• Halt all New Zealand imports of phosphate from occupied Western Sahara
    Two New Zealand fertiliser companies import hundreds of thousands of tonnes of phosphate every year. The phosphate is used by the agriculture industry to make ‘super-fertilisers’ to help the grass grow. 70% of the phosphate supply comes from an occupied territory, Western Sahara. Western Sahara is about the size of New Zealand, a mineral-rich territory controlled by military force by Morocco since 1975. The United Nations' classifies it as a "non-self-governing territory" and many of its people live in refugee camps across the border, in Algeria.[1] Western Sahara is still waiting for a referendum for the local population promised in 1991. In 2017 a boat that contained phosphate bound for New Zealand was detained in South Africa and kept for a year because of its cargo. The South African court concluded that the shipping company had no right to transport phosphates from Western Sahara on behalf of the Moroccan government, as the cargo belonged to the people of the territory.[2] The import of phosphate is one of the darkest sides of New Zealand’s agricultural industry. Not only is it complicit with the territorial occupation, it is applied in huge amounts onto the land, damaging soils and ends up in the groundwater.[3] The phosphate trade from Western Sahara implicates farmers and New Zealanders in the plunder of another country’s natural resources.[4] Mark Wynne, the CEO of Ballance has said he visited Western Sahara and “looked into the social issues”. This is not a credible justification and we ask that the measures of his assessment are made public and transparent.[4] We wish to know what steps Ballance and Ravensdown have taken to obtain the consent of the people of Western Sahara to take their natural resources. Until there is an agreed settlement on a path to self-determination, as the United Nations sets out, and consent given by the recognised representatives of Western Sahara, then all imports from this occupied territory should be suspended. References 1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnHbEz2lZIo Western Sahara: UN welcomes withdrawal of Polisario Front from Guerguerat area, UN News, April 2017 https://news.un.org/en/story/2017/04/556282-western-sahara-un-welcomes-withdrawal-polisario-front-guerguerat-area 2 - Morocco’s Phosphate Cargo Auctioned in South Africa After Pro-Polisario Verdict, 20 Mar 2018 https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/03/242803/moroccos-phosphate-cargo-south-africa-polisario/ 3 - Farmers urged to rethink use of fertiliser, NZ Herald, 15 June 2017 https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=11876596 4 - Morocco's charm offensive to protect phosphate sale to NZ, RNZ, 20 April 2018 https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/355629/morocco-s-charm-offensive-to-protect-phosphate-sale-to-nz Human rights violation: NZ companies under fire for fertiliser imports 29 Mar 2015 https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/human-rights-violation-nz-companies-under-fire-for-fertiliser-imports-6272824
    1,834 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Michael Barton
  • Tell the NZ government to take a stand against death camps for gay men in Russia
    Gay men are being kidnapped and killed in Chechnya, Russia. More than 100 men have been arrested under suspicion of being gay. There are reports of people being tortured and beaten, as well as enforced disappearances, and abduction-style detention camps. At least three men have been murdered. The official response from Chechen authorities is that "gay people do not even exist in Chechnya." The international community urgently needs to act. We must investigate these atrocities and bring to justice all those responsible for the arrests, torture, and killings of gay men in Chechnya. One of the roles of New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade is to provide advice to the New Zealand Government on international human rights issues and represents us at the UN. According to MFAT's own website, "New Zealand has a strong history of protecting and promoting human rights both at home and internationally." Now is the time to ensure those words are more than a good headline. New Zealand has a rich trading relationship with Russia totalling $762 million (MFAT website, 2014). We must use this trading relationship as leverage to advocate for human rights for all. Everyone deserves the right to life, love, freedom, safety and security. Please help speak out against oppression by signing this petition and sharing with your friends. ***MORE INFO*** https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/02/chechen-police-rounded-up-100-gay-men-report-russian-newspaper-chechnya http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39566136 An LGBT+ advocacy organisation, All Out, is running an emergency fundraiser to help the Russian LGBT Network evacuate and support gay men at risk of being captured and tortured in Chechnya. You can make a donation here: https://go.allout.org/en/a/chechnya/
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    Created by Laura Rapira
  • Say no to a pipeline through a Kiwi sanctuary by Mount Aspiring National Park
    A company called Okuru Enterprises Ltd, now trading as Alpine Pure has been given the right to take and export 800,000 tonnes of water – about 800 million litres – each month from a water catchment high in the mountains at Mount Aspiring National Park. As part of this arrangement, the company has also been given the right to lay a pipeline to transport the water out to sea to waiting ships through a sanctuary for New Zealand's rarest kiwi, the Haast Tokoeka. There's just over 400 Haast Tokoeka left in Aotearoa. DoC says its status is "Nationally Critical", and 33 of them are believed to live near the pipeline. Our national bird cannot afford for this risk. The use of DoC land costs the company just $5000 year, and the consent which expires in 2027 costs nothing, except for minor administration and processing fees. It'd bad enough we're selling off our water for private profit at next to nothing. It's worse we're willing to put our native kiwi at risk. The resource consent states that Okuru Enterprises must develop a ‘kiwi management plan’, with the objective of “avoiding adverse effects from construction and ongoing activities within conservation land on Haast tokoeka [kiwi] living within a 100ha radius of the proposed pipeline route”. It goes on to state that if kiwi are adversely affected, they will be “removed from the site”. But here’s the thing, ‘If things go wrong, we can just move the kiwi’ is a really bad precedent to set. To make matters worse, the endangered Fiordland Crested Penguin also lives in the pathway of the pipeline at Jackson’s Bay. The proposal to take our water, ship it off shore for what seems like marginal benefit to the local community but with a potentially catastrophic cost to two species that are already at critical risk of extinction looks like a bad one. As we know from our own history, humans tend to underestimate how wrong things can go, and it’s usually our wildlife, trees, rivers, birds and lakes that pay the cost. Please sign the petition and share it with your friends today. Read more: http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11777864 http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/88099749/from-national-park-to-overseas-plan-to-export-billions-of-litres-of-west-coast-water http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/04/company-given-right-to-lay-pipeline-through-kiwi-sanctuary.html
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    Created by Team ActionStation Picture
  • Launch an independent inquiry into the NZ SAS's involvement in civilian casualties in Afghanistan
    “It is easy for people to become merely ‘casualties’. These people had names, lives, stories. None of them were part of an insurgent group or the attack on the New Zealand patrol. Nearly all were small children and women, in a country where women are very unlikely to be fighters. But after careful checks it seems clear that none of the men were either. They were simply farmers.” p.50–51 of 'Hit & Run' by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson. Now we have the chance to do our bit to ensure that anyone whose life was irrevocably harmed by our soldiers can get that kind of closure, and some form of justice. The NZ Defence Force says the claims of civilian deaths were investigated by a joint Afghan and ISAF assessment team, who concluded they were unfounded. A United Nation report on the incident, published in 2011, indicates that the joint ISAF assessment team was unable to complete a satisfactory assessment at the time. NZDF themselves have not conducted an investigation. The New Zealand public has now been presented with good reason to suspect that the joint Afghan and ISAF assessment may have got it wrong. A full and independent inquiry would provide the NZDF with a chance to clear their name, and the public with a chance to feel confident in our military and political leaders. New Zealand prides itself on being a force for good in the world. It won’t be comfortable to admit we’ve also sometimes been a force for great suffering and harm, but avoiding the truth doesn’t make it go away.
    3,924 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Hit & Run Inquiry campaign
  • Better sex education in schools
    1 in 3 girls experience sexual assault before the age of 16. The same goes for 1 in 7 of boys. Many of us teenagers, still in high school, have experienced sexual harassment, sometimes within school environments. We're scared, we assume that this will be a part of our lives, and it doesn't come as a surprise when we're catcalled or people make jokes about rape. We don't want to live in a world where rape culture is normal anymore. People protesting rape culture outside parliament in Wellington last Monday called for better education of consent and sex education in schools. Hekia Parata responded to this in a recent RadioNZ article, saying that they are ruling out introducing compulsory education around sexual consent in high schools and "the subject is best addressed in a family setting." We think this is unacceptable, and that the chance of someone missing the vital lesson of consent is too high with this approach. In light of recent events at Wellington schools, and the general rape culture that is ingrained in our society, we believe as young people that a change needs to be made now. We believe addressing the issue in schools is an important first step. These are issues that LGBTQI+ people are often excluded from. However, they are heavily affected by rape culture and so we think it is important to include them in how these issues are addressed. The article with Hekia Parata's statment: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/326678/wellington-college-students-suspended-for-rape-comments An article on the protest outside parliament: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/326507/'we-will-not-put-up-with-rape-culture-any-longer' An informative video about Mates and Dates: http://www.acc.co.nz/about-acc/videos/index.htm?mediaID=WPC139081
    5,999 of 6,000 Signatures
    Created by Lauren Jack
  • Introduce a bottle deposit scheme!
    Almost a billion plastic bottles are being landfilled, littered or entering the oceans every year in New Zealand. Our communities and seas are precious so we want to stop this totally avoidable waste and pollution. We can ensure effective recycling and reuse of all drink containers with a bottle deposit scheme. This will help stop the wasteful production of new plastic bottles and allow for existing plastic to be reused instead. Bottle deposits (also known as container deposit schemes) give people a >10c refund on a bottle when they recycle it. This incentive creates a circular economy system that will easily double New Zealand’s recycling rates overnight! [1] We had a system like this in Aotearoa NZ until the 1980’s, and ‘bottle drives’ were popular fundraisers for groups like the Scouts! When plastic bottles were introduced they created a throw away culture and the conditions for our current waste crisis, Bottle deposit schemes are now taking off worldwide as a way to keep plastic out of the environment. It’s definitely time we got in on the game. Australia will have them in all states by the end of 2018 and Germany has achieved a 98% recycling rate on plastic bottles! If we bring in a bottle deposit scheme, before we know it there’ll be less plastic on our beaches, the local kids will be fundraising by collecting bottles, and we’ll have created over 2,000 new jobs! Bottle deposits will massively increase recycling rates and: - Reduce plastic pollution in the sea - Create over 2000 jobs - Save councils and tax payers $26-40 million per year - Reduce CO2 emissions - Fund community groups - Supplement low incomes - Foster a sustainable, circular economy Local councils are committed to introducing bottle deposits and a survey has shown 92% of New Zealanders agreed with them [2]. What are we waiting for? The Ministry can bring in a refundable deposit scheme with a commitment to at least 85% recycling rates, under S2.23 (1)(c-e) of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008. The legislation is in place, now we want it to be put into action! Please sign the petition to tell the government - there's no more time to waste! Bottle deposits are common cents for recycling. This petition is part of The Kiwi Bottle Drive, a broader campaign to get a bottle deposit scheme in NZ - get involved! http://www.kiwibottledrive.nz. ______________ References: 1. Envision; The Incentive to Recycle: A Container Deposit System for New Zealand (2015). https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By5tj62u3HilUzZfSGNGTk5vd1k/view 2. Time to bring back container deposit scheme http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/opinion/83793677/time-to-bring-back-container-deposit-scheme
    15,850 of 20,000 Signatures
    Created by Kiwi Bottle Drive
  • Introduce robust citizenship education in schools and lower the voting age to 16
    We believe young people have amazing ideas, creative thinking and energy to offer our country, but they are being locked out of a political process and system that is not set up to engage, inform or inspire them to participate fully and that is why so many young people don't vote. There is a lot of research as to why this happens. Young people don't identify with the left-right political spectrum; they care for issues but not party politics. They have aspirations for a different type of politics, one that feels more values-based and authentic. They feel doubtful that the current political system can deliver the kinds of change they want to see. Their time, energy and money are tight, so they don't always feel confident they have all the information they need to make a meaningful contribution to politics. The young people least likely to vote are of Māori, Pasifika or Asian descent. Recent migrants are less likely to vote than long-term migrants, as are young people who live in rural areas, or are low paid or have only a basic education. In short, if you are part of a group that is already marginalised in our society and economy, you're likely to be marginalised in our democracy too. This cannot be fixed with simple get-out-the-vote tactics and brilliant one-liners. To shift this, it requires government-led commitment, investment and a strategy. We are calling for the New Zealand government to implement universal and robust citizenship education in schools. The programme should focus on fostering agency, critical thinking and teaching the power of social movements and activism, alongside parliamentary politics. We need to work out how to cater for teacher bias and undue influence, but that can be done. As well as this, we are also calling for the government to lower the voting age to 16. This would signal to young people we take them seriously and care about their views. It starts the voting habit early and would challenge political parties to aim their campaigns and policies at the new generation. The age was permanently changed to 16 in Scotland, after 75 per cent of 16- and 17-year-olds turned out to vote in the 2014 referendum to leave the United Kingdom. We know there is no silver bullet to youth participation in politics, but these two interventions will go a really long way toward creating a democracy that represents and involves everyone. Please sign and share today. *** RockEnrol is dedicated to engaging, inspiring, informing and activating the political power of rangatahi (young people) in Aotearoa New Zealand. Read more about us here: www.rockenrol.org.nz
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    Created by Team RockEnrol Picture
  • Better Mental Health Education in All NZ Schools
    We want to see a happy, healthy and productive New Zealand. One of the biggest barriers to this is our widespread problems with mental health. In fact, one in five New Zealanders will be diagnosed with a mental health problem this year, and we have the highest youth suicide rate in the world, but there is a huge lack of knowledge about prevention, and recovery in the general population. Current school programmes focus on counselling and only allude to wellbeing in the context of physical health, but this is educating too little and intervening too late. Furthermore, Health is only compulsory in the curriculum up to Year 10, meaning that they may face the stressful times of NCEA and transition out of school without enough support to their Mental Health. Better trained teachers and/or external providers need to deliver clear and consistent messages about mental health. I started this petition because I faced a lot of distress at the end of high school, and I blamed my friends, my parents and especially myself before I realised that there might be an underlying cause to my extended distress, and even then I was hesitant to ask for help because I feared judgement. So many of my friends have stories like this, and I strongly believe that good education for all young people will encourage them to seek help sooner and improve outcomes long term. All young Kiwis need to know how to best keep themselves well and support each other, and we believe a comprehensive mental health curriculum in schools will help to achieve this. Media: http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/90756147/mental-health-campaigner-lucy-mcsweeney-wants-to-shake-up-mental-health-education-in-schools http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/nutters-club/why-we-need-mental-health-education-in-schools-part-1/ http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/nutters-club/why-we-need-mental-health-education-in-schools-part-2/ More information: If you need help - don't be afraid to reach out, it's not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength - here's some people who will be there for you: Lifeline 0800 543 354 or (09) 522 2999 Suicide Prevention Helpline 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOK0) Youthline 0800 376 633 Sources: NZ youth suicide twice Australia’s https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/nz-youth-suicide-twice-australias Suicide accounts for a third of all deaths in those aged 15-24 http://thewireless.co.nz/articles/turned-away-in-a-crisis
    10,590 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by Lucy McSweeney
  • Save Shakti Wellington Refuge
    Shakti Wellington opened a refuge in 2014 after the murders of two migrant women in Wellington due to domestic violence - Sarwan Lata Singh and Mei Fan. We knew then, as much as we know now, that those women should have had access to refuge services that understood their cultural contexts. They had a right to access life-saving culturally appropriate support services. We have been advocating and lobbying for government funding for the Wellington Shakti refuge for over 5 years, but there have been major barriers. For Shakti, which has been at the forefront of striving for equality and equity for migrant and refugee women in New Zealand, the refusal to consider this specialist need by the government is totally unacceptable. We have hence begun the public campaign for funding to Save Shakti Wellington Refuge. This is a quote from Wendy Vyas. Shakti’s National Advocacy Coordinator on her experience at a mainstream women’s refuge: “As an Indian this whole concept of “refuge” was very daunting for me. I was at no point explained what was going to happen but was told that I am safe. I did feel safe, but not understood. During this time my family got involved and they wanted me to reconcile. I did speak to the staff at the refuge and she informed me that I can always say no. She was right, however, I felt she had no understanding of anything I am speaking – my culture and Asian values.” This is an extract from a letter addressed to Brendan Boyle (CEO of MSD) and Anne Tolley (Minister of Social Development). Migrant and refugee women deserve better. We deserve to be resourced adequately. We have a right to access culturally appropriate services. #NoEqualityWithoutDiversity #SaveShaktiWellingtonRefuge
    5,536 of 6,000 Signatures
    Created by Shakti Youth
  • Take GST off tampons and sanitary pads and other related reusable products
    Taxing non-optional items such as sanitary pads is unfair and forces households already under pressure to make choices between hygiene and other essential items such as food. It is estimated that in a lifetime, someone who uses sanitary products every month will have to spend close to $10,000 on tampons alone. The high cost of tampons, sanitary pads and related products impact most on people with a lower income. Everyone who needs tampons, sanitary pads and other related, reusable products, should have access regardless of income. They are essential items and when access is restricted it can create health risks. Agencies such as the Salvation Army and budgeting services are finding that young girls in New Zealand are unable to afford tampons and are missing out on school because of this. There have been reports of girls and women using rags, newspaper and even of people washing and re-using sanitary pads which is unhygienic, and infections have been reported. Background In February I started an OurActionStation campaign to encourage Pharmac (the New Zealand government agency that decides which pharmaceuticals to publicly fund) to subsidise tampons and sanitary pads for everyone. However on 18 April it was announced that Pharmac has declined the application, as in its view, “sanitary products are not medicines or medical devices."[1] Pharmac's decision is a big disappointment and a wasted opportunity. It could have been a chance for Pharmac to really stand up and support girls and women who are paying a huge amount to bleed in this country. There is something we can do though. Many countries around the world have removed the tax from tampons [3] or are campaigning to remove it, [4] making these products more accessible and we reckon New Zealand should do the same here! Quotes: "Especially for young people, children at school. The young girls are getting to that stage of life and some of them are missing school, because their families can't afford to buy sanitary products. We know the stories of women having to wash store-bought one-use sanitary pads and then reuse them, which is quite unhygienic and also quite degrading in a sense. We're hearing of women getting infections." Pam Waugh, The Salvation Army head of social services References: 1. Pharmac rejects request to fund tampons, pads, RNZ, 19 April 2017 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/329040/pharmac-rejects-request-to-fund-tampons,-pads 2. Pharmac considers funding sanitary products, RNZ, 20 Feb 2017 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/324865/pharmac-considers-funding-sanitary-products 3. https://www.thestar.com/life/food_wine/2015/06/04/toronto-woman-behind-campaign-to-kill-tampon-tax-ecstatic-over-victory.html 4. https://www.change.org/m/end-the-sexist-and-illogical-tax-on-tampons-sanitary-pads-and-mooncups-period
    1,255 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Jody Hopkinson
  • Designate Funding in the 2017 Budget for Postnatal Depression Early Intervention
    The Current Situation • 1 in 8 women experience Antenatal Depression and 1 in 5 women experience Postnatal Depression. It is understood that women are experiencing significantly delayed and sometimes missed diagnosis (1) – estimated at around 63% of women with PND (2) • These women are missed due to poor screening and referrals while under midwifery care (3 &4) • Once diagnosed, General Practitioners (GP’s) are expected to manage a woman’s PND in their short 10-15 minute appointments at an estimated cost of $50 to the patient. Both the limited time and the cost of this appointment are barriers to a woman getting sufficient help for her mental illness. • The only treatment/intervention currently available to assist women in their recovery from mild-moderate PND is to obtain medication through a paid appointment with their GP and private counselling. There is no Government-funded holistic programmes with proven outcomes of recovery from depression/anxiety available to women who have mild-moderate PND • In most cases, counselling is only subsidised by the Government if an individual has a community services card and a diagnosis from their GP to apply for WINZ funding. This leaves a large portion of New Zealand women who are unable to afford counselling for PND and therefore, they are not adequately recovering from it What are we needing funding for? • Professional Development training of midwives in the onset, prevalence, identification, screening, treatment and intervention of AND/PND and when and whom to refer • A service delivering early intervention assessments and recovery programmes with proven outcomes to women with AND/PND who do not fit Maternal Mental Health criteria in the Primary Health sector • Subsidised (free) counselling for all women experiencing Antenatal or Postnatal Depression/Anxiety Why is it needed? Undiagnosed and untreated AND and PND has a significant impact on a woman, her partner and her child. • For the woman and the child, depression has been associated with substance abuse, an increased risk for pregnancy-induced hypertension contributing to pre-eclampsia, gestational bleeding, diminished uterine artery blood flow and poor birth outcomes including foetal death, preterm birth and labour, small infants for gestational age, low birth weight, low Apgar scores and increased risk of neonatal special care and intensive care unit admission (4). She is more likely to develop chronic (ongoing) depression and anxiety the longer it continues untreated. It is more likely to increase in its severity and this puts her at greater risk of suicide. In fact, suicide is the leading cause of maternal deaths in New Zealand (5&6) • The partner is at-risk of developing “partner depression” and their relationship is at-risk of breaking down/divorce the longer her depression is left undiagnosed and untreated (5&6) • The unborn child is at risk of developing anxiety and cognitive, emotional and behavioural issues (4) • In the first three years of life, a child to a mother with undiagnosed and untreated postnatal depression is more likely to experience insecure attachment. This means that the child is more at risk of developing learning difficulties, mental illness, addictions, delinquency, and is at greater risk of suicide as a child or later in life (7,8.9) • Failing to provide prevention and early intervention assessment and recovery services to women at-risk or experiencing Antenatal or Postnatal Depression/Anxiety has a far greater cost to New Zealand than the cost of providing it (10) We believe that the funding of early intervention services to women at-risk or experiencing Postnatal Depression is imperative and needs to be addressed urgently by designated funding in the 2017 budget. References: 1. New Zealand Guidelines Group. (2008). Identification of Common Mental Disorders and Management of Depression in Primary Care [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.health.govt.nz 2. Mothers Helpers. (2015). Postnatal Depression in New Zealand and Feedback on Maternal Mental Health Services. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mothershelpers.org.nz 3. PANDA (2010). Australian Postnatal Depression Website Recognised As World’s Best . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.panda.org.au/. 4. Jones, C. J. (2009). Emotional Disturbances During Pregnancy & Postpartum: A National Survey of Australian Midwives & An Educational Resource. Griffith University, Gold Coast. 5. Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand (2012). Report finds suicide remains leading cause of maternal death. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.hqsc.govt.nz/. 6. Best Practice Journal (2009). Purpose and Introduction. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bpac.org.nz/. 7. Stein, A., Gath, D. H., Bucher, J., Bond, A., Day, A., Cooper, P. J., (1991). The relationship between post-natal depression and mother-child interaction. British Journal of Psychiatry. 158, 46-52 8. Fergusson, D.M., Horwood, L.J., Lynskey, M.T., (1995). The stability of disruptive childhood behaviors. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 23 (3), pp.379-396 9. Ministry of Health (2012). Healthy Beginnings. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.health.govt.nz 10. Mothers Helpers (2015). Mothers Helpers' Submission to the Ministry of Health. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mcagnz.org
    3,664 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Kristina Paterson
  • Legalise the use of medicinal cannabis
    In June 2017 the ActionStation community won a campaign to allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis. The changes are welcome but do not make a big difference for people in need. There is a lack of CBD only products on the international market and none being approved in New Zealand – meaning no greater access to products in the short term, and no real difference to the current situation. Let’s now get behind the proposed Bill. The medical use of cannabis should be legal, accessible and affordable. Many thousands of Kiwis, often older people, are using cannabis products for medicinal purposes, and in doing so are breaking the law as it now stands. Support the legalising of medicinal use of cannabis, and show MPs that we want common sense approaches to an issue that is about our health, not law and order. UPDATE - 2 June 2017 WIN! Today Associate Minister for Health, Peter Dunne, has just announced that the Government will allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis. Thanks to you and the over 6000 people who signed the petition calling for this change! Associate Health minister Peter Dunne on Friday announced the medicinal cannabis product cannabidiol (CBD) would no longer require a person to get Ministry of Health approval to use it. The changes mean CBD would be able to be prescribed by a doctor to their patient and supplied in a manner similar to any other prescription medicine. Mr Dunne said it was a move towards legalising medicinal cannabis, but wouldn't "immediately bring about a revolution". "I have taken advice from the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) that CBD should not be a controlled drug, and am pleased Cabinet has now accepted my recommendation to make this change. "Therefore, I am now taking steps to remove restrictions accordingly." Common sense has prevailed with overwhelming public support. This will make a huge difference to people dealing with severe chronic pain and improving their quality of life. You can email the Associate Minister to congratulate him on his decision at [email protected] News coverage: Kiwis will now be able to get medicinal cannabis from their doctor, Government announces http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/93268869/restrictions-on-medicinal-cannabis-product-to-be-removed-government-announces **** Medicinal cannabis is used by an estimated 178,000 New Zealanders to treat a variety of ailments such as chronic pain, epilepsy, Parkinson's, appetite loss and nausea. It is currently possible to get legal access to cannabis drugs for medical purposes, however it is a expensive and prohibitive process. Stories “I hadn’t thought much about medicinal marijuana until Helen Kelly campaigned for better access last year. It’s not something you really have to think about, until you or someone you love is sick and in pain, and could be helped by a cannabis-based treatment. That is now the case for me. So, no more sitting on the sidelines. It’s time to make sure people whose health and well-being depend on access to medicinal marijuana treatments can get them from their doctor, safely and without risk of criminal charges.” Marianne Elliott, Director of Strategy and Story, ActionStation Jessika Guest moved from Whangarei to Colorado so that her daughter Jade, 7, could use medical marijuana. Jade's diagnoses include hypotonia (a state of low muscle tone) and epilepsy, which used to cause up to 40 seizures a day. In Colorado, she has been on skin patches containing cannabinoids and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid - a non-activated THC which means the cannabis does not have high-inducing properties. Mrs Guest said her daughter's seizures have since decreased in frequency by 90 per cent. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11415156 [Alex Renton’s] treatment included groundbreaking use of medicinal cannabis oil, Elixinol, after a campaign by mother Rose and family after conventional treatments did not work. http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/70155247/cannabis-treatment-teen-alex-renton-sparked-national-debate McKee had his leg amputated 30 years ago after a car accident and smokes cannabis to relieve phantom pains. Last year, he fought charges of selling and cultivating cannabis all the way to the Supreme Court but lost and is now serving a six months' home detention sentence. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9655674/Cannabis-spray-priced-out-of-reach-say-patients More information Changes to medical cannabis legislation http://www.nzherald.co.nz/national/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503075&gal_cid=1503075&gallery_id=171181 Why isn’t medical marijuana a shoe-in? (Toby Manhire & Toby Morris) http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/297299/why-isn't-medical-marijuana-a-shoe-in Support for cannabis reform: why so high? http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/311073/support-for-cannabis-reform-why-so-high Nelson lawyer Sue Grey takes government to High Court over cannabidiol http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/88612808/nelson-lawyer-sue-grey-takes-government-to-high-court-over-cannabidiol Helen Kelly backs medical marijuana http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/helen-kelly-backs-medicinal-marijuana-2015060910 New Zealand urged to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/77453718/New-Zealand-urged-to-grow-cannabis-for-medicinal-purposes Medicinal cannabis https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/cannabis/medicinal-cannabis https://www.drugfoundation.org.nz/matters-of-substance/august-2015/QandA-Toni-Maree-Matich
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