• Listen to the voices of Care Experienced Rangatahi: Stop the Oversight of Oranga Tamariki Bill
    This bill would disestablish the Children's Commissioner and will result in a weakening of independent monitoring of Oranga Tamariki and effective advocacy for children and young people. Tracie Shipton, CEO of VOYCE, shared concerns that “The Government has not listened to a single recommendation from young people with lived experience on this Bill. These young people have been effectively silenced, and the new systems outlined by the Bill is designed to further muffle and weaken their voices". We join with VOYCE and care experienced young people in calling for this bill to be stopped.
    1,881 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Aaron Hendry
  • End Islamophobia in India!
    This kind of hatred is often the beginning of worse and worse actions against minority groups which, if left unchecked, could ultimately lead to genocide. So far, young Muslim women have been prevented from attending colleges in India, due to new rules requiring them NOT to wear their hijabs. Men have been attacked in the street with machettis. Muslims have been abused for buying and selling beef. Things will get worse if they remain unchecked. There is already talk of preventing Muslims from attending Friday prayers. Further, hatred and division of this kind will not benefit anyone in India and will have ripple negative effects around the globe. This has already begun, with Middle Eastern and Muslim countries placing sanctions on India and expelling non-Muslim Indians from their countries. Related links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKI2WJnXTxw https://thediplomat.com/2022/04/modis-india-has-no-space-for-muslims/ https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/6/15/muslims-in-india-continue-protests-over-prophet-remarks https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/11/world/asia/india-hindu-muslim-violence.html https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/12/india-muslims-see-wave-of-attacks-hate-speech-on-hindu-festival https://time.com/6185355/india-bjp-muslim-world-prophet/ https://maktoobmedia.com/2022/01/18/soon-after-hindutva-hate-speech-19-year-old-muslim-man-killed-in-karnataka/ https://www.siasat.com/march-2022-violence-continues-as-muslims-across-india-suffer-silently-2297669/
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    Created by Kirsteen McLay
  • Have your say on the Christchurch Stadium to save the climate
    The construction cost of the Christchurch Stadium is massive and there are a lot of GreenHouse Gases emitted during the manufacture and transportation of steel and concrete that is needed in large volumes for the Stadium’s proposed design. https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/128957620/criticism-over-enormous-carbon-footprint-of-christchurchs-planned-stadium The current stadium has small crowds and the planned stadium is likely oversized. With an expected economic benefit over 25 years of $462.2 million and an expected cost over that time of $847 million (made up of $683m project cost + $4.2m x 25 years operating cost + $59m cost of land purchase), the stadium is expected to lose $385 million with a return of $0.55 on every dollar spent. (Numbers are from the Council's consultation page, and the cost of land purchase being additional was confirmed by email correspondence.) It does not make sense to push on with the Stadium. However previous Council decisions on the Stadium have had great interest from the rugby community, and the Crusaders chief executive has submitted for this consultation that he wants the Council to invest the additional $150 million to continue as planned. Last year, a petition signed by 24,000 people led to the Council opting for the $50m more expensive 30,000 seat option. The Canterbury Rugby Football Union has emailed the 25,000 in its database asking them to express support for the 30,000 seat covered Stadium on the Council's website, and the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce has encouraged its 2700 members to call for the stadium to be built without delay. This is why the submission YOU (Christchurch or neighbouring council resident) make is so important for ensuring a sensible decision is made. Only a week since consultation started and already 18,000 submissions have been received. Aside from some personal details, the consultation only has one question. Should the Council: - Invest an additional up to $150 million to enable the project to continue as planned, - Stop the project altogether, or - Pause and re-evaluate the project. Councillors have said that people may think they pay lip service to consultations, but they would all be paying close attention to this one. They have also said that letters to the editor, posts on facebook, petitions, etc. won't make any difference unless you actually make a submission. This petition will be closed after consultation closes on the 5th of July. So please make a submission now at Te Kaha multi-use arena budget consultation https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/haveyoursay/show/514. It takes hardly any time to tick a box. Spread the word and if anyone knows someone in School Strike 4 Climate this may be something they would be interested in.
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    Created by Wiremu Thomson
  • Paihia Needs a Voice on our Future - bring the June 15th meeting to Paihia!
    Our Mayor and Far North District Councillors plan to hold a meeting about our Paihia Waterfront, outside of Pahia and exclude the public. They are saying the meeting is "Commercially sensitive". We say "no way!" Commercial interests cannot override open transparent decision-making. The Council and FNHL know how deeply concerned local residents are: - Councillor Kelly Stratford receipt of the 4000 signature 'No Sea Walls' petition 2021 - Community Board member Belinda Ward attended the vibrant Paihia public meeting 2021 - FNHL attended the powerful pleas at the Te Tii Marae hui 2021 - SEACHANGE group has spoken since 2020 at Council meetings. Imagine the future of our community if our needs are not taken into account. For the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and life in our beautiful Bay, everyone MUST be actively involved in decision-making. It's nonsensical to exclude Paihia Residents from decisions that affect us - and of course, that's what the law says too: Section 14 Local Government Act (2002): 'In performing its role, a local authority must act in accordance with the following principles: (a) a local authority should— (i) conduct its business in an open, transparent, and democratically accountable manner; and (ii) give effect to its identified priorities and desired outcomes in an efficient and effective manner: (b) a local authority should make itself aware of, and should have regard to, the views of all of its communities; and (c) when making a decision, a local authority should take account of— (i)the diversity of the community, and the community’s interests, within its district or region; and (ii) the interests of future as well as current communities; and (iii) the likely impact of any decision on each aspect of well-being referred to in section 10: (d) a local authority should provide opportunities for Māori to contribute to its decision-making processes.' If we are to retain trust in the Council, our needs must be heard alongside those of FNHL and other contractors.
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    Created by Jane Banfield
  • He Piriti Hīkoi ki Kāeo - Install a Pedestrian Footbridge in Kāeo
    The existing foot bridge is unsafe and a hazardous route for pedestrians to use. The existing bridge is too narrow and presents a danger for tamariki, kaumatua and kuia when traffic is going over the bridge at the same time. The current bridge has no provisions for wheelchairs, that simply do not fit (on the narrow pedestrian strips). Parents with strollers are also challenged by the existing bridges insufficient space for pedestrian users. With future upgrade of State Highway 10 Kāeo Bridge to two-lanes, the volume and frequency of traffic and trucks using the bridge will increase. It is therefore imperative a new footbridge is planned now and constructed before an accident occurs.
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    Created by Whangaroa Community Trust .
  • Ensure funding and timely access to diagnosis for neurodivergent people
    Everyone, no matter where they live, or how unique their minds are, deserve to have the support they need to live full and happy lives. But at the moment, someone seeking a diagnosis for autism, ADHD, dyslexia and other cognitive, learning and sensory disabilities, has to navigate a complicated and stressful system. Wait times within the public system can be years long and the cost to go privately can be anywhere from $500 - $3500. This means that many people have to go without a diagnosis for long periods of time and therefore miss out on access to the support they need. This is an unfair system that needs to change. People should not have to be privileged or wealthy to access the assistance they require.
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    Created by Saoirse Lynch
  • Our children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis deserve the same care as adults!
    New Zealand has one of the highest rates of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (known as inflammatory bowel disease or “IBD”) in the world. These diseases are chronic and relapsing illnesses, characterised by sudden flares, emergency department visits, frequent hospitalisations, and, often, surgery. It is estimated that there are 20,792 New Zealanders with these diseases and the number is expected to double in the next ten years. Many of these patients are children. While almost every DHB in NZ funds adult IBD specialty nurses, there is not a single paediatric IBD nurse in all of New Zealand, not even at our largest paediatric centre, Starship Hospital. The issue of equity for this very vulnerable segment of our population needs to be raised. The critical role of the IBD nurse is to provide direct, immediate medical access and assessment to children when their disease suddenly flares. In these situations, it is prompt treatment which prevents lengthy hospitalisations and life-altering surgery. In addition, IBD nurses are the primary educators of both patients and caregivers, they manage immunosuppressive medications, ensure that preventative measures such as vaccinations and screening procedures are up-to-date, provide advice on diet, manage side effects of medications, and ensure compliance with treatment regimens. Not only does the work of the IBD nurse improve patient outcomes, but it significantly frees up time for their physician colleagues to perform other tasks. The impact of the IBD Clinical Nurse Specialist on patient outcomes and hospital costs has been well and repeatedly documented. A recent study reported in the British Medical Journal in 2020, demonstrated a one-third decrease in hospitalisations in the year following the addition of an IBD nurse to the GE team (P=0.002). Similar results were reported in a study from the Royal Adelaide Hospital in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis. Hiring a single nurse will not only save taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, but, most importantly, will help keep our children out of the hospital and out of surgical theatres. It will ensure that our children have access to the same quality care that is routinely available to adult IBD patients in New Zealand and to other children throughout the world.
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    Created by Richard Stein
  • Ban the Sale of Nazi Memorabilia
    No matter where we were born, the colour of our skin or our religious beliefs we all deserve to live in peace with our families and feel safe here in Aotearoa. But right now, there is an increase in white supremacy and it undermines all of our peace and safety. Nazi symbols are often used by white supremacists to make known their discriminatory views, and can cause harm to both survivors of the World War II and other minority groups. One of the places profiting from the demand for Nazi memorabilia is Lipscombe Auction House in Nelson who has just held another auction that included the sale of Nazi Memorabilia. This isn't the first time they have auctioned Nazi memorabilia, previously a small group of Nelson residents protested the sale, including those leading this campaign, and were physically ejected from the auction. This time the auction was held online so those bidding were hidden. Situations like this show we need a change in the legislation, as we unfortunately cannot rely on people’s common decency to not sell and distribute Nazi memorabilia. The last auction was held a week before Anzac Day and on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.[1] In a country who aspires to peace and care for all its residents, there is no place for the hateful symbols of Nazi Germany. The sale of Nazi memorabilia is banned in a number of countries including France, Sweden, Brazil, and Germany where the symbols are considered to be ‘anti-constitutional’. While the sale of Nazi memorabilia is not illegal in NZ, some organisations include auction sites such as TradeMe and eBay do not allow the trade in such items. However, we think that the issue requires national regulation, and it should not just sit with the decisions of private organisations. We believe that the government should introduce a ban on Nazi memorabilia. By coming together and calling for a ban on the sale and display of Nazi symbols, we can help put Aotearoa on a path towards a future free of discrimination and fear. References [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising https://theconversation.com/the-extremism-visible-at-the-parliament-protest-has-been-growing-in-nz-for-years-is-enough-being-done-177831 https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/122972931/nazi-memorabilia-auction-plan-in-nelson-sparks-concern https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/122977111/nazi-flags-and-badges-sold-at-nelson-auction-despite-protests https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/387199/shop-owner-defends-sale-of-disturbing-nazi-memorabilia https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/113993233/nazi-memorabilia-for-sale-at-auckland-antiques-shop-offensive https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/nazi-memorabilia-removed-from-trade-me/E7UTNWRYG5YLMFV4FY7OCP3ACM/ https://nelsonweekly.co.nz/2020/10/nazi-memorabilia-auction-offensive/ https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/07/returned-services-association-condemns-nazi-replicas-sold-at-auckland-antiques-store.html https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/apr/04/nsw-to-ban-public-display-of-nazi-flags-and-swastikas https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/08/jewish-council-condemns-nazi-re-enactors-in-auckland-park.html
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    Created by John-Paul Pochin
  • End the Supermarket Crisis
    Everyone needs to eat and we all deserve to be able to afford healthy, nutritious food. But right now more and more families are having to go without because of the high price of food. Even basic items like vegetables, milk and bread are becoming expensive. There is a food cost crisis. The crisis is a result of successive governments allowing two supermarket chains, Woolworths and Foodstuffs, to dominate our food supply. The profits of these 2 big food chains are extraordinary. The Commerce Commission report showed that the profits of the duopolies are somewhere between 12.7 and 13.1%. (1). By international standards a normal rate of return should be 5.5%. (2). The Commerce Commission estimated that Foodstuffs and Woolworths combined are making about $430 million a year in excess profits. (3) It's not just customers they’re short changing either, the people growing and supplying food to the supermarkets are left with little option to negotiate fairer prices for their produce. One supplier reported that “We have two choices 1) sell to them under their terms 2) don’t sell to them at all”.(4) We all want to be able to trust our supermarkets to deliver us decent food at a decent price. But right now, it is clear that these two supermarket giants cannot to be trusted with the reins to our food supply. Our government needs to step in and create legislation to ensure our food system is fair and that families can keep food on the table. We need the Government to take urgent and definitive action to break up the supermarket duopoly. References: 1,2,3,4: Market study into the grocery sector, Commerce Commission, March 2022: https://comcom.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0024/278403/Market-Study-into-the-retail-grocery-sector-Final-report-8-March-2022.pdf
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    Created by Rene Jansen and Sonja Lamers
  • Healthy Food and Drink in Schools
    We believe that every child and young person in New Zealand deserves the best start to life and what they eat and drink is vital for optimal physical and mental health. Research in New Zealand has highlighted ‘free sugars’ as contributing significantly to high rates of poor physical health, poor oral health, diabetes and other health-related diseases.[1] The consumption of free sugars in sugar sweetened beverages contributes to 26% of the total sugar intake of children.[2] Studies conducted by the Environmental Health Indicators New Zealand (EHINZ) note that dental decay is now the most common disease reported among children in New Zealand. But sugary drinks are not the only problem. The food our children eat also needs to be healthy and nourishing. Research has demonstrated that children who eat healthy food are better behaved and better able to concentrate in class and learn.[3] Education is key to improving health outcomes in our community and schools need to lead the way. Promoting healthy food and then selling unhealthy food in our school canteens does not make sense. We already have Healthy Food Guidelines, Schools need to be given the duty and support to implement them. [4] For more information, please contact: Shona Jaunas (President Open Forum for Health Information) [email protected] https://www.openforumforhealthinformation.com/nz-schools-consultation [1] Free sugars are defined by the World Health Organisation as monosaccharides and disaccharides added to food by both the manufacturer and consumer, including sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, and fruit juice. [2] Sundborn et al, “New Zealand’s growing thirst for a sugar-sweetened beverage tax”, New Zealand Medical Journal, 2015. [3] Rucklidge and Kaplan, “The Better Brain, How Nutrition Will Help You Overcome Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and Stress, Vermillion, 2021 [4] 20210927-Nutrition-Guidance-Formatted-FINAL.pdf (education.govt.nz)
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    Created by Open Forum for Health Information New Zealand
  • Condemn Israeli aggression against peaceful Palestinian worshippers
    According to international news sources, more than 300 Palestinians were detained on Easter Friday in Al-Aqsa Mosque in what rights groups say was the largest en masse arrest over the course of one hour and in one location in more than 20 years.(1) At least 158 Palestinians were injured in the ensuing violence. Most recently, Israel has prevented Palestinian Christians from entering the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to observe the Easter Vigil associated with the Christian Orthodox celebrations.(2) Tensions across the occupied territories continue to mount as the Israeli Occupation forces use violence against Palestinian Muslim and Christian worshippers and peaceful protestors. Every thirty-three years Ramadan, Easter and Passover coincide. It is especially sad that the recent aggression by the Israeli Occupation forces has occurred at a time of religious festivity for all three of the world’s monotheistic religions. Israel’s aggression not only endangers civilians at a holy moment, it also violates the sanctity and meaning of all three holidays. New Zealand has a strong record of supporting human rights including the freedom of thought, conscience and religion as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. New Zealand’s response to the March 15th Mosque attacks demonstrates its commitment to ensuring that religious communities should be able to observe their faith free of harassment and violence. We call on the New Zealand Rt Hon Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta to demonstrate their commitment to religious freedom by condemning the aggression of the Israeli Occupation forces against worshippers and peaceful protestors and extending the same concern the New Zealand government has expressed for Muslims in Aotearoa for Palestinians at worship. New Zealand has consistently held a principled position on Palestine through the United Nations in keeping with international law. This includes New Zealand’s vote in 1974 in favour of issuing an invitation to the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO’s) chairman Yasser Arafat to address the UN General Assembly (UNGA). New Zealand’s principled stance can also be traced in its 2012 UNGA vote to upgrade the status of Palestine to non-member observer state. When it comes to Palestine, the New Zealand state and its people have historically maintained an even-handed, diplomatic, and consistent approach to the Israeli conflict. We call on the New Zealand Government to maintain its strong principled stance in relation to Palestine and its commitment to Human Rights by condemning the recent Israeli violence. References: 1. https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-palestine-aqsa-mosque-jerusalem-storm-raid-settlers 2. https://www.palestinechronicle.com/israel-limits-access-to-holy-sepulcher-church-for-holy-fire-ceremony-video/ This petition has been created by Palestinians in Aotearoa Coordinating Committee (PACC). This petition has been signed by Alternative Jewish Voices (AJV).
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    Created by Palestinians in Aotearoa Coordination Committee Picture
  • Ensure access to ERP therapy for people living with OCD
    Fixate is an online community for NZers living with OCD or supporting someone living with OCD, with over 800 members. Personal experiences shared within Fixate reveal heart-breaking stories of individuals and families struggling with untreated OCD. Aside from the enormous personal cost, there is a hidden public cost in the “revolving door of care'' where people receive ineffective support for unrecognised, misdiagnosed or untreated OCD. Early diagnosis and targeted interventions would reduce both suffering and the need for costly support and long-term therapy down the track. When emerging OCD symptoms that could be “nipped in the bud” are left untreated, they become embedded and more resistant to treatment. The best practice treatment for OCD is ERP therapy (2). Sometimes this can be accompanied by medication that ‘quietens the obsessive thoughts’, making it easier to do the exposure work. Most people who access these treatments experience substantial improvement and/or recovery (where troublesome unwanted thoughts still occur, but are manageable and no longer disrupt everyday life). In Aotearoa New Zealand, people experiencing severe OCD are referred to secondary mental health services. However there is a high bar to acceptance of referrals and staff with expertise in ERP therapy are reportedly scarce to non-existent. Even when a referral is accepted, people are added to long waiting lists and don’t access treatment for many months. Those who don’t meet the threshold for referral are left in primary care where health professionals lack training in ERP therapy. 1. https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/wellbeing/125409931/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-convinced-woman-she-was-a-dangerous-murderer 2.https://journals.lww.com/intclinpsychopharm/Fulltext/2020/07000/Clinical_advances_in_obsessive_compulsive.1.aspx To learn more about people living with OCD and ERP therapy, go to www.ocd.org.nz https://iocdf.org/blog/2017/03/31/view-the-new-documentary-living-with-me-and-my-ocd/ https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/news/lawtalk/lawtalk-issue-944/obsessive-and-compulsive
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    Created by Marion Maw