• Restore the postgraduate student allowance now
    In 2013, the previous Government scrapped postgraduate allowances. Last year, Labour pledged to bring them back, and NZ First and the Greens have also shown their support. Now, we're looking for a start date! Restoring the postgraduate allowance isn't just good for students, it's good for the country. Across Aotearoa, postgraduate students are studying in fields that are crucial to our country's future success - clinical psychology, teaching and learning, and environmental studies to name a few. The current Government is committed to important national issues such as addressing the mental health crisis, uplifting the teaching profession and tackling climate change. In order for this work to succeed, we urgently need to be empowering and supporting our people to gain skills in these areas. A postgraduate student allowance is an easy first step towards making this a reality. Supporting postgraduate success is supporting our country's success. We're calling on the Government to restore the postgraduate student allowance now! No post-grad allowances for first semester, no set start date http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/11/no-post-grad-allowances-for-first-semester-and-no-set-start-date.html
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  • Save the All Wheels Cruiseway Trial on Pilot Bay!
    A trial for a proposed cycleway (“all wheels cruiseway” for skateboards, scooters jogging prams, wheelchairs etc) around Pilot Bay is at risk of not getting off the ground. Councillors are voting next Monday 9 April whether to allow a six month pilot testing a one way route from Pilot Bay around Adams Ave to Maunganui Road to go ahead. Currently there is a 50/50 split in support for this project from elected members. TCC transport team have researched this proposal and refined it to ensure it meets balanced needs of our community for both car users and cyclists, they believe as we do, that combined with connecting cycle routes, this will give options for local people to not bring their cars in to an already overloaded network. The trial would create a 3 metre wide two-way cruise way, and only ONE less car parking space overall. One concern of councillors is that this proposal will create more traffic congestion on Maunganui Road. We dispute this thinking. The provision of this cruiseway system provides the very cycling infrastructure that Tauranga residents are asking their Council to provide for them so they can move around the communities without their cars. We need the community to tell Council there is much to gain with this proposal - from retailers who will enjoy increased sales, to the opportunity to reduce car congestion, to restoring the relaxed holiday vibe that makes Mount Maunganui one of the great destinations in New Zealand. The other important thing to remember, is that this is a trial, so it can be adjusted and modified in response to issues. We do not see positive change in our community without making change, and a trial empowers people to have a say in the final outcome, while giving a new approach a chance. Your support is vital to this petition, please sign and comment, if you live in The Mount, please briefly state this and how you and your friends and family would benefit. Grateful thanks Bike Mount
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  • Sensible Sentencing Trust should not have charitable status
    On March 31, Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) founder Garth McVicar took to Facebook to congratulate police for fatally shooting a 29-year-old east Auckland man after a police chase. He said: "One less to clog the prisons! Congratulations to the New Zealand Police, our thoughts are with the officer who was forced to take this action to protect the public." McVicar founded SST in 2001 for the purpose of lobbying government for a more punitive justice system that is based more on his ideology than actual evidence. McVicar later stood as a candidate for the Conservative Party. In 2010, SST were stripped of their charitable status because they had become a lobby group rather than a charity. The Charities Commission found that the trust "...had not provided any evidence of how ensuring stricter laws concerning violent crimes will protect human life." To get around this, in 2015, the McVicar family set up the Sensible Sentencing Group Trust (SSGT) which is a seperate organisation that has been granted charitable trust status and all of the tax benefits that come with it. The SSGT Administrator is Anne McVicar. Given the Independent Charities Registration Board's recent decision to deny Greenpeace charitable status because of their "independent purpose to promote its own particular views", it seems correct to independently reassess whether the activities of SSGT are in fact charitable. Please sign and share so that we together we may force a review. *** REFERENCES: https://www.charities.govt.nz/news-and-events/hot-topics/update-on-greenpeace-of-new-zealand-incorporated-from-the-independent-charities-registration-board/ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12024068& https://www.charities.govt.nz/news-and-events/media-releases/sensible-sentencing-group-trust-registration/
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  • Don’t mine under Waihi
    A multinational mining corporation is planning to expand its exploitation of Waihi by literally digging under the town. It must be stopped. OceanaGold, which owns the giant open cast pit mine in Waihi, has notified the local council that it wants to expand and mine under people’s homes. Mining under residents houses will be a disaster for a town that has had years of disturbance from the mine activity. There have been landslides in the mine and earth slips causing homes to sink. The uncertainty around the mine activity has affected house values and is wearing down the patience of residents. This is the same corporate giant that tried to sue the El Savador government $300million for regulating to protect the environment. It’s time we put people and our precious planet first and stop this giant private corporation undermining Waihi for its private profits. The corporation plans to lodge consents to mine with the local council which will be pressured by financial interests to accept it. With sustained public pressure against the company right now we can force the corporation to ditch its plans to dig under the town. Sign the petition to OceanaGold now to demand it withdraw plans now for their mine expansion. References OceanaGold proposes new underground mine at Waihi, 29 Mar 2018 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12021586 Waihi homeowners close to deal over subsidence 2013 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10857990 OceanaGold sues El Salvador https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/03/australian-mining-is-poisoning-el-salvador-it-could-soon-send-it-broke-too Map of Waihi gold mine: https://watchdog.org.nz/info/gold-mining-and-eden-park/
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  • Include churches in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into historical abuse
    People who have experienced abuse in churches and faith-based schools need the opportunity to be heard in this once-in-a-lifetime Inquiry. Faith-based institutions are known to have been involved in the abuse of children and young people, and some covered-up abuse or were complicit in the protection of abusers. Right now, there are 330 integrated schools, many of which are church schools, and all of which receive at least some state funding. Given the provision of state funding to these schools, and the requirement for the state to ensure appropriate standards of care, it would be negligent to exclude them from the scope for this inquiry. The Royal Commission is taking place against a background of national and international concern about abuse in New Zealand state care. The Terms of Reference confirm that New Zealand has international obligations to take all appropriate legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to protect individuals from abuse, including measures for the prevention, identification, reporting, referral, investigation and follow-up of incidents of abuse. Abuse of individuals in state care is inconsistent with applicable domestic and international human rights law standards and principles. Abuse - including that which took place in faith-based institutions - warrants prompt and impartial examination, both to understand, acknowledge and respond to the harm caused to individuals, families and communities. The enduring impacts of abuse take a significant toll on the mental health of survivors. For some of these people, seeing churches and associated organisations excluded from this Inquiry will create a sense of revictimisation due to being silenced by the state. Including these faith-based institutions is an opportunity for healing and will contribute to the truth, justice, and reconciliation that so many people need. References: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/101825746/man-who-claims-to-have-nearly-killed-a-priest-to-stop-a-sexual-assault-calls-for-state-abuse-inquiry-to-be-widened https://www.nzcatholic.org.nz/2018/02/02/nz-abuse-inquiry-likely-include-churches/ https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/353367/churches-push-for-inclusion-in-royal-commission-into-abuse
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  • Keep Kirikiriroa Hamilton Beautiful
    We want to protect our environment from future damage to land, water, air and soil as well as restoring damage already done. We believe it is our responsibility for future generations to ensure we leave our environment better than we received it. A clean green Kirikiriroa isn't just about the environment it is also about well-being of people, communities and has an economic benefit as well.
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  • Teach New Zealand and Te Tiriti history to adults
    In 2017 10,000 members of the ActionStation community came together to co-create our united vision in Te Ira Tāngata: a People’s Agenda. This vision looks ahead to a positive future in the year 2040, the 200 year anniversary of the signing of te Tiriti o Waitangi. Our community has the vision that Aotearoa New Zealand in 2040 will be a fair and flourishing country with care, creativity, courage and compassion at its core. We will honour te Tiriti o Waitangi and the rights of indigenous people in our constitution, our institutions and in everything we do. We envision in 2040 that Aotearoa New Zealand’s constitution and structures reflect our Treaty commitments, and rangatiratanga is guaranteed to Māori. Every person in Aotearoa New Zealand understands and respects Te Tiriti as our founding document, understands the harm done by colonisation in our country, and works to heal injustices and to see Te Tiriti honoured. The Government have committed to including New Zealand history education in the core curriculum in primary and secondary schools for 2022. This is necessary and overdue. But adults and wider communities need opportunities to learn too. Sign the petition to ask the Government and political parties to join in building a future where each of us understands, values and honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi and our unique history that brought us here.
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  • Save Mangamaunu Surf Break
    The loss of Mangamaunu through mis-use of the emergency legislation is the loss of democracy by purposely cutting out community self-determination and thorough assessments and the democratic right of consultation. Mangamaunu and surfing in general is a significant contributor to the regions tourism industry, this surf break attracts tourists nationally and internationally. Mangamaunu is recognised as one of New Zealand's "17 best of the best" surf breaks. If these coastal works proceed, they will set a precedent, by skirting the best legal protections available to the environment, which Mangamaunu is entitled to. We believe any plans or construction of a cycle way should have the benefit of thoroughness of the RMA process to ensure no irreparable damage is done and good outcomes can be achieved for all. Mangamaunu holds the highest level of protection afforded under the RMA and NZCPS, equivalent to that of Te Mata peak and conservation lands potentially affected by the Ruataniwha dam in Hawkes Bay, or that of any national park. Avoid means avoid, and these consents do not even offer mitigation on a nationally significant surf break.They must be stopped. For more Information: www.surfbreak.org.nz https://www.facebook.com/savemangamaunu/?fref=nf https://www.facebook.com/Surfbreak-Protection-Society-158580380850950/
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  • Save Christchurch’s water, stop the water bottle exports
    Newshub revealed last year that a water bottling company has drilled a 170m deep bore hole into the pristine aquifer that supplies Christchurch’s drinking water. The company, Cloud Ocean Water, plans to suck 1.6billion litres of water out of the aquifer each year, bottle it in a mega factory, and export it for private profit overseas. Now Cloud Ocean Water has revealed it has bought land for a second factory. The company has purchased a site at 55 Belfast Road and lodged a resource consent application for a water bottling plant. If that wasn’t bad enough, Christchurch City Council warned that drilling the bore risks contaminating the drinking water for people living in the city. It’s time we put people and our precious planet first and stop this private company profiting off our pristine water supply. Sign the petition. In 2017 experts warned that levels in Christchurch’s aquifer were getting dangerously low - putting at risk the city's drinking water supply. We mustn’t let a private company drain the town supply and export it untaxed. The company could earn $12m each day, or $4.3billion per year, off the public resource they pay nothing to use. Sign the petition to stop the exports of our pristine water. https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/christchurch/cloud-ocean-water-eyeing-second-christchurch-site/ https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/102307238/ecan-accused-of-bending-the-law-over-consents-for-water-bottling-plants Aotearoa Water Action are crowdfunding to help cover court costs to stop the bottling. Support them by donating here: Aotearoa Water Action 38 9019 053 0141 00
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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