• Legalize Drug Testing at Festivals/Concerts
    Currently if festival/concert organisations allow the testing of drugs to occur in their premises, they are technically breaking the law and can be prosecuted. If organisations are able to apply for a permit to legally conduct drug testing at their premises - more festivals and concerts will do so thus ensuring the safety of drug users at festivals. There is widespread information and data to prove that more harm is done from the intake of a mixture of unknown substances by drug users, than the actual intended drug itself. Drugs that are illegally sold to people in NZ may contain other unknown toxic substances, an unexpected high dosage - which can both be deadly, particularly when mixed with other substances such as alcohol. The drugs commonly used at festivals and concerts including LSD and MDMA, can consist of other more toxic or dangerous drugs that have similar effects to MDMA/LSD. The actual drugs themselves have a low risk of causing deadly effects to its users (however they are not completely harmless) when used in regulated and controlled environment. However, the impurities in these drugs from the black market and mixing with other substances (alcohol) increase the risk of deadly effects greatly. The additives and substitutes found in pills (including PMA, N-Ethylpentylone, NBOMes, Fentanyl) make the substance much more toxic and easier to overdose, and can have deadly effects such as heart attack, renal failure and stroke. The amount of people whose deaths are caused by party drugs are actually comparatively lower than that caused by alcohol, heroin and other substances. However, the public views them as causing more harm than they actually do, as media displays more incidents caused by them than other drugs. Statistics (on KnowYourStuff.org) also show that people are less likely to consume their drug after having it tested and finding the substance(s) it contains, is not what they presumed it to be. Thus reducing the potential number of hospitalisations and dangerous effects. In Australia, festivals have found that introducing drug testing at their events have resulted in a reduction of hospitalizations by 95%. At the Groovin Moo festival in Canberra last year, drug testing revealed that 84% of people who had their substances analyzed thought that they contained MDMA, but in fact only 51% actually contained any MDMA at all. It will also allow festival goers who have had their drugs tested to be given an identification card - so if they run into medical trouble during their time at the event medical staff are able to quickly identify what they have taken. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/109699570/independent-drugtesting-tents-at-festivals-a-fantastic-idea-says-police-minister-stuart-nash https://thespinoff.co.nz/science/23-01-2019/what-are-the-health-risks-in-taking-ecstasy/ https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/109745413/pill-testing-what-drug-tests-and-festivals-do-and-why
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  • Hamilton: Our Climate Actions
    We are committed to the relationships and responsibilities enshrined in Te Tiriti o Waitangi including a commitment to ensuring the rights of mana whenua as kaitaki. The proposed “Climate Change Declaration Act” was signed by 54 mayors and council chairs, yet, Hamilton remains absent from the list of signatures. On the 24th of May, we struck from our schools to show the Hamilton City Council and Parliament the urgency that climate action requires. The latest IPCC report makes it clear that a 1.5 °C rise, will lead to widespread suffering, mass migration, irreversible damage to the natural world, and massive damage to the world economy. The earth’s average temperature has already risen 1 °C. A recent study from ESD has calculated a “Point of no return.” After we cross this point, keeping the earth’s temperature from rising 2 °C, the tipping point of irreversible damage, will be “almost impossible.” The “Point of no return” in question is the year 2029. 10 years from now. We are in a state of climate emergency. We need strong leadership from local government to signal to all Hamiltonians - businesses, communities, institutions and individual citizens that significant action must be taken now. By signing this petition I am showing you my need for immediate climate change action to be taken. Here is the link to the full petition: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VL4Y8RSfbHQ6CK9ThYWKfOCUtbjAomErcXpR2VSRAuA/edit?usp=sharing
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  • Stop Microfiber Pollution
    Synthetic fibers, such as polyester, nylon and acrylic, make up 60% of the clothing material used in the fashion industry worldwide. These fibers are used as a cheap source of material for fast fashion businesses and although the clothing produced from these materials are usually low quality, these materials have made their way into everyone's wardrobe. However, the harmful environmental impacts around clothing made from synthetic fibers have become an undiscussed topic of environmental issues currently occurring on our planet. These synthetic materials are man-made, where polyester for example is made from petroleum. The recent report form Tearfund explains that more than 70 million barrels of oil is used to create polyester each year, which is extremely carbon-intensive as it is a non-renewable resource. As these synthetic fibers are essentially made from plastic, it is non-biodegradable meaning every single micro plastic produced to create these fibers will stay on our planet forever. Producing polyester also uses harmful chemicals which can be emitted into the air and water, leading to damage the environment as well as our own health. Items of clothing made from polyester, acrylic and nylon have plastic microfibers, and with each wash these plastic fibers shed off from the clothing to make their way from washing machines into our oceans. Unfortunately, sewage treatment plants can not effectively filter these microfibers. This leads to microfibers currently being recognised as one of the biggest sources of microplastic pollution currently in our oceans. A single polyester garment can release up to 1900 microfibers in one wash. When you add this all up, it is currently estimated that 5.25 trillion microfiber particles are currently in our oceans, with an increase of 6.4 million tons of microfibers entering our oceans each year. This further poisons the food chains, as these fibers are consumed by fish and wildlife which is extremely harmful to their health, and it can also lead for humans to ingest these fibers ourselves. It is estimated that people who eat seafood ingest 11,000 microplastics each year. We need to switch to more sustainable methods of living if our oceans, our wildlife, our planet our own lives are going to make it to the end of the century. Join us in this movement, let’s make change together #stopmicrofibers - SEAR Action Group
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  • Declare a climate emergency
    Climate breakdown is the greatest challenge we have ever faced. We need united action from our political leaders to acknowledge and address this challenge to be able to transition our economic system to one that nurtures the planet, and not destroys it. By declaring a climate emergency we can ensure necessary changes are moved up the priority list and actions taken in time to turn the tide on what will otherwise be inevitable disaster for our planet. Sign this petition to urge the Government to urgently declare a climate emergency and allocate resources and get on with the work needed to protect our future. Donate a lunchtime In addition, if you are the thousands of people who work in the Wellington CBD, you can help in another way. Join the lunchtime vigil whenever you can! Every lunchtime, every day of the week, stand together in silent vigil in front of the Beehive on the lawn, even just for a few minutes of your time. No megaphones, no chanting, no disruption, just a show of force in numbers for the benefit of future generations. https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/112826745/parliaments-lone-protester-will-be-on-its-lawn-until-a-climate-emergency-is-declared
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  • WCC - Declare a Climate Emergency
    Climate Change is the largest issue to ever face humanity. We need action from our local council in this area.This is a critical to the whenua and people of Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara (Wellington). “This move will set the narrative for the urgent pace of which we need to act on climate change but must uphold our democratic systems and obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We need to ensure we are doing everything in our power to safeguard our future”- Molly Doyle. Read 'An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa' by School Strike 4 Climate NZ here: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/climate-declaration-from-the-youth-of-aotearoa-2#_=_
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  • Stand up for people seeking asylum on Manus and Nauru
    Do we want to live in a society that accepts inhumane policies? Current treatment of people seeking asylum and refuge in the Pacific needs changing, sign to let our government know we want a better vision for the future. Let's aim to create equality for all including the most vulnerable. Change the situation for people seeking asylum and refuge and help rebuild lives. There are people who have endured countless sufferings as refugees and are stuck in limbo with little hope for their future and with few rights in the country they now dwell. People living in an open air prison in a country that offers them little hope of a future. In the past few weeks since the Australian elections 12 (as of May 22nd) people seeking asylum on Manus Island have made desperate attempts to end their lives. As of 5 June 26 of these people have attempted to end their lives and /or self harm. On the 10 June 2019 in desperation a young man set himself on fire. We see it as our responsibility as fellow humans to start acting for a better future creating hope. Helen Clark made special circumstances for 433 asylum seekers from the Tampa in 2001. Without a delay of years in detention those people were bought here, and successfully started new lives. This event sparked the beginnings of what the then Howard Government called the ‘Pacific solution’. The beginnings of what has grown to become a Pacific shame. New Zealanders, Australians and people of the wider Pacific feel shame in what the Australian government has been playing out in our region. The Australian government has been condemned by the UNHCR, and urged repeatedly to bring the asylum seekers to Australia or third country due to the compromised health state of the detainees. This situation has been going on far too long - SIX arduous, unbearable years for innocent people, 12 and counting - who have lost their lives so far. Many have been forced to return to their homelands risking their lives and suffering persecution. They need the hope of building their futures in a safe society. New Zealand has made repeated offers to the Australian government for resettlement and been turned down. As caring people we must act to find solutions, at present we sit beside Australia and accept with complacency the ill treatment of fellow human beings. We want to live in a world free from the barriers that create suffering, hate and injustice. The people seeking asylum and refuge need our protection and they need us to stand up for their human rights. Please Jacinda Ardern and the New Zealand Government reach out to those so desperately in need of help in our big backyard of the Pacific. The suffering of these people must end and politics should not stand in the in the way of it. Help remove the barriers to doing the right thing as fellow human beings. It's time to act. We appeal to you Jacinda Ardern to stand up and do the right thing for these people. We do not accept this policy of ‘Detention’. We push for change. You have shown in your leadership to be guided by what's right, what's fair and just. You are an honest, principled and compassionate leader and we are lucky to have you representing our country. Kia Kaha. With sincere kindness and hope, the undersigned. Links www.refugeeaction.org.au www.writingthroughfences.org www.amnesty.org www.doctorswithoutborders.org www.msf.org.au www.unhcr.org (search Manus and Nauru from home pages) Until When? The forgotten men on Manus Island, by the Refugee Council of Australia, Amnesty International report, Nov 2018. www.unchr.org Article in Summary of Catherine Stubberfield, 12 October 2018. A. Nazari, As a Tampa refugee, I have seen first-hand the impact when NZ takes moral leadership, The Spinoff, 11 November 2017.
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  • Save Foulden Maar
    Foulden Maar is the only site in the Southern Hemisphere that contains such high-quality data about the last major period of de-glaciation in Antarctica. In the face of human-induced climate change, we have no mandate to destroy a place that could help future generations to cope with the impacts of climate chaos and to plan for the future. Foulden Maar is one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent fossil sites that provides a unique window into New Zealand’s geological past and the evolution of our enigmatic biodiversity. The maar was formed 23 million years ago by a volcanic eruption and the shallow crater left behind was gradually filled with layers of microscopic algae to form diatomite. This has preserved an exquisite and detailed fossil record spanning around 130,000 years that includes freshwater fish, flowers, fruits, seeds, bark and fungi, as well as beetles, ants, scale insects, termites and other invertebrates. It is also highly likely to contain moa fossils and possibly crocodiles. New Zealand led research is already studying the fossils that have been discovered in collaboration with experts from all over the world. Plaman Resources plan to mine the entire maar of all that it contains. They will export diatomite for use as a stock food supplement on factory farms and feedlots and as a fertiliser on environmentally destructive palm plantations in south-east Asia. Plaman have an application with the Overseas Investment Office to purchase another 400 hectares of surrounding land, which is required to make their proposal commercially viable. This would give them the ability to fully exploit the maar and establish mine infrastructure that will operate 24/7. This will permanently exclude access for scientists to continue internationally-recognised research, currently funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund. It is critical that the Overseas Investment Office declines this application immediately. The government has an opportunity to protect this unique geological site and the wealth of information it contains by creating a scientific reserve under section 21 of the Reserves Act 1977. This would honour our geological heritage and contribute significantly to the sustainable development of the region through eco-tourism initiatives. It would also allow for crucial science and research in the area to continue unhindered and protect the site for future generations. After all, it was none other than Superman, Christopher Reeves, who said: “so many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” More information: www.savefouldenmaar.co.nz www.facebook.com/savefouldenmaar www.twitter.com/savefouldenmaar (#SaveFouldenMaar) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foulden_Maar Media coverage: Full media coverage for the campaign can be found on our website at: www.savefouldenmaar.co.nz/in-the-news
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  • End the Cruel Live Export Trade
    In New Zealand, we have standards for how we expect all animals to be treated. But when we export animals overseas, we expose them to unknown horrors. As animal lovers, we find the live export trade completely unacceptable. In 2018, New Zealand exported 2,820,320 farmed animals alive. Day-old chicks are taken to farms that cram chickens into small cages in a way that would be illegal in New Zealand. Cows are shipped while pregnant and are often taken to concrete factory farms to give birth, where they are kept for years to be milked. In 2003, New Zealand ended the live export of farmed animals for slaughter. However animals still regularly leave New Zealand’s boundaries and suffer many unknown fates. Once the animals are no longer commercially “useful” they are slaughtered. Most countries that New Zealand exports to do not require stunning prior to slaughter. This means that their throats are slit while they are still conscious. SIGN the petition asking our Government to prohibit the live export of farmed animals to countries that have lower animal welfare, transport and slaughter standards than New Zealand. READ about SAFE's call to end live export: http://bit.ly/LiveExportReview WATCH to learn about the animal welfare disaster in Sri Lanka: http://bit.ly/LiveExportVideo DONATE to help our petition grow: http://bit.ly/DonateLiveExport By signing this petition your information will be shared with SAFE who will get in contact from time to time about this campaign and others. You are free to opt out at anytime.
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  • Pledge your vote to candidates who care for our Invercargill disabled community
    He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. It is people, it is people, it is people. Invercargill's disabled community has many members who work for Southland disAbility Enterprises. The current recycling contract is 70% of the work, and losing the contract will put many vulnerable people in our community in a very difficult position. The news that they were not the preferred contractor is very disappointing, and goes against the wishes of 15 thousand Southlanders who already signed a previous petition opposing this action by wastenet. The last on the staff is devastating : "The news came as a surprise to the family and employees who heard it. Margaret Fitzgerald said the decision shouldn't come down to money - ''it's a social responsibility''. Ms Fitzgerald, whose sister works on the current WasteNet contract, said losing the contract would have a huge impact. ''She has a purpose in life, she has a purpose to get out of bed every day, they all do ... this contract is everything for them. ''We're not going to give up; there's no way we're giving up now. Today is a very emotional day for us, but we'll fight.'' https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/southland/sde-informs-staff-contract-probably-lost
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  • Fund and Implement Mental Health Skills Training Programmes in all NZ Schools
    “New Zealand is the undisputed champion at rugby, at sailing and at rowing. We, as a nation, are also champions at letting our young people die.” - https://educationcentral.co.nz/losing-the-battle-the-desperate-need-for-more-mental-health-funding-in-schools/ Mental health problems affect 1 in 5 people in their lifetime. 688 people lost their lives to suicide in New Zealand in 2018 and a survey by the Council for Education Research shows 62 per cent of principals are struggling to get help for students with mental health issues - https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/mike-hosking-breakfast/audio/schools-struggling-to-meet-students-mental-health-needs/ A study by the Government's chief science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman finds youth suicide is caused more by modern social pressures than mental illness, https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/youth-suicide-caused-more-modern-social-pressures-than-mental-illness-study-finds?platform=hootsuite We suggest the Pause, Breathe, Smile programme as it is designed in New Zealand and has proven results from three research studies led by both University of Auckland and AUT University. Results showed that participation in Pause, Breathe, Smile: - Increases calmness - Improves focus and attention - Enhances self-awareness - Helps develop conflict resolution skills and positive relationships - Reduces stress for teachers - Leads to statistically significant increases in wellbeing. We believe that if teachers are able to to create a calm and focused environment which PBS encourages, students will then be able to better progress their learning which will boost their confidence and enjoyment at school. Nigel Latta, New Zealand Psychologist and supporter of the Pause, Breathe Smile Programme said "Isn’t it time we taught every child in this country, in every part of this country, how to deal with stress and anxiety? How to manage their feelings and emotions? Isn’t it time we taught them fundamentally important, and highly effective skills, for living a less stressful, happier life?" - For information regarding the connection of the programme to the school curriculum visit: https://mindfulnesseducation.nz/pbs-the-new-zealand-curriculum/ Our mission is to enable all New Zealand youth to have access to the skills required to maintain overall wellbeing and improve mental health. As it is compulsory for our youth to attend school, we believe that if teachers are qualified to teach these skills we can boost the wellbeing of our nation's young people, ensuring they’re equipped with quality mental health skills to thrive and not just survive the mental health struggles that our society faces today. Moreover, the teachers will be learning these skills too and develop the tools to cope with the demanding and stressful nature of being a school teacher. This will lead to a more productive nation with more people able to work and contribute to our economy as well as reduce the enormous pressure on our health system. Together we can build a youth with a strong mental backbone. This is so important because as Nelson Mandela once said "the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow." Where can I get support and help? Below is a list of some of the services available which offer support, information and help. Lifeline 24/7 – 0800 543 354 Kidsline (aimed at children up to 18 years of age, available 24/7) – 0800 54 37 54 Depression Helpline 24/7 - 0800 111 757 Healthline - 0800 611 116 Samaritans - 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 / (04) 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions) Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz What's Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) - 0800 942 8787 www.depression.org.nz - includes The Journal online help service www.thelowdown.co.nz - visit the website, email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626 (emails and text messages will be responded to between 12 noon and 12 midnight).
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  • Pledge your support for the Dementia Declaration
    Nearly 70,000 people have dementia now and we expect that number to increase to 170,000 by 2050 as New Zealand’s population continues to age. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. For every person diagnosed with dementia there are family, whānau and friends also affected by the diagnosis. It is distressing to watch people struggle so much, and to see the spiraling impacts of that struggle. But it is not too late to change the game, to put in place the systems, support and services that New Zealanders are going to need in coming years, and to reduce the cost burden on the country.
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  • Reinstate Funding for Te Hā o Hine-ahu-one Palmerston North Women’s Health Collective
    Te Hā o Hine-ahu-one Palmerston North Women’s Health Collective is a unique, holistic, free, easily accessible women’s health service that has a proven track record over many years. It is now inter-generational in its reach, seeing the children, nieces and grandchildren of earlier clients. It is a ‘by women for women’ community development initiative that has always had a particular emphasis on addressing the health needs of low income wāhine/women (and their whānau) in a supportive, welcoming environment of manaakitanga and whanaungatanga. Poverty is a major concern of this government and this service helps to address this and other disadvantages that undermine the ability of women to access sensitive, responsive and empowering healthcare. https://i.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/110556016/community-support-swells-for-trusted-womens-health-centre https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/110396565/anger-and-dismay-about-threat-to-womens-health-service
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