• Petition for the Support to Decriminalize Homosexuality in the Cook Islands
    Ko Sonya Apa Temata toku ingoa, I am known as 'Apa' here in our Ipukarea after my papa Tapeka Apa. I am Cook Islands Māori Tahiti born in Aotearoa NZ. Ko Vakas Takitumu, Te Au o Tonga & Puaikura. I am Atiu (Tangapatoro/Tekapo/Ngaata anau), Mauke (Noema/Temata anau) Mangaia (Cummings anau) Rarotonga (Tamaiva/Tepuretu anau), Arorangi (Apera/Temata anau) Tahiti the Parau fanau (Rurutu/Raiatea) ko Tupuna Paora Parau iwi Ngati Kahungungu, Aotearoa. I am Aka TutuTane/Takataapui we don’t fit into any specific constructed mould’s of gender & sexuality, traditionally we are known as Takatāpui (NZ Maori), Mahu (Hawaii & Tahiti), Vakasalewalewa (Fiji), Palopa (Papua New Guinea), Fa’afafine/Fa'atama (Samoa), Aka’vaine/ Aka'Tutu Tane (Cook Islands), Fakaleiti (Tonga), Fakafi’fine (Niue) & other Indigenous Rainbow peoples Sister Girls & Sister Boys (Australian Aboriginal) Two Spirit (First Nations Peoples). My mother Tuakana Apa Temata was my number one advocate and supporter of LGTBI rights, her acceptance of my sexual orientation and that of my two brothers allowed us to be who we are, and to love whom we wanted to be with regardless of sexuality, gender and sexual orientation. My mother and great grandma Mama Mii Cummings Ngaata instilled in me strong values of respect, humility and acceptance, they also taught me the ‘art of compassion’, to give unto others as they would give unto us. There teachings speaks volumes, and that is reflected in the work I do as a nurse, an activist, a feminist, a humanitarian, an advocate & a leader. It is with great sadness that our mother passed away last year and so her legacy continues in me and the work she was so passionate about and for. As a survivor of domestic & sexual violence, she passed onto me the same passion and determination to provide advocacy, support & assistance to women fleeing from violence & trauma and those less fortunate especially from our LGTBI community. My own personal involvement within our Rainbow Pasifika/LGTBI community extends from my own in a professional and volunteer capacity. As one of the Auckland Pride Board members from 2016 to 2018, I am one of our diverse community leaders who lead & coordinated our Pasefika Pride float, a non-profit collective of diverse community leaders & volunteers based in Tamaki Makaurau, Auckland. For the first time ever in 2014 our Pasefika Rainbow community had ‘visibility’ & showcased our diverse arts, heritage & culture along Ponsonby Rd, Auckland. Then in 2015, Pasefika Pride established to bring forth a generation of young and older Rainbow Pasefika LGTBI represent again in 2016 with our theme: ‘It Takes a Village to Raise a Child’. Pasefika Prides message was to address & highlight the counteracting issues of suicide, violence & abuse, poverty, stigma & discrimination that is prevalent amongst our diverse Pacific & Maori communities. In 2017 we merged with Tangata Whenua, Ue Nuku Whanau & created the biggest ever float with Maori & Pasefika combined renaming ourselves as Oceania Pride Aotearoa: Ngā Aho Tapu o Te Moana-nui-ō-Kiwa, Sacred Connections of Oceania. In 2018 Oceania Pride Aotearoa amplified its voice to reduce stigma & discrimination across Oceania and to support the amendment, removal & action on the Decriminalization to the Homosexual Legislation that currently exists in the Cook Islands & other Pacific nations. This year 2019 we marched with our Rainbow LGTBI community & Auckland Pride once more in support of our Takataapui & Rainbow Pasefika community to amplify our voices and to decolonize the very same hegemonic systems & structures that continue to perpetuate hate, violence and discrimination against those most vulnerable. It is important to acknowledge the historical influences & devastating impact of Colonisation and early settlements by missionaries and its impact on indigenous knowledge & understandings of gender, sex and sexuality, and how this has shaped broad social attitudes and norms in Aotearoa NZ (Reid et al, 2017) and across Te Moana Nui o Kiva. The Cook Islands is one of several Pacific nations, which, still criminalize same-sex relations between men and offer no human rights protections to those who are widely ostracized & often discriminated by their families & communities. For many across Oceania, these nations cling to anti-gay laws enacted under colonial rule and the influence of conservative Christian missionaries. Those laws criminalized consensual sexual relations between males but not between women until just recently here in the Cook Islands. The launch of the United Nations Pacific free and equal campaign in 2014 was to end Transphobia and Homophobia this also reignited calls in the Cook Islands & other Pacific nations to change the law. Aotearoa NZ has a long-standing track record & history of being the first country to Give Women the Vote. The first country to have the largest number of openly gay or lesbian politicians to have served in New Zealand's Parliament, Tim Barnett, Chris Carter, Louisa Wall, Maryan Street, Georgina Beyer became the first transgender mayor in the world and the world's first transgender MP. Our LGTBI Rainbow communities continue to experience discrimination, stigma, homophobia, violence and suicide. We have the highest suicide rates amongst Māori & Pacific whereby our Rainbow LGTBI community statistics are the highest amongst this population. In New Zealand, it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone because of their sexual orientation or sex/gender identity within areas of life as stated by the Human Rights Act 1993. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, a collective approach to remind us all the reality of the issues that we continue to fight for and against. Resilience comes in many forms built on courage, mana & integrity.. my sexuality does not define who I am..who I am and where I come from defines 'me'..Kia Orana e Kia Manuia #SpeakUpAndAgainstStigmaDiscriminationAndHomophobia
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  • Save the Christchurch Central City black-billed gull colony from future destruction
    For many years, the most critically endangered gull on the planet, the Black-billed Gull, has struggled to find a suitable site for breeding, due to flooding and predation. However, over the past two years a breeding colony of around 300 birds has established in the Christchurch Central Business District in the flooded foundations of a demolished building in Armagh Street. While the gulls themselves are protected by legislation, the site is not, and as soon as their nesting site is abandoned for the season the landowner can modify the site, preventing it's future use as a nesting site. For too long, we have been putting human interests before that of the planet and our collective survival, resulting in a polluted planet where no organisms can escape the impact of human activities. We believe that the preservation of endangered life on earth is more important, and that building development should not further endanger an already endangered species. More information on the Black-billed gull is available here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/99498678/the-worlds-rarest-gull-calls-new-zealand-home-but-most-kiwis-dont-know-it
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  • NZ Police keep the peace - say no to 'Armed Response Teams'
    Last week, Police Commissioner Mike Bush announced a trial of Armed Response Teams (ARTs) to support Police's tactical capabilities on the front line. Patrols will be trialed in Counties Manukau, Waikato, and Canterbury over the next six months. These squads will be groups of police officers armed with guns roaming communities in SUVs. They way this is described in the words of the Police is “...routinely armed, equipped, mobile and ready...” The Police have referred to the aftermath of the horrific March 15 Mosque Terror Attacks saying they must be prepared to operate in a different context. Yet after March 15 across Aotearoa we saw people in community vigils singing waiata together for comfort, flowers being laid outside Mosques, and aroha being shown in so many ways including changing some laws. These actions showed us countering terror by strengthening our social connection. In these moments we showed our humanity and that in our communities we all wish to thrive. Looking forward, many of us see our communities are at their best as places of home, of connection, and of coming together. They’re where we develop our sense of belonging. Putting more police with guns on the streets won’t protect communities or help us feel safe. Institutional racism within the police means the squads will be more likely to target Māori and Pasifika. Racism impacting use of force by police is already evident. Police are nearly eight times more likely to use violence against Māori than Pākehā, and three times more likely to use violence against Pasifika people than Pākehā. 66% of the people police have fired guns at in the last 10 years were Māori or Pasifika. There is also evidence of police abusing and misusing access to and use of guns. From official Police information (via OIA), over a seven month period police officers used guns 148 times. These uses excluded Armed Offenders Squad callouts. In more than 1 in 4 of those times, police officers used guns at people who were recorded as being cooperative or otherwise below the level or resistance requiring higher use of force determined by the Tactical Operations Framework. A study from Princeton University showed that similar ‘Armed Response Teams’ tended to be used most often in non-emergencies such as for search warrants and did nothing to improve community or officer safety. The study also found they were used most often against people of colour. When we picture flourishing communities, we see families with great homes, enough pūtea (money) to put food on the table, and time to spend with each other. We see support readily available for hard times, and people celebrating together in good ones. We don’t see more police presence with more weapons. That’s why we are calling on Prime Minister Rt Hon. Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Police Hon. Stuart Nash to stop the trials of Armed Response Teams (ARTs), and end increased militarisation of police. The highest duty of police officers should be the protection of human life, but initiatives like this do not serve to protect life. More cops with guns means more people shot by police. It's up to us, as responsible citizens, to put a higher value on human life, and to not accept this. 1 https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/former-cop-and-auckland-councillor-critical-new-armed-police-programme-but-deputy-commissioner-says-its-necessary TVNZ Breakfast. 22 October 2019 2 https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/401394/opinion-more-cops-with-guns-means-more-people-shot-by-police Mark Hanna for RNZ. 20 October 2019 3 https://fyi.org.nz/request/5014/response/16479/attach/5/Tactical%20Options%20Framework.pdf NZ Police Tactical Operations Framework 4 https://www.princeton.edu/news/2018/08/21/militarization-police-fails-enhance-safety-may-harm-police-reputation Princeton University. 21 August 2018 5 https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/401685/armed-response-team-cops-criticism-nothing-good-can-come-out-of-this Te Aniwa Hurihanganui for RNZ. 24 October 2019
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  • Save NZ Dolphins
    Māui dolphins are on the brink of extinction and Hector’s dolphins are heading towards a similar fate if nothing changes. These dolphins are taonga and native to New Zealand, they’re not found anywhere else in the world. The single greatest threat to Māui and Hector’s dolphins is fishing nets. There used to be around 50,000 Hector’s but now, because of destructive fishing methods, not many more than 10,000 remain. For the critically endangered Māui, it’s even worse. In the 1970s there were around 2,000, now there are fewer than 60 left. If we don’t act now we risk losing New Zealand dolphins forever. We need to save them, and we hope you will help us! Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), has been working in New Zealand behind-the-scenes for years gathering evidence and garnering political and public support. Now it’s time for all of us to raise our voices and be heard. Around 110 to 150 New Zealand dolphins die in set nets every year and a similar number in trawls. Set nets are sometimes referred to as ‘walls of death’. They hang in the water, anchored to the sea bed with weights and are stretched across the surface with floats. They are indiscriminate, catching every creature that swims into them. Trawl nets are dragged through the water by boats and, like the set nets, scoop up whatever and whoever is in their path. Right now Hector’s and Māui dolphins are protected from set nets in just 30% of their habitat and from trawl nets in less than 10%. But, here’s the great news – if we band together we can protect them and we could save the species. Are you with us? The New Zealand government is currently working on what’s called a Threat Management Plan for these dolphins – this plan outlines what the government intends to do to look after the dolphins. However the plan is woefully inadequate; the government proposals will allow at least 50 dolphins to die every year in fishing nets. This is unacceptable! See the plan here: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/34971. We’re urging Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to remove these dangerous nets from the dolphins’ home. We’re calling for the New Zealand government to transition our country away from destructive fishing methods, and immediately phase out set net and trawl fishing within the dolphins’ habitat, to the 100 metre depth contour, around the whole coast of the country. The government must also consult relevant local iwi about implementing a phase out of trawling and set nets in line with the obligations of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This is our chance to show the government how much we love these dolphins. They are taonga and deserve to survive and thrive. Sign our petition to send the Prime Minister a message and help us save them! What you can do: - Write to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, using the automatic form on our petition page - Like and share our Facebook/Instagram pages https://www.facebook.com/whalesorgnz/ https://www.instagram.com/wdc_nz/ - Post on social media about NZ dolphins and share it with us using the hashtag #SaveNZDolphins https://vimeo.com/385897570
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  • Solidarity with the people of Chile - NZ to Condemn the actions of the Chilean State
    The Chilean government of Sebastian Piñera have deployed the military on the streets of Chile, they have imposed curfew, shot and killed innocent citizens in acts of repression, and falsified citizen committed crimes in order to justify such acts. We must stand for Chile, in order to stand against worldwide acts of repression and human rights crimes that are being enabled through western systems. https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2019/oct/20/protests-in-chile-against-cost-of-living-in-pictures References and Alternative Media: Please note that the media we are receiving in the western world and the mainstream media in Chile is extremely biased and has been censored. Please be critical about everything you read. https://www.telesurtv.net/news/represion-carabineros-manifestacion-santiago-chile-toque-queda-20191021-0016.html https://resumen.cl/articulos/once-acciones-legales-ha-presentado-indh-por-violencia-policial 11 legal actions taken against the state regarding human rights abuses https://resumen.cl/articulos/veinte-videos-muestran-desmedida-represion-de-militares-y-policia-contra-legitimas-manifestaciones 20 videos that show the police repression against democratic manifestations https://twitter.com/prensaopal?fbclid=IwAR1rf9lENKTJ8xwhTGhK0rzu4zIs8tU4RRbDYcOSmBhANwnEYBKDQCb2G88 https://resumen.cl/articulos/impresionantes-imagenes-aereas-muestran-masividad-legitimas-protestas-populares-ciudad-de-concepcion https://scontent.fpmr1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/73120120_2766637883369215_3859160911549825024_n.jpg?_nc_cat=110&_nc_oc=AQlq82ktaqqoWfOWL_FV90sr9e_K-ttzc-ilgdnZfeaJLXtWXzRXUsnYkOGfi6s_STw&_nc_ht=scontent.fpmr1-1.fna&oh=01430048bc0ce3a7c41d24eccad382c4&oe=5E29B463 13 deaths confirmed - note these have been in 'fires' however the cause of deaths have not been confirmed. https://www.instagram.com/tv/B344eAuBk0A/?igshid=vajyk8cwjq06&fbclid=IwAR0dnHvO97Qa83DwIpJgaLRrfoxV8-D4CPGuZqXnPlhhRG1fi4KTRPpBb8A Information that has not been shared in the wider media https://www.facebook.com/eduardokrtbgihgyt/videos/2790340617701460/ Military advising the people on how to ransack the stores Noticias > América Latina Cifra de muertos por protestas en Chile asciende a 11 La Fiscalía anunció que había un total de 1.554 personas privadas de su libertad, que se encuentran en “audiencia de control de detención”. La Fiscalía anunció que había un total de 1.554 personas privadas de su libertad, que se encuentran en “audiencia de control de detención”. | Foto: Reuters Publicado 21 octubre 2019 (Hace 7 horas 51 minutos) "La cifra de fallecidos oficial que tenemos que lamentar en estos últimos dos días es de 11, tres fallecidos el sábado, y ocho el domingo", informó la intendenta de la Región Metropolitana, Karla Rubilar El número de muertos por las protestas durante el fin de semana en Chile ascendió a 11 personas, informaron este lunes autoridades locales, en el marco del recrudecimiento de la violencia en Santiago, la capital del país suramericano. LEA TAMBIÉN: Chilenos desafían el toque de queda decretado por el Gobierno "La cifra de fallecidos oficial que tenemos que lamentar en estos últimos dos días es de 11, tres fallecidos el sábado, y ocho el domingo", informó la intendenta de la Región Metropolitana, Karla Rubilar en conferencia de prensa. Asimismo, la Fiscalía anunció el domingo que había un total de 1.554 personas privadas de su libertad, que se encuentran en “audiencia de control de detención”. Por su parte, el Instituto Nacional de Derechos Humanos (INDH) presentó acciones legales por “violencia policial”. Se trata de ocho querellas contra carabineros y militares junto a tres recursos de amparo para resguardar la “seguridad de las persona”. Según el director del organismo, Sergio Micco, 283 personas han sido detenidas --151 hombres, 61 mujeres y 71 menores de edad--, 44 han resultado heridas --9 de gravedad--, nueve personas han sido desnudadas en procedimientos policiales. Mientras tanto, el presidente Piñera decidió aplicar toque de queda para toda la Región de Valparaíso a partir de las 20H00 horas locales. El presidente anunció el sábado pasado, la suspensión del alza del precio del metro, después de que el viernes declarara el estado de emergencia en Santiago, una medida que posteriormente se extendió a Concepción y Valparaíso. Pese a dicho anuncio, que fue refrendado el domingo por la Cámara de Diputados, las protestas continuaron durante la jornada, que se saldaron con 76 carabineros heridos. La Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, Michelle Bachelet, pidió este lunes iniciar una investigación independiente sobre las muertes ocurridas durante violentas protestas en Chile el fin de semana, y mencionó "perturbadoras" acusaciones de uso excesivo de fuerza militar. En un comunicado desde la sede de su despacho en Ginebra, la expresidenta chilena instó al diálogo inmediato entre las partes para detener "la retórica inflamatoria"
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  • Reduce the nicotine in cigarettes
    Smoking is one of the largest public health issues in Aotearoa. Every year nearly 5,000 Kiwis die from smoking-related illnesses (1). Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Aotearoa. It increases a person’s risk of developing numerous cancers, as well as strokes and heart disease (2). On average, a long-term smoker will die 10 to 15 years earlier than non-smokers. But it’s not just direct smoking that is negatively impacting Kiwis. The impact of second-hand smoke continues to contribute to high rates of asthma and respiratory illness in our tamariki (3, 4). Smoking takes a toll on our health system, our whānau and our communities. Tragically, as with many health issues in Aotearoa, smoking disproportionately harms Māori and Pasifika. 31% of Māori adults and 20% of Pasifika adults smoke daily (5). If this government is truly committed to addressing health inequalities in Aotearoa, then reducing the addictiveness of cigarettes is an important place to start. Quitting smoking cigarettes can be hard for many people, even though the overwhelming majority of smokers want to quit (6). The main reason people feel incapable of quitting is that cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug. Currently the amount of nicotine in cigarettes is not regulated. The tobacco industry has been able to distribute products with a high nicotine content, leading young people to become quickly addicted when they start and making it incredibly difficult to stop. Requiring companies to remove or significantly decrease the nicotine content from their products would help to end this cycle. A reduction in nicotine would make smoking much less satisfying, resulting in smokers slowing or stopping consumption (7) and minimising the likelihood of young people becoming quickly addicted. Current smokers would be more able to kick the habit, save money and improve their health. Reducing the nicotine in combustible tobacco products compliments the increased availability of e-cigarettes which contain nicotine, giving smokers the opportunity to switch to a less harmful product. Join us and call on our government to reduce the nicotine in cigarettes. This petition is part of Reduce the Nicotine, a broader campaign to reduce the nicotine in cigarettes in Aotearoa - get involved and find out more at: http://reducethenicotine.co.nz/. References: 1) Ministry of Health. (2004). Looking upstream: Causes of death cross-classified by risk and condition, New Zealand 1997. Wellington: Ministry of Health. 2) Laugesen, M. (2000). Tobacco statistics 2000. Wellington: Cancer Society of New Zealand; Vineis, P., Alavanja, M., Buffler, P., Fontham, E., Franceschi, S., Gao, Y.T., et al. (2004). Tobacco and cancer: Recent epidemiological evidence. Journal of National Cancer Institute, 96: 99-106; Ministry of Health. (2005). Tobacco facts 2005. Wellington: Ministry of Health; Quit Victoria. (n.d.). 3) Vineis, P., Alavanja, M., Buffler, P., Fontham, E., Franceschi, S., Gao, Y.T., et al. (2004). Tobacco and cancer: Recent epidemiological evidence. Journal of National Cancer Institute, 96: 99-106.; Jha, P., Ramasundarahettige, C., Landsman, V., Rostron, B., Thun, M., Anderson, R. N., et al. (2013). 21st century hazards of smoking and benefits of cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 368, 341-350. 4) Fergusson, D (2015). Christchurch Health and Development Study: Overview of 40 Years of Findings (2015). ASH Scotland (2012). Reducing Children’s Exposure to Second Hand Smoke in the Home. 5) Ministry of Health. New Zealand Health Survey (2006/07 – 2017/18) data tables. 6) Ministry of Health. 2009. New Zealand Tobacco Use Survey 2008: Quitting results. Wellington: Ministry of Health. 7) Donny EC, Walker N, Hatsukami D, Bullen C. Reducing the nicotine content of combusted tobacco products sold in New Zealand. Tobacco Control. 2017(26):e37-e42.
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  • Make Migration to NZ more Humane
    Families of New Zealand citizens and residents have been separated and kept apart due to unnecessary visa processing delays by INZ. Children are losing out on the much needed nurture provided by both parents. In the last few years, approximately 70,000 international students have been coming to New Zealand every year to gain world class education, making education our 4th largest export at approximately 4 to 5 billion dollars per year. The students are given work rights so that they can gain much sought after work experience and ultimately become part of New Zealand workforce after graduating. This also puts them on a pathway to residence as promoted by NZ government websites and dodgy education agents. However, the reality is different - the students are forced to re-enrol for the same courses repeatedly due to College closures conducted by NZQA. To add to an already stressful situation, the students are left to extend their visas urgently to avoid becoming unlawful in New Zealand. Many have been deported due to the fault of unregulated education agents. Research studies conducted by Dr Christina Stringer (University of Auckland) and Dr Francis Collins (University of Waikato) clearly conclude that migrant exploitation is rampant when temporary work visas are attached to employers, preventing the employee seeking help or whistleblowing to end their own exploitation. The number of new residents settling in New Zealand has reached the lowest level since the turn of the century. At the same time a record number of temporary work visa holders have been approved, topping more than 240,000 in the last year. What does that mean? Uncertainty and displacement surrounds migrants on temporary visas. Many in this category have been in New Zealand for 5 to 10 years in the hope of a more permanent future here. Every time they are close to realising that hope, the immigration instructions are changed to bring them right back to where they started. The National Government closed the parent visa category in 2016 claiming that it was a temporary measure to bring the migrant numbers under control. The Labour coalition government has announced that the Parent Visa Category will reopen in February 2020. However, the income requirements for the sponsors are outrageously high (2 to 4 times annual median salary of $53,040) and out of reach for most, if not all, working class migrants. Under this visa category, only the rich have the luxury of being near their loved ones. Some high skilled migrants earn just enough to sponsor either Mum or Dad - how does one even contemplate such a choice!!
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  • Vote STV for Hamilton
    STV is a fairer voting system which will improve participation and diversity in local government. - Under STV, winning candidates will have support from a majority of voters. More people will have had a say in the make-up of the elected council. - There are fewer 'wasted votes'. Once a preferred candidate reaches the quota - votes are shifted to their next preferred candidate. - Under STV, our council is more likely to reflect the diversity of our community.
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  • Regeneration not Incineration - for a Zero Waste Aotearoa
    WE’RE GOING CIRCULAR Right now, we are seriously challenging our planet’s ability to sustain life. People everywhere are looking for ways to preserve valuable resources and prevent pollution while creating jobs and invigorating a zero waste circular economy. Incinerators undermine these goals because they’re part of an outdated linear system that forces us to continually extract new resources only to destroy them after we’ve used them for just a short while. Our future lies in replacing these destructive technologies with regenerative systems. INCINERATORS POLLUTE OUR AIR While it’s true that today’s incinerators are cleaner than older models, they’re still not perfect. Modern incinerators still release toxic chemicals that include dioxins [4], mercury [5] and cadmium [6] – substances that cause cancer, nerve damage and birth defects. Anyone who lives downwind from an incinerator is in danger of breathing in these dangerous chemicals and suffering the health consequences. [7] Toxins released into the air fall back onto the land to be absorbed by plants and eaten by livestock eventually finding their way into our bodies, via our food, causing further sickness and disease. [8] But the worst part about these toxins is that many don’t break down with some persisting in their toxic state in the environment for decades. [9] INCINERATORS POLLUTE OUR LAND Up to 25% of waste that’s burnt falls to the bottom of an incinerator to become incinerator bottom ash (IBA). This extremely toxic material is mostly dumped in special hazardous waste landfills, but in some countries it’s also used in roading and construction and sometimes spread on land as fertiliser. [10] Researchers are now raising serious concerns about the dangers of IBA with numerous studies [11] showing the detrimental effects of this highly toxic material. These problems are compounded by disposal of smokestack filters that capture highly toxic fly ash. These filters are disposed of in hazardous waste landfills along with IBA where they contribute to the toxic load in the landfills. INCINERATORS POLLUTE OUR FRESHWATER AND MARINE ENVIRONMENTS Incinerator toxins falling back to land are regularly washed into waterways where they combine with leachate from hazardous waste landfills. These contaminants poison fish and other aquatic life as they flow through our streams and rivers into our harbours and eventually into our oceans. These toxins have the potential to enter our food chain at every stage of their journey to the sea. INCINERATORS RELEASE GREENHOUSE GASES While toxins emitted from incinerator smokestacks cause immediate health concerns, most of the exhaust gas is carbon dioxide, which has long term effects on our climate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that each tonne of waste burnt produces up to 1.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide [12] which can stay in our atmosphere contributing to global warming for decades. Throughout the world, we’re looking for ways to urgently reduce our climate change emissions. Waste-to-energy incinerators work in direct competition with this goal. Incinerators contravene our climate change commitments as signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Climate Agreement, and Agenda 2030. And, they directly contradict support for our Pacific partners through endorsement and support for the Kainaki II Declaration (which declares a climate crisis in the Pacific region) and, our signed commitment to the Boe Declaration on Pacific security. INCINERATORS ARE INEFFICIENT While incineration companies are happy to point out that the waste they burn would otherwise be sent to landfill, they don’t mention that household waste is a substandard fuel. The World Energy Council found that, kilogram for kilogram, waste produces less than one-third the energy of coal and up to one-sixth the energy of natural gas while producing many times the amount of pollution. [13] Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, we currently produce 80% of our electricity from renewable sources. And, we have a plan to increase that to 100% by 2035. [14] Waste-to-energy incinerators compete with our renewable energy goals and undermine our commitment to a low emissions economy. INCINERATORS DESTROY VALUABLE RESOURCES Our society is fast becoming aware than our finite planet does not have an unending supply of natural resources. At the same time, we’re learning the importance of protecting and recirculating our resources. Governments, businesses and communities everywhere are looking for better ways to encourage people to refuse, reduce, redesign, reuse, repair, refurbish and recycle the things we use to make sure our resources are not destroyed. Incinerators work in direct conflict with these zero waste objectives. INCINERATORS DESTROY JOBS A key selling point used by incinerator companies is that they create jobs. Disputing this argument, the EU social enterprise reuse, repair, and recycling group, RREUSE, recently found that for every job that the incineration industry might create, recycling centres create 36 jobs and reuse activities create 296 jobs. [15] Materials recovery and recycling services are set to become a rapidly growing sector in the country as our society moves towards a post-waste circular economy. Incineration undermines this plan. INCINERATORS DESTROY ZERO WASTE EFFORTS While we accept that waste is a problem, we know that incinerators aren’t the answer. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, we can address our waste issues in regenerative ways that preserve rather than destroy valuable resources, prevent pollution, produce sustainable and innovative products and material systems, create jobs, and invigorate a zero waste circular economy. To help achieve this goal, we hope you will join us in opposing waste-to-energy incinerators in Aotearoa New Zealand. Footnotes: https://tinyurl.com/y5chaw5k
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    Created by Regeneration Not Incineration .
  • Cancel 'Feminism 2020' at Massey
    It has come to our attention that in November this year, Massey University is hosting the event ‘Feminism 2020’ on its Wellington campus. The event is run by Speak up for Women (SUFW) who advocate against trans rights and spread scaremongering misinformation about trans people. SUFW masquerade under the guise of feminism, while actively turning transgender lives into a subject of debate; a dehumanising and harmful rhetoric. Massey Students’ Association stands for free speech and we respect the right of external groups to host events on campus. However, one of the key tenets of free speech is recognising that marginalised groups often don’t enjoy the same rights to freedom of expression. So with that in mind, Massey Students’ Association is choosing to prioritise the voices of our trans whānau who have told us that this event hurts them. By providing a platform for a hate group to speak on our campus, Massey University is putting ‘freedom of speech’ over the safety of its staff and students. Allowing this event to go ahead on campus will harm the trans community both directly; with ‘Speak up for Women’s’ attempting to spread their dehumanising ideology within our community and indirectly; by showing our students that Massey University is providing a space for people to spread hate and harmful anti-trans rhetoric. This is incredibly harmful to an already vulnerable group, with 71% of trans people reporting high or very high psychological distress in 2019’s Counting Ourselves community report. Massey is not obligated to host and provide a platform for an intolerant ideology that advocates for policies that make trans people feel less safe in the world. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that we have to host an event that will cause harm to students on campus. If the University is serious about wanting to protect the rights of their transgender students there is no excuse in hosting this event. The student community already feel less safe on campus because of Massey’s decision to allow the event to go ahead. Within a few days of announcing the event, our campus has been plastered with trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) stickers. MAWSA has met with UniQ and consulted the trans-community on campus, and the message from the student community is clear; the presence of this event on our campus is already damaging the wellbeing and safety of trans, intersex and queer communities. To prevent further harm to our student community, MAWSA requests, on behalf of Massey Wellington Students, that Massey University cancels ‘Feminism 2020’ within the next 24 hours. There is no room for hate on this campus. The group 'Speak up for Women' advocate against trans rights and spread scaremongering misinformation about trans people. SUFW masquerade under the guise of feminism, while actively turning transgender lives into a subject of debate; a dehumanising and harmful rhetoric. By hosting the 'Feminism 2020' event Massey are providing a platform for hate and division to be spread here and make trans and queer people feel unsafe. This is incredibly harmful to an already vulnerable group, with 71% of trans people reporting high or very high psychological distress in 2019’s Counting Ourselves community report. MAWSA is not in support of this and we stand with our trans community. The effect of such an event has already been seen, with anti-trans stickers already being plastered around campus. Online hate has been spread, our trans students are being put in direct danger and we only see this getting worse if this event is not cancelled.
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    Created by Massey at Wellington Students' Association Picture
  • Support Out of Hours Music and Art Schools (OOHM) Staff for better working conditions
    Out of Hours Music/Art Classes (OOHMA) have been a longstanding part of our music and art community in New Zealand for the past fifty years. Access to funding from the MOE ensures that public music schools deliver opportunities for young children in New Zealand to have a chance at learning a musical instrument without financial burden. Emerging research confirms the importance of music and arts as key factors in a child’s education and well-being. Children are known to perform better at other subjects at school if they are learning a music instrument or participating in art, as well as improved social interaction, confidence and emotional expression. The Ministry of Education currently facilitates funding to around 150 schools in New Zealand who, through the OOHMA scheme, employ hundreds of tutors who deliver music and art tuition to thousands of school children. Many of our current OOHMA are operating in excess of their funding to cope with increasing demand and have to turn students away. More families are turning to OOHMA schools for music lessons for their children, because they cannot afford the costs of private tuition.
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    Created by Michael Greenwood
  • We want more Park & Ride facilities on the Hibiscus Coast
    Currently the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station Park & Ride has 521 spaces and AT plan to provide an addition 90 spaces in the year July 2019 – July 2020. These additional 90 spaces will not provide for the current demand, let alone for future growth. Why we need more Park & Ride facilities; 1. Demand exceeds supply! Already Park & Ride vehicles parked outside of the Park & Ride facility on a weekday basis easily surpass 200 vehicles. As the area around the Park & Ride is developed these cars will have nowhere to park. 2. There are 55,000 people living on the Hibiscus Coast and there are subdivisions that are currently being developed, or are already on the market that are within, or on the boundary, of the Hibiscus Coast that will bring an additional 20,000 people to the area. These additional houses will generate annual rates revenue for Auckland Council of around $19 Million, we need that to be invested in transport infrastructure. 3. AT feeder buses from the Whangaparaoa Peninsula do not work. If you live in Gulf Harbour it will take you 40 mins to get to the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station. It’s actually quicker to catch an AT bus from Warkworth to the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station! (35 mins). One way commutes to the city via Public Transport that take 2 hours plus do not make Public Transport a viable option. Why I think a petition is needed... I found that in the public consultation for AT’s 10 year Regional Public Transport Plan that of the 462 people who submitted on it, only 42 supported more Park & Rides which I don't think reflects what many on the Coast want. This petition is a simple way for Coasties to put their voice on this issue to Council as a whole to request more Park & Rides. Our power is in our numbers, so please share this with your locally based family and friends and if they want more Park & Rides encourage them to sign this petition now.
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    Created by Claire Teirney