• TRADE ME – Say No to KWILA
    Kwila/merbau is a rainforest species under threat in West Papua, south east Asia and other parts of the Pacific. Most of it is illegally or unsustainably logged and most certifications for its origins are unreliable. It is sold mainly for decking timber and outdoor furniture on Trade Me. The impact of illegal or unsustainable logging of this species on forests, biodiversity and local communities has been tragic. Kwila grows sparsely across forests and logging destroys the surrounding forest as well as this endangered tree. Communities who live within forests are losing their homes, food basket and resources which have been sustained for more than 60,000 years. Forests containing illegally logged kwila are being replaced palm oil/palm kernel plantations and rice fields. The removal of these forests is contributing to climate chaos. There are alternative decking timbers grown in Aotearoa such as eucalyptus, and composite products for outdoor use which are very hard wearing. In 2011 we had an agreement with your Chief Executive to stop the trading of kwila on your website unless it was FSC or PEFC certificated, which strictly limited the trading. We accepted this agreement a starting point and we were very proud that your organisation was ready to do the right thing. We believed it was a very positive example of how a company could demonstrate ethical trading policies and play a role in reducing illegal rain forest logging. This agreement was honoured until about 4 years ago. In the last two years we have written to TradeMe leadership asking for a meeting to discuss why Trade Me has breached the agreement we made and is now allowing kwila from many sources to be sold on your site. We received no response. We have protested outside TradeMe's Auckland office and have received no response. We believe it is in the interest of Trade Me as an ethical trading site to lead the way on protecting the environment, both for a good reputation and for the benefits that come from cleaning up illegal logging. Therefore this petition asks for immediate action to protect kwila. Please stop this unethical trade on your site. Led by West Papua Action National Network How NZ decking timber choices compound a human rights crisis in West Papua, Jul 9, 2018 - https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/22-02-2019/how-nz-decking-timber-choices-compound-a-human-rights-crisis-in-west-papua/
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  • End military funding in Aotearoa New Zealand
    Aotearoa New Zealand is internationally perceived as a safe and independent country. However with all our advantages we could be working much more effectively towards peace and conflict resolution in the world. For a start we spend billions of dollars on military hardware, a lot more than on international peace keeping.[1] In this moment of economic insecurity reeling from the effects of covid-19 $1 billion was given to NZ Air Force hardware.[2] Military funding is unethical and supports corporate profits invested in the deaths of civilians. [3,4] The time is now ripe to reset and change New Zealand’s traditional military position. We ask you to consider making New Zealand Aotearoa a neutral, non-aligned country in order to become a world leader in conflict management and peace development internationally. A change to a neutral, non-military stance would immediately increase our security. We ask that all military funding is redirected to the ends of playing a peace-maker role in the world. This is urgent at a time of growing polarisation and fragile economic and social systems around the world. The funding can resource conversations about New Zealand's past and future role, training for people to gain the skills of conflict management, peace work and international aid. There is also a lot of work we could be resourcing internally, to be able to build towards working internationally to end conflicts with integrity. New Zealand as a nation was founded on colonial principles and based on military force and we have a lot of work to do to as a nation to learn, and share our learnings with other nations with similar colonial pasts. Just as Cuba is renowned for its skilled doctors helping in emergencies, New Zealand could become famous for its peace work. Sign the petition for an end to military funding and investments in peace. 1. NZ military $20b shopping list: Planes, boats, soldiers, satellites and drones https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/113363745/nz-military-20b-shopping-list-planes-boats-soldiers-satellites-and-drones 2. Budget 2020: Defence spending locks in $1bn Air Force upgrade https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12331970 3. US supplied bomb that killed 40 children on Yemen school bus https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/19/us-supplied-bomb-that-killed-40-children-school-bus-yemen 4. As defense industry prepares for downturn, Lockheed Martin reports strong first quarter https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/as-defense-industry-prepares-for-downturn-lockheed-martin-reports-strong-first-quarter
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  • Reclaiming Our Streets: Carless Days and Climate Change Responsibility
    Covid 19 Lockdown has given NZ society an opportunity to reflect on the value of living essentially. We have seen our streets and neighbourhoods become more connected and human friendly. We have seen what it is to live without the consistent noise and pollution of traffic and we, in the main, have found a measure of peace, connection and re-orientation in challenging times. This collective experience however is yet to translate to a collective conversation around our use of vehicles. This is an opportunity to reorient our streets and lives to focus on the essentials and clean up our air and our streets by giving them all regular periods of rest eg a return to carless days, car-pooling/sharing, a carless week/weekend each month and a clear reflection upon essential use of our own personal vehicles as well as those for commercial use. Each of us can then start to meet the need for climate change responsibility. Please sign for responsible use of vehicles and repurposing our streets for safe and enjoyable human usage. This is an outreach to local and central government. Please see below for articles on this idea: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/world-car-free-day-22-september-great-opportunity-reduce-air-pollution and: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/08/air-pollution-opportunity-not-just-problem/
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  • BEES ON THE BEEHIVE
    We all want a sustainable planet. We all want our planet to survive. We all need bees to thrive to be able to achieve that. We all need to learn to think like worker bees and discover how to unite together in the common good for mother nature. Bee workers of the world unite! Bees can be both a bridge and a gateway. As a bridge they can be a way of connecting human and non-human nature and as a gateway they can guide humans to a deeper understanding and connection with urban nature. 🐝 Bees pollinate our flowers, our plants, our flora and fauna and help our natural planet to grow. Bees also work in communities in harmony with each other. However certain species are in danger because of human activities. Imagine a world without bees? No flowers and plants for us to enjoy and consume = no planet. The purpose of this petition is not to Save bees but to draw attention to them through a community approach and that promotes the values of localism as opposed to internationalism. There is huge value in creating a jar of local honey. A local jar with healing properties, rather than transporting goods across the oceans. Aotearoa New Zealand is blessed to have wonderful bees and wonderful honey. Honey is a good export business for NZ companies, though we also need to seek to find a balance and be thinking more locally. We need to think Global and Act Local. We need to consider how best to utilise our large urban corporate buildings, our institutional organisations, with large rooftops that are often neglected. We need to think more like permaculture and how a tree drops its leaves close to its trunk to feed its own roots with its own nutrients so it then requires less energy to grow more leaves. Aotearoa New Zealand is blessed to have a parliament building called the BEEHIVE. Basil Spence is a well known architect around the world. The Beehive government building is also the central hub of decision making for New Zealand's past, present and future. It is therefore perfectly placed to make some global media buzz and noise around this important ecological issue. We ask NZ Parliament to please consult with a NZ Beekeeping authority and local beekeepers association, to carry out a comprehensive assessment of this proposal, with a simple feasibility study. To then invite a suitably qualified beekeeper, selected from a bid put to tender, to place one of their hives on top of the Beehive. If this location is not possible due to the well-being of the bees, or due to any other logistical or security restrictions, then to place the hive within the grounds of the Beehive building. The intention is to be able to produce a jar of local honey called 'NZ Parliament Beehive Honey.' To enable Jacinda, our wonderful current Prime Minister or any future prime minster of NZ to don a beekeepers outfit for the media. To extract the honey and donate a gift of local NZ Beehive honey to all Prime Ministers and other important dignitaries who come to NZ from around the world. Equally to encourage selling local NZ Beehive Parliament Honey online to the local Wellingtonians and visiting international tourists when they are allowed back into our beautiful country after the Covoid-19 border lockdown. Especially if the old NZ Parliament shop has to remain closed for security reasons. We believe this petition and campaign will help to promote the importance of local NZ made produce in NZ and help to publicise the urban beehive industry in a positive way and for it to be a visual community voice for the NZ bee industry. This will in turn help New Zealanders to all protect our beautiful planet and our bees. Kia Kaha, Buzz Buzz, Bee Good. Protecting bees and other pollinators https://www.epa.govt.nz/everyday-environment/animals-and-insects/bees/ NZ Bee species https://teara.govt.nz/en/diagram/15740/new-zealands-bee-species https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/resources/identification/animals/bug-id/what-is-this-bug/bugs-with-legs/6-legs/bees-and-wasps Bees And Wind https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/18/bees-may-struggle-in-winds-caused-by-global-warming-study-finds https://www.independent.co.uk/news/radar-reveals-secrets-of-bumble-bees-flight-1104964.html NZ Bees Under Threat https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/99580630/native-bees--small-solitary-and-under-threat Learn About NZ Bees https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12118917 https://apinz.org.nz/learn-about-bees/ https://www.beesuptop.co.nz https://www.sweetreehoney.co.nz NZ Beekeepers Forums https://www.nzbees.net/forums/ https://www.beehive.org.nz The power of Communities ~ Bee philosophy https://www.commonunityproject.org.nz
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  • Put nature at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery
    Nature is on the verge of collapse. New Zealand has 4000 species in trouble, polluted waterways and a damaged marine environment; only transformative economic and policy decisions can restore and sustain our planet and our people. The rebuilding of our society after the impacts of COVID-19 provides us with a chance to restore our natural environment for both current and future generations.
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  • Keep Dunedin Rail Rolling
    The closure and/or mothballing of Dunedin Railways will lead to the loss of a substantial number of local jobs. It will end one of the most popular visitor experiences to Dunedin and Otago. The flow on effects for other local stakeholders would be considerable. Keeping jobs and skills in Dunedin, introducing local commuter services, and engaging staff in local rail projects is the positive alternative. When tourism rebuilds, this popular service will then be ready and waiting. 🚂 Dunedin railways workers propose positive solutions to prevent closure: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU2004/S00631/dunedin-railways-workers-propose-positive-solutions-to-prevent-closure.htm
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  • Community Checkpoints Are Protecting Vulnerable People from Covid-19
    The evidence is clear: this positive and decisive community action, led by iwi and supported by police, councils and health providers is saving lives. From Ōpōtiki Mayor Lyn Riesterer crediting this initiative for the fact that there are no cases of Covid-19 within the Te Whanau-a-Apanui tribal boundaries; to South Taranaki Mayor Phil Nixon saying "I really support what they're wanting to do to protect our community. They're going to great lengths to look after us", it is clear these checkpoints are not just keeping people safe but making people feel safe, too. As the country has moved into level three, and reports of huge numbers of New Zealanders not following lockdown protocols are becoming all too common, it is imperative that the government maintain support for these community initiatives that have been protecting people so well at level four. New Zealand can beat Covid-19, but where required, community checkpoints must remain a key part of the regional response.
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  • School Strike 4 Climate NZ & 4 Tha Kulture Open Letter Calls For Covid Green Response
    As the youth of Aotearoa, it is important that the decision and projects that we put forward work around securing our generation a safe future. The children of New Zealand will be paying off the debt collected from the stimulus project. We demand that you, as the leaders of today, ensure us a safe future
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  • Universal Education Income / Te Rourou Matanui-a-Wānanga
    1) STUDENTS ARE IN POVERTY Right now, tertiary students are in poverty. The poverty that students experience is a result of years of successive governments eroding the financial support that tertiary students have access to. The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the economic vulnerability that students face. Students have lost the part time jobs that provided essential weekly income to cover weekly expenses like rent, power and food. Many of the jobs that students in the gig economy, tourism and hospitality disappeared overnight, too early for them to be rehired by their employer to qualify for the Wage Subsidy. The Tertiary Support Package announced by the Government on 14 April 2020 fails to address this poverty. Increasing the amount of course related costs for domestic full-time students from $1,000 to $2,000, only increases student debt, and fails to provide relief in the areas of hardship that students face, simply because this money is not able to be spent on accommodation or food costs. It is also unable to be accessed by part-time students, many of whom relied on employment, they now don’t have, to make ends meet. One student says: “...I don’t know what to do, I’m barely managing to pay my rent, I can’t pay power, I can’t afford nutritional food, I can’t even afford to buy warm clothes now that it’s getting colder. I don’t have much in the way of clothes as it is and most don’t fit me anymore. I spend more time in bed trying to keep warm because of lack of clothes and not being able to afford power.” 2) STUDENT DEBT CRISIS We have a student debt crisis in New Zealand. Student debt in New Zealand continues to climb to unprecedented levels, surpassing $16 billion this year despite the student loan scheme being introduced in 1992. For students who borrow living costs on top of course fees, in order to survive while they study, effectively double their student loan every year. The student debt crisis impacts the lives of prospective students, current students and graduates. It creates a significant barrier that deters many prospective students from accessing the opportunities post-secondary education provides, especially from lower socio-economic communities. Money should not determine one’s ability to further their education. Research shows that student debt places harmful mental pressures on current students, affecting their wellbeing, academic performance and political participation. Upon completing their tertiary studies, research highlights that graduates experience the full weight of their crippling student debt when 12.5% of the income is deducted each week, and their ability to start a family, buy their first home or travel overseas is greatly restricted for many years after graduation. Students are being buring in debt before they even get started. Students should not be forced to take on a debt sentence to access education that will benefit communities across Aotearoa. 3) EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO THE RECOVERY Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that “education will be key to our economic recovery”. We agree. However, the week-to-week cost of being a tertiary student is a barrier for many people wanting to begin studying for the first time or re-train, especially given that many people have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19. This is especially the case for people with dependents, or people who are already vulnerable in our society. Donna, a full-time nursing student and solo mother is one of these students who is just scraping by. In a few years, Donna should be a qualified nurse, saving New Zealanders lives and contributing to New Zealand’s economy. She won’t achieve her dreams without additional government support. For education to be universally accessible, we must have a universally accessible system of support. SUPPORTED BY New Zealand Union of Students' Associations, Te Mana Ākonga and Tauira Pasifika PROOF THAT A UNIVERSAL EDUCATION INCOME IS ACHIEVABLE? In response to the hardship that tertiary students in Canada have experienced from COVID-19, the Canadian Government has implemented an equivalent Student Benefit of $1,250 per month for eligible students and $1,750 for students with dependents or disabilities. The tertiary education policy of New Zealand First and the Green Party both include a universal student allowance, which is the equivalent of Universal Education Income / Te Rourou Matanui-a-Wānanga. REFERENCES AND MORE INFORMATION: ‘Why increasing student debt is not a support package’ https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/16-04-2020/why-increasing-student-debt-is-not-a-support-package/ Student Benefit in Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/04/support-for-students-and-recent-graduates-impacted-by-covid-19.html Tertiary Support Package announced by the Government https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/covid-19-tertiary-student-support-package NZUSA Income and Expenditure Report 2017 http://www.students.org.nz/studentreport NZUSA Kei Te pai? Report 2018 http://www.students.org.nz/mentalhealth Student Loan Scheme Annual Report 2019 https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/series/student_loan_scheme_annual_reports/student-loan-scheme-annual-report-2019 Green Party Tertiary Education Policy https://www.greens.org.nz/tertiary_education_policy New Zealand First Tertiary Education Policy https://policy.nz/topic/Education#Tertiary%20Education ‘Crushing student debt is putting students off political action’ https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/shows/2019/09/crushing-student-debt-putting-kids-off-getting-political-author.html Student Debt and Political Participation by Sylvia Nissen https://www.bwb.co.nz/books/student-political-action https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783319963211 Photo: Trinity Thompson-Browne (@trin_tb)
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  • COVID19: Re-set Our Economy Sustainably
    Sustainability has been at the forefront of New Zealand’s news, our elections, and spurred hundreds of thousands of kiwis to peacefully protest. Despite this, and the extremely urgent message science is giving us, there has been a distinct lack of action. COVID19, in an unexpected and undesirable way, has given us the opportunity to re-set. Our new normal does not mean going back to the ways we know are broken. Our new normal means re-setting how we live, work, produce and govern in a way that regenerates. To start to heal what we have done while living outside the biophysical limits of the Earth. This gives us, future generations and other species a fair chance. It will help prevent, and be more resilient to, future crises. This disruption is a time to re-think systems and unite business, government and NGO's. Unlike ever before, we have the means and motivation to collaboratively and fairly transition our economy for a sustainable future. It's clear that if this opportunity is not navigated properly, with courageous and informed decision making, the future we are borrowing from our Mokopuna (Grandchildren) will not be a bright one. The decisions now will make our bed for decades to come and they must be the right ones. Our Leaders have a moral, and legal (Paris Agreement), responsibility to create a strong, resilient, local economy that regenerates Papatūānuku (Mother Earth) and fosters actualised human wellbeing.
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  • Partially reimburse University of Otago students for semester one and minimise university job losses
    Students at the University of Otago are dealing with a decreased learning experience due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Practical classes and field trips have all been canceled and all learning is via online lectures and sometimes zoom classes. As students, we are making the best of a bad situation but feel that we should not be charged the full course fees when we are not receiving the original course content in full. It is also important that the staff of the university have job security moving forward.
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  • Invest in a healthy and flourishing planet for our future - a covid response
    The Government has shown a commitment to COVID-19 recovery and have indicated that it will make significant investment in infrastructure. To protect the planet and protect our future, it is important that this investment does not lock us further into the high-emission pathway we are on, as such investments will accelerate the climate and ecological breakdown. The Government has tasked the Infrastructure Industry Reference Group to present it with projects that are ready to start within six months. The projects that are selected will be pivotal in determining our future! We are afraid for our ecosystems, animals and people that projects which lock us into a high-emission and ecologically unsustainable pathway will be selected. To prevent this, and to achieve a future that is connected to a healthy and flourishing planet, we need to urge the Government to invest in transformation climate change projects. Further examples of possible projects include restoring our ecosystems, enhancing walking and cycling routes, and green tech innovations. Please sign this petition if you want to call on Government to invest in a healthy and flourishing planet for our future. Government seeks infrastructure projects https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government-seeks-infrastructure-projects
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