• Call for NZCOM to remove transphobic keynote speaker & make conference a safe space for all
    The New Zealand College of Midwives is holding their biennial conference in November of 2021 with the theme “Celebrating Diversity, Growing Stronger Together.” While the theme of this conference is diversity, the college has invited an openly transphobic writer to present as their keynote speaker. This writer and proposed keynote speaker has actively perpetuated harm within rainbow communities, shared hate speech toward gender minorities, and had her connection with large organisations in the UK severed in response to her continued harm towards rainbow communities. These organisations include Birthrights who said the following in response to terminating their connection with her: “Birthrights is very clear that we are an inclusive organisation and are here for everyone who gives birth, regardless of how they identify. We reject any suggestion that respecting pregnant non-binary and trans people diminishes women’s rights. I have also seen other social media comments/replies where you undermine trans and non-binary people and state that people can only be male or female. This is harmful and distressing and in my view not compatible with a rights-based approach to pregnancy and childbirth. I’m afraid that Birthrights isn’t able to work with people who don’t share our inclusive values.” Despite NZCOM's conference theme of diversity, the college of midwives only has one presentation about gender and sexual diversity within pregnancy & birth. The college did not make any effort to reach out to members of the LGBTTQIA+ community within their own workforce, or adjacent workforces, to present their work. To hold a conference with the theme of “Celebrating Diversity,” and to make no effort to engage with the rainbow communities on being visible and safe at their conference is concerning. To have a keynote speaker who actively engages in perpetuating harm against rainbow communities is alarming. This keynote address also jeopardises the safety of any members of the rainbow community wishing to attend the conference. Further information and background on this speaker can be found by reading our open letter here: https://sites.google.com/empwr.nz/no-transphobia-in-midwifery/home The Rainbow Midwives Alliance are calling on the New Zealand College of Midwives to urgently remove Milli Hill as keynote speaker, apologise for the harm this has caused to LGBTTQIA+ communities, engage a local member of the community as keynote speaker, and outline their commitment to doing better going forward.
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  • Respect The Rāhui - Supporting the protection of our Oceans
    Our moana is under increasing stress from many different effects including chronic overfishing by industrialised methods such as dredging and trawling in the coastal marine areas which has led to the significant decline of treasured species to both Māori and the wider community. The community supported the actions of hapū / iwi to make the applications of protecting these taonga species. Mauri o te Moana hosted an online hui with Māori leaders in this space, who have been waiting for months for a response from the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, David Parker. The Fisheries Act has provisions for Māori values through its customary regulations, however these provisions are problematic and challenging for tangata whenua to use. The Fisheries Act, section 186A temporary closure application that has been sitting with the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, David Parker for over 8 months, this delay has resulted in the continuation of destructive activities. Māori leaders have found the tool to be prohibitory, slow and disconnected from addressing the chronic marine degradation caused by overfishing. Several hapū and iwi of Te Moananui a Kiwa have applied under the Fisheries Act regulations for closure to fisheries to speed up recovery of taonga species. Link to Hapu and Iwi Applications: - Ngāti Hei https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/proposed-temporary-closure-of-the-eastern-coromandel-coast-to-the-harvest-of-scallops/ “I’m really blown away by the support and I believe it’s going to start a chain reaction of rāhui.” - Joe Davis https://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/300344835/hallelujah-moment--pito-bay-scallop-rhui-unites-community-creates-ripple-effect - Ngāti Kahu - Whangaroa Harbour https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/proposed-temporary-closure-of-the-whangaroa-area-to-the-harvest-of-scallops/ The closure was requested by Nga Hapū o Karangahape marae, Whānau pani, Ngāti Kaitangata and Ngāti Kauwau, who are concerned scallop stocks have been depleted due to flooding, sediment, dredging, water quality, overfishing and climate change. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/far-north-scallop-ban-public-in-favour-of-whangaroa-harvesting-rahui/LWFRLFWGLQ2HDU625NVTZOAWGY/ - Ngāti Pāoa - Te Moutere o Waiheke https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/proposed-temporary-closure-around-waiheke-island-to-harvest-of-scallops-mussels-rock-lobster-paua/ "There's nothing to actually take anymore, so that's the real concern for our iwi. So it was quite a simple, easy decision to make, to actually put on the table that we need to lay down a rāhui to restrict everyone from taking particularly species that are now extinct," - Herearoha Skipper https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/two-year-rahui-for-waiheke-island-waters-to-protect-kaimoana/4Z7OHUUDFR2VZJZ22FTAAG2NVE/ Tangata whenua, marae, hapū and iwi are experiencing the degradation of their rohe first hand. The loss of taonga species associated with these areas has been distressing and made the maintenance of tikanga (customary practices) more challenging as localised extinction occurs in the near shore coastal environment. #RespectTheRāhui #MaurioteMoana https://www.facebook.com/mauriotemoana
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  • People Must Be Paid
    We are all doing our bit to help eliminate the latest COVID outbreak in New Zealand. While some of us may be essential workers, most of us will be off work, staying at home as required by the Government. The Government will again spend billions of dollars on wage subsidies for employers to help pay our wages while we stay home to break the chain of transmission. This is the right thing to do – but it also means that employers should deliver on their responsibilities too. But some employers aren’t applying for the subsidy. They are just asking their workers to stay at home without pay. They are refusing to pay employees who are required to stay at home due to the lockdown, or if they are immune compromised. That’s not right – and we are asking the government to make sure that they are enforcing the law as quickly and rigorously as possible. The union movement is calling on the Government to make sure that all workers are getting paid during the lockdown, regardless of whether their company decides to apply for, or is eligible for, the wage subsidy. It’s the law. Employees shouldn’t have to wait months for pay or have to take their employer to court for the money they are owed. We ask you to sign this petition to call on the Government to ensure that all companies pay their workers during the lockdown. All workers should get the pay they are owed so that they can look after their families and whanau. Sign the campaign today. This is a campaign led in partnership by First Union, E tū and Unite Union. https://www.digitalwings.nz/images/Etu-Logo.jpg https://www.firstunion.org.nz/vendor/FUNZ/Assets/public/images/FUNZ/logo-white.png
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  • Bring people in Afghanistan to safety in Aotearoa
    Most people - in Afghanistan and in Aotearoa - want to do all that they can to build communities and a world where everyone can live, work and play in dignity and peace, where people can make decisions about their own lives and set goals for their future. In both countries, people care deeply about taking care of each other, and take action every day to protect the wellbeing of people in their communities. But right now, people in Afghanistan are fleeing their homes to stay alive. The people who worked hardest to build human rights, equality, and democracy for their communities are now at the greatest risk. People who built schools for girls, worked at human rights organisations, contributed to a free and independent media, took part in the creative arts - all of them are now targets. People who worked at organisations New Zealand supported, like the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, and people who worked at international organisations like the United Nations. Some people are at risk just because of who they are, including ethnic minorities and LGBTQI+ people. We can help these people. The New Zealand government has already decided to send an emergency evacuation mission to Afghanistan to help New Zealand citizens and Afghans who worked directly with the New Zealand government’s efforts in Afghanistan. This is absolutely the right thing to do. But it isn’t enough. Evacuation support needs to be provided to a wider group of people who are especially vulnerable to attack right now. Sign your name to show the New Zealand Government we support them using every lever available to provide support and safety to people in Afghanistan as soon as possible. We call on the New Zealand government to: ▪️Widen evacuation support from Afghanistan to more people, including those who are particularly vulnerable to attack such as: civil society workers, journalists, academics, activists, human rights defenders (including the staff of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission) and other vulnerable people, as well as Afghan nationals who have family in Aotearoa New Zealand. ▪️Expedite visas, deliver support for evacuations from Kabul airport and provide relocation and resettlement. ▪️Action an immediate pause on the deportation of people to Afghanistan. New Zealand has an opportunity to lead with compassion and act in solidarity with people in Afghanistan who have stood up for things that New Zealanders care deeply about: protecting the freedom, dignity and safety of everyone in our communities and making sure we all have the chance to set and pursue our own goals in life. Please note that Amnesty International Aotearoa has a very similar petition. If you have already signed that one, you can sign this one as well, and vice versa. We have coordinated with them on the wording of this petition, and when it comes time to deliver these petitions we will work with them on that as well.
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  • #BusFair 🚌
    https://vimeo.com/596169867 Public transport is crucial in the fight against climate change, making our cities more liveable and supporting sustainable mobility for vulnerable and low-income communities. However bus drivers, passengers and the environment have been victims of a decades-long experiment in privatisation. The Climate Commission has called for a doubling of public transport use nationwide, however poverty wages are making it impossible for operators to recruit new workers. Cancellations are rife, and further industrial action looms on the horizon. The bus privatisation experiment has failed. In July 2021 FIRST Union’s #BusFair campaign called for the Ministry of Transport to abolish the current tendering model (the “PTOM”), massively increase investment in public transport, and work together with stakeholders to bring our public transport back into public ownership. That’s because three decades of bus privatisation has been disastrous for drivers, passengers, and the environment, shifting wealth from workers’ wages into offshore private equity firms that control our network. The PTOM tendering model put this approach on steroids, rewarding operators with the lowest labour costs. Significant investment is needed to lift workers’ wages, increasing the reach and regularity of our bus network, progressively reducing fares and establishing more bus-only infrastructure. However private ownership is a barrier to addressing these concerns. Support for public ownership is now growing, with Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Green Party supporting, as well as bus drivers and passengers across the country. Tell the Minister of Transport that it’s time to bring #ourpublictransport back into public ownership.
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  • Fix this State Highway 3 Intersection and save lives
    This State Highway Intersection is a historical unresolved community problem for the businesses residents, road users, and emergency services of the district. There have been countless attempts by the local community to engage Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to implement a safe and effective traffic management plan for this intersection. The local businesses witness and are affected by vehicle accidents and near misses at this intersection on a daily basis. Yet Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have no plans to upgrade this intersection. The current configuration of this intersection is poorly planned, not fit for purpose and is the cause of life-threatening incidents to users every day. Ambulance response times to the community at large are adversely affected by the poor traffic flow through this intersection. If this intersection is not rectified in the foreseeable future lives will (are) being put at unnecessary risk and will ultimately result in a loss of life. The upgrade of this intersection will provide a safe and efficient state highway intersection that will enable effective traffic flow and enhance the safety of all road users. With this petition we are bringing the safety issues of this intersection needs to the immediate attention of the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. Sign today as part of the community calling for urgent action!
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  • Police bias at Pūtiki Bay marina development
    On Thursday the 15th July the police deployed 6 Police Boats, 4 Paddy wagons, a helicopter, 2 drones, Police Media, diving squad & dog, and an estimated 4 police units (up to 100 police) all to arrest four peaceful protestors from Protect Pūtiki for 'wilful trespass', two of whom are Ngāti Paoa and whakapapa to the island, who were occupying the pontoon at the time. It remains un-clear who ordered the operation and why it was considered necessary to deploy such excessive police force. Maori wardens had been on site for at least a week and it is understood they had no forewarning of this operation. Protect Pūtiki and the wider community of Aotearoa demand an examination into why Police are continuing to uphold the corporate interests of this particular development, Kennedy Point Boat Harbour Ltd. At present, the Police have shown a commitment to empowering the KPBH Ltd. marina development with a continued daily basis, on-site presence. Police have facilitated the developers in forcibly delivering peaceful protestors in the Moana to the police boat where they are then arrested. We demand Commissioner Andrew Coster initiate an inquiry into the increased police presence immediately. Over the last month, when requests for assistance are made by protectors to police these calls often go unanswered, including in situations where no police have been present on site and protectors have sought their presence to provide for safety of all involved. Local police have chosen to not engage in order to maintain their community relationships but as a result their absence has left protectors without support when needed. Overall, the police presence has largely resulted in escalation of the situation rather than to de-escalation. There has been close to 80 complaints laid with the police department from both protectors and developers, largely regarding assaults and trespassing but to date only the protectors have been charged and appeared in court. We believe a formal apology from New Zealand Police addressed to the kaitiaki/protectors of the Pūtiki occupation is a reasonable demand that should accompany this inquiry. If the police presence is to be maintained at Putiki then as a bottom line they must uphold their own code of conduct which includes impartiality and ensuring safety of all participants - not purely to trespass or arrest kaitiaki/protectors and enable further development. Tautoko our main petition: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/protectputiki And stay updated with the occupation via IG: @protectputiki | Twitter: protect_putiki | Facebook: Protect Pūtiki | Email: protectputiki@gmail.com
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  • Ensure everyone receiving income support gets the full increase from Budget 2021
    If we want a flourishing future for Aotearoa where everyone has the resources and opportunities they need to thrive then we need to have a strong public services that support low income families. This May, the Labour government announced "the biggest increase to income support in a generation" as part of Budget 2021, including a $20 per week increase from this July and a further $12 - $35 next April. But yesterday modelling released by the Ministry for Social Development revealed most people who receive income support have not received the full $20 increase due to clawbacks (reductions in other payments). This includes things like reductions in Temporary Additional Support or Accomodation Supplement payments. (Ref 1) These increases came after a long period of successive governments’ underinvestment in the services that enable low income whānau to thrive. Inadequate income support levels lock families into poverty. When whānau are struggling to put kai on the table and make rent, every bit counts. Every whānau deserves to have the resources and support they need to thrive, without bureaucracy getting in the way. Increasing benefits to ensure everyone has a liveable incomes is about enabling people to thrive. These increases are a step toward a fairer Aotearoa, but they’re being undermined by unfair rules blocking 198,000 people from receiving the full increase. Please sign and share this petition calling for the Minister of Social Development to urgently intervene and make sure everyone can receive the full increase to income support. Reference 1: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/majority-beneficiaries-wont-20-better-off-despite-budget-boost
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  • Increase the Psychologist Workforce
    **** We delivered the petition on Wednesday 8 September but you are welcome to still add your name to be part of this campaign **** It is not good enough that we keep encouraging people to reach out for help when there is no help available. It is not good enough that the government talks about creating and expanding mental health services whilst failing to invest in growing the workforce. Psychologists are mental health experts who have thorough training in understanding, assessing, and providing treatment for people experiencing a range of psychological difficulties. Notably, psychologists are well equipped to help people experiencing acute mental health difficulties, who are currently being let down by inpatient care. Psychologists’ therapeutic practices are guided by best available local psychological research and theory, and adapted to meet the needs of each client and family. Psychologists also play key roles in training and supervising other health and mental health professionals. In the report of the 2018 New Zealand Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, He Ara Oranga, it was acknowledged that an immediate priority was to increase the Psychologist Workforce. Despite this, there has been a minimal increase in the number of psychologists being trained. At Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University Wellington, for example, the number of students being trained has increased from 10 to 12, despite there being more than 9 times that many people applying to the course each year and estimates suggest we currently need more than 1000 psychologists to fill the workforce shortage. New Zealand’s mental health crisis has reached a tipping point once again. Private clinical psychologists are turning away up to 60 clients a month, and access to psychologists through the public health system is even more dire. We are calling for a long term commitment to increasing the workforce. The barriers to training more psychologists are currently two-fold. Firstly, at a university level, more upfront investment is required in order to hire new staff and fund associated facilities such as expanding internal training clinics. Secondly, new psychologists require internships, and due to the lack of streamlined funding there are not enough services with capacity to supervise and pay intern psychologists. The wellbeing budget of 2019 led to an increase of 8 additional Ministry of Health funded internships for clinical psychologists, increasing the number from 12 to 20. There are currently around 120 intern psychologists registered across different programmes, meaning that the funding of 8 new internships barely makes a dent in this problem. Unpaid internships are a barrier to equitable workforce participation and the lack of streamlined funding must be fixed in order to develop a workforce which reflects the populations with highest mental health needs. With adequate funding and coordination these barriers can be overcome and more psychologists can be trained and registered. This is just one imperative, and logical step - amongst many needed - in order to address the mental health crisis in Aotearoa New Zealand. I imagine a New Zealand where psychological support and therapy is accessible and equitable. I dream of being part of a workforce where people are able to do their best work to help others in a way that is sustainable. I hope for a day when people can access therapy before they reach crisis point. This cannot happen unless we grow the workforce of psychologists. Add your name to join this call for more psychologists and better mental health care! #growthepsychforce --- About --- My name is Lucy and I am a clinical psychology student coming towards the end of my training. Previously, I worked for years as a telephone crisis counsellor, where I witnessed the reality that people facing severe mental health difficulties and attempting suicide often do not have any access to mental health services or psychologists. I burnt out badly in this role and experienced first-hand the difficulties in accessing a psychologist as a client. I decided to pursue clinical psychology training but feel scared about the current realities of this work and the future of our workforce. Together, with a group of fellow clinical psychology students, we have decided to raise our voices and demand something changes. ---Links--- https://www.newsroom.co.nz/anna-rawhiti-connell-a-problem-ignored-for-far-too-long https://www.newsroom.co.nz/mental-health-units-should-provide-more-than-meds-and-beds https://healthcentral.nz/new-zealand-needs-extra-1000-psychologists-estimates-taskforce/ https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018803716/psychologists-turning-away-clients-due-to-high-demand https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/122695066/new-zealands-psychological-crisis-putting-lives-at-risk https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/125485828/people-in-distress-being-turned-away-from-specialist-mental-health ---Banner image description--- Banner image shows a person with long hair and a beanie looking out along beach. The weather is grey. There is white text on a black background which reads "Increase the Psychologist Workforce: Call on the government for training and internship funding."
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  • Asylum 4 Assange in Aotearoa
    Assange's detention and the charges against him threaten press freedom around the world, and therefore threaten our right to know what is going on and democracy itself. We must call out this injustice and offer protection to Assange. Doing so will have New Zealand be a leader on the global stage for press freedom, peace and transparent democracy.
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  • #StopCorrectionsCensorship
    Take No Prisoners is a human rights newsletter for prisoners that has circulated in prisons since 2018. Throughout its six issues, the newsletter has provided prisoners information about their human rights, how they can access the right forms to make complaints and ensure they’re followed up on and how they can peacefully organise to solve their problems. Take No Prisoners also shares prisoners illustrations and poetry, and provides puzzles like sudoku- all important ways for prisoners to maintain creative outlets and connections during their time inside. This year, after the Waikeria Uprising, Take No Prisoners was suddenly and unilaterally censored by the Department of Corrections. This is yet another pathetic attempt on the part of the state to clamp down on criticism of its failures to abide by human rights law. Take No Prisoners is a platform for discussing peaceful action to protect the dignity of our incarcerated whānau. It is vital that this unlawful censorship is overturned immediately. You can read our newsletter that Corrections doesn’t want you to read here: https://papa-site-assets.ams3.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/newsletters/take%20no%20prisoners%206%20-%20web.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2UNxTCE0GQ59wVZ7FqVijrA_cFg8WVDE7Am3ioIE5k8j6kn-tYy2HJxKg Incarcerated people have a right to discuss their problems and to have the resources they need to take peaceful collective action to address those problems. When incarcerated people have this, they can solve their problems and won’t feel they need to escalate into engaging in another uprising like what happened at Waikeria prison earlier this year. This makes prisons safer for everyone. Protecting the free speech of Take No Prisoners is essential to enable all of this to happen. The banning of Take No Prisoners even violates Corrections’ Hōkai Rangi strategy. How can that strategy be implemented if Corrections censors criticism of its serious and ongoing failures? Corrections censorship of Take No Prisoners is also a horrendous violation of Section 14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.” If we don’t stand up for the freedom of incarcerated people to criticise Corrections, then our right to criticise people in power will continue to be eroded. We cannot allow unelected prison bureaucrats to undermine our right to criticise the Government.
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  • Honouring Asylum: Bring Andika Refugees to Aotearoa New Zealand
    Australia's turnback operations are illegal. The New Zealand government has stated this, and that it respects the right to asylum. Therefore, intervention in this case is critical. Offering resettlement to these refugees would make the government’s commitment to its legal obligations clear, and would uphold its reputation as a humanitarian leader.
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