• 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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  • Raise the Youth Justice age to 21
    Update: In December 2016, the Government announced that they would raise the age of access to the Youth Justice system to 18 years, this means that most 17 year olds in New Zealand who are charged with a crime in New Zealand will be able to access a justice system designed specifically for young people. This is a great progress towards our goal! Thank you for your support so far, and we hope you'll continue to support this campaign to reach our ultimate goal of all young people in New Zealand being dealt with in our specialist youth courts. Our Youth Justice system is praised around the world. Every year scholars and practitioners come to New Zealand to watch us in action. But as soon as a child turns 17, they're processed through the adult criminal justice system where 91% of under 20s are reconvicted within 2 years after release. Young people need support to help them learn from their mistakes while still holding them accountable to their victims and communities. The adult justice system blindly punishes with no solutions for stopping future harm. Our youth justice system, currently available to 14-16 year olds gets young people on the right track while giving victims a say in the process. We need to raise the age of the youth justice system to 21. You can find out more here: http://justspeak.org.nz/including-17-year-olds-youth-justice-system-facts/
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  • Peace For Pekapeka : Return Waitara Lands
    The New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill 2016 is not supported by the vast majority of hapū and iwi members within Waitara. The Bill further divests the lands confiscated including the Pekapeka Block, from hapū and iwi. Our tupuna Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake stated clearly that Waitara must remain in the hands of our people. "I will not agree to our bedroom being sold (I mean Waitara here), for this bed belongs to all of us; and do not you be in haste to give the money. If you give the money secretly, you will get no land for it. You may insist, but I will never agree to it. . . All I have to say to you, O Governor, is that none of this land will be given to you, never, never, till I die." Wiremu Kingi to Governor Browne, April 1859. The Waitangi Tribunal emphasised that any settlements of these claims must not create further injustice, as stated: "A more arguable case would appear to be that the settlement of historical claims is not to pay off for the past, even were that possible, but to take those steps necessary to remove outstanding prejudice and prevent similar prejudice from arising; for the only practical settlement between peoples is one that achieves a reconciliation in fact." (Waitangi Tribunal The Taranaki Report, Kaupapa Tuatahi: p.315). It is our view that this Bill fails to meet the expectation by the Waitangi Tribunal and the whānau, hapū and iwi of Waitara that the settlement process would be honourable and would not reproduce the prejudices of that past. For true, meaningful and enduring resolution to take place in Waitara the stolen lands held by the NPDC must be returned to the hapū of Te Atiawa at no cost. The NPDC (and earlier councils such as the Waitara Borough Council) have received lease payments of these lands for over 100 years. Many of the original confiscation lands within Waitara have already been made freehold sections and privatised without the knowledge of the hapū and iwi. Both the council and those private owners have benefited financially while the hapū and iwi have struggled to maintain our connection to our ancestral lands. Hapū and iwi should not be forced to 'buy back' our own lands that were illegally confiscated by the colonial forces. Te Atiawa iwi should not be expected to 'buy back' lands from those that have benefited directly from the confiscation. The lands in Waitara must be returned for our people to have any sense that our voices have been heard. The lands in Waitara were stolen, the lands must be returned. Me riro whenua atu, me hoki whenua mai.
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  • Equal support for Convention Refugees
    The Asylum Seeker Equality Project, initiated by the Human Rights team of the Wellington Community Justice Project and ChangeMakers Refugee Forum, seeks to secure equal resettlement support for all refugees in New Zealand. People granted Convention refugee status, commonly known as asylum seekers, are people who claim asylum upon arrival in New Zealand. In comparison, people with Quota refugee status are brought to New Zealand under the UNHCR Resettlement Programme. This is the only practical difference between the statuses. People under each status come from the same war-stricken circumstances and flee the same persecution. Despite this, only people with Quota refugee status receive official help and support upon their arrival to New Zealand. Through the Government’s Refugee Resettlement Strategy, they receive help with resettlement, accommodation, employment and education for the first 12 months of their life in New Zealand. These processes are imperative to meaningful resettlement. People with Convention refugee status are denied this support and suffer increased hardship across all sectors of their lives. They endure human rights violations, harsh living conditions and are immediately marginalised by the government policy, making their transition into New Zealand society incredibly difficult. By signing this petition you acknowledge that the New Zealand House of Representatives has a moral obligation to ensure all people with refugee status in New Zealand receive the same treatment and support. Read the extensive nature of the inequalities in ChangeMakers's report "Marking Time" here: http://goo.gl/XvIUNF
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  • Stop Kiwisaver Fund Managers from investing in weapons.
    Some KiwiSaver fund managers have been investing in companies that make land mines and cluster bombs. By extension, hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who are KiwiSaver members are unwittingly investing in companies that make weapons of war. At least five of the nine default KiwiSaver providers have invested in these types of companies, despite them rightly being treated as unethical investments by government agencies such as the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and ACC. Both of these organisations are forbidden to invest in any of these munitions companies because of the government's obligations under international conventions banning the use of these weapons and investment in the companies that make them. Please sign this petition and share it widely with your friends. Together we can let Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith know that New Zealanders do not want their hard-earned savings going to manufacture such things as nuclear warheads , cluster bombs or land mines. Read more: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/311225/kiwisavers-fund-cluster-bombs,-land-mines
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  • No Weapons Expo, No Warships
    Aotearoa New Zealand is a Nuclear-Free Peacemaking nation. We oppose the investment of billions of dollars in the military and new weaponry, which clearly does not deter terrorism, but rather contributes to violence, and war cycles.[1] We will not stand for the government supporting an arms expo for international weapons companies. This is proposed for 16 and 17 November 2016 in Auckland, sponsored by the world’s largest weapons manufacturer and maker of nuclear weapons, Lockheed Martin.[2] In June, 2016, the government announced $20 Billion of new spending on weaponry. At the same time, it extended an invitation to a US warship to visit NZ for the first time in 32 years. In November this year, this will all culminate in a week where warships dominate Auckland Harbour, and 500+ weapons dealers take over the ANZ Viaduct events centre for a trade show. The NZDF, Ministry of Defence and NZ Trade and Enterprise provide funding, personnel, equipment, displays and expertise for the Weapons Expo. The $20 Billion new military spending includes the purchase of new warships and aggressive cyberwarfare capabilities described by Minister Gerry Brownlee as a "significant weapon" [2] This is despite that the government's own evidence that "the country does not face a direct military threat in the foreseeable future." [3] While billions are funnelled to multinational arms dealers, the real threats to ordinary people in New Zealand mount: poverty, homelessness, lack of adequate health care and catastrophic climate change. Auckland Peace Action is a grassroots community group working to oppose the warships and the weapons expo. We believe that it is not possible to build a peaceful and just world while simultaneously acquiring ever more weapons and doing more planning for war. This petition is an important part of our campaign this year to bring pressure on the government. Join the campaign for peace! [1] See "Does US Intervention overseas breed terrorism?" Foreign Policy Briefing. The Cato Institute. http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/fpb50.pdf [2] More information on the Weapons Expo can be found at http://www.nzdia.co.nz [3] http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/80835677/defence-white-paper-20b-defence-upgrades-for-new-planes-boats-and-cyber-security [4] Ministry of Defence. 2016. Defence White Paper, p10. http://www.defence.govt.nz/pdfs/defence-white-paper-2016.pdf
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  • Keep our sleeping babies safe- National pēpi-pod/wahakura programme
    The Ministry of Health announced last year that they will work with researchers and other paediatric experts to develop a programme using pēpi pods, to help save babies lives. But as the programme stands only certain babies (the most vunerable) will get access to them, not all babies. Recent research released findings showed that pepi pods/wahakura are safe and in fact significantly increased the level of breastfeeding, as the baby is in arms reach. (Read the full article here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11779101) It's super that we now have the science to back us up and this makes our case for the government rolling out a nationwide scheme even stronger! What we need to do now is gather our voices, make noise, spread the word and collect more signatures to make this campaign bigger and bolder. Let's tell the government that all New Zealand babies/pepi are precious and deserve a safe space to sleep in. We demand action! If you haven't already, you can write to the Minister or give his office a call, as it’ll let him know that we’re not going away. Here are his details: (email) jonathan.coleman@parliament (phone) 09 419 8021 Please can you share this message with your family, friends, colleagues and all people who love babies. --------------------------- New Zealand has the worst rate of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) in the industrialised world. Every year 50 babies die from SUDI, with half being accidentally smothered by parents. Māori babies are eight times more likely to die from accidental suffocation because of high smoking rates and the cultural custom of bed-sharing. A sleeping device, a wahakura or pēpi-pod, was designed in 2006 to prevent deaths while bed-sharing. http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11673356 Pēpi-pods/wahakura allow parents or caregivers to sleep close to their babies while allowing pēpi to stay safe in their own individual space. Being close to your baby is important to be able to respond sensitively and remain in tune during the first few weeks of life. Pēpi-pods/wahakura support cultural values of co-sleeping within our Māori and Pacific families and communities. Internationally renowned cot death expert Professor Ed Mitchell, of the University of Auckland, believed in the device from day one. "When David [Tipene-Leach] first invented the wahakura, I stuck my neck out very early on and supported this Māori initiative," he says. With the right prevention strategies in place, such as a national pēpi-pod programme and targeted anti-smoking campaigns, Mitchell believes New Zealand's SUDI rate could be cut down from 50 deaths a year to as few as five. "In my heart, I know we can get it down.".http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11670826 The recent fall in post perinatal mortality in New Zealand and the Safe Sleep programme. Mitchell EA, Cowan S, Tipene-Leach D. The deaths of babies in New Zealand in their first month of life was reduced by 29% from 2009-2015. The reduction was most prominent in Māori infants. This recent fall is likely to be due to a combination of strategies including; pēpi-pods/wahakura and educational intiatives. Over 16, 500 pēpi-pods/wahakura have been distributed nationwide due to this safe sleep programme. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27254483
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  • Equal Pay - It's Time
    This is a historic opportunity to do the right thing by the women – and men – doing low-paid and crucial work. Join us and make a stand for equal pay. Because It’s Time.
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  • Save Our Public Healthcare: Waikato Members of Parliament
    The local petitions for each DHB area were handed in to Parliament in May 2017! Read the story of the local volunteers and their campaign to Save our Public Health system: 'Health volunteers step it up a level' https://medium.com/actionstation/our-volunteer-campaigners-step-it-up-a-level-ebe7fdc8ea74 Background "It's very dangerous. If this continues we will slide into an American-style healthcare system." - Phil Bagshaw (Canterbury Charity Hospital founder and editorial co-author of the report: Funding New Zealand's healthcare system). We all want our friends and family to be happy and in good health. When illness or accidents happen, we want to know they can get the healthcare they need, when they need it. But the government has been underfunding our public healthcare system for almost a decade, putting good health and peace of mind out of reach for hundreds of thousands of people. Today, our Health Budget is missing $1.85 billion in vital funds. [1] These are not just numbers on a spreadsheet. Each funding cut represents a person who might not receive a hip operation, cancer screening, counselling service or hospital bed because they can’t be funded. Here are the facts: * One in nine Kiwis are not getting the GP care they need because they cannot afford it. [2] * There has been an almost 300 percent increase in crisis mental health referrals over the past five years and mental health workers are struggling to cope. [3] * $1.85 billion is the increase in funding required to restore our overall health budget to the same proportion of the economy (GDP) as it was in the year to June 2010 when the underfunding crisis began​​. The Government could afford to fund our healthcare system properly. They choose not to. In fact, the reported government surplus is almost exactly the same amount as the amount of underfunding. Please take action today and sign your name. ​Together we can ensure Aotearoa New Zealand has a public health care system we can all be proud of. --- References: [1] Did the Budget provide enough for health 2016? CTU Budget Analysis (please note the figures used in this study were conservative and we’ve since spoken to the authors who gave us the updated figure of $1.85b) [2] Half a million Kiwis not receiving healthcare because of costs, Ged Cann, Stuff News, 3rd November 2016 [3] Mental health workers struggling to cope, RNZ, 7th June 2016
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  • Save Our Public Healthcare: Hawkes Bay Members of Parliament
    "It's very dangerous. If this continues we will slide into an American-style healthcare system." - Phil Bagshaw (Canterbury Charity Hospital founder and editorial co-author of the report: Funding New Zealand's healthcare system). We all want our friends and family to be happy and in good health. When illness or accidents happen, we want to know they can get the healthcare they need, when they need it. But the government has been underfunding our public healthcare system for almost a decade, putting good health and peace of mind out of reach for hundreds of thousands of people. Today, our Health Budget is missing $1.85 billion in vital funds. [1] These are not just numbers on a spreadsheet. Each funding cut represents a person who might not receive a hip operation, cancer screening, counselling service or hospital bed because they can’t be funded. Here are the facts: * One in nine Kiwis are not getting the GP care they need because they cannot afford it. [2] * There has been an almost 300 percent increase in crisis mental health referrals over the past five years and mental health workers are struggling to cope. [3] * $1.85 billion is the increase in funding required to restore our overall health budget to the same proportion of the economy (GDP) as it was in the year to June 2010 when the underfunding crisis began​​. The Government could afford to fund our healthcare system properly. They choose not to. In fact, the reported government surplus is almost exactly the same amount as the amount of underfunding. Please take action today and sign your name. ​Together we can ensure Aotearoa New Zealand has a public health care system we can all be proud of. --- References: [1] Did the Budget provide enough for health 2016? CTU Budget Analysis (please note the figures used in this study were conservative and we’ve since spoken to the authors who gave us the updated figure of $1.85b) [2] Half a million Kiwis not receiving healthcare because of costs, Ged Cann, Stuff News, 3rd November 2016 [3] Mental health workers struggling to cope, RNZ, 7th June 2016
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  • Save Our Public Healthcare: Auckland Members of Parliament
    The local petitions for each DHB area were handed in to Parliament in May 2017! Read the story of the local volunteers and their campaign to Save our Public Health system: 'Health volunteers step it up a level' https://medium.com/actionstation/our-volunteer-campaigners-step-it-up-a-level-ebe7fdc8ea74 Background "It's very dangerous. If this continues we will slide into an American-style healthcare system." - Phil Bagshaw (Canterbury Charity Hospital founder and editorial co-author of the report: Funding New Zealand's healthcare system). We all want our friends and family to be happy and in good health. When illness or accidents happen, we want to know they can get the healthcare they need, when they need it. But the government has been underfunding our public healthcare system for almost a decade, putting good health and peace of mind out of reach for hundreds of thousands of people. Today, our Health Budget is missing $1.85 billion in vital funds. [1] These are not just numbers on a spreadsheet. Each funding cut represents a person who might not receive a hip operation, cancer screening, counselling service or hospital bed because they can’t be funded. Here are the facts: * One in nine Kiwis are not getting the GP care they need because they cannot afford it. [2] * There has been an almost 300 percent increase in crisis mental health referrals over the past five years and mental health workers are struggling to cope. [3] * $1.85 billion is the increase in funding required to restore our overall health budget to the same proportion of the economy (GDP) as it was in the year to June 2010 when the underfunding crisis began​​. The Government could afford to fund our healthcare system properly. They choose not to. In fact, the reported government surplus is almost exactly the same amount as the amount of underfunding. Please take action today and sign your name. ​Together we can ensure Aotearoa New Zealand has a public health care system we can all be proud of. --- References: [1] Did the Budget provide enough for health 2016? CTU Budget Analysis (please note the figures used in this study were conservative and we’ve since spoken to the authors who gave us the updated figure of $1.85b) [2] Half a million Kiwis not receiving healthcare because of costs, Ged Cann, Stuff News, 3rd November 2016 [3] Mental health workers struggling to cope, RNZ, 7th June 2016
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  • Minister Anne Tolley: Forgive WINZ Motel Emergency Accommodation Debt
    When people are in desperate need, Winz loan people money so they can rent out a motel room as emergency housing. [1] People then have to repay the debt, and many say that is just not possible. This is a ridiculous and inhumane policy in effect locking people who are already in such dire straits that they are homeless, into further debt. Furthermore, it does nothing to solve the housing crisis and is open to exploitation by the Motel owners, and the people themselves have little choice but to agree. Take Nicole in the picture, who is living in a motel with her three children, including an eight-week-old baby, but the family is facing the real possibility of having to live in a car. https://www.youtube.com/embed/vxTATpTGaVU Nicole is among many Work and Income (Winz) clients who are being put up in $190-a-night motels because there simply isn't enough emergency housing to cope with the demand, a ministry source says. All of them will have to pay the motel costs back even if they can't afford it. [2] This needs to change. Sign the petition. References: 1) Homeless borrow thousands for motels, RadioNZ, 17 May 2016 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/304122/homeless-borrow-thousands-for-motels 2) Eight-week-old baby among hundreds homeless, RadioNZ, 18 May 2016 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/304200/eight-week-old-baby-among-hundreds-homeless
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