• Keep Nga Hau Māngere Birthing Centre open
    Where a gap once existed, this state of the art centre has served many whānau, aiga & families. Over 860 babies have been born there. Thousands of women have experienced vital support via labour cares, antenatal clinics, lactation consultant appointments, contraception and birth education/hapū wānanga. 75% of women birthing at Nga Hau Māngere identify as Māori and/or Pasifika. Research has shown that in the first 2000 days Māori and/or Pasifika have preventable, inequitable experiences. Pregnant Māori and/or Pasifika have the highest death rates and are less likely to receive specialist care. Nga Hau Māngere is an already 'up–and–running' solution aligning with new health reforms under Te Whatu Ora's Te Pae Tata (2022). "Kahu Taurima | Maternity and early years" is 1 of the 5 priority actions this government plan (under priority action 1 ‘place whānau at the heart of the system to improve equity and outcomes’). The local community have spoken of how important the centre is: "Māmā in South Auckland deserve the best care while they are pregnant. Speaking from experience Nga Hau Birthing Centre was exactly that for me. They were amazing from the beginning until the end... I truly believe that if I had been with Nga Hau for my first pregnancy it would not have been so traumatic." "Our experience at Nga Hau truly set (us) up for success when we took our baby home. We were as rested as we could be and I was given all the help they had to offer to start our breastfeeding journey... I’ve always had such a sense of calm and a strong feeling of safety when walking through those doors. Mothers deserve to birth at Nga Hau and Mangere/South Auckland deserves to have this incredible facility in our backyard." "All in all a 10/10 experience for me... I pray to God that this place stays so that midwives are able to birth more of mine and other ladies' babies!" Nga Hau Māngere provides an essential service to the community and the Government needs to ensure funding is provided so it can remain open.
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  • Open Letter: Progress modern slavery legislation before the election
    New Zealanders pride themselves on treating others with dignity, respect and kindness—and this should extend to the people who grow our food, sew our clothes and mine the metals for our phones. Yet, we know that New Zealand is importing billions of dollars of goods at high risk of being made by people forced into slavery and businesses are taking little action to address these risks in their supply chains¹. This is because New Zealand has no law requiring companies to know who makes their products or to ensure they are not using slavery. This disregard for the lives of others is not the New Zealand way. Last year, your government shared a plan to change this. Your then Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Michael Wood, said he expected to introduce a modern slavery bill to Parliament in this current term. It’s now been months, and we’ve seen no action. Prime Minister Hipkins, you said that this matter was a priority for your government and that decisions would be announced soon, but we are still waiting. And while we wait, men, women and children are trapped in slavery making our products. There’s been too much progress to let this legislation fail at the eleventh hour. An open letter from the business community; a 37,000-strong public petition; Modern Slavery Leadership Advisory Group meetings; and a public consultation process demonstrated overwhelming support for the legislation. But your government has failed to deliver. There is a proposal for law ready-to-go that is fit for purpose, well-prepared, and has widespread support from businesses and Kiwis. We’ve heard loud and clear that New Zealanders want legislative action on modern slavery. There’s no time to waste. Introduce the bill to address modern slavery to the House before the election. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpcDxIH3CrQ ¹ World Vision New Zealand (2023), Risky Business report.
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  • Make tertiary education accessible: study wage for all
    1. Learning is an inherently valuable contribution to society. To genuinely acknowledge education as a public good, we must value not only our educators, but also the students. 2. The current means-testing of the student allowance scheme exacerbates student poverty and is too flawed to truly ensure equity and fairness to marginalised groups. 3. We want to stop the downward trend of students dropping out because they can’t afford to keep studying. We need more students, including those who otherwise could not afford to study, in tertiary education so we have citizens prepared for an increasingly complex world. 4. Tertiary education is not just an investment into the individual, but to their whānau, community and Aotearoa. 5. Pre-1990, Aotearoa had relatively universal student allowances, and free tuition. Overseas, since 1996, Denmark has provided a universal student allowance too (which was 860 euros per month in 2022). Our own history and Denmark prove that a Study Wage for All is entirely possible. Barrier-free education is a public good that benefits our collective future. Normalised student poverty is not inevitable, it is a political choice. Ex-OUSA and NZUSA President Robertson advocated for returning to universal living allowances and phasing out tuition fees in 1996. Ex-VUWSA President Hipkins has stated, “We’ve had enough of broken promises by politicians, it’s time for the government to put their money where their mouth was before the election.” We agree. There are no more excuses to keep putting student poverty on the back burner. A Study Wage for All is critical to recognising the essential role of education as a public good. Reference: * Calculations for a Universal Student Allowance prepared by the Parliamentary Library using HYEFU 2022 (at p148), the Ministry of Social Development’s Monthly Benefits Update – March 2023, current minimum wage rates, and StudyLink Statistics (2022).
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  • #CareNotCagesNZ: Transform our justice system - implement the recommendations of Turuki! Turuki!
    Everyone in Aotearoa deserves a justice system, which addresses the root causes of crime, holds people who have caused harm to account, and helps to heal people who have been harmed. We know that children and young people from communities with high unemployment, low school achievement and a lack of other resources are more likely to be swept into our justice system and end up in prison. Too much of our justice system targets people who have grown up in poverty and under-resourcing. The result is a justice system that creates injustices, by discriminating against people based on how they grew up, their income, or what they look like. This system is so ineffective that it is hurting all of us: victims, whānau, communities and the people who commit crime. It especially hurts Māori. The Police are more likely to arrest Māori than Pākeha for the same minor crimes. While more Pākeha are charged with violent crimes, dishonesty, property and traffic crimes, more Māori are convicted of these crimes. The Government needs to build paths out of the maze of our justice system. These paths have already been proposed in the Turuki! Turuki! report. The report reiterates and builds on decades of research into the criminal justice system that have repeatedly demonstrated that the system fails survivors, those who have caused harm and Māori. This research has been largely ignored by successive governments. The Government has not yet implemented the 12 recommendations put forward by Turuki! Turuki!. Instead of providing these clear pathways out of the maze, the Government has largely continued with the same, failed tough on crime policies. All these tough on crime policies are a dead end. They've been repeatedly tried in Aotearoa and have either failed outright or created more damaging outcomes. It is time to consign tough on crime policies to the dustbin of history. We need a responsible approach to justice, using proven alternatives. We need a system that prioritises restoration, habilitation, transformation, prevention, rehabilitation, healing and honouring Te Tiriti. We call on the New Zealand Government, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Police and the Minister of Corrections to take immediate steps to implement all 12 recommendations made by Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora - The Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group's Turuki! Turuki! report in 2019. Further resources: 1. Turuki! Turuki! report: https://www.justice.govt.nz/assets/turuki-turuki.pdf 2. He Waka Roimata report: https://www.justice.govt.nz/assets/he-waka-roimata.pdf 3. Ināia Tonu Nei report: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/60d12cb5a665b46504ad8b32/t/60fe31b1735d6f7990bf3f5a/1627271661386/d8s653-Inaia-Tonu-Nei-Hui-Maori-English-version.pdf
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  • Bring in the big changes that Aotearoa needs right now!
    Why? Aotearoa is at a tipping point. Glaring inequalities, people struggling to pay bills and find secure housing. Whenua and awa polluted, forests, seas and wildlife struggling and no real action on climate. A festering legacy of colonial injustice. A country drifting towards entanglement in overseas wars instead of tackling these crises at home. But all round the motu people are working to create a different future, one where we care for one another and Te Taiao. We are creating a new world within the shell of the old. Support their mahi. Add these demands to your party’s 2023 election platform: The changes we need (NB this list is not exhaustive! 1) Commit to constitutional transformation and doing democracy better Immediately start the process for the national conversations that Matike Mai recommended in 2016 Trial Te Tiriti-based Citizens’ Assemblies to deal with key questions affecting all of us 2) End poverty, disparity and income insecurity Expand universal basic services - starting with: Free dental care Free public transport Free early childhood education Immediately implement all the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group End the ethnic and gender pay gap - support the recommendations of the Human Rights Commission 3) Solve the housing crisis Rent control A comprehensive capital gains tax Higher rates/tax on empty houses Adequate funding for a state house building programme and for iwi and community housing 4) Tax the richest to ensure income security for everyone Wealth tax, capital gains tax, financial transactions tax, remove GST 5) Real environmental action Immediately support farmers transitioning to restorative farming focused on food security and reducing cattle herds, and phase out artificial fertilisers and imported stock food End coal, oil, and gas extraction and prospecting on land and sea by 2027, and reduce fossil fuel use by at least 20% per year from 2024 without offsets or expanding biofuels Ban all seabed mining and bottom trawling 6) Jobs that support everybody’s welfare, not endless growth in corporate profits, starting with - A four-day working week with no loss of pay A Ministry of Green Works creating jobs, homes and infrastructure that will prepare Aotearoa for a low emissions future 7) Justice reforms as recommended by the Safe & Effective Justice Advisory Group 8) Oppose militarisation of the Pacific An Aotearoa with a non-militarised foreign policy in alliance with other nations working to create a strong global voice for peace and climate action, especially the nations of Te Moana Nui a Kiwa Sign the petition! Spread the word! What else you can do - You are invited to the Tapatahi Launch event on Sunday 25 June. This will be a hybrid online and in person event with hubs in Tāmaki Makaurau, Pōneke and Ōtautahi, where we’ll have activities and a panel of speakers. Learn more at www.tapatahi.nz Political parties – include these changes in your policies and election platform this year NGOs, unions, schools, workplaces - join Tapatahi - Coalition for a People’s Aotearoa and let’s share our campaigns, resources, experience and skills. We are stronger together. Individuals, whānau, friendship groups – use Tapatahi for inspiration and connection. We’re spreading and connecting, like the hidden mycelium linking the roots of the trees in the forest! Tapatahi - Coalition for a People’s Aotearoa This petition has been created by Tapatahi - Coalition for a People’s Aotearoa, an alliance of groups working in many different ways for transformational change in how we live with one another and Te Taiao. We want to help build a strong network of groups supporting one another’s campaigns and mahi. We are stronger together in our diversity. Support the organisations and campaigns behind these demands: Many of these demands have been drawn from recommendations and reports and campaigns by a variety of groups focused on specific issues. We tautoko their work, some of which can be found below. Matike Mai Report: https://nwo.org.nz/resources/report-of-matike-mai-aotearoa-the-independent-working-group-on-constitutional-transformation/ Welfare Advisory Group Report: www.weag.govt.nz/weag-report/ Fares Free Coalition: https://freefares.nz/ NZCTU Discussion Document: https://www.buildingabetterfuture.org.nz/ (4-day working week, Ministry of Green Works, free early childhood education) Wellbeing Economy Alliance https://weall.org/hub/newzealand and Degrowth Aotearoa NZ https://www.degrowth.nz/ on economic transformation Human Right Commission pay gap recommendations: https://76v71b.p3cdn1.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Pacific-Pay-Gap-Inquiry-Executive-Summary.pdf Ecu Action tax proposal: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2206/S00076/ecuaction-proposal-for-a-fairer-tax-system.htm Renters United recommendations: https://rentersunited.org.nz/plan/ Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group: https://natlib.govt.nz/records/42614970?=items Dental for All (unions and health workers): petition Https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/make-dental-care-free-for-all-nz Greenpeace Aotearoa campaigns on farming and bottom trawling https://www.greenpeace.org/aotearoa/campaign/regenerative-farming-revolution/ Kiwis Against Seabed Mining https://www.kasm.org.nz/ Coal Action Network Aotearoa’s campaigns on emission reduction: https://coalaction.org.nz/ Peace Movement Aotearoa network http://www.apc.org.nz/pma/
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  • For the People: Tax Corporate Profits
    No matter who we are, where we live, or what we do, everyone should have the resources they need to build the lives they want for themselves and their families. To do this, we need strong public services that look after our basic needs. This looks like well-staffed hospitals that can provide medical care to our whānau when we need it. It looks like teachers who feel valued so they contribute to thriving schools, kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa and early childcare where our children can receive a quality education. It looks like more public housing that can offer a stable roof over our heads. It sounds like buses showing up on time that are free and accessible. It looks like preparing for climate change so that our natural world is restored and communities can withstand and recover from severe weather events. But right now, large corporations are extracting profits that are throwing our society out of balance. Many of us are feeling the stress of high costs and prices which forces us to make huge sacrifices every day. While workers miss important family events in order to work longer hours, and people are forced into debt to cover essentials such as food and petrol, corporate profits have increased by 39% to $72 billion in the most recent year. According to the data available, this is the largest increase we have ever seen. In just one example, the major supermarkets were making around a million dollars a day in excess profits, while most people are struggling to make ends meet to put kai on the table. The price increases people are experiencing aren’t random: they are corporate decisions, and right now no one is reining them in. The story of corporate greed is not new, but what we've seen over the past few years is an alarming trend where multinational companies will exploit the pandemic and public health crisis to grow their wealth. Right now, corporations exploit lacklustre tax laws and are laughing all the way to the bank, while everyone else feels ripped off at the checkout or petrol pump. It doesn’t have to be this way. It is unacceptable that corporate profits can continue to blow out of proportion, while wages cannot keep up and food banks are struggling more than ever to keep up with growing need. Our country has enough wealth to look after all of us. Bernard Hickey writes that we have a net household wealth of $2.25 trillion, which is $450,200 per person. When large corporations use their power to increase profits, and not give back to workers or wider society, then it enables the massive syphoning of wealth that locks more and more people into poverty. Our Government has an important role to play in keeping our society fair and funded for the services we need to thrive. Tax and economic experts have offered a range of policies from a windfall tax (which means taxing the excess profits made from unexpected circumstances such a global crisis) to increasing the corporate tax rate (which is a tax on corporate profits). Many solutions are available, we just need to commit to taxing our largest profit-makers. It means we can keep prices down, and build public services up, while holding corporations accountable to pay their fair share. Now is the time to rebalance the scales and make sure corporations increase their contribution to the collective pool, so that we can all thrive together. ------------------------- References: 'Is the inflation in NZ because of profits?' RNZ. https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/2018849004/is-the-inflation-in-nz-because-of-profits 'Supermarkets making profits of around $1m a day; Govt announces steps to lower prices.' NZ Herald. https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/business/government-to-address-commerce-commission-report-into-supermarket-industry/ 'The twin crises that fuelled the hostel fire.' Bernard Hickey, The Spinoff. https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/18-05-2023/the-twin-crises-that-fuelled-the-hostel-fire
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  • Subsidise degrees that lead to Mental health jobs
    As of October 2022, employment data shows New Zealand needs 643 Mental Health staff, including 120 Psychiatrists, 408 mental health nurses and 115 Clinical Psychologists. New Zealand needs Mental Health workers, which starts with degrees. New Zealanders should not struggle to access Mental Health services, in 2017 it was found that 90 children a day were being referred to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (Camhs), and the number of severe cases has been increasing. In 2016 1824 children were rejected or quickly referred from Camhs. This is a real problem as we had 538 people die from suicide in the 2021 to 2022 financial year. The 1.9 billion dollar budget for Mental Health has not seen any change to accessibility in specialist Mental Health services in the last five years. The vision for this subsidy is to increase the number of people taking degrees. that lead to mental health jobs. This could lead to an increase in people going into Mental Health jobs and decrease the shortage of Mental Health workers in New Zealand. A subsidy for study would incentivise students to study mental health by relieving the financial burden of study (which for a practising clinical psychologist is 6 years, and much longer for a psychiatrist). In Australia, the NSW Labor Government has recently announced it will invest $97 million in health study subsidies to attract staff and retain talent in the public health system, New Zealand should be following in their footsteps and investing similarly.
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  • Curtain Call. Help make sure rental properties have curtains to hold in warmth for healthier homes.
    Every year, tens of thousands of Kiwis are hospitalised with conditions made worse by cold, damp housing. The government has mandated insulation and heating but not curtains through the Healthy Homes Standards for rental properties. This is a problem because even in a well-insulated home, without curtains up to 45% of the heat is flying directly out the window. All people deserve to live in warm homes that meet their needs, and we know that effective window coverings are a practical solution that makes a real difference. The impact of ineffectively covered windows is particularly hard on people, whose budgets don't stretch to buying and installing curtains and who can't afford to pay high energy bills to heat their homes. Simply adding effective curtains to a home makes a big difference to people’s health and wellbeing. To address this issue, Habitat for Humanity, Community Energy Network, Starship Foundation, Beacon Pathway and Sustainability Trust have come together to create Curtain Call, a movement to get effective curtains into every rental home. Our advocacy is also supported by dozens of community and health organisations. We now need to add a strong public voice to increase pressure on all political parties to make lasting change. Our mission is to get effective curtains added to the Healthy Homes Standards so that every rental home locks in warmth. By looking after the health of our homes we are looking after the health and wellbeing of everyone in Aotearoa. Sign our petition today to make effective curtains mandatory in rental homes.
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  • Upgrade Awatea Park Playground to increase more resources
    I believe that by installing at least Swings, a Monkey bar, and a Seesaw, we can enhance the appeal of the playground for children and make it more enjoyable for them to play in. These relatively low-cost additions can make a significant difference to the quality of life for families in our community. I have spoken to several other residents who share my sentiment, and I am confident that with your support, we can make a meaningful difference. By signing this petition, you are helping us to demonstrate to the City Council the importance of improving our playground and making it a more family-friendly space.
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  • Wayne Brown: Don't Cut Community Services!
    NO CUTS Wayne Brown’s Budget 2023/24 is proposing to cut funding to crucial community support services during a cost of living and climate crisis. The people of Auckland are deeply concerned about the proposed budget. We understand that the Council is facing financial challenges, but we urge Auckland Council to reconsider these cuts as they will have a severe impact on the community. “Cutting regional community focused initiatives … of all groups working with Māori, Pasifika, youth, refugee, new migrant and rainbow communities.” - Page 30, Te Wāhanga Tuatoru: Te Pūtea e Marohitia Ana, Annual Budget Proposal 2022/23. We can see the budget has targeted marginalized communities, yet does not suggest cuts to industry and business whatsoever. The proposed budget cuts will have far-reaching consequences for all Aucklanders, but especially our most vulnerable residents, including children, the elderly, the working poor, and those with disabilities. Cuts to climate change, social services, community venues, public transport, arts,and education will have a devastating impact on these communities, and protesters are determined to make their voices heard. The proposed cuts to community services, including libraries, community venues and centers, youth and homelessness, early childhood education, Arts and culture, water quality and public transport, will have a negative impact on the quality of life for many Auckland residents. These services are essential for the well-being of our community and provide opportunities for social interaction, education, and access to essential resources. Furthermore, the proposed cuts to environmental initiatives, including park maintenance and waste management, will have a detrimental effect on our environment. These initiatives are critical to the sustainability of our city and the protection of our natural environment and resources. We understand that difficult decisions must be made regarding the budget, but we urge the Council to prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable. We believe that alternative solutions and a better budget is possible. The Auckland council’s feedback report suggested that the majority of Aucklanders reject this proposed budget, and it is not suited to serve Auckland residents. The sale of the airport shares is not necessary or helpful and will take Auckland backwards. The airport shares are an important revenue stream, the airport is increasing in value, and it is an asset that the Council can borrow against. The 18% shareholding is also an opportunity for public voice on the future of the airport, a strategic asset - and it is important that the Council holds onto public control in the face of climate and health emergencies. The Community Coalition against the Cuts demands that Auckland Council, Mayor and Councilors listen to Aucklanders. Consider and implement the voices of Aucklanders who took their time to give their feedback. We fully reject this proposed budget, and we demand the following: 1- NO CUTS TO REGIONAL & COMMUNITY SERVICES 2- INCREASE RATES & DEBT 3- NO SALE OF AIRPORT SHARES The super-rich must pay for this budget deficit, not the most vulnerable. We demand that any shortfall in the Council's books should be filled through increased rates on big business, and charges on luxury items such as private helicopters and super-yachts, not cuts which hit the poorest hardest. We need to be expanding services, not cutting them. We demand that the Council expands public transport, making buses and trains free and frequent, and takes more action on climate change amidst a climate crisis. We demand more funding to tackle poverty and homelessness. Therefore, we call on Auckland Council to reconsider the proposed budget cuts and to find alternative solutions that do not compromise the well-being of our community and our environment. We fully reject this budget we will not sit by quietly. We say, NO CUTS! Community Coalition Against Cuts
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  • Remember on our streets the downfallen & erased founders of the Sarjeant Gallery / Te Whare O Rehua
    OUR streets should recognize OUR stories and OUR whakapapa. We want our city to reflect its people, past and present.That is why our streets should recognize our stories and our whakapapa. Donald Hosie was the young architect of the Sarjeant Gallery who died fighting for his country in Passchendaele in 1917. Instead his boss's name appears because of a lie that Whanganui Council knew at the time to be false. Hossie deserves recognition and a street is a fitting way to do this. Mayor Charles Mackay was the man who drove the vision and building of the Sarjeant. After his homosexuality was exposed, Mackay Street was renamed Jellicoe Street. In recent years his erased name has been reinstated to the Sarjeant foundation stone, his portrait rehung in Council Chambers, a 2022 book about his life published and in 2023 his office recognised as a Category 1 historic site by Heritage NZ. What remains outstanding is the erasure of “Mackay Street” from Whanganui maps. Let us truly celebrate our community and honor the past of these two men who made the Sarjeant what it is now when the Sarjeant reopens in 2024. To use the words of Henry Sarjeant do this "for the inspiration of ourselves and those who come after us".
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  • Open Letter: Ban Mining in Conservation Land Now
    The Labour Government has a long held policy of extending Schedule 4 over the Southern Hauraki and has had a policy of no new mines on conservation land since 2014. Since taking office in 2017, the Party has failed to make either policy law. We are writing to you now as Conservation Minister to challenge you to step up and prevent mining companies from undermining Hauraki / Coromandel and all conservation land nationwide. We believe that in order to retain any credibility around conservation, your Government must fulfill the commitment made upon first taking office by passing a law that will fully protect all conservation land from mining. We understand that negotiating with tangata whenua takes time, but that specific Te Tiriti obligation can be written in to the law. We are in a biodiversity crisis, we are in a climate crisis. Why would we compromise even part of one of our biggest assets, our biggest carbon sinks, our last bastion of the unique and special ecology of Aotearoa New Zealand, conservation land, by allowing and enabling mining activity in these places. You as Minister have the power, and the responsibility, to ensure that our children and grandchildren can have a relationship with the natural world that sustains us in the years to come; the responsibility to ensure that all the unique flora and fauna reliant on these spaces can survive and flourish into the future, the responsibility to provide for future generations.
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