• Designate Funding in the 2017 Budget for Postnatal Depression Early Intervention
    The Current Situation • 1 in 8 women experience Antenatal Depression and 1 in 5 women experience Postnatal Depression. It is understood that women are experiencing significantly delayed and sometimes missed diagnosis (1) – estimated at around 63% of women with PND (2) • These women are missed due to poor screening and referrals while under midwifery care (3 &4) • Once diagnosed, General Practitioners (GP’s) are expected to manage a woman’s PND in their short 10-15 minute appointments at an estimated cost of $50 to the patient. Both the limited time and the cost of this appointment are barriers to a woman getting sufficient help for her mental illness. • The only treatment/intervention currently available to assist women in their recovery from mild-moderate PND is to obtain medication through a paid appointment with their GP and private counselling. There is no Government-funded holistic programmes with proven outcomes of recovery from depression/anxiety available to women who have mild-moderate PND • In most cases, counselling is only subsidised by the Government if an individual has a community services card and a diagnosis from their GP to apply for WINZ funding. This leaves a large portion of New Zealand women who are unable to afford counselling for PND and therefore, they are not adequately recovering from it What are we needing funding for? • Professional Development training of midwives in the onset, prevalence, identification, screening, treatment and intervention of AND/PND and when and whom to refer • A service delivering early intervention assessments and recovery programmes with proven outcomes to women with AND/PND who do not fit Maternal Mental Health criteria in the Primary Health sector • Subsidised (free) counselling for all women experiencing Antenatal or Postnatal Depression/Anxiety Why is it needed? Undiagnosed and untreated AND and PND has a significant impact on a woman, her partner and her child. • For the woman and the child, depression has been associated with substance abuse, an increased risk for pregnancy-induced hypertension contributing to pre-eclampsia, gestational bleeding, diminished uterine artery blood flow and poor birth outcomes including foetal death, preterm birth and labour, small infants for gestational age, low birth weight, low Apgar scores and increased risk of neonatal special care and intensive care unit admission (4). She is more likely to develop chronic (ongoing) depression and anxiety the longer it continues untreated. It is more likely to increase in its severity and this puts her at greater risk of suicide. In fact, suicide is the leading cause of maternal deaths in New Zealand (5&6) • The partner is at-risk of developing “partner depression” and their relationship is at-risk of breaking down/divorce the longer her depression is left undiagnosed and untreated (5&6) • The unborn child is at risk of developing anxiety and cognitive, emotional and behavioural issues (4) • In the first three years of life, a child to a mother with undiagnosed and untreated postnatal depression is more likely to experience insecure attachment. This means that the child is more at risk of developing learning difficulties, mental illness, addictions, delinquency, and is at greater risk of suicide as a child or later in life (7,8.9) • Failing to provide prevention and early intervention assessment and recovery services to women at-risk or experiencing Antenatal or Postnatal Depression/Anxiety has a far greater cost to New Zealand than the cost of providing it (10) We believe that the funding of early intervention services to women at-risk or experiencing Postnatal Depression is imperative and needs to be addressed urgently by designated funding in the 2017 budget. References: 1. New Zealand Guidelines Group. (2008). Identification of Common Mental Disorders and Management of Depression in Primary Care [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.health.govt.nz 2. Mothers Helpers. (2015). Postnatal Depression in New Zealand and Feedback on Maternal Mental Health Services. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mothershelpers.org.nz 3. PANDA (2010). Australian Postnatal Depression Website Recognised As World’s Best . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.panda.org.au/. 4. Jones, C. J. (2009). Emotional Disturbances During Pregnancy & Postpartum: A National Survey of Australian Midwives & An Educational Resource. Griffith University, Gold Coast. 5. Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand (2012). Report finds suicide remains leading cause of maternal death. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.hqsc.govt.nz/. 6. Best Practice Journal (2009). Purpose and Introduction. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bpac.org.nz/. 7. Stein, A., Gath, D. H., Bucher, J., Bond, A., Day, A., Cooper, P. J., (1991). The relationship between post-natal depression and mother-child interaction. British Journal of Psychiatry. 158, 46-52 8. Fergusson, D.M., Horwood, L.J., Lynskey, M.T., (1995). The stability of disruptive childhood behaviors. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 23 (3), pp.379-396 9. Ministry of Health (2012). Healthy Beginnings. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.health.govt.nz 10. Mothers Helpers (2015). Mothers Helpers' Submission to the Ministry of Health. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mcagnz.org
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  • Send a quick email to Prime Minister, Bill English to #doublethequota
    We have an election this year, which means we have an opportunity to have a national conversation about the kind of country we want to be. What kind of example do we want to send to the world? Will we choose multiracial and multicultural solidarity and coexistence, or will we choose fear, hatred and anger? Trump’s executive order to ban people from certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S (except of course the ones America have big oil business with) is not only despicable, it’s not backed by any evidence that it will improve national security. Americans are more likely to be killed by their own clothes, or another American, than by someone from one of the banned countries. New Zealand’s response should be loud and clear: We condemn Trump's xenophobic actions. It's past time to double the number of people granted refugee status in New Zealand, and the associated funding to help refugees rebuild their lives. In 2016, there were a reported 30,000 empty homes in Auckland alone. Let's fill those homes with refugees and homeless people, and then ensure that community groups have the government funding they need to help all of these individuals to live good lives of opportunity, safety, freedom and choice.
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  • Bring refugees banned from the US to New Zealand
    This photo is of five members of the Jouriyeh family, Syrian refugees headed to the US as part of a resettlement program. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh) - as reported in The Times Of Israel. A number of families and individuals are due to enter the US as refugees in January and February. They have been through all the vetting, medical, legal and other checks necessary to enter the US as refugees. At the last minute, their place in the US has been taken away from them, without notice, by an Executive Order from the Trump Administration. Offering a home in New Zealand under the New Zealand Refugee programme will give these families and individuals a place to go. We will be able fast-track many of our usual procedures, as these people have already met vetting requirements for entry into the US set under the previous administration. A review of New Zealand's refugee quota last year showed that we have the capacity to welcome far more refugees here than we currently do. We have room for these people, they are ready to travel, and we can step up and offer them an alternative to the home they were hoping for. Such an action on the part of our government will also demonstrate that New Zealand does not support the inhumane, and likely illegal action that the Trump Administration has taken in banning refugees by Executive Order, without any regard for the lives of people already in the system and already accepted as refugees. Bill English, we call on you to seize this moment and open our doors to people who have been denied their place in the US through no fault of their own.
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  • Legalise the use of medicinal cannabis
    In June 2017 the ActionStation community won a campaign to allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis. The changes are welcome but do not make a big difference for people in need. There is a lack of CBD only products on the international market and none being approved in New Zealand – meaning no greater access to products in the short term, and no real difference to the current situation. Let’s now get behind the proposed Bill. The medical use of cannabis should be legal, accessible and affordable. Many thousands of Kiwis, often older people, are using cannabis products for medicinal purposes, and in doing so are breaking the law as it now stands. Support the legalising of medicinal use of cannabis, and show MPs that we want common sense approaches to an issue that is about our health, not law and order. UPDATE - 2 June 2017 WIN! Today Associate Minister for Health, Peter Dunne, has just announced that the Government will allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis. Thanks to you and the over 6000 people who signed the petition calling for this change! Associate Health minister Peter Dunne on Friday announced the medicinal cannabis product cannabidiol (CBD) would no longer require a person to get Ministry of Health approval to use it. The changes mean CBD would be able to be prescribed by a doctor to their patient and supplied in a manner similar to any other prescription medicine. Mr Dunne said it was a move towards legalising medicinal cannabis, but wouldn't "immediately bring about a revolution". "I have taken advice from the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) that CBD should not be a controlled drug, and am pleased Cabinet has now accepted my recommendation to make this change. "Therefore, I am now taking steps to remove restrictions accordingly." Common sense has prevailed with overwhelming public support. This will make a huge difference to people dealing with severe chronic pain and improving their quality of life. You can email the Associate Minister to congratulate him on his decision at p.dunne@minister.govt.nz News coverage: Kiwis will now be able to get medicinal cannabis from their doctor, Government announces http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/93268869/restrictions-on-medicinal-cannabis-product-to-be-removed-government-announces **** Medicinal cannabis is used by an estimated 178,000 New Zealanders to treat a variety of ailments such as chronic pain, epilepsy, Parkinson's, appetite loss and nausea. It is currently possible to get legal access to cannabis drugs for medical purposes, however it is a expensive and prohibitive process. Stories “I hadn’t thought much about medicinal marijuana until Helen Kelly campaigned for better access last year. It’s not something you really have to think about, until you or someone you love is sick and in pain, and could be helped by a cannabis-based treatment. That is now the case for me. So, no more sitting on the sidelines. It’s time to make sure people whose health and well-being depend on access to medicinal marijuana treatments can get them from their doctor, safely and without risk of criminal charges.” Marianne Elliott, Director of Strategy and Story, ActionStation Jessika Guest moved from Whangarei to Colorado so that her daughter Jade, 7, could use medical marijuana. Jade's diagnoses include hypotonia (a state of low muscle tone) and epilepsy, which used to cause up to 40 seizures a day. In Colorado, she has been on skin patches containing cannabinoids and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid - a non-activated THC which means the cannabis does not have high-inducing properties. Mrs Guest said her daughter's seizures have since decreased in frequency by 90 per cent. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11415156 [Alex Renton’s] treatment included groundbreaking use of medicinal cannabis oil, Elixinol, after a campaign by mother Rose and family after conventional treatments did not work. http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/70155247/cannabis-treatment-teen-alex-renton-sparked-national-debate McKee had his leg amputated 30 years ago after a car accident and smokes cannabis to relieve phantom pains. Last year, he fought charges of selling and cultivating cannabis all the way to the Supreme Court but lost and is now serving a six months' home detention sentence. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9655674/Cannabis-spray-priced-out-of-reach-say-patients More information Changes to medical cannabis legislation http://www.nzherald.co.nz/national/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503075&gal_cid=1503075&gallery_id=171181 Why isn’t medical marijuana a shoe-in? (Toby Manhire & Toby Morris) http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/297299/why-isn't-medical-marijuana-a-shoe-in Support for cannabis reform: why so high? http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/311073/support-for-cannabis-reform-why-so-high Nelson lawyer Sue Grey takes government to High Court over cannabidiol http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/88612808/nelson-lawyer-sue-grey-takes-government-to-high-court-over-cannabidiol Helen Kelly backs medical marijuana http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/helen-kelly-backs-medicinal-marijuana-2015060910 New Zealand urged to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/77453718/New-Zealand-urged-to-grow-cannabis-for-medicinal-purposes Medicinal cannabis https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/cannabis/medicinal-cannabis https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/matters-of-substance/august-2015/QandA-Toni-Maree-Matich
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  • Camp Purple Toilet Access Initiative
    From 13 to 17 January, 57 children with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis, chronic autoimmune diseases of the digestive tract, attended Camp Purple Live at El Rancho Camp in Waikanae. The camp was organised by Crohns and Colitis NZ Charitable Trust, a whose mission is to support those with Crohns Disease and ulcerative colitis. There is no cure for these diseases which usually require potent chronic immunosuppressive medications and often multiple surgeries. NZ has one of the highest rates of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis in the world and they are diseases that often strike in childhood, causing symptoms that no one likes to talk about: abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and bleeding. Imagine being on a school trip and having to stop five times to have an urgent bowel motion. Imagine pleading to use the employee restroom in a shop and having to explain why. Imagine being told that you will need to search for a public rest room somewhere else. Imagine being 12 years old and having an accident in the middle of the city. On the second day of camp the children visited Parliament in downtown Wellington. Many had to stop along the way to use the restroom. On their tour they asked the tour guide how to go about getting the House of Representatives to enact a law similar to one known as “Ally’s Law” in the United States. Ally’s Law is named after Ally Bain, a 14 year old girl with Crohn’s disease. Ally was denied access to the employee toilet by a store manager in Chicago, resulting in an embarrassing public accident. Ally fought for a law in the State of Illinois and was successful. Ally’s law guarantees access to employee toilets to people whose conditions require the urgent use of a toilet such as Crohn’s disease, pregnancy, and those with ostomy bags. There are now similar laws in 15 other States. Coincidentally, the Parliament tour guide had Crohn’s Disease himself. He explained to the children the legislative process. Immediately on her return to camp, with the help of one of the volunteers, Nicole Thornton, a 12 year old girl with Crohn’s disease wrote a petition. It requests that the House of Representatives enact a law similar to Ally’s Law in NZ. It was signed by all 57 campers, along with 30 of the camp volunteers, including three doctors and four nurses. MP Trevor Mallard had agreed to table the petition in Parliament.
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  • Sports games of national significance should be live and free-to-air for everyone
    Sport is a part of our cultural identity. We invest $960 million each year in sports and recreation, but most live 'Games of National Significance' are only available to Kiwis who can afford a $1,000 a year pay-TV subscription. That's paying twice. All New Zealanders should be able to watch our sportspeople competing at the highest levels. New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell, has put forward a Bill that would make sure "games of national significance" are broadcast, live and free-to-air, on TV for all New Zealanders. The bill would cover the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, all Rugby World Cup matches involving New Zealand, all domestic rugby test matches, the Super Rugby final, all domestic netball test matches, all Netball World Cup matches, and major cricket, rugby league, football, tennis and basketball matches. Sky Television currently holds the rights for many of these events, including all All Blacks games. Statistics show more than one million homes in New Zealand don’t have Sky Once upon a time, when New Zealand was a more egalitarian society and not divided as sharply into the haves and have-nots, the All Blacks test matches in New Zealand were free to view on television. Kiwis love our sport, and should be able to have access to live coverage of 'Games of National Significance' without having to pay ridiculous amounts to private broadcasting companies for the privilege. Australia and the UK already have 'anti-siphoning' laws that prevent pay-TV media getting exclusive broadcast rights. Let's even the playing field here.
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  • Ban Suicide Videos on Facebook
    Research [1,2,3] has shown that people who are emotionally distressed and vulnerable can be influenced by the reporting of details of suicide, and as such, there can be “copycat” attempts and deaths following high-profile suicide events. This has been dubbed the “Werther Effect” [4] Facebooks own Community Standards state: “We don't allow the promotion of self-injury or suicide. We work with organizations around the world to provide assistance for people in distress. We prohibit content that promotes or encourages suicide or any other type of self-injury, including self-mutilation and eating disorders … We also remove any content that identifies victims or survivors of self-injury or suicide and targets them for attack, either seriously or humorously.” [5] Yet despite this, Facebook have recently refused to block or delete posts that link to videos of people taking their own lives. [6,7] We believe this is not only in contravention of their own Community Standards and policies but also a wholly irresponsible act. Facebook has a community responsibility to ensure the safety of its users and in allowing the publishing, and circulation of such triggering and disturbing “snuff videos” it is failing in this basic human responsibility. In short, there is no good, ethical, empirical or reasonable argument to allow the posting of such content, especially when it may promote suicide or further loss of life References: 1. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00031539.htm 2. https://publichealthwatch.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/are-copycat-suicides-real-a-new-study-says-yes-and-media-coverage-makes-it-worse/ 3. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(14)70225-1/fulltext 4. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/01/teen-copycat-suicides-are-a-real-phenomenon.html 5. https://web.facebook.com/communitystandards?_rdr#self-injury 6. http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2017/01/video-of-suicide-doesn-t-violate-community-standards-facebook.html 7. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11777767&ref=NZH_fb
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  • Commit to Ending Homelessness
    Too many kiwis are sleeping rough; living in garages, or overcrowded, damp houses. According to a recent study by Kate Amore of Otago University, more than 40,000 kiwis are homeless. More than half are under 25. It's just not good enough. We can, and must do better. Many generous community workers and organizations are doing their best to help, but without government commitment, this problem will not end. Every kiwi deserves a decent place to live. It's a human right. Sign this petition if you agree.
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  • Petition for New Zealand Government Support for Aleppo
    Human Rights Groups have estimated that up to 100,000 civilians have been killed in the ongoing conflict in Syria. Yesterday’s deal to evacuate the remaining civilians has collapsed. Shelling and airstrikes have resumed and the streets are littered with bodies. According to alarming reports from a doctor in the city, many children, possibly more than 100, unaccompanied or separated from their families, are trapped in a building, under heavy attack in east Aleppo The UN have a plan in place for evacuating the 100,000 civilians trapped in the city. Their lives can be saved. This plan just needs world leaders to implement it. New Zealanders want to help those who are living through this horrible atrocity and we are asking you, our elected representatives, to listen to our request and to pledge your support to the people of Syria.
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  • Justice for Abuse Survivors
    LATEST NEWS 1 Feb 2018 The Government has announced a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State care. Nga Morehu get their inquiry : https://www.facebook.com/TheHuiNZ/videos/742691129273284/ A chance to right historic wrongs : https://medium.com/actionstation/a-chance-to-right-historic-wrongs-e9a3c702dbde Petition delivery 6 July 2017 https://www.facebook.com/ActionStationNZ/videos/1248051378650401/ LATEST NEWS On 9 April 2017 current affairs programme The Hui screened a powerful, extremely sad and important report with four survivors of state care abuse speaking candidly about their experience and the effects on their lives. The need for an inquiry is now being demanded on all sides. You can: 1. Watch the report on The Hui: http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/shows/2017/04/four-former-wards-of-the-sate-share-their-horrific-stories-of-abuse.html 2. Sign and share the petition for justice for child abuse survivors. #NgaMorehu (the survivors) 3. Join prominent New Zealanders and sign the open letter to demand justice: http://www.neveragain.co.nz/ Latest Media: Proper response needed to abuse in care, 10/4/17 https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@future-learning/2017/04/10/18708/responding-to-abuse-in-care?platform=hootsuite ******  More than 1000 New Zealanders told a confidential panel their experiences of sexual, physical and emotional abuse as children, while in the supposed care and protection of the State. These children were abused in foster homes, health camps, borstals, asylums and other State institutions. The Confidential Listening and Assistance Service was established by the Government to listen to the experiences of and to provide assistance to anyone who had concerns or alleged abuse or neglect whilst in State care. While this service has allowed a small percentage of those affected to receive acknowledgement and compensation, it does not address the systemic issues. In the final report of the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service, Judge Henwood, who lead the Service, detailed the harrowing experiences of children who were wards of the state. The sexual, physical and emotional abuse, and neglect detailed in the report covers foster homes, institutions, asylums, health camps and borstals from the early 1940s up to 1992. [2] Judge Henwood noted in her report that the impacts of the abuse on the survivors interviewed included depression, PTSD, alcohol abuse, addictions, anxiety, panic attacks and chronic low self esteem. Some sexual abuse victims had lifelong painful physical symptoms. Other victims of beatings had difficulty learning and permanent cognitive impairment from head injuries. Some turned to violence and crime and formed allegiances with gangs. In Judge Henwood’s words, “The heartless way they had been treated turned them into perpetrators of violence themselves. The legacy remains to this day, filling New Zealand prisons.” The report heard evidence from more than 1100 people and made a series of recommendations to the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) including an independent Commission of Inquiry. MSD has refused to publicly release the recommendations made by the panel led by Judge Henwood. [3] The Human Rights Commission report on the issue was never published. [4] We do not accept that the scale, lasting damage to victims and systemic failures of the system will be addressed by an in-house MSD unit. Judge Henwood’s report (which had to be obtained by the media under the Official Information Act) identifies that the panel by no means reached everyone affected. The New Zealand public can have no faith in the commitment of the Government to the wellbeing of children in state care, that the scale of abuse, and harm caused, has been exposed and acknowledged and that the circumstances that allowed this to happen will not reoccur. Postscript:  It is hard for people to talk about child abuse but we must show courage and begin these conversations if we are to make our world safer for future generations of children. New Zealand has high rates of child abuse compared to other countries and it has affected many lives. If this subject brings up personal issues for you please seek help. Help lines: Rape Crisis – 0800 883 300 (for support after rape or sexual assault) Auckland HELP - (09) 623 1700 (24 hour confidential phone line (sexual abuse) Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 (to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions) These organisations offer information and strategies for self care for adult survivors of abuse: http://isurvive.org/ https://www.havoca.org/ For male survivors of sexual abuse: https://1in6.org/ http://survivor.org.nz/ More media: I was part of NZ’s history of abuse in state care, 21/3/17 http://thespinoff.co.nz/society/21-03-2017/i-was-part-of-nzs-history-of-abuse-in-state-care-and-im-in-no-doubt-an-inquiry-is-crucial/#.WNBx2v5vmWQ.twitter Hearing and Healing the Violence of State Care, New Zealand Association Of Psychotherapists, 11/4/17 http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1704/S00053/hearing-and-healing-the-violence-of-state-care.htm References [1] http://www.radionz.co.nz/stories/201825742/justice-delayed-justice-denied RNZ [2]https://www.scribd.com/doc/275802182/Final-Report-of-the-Confidential-Listening-and-Assistance-Service-2015 [3] http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/298632/state-care-abuse-report-ignored,-judge-says [4] http://www.radionz.co.nz/stories/201825742/justice-delayed-justice-denied RNZ [5] http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/complex-trauma/effects-of-complex-trauma
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  • NZ Herald, report on our women sporting heroes as you do our men!
    This is important for women, girls, men and boys everywhere who want a world where we're equal. Your paper reaches a huge audience, both online and offline, and shapes how we perceive our country and our people. If you must cover so much sport, at least cover women with the same adoration as men. You have a responsibility to champion our successful female sportspeople . You owe it to a society where the pay gap between men and women is at it's worst for almost 10 years. Photo credit: Photosport
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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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