• Save Our Public Healthcare: Auckland Members of Parliament
    The local petitions for each DHB area were handed in to Parliament in May 2017! Read the story of the local volunteers and their campaign to Save our Public Health system: 'Health volunteers step it up a level' https://medium.com/actionstation/our-volunteer-campaigners-step-it-up-a-level-ebe7fdc8ea74 Background "It's very dangerous. If this continues we will slide into an American-style healthcare system." - Phil Bagshaw (Canterbury Charity Hospital founder and editorial co-author of the report: Funding New Zealand's healthcare system). We all want our friends and family to be happy and in good health. When illness or accidents happen, we want to know they can get the healthcare they need, when they need it. But the government has been underfunding our public healthcare system for almost a decade, putting good health and peace of mind out of reach for hundreds of thousands of people. Today, our Health Budget is missing $1.85 billion in vital funds. [1] These are not just numbers on a spreadsheet. Each funding cut represents a person who might not receive a hip operation, cancer screening, counselling service or hospital bed because they can’t be funded. Here are the facts: * One in nine Kiwis are not getting the GP care they need because they cannot afford it. [2] * There has been an almost 300 percent increase in crisis mental health referrals over the past five years and mental health workers are struggling to cope. [3] * $1.85 billion is the increase in funding required to restore our overall health budget to the same proportion of the economy (GDP) as it was in the year to June 2010 when the underfunding crisis began​​. The Government could afford to fund our healthcare system properly. They choose not to. In fact, the reported government surplus is almost exactly the same amount as the amount of underfunding. Please take action today and sign your name. ​Together we can ensure Aotearoa New Zealand has a public health care system we can all be proud of. --- References: [1] Did the Budget provide enough for health 2016? CTU Budget Analysis (please note the figures used in this study were conservative and we’ve since spoken to the authors who gave us the updated figure of $1.85b) [2] Half a million Kiwis not receiving healthcare because of costs, Ged Cann, Stuff News, 3rd November 2016 [3] Mental health workers struggling to cope, RNZ, 7th June 2016
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  • Minister Anne Tolley: Forgive WINZ Motel Emergency Accommodation Debt
    When people are in desperate need, Winz loan people money so they can rent out a motel room as emergency housing. [1] People then have to repay the debt, and many say that is just not possible. This is a ridiculous and inhumane policy in effect locking people who are already in such dire straits that they are homeless, into further debt. Furthermore, it does nothing to solve the housing crisis and is open to exploitation by the Motel owners, and the people themselves have little choice but to agree. Take Nicole in the picture, who is living in a motel with her three children, including an eight-week-old baby, but the family is facing the real possibility of having to live in a car. https://www.youtube.com/embed/vxTATpTGaVU Nicole is among many Work and Income (Winz) clients who are being put up in $190-a-night motels because there simply isn't enough emergency housing to cope with the demand, a ministry source says. All of them will have to pay the motel costs back even if they can't afford it. [2] This needs to change. Sign the petition. References: 1) Homeless borrow thousands for motels, RadioNZ, 17 May 2016 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/304122/homeless-borrow-thousands-for-motels 2) Eight-week-old baby among hundreds homeless, RadioNZ, 18 May 2016 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/304200/eight-week-old-baby-among-hundreds-homeless
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  • Tell Anne Tolley and the National Government you want specific homelessness policy now!
    **LATEST NEWS** We delivered the petition! On 3 May the petition was accepted by Labour Party Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern and MP Phil Twyford. This has now been referred to the Social Services Committee for consideration on the 21st of June. We will of course be right there asking why we don't have a member of parliament directly responsible for homelessness. Thank you so much for your support to get effective strategy to end homelessness in New Zealand. We’ll keep you updated as the petition goes through the Select Committee process, as there will be opportunities to take action once again. While the petition is closed you can sign to receive updates of future events in the campaign to end homelessness in New Zealand. You can watch Jacinda Ardern’s FB live recording of the presentation here: https://www.facebook.com/jacindaardern/videos/10154326485732441/?pnref=story News coverage by the NZ Herald and Maori Television: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11849240 and https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/petition-calls-end-homelessness-nz We are in a housing crisis. Skyrocketing house prices and the cost of living mean one in 100 New Zealanders are now homeless, including children, the elderly and young families. [1] Over the course of the last year we’ve seen far too many harrowing stories of families forced to live on the streets, in cars, or crammed into garages. [2] A recent inquiry found that the current level of homelessness in New Zealand is "larger than any other time in recent memory and is continuing to grow". [3] It’s never been worse, and the Government needs to act. It's time for a comprehensive plan to end homelessness. The recent cross-party enquiry has made 20 recommendations, with the core recommendation being create a national strategy to address homelessness. But the Government’s has brushed them off, saying homelessness has always been a problem, and that they are already solving it. It’s not good enough. We are in a crisis, and we demand action. Will you join us to demand immediate national action to end New Zealand’s homelessness crisis? Want to support us more? Don't forget to follow us on Facebook. www.facebook.com/GimmeShelterNZ References: [1] http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/305536/one-in-100-nzers-are-homeless-study [2] [3] http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/85147550/Govt-must-find-political-will-to-tackle-homelessness-cross-party-inquiry
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  • Give us back our footpaths!
    E-scooters on footpaths are a danger to all pedestrians. However, disabled people, older people and children are at particular risk of being hit by e-scooters on footpaths.This risk is real – since the introduction of e-scooters, disabled people have been injured and hospitalised. Many disabled and older people say they feel unsafe and are afraid to walk in our city centres and their neighbourhoods because of the danger posed by e-scooters on footpaths. People who are blind, deafblind, low vision or vision impaired are at serious risk of injury from falling over e-scooters left lying on the footpath or walking in areas e-scooters are being ridden. Deaf and hard-of-hearing people have been shocked at something they can’t hear suddenly rushing past them. The impact of e-scooters should not be minimised! They are vehicles with the potential to cause injury and should be treated as such. According to the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), the bill for e-scooter-related injuries for the four years to October 2022 was $30 million, with an average cost per claim of $2,931. However, even if only a few percent of e-scooter injuries are to pedestrians, we also need to recognise the cost of lost opportunity and the risk of social isolation disabled and older pedestrians experience. Why? Because their fear of e-scooters on footpaths prevents them from being out and about getting to and from places and spaces. The need to address safety issues around e-scooters and regulate their use is being recognised internationally. Earlier this year the European Transport Safety Council recommended that no e-scooters be ridden on pavements, saying that “Pedestrians, especially the elderly and those who are visually impaired, are at risk of harm from vehicles sharing the same space.” Waka Kotahi is currently consulting on whether to renew the declaration that exempts e-scooters from being motor vehicles and allows them to be ridden on footpaths. Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA), Blind Citizens NZ, and Living Streets Aotearoa are calling on Waka Kotahi to not renew this declaration and to get these dangerous vehicles off our footpaths. Your support will help create safer streets for everyone! It will keep footpaths for feet and mobility device users. DPA will include this petition in its submission to Waka Kotahi. Sign the petition to show your support of getting e-scooters off our footpaths. Find out more information about the Waka Kotahi e-scooter declaration renewal decision. Want to do more? You can also have your say and share experiences of e-scooters on footpaths by: • emailing DPA at: [email protected] • emailing Blind Citizens NZ at: [email protected] • filling out the survey on the E-scooter declaration renewal decision page.
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  • Welcome people fleeing the war in Ukraine to Aotearoa
    On the night of February 24th Russia invaded Ukraine. The cities were bombed. Civilians murdered. The actions of the Russian army forcibly displaced people. At this rate, the situation looks set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century.(1) While the world seeks to find a way out of the turmoil of war in Europe, something New Zealand can do right now is to provide refuge and security to Ukrainians who have had their lives overturned by the Russian invasion. As a community of Ukrainians-Kiwis together with our fellow Kiwi friends we ask the New Zealand Government to do the right thing and help our family members and other innocent people fleeing the war. Other countries including the UK, Canada and Australia have already provided some or all of the above pathways for resettlement, New Zealand needs to also do our part.(2,3,4) References: 1. UNHRC United Nations Refugee Agency https://www.unhcr.org/news/briefing/2022/3/621deda74/unhcr-mobilizing-aid-forcibly-displaced-ukraine-neighbouring-countries.html 2. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-support-for-ukrainians-fleeing-russia-invasion 3.https://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/issues_development-enjeux_developpement/response_conflict-reponse_conflits/crisis-crises/ukraine.aspx?lang=eng https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/nearly-4-000-ukrainian-immigration-applicants-approved-to-come-to-canada-minister-1.5799622 4. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/australia-promises-places-for-refugees-fleeing-war-in-ukraine-20220227-p5a02e.html
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  • Protect Northland from Covid Now!
    We care about our community. We want everyone to survive Covid. Border patrols help to slow the spread of the Delta variant, and give time for us to increase our vaccinations rates so we can be as protected as possible. Reference: Iwi-led border controls back in Northland as region enters alert level 3 https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/453220/iwi-led-border-controls-back-in-northland-as-region-enters-alert-level-3
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  • Safe crossing on Cobham Drive
    My older neighbours remember enjoying swimming at Evans Bay beach. And people gather there spontaneously but not safely, when dolphins - and recently even a whale - swim there. But this is not safe as at the moment because the very busy four lanes of Cobham Drive divide the people living in neighbouring communities from Evans Bay. We need a safe crossing so that: - Kids from Miramar, Maupuia and the rest of the peninsula can get to school in Kilbirnie, and the ASB sports centre, safely and under their own steam. - All people living in Rongotai, Kilbirnie, Lyall Bay and Melrose can again enjoy and look after their Evans' Bay waterfront, - Maybe our kids will be able to swim there one day - People in neighbouring areas can get to the peninsula and its new regional park safely on foot and by bike. Please help us get to 100 signatures so that we can ask our local city councillors to prioritise this.
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  • Official Languages as a Health Right
    Early December 2018, Deaf Action (New Zealand) wrote to the Minister of Health requesting that the Northland Meningococcal W vaccination campaign be broadcasted in NZSL (NZ Sign Language). The Minister of Health referred the matter to the Northland DHB. Northland DHB did have the Meningococcal W vaccination information produced into NZs official languages a few weeks after the initial announcement of the Meningococcal W crisis that was made in English. It is noted that it's not a compulsory requirement for DHBs to automatically have public health information and alerts in our Official Languages after a search of the current NZ Health legislations Public Health information is critical for everyone when Public Health alerts from DHBs are broadcast to the community. Meningococcal, Measles, Flu pandemics, etc constantly pose a threat to our well-being. New Zealanders should be able to get the relevant information in their first official language that ensures they have a healthy outcome from the start to the end. This includes the dissemination of required health information, consultancy and care. The more New Zealanders are informed in their first official language, the better health risks can be reduced within the community. Your signature on this petition assists us to ask the House of Representatives to update the health legislation that allows us to fully be informed in our first official language.
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  • Reinstate the Postgraduate Student Allowance for 2019
    Labour made a promise they will reinstate the Postgraduate Student Allowances which the National Government removed in 2013. However they have not set a date and in the meantime students planning to continue or enter postgraduate study are left in limbo. At the present time a student is only eligible if they are doing a Bachelor degree with Honours. No postgraduate students (4th year students who want to further their studies) are able to get a Postgraduate Student Allowance. This impacts most on students who can’t rely on financial support from their families and means they graduate in much higher debt, creating stress when entering the workforce. These students are our future scientists, doctors and business leaders. Most will already have debt from their undergraduate studies and should not be discouraged from finishing further study in their chosen field New Zealand should not limit the ability of individuals from all backgrounds to reach their potential. Ask Labour to keep its promise and reinstate the Postgraduate Student Allowance so our young women and men can reach their full potential! https://www.labour.org.nz/tertiaryeducation
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  • Golden Bay Local Board: local decisions by local people
    Golden Bay is defined as an 'isolated distinct community' under the Local Government Act, requiring specific political representation. This is due partly to its geographic remoteness (2 hours drive from the District Council offices), but also to its unique culture, history and social values arising from a close relationship to its pristine natural environment, diverse peoples and communities, and other socio-economic difference to the wider Tasman region. The Tasman District Council continues to make decisions over Golden Bay's local governance issues which do not reflect our community's local knowledge, customs and interests. TDC has refused to delegate powers to the GB Community Board (the community's elected representative body) as required within the spirit of the Local Government Act, and often ignore its recommendations. This lack of local democracy negatively impacts our community's ability to optimise our current and future well being. One example of the negative impacts from the lack of local democracy is TDCs decision making over a local recreational facility (a grandstand).* TDC voted to demolish the facility, ignoring the Community Board recommendation to retain the historic building highly valued by a significant section of the community. After $200,000 in legal costs and much public protest (reported in the national press) TDC rescinded their decision but continue to frustrate local community efforts to cost-efficiently maintain this building for community use. *https://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/opinion/81626242/golden-bay-grandstands-demolition-decision-shut-public-out
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  • It’s time for equal access
    One in four Kiwis have a disability and face barriers in their day-to-day lives – many of which involve difficulty accessing buildings and public spaces, public transport, education, employment, information, and services. When we encounter these barriers, it is currently up to us to fight for them to be removed, repaired, or remediated. Having to grapple with these is exhausting. One day at university, I got stuck in a lift because the Braille I needed to be able to touch on the buttons was covered by a thick sheet of plastic. While stuck there, I got thinking: how great would it be if we had a legally-binding system in New Zealand that focused on proactively ensuring our vibrant country is equally accessible to everyone, instead of relying on us as disabled individuals to prove we've been discriminated against and have to wrestle with one barrier after another? It's time to change the system. I'm 22 and I want to be able to tell my future kids that the law in Aotearoa is clear: it says that accessibility is a priority, and as such, recognises that we deserve access to the premises and services of business, education providers, construction workers and transport operators as much as every other New Zealander. We want the freedom to live our lives how we choose; we want to use our time and energy to contribute to the economy and our communities. I am part of the Access Matters campaign, a coalition of disabled people, disability organisations, and our supporters who are mobilising to challenge all political parties to be proactive about accessibility by committing to introduce mandatory and enforceable accessibility legislation and standards. Accessibility is too important to be swamped down by party politics; now is the time for consensus. We will present this letter to the leaders of all political parties as soon as the new electoral term begins asking for it to be a cross-party priority for the new parliament. I need your help to make that happen - add your name now to support equal access for everyone. Áine Kelly-Costello - disabled person, student, employee, friend
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