• NZ Parliament declare genocide: stop Uyghur suffering
    For oppression to be classed as genocide, only one aspect of the definition would have to be fulfilled. What is happening to the Uyghur people is the entire definition of genocide. Uyghurs are suffering: • Intrusive surveillance. • Mass detention (millions put in prison). • Political indoctrination (brainwashing). • Forced cultural assimilation (their culture and language banned.) • Mass forced labour (slavery, including being sold in lots of 50-100 people.) • Organ harvesting. • Children removed and put in orphanages. • Mass birth control and sterilisation. • Rape and torture. • Death. • Unable to travel or leave. • Unable to communicate with friend or family overseas. New Zealand is a signatory of the Genocide Convention. It is important for countries around the world to fulfill our role in humanity to prevent and stop horrific abuses of human rights and death. New Zealand as a country wants to maintain peace and uphold human rights. We say Never Again. Our elected representatives must say "Never Again" to the horrific killing of a race of people. Source: https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/genocide.shtml Source: https://newlinesinstitute.org/uyghurs/the-uyghur-genocide-an-examination-of-chinas-breaches-of-the-1948-genocide-convention/
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    Created by UyghurSolidarity AotearoaNZ Picture
  • Update the Hamilton City Emblem!
    The current emblem was introduced in 1946 and represents the colonial history of our city as a settler military post in the 19th century. It does not align with the Treaty of Waitangi and Maaori representation in our current emblem is non-existent. Our emblem does not depict any partnerships and the crown is the main overpowering feature in the emblem. It does not hold any in-depth cultural, metaphorical or traditional meanings and is an emblem that was introduced almost 100 years ago!!! Kirikiriroa means 'long strip of cultivated land' and it represents the abundance of people who shared, took care, and lived off the land before colonisation. Gradually, like our city name or street names around our city Hamilton was overpowered by European settlers who made Kirikiriroa their own. Updating our city emblem and discussing it's relevance is important because it currently represents and supports years of our city’s colonial, traumatic history where indigenous people had land taken, were oppressed, and even murdered. Some people might think something small like an emblem doesn't matter, but the history and significance behind something so small has been the meaning of life or death for many. Today, Hamilton is the youngest city in New Zealand and one of the most multicultural cities with more than 160 ethnicities. We are a vibrant young & developing city and we need an emblem that reflects this! We want an emblem that we are proud of. We want an emblem that we understand and can relate to. We want an emblem that represents maaori, our city, and our diverse multicultural population. We want our city emblem to represent 'Kirikiriroa'. We want to have an emblem that we can share with pride! Sign to call on our Council to update City Emblem! To be able to present the petition the Council requires over 150 signatures with postal addresses, to show signatories are residents. Your address will be supplied to Council but not be made public.
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    Created by Jahvaya Wheki
  • Make the NZ courts safe for victim-survivors
    The following excerpt is taken from our open letter. On April 15, Stuff published a detailed case study of one woman’s treatment within New Zealand courts. This poignant story shows state power and ignorance colliding to harm a vulnerable woman: a woman who should have been able to rely on the state and the courts to understand her situation and protect her. Instead, it wrongly criminalised her, causing further harm and suffering. Mrs P was a party in Family Court proceedings. She provided a stack of evidence to the court that she had been abused by her former partner. In one of the documents she submitted in evidence, she twinked out private information that she did not want before the court. She initialled the change. In what was arguably, at worst, a misdemeanour ‘lay person’s redaction error’, the trial judge accused her of lying to the court. He appeared to take umbrage, bullying her during the trial and finding in favour of her former husband who had abused her. Not only did the trial judge disbelieve the woman had been abused, saying “I am in no doubt that she was not abused by [her ex-husband]”, he referred her to the police on the grounds of perjury. The case was prosecuted by the Crown, and Mrs P was convicted, narrowly missing a custodial sentence. Eventually the Court of Appeal overturned Mrs P’s conviction, but not before she had served a sentence of one year on home detention; been ordered to pay $400,000 in costs, resulting in bankruptcy; and lost her job as a teacher. The Government has refused compensation. The story highlights multiple occasions where the system has failed Mrs P – as a woman who suffered domestic violence, she was further harmed by the very institutions that women are urged to turn to for help. The treatment of Mrs P within both the Family Court and the District Court is a stinging indictment of the operations of our courts, and some of the judges and lawyers who operate within them. The detailed revelations about how Mrs P was treated in the Family Court are particularly significant, because such information is rarely provided for public scrutiny. Her mistreatment by the courts may seem extreme. However, core elements of this case resonate strongly with what advocates tell us about women’s and children’s experiences in the Family Court, and with what some of us know from our own practice and/or research. That is, the Family Court is currently unsafe for too many women who have experienced violence and abuse from their male partners, and for children who are subject to violence and abuse from their fathers or father-figures. In 2018, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), as part of its four-yearly review of New Zealand, was so concerned at the treatment of women and children in the Family Court, it recommended that there be a Royal Commission of Inquiry held. In March 2021, in its midterm review of New Zealand’s progress on that recommendation, CEDAW stated that the Government’s review into the Family Court failed to address the root causes of the problems and the issues of safety for domestic violence victims who come to the Family Court. CEDAW has recommended that the New Zealand Government “take appropriate action to address the root causes of the drawbacks for women, the obstruction of justice for women and the hindrances to their safety inherent in the family court system.” And furthermore, CEDAW has recommended that the state “operate the legislative and structural changes necessary to make the family courts safe and just for women and children, in particular in situations of domestic violence.” It is not good enough for New Zealand to say it is committed to preventing family and sexual violence, and to tell our population ‘It’s Not OK’, when the very courts many women will need to turn to for protection and for care-of-children arrangements are at risk of turning on them in their time of need. We continue to be deeply troubled by stories that mothers involved in the Family Court system risk being treated as vindictive and ‘alienating’ if they disclose violence and abuse they or their children suffer. Many of us have heard from women desperate because they have been warned that if they don’t stop raising concerns related to abuse of their children, they risk losing their children. We are writing to you, Prime Minister, with the following requests, because although the most excessive misuse of power in Mrs P’s case was in the Family Court, the problems rippled out more widely, implicating the District Court, the High Court and Crown Solicitors, and with ramifications for the safety and success of New Zealand’s family violence prevention messages. These problems, therefore, need to be tackled in each of these places, but with an overview of the interconnectedness of the problems. --------------------------------------------------------------
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    Created by Action for Mrs P and other women and children in the Family Court
  • Inquiry into the consequences of conversion therapies for autistic children
    We all celebrated to hear of the legislation being enacted that bans conversion therapy after years of campaigning by the LGTBQI+ community. However the win does not go far enough. The same underlying techniques of torture and dehumanising coercion continue to be applied to autistic children. Any legislation which is so selective as to ban only “conversion therapies” that target a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression is in itself discriminatory. If a government moves to ban the mistreatment of one minority in a particular manner but neglects similar mistreatment of other minorities it is more than negligent, it is actively legitimising prejudice. If a ban were to go through with specific reference to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression alone, it would be much like an anti-racism bill that protected black people but left all other people of colour out in the cold. Instead of acknowledging anxiety and depression as the result of the highly stressful environments and dehumanising treatments that autistic children are exposed to, many "autism professionals" prefer to treat autism as the 'problem', and then use medication as treatment. The message to autistic people is very clear: 'you are not normal and we need to fix you'. This is wrong. The University of Auckland and other institutions in New Zealand still teach ABA. In Aotearoa certified ABA practitioners continue to advertise their services for children with “compliance” problems. Many autistic people who have been subjected to ABA and similar “treatments” end up with PTSD. Multiple studies confirm that the suicide rates for autists are are more than twice (1.9 to 9.9 times) the rates found in the general population. It is so important that people, and especially parents of autistic children, start listening to the lived experience of autistic adults. Many of us are in our 50s, 60s and 70s. We all started out as autistic children, without formal diagnosis, and without intensive ABA "therapy". We have found our path in life, we've experienced decades of discrimination comparable to the level of discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people 50 years ago, and we have remained autistic throughout. Neurodivergence is at the core of creativity. Autistic people don’t play social games, instead we actively resist them. Autistic people are best understood as the agents of a well functioning cultural immune system within human society. What are conversion therapies? Conversion therapies are “normalisation” therapies rooted in the techniques of torture and dehumanising coercion developed by Ivar Lovaas and Burrhus Frederic Skinner. The same techniques that are used by ABA therapists have been named as abusive in domestic abuse prevention legislation. Dehumanising abuse of all children, including autistic children, must be made illegal. The actual results that are achieved with conversion therapy include depression, PTSD, suicidal ideation, social expectations that are toxic for autistic people, as well as environments that create sensory overload. Why do we propose to consider a ban of all forms of conversion therapy? Conversion therapy never achieves its stated goal of “normalising” LGBTQIA+ or autistic children. Instead there is overwhelming evidence that conversion therapy results in extreme levels of irreversible trauma. The autistic population is much smaller than the LGBTQIA+ community, but the intersection between the two is significant. Compared to the general population, autists are 7 to 8 times more likely to identify as LGBTQIA+. It makes perfect sense to tie legislation around the protection of LGBTQIA+ rights to the protection of the rights of autistic people. What practices would need to be considered as part of a ban? Of the many labels used “Applied Behaviour Analysis” (ABA) and "Positive Behaviour Support" (PBS) are the most common ones. It is important to focus on all “therapies” that are rooted in the techniques of torture and dehumanising coercion developed by Ivar Lovaas and Burrhus Frederic Skinner. This initiative is part of the global Ban Conversion Therapies project (https://autcollab.org/projects/ban-of-conversion-therapies/), which keeps track of all the bans of conversion therapies that are already in place and all initiatives towards bans. More background information has been compiled by the Autistic Collaboration Trust in collaboration with the autistic community in New Zealand on the following web page: https://autcollab.org/2021/03/10/banning-autistic-conversion-therapy-in-nz/.
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    Created by Jorn Bettin
  • TVNZ: End ties with Mobil and commit not to take money from fossil fuels
    Public broadcasting has the opportunity to do good in Aotearoa - helping us have informed kōrero about the issues that matter. Even ethical advertising can be positive for the world. Yet every evening, more than 800,000 people turn on the TV to tune into 1 News for an informative take on the day gone. But when the sports section comes up, viewers are bombarded with a dominating Mobil logo, and a message proudly declaring: “1 News Sport, brought to you by Mobil.” Make no mistake; Mobil NZ is synonymous with ExxonMobil - the international giant oil and corporate monolith. ExxonMobil has known about climate change since at least 1982.[1] Back then, their own report predicted CO2 level models that are extremely accurate to the present day. Many of ExxonMobil’s former lead scientists have testified to how Exxon management spread doubt about the dangers of climate change setting a model for other oil companies to follow.[2] One of their early chief scientists, Martin Hoffert, said “Exxon was publicly promoting views that its own scientists knew were wrong, and we knew that because we were the major group working on this.”[3] ExxonMobil knew about climate change from its own top-notch research groups - even taking sea level rise into account while building their resource-sucking, earth-polluting oil rigs - all while spending many tens of millions lying to the public and funding politicians advocating against climate action. that would affect its bottom line. Yet despite all this, TVNZ says it has “no ethical concerns” in regard to its Mobil sponsorship. That is ludicrous - if they don’t have ethical concerns with a corporation knowingly destroying the planet, committing human rights abuses, and funding climate denialism; then who do they have ethical concerns with? TVNZ has the means, and as a state funded media organisation, the responsibility, to end its contract with Mobil - whose continued and willful ignorance of the climate crisis is a slap in the face to our Pacific neighbours, who are seeing their homes and sacred graveyards destroyed by intensifying storms and sea surges - a direct consequence of criminal policy from corporates like ExxonMobil. There’s a precedent for this. In January of last year, Britain's second-biggest newspaper, The Guardian, announced an outright ban on taking money from companies that extract fossil fuels. TVNZ has the opportunity to follow in their footsteps and show Aotearoa that taking money from climate criminals in 2021 is not acceptable. In these times everyone needs to be part of change and protecting Papatūānuku. Generation Zero is calling on TVNZ as a publicly funded media organisation to end its association with fossil fuels and follow an ethical sponsorship policy. Sign on to join our call! Feel free to contact adam@generationzero.org.nz for any questions or queries! References 1-http://www.climatefiles.com/exxonmobil/1982-memo-to-exxon-management-about-co2-greenhouse-effect/ 2. https://docs.house.gov/Committee/Calendar/ByEvent.aspx?EventID=110126 https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/10/opinion/exxons-climate-concealment.html?_r=0 3 https://youtu.be/Ms-vVR7o-nM
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    Created by Generation Zero
  • End Workplace Exploitation and Abuse
    We want to convince the prime minister to change employment laws so victims can get prompt and fair justice. Only then will workplace exploitation and bullying stop. 🔥 Who are we? 🔥 UTU for Workers Union is a volunteer organisation campaigning to stop workplace exploitation and abuse. We provide representation to workers in non-unionised workplaces with employment problems. We are registered as One Union. We are an incorporated society and registered trade union. From May 2021 we will legally be renamed UTU for Workers Union.
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    Created by Matt McCarten
  • SPCA: Take action on TikTok possum puncher
    The TikTok showed the New Zealand man punching a possum in the face, outraging animal advocates and people across New Zealand. The video shows a young possum perched on a fence with a voice saying “Hey dick, what are you doing there?” A second voice asks “Shall I smack him?” The first voice answers “Smack him.” A closed fist is then seen punching the possum hard in the face causing it to fly off the fence backwards. An audible smack can be heard. Laughter from the two individuals which aren’t shown on camera follows. Direct Animal Action believes the video is deplorable and is an act of animal cruelty. While possums are considered 'pests' in New Zealand, what is shown in the TikTok is blatant animal cruelty and is not acceptable behaviour. The fact that it is being glorified on social media makes it even more disturbing. Unfortunately possums have been demonised in New Zealand due to their legal status as pests. This has encouraged a culture in our country where cruelty towards animals classified as pests, like possums, is seen as acceptable to many New Zealanders. SPCA New Zealand say they have seen an upswing in cruelty towards animals classified as pests in recent years and that, under the law, animals may be killed humanely, but causing cruelty to an animal is against the law and in breach of the Animal Welfare Act. Direct Animal Action have reported the TikTok to SPCA New Zealand and an investigation is now underway. We are calling on the SPCA not to take this lightly because the animal involved is classified as a pest, but to take serious action under the Animal Welfare Act. We would also like the man to undertake community service at his local SPCA animal shelter, so that he can learn the importance of compassion and respect towards all animal species. People need to know that animal abuse should not be used as a tool to get more views, likes and shares on social media and that all animals are sentient, capable of pain and suffering, regardless of their legal classification.
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    Created by Direct Animal Action Picture
  • Repeal and replace the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975
    Taking a health- and social-based approach to drug use would reduce stigma, meaning that community leaders, educators, health providers and whānau could focus more on prevention and harm reduction, while providing timely and judgement-free treatment or support. It would also mean that medicinal cannabis patients could access affordable relief without fear of prosecution. Prohibition continues to discriminate against Māori and Pasifika, who account for more than half of all cannabis convictions in Aotearoa. Convictions also fall disproportionately on young people. 2019 amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act have failed to shift these unequal outcomes in criminalisation for low-level drug offences. Kākahungia te tangata ki te aroha, kaua ki te whakawhiu - Our people need a cloak of support and care, not punishment and stigma.
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    Created by Emily Rosenthal
  • Reclassify Autism and ADHD
    Quick and accurate health diagnosis means people are able to access the medical attention and medications we need with respect and speed. However in Aotearoa the approach to ADHD/autism is out of date as it is still classified as a mental health disorder. There is a serious lack of diagnostic support. This means that people are not correctly diagnosed. The diagnosis process is currently not achieving the desired outcomes and affecting daily lives of those seeking a diagnosis of autism / ADHD. People with ADHD/autism can feel stigmatized to be treated as a mental health patient. It also overloads the mental health system unnecessarily. This is a major public health issue affecting all ethnic groups, social classes and occupational groups: and this found in all government departments. Reclassification will give recognition that autism is a real inherited neurodevelopmental disorder and reduce stigmatisation. When ADHD/autism is correctly classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder it means primary medical professionals such as GPs are able to diagnose, authorize medications and care for patients. If ADHD is treated, then it has been proven that Autism is also often treated. This in turn positively affects the children and adults and their families and education, employment and in social situations. NZ Disability Advisory Trust is the organization leading this petition as voice and lived experience of having staff with ASD Diagnosis.
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    Created by NZ Disablity AdvisoryTrust
  • Ban the showing of Sia's movie "music" in New Zealand cinemas
    Here's why. Music does not aline with our values in New Zealand. It is discriminatory and has the power to change our society for the worse. The first problem that can be seen is blinding. Maddie Ziegler, a neurotypical actress is playing the lead role of Music, an autistic young girl. Ziegler mimics stereotypical behaviours of an autistic person, such as stimming. Given that Ziegler herself is NOT autistic, watching her stim and be paid for it has been described as an insult by many autistic people. Whilst many people would have been alienated for stimming in real life, Ziegler is being paid for forcing the natural behaviour of an autistic person. A second problem is that if in one of the first scenes, Music is launched into a colourful world of flashing lights, something that has been described by Eden, author of the autism self-advocacy website autisticats as a "sensory nightmare." The flashing lights make the movie totally inaccessible to people who have sensory problems, or people that have photosensitive epilepsy, a common trait within autistic people. Yet another problem within the movie is that Sia has not consulted with autistic people, and has no idea what she is talking about, being a neurotypical person herself. She continuously misrepresents the autistic community and one scene that highlights this is the fact that she has portrayed Music as a character with a special interest in dogs. Music reads a book that is big and bulky and has complicated vocabulary, yet her AAC device (A device that enables nonverbal people to communicate) has only simple preprogrammed words like "happy." Despite the fact of showing Music as a highly literate girl, with her own thoughts, the only insight that we get into Music's mind, is "nauseating dance sequences". There are so many more problems, both where Sia has been racist, ableist, and more that you can read about on the autisticats website which you can find here,: (https://theautisticats.weebly.com/) but I haven't even begun to address the most fatal mistake of the film. In many scenes, Music is having a meltdown caused by sensory overload and starts flailing her arms around. The response of one of the characters is to jump on top of Music and hold her down in a restraint called prone restraint. This restraint is deadly as it can cut off airways, and the fact it is being shown could normalise this restraint causing people to use it on friends and family who are autistic and may not be able to tell them to stop if they are experiencing sensory overload. With all of these problems of the movie, it is clear that New Zealand should not show this movie, or we will increase the dangers towards disabled people. This movie could very much increase fatalities, decrease acceptance and understanding of autistic people, and put us back many years.
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    Created by Maya Ando
  • Rename Colonial Street Signs in Kirikiriroa/Hamilton City.
    This is important because street signs must be names of people who have up-held honor and integrity in their lives. They must be those who were role models and mentors, so our children and community can grow a sense of pride for themselves, in the same way: selfless and serving. Instead, we have names of those who committed violent crimes of theft and murder against women, children and the elderly. Bryce Street, Cameron Street, Grey Street and Von Tempsky Street must be among the first street signs to be removed. They are cruel reminders "of the devastating effects of British imperialism and its continous impact on Maori" (Pokere-Phillips, 2020). And which impact affects ALL New Zealanders. Please act now!
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    Created by Jacquelyn Elkington
  • Label country of origin meat products
    Under public pressure our laws and standards have improved so the treatment of farmed animals in Aotearoa is more transparent and accountable. For example the use of sow crates for mother pigs was banned in 2010 but farrowing crates are still used. However overseas products don't have the same standards. They can have issues around contamination of local water supplies, routine use of antibiotics in feed, and poor animal welfare. The law is being updated this year to make country of labelling compulsory. Yet imported products which may have been processed in Aotearoa will still be allowed to be mixed with NZ produce and labelled 'Made in New Zealand'. Over 80 percent of New Zealanders believe it is misleading if imported pork which undergoes further processing in New Zealand, is not labelled as imported. Almost 60 percent of pork eaten in New Zealand is imported. Pig farmers here are making welfare improvements yet say they are 'competing against a wall of imported pork meat'. Without accurate labelling consumers are unable to make a choice that supports our farmers and animal welfare. Let's remove the loopholes and make sure country of labelling is accurate. References https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/377123/country-of-origin-label-now-compulsory-on-some-foods https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/124539599/pork-products-slip-through-country-of-origin-labelling-loophole https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/rural/2020/12/government-to-phase-out-use-of-farrowing-crates-in-pork-farming-by-2025.html https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/pig-farmers-hope-ban-on-sow-stalls-will-buy-loyalty/PDN5RCI7CCGV2F3I43GUPFOZME/
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    Created by Anita Taylor