• Condemn Israeli aggression against peaceful Palestinian worshippers
    According to international news sources, more than 300 Palestinians were detained on Easter Friday in Al-Aqsa Mosque in what rights groups say was the largest en masse arrest over the course of one hour and in one location in more than 20 years.(1) At least 158 Palestinians were injured in the ensuing violence. Most recently, Israel has prevented Palestinian Christians from entering the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to observe the Easter Vigil associated with the Christian Orthodox celebrations.(2) Tensions across the occupied territories continue to mount as the Israeli Occupation forces use violence against Palestinian Muslim and Christian worshippers and peaceful protestors. Every thirty-three years Ramadan, Easter and Passover coincide. It is especially sad that the recent aggression by the Israeli Occupation forces has occurred at a time of religious festivity for all three of the world’s monotheistic religions. Israel’s aggression not only endangers civilians at a holy moment, it also violates the sanctity and meaning of all three holidays. New Zealand has a strong record of supporting human rights including the freedom of thought, conscience and religion as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. New Zealand’s response to the March 15th Mosque attacks demonstrates its commitment to ensuring that religious communities should be able to observe their faith free of harassment and violence. We call on the New Zealand Rt Hon Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta to demonstrate their commitment to religious freedom by condemning the aggression of the Israeli Occupation forces against worshippers and peaceful protestors and extending the same concern the New Zealand government has expressed for Muslims in Aotearoa for Palestinians at worship. New Zealand has consistently held a principled position on Palestine through the United Nations in keeping with international law. This includes New Zealand’s vote in 1974 in favour of issuing an invitation to the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO’s) chairman Yasser Arafat to address the UN General Assembly (UNGA). New Zealand’s principled stance can also be traced in its 2012 UNGA vote to upgrade the status of Palestine to non-member observer state. When it comes to Palestine, the New Zealand state and its people have historically maintained an even-handed, diplomatic, and consistent approach to the Israeli conflict. We call on the New Zealand Government to maintain its strong principled stance in relation to Palestine and its commitment to Human Rights by condemning the recent Israeli violence. References: 1. https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-palestine-aqsa-mosque-jerusalem-storm-raid-settlers 2. https://www.palestinechronicle.com/israel-limits-access-to-holy-sepulcher-church-for-holy-fire-ceremony-video/ This petition has been created by Palestinians in Aotearoa Coordinating Committee (PACC). This petition has been signed by Alternative Jewish Voices (AJV).
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    Created by Palestinians in Aotearoa Coordination Committee Picture
  • Ensure access to ERP therapy for people living with OCD
    Fixate is an online community for NZers living with OCD or supporting someone living with OCD, with over 800 members. Personal experiences shared within Fixate reveal heart-breaking stories of individuals and families struggling with untreated OCD. Aside from the enormous personal cost, there is a hidden public cost in the “revolving door of care'' where people receive ineffective support for unrecognised, misdiagnosed or untreated OCD. Early diagnosis and targeted interventions would reduce both suffering and the need for costly support and long-term therapy down the track. When emerging OCD symptoms that could be “nipped in the bud” are left untreated, they become embedded and more resistant to treatment. The best practice treatment for OCD is ERP therapy (2). Sometimes this can be accompanied by medication that ‘quietens the obsessive thoughts’, making it easier to do the exposure work. Most people who access these treatments experience substantial improvement and/or recovery (where troublesome unwanted thoughts still occur, but are manageable and no longer disrupt everyday life). In Aotearoa New Zealand, people experiencing severe OCD are referred to secondary mental health services. However there is a high bar to acceptance of referrals and staff with expertise in ERP therapy are reportedly scarce to non-existent. Even when a referral is accepted, people are added to long waiting lists and don’t access treatment for many months. Those who don’t meet the threshold for referral are left in primary care where health professionals lack training in ERP therapy. 1. https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/wellbeing/125409931/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-convinced-woman-she-was-a-dangerous-murderer 2.https://journals.lww.com/intclinpsychopharm/Fulltext/2020/07000/Clinical_advances_in_obsessive_compulsive.1.aspx To learn more about people living with OCD and ERP therapy, go to www.ocd.org.nz https://iocdf.org/blog/2017/03/31/view-the-new-documentary-living-with-me-and-my-ocd/ https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/news/lawtalk/lawtalk-issue-944/obsessive-and-compulsive
    1,289 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Marion Maw
  • NZ Govt: speak up for Human Rights in Sri Lanka
    We are facing the worst and most inhumane economic crisis in the history of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is running short on food, medicines, fuel, gas, electricity, paper, and other essential commodities. There are also power cuts which go as long as 15-hours occurring everyday. The crisis has been caused and exacerbated by the corrupt, repressive and undemocratic actions of the ruling Rajapaksha regime, which has deepened inequality in Sri Lankan society. This compounding crisis has created a sense of solidarity and unity within the Kiwi Lankan community as we witness what our friends and whānau in Sri Lanka are going through during this time. It is also important to highlight that minority communities in Sri Lanka have been enduring ongoing crisis and repression for decades, since the state’s independence. Particularly the Tamil community, who for decades have endured systemic oppression at the hands of subsequent Sinhalese-dominated governments. We urge the New Zealand government, particularly the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to condemn the Rajapakse led Sri Lankan government’s actions against its own people. We ask that they use their influence to advocate for the self-determination and dignity of activists especially within our Tamil communities in this time of unrest. We ask for the fair treatment of activists, journalists and minorities. There are roughly 16,000 Kiwi Lankans who call Aotearoa home but the feeling of connection to our motherland is never lost, so it’s heartbreaking to witness as a community what is happening and to have no support or acknowledgement from our government here. We are asking the New Zealand government to condemn the heinous actions of the Sri Lankan government and help ensure the safety of our family and friends who we are not able to be with or even contact during this time. Please note - This petition is not the one that was signed during the Sri Lankan Mt Wellington Protest
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    Created by Duality NZ
  • Free bus fares for tertiary and high school students
    With rent, utilities, gas and food prices rising, the cost of public transport is not another factor young people should have to worry about. Free bus fares are about making sure everyone has an equal opportunity to get to places of education. No one should have to make the choice to stay home because they can’t afford to go to school or university. Many countries, including the UK, Australia, Germany and Italy have already made this equitable move and it is time we follow in their footsteps.
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    Created by Anne Leakey
  • Climate Accountability Now
    We rarely hear of government policies on climate change, the greatest threat to the future well-being of our children and grandchildren-and indeed of the whole planet. In 2019 the Prime Minister said that the climate crisis is ‘this generation’s nuclear free moment’ and Government declared a climate emergency. Arguably, Government has failed to treat it as such. I believe it is time to take action which makes a vital and lasting difference and to hold Government to account. Regular press conferences specifically about climate change will encourage reporters with specialised knowledge to attend and will give them the opportunity to question Government closely on this crucial issue. Knowledge is power! The majority of Kiwis believe the country is doing well in its response to the climate crisis. However, the international Climate Action Tracker rates our performance as ‘highly insufficient’. Press conferences will enable the public to be realistically informed about our CO2 emissions which will pressure the government to take action. New Zealand by itself can make only a small difference but countries with small economies are numerous and together have a significant effect on CO2 emissions. NZ could be bold and lead by example. Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions will help create a future without damaging storms, droughts and floods and will reduce the dangers of sea level rise. It will create a country of communities connected by efficient public transport and green, liveable cities for future generations.
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    Created by Bernard Schofield
  • Radio New Zealand: responsible science/environment coverage please!
    As taxpayers, we have a right to expect responsible public broadcasting. In today’s ‘post-truth’ environment, it’s more crucial than ever that we are all well-informed about issues that are utterly vital to the future of our mokopuna - particularly resource limitation challenges such as climate disruption. The reality is current COP pledges will result in a catastrophic +2.7oC above pre-industrial levels.(1) A viable future will have to be low-carbon; as a public service broadcaster, RNZ have a duty to make this clear. The changes we request would be consistent with the Government's declaration of a climate emergency. Many media organisations now have dedicated climate pages on their websites, notable local examples being the Stuff and Newsroom websites; internationally, the BBC,(2) Al Jazeera, the Guardian and Independent websites, and the Washington Post have all stepped up. - It’s time that RNZ did the same, and used their programme content to educate audiences about the climate crisis - including coverage of recent and future COP meetings. References: 1. https://phys.org/news/2022-03-options-halt-climate-crisis.html 2. https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/climate-content-pledge-cop26-1235101792/
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    Created by Graham Townsend Picture
  • COVID in Our Prisons - An Open Letter to the Justice Sector
    Over the last two years, a crucial piece of the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been implementing health measures to contain and minimise the spread of the virus. This response has been met with widespread support because, as a country, we have understood that the health and wellbeing of every person in Aotearoa New Zealand is worth protecting. We address this letter to you now out of serious concern over the news of the spread of COVID-19 in prisons in Aotearoa. We call on you to apply a common sense health-based approach to better protect incarcerated people from COVID-19. This matter is urgent. As we are seeing, an Omicron outbreak within New Zealand prisons could easily overwhelm prison health-care services and put pressure on the rest of the healthcare services. Incarcerated people cannot meaningfully practice social distancing or have to forfeit what limited opportunity they have for leisure and social interaction to do so. The ongoing practice of double-bunking makes this even more difficult. Family or whānau visits are similarly restricted under the current Covid Protection Framework settings, adding further pressure and stress. The spread of COVID-19 in prisons particularly puts the health of older people, pregnant people, and those with relevant pre-existing health conditions (including COPD, respiratory illnesses and those with compromised immunity) at risk. There is an unacceptably high risk to Māori in prison, prison staff, whānau and communities from COVID-19. The Government must honour its obligations under Te Tiriti O Waitangi, and prevent this pandemic from further entrenching existing inequities for Māori. Reducing the number of people pulled into the justice system and being held in our prisons is essential to avoid further harm caused to Māori communities, individuals and frontline workers in the courts and prisons. This would also demonstrate the Government’s commitment to partnership and long-term wellbeing as promised in the Police strategy Te Huringa O Te Tai and the Department of Corrections strategy Hōkai Rangi. In signing this open letter, we are calling on the government to take action to protect people in the justice system from COVID-19, including through reducing the prison population, and ensuring effective health and safety measures are being implemented.
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    Created by Kirsten Van Newtown
  • Overhaul the electricity sector so that power is affordable for all households
    With the cost of living continuing to skyrocket in New Zealand the last thing our communities need is bigger power bills. As winter is approaching, I am especially concerned for vulnerable households, the elderly and people with medical conditions affected by the cold. By bringing back the low user power tariff you will be preventing further power poverty and financial hardship and make the electricity market more equitable.
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    Created by Debbie Port
  • Welcome people fleeing the war in Ukraine to Aotearoa
    All people, regardless of where we live or what we look like, deserve to be able to live in peace and safety. But right now, the people of Ukraine have had that choice taken away from them. On the night of February 24th Russia invaded Ukraine. Cities were bombed. Civilians murdered. The actions of the Russian army has forced many people to leave their homes. At this rate, the situation looks set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century.(1) While the world seeks to find a way out of the turmoil of war in Europe, something New Zealand can do right now is to provide refuge and security to Ukrainian people who have had their lives overturned by the Russian invasion. As a community of Ukrainians-Kiwis together with our fellow Kiwi friends we ask the New Zealand Government to step up and help our family members and other innocent people fleeing the war. Other countries including the UK, Ireland, Canada and Australia have already provided some or all of the above pathways for resettlement, we need to also do our part.(2,3,4,5) References: 1.https://www.unhcr.org/news/briefing/2022/3/621deda74/unhcr-mobilizing-aid-forcibly-displaced-ukraine-neighbouring-countries.html 2.https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-support-for-ukrainians-fleeing-russia-invasion 3. https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/00aef-minister-mcentee-announces-immediate-lifting-of-visa-requirements-between-ukraine-and-ireland/ 4. https://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/issues_development-enjeux_developpement/response_conflict-reponse_conflits/crisis-crises/ukraine.aspx?lang=eng 5. https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-and-support/ukraine-visa-support
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    Created by NZ Ukraine Action -
  • Make Civics Education a Core Subject in All New Zealand Secondary Schools.
    In New Zealand, we have less social cohesion, lowering levels of trust in the government and lowering voter turnout rates. These are urgent matters that require action. We believe it requires implementing education and training within schools so young people have the ability to learn before they are able to actively engage and understand how decisions are made. We believe this is one crucial action that will work towards a more democratic society. The 2020 general election showed that 78% of eligible voters from the age of 18 – 24 voted compared to 89.14% of eligible voters between the age of 65 – 69. The 2019 local body election showed that only 41.7% of all eligible voters voted. We can do better as a country. There is currently a School Leavers Toolkit (https://school-leavers-toolkit.education.govt.nz/en/government-and-voting/) which was announced by the Labour Government in 2019 as a resource to equip students with the core skills and knowledge they need to leave school. We agree with Chris Hipkins when he said “This is just a start” and while we appreciate the MoE acknowledging civics education is an integral part of a person's education. We want civics education in all New Zealad schools to be the end goal. We urge the Ministry of Education to create richer content to be taught in secondary schools in a way that is engaging, experiential and participatory whilst maintaining an apolitical tone that enables people to question and explore their own beliefs and values. “We need to make sure all our young people can leave school with the skills they need to get on in life…It shouldn’t be left to chance” – Chris Hipkins Civics in Schools is a group of passionate people who have a vision where every New Zealander is an active participant within our democratic processes. We want every person to have the tools and knowledge to vote, make informed decisions and effect change. We are a multi-generational group of people, campaigning and calling on Minister of Education – Hon Chris Hipkins, Associate Minister of Education – Jan Tinette, Associate Minister of Education (Māori Education) – Hon Kelvin Davis, Associate Minister of Education (Pacific Peoples) – Hon Aupito William Sio to make civics education a core subject within all New Zealand secondary schools. Civics in Schools in the media: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/local-government/127970420/petition-created-to-teach-civics-in-schools https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/2018834600/call-for-civics-to-be-a-core-subject-in-school-curricula
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    Created by Joni Tomsett Picture
  • Commission of Inquiry into dyslexia & neurodiversity in New Zealand
    Dyslexia/neurodiversity affects around 15% of people worldwide, and impacts on their education, their working lives, and wider social interactions. Dyslexia/neurodiversity are best described as differences, as opposed to disabilities, but the way that society treats them turns them into disabilities. Dyslexia/neurodiversity are poorly understood and often overlooked in government policies. Currently New Zealand gathers no statistics about dyslexia/neurodiversity and New Zealand Human Rights legislation is silent on them. Many people with dyslexia/neurodiversity are not aware they have it and many people with it strive to hide it to avoid ridicule. Sadly, most teachers in most schools are poorly equipped to support children with dyslexia. Pre-service teacher training provides minimal dyslexia/neurodiversity instruction for new teachers entering the education workforce. Without change the challenges facing dyslexic children and adults are not likely to be addressed. Meeting the needs of Kiwis with dyslexia/neurodiversity is an equity issue. Sadly dyslexic/neurodiverse Kiwis have been ignored. It is demonstrably unfair that this group of Kiwis continue to be short-changed and treated poorly. This is also a major workplace productivity issue. No country can achieve to its full potential when 10 – 15% of its population are not fully engaged. This petition is about giving all Kiwis a fair go.
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    Created by Mike Styles
  • Feilding Against Incineration - Don’t Burn Our Future!
    PYROLYSIS IS A FORM OF INCINERATION The EU classifies pyrolysis as a type of incineration because it involves the thermal treatment or combustion of waste, and many of the resultant pollutants and emissions are all similar across the different waste-to-energy technologies. The EU's Directive on Industrial Emissions provides the following definition (Article 3 (40)): “‘waste incineration plant’ means any stationary or mobile technical unit and equipment dedicated to the thermal treatment of waste, with or without recovery of the combustion heat generated, through the incineration by oxidation of waste as well as other thermal treatment processes, such as pyrolysis, gasification or plasma process, if the substances resulting from the treatment are subsequently incinerated.” The Feilding pyrolysis facility fits within this definition. INCINERATORS POLLUTE OUR AIR, LAND AND WATER While it is true that today’s incinerators are cleaner than older models, they’re still not perfect. Modern incinerators still release toxic chemicals that include dioxins, mercury and cadmium – substances that cause cancer, nerve damage and birth defects. Anyone living downwind from an incinerator is in danger of breathing in these dangerous chemicals and suffering the health consequences, like respiratory issues [1]. Toxins in the form of dioxins and furans and other toxic chemicals formed by the process of pyrolysis can leach into soil and groundwater and accumulate in food chains. Waste pyrolysis facilities produce outputs in the form of gas, oil, air emissions, liquid effluent and solid char that are all highly contaminated with toxic substances. All of these outputs require substantial treatment to be able to be used safely, and some components of the treatment facilities (e.g. filters, scrubbers) become extremely toxic and require disposal at special hazardous waste landfills. The oil produced from pyrolysis is particularly toxic when plastics are used as feedstocks and can contain bromine, zinc, calcium, chlorine, and sulphur making the oil produced by pyrolysis significantly more environmentally polluting than other engine fuel [2]. The Feilding pyrolysis plant will produce a by-product of 2.5 tonnes of solid ‘char’ per day. This extremely toxic material will need to be dumped in special hazardous waste landfills. It is in no way, shape or form the same as ‘bio-char’ which can be used as an agricultural soil amendment and it is highly misleading of Bio Plant to call this toxic by-product ‘bio-char’ [3]. Incinerator toxins falling back to land are regularly washed into waterways where they combine with leachate from hazardous waste landfills. These contaminants poison 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. Environmental impact - Up to 70 tonnes of rubbish will be burnt in Feilding each day. - Incinerators release greenhouse gases - for each tonne of waste burnt, up to 1.2 tonnes of CO2 is produced. While pyrolysis does not burn waste directly, it produces gas and liquid fuels which will be subsequently burnt and will release similar levels of CO2. - It is claimed that the pyrolysis process will be ‘CO2 neutral’ and produce ‘renewable energy.’ This is completely false – the key ingredient will be plastics which are made from oil, a non-renewable resource. The synthetic gas and diesel that will be produced are also less efficient and more polluting than regular fossil fuels. Effects on the Feilding community - The health and well-being of residents - exposure to cancer-causing dioxins released into the air and potential odour nuisance. - Manawatū District Council locked into a long term and expensive contract. - Feilding is locked into producing rubbish to fulfil this contract instead of moving towards a sustainable circular economy and zero waste. - Endangering the wider community by increasing impacts of climate change and taking Aotearoa New Zealand further away from the Climate Change targets it needs to achieve. - Feilding could become a dumping ground for waste from other areas of NZ and possibly the Pacific. - May adversely affect land-values of neighbouring properties. - Employment - Bio Plant will employ very few people compared with ambitious zero waste programmes and initiatives such as reuse, repair, recycling and composting - which create as many as 200x more jobs than landfills and incinerators [4]. - Incinerators are being shut down around the world - Europe closed its last pyrolysis plant in Germany (Burgau plant) in 2015 due to climate and safety considerations [5]. Other plants are failing due to technical/engineering issues. In February two further plants in the UK alone closed due to technical failure. - There is no facility like this anywhere in NZ (and very few overseas). This is brand new technology and any consenting needs to be extremely rigorous. Feilding does not wish to be a guinea pig for this unproven technology. - We are very concerned that the proposed site for the Feilding pyrolysis facility is subject to a Treaty Claim. By failing to consult with Mana Whenua before offering this land to Bio Plant for a pyrolysis facility, Manawatū District Council are contradicting their goal of partnership with Mana Whenua. Incinerators destroy the progress we have already made. While we accept that waste is a problem, we know that incinerators are not 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 the Feilding pyrolysis facility proposal.
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    Created by Feilding Against