• 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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  • Enlist the Interislander in the earthquake recovery effort!
    Following Monday morning's massive earthquake NZ's most important transport link - the primary route between the North and South Island for freight of all kinds has been critically damaged. In Parliament yesterday and in an interview this morning on Radio NZ's morning report Simon Bridges said he was actively considering the idea of establishing a shipping route to Christchurch. But it appears he has not yet been convinced its a critically important decision that needs to be made quickly. Bridges appears to be is prevaricating and talking about competition issues with the "unsung heroes" of NZ's tiny existing coastal shipping industry. He also mentioned international coastal shipping options. However none of these can be in place quickly and something is needed right now. It doesn't take rocket science to deduce SH7, one lane in some places, narrow, goes over high passes is not a replacement for SH1. The North/South Wellington-Christchurch coastal route is one of the most important transport route in NZ with both a highway and very busy rail-freight route. It appears likely that it will take many months for the route to be operational - and even longer before the fixes have been completed - there is massive uncertainty about how long because the area it travels through is presently suffering the most intense earthquake aftershock sequence in living memory. If trucking is routed over SH7 the road will become a choke point - running through the middle of an very active aftershock zone. In order to ensure that Wellington-Christchurch shipping is up and running in a timely fashion - decisive action is needed now. The Government even owns a shipping company. So price gouging is not a risk. And if other competitors join Kiwirail on the route the risk of price gouging by disaster capitalists will be avoided. In addition in this case there really is no alternative. Sooner or later this ferry route will be established - but the sooner that it is the less economic damage will be done to the entire South Island. Agreeing to get the ferry route up and running using NZ's most loved transportation provider will also be a great way to signal that the Government is providing the decisive leadership that NZ needs in this troubling time. It will help boost everybody's confidence. It really is a no brainer. Kiwirail is keen but someone needs to push the go button to get this up and running as quickly as possible. ...News Reports... NZ Herald - http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11748947&ref=nzhbiz_tw Stuff - http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/86464161/kiwirail-looking-at-ferry-service-from-wellington-to-lyttelton Stuff - http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/86429807/trucking-companies-at-a-standstill
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  • Hands Off Our Tamariki
    You can read the open letter in full here: https://www.handsoffourtamariki.org.nz/ You can also join us for a rally on July 30 here: https://www.facebook.com/events/410698589765993/
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  • Save Radio NZ's Funding
    LATEST UPDATE On 11th April the Coalition for Better Broadcasting and ActionStation, combined with the petition of Jo Bond (Fund RNZ campaign) delivered this petition to Parliament. The Minister for Broadcasting Maggie Barry declined to accept but Labour MP Clare Curran accepted and tabled it in the House the next day. You can read about the delivery event here: https://medium.com/actionstation/32-337-demand-government-unfreeze-radio-new-zealand-funding-2b310ed3271d In the first week of April RNZ's Auckland studio was sold. [read https://blog.greens.org.nz/2017/03/21/national-killed-the-radio-station/] We wait now for news on a Select Committee process - watch this space! Also watch out for the people-powered report and policy recommendations from CBB and ActionStation as part of the Make Our Media Better public inquiry to be delivered to the Government in May. [http://www.makeourmediabetter.org.nz/] ***** To the Minister of Broadcasting, RNZ is well loved across the country: - Listened to more than any other radio station - Four out of five Kiwis say it’s a valuable service - 87% think public service radio, like RNZ, is important for New Zealand [1]. RNZ is vital to all New Zealanders. It is our only public national broadcaster [2]. It’s our only commercially independent media organisation and it’s the only media that tells all of NZ’s stories for all New Zealanders. This government is slowly making it impossible for RNZ to continue. Despite the importance of RNZ, our government refuses to fund it properly. They imposed an 8 year funding freeze on RNZ which after inflation amounts to a 12% cut in funding. At the same time the government expects RNZ to expand into digital and online media, which comes with a significant cost. After years of cost-cutting, RNZ is planning to sell its Auckland studios and rent them back from the new owners. RNZ would receive a cash injection but would also go from earning rent to paying rent. Before long that cash will dry up and RNZ will be worse off than before, with less money available for quality journalism and radio programmes for all New Zealanders. All New Zealanders benefit from RNZ’s work to provoke debate, report on the issues of the day, entertain people throughout the country and reflect our national identity. It is a crucially important national treasure and we need to fund it properly. Will you join us to call on the Minister of Broadcasting to unfreeze RNZ’s funding? Unfreezing the funding will allow RNZ to: - Retain ownership of its studios and resources - Invest in digital and online media - Continue high-quality radio services for the whole country - Tell more of our stories - Hold those in power to account with quality investigative journalism. References: [1] RNZ is New Zealands most popular Radio Network and 87 % of New Zealanders think public service radio is important, see RNZ Annual Report 2014/15, page 1: http://www.radionz.co.nz/assets/cms_uploads/000/000/074/RNZ_Annual_Report_2015.pdf [2] RNZ National and its sister station Concert are New Zealand's only public national broadcasters. See NZ On Air http://www.nzonair.govt.nz/radio/what-we-fund/radio-new-zealand/
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  • Reinstate Helen Kelly's nomination to the NZer of Year Awards, mate.
    Dear NZer of The Year Awards, We the undersigned New Zealanders imagine the decision to remove Helen Kelly was not lightly made. Nevertheless we think your decision should be reconsidered. And if a rule change is needed to achieve this we ask you to make that rule change. Helen is a hero and inspirational role model to tens of thousands of New Zealanders - many of whom nominated her for the award while she was alive (till Oct 14th) and still fighting to stay that way.  Voting closed for nominations for the award on September the 30th. At that time she had received the most public nominations. That Helen had such widespread support for this recognition is far from surprising. In the final months of her life Helen connected with thousands more NZers as she continued to do what she had always done - fight for justice and fairness for the benefit her fellow Kiwis. Her death itself, up to her last breath, was the most dignified you could possibly imagine. A week before her death she was still tweeting in defence of the rights of others. As she approached death she gave up precious time to media interviews to highlight the suffering of her fellow Kiwis, mounting the final campaign of her life in support of making access to medicinal cannabis for terminally ill New Zealanders easier. Public polls showed Helen's final campaign was supported by an overwhelming majority of the public. Helen accomplished an enormous amount in her 52 years of life, before her time with us all was cut short by an aggressive lung cancer. We agree with the chorus of eulogies following death which have said that she would have doubtless accomplished a great deal more if she had survived. But for us she was a hero for what she had already done, for her Trade Union work and support of workers rights - whether unionised or not, New Zealander or not - for her integrity and for her kindness. For all these reasons, if ever there were a case when the New Zealander who has died should remain eligible for this award it is this one. Respectfully Your mates. ----------------------------------------- Media Coverage Of This Petition ---------------------------------------- Newshub >> http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/petition-to-put-helen-kelly-back-on-the-shortlist-for-new-zealander-of-the-year-2016102913 Stuff >> http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/85874277/helen-kelly-ineligible-for-the-new-zealander-of-the-year-award-category RNZ >> http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/316789/helen-kelly-ineligible-for-nzer-of-the-year NZ Herald >> http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11738289 TVNZ >> https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/online-campaign-helen-kelly-made-eligible-honour Paul Henry Show >> http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/huge-respect-but-no-honour-for-helen-kelly---pm-2016103109 Stuff >> http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/85897243/john-key-agrees-with-not-awarding-new-zealander-of-the-year-posthumously Scoop >> http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1610/S00096/5000-nzers-back-helen-kellys-reinstatement-to-nzer-of-year.htm Scoop >> http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1611/S00034/helen-kelly-and-the-compassionless-people.htm ----------------------------------------- UPDATE NOVEMBER 8th : - ADDING A PLAN B ---------------------------------------- Many New Zealanders believed Helen Kelly might have become a great Prime Minister had she not been taken so young. In this context Helen's style of principled, enlightened, and selfless political activism serves as a wonderful example to future generations of activists and politicians. These days few people are willing to consider a move into representative politics – the nastiness and apparent futility makes it appear to be a frightening path to pursue. But it is one which we need to encourage people to consider and then choose to pursue. With that in mind a solution for honouring Helen Kelly becomes obvious. Let's create a new award - bearing Helen's name (with her family's permission) - to celebrate selflessness, achievement and courage in political service – either as activist or politician, to be awarded annually to someone who is truly the best of us, as Helen undoubtedly was. If you would like to help put together some kind of meaningful memorial for Helen Kelly – either this idea or another - then please email me at alastair@scoopmedia.co.nz - It is going to take a coalition to get something like this flying. Read more here >> http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1611/S00034/helen-kelly-and-the-compassionless-people.htm#proposal
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  • Get Serco out of New Zealand prisons
    Privately owned, profit-driven prisons like Serco's are not only expensive and inefficient, they’re leaving us all worse off. They are designed primarily to make money, not to rehabilitate offenders. This can mean inmates leave prison more likely to re-offend, meaning more crime and more prisoners in the long run. Only 18 months old, the only Serco run prison had already recorded some of the worst levels of assaults, positive drug tests and justified complaints by inmates. It's time to drop the profit-driven New Zealand prison experiment for good.
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