• Solidarity with the people of Chile - NZ to Condemn the actions of the Chilean State
    The Chilean government of Sebastian Piñera have deployed the military on the streets of Chile, they have imposed curfew, shot and killed innocent citizens in acts of repression, and falsified citizen committed crimes in order to justify such acts. We must stand for Chile, in order to stand against worldwide acts of repression and human rights crimes that are being enabled through western systems. https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2019/oct/20/protests-in-chile-against-cost-of-living-in-pictures References and Alternative Media: Please note that the media we are receiving in the western world and the mainstream media in Chile is extremely biased and has been censored. Please be critical about everything you read. https://www.telesurtv.net/news/represion-carabineros-manifestacion-santiago-chile-toque-queda-20191021-0016.html https://resumen.cl/articulos/once-acciones-legales-ha-presentado-indh-por-violencia-policial 11 legal actions taken against the state regarding human rights abuses https://resumen.cl/articulos/veinte-videos-muestran-desmedida-represion-de-militares-y-policia-contra-legitimas-manifestaciones 20 videos that show the police repression against democratic manifestations https://twitter.com/prensaopal?fbclid=IwAR1rf9lENKTJ8xwhTGhK0rzu4zIs8tU4RRbDYcOSmBhANwnEYBKDQCb2G88 https://resumen.cl/articulos/impresionantes-imagenes-aereas-muestran-masividad-legitimas-protestas-populares-ciudad-de-concepcion https://scontent.fpmr1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/73120120_2766637883369215_3859160911549825024_n.jpg?_nc_cat=110&_nc_oc=AQlq82ktaqqoWfOWL_FV90sr9e_K-ttzc-ilgdnZfeaJLXtWXzRXUsnYkOGfi6s_STw&_nc_ht=scontent.fpmr1-1.fna&oh=01430048bc0ce3a7c41d24eccad382c4&oe=5E29B463 13 deaths confirmed - note these have been in 'fires' however the cause of deaths have not been confirmed. https://www.instagram.com/tv/B344eAuBk0A/?igshid=vajyk8cwjq06&fbclid=IwAR0dnHvO97Qa83DwIpJgaLRrfoxV8-D4CPGuZqXnPlhhRG1fi4KTRPpBb8A Information that has not been shared in the wider media https://www.facebook.com/eduardokrtbgihgyt/videos/2790340617701460/ Military advising the people on how to ransack the stores Noticias > América Latina Cifra de muertos por protestas en Chile asciende a 11 La Fiscalía anunció que había un total de 1.554 personas privadas de su libertad, que se encuentran en “audiencia de control de detención”. La Fiscalía anunció que había un total de 1.554 personas privadas de su libertad, que se encuentran en “audiencia de control de detención”. | Foto: Reuters Publicado 21 octubre 2019 (Hace 7 horas 51 minutos) "La cifra de fallecidos oficial que tenemos que lamentar en estos últimos dos días es de 11, tres fallecidos el sábado, y ocho el domingo", informó la intendenta de la Región Metropolitana, Karla Rubilar El número de muertos por las protestas durante el fin de semana en Chile ascendió a 11 personas, informaron este lunes autoridades locales, en el marco del recrudecimiento de la violencia en Santiago, la capital del país suramericano. LEA TAMBIÉN: Chilenos desafían el toque de queda decretado por el Gobierno "La cifra de fallecidos oficial que tenemos que lamentar en estos últimos dos días es de 11, tres fallecidos el sábado, y ocho el domingo", informó la intendenta de la Región Metropolitana, Karla Rubilar en conferencia de prensa. Asimismo, la Fiscalía anunció el domingo que había un total de 1.554 personas privadas de su libertad, que se encuentran en “audiencia de control de detención”. Por su parte, el Instituto Nacional de Derechos Humanos (INDH) presentó acciones legales por “violencia policial”. Se trata de ocho querellas contra carabineros y militares junto a tres recursos de amparo para resguardar la “seguridad de las persona”. Según el director del organismo, Sergio Micco, 283 personas han sido detenidas --151 hombres, 61 mujeres y 71 menores de edad--, 44 han resultado heridas --9 de gravedad--, nueve personas han sido desnudadas en procedimientos policiales. Mientras tanto, el presidente Piñera decidió aplicar toque de queda para toda la Región de Valparaíso a partir de las 20H00 horas locales. El presidente anunció el sábado pasado, la suspensión del alza del precio del metro, después de que el viernes declarara el estado de emergencia en Santiago, una medida que posteriormente se extendió a Concepción y Valparaíso. Pese a dicho anuncio, que fue refrendado el domingo por la Cámara de Diputados, las protestas continuaron durante la jornada, que se saldaron con 76 carabineros heridos. La Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, Michelle Bachelet, pidió este lunes iniciar una investigación independiente sobre las muertes ocurridas durante violentas protestas en Chile el fin de semana, y mencionó "perturbadoras" acusaciones de uso excesivo de fuerza militar. En un comunicado desde la sede de su despacho en Ginebra, la expresidenta chilena instó al diálogo inmediato entre las partes para detener "la retórica inflamatoria"
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  • Reduce the nicotine in cigarettes
    Smoking is one of the largest public health issues in Aotearoa. Every year nearly 5,000 Kiwis die from smoking-related illnesses (1). Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Aotearoa. It increases a person’s risk of developing numerous cancers, as well as strokes and heart disease (2). On average, a long-term smoker will die 10 to 15 years earlier than non-smokers. But it’s not just direct smoking that is negatively impacting Kiwis. The impact of second-hand smoke continues to contribute to high rates of asthma and respiratory illness in our tamariki (3, 4). Smoking takes a toll on our health system, our whānau and our communities. Tragically, as with many health issues in Aotearoa, smoking disproportionately harms Māori and Pasifika. 31% of Māori adults and 20% of Pasifika adults smoke daily (5). If this government is truly committed to addressing health inequalities in Aotearoa, then reducing the addictiveness of cigarettes is an important place to start. Quitting smoking cigarettes can be hard for many people, even though the overwhelming majority of smokers want to quit (6). The main reason people feel incapable of quitting is that cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug. Currently the amount of nicotine in cigarettes is not regulated. The tobacco industry has been able to distribute products with a high nicotine content, leading young people to become quickly addicted when they start and making it incredibly difficult to stop. Requiring companies to remove or significantly decrease the nicotine content from their products would help to end this cycle. A reduction in nicotine would make smoking much less satisfying, resulting in smokers slowing or stopping consumption (7) and minimising the likelihood of young people becoming quickly addicted. Current smokers would be more able to kick the habit, save money and improve their health. Reducing the nicotine in combustible tobacco products compliments the increased availability of e-cigarettes which contain nicotine, giving smokers the opportunity to switch to a less harmful product. Join us and call on our government to reduce the nicotine in cigarettes. This petition is part of Reduce the Nicotine, a broader campaign to reduce the nicotine in cigarettes in Aotearoa - get involved and find out more at: http://reducethenicotine.co.nz/. References: 1) Ministry of Health. (2004). Looking upstream: Causes of death cross-classified by risk and condition, New Zealand 1997. Wellington: Ministry of Health. 2) Laugesen, M. (2000). Tobacco statistics 2000. Wellington: Cancer Society of New Zealand; Vineis, P., Alavanja, M., Buffler, P., Fontham, E., Franceschi, S., Gao, Y.T., et al. (2004). Tobacco and cancer: Recent epidemiological evidence. Journal of National Cancer Institute, 96: 99-106; Ministry of Health. (2005). Tobacco facts 2005. Wellington: Ministry of Health; Quit Victoria. (n.d.). 3) Vineis, P., Alavanja, M., Buffler, P., Fontham, E., Franceschi, S., Gao, Y.T., et al. (2004). Tobacco and cancer: Recent epidemiological evidence. Journal of National Cancer Institute, 96: 99-106.; Jha, P., Ramasundarahettige, C., Landsman, V., Rostron, B., Thun, M., Anderson, R. N., et al. (2013). 21st century hazards of smoking and benefits of cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 368, 341-350. 4) Fergusson, D (2015). Christchurch Health and Development Study: Overview of 40 Years of Findings (2015). ASH Scotland (2012). Reducing Children’s Exposure to Second Hand Smoke in the Home. 5) Ministry of Health. New Zealand Health Survey (2006/07 – 2017/18) data tables. 6) Ministry of Health. 2009. New Zealand Tobacco Use Survey 2008: Quitting results. Wellington: Ministry of Health. 7) Donny EC, Walker N, Hatsukami D, Bullen C. Reducing the nicotine content of combusted tobacco products sold in New Zealand. Tobacco Control. 2017(26):e37-e42.
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  • Make Migration to NZ more Humane
    Families of New Zealand citizens and residents have been separated and kept apart due to unnecessary visa processing delays by INZ. Children are losing out on the much needed nurture provided by both parents. In the last few years, approximately 70,000 international students have been coming to New Zealand every year to gain world class education, making education our 4th largest export at approximately 4 to 5 billion dollars per year. The students are given work rights so that they can gain much sought after work experience and ultimately become part of New Zealand workforce after graduating. This also puts them on a pathway to residence as promoted by NZ government websites and dodgy education agents. However, the reality is different - the students are forced to re-enrol for the same courses repeatedly due to College closures conducted by NZQA. To add to an already stressful situation, the students are left to extend their visas urgently to avoid becoming unlawful in New Zealand. Many have been deported due to the fault of unregulated education agents. Research studies conducted by Dr Christina Stringer (University of Auckland) and Dr Francis Collins (University of Waikato) clearly conclude that migrant exploitation is rampant when temporary work visas are attached to employers, preventing the employee seeking help or whistleblowing to end their own exploitation. The number of new residents settling in New Zealand has reached the lowest level since the turn of the century. At the same time a record number of temporary work visa holders have been approved, topping more than 240,000 in the last year. What does that mean? Uncertainty and displacement surrounds migrants on temporary visas. Many in this category have been in New Zealand for 5 to 10 years in the hope of a more permanent future here. Every time they are close to realising that hope, the immigration instructions are changed to bring them right back to where they started. The National Government closed the parent visa category in 2016 claiming that it was a temporary measure to bring the migrant numbers under control. The Labour coalition government has announced that the Parent Visa Category will reopen in February 2020. However, the income requirements for the sponsors are outrageously high (2 to 4 times annual median salary of $53,040) and out of reach for most, if not all, working class migrants. Under this visa category, only the rich have the luxury of being near their loved ones. Some high skilled migrants earn just enough to sponsor either Mum or Dad - how does one even contemplate such a choice!!
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  • Vote STV for Hamilton
    STV is a fairer voting system which will improve participation and diversity in local government. - Under STV, winning candidates will have support from a majority of voters. More people will have had a say in the make-up of the elected council. - There are fewer 'wasted votes'. Once a preferred candidate reaches the quota - votes are shifted to their next preferred candidate. - Under STV, our council is more likely to reflect the diversity of our community.
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  • Regeneration not Incineration - for a Zero Waste Aotearoa
    WE’RE GOING CIRCULAR Right now, we are seriously challenging our planet’s ability to sustain life. People everywhere are looking for ways to preserve valuable resources and prevent pollution while creating jobs and invigorating a zero waste circular economy. Incinerators undermine these goals because they’re part of an outdated linear system that forces us to continually extract new resources only to destroy them after we’ve used them for just a short while. Our future lies in replacing these destructive technologies with regenerative systems. INCINERATORS POLLUTE OUR AIR While it’s true that today’s incinerators are cleaner than older models, they’re still not perfect. Modern incinerators still release toxic chemicals that include dioxins [4], mercury [5] and cadmium [6] – substances that cause cancer, nerve damage and birth defects. Anyone who lives downwind from an incinerator is in danger of breathing in these dangerous chemicals and suffering the health consequences. [7] Toxins released into the air fall back onto the land to be absorbed by plants and eaten by livestock eventually finding their way into our bodies, via our food, causing further sickness and disease. [8] But the worst part about these toxins is that many don’t break down with some persisting in their toxic state in the environment for decades. [9] INCINERATORS POLLUTE OUR LAND Up to 25% of waste that’s burnt falls to the bottom of an incinerator to become incinerator bottom ash (IBA). This extremely toxic material is mostly dumped in special hazardous waste landfills, but in some countries it’s also used in roading and construction and sometimes spread on land as fertiliser. [10] Researchers are now raising serious concerns about the dangers of IBA with numerous studies [11] showing the detrimental effects of this highly toxic material. These problems are compounded by disposal of smokestack filters that capture highly toxic fly ash. These filters are disposed of in hazardous waste landfills along with IBA where they contribute to the toxic load in the landfills. INCINERATORS POLLUTE OUR FRESHWATER AND MARINE ENVIRONMENTS Incinerator toxins falling back to land are regularly washed into waterways where they combine with leachate from hazardous waste landfills. These contaminants poison fish and other aquatic life as they flow through our streams and rivers into our harbours and eventually into our oceans. These toxins have the potential to enter our food chain at every stage of their journey to the sea. INCINERATORS RELEASE GREENHOUSE GASES While toxins emitted from incinerator smokestacks cause immediate health concerns, most of the exhaust gas is carbon dioxide, which has long term effects on our climate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that each tonne of waste burnt produces up to 1.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide [12] which can stay in our atmosphere contributing to global warming for decades. Throughout the world, we’re looking for ways to urgently reduce our climate change emissions. Waste-to-energy incinerators work in direct competition with this goal. Incinerators contravene our climate change commitments as signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Climate Agreement, and Agenda 2030. And, they directly contradict support for our Pacific partners through endorsement and support for the Kainaki II Declaration (which declares a climate crisis in the Pacific region) and, our signed commitment to the Boe Declaration on Pacific security. INCINERATORS ARE INEFFICIENT While incineration companies are happy to point out that the waste they burn would otherwise be sent to landfill, they don’t mention that household waste is a substandard fuel. The World Energy Council found that, kilogram for kilogram, waste produces less than one-third the energy of coal and up to one-sixth the energy of natural gas while producing many times the amount of pollution. [13] Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, we currently produce 80% of our electricity from renewable sources. And, we have a plan to increase that to 100% by 2035. [14] Waste-to-energy incinerators compete with our renewable energy goals and undermine our commitment to a low emissions economy. INCINERATORS DESTROY VALUABLE RESOURCES Our society is fast becoming aware than our finite planet does not have an unending supply of natural resources. At the same time, we’re learning the importance of protecting and recirculating our resources. Governments, businesses and communities everywhere are looking for better ways to encourage people to refuse, reduce, redesign, reuse, repair, refurbish and recycle the things we use to make sure our resources are not destroyed. Incinerators work in direct conflict with these zero waste objectives. INCINERATORS DESTROY JOBS A key selling point used by incinerator companies is that they create jobs. Disputing this argument, the EU social enterprise reuse, repair, and recycling group, RREUSE, recently found that for every job that the incineration industry might create, recycling centres create 36 jobs and reuse activities create 296 jobs. [15] Materials recovery and recycling services are set to become a rapidly growing sector in the country as our society moves towards a post-waste circular economy. Incineration undermines this plan. INCINERATORS DESTROY ZERO WASTE EFFORTS While we accept that waste is a problem, we know that incinerators aren’t the answer. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, we can address our waste issues in regenerative ways that preserve rather than destroy valuable resources, prevent pollution, produce sustainable and innovative products and material systems, create jobs, and invigorate a zero waste circular economy. To help achieve this goal, we hope you will join us in opposing waste-to-energy incinerators in Aotearoa New Zealand. Footnotes: https://tinyurl.com/y5chaw5k
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  • Cancel 'Feminism 2020' at Massey
    It has come to our attention that in November this year, Massey University is hosting the event ‘Feminism 2020’ on its Wellington campus. The event is run by Speak up for Women (SUFW) who advocate against trans rights and spread scaremongering misinformation about trans people. SUFW masquerade under the guise of feminism, while actively turning transgender lives into a subject of debate; a dehumanising and harmful rhetoric. Massey Students’ Association stands for free speech and we respect the right of external groups to host events on campus. However, one of the key tenets of free speech is recognising that marginalised groups often don’t enjoy the same rights to freedom of expression. So with that in mind, Massey Students’ Association is choosing to prioritise the voices of our trans whānau who have told us that this event hurts them. By providing a platform for a hate group to speak on our campus, Massey University is putting ‘freedom of speech’ over the safety of its staff and students. Allowing this event to go ahead on campus will harm the trans community both directly; with ‘Speak up for Women’s’ attempting to spread their dehumanising ideology within our community and indirectly; by showing our students that Massey University is providing a space for people to spread hate and harmful anti-trans rhetoric. This is incredibly harmful to an already vulnerable group, with 71% of trans people reporting high or very high psychological distress in 2019’s Counting Ourselves community report. Massey is not obligated to host and provide a platform for an intolerant ideology that advocates for policies that make trans people feel less safe in the world. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that we have to host an event that will cause harm to students on campus. If the University is serious about wanting to protect the rights of their transgender students there is no excuse in hosting this event. The student community already feel less safe on campus because of Massey’s decision to allow the event to go ahead. Within a few days of announcing the event, our campus has been plastered with trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) stickers. MAWSA has met with UniQ and consulted the trans-community on campus, and the message from the student community is clear; the presence of this event on our campus is already damaging the wellbeing and safety of trans, intersex and queer communities. To prevent further harm to our student community, MAWSA requests, on behalf of Massey Wellington Students, that Massey University cancels ‘Feminism 2020’ within the next 24 hours. There is no room for hate on this campus. The group 'Speak up for Women' advocate against trans rights and spread scaremongering misinformation about trans people. SUFW masquerade under the guise of feminism, while actively turning transgender lives into a subject of debate; a dehumanising and harmful rhetoric. By hosting the 'Feminism 2020' event Massey are providing a platform for hate and division to be spread here and make trans and queer people feel unsafe. This is incredibly harmful to an already vulnerable group, with 71% of trans people reporting high or very high psychological distress in 2019’s Counting Ourselves community report. MAWSA is not in support of this and we stand with our trans community. The effect of such an event has already been seen, with anti-trans stickers already being plastered around campus. Online hate has been spread, our trans students are being put in direct danger and we only see this getting worse if this event is not cancelled.
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  • Support Out of Hours Music and Art Schools (OOHM) Staff for better working conditions
    Out of Hours Music Classes (OOHM) have been a longstanding part of our music and art community in New Zealand for the past fifty years. Access to funding from the MOE ensures that public music schools deliver opportunities for young children in New Zealand to have a chance at learning a musical instrument without financial burden. Emerging research confirms the importance of music and arts as key factors in a child’s education and well-being. Children are known to perform better at other subjects at school if they are learning a music instrument or participating in art, as well as improved social interaction, confidence and emotional expression. The Ministry of Education currently facilitates funding to around 150 schools in New Zealand who, through the OOHM scheme, employ hundreds of tutors who deliver music and art tuition to thousands of school children. Many of our current OOHM are operating in excess of their funding to cope with increasing demand and have to turn students away. More families are turning to OOHM schools for music lessons for their children, because they cannot afford the costs of private tuition.
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  • Bring Priya and her girls to safety in New Zealand
    Most of us believe family comes first. But in just a matter of days, some people in the Australian government could deport two small girls to their death - unless the New Zealand government offers them safety. Picture this: Two small girls scream with fear as they are forced to watch their mum being physically dragging onto a plane - she fights the attempt to deport her back to Sri Lanka, a country she escaped after watching her fiancé be burnt alive. Priya knows that if she and her daughters are forced back, her daughters may suffer the same fate, or even worse as revenge for her escape, like any mum, she is fighting for her children’s safety. Tharunicaa and Kopika are 2 and 4, they were born in Australia and have lived their whole lives in the town of Biloela, a community that loves them and their parents Priya and Nades and is desperately fighting for them to stay. The whole town wants them back home, but instead the Australian government has sent them to Christmas Island, a detention centre routinely used for the deportation of people with criminal convictions and which our own politicians have described as disgraceful. While the Australian government is refusing to let them go home, we are begging the NZ government to step in and save these two girls from likely death. A temporary court injunction has stopped the deportation until Friday this week but without an intervention, their future remains uncertain and terrifying. New Zealand has previously taken refugees rejected by Australia. In 2001, Australia refused entry to 433 refugees on the Tampa. Those people were welcomed by New Zealand and have gone on to become small business owners, doctors, nurses, public servants, students, keen rugby players and even a Fulbright scholar. Priya’s husband, Nades, who she met in Australia has been working in the Biloela meatworks for over five years until they were taken into detention. He is hardworking and capable and, with meatworks employers across New Zealand screaming out for more workers he can start working straight away to support his family. They are the kind of family New Zealand needs and could have the same incredible impact on any new Zealand community that they have on the families of Biloela. They are now two days away from being deported back to danger. They are the only refugees on abandoned Christmas Island prison. Tharunicaa and Kopika cannot stop crying, asking when they can leave this scary place and go back to their home. It’s time for us to bring them here and allow them to make New Zealand their home. Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/sep/04/biloela-tamil-familys-deportation-blocked-until-at-least-friday
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  • Support the Lets Get Wellington Riding Vision
    We're seeing electric bikes and scooters sales grow at 100% year on year, and we've seen an increase in commute cycling of 25-40% across the city in the last year. They're often the fastest and cheapest ways around the city. We should be doing everything we can to support them. These new vehicles need safe space to operate on the road. The current plans for cycleways were developed before the explosion in these new types of vehicles. As such, it's no longer fit for purpose. We’ve designed the Let's Get Welly Riding Vision for Wellingtonians to take and run with (or ride, as the case may be). We hope you are inspired and join us in making Welly the best place in the world to live!
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  • Save the Amazon - New Zealand Government to act!
    We students and adults from all across NZ express strong concern about the situation in the Amazon rainforest. The world is in crisis. The Amazon rainforest has been burning for over three weeks; it is so large we can see it from space. This is destroying the homes and livelihoods of many people, including Indigenous communities in the region. The Amazon rainforest has thousands of native species that are dying and being displaced as this fire rages. The Amazon produces 20% of the air we breathe, and has 40% of the world's rainforests. The Amazon rainforest holds 20% of the world's freshwater. All of this is going up in smoke and if we don't act now, the whole forest could burn and it will impact our entire world. Protecting these forests are critical because of their crucial role as absorbers of carbon for the whole world. Given the urgency of the situation, we feel that the fires aren’t getting enough attention as it should be by the authorities within the country and require pressure and assistance by those outside of the country. The following link provides more information about the issue https://mailchi.mp/f17f15f32a53/bulletin-world-weekly-a-weather-report-for-the-world-2456737 We urge the general public to stand with us and urge our leaders to act now to save the Amazon rainforest, as this is an issue that will have severe ramifications for the whole world if not addressed immediately. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Jlwad under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license
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  • Bring In Subsidies to Encourage Lower Emission Vehicle Purchases
    This is an important issue as it affects all New Zealanders and will continue to affect New Zealanders for many years. If we can reduce the initial price of changing to a more efficient vehicle more New Zealanders will buy them. As a result, New Zeland will have lower private vehicle emissions. As well as later model car ownership. These changes will benefit all New Zealanders as it will help us to meet UN goals for sustainability and also bring us into the future as more people will have electric/ hybrid vehicles and this will create a demand for more charging stations, which will make electric vehicle ownership even easier and more realistic. The changes should be made with inequalities that could result in mind and where possible making changes create equality as well as improve emissions. https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/07/government-announces-proposed-clean-vehicle-incentives.html https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/114097177/national-pushes-back-on-clean-car-feebate-but-is-far-from-rejecting-it https://sciblogs.co.nz/infrequently-asked-questions/2017/11/23/climate-change-inequality-and-why-we-need-cycle-lanes-in-south-auckland/
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  • Get Jacinda to Ihumaatao!
    https://youtu.be/6o0SA3X_5CI Ihumaatao is a rare cultural heritage landscape that marks the arrival of the first Polynesians who settled here 800 years ago. The waahi tapu (sacred land) now threatened by destruction is part of this landscape and adjoins one of Aotearoa’s most complex archaeological sites - the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve. In 1863, this land was confiscated because our people refused to pledge allegiance to the English Queen. They were threatened, attacked, robbed and exiled, and sought refuge in Waikato. When they returned, their land had been given to settlers, the Wallace family. In 2014, the Wallace family agreed to sell the land to Fletcher Building. Auckland Council and the Government also approved this whenua as a Special Housing Area for 480 homes. But the most affected people, the Ahikaa (the people of the local marae and whanau of Ihumaatao village) were not consulted. So, six cousins from Makaurau Marae, with the blessing of their people, created the SOUL campaign. For five years the cousins and their supporters have worked hard to stop the development. Since November 2016, kaitiaki have peacefully occupied the land whilst campaigning to #protectihumatao. On Tuesday 23 July around 100 police, along with Fletcher representatives and others, arrived at Ihumaatao to issue eviction notices. Since then, thousands of protectors have come from all over Aotearoa and the world to support our struggle to reclaim the whenua. During the reclamation, we have reached out to the Prime Minister many times, asking her to walk the whenua; to experience, koorero and acknowledge this kaupapa. Until the Prime Minister experiences this whenua for herself, we won’t feel confident she has a true sense of what’s at stake or will deeply appreciate why this whenua matters so much and to so many of our people. When Jacinda became Prime Minister, she promised a kinder approach and we believed her. Under her leadership, the Government can right the wrong of the original raupatu (confiscation) by returning the land wrongfully stolen by the Crown. As Minister of Culture and Heritage she also has a duty to protect this rare archaeological taonga and sacred land from desecration. Your information will be shared with Protect Ihumātao - SOUL campaign and ActionStation who will get in contact from time to time about this campaign and others. You are free to opt out at anytime. Video credit: Conan Fitzpatrick Photo credit: John Kieran Hettig
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