possible pressure may come onto local Councils to do more. Consideration given to the setting up of a ministerial portfolio for the homeless, is possible in July. The vision for this petition is for land in a central location, ideally between the Lake and the Government Gardens, to be provided in an area out of sight from most residents and visitors to the city. A one walled shelter be built that would provide space sufficient for those needing to be out of the rain and a wall that provides not only privacy but protection from the wind be included. Additional consideration needs to be given to ablution amenities, showers, a laundry facility and changing rooms. These would be a long the lines of camping ground amenities. The Council would be responsible for the maintenance of the facility in the same way they do for other public amenities. The exception being these facilities would not be locked or closed in the evenings. 1 - Gina Peiffer, Rotorua Post April 23, 2017 2 - Rotorua Post Oct 14, 2017 3 - Homeless headcount finds 48 people sleeping rough in Rotorua http://www.nzherald.co.nz/rotorua-daily-post/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503438&objectid=12007900 4 - Homelessness on the rise in Rotorua http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/homelessness-on-rise-rotorua
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    Created by Gary Parker
  • Pledge Against Forced Marriage
    Internationally, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18 years old every year. Forced and under-age marriages also happen in Aotearoa (New Zealand). Shakti has dealt with an estimated number of over 70 forced marriage youth cases. However, we feel that this is the tip of the iceberg. Many forced and under-aged marriages go unreported - some of these marriages are not legally registered, sometimes happening overseas or online. The new family violence bill announced in 2016 is currently going through Parliament.[1] This bill includes “coercion to marry” as a specific family violence offence. While these legislative change are important, it might not capture the marriages that are not legally registered but are still culturally binding. Forced marriages are often followed by sexual and domestic violence. If a young person tries to leave the family due to the threat of forced marriage, this can often increase the risk of “honour”-based violence. However, many young women have had to leave their families or their husband’s family because of the threat of forced marriage or due to domestic violence after a forced marriage. This has long-term impacts on their lives and any children they might have. Forced marriages happen across cultures and religions. It is not specific to any one culture or religion. No major world religion condones forced marriages. Forced marriage is a human rights violation. Marriage should involve free and informed consent between adults. Forced marriage also should not be confused with arranged marriages which involve consenting adults. Young people and adults being coerced into marriages are in our communities, they might be at our school, university, workplace, church, temple or mosque. There is a way out for them with your support. Why do forced marriages happen? Based on the cases we have had over the years, we know that gender inequality and the sense of ownership over children (as the property of parents) are the main causes of forced marriages. However, these are some of the specific contexts where women have been forced into marriages: 1. Immigration: many young girls are tricked into going on holidays back to their home country to find out a wedding has been arranged between them and their cousin. They are pressured to sponsored the cousin to come to New Zealand. 2. Preventing girls from becoming “too westernised”: if a young person is displaying signs of adopting more western cultural values or practices, parents may feel that their culture, religion and traditions are being threatened so may force a girl into a marriage to keep them “in line”. 3. "Keeping it within the family" - marriages organised within the family without the consent of children whose marriage have already been decided for them so inheritance stays within the family. 4. Controlling sexuality: preventing relationships with people the parents/communities disapprove of, especially of different religion/culture/ethnicity or if they are same-gender attracted. 5. Rape and sexual violence: parents have forced their children to marry their rapists, as sex outside of marriage can be taboo and the girl may not be able to get married again if she is not a virgin. 6. Poverty: marriage as a means to escape poverty for women who migrate to Aotearoa for marriage because of promises of a better life and education. However, the promises are often deceptive and broken immediately upon arrival. Women get their possessions confiscated and made to do all the domestic labour, not allowed to go outside/study/work. They are given no money and are under constant scrutiny from the husband or in-laws family. 7. Marriage pressures in late 20s based on the idea that there is an expiry date, women over the age of 25 are “leftover” if they don’t get married. What is coercion? 1. Emotional pressure - “my dying wish is for you to get married”, “you are causing my health to suffer”, “If you don’t get married, your sisters can’t get married” 2. Physical violence or threats of physical violence 3. Threats of disownment 4. Taking young people overseas under false pretences 5. No informed, free or transparent consent - the decision has already been made, e.g. being told "you're going to get married when you turn 16" 6. Marriage involving any minor 7. Threats of suicide 8. Using ‘family honour’ to pressure someone to marry 9. Being put under house arrest, cell phone and internet confiscated, not allowed to talk to anyone or to go out of the house, being taken out of school until the young person complies. This campaign is supported with funding from JR McKenzie Trust. References [1] https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/84189235/Strangulation-coercion-to-marry-and-family-violence-to-be-new-crimes-with-tough-sentences-Govt
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    Created by Shakti Youth
  • 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".
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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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    Created by Deaf Action Picture
  • Honour Te Tiriti: #ChangeTheOath
    The oath of allegiance, taken by all new citizens, is an important statement on what it means to be a citizen of Aotearoa. Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the nation's founding document, yet the current oath only acknowledges one Treaty partner, the Crown (for more information see http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1977/0061/latest/whole.html#DLM444038). There is a need for the oath to acknowledge both Māori and the Crown, and to reflect that honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the responsibility of all citizens of Aotearoa. Changing the oath to include a statement on honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi would: - Recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of the Nation - Honour both Treaty partners in citizenship ceremonies - Make it clear that honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the responsibility of all citizens of Aotearoa - Encourage new citizens to learn about Te Tiriti o Waitangi and their relationships with tangata whenua - Be one step towards achieving an approach to immigration that recognises Māori rights, responsibilities, and aspirations 'Change the Oath' is a group of Māori and migrants of colour standing in solidarity. The group includes (in alphabetical order) Faisal Al-Asaad, Tahu Kukutai, Ricardo Menéndez March, Pania Newton, Aaryn Marsh Niuapu, Arama Rata, and Julie Zhu.
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    Created by Change The Oath
  • Save our bank and post office
    NZ Post and Kiwi Bank provide important services and it's not just mailing letters and banking money. But their "for profit" motive is being put before serving the New Zealand public. These are publicly owned businesses which should serve the public. Sadly, services are being cut, prices are going up and branches are closing all over the country. NZ Post has been closing branches for decades and the Newtown post office on Riddiford st is the next on the block. This would leave only the Kilbirnie post office and Kiwi Bank for all of the eastern suburbs. Everything from ID photos to car registration can be sorted at these offices. A one stop shop for many admin things is important for people, especially those with limited access to modern technology and limited mobility. Other than the obvious job losses these further closures will effect people badly. These State Owned Enterprises should be operating in the interests of the public, instead they are prioritising profit, often accompanied by cutting services, increasing costs, and closing outlets. It's time to organise and draw a line in the sand. Please sign this petition. If you would like to help with the campaign please email warwick.weatherman@gmail.com For recent media see http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1801/S00497/action-to-stop-the-closure-of-newtown-post-shopkiwibank.htm
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    Created by James Barber
  • Eat Right Be Bright - School Lunch for All Kiwi Kids
    Sign our petition: We are a group of 100+ ordinary Mums from a variety of backgrounds. We believe passionately that all children are our children. That all children in New Zealand, wherever they are, whatever their circumstances, have the right to access their education on an equal footing and to nutritious food to nourish their mind, lives and spirit. We believe a centrally funded, secured, healthy school lunch programme for all is a powerful mechanism for New Zealand to fulfill these obligations to our children, to lift them up and break the poverty cycle. We are deeply concerned that: • 1 in 4 of our kids are living in poverty. • 1 in 3 of our kids are overweight or obese. • 1 in 3 of all kids admitted to Starship Hospital are malnourished to some degree. We know that minimum wage earning and beneficiary families need to spend up to 52% of their income to purchase a basic healthy diet (Otago University Food Costs Survey 2011); some reports put that now at 60%. We know that higher rates of diabetes, obesity, infectious diseases, fatigue, poor mental health, greater psychological stress and poor academic development in children are found where healthy food is less accessible. We know cheap, accessible food is energy rich but nutrient poor meaning children are malnourished whilst also obese. This does currently, and will increasingly, put a chronic strain on the public health system. We know that charities currently reach some children in need with their food programmes (of varying nutritional value) in deciles 1-4 schools. However, they are stretched and they cannot and should not be expected to shoulder the burden in perpetuity when all New Zealanders will benefit from healthy, well educated children. Teachers also tell us that children are going to school without lunch in all deciles or simply not attending school at all due to the shame of not having a lunch to bring. Kids such as Blake (not his real name). He moved to a new school when his family sought refuge in a Womens' Refuge Centre away from his old area. He knew that a charity delivered hot food to his old school two days a week in the winter. The following week after his move, Blake walked 7km to his old school because he knew there would be hot food there on that day. A teacher asked him why he had walked so far back to his old school. Blake answered that it was because he hadn't eaten a meal since he had changed schools and he was hungry. Or, like Ellie (not her real name), who goes to a school in an affluent neighbourhood. She often attends school without a lunch. The teachers started to sneak a lunch, from their own pockets, into her schoolbag as discreetly as they could. Ellie now hands back the teachers' lunch because she would rather be hungry than accept charity from others. We say, this stops now. Only a school lunch for all kids will capture every child in need, free from shame and stigma. All our children will benefit from the health and education uplift provided by a school lunch programme. For the children most in need, that uplift is greatest. Better educated and healthier children benefits all New Zealanders with less children needing doctors and more children being doctors. We know that New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world with no national, government funded school meals programme. In most countries around the world it is uncontroversial, part and parcel of going to school. We believe that all kiwi kids deserve the same social protection and investment in their lives as their global peers. We have decided it’s time to stand up and stand together for our children. It is clear to us that only with a centrally funded programme in all schools and early childhood education centres throughout our country will we reach all children in need, wherever they are, whatever their circumstance, free from shame and stigma. The provision of a school lunch as of right, with dignity, in this way tells a child that we, as a society, value them. The provision of daily healthy and nutritious food in a school lunch sets all children up for a healthier and better educated life. This benefits all of us. Eat Right Be Bright Join us in making change for a brighter future our children. Sign the petition. Find out more ways to help and follow us on: Facebook - @likeamumNZ or Eat Right Be Bright NZ Website - www.eatrightbebright.org.nz Instagram - @eatrightbebright_nz or eatrightbebrightn_z Twitter - @eatrightNZ
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    Created by Becky Little
  • Auckland needs a Night Shelter
    Currently homelessness is increasing faster than the growth of housing supply (Auckland Council Environment and Community Committee, August 2017). This means that with the best intentions of getting people into housing, they will be spending time in inadequate shelter before this happens. A night shelter is needed, alongside initiatives such as the Housing First programme. A night shelter acts as a place of transition for people without a home, where they can have a degree of comfort and security. It is a base from where they can contact their support networks and be put in touch with the various agencies that can provide the assistance they need. As stated by the City Missioner in July 2017, the average life expectancy of a homeless person is 55. Hundreds of people are sleeping on Auckland streets, where it is not safe, and in the winter, it is cold and wet. Michelle Kidd, QSM, a social worker who has been campaigning for a night shelter for many years, described the situation in her open letter to Auckland mayoral candidates on 4 May 2016: "Most of our Homeless are either victims of Auckland’s deepening housing crisis, victims of physical or emotional abuse or neglect, suffer from disability, mental health or addiction issues, have little or no formal education or a combination of such factors. Homelessness is a complex issue for which there is no straightforward answer … "Without a stable base, Homeless people have no access to social services that might otherwise enable them to begin confronting the underlying factors that have resulted in them being on the streets. Further, as long as people are left to live on the streets without any support, they will be exposed not only to the elements but also to harm (such as physical and sexual violence)… "Homelessness in Auckland has become a desperate social issue and the time has come for the city to accept its responsibility for it. While any long-term strategy should be informed by the “Housing First” approach, applied with real success in states such as Utah in the United States, a night shelter will always be the necessary starting point - it represents the foundation on which a broader and more robust framework can be built … "Visitors to Auckland are greeted by the sight of our Homeless on the streets of our city - a stark contradiction to the ‘most liveable’ status Auckland craves. The failure of the city to provide basic human needs is on display for all to see. This cannot be allowed to continue.” References An open letter to Auckland mayoral candidates http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11632965 Watch: moves are afoot to set up a night shelter http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/shows/2017/12/gimme-shelter.html Housing First and night shelters http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-horvath/its-not-housing-first-or_b_4536727.html A new volunteer has come to central Auckland to help https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/102019944/Fire-chief-moves-from-idyllic-South-Island-town-to-help-Aucklands-homeless Campaign for night shelter continues http://www.tewahanui.nz/politics/campaign-for-auckland-cbd-night-shelter-continues Watch: Maori TV story about the need for a night shelter http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/alleged-rape-homeless-highlights-need-shelter Watch: TVNZ story about plans for a night shelter in Nelson St, City Centre https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/lawyers-auckland-city-safe-haven-homeless-needs-little-bit-more-funding-make-reality?variant=tb_v_1
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  • Swimmable Hātea 2020
    We get our drinking water from this river, and it is a taonga in the heart of our city. It is a normal expectation for this waterway to be clean, unpolluted, and swimmable. The people of this city want it clean, and living. https://youtu.be/kjp9j7xMUIg About the Hātea Catchment: The Hātea sub catchment of the Whangārei Harbour catchment covers 4,470 hectares (15%) of the greater harbour catchment. Land cover is a mix of urban land uses (including some light industry), exotic forest, indigenous vegetation and pasture. There are no dairy farms in the catchment and most of the pasture area is in lifestyle blocks, with a handful of small (e.g. c.70ha) beef farms. There are approximately 140 properties over 1.5ha in the Otuihau / Whangārei Falls catchment with land in pasture. The upper catchment has pine forestry, which was established originally for soil conservation purposes. Harvesting the areas in this catchment has now been completed and the next rotation has been planted. Two main streams join approximately 1km upstream of the Falls. Most of the catchment has relatively gentle rolling or flat contour and streams are mostly shallow and slow flowing, with clay streambeds. What's the state of the Hātea right now? The Land Air Water Aotearoa monitoring shows that the Hātea is in the worst 50% of all waterways in Northland/Tai Tokerau for E. Coli, Nitrogen, and one indicator of Phosphorus. It is in the worst quarter of all waterways for Ammoniacal Nitrogen - for which human and animal wastes are the major cause. https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/northland-region/river-quality/hatea-river/ What's being done so far? In 2015 Northland Regional and Whangarei District Councils began to focus together on improving water quality at Otuihau. Together they formed a working group which includes representatives from both councils, community groups like Tiki Pride and the Otuihau Community Development Trust, Pehiaweri Marae and Northland District Health Board. They're working together to raise awareness of water quality issues in the Hātea catchment and how individual people can make a difference. Why sign? We agree with the work the councils have begun to change the water quality in the Hātea - what we are hoping to achieve with the submission of this petition is to enable this beginning to be prioiritised so it can be completed in a shorter timeframe, provide sustainable support to those who are working on the project, and set a precedent for other waterway health projects in Northland/Tai Tokerau.
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    Created by Ash Holwell Picture
  • Reduce waste in New Zealand
    On 01 January 2018 a Chinese ban on New Zealand waste imports came into force [1]. Aside from meaning thousands of tons more waste either has to go to landfills or be processed here, it brings the spotlight onto our rather poor efforts at recycling, and reducing waste. It has been noted that New Zealand is lacking an up to date strategy fit to deal with the waste issue confronting New Zealand in 2018. A strategy exists, but it is out of date and the Associate Minister for Environment, Eugenie Sage, has acknowledged this [2]. A few days before Christmas, the United Nations criticized our handling of electronic waste. The absence of any significant measures to reduce waste being introduced by the previous Government, means potentially 9 years have passed when New Zealand could have been acting on our growing waste problem. One of the most dangerous waste forms which has been recently highlighted is e-waste. This is waste computer hardware - mouses, keyboards, screens, printers, CPU's, speakers, and so forth - as well as cellphones, microwaves, televisions, alarm clocks, smoke alarms, iPads, the radio systems from cars, sound systems and so on. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) singled out New Zealand and Australia just before Christmas to say together we produce the highest volumes of e-waste in the world while noting we have among the lowest documented rates for recycling [3]. Here is a list of every day devices and some of the toxic elements in them: SMARTPHONES: Lithium (battery), Silicon (screen), Boron, Antimony, Neodymium, Praesodymium FLAT SCREEN TV: Neon, Xenon SMOKE DETECTOR: Americium LAPTOP/DESKTOP: Beryllium, Lead, Mercury, Chromium MICROWAVE: Beryllium COMPACT DISC: Aluminium DVD PLAYER: Silicon, Aluminium BATTERIES: Lithium, Cadmium There are substantial and long lasting gains to be had that extend beyond a healthier environment. These gains also include healthier soils, water, vegetation and atmosphere. There will be less risk of contaminants leaching into ground water. Economic benefits exist too as a demand for parts, valuable metals and so forth can be extracted and reused with some potential for job creation to enable this work. So let us have this necessary conversation about an out of date framework. Let us get the appropriate framework into place and let us tackle a problem that could rubbish our reputation as clean and green. You may have read "The Lorax", a simple yet brilliant kids story about how a cartoon figure who stood up for the truffler trees, as one by one they were all cut down to make "thneeds". The environmental theme present in the story which you can see below is as important today as it was when the movie was made. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V06ZOQuo0k ---- References [1] http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/100286427/21m-of-nz-waste-turned-away-from-china [2] http://www.mfe.govt.nz/waste/waste-strategy-and-legislation/new-zealand-waste-strategy [3] https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/99848483/unbacked-body-singles-out-new-zealand-as-an-ewaste-laggard
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  • Stop all new oil, gas, and coal mines!
    The Government has taken a strong leadership role in working towards a safer climate future. If they're serious about it then they must stop extracting fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas which cause climate change. Many leading institutions such as the World Bank have committed to stopping funding oil and gas exploration given the threat they pose to a safe climate future. So far, the Conservation Minister has pledged to stop new coal mines on conservation land, yet has refused to rule out granting a permit for a giant open cast coal mine on conservation land near the Buller Gorge. On the same day as the Prime Minister announced the timeframe to implement the Zero Carbon Act she also refused to rule out new oil coal and gas mines, instead saying they would be treated on a 'case by case basis'. The science is clear - our climate won't cope with any new oil, coal, or gas mines. This can't be dealt with on a 'case by case'. New mines must be banned. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/12/uk-banks-join-multinationals-pledge-come-clean-climate-change-risks-mark-carney https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/west-coast/minister-urged-refuse-te-kuha-coalmine http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/five-oclock-report/audio/2018626848/prime-minister-to-consider-new-mining-permits
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    Created by Rick Zwaan Picture