• Space for Peace
    In March this year Rocket Lab launched a US military Space Missile Defense Command payload 'Gunsmoke-J' which will be used for 'warfare combat targeting purposes'. It’s highly likely that the 'Gunsmoke-J' launch could have breached the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Disarmament and Arms Control Act (1987), because technological warfare systems in Space will include nuclear weapons. In addition, it could have violated the 'Approach to payload assessments under OSHAA 2019' which states that the NZ government will not approve 'payloads with the intended end use of harming, interfering with or destroying other space craft or systems on Earth.' We don’t want any more military satellites launched in Aotearoa New Zealand, and ask that the Government should immediately rescind any currently permitted launches and disallow further launches, pending a full review of space-launch regulations in concert with the government-mandated review of the Outer Space and High-Altitude Activities (OSHA) Act 2017. An open letter was sent to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern by The Peace Foundation International Affairs and Disarmament Committee asking her to refuse approval for the ‘Gunsmoke J’ launch. That letter is supported by people and organisations around New Zealand, as well as residents near Māhia — the site of Rocket Lab’s launch pad. Rocket Lab is now US owned, a major client is the US military Space Force and a key investor is Lockheed Martin the world's biggest manufacturer of conventional and nuclear weapons. Thus, the New Zealand government must ensure the OSHAA regulations prohibit the use of NZ for Space warfare by these entities with vested interests in the warfare business. Stuart Nash, the Minister of Economic Development who is responsible for approving Space launches, should reject further military Space launches, because they contributes to the technological development of warfare in Space, which is contrary to the interest of ordinary people in New Zealand. READ MORE HERE: NZ rocket launches may breach nuclear-free laws, say peace groups, The Spinoff https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/09-03-2021/nz-rocket-launches-may-breach-nuclear-free-laws-say-peace-groups/ Rocket Lab Monitor - is a group of volunteers focusing on information collection and education https://rocketlabmonitor.com/ Gisborne Herald: Payload disquiet http://www.gisborneherald.co.nz/frontpage-featured/20210309/payload-disquiet/
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  • Call for Independent Inquiry into Institutional Racism and Racial Profiling by the Waikato Police
    Where we live, work, play should be safe for everyone, no matter our ethnicity, what we wear, or who our friends are. Yet Police targeting and racial profiling is making people in the Waikato region feel unsafe. We call for an immediate independent inquiry which will: ○ Inquire into racial profiling by the Waikato Police and how the leadership and policies of the Waikato Police are impacting negatively on Māori, Pasifika and migrant communities. ○ Examine Waikato police's views about their behaviour and attitudes toward Māori, Pasifika and migrant communities in the Waikato District. Investigate the factors associated with attitudes among the Waikato command structure, it's hierarchy and policing staff to assess likely responses to proposed changes for building responsiveness to Māori, Pasifika and ethnic communities. ○ Examine the extent to which police attitudes are impacting on police practice and how Waikato Police aims to assess likely responses to the systemic changes in building responsiveness for Māori, Pasifika and ethnic communities. ○ Examine the cultural competency of the Waikato Police command structure, its hierarchy and officers. ○ Inquire into the role of the Waikato Gang Intelligence Officer under the 'Whole-of-Government Action Plan to Reduce the Harms Caused by New Zealand Adult Gangs and Transnational Crime Groups'. What role is the Gang Intelligence Officer and the Criminal Investigations Bureau providing to support gang members and their whānau through the co-design of a preventation focused strategy in the Waikato Police district? What training is given to Waikato Police officers surrounding the history of gangs in Aotearoa and cultural competency when policing gang members and their whānau and associates? In 2015, the Police Commissioner Mike Bush acknowledged the unconscious bias in the NZ Police service. This 'bias' is systemic, institutionalised racism.[1,2,3] Six years on, what cultural competency education/awareness programmes does the Waikato Police have in place to address the bias? An inquiry will assess the success or failure of these programmes measured in terms of police management and staff becoming more effective in their roles and exhibiting cultural responsiveness. If you’re Pākehā, have no criminal record, and encounter police you are less likely to be charged or sent to court than someone who is Māori. They found that police are 1.8 times more likely to take legal action against Māori than Pākehā, and seven times more likely to charge a Māori person with a crime, even when that person has no police or corrections record either.[4] Waikato police are targeting people because of their ethnicity which causes distrust in the community.[5] An independent inquiry can recommend the steps needed for real change, not just words. Te Huringa o Te Tai is the police strategy to change practices to reduce Māori over-representation in criminal justice statistics.[6] An Inquiry would look at how the Waikato Police utilising and implementing Te Huringa o Te Tai into it's everyday practice, professional development and liaison throughout all Maori, Pasifika and ethnic communities in the Waikato district? Aside from any recommendations we look forward to seeing: ○ Waikato Police acknowledge racism in their policing, taking responsibility, implementing cultural awareness and education programmes. ○ Waikato Police make a concerted effort to implement the NZ Police Strategy, Te Huringa o Te Tai, and genuinely working with all sectors of the Waikato community. This could be through the creation of a community leadership table where everyone has a say on community safety. ○ Communities being at the front and centre of owning our problems, and Police building genuine relationships with all sectors of community and valuing and respecting their leadership and input. ○ Consideration for the Waikato Police district to establish a mandatory requirement for all officers to wear body cameras. Body cameras are an effective tool for police reform and transparency. ○ Evaluation surveys implemented throughout high Māori, Pasifika and ethnic population communities in the Waikato Police district. These surveys will inform police so they can be responsive to each community. Waikato Police must not only engage with and listen to what each community wants from its police service; it must also use that information to guide its operations. This would also include the community participating in the co-design of their local community policing initiatives. Sign today to call for an inquiry and to make our communities truly safer. [1] Commissioner: Police addressing bias in Māori relations. 2015 https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2015/11/commissioner-police-addressing-bias-in-maori-relations.html [2] Treatment of Māori by police is more than just unconscious bias in the force, psychologist says. 2020 https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/treatment-m-ori-police-more-than-just-unconscious-bias-in-force-psychologist-says [3] Racial stereotyping by police 'systemic, institutionalised': Race Relations Commissioner, 2021 https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/racial-stereotyping-by-police-systemic-institutionalised-race-relations-commissioner/KY7MLSJLUKALPCFZIYSBLFYK5Y/ [4] Yes, there is racism in our police. Here’s what we can do about it. Spinoff, March 2020 https://thespinoff.co.nz/atea/05 [5] Waste of resources': Mongrel Mob claim police 'intimidation' after raid of birthday function. NZ Herald, February 2021. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/waste-of-resources-mongrel-mob-claim-police-intimidation-after-raid-of-birthday-function/SQ2A7JBOPJVPMIVNQXBGV536MI/ [6] Police launches Te Huringa o Te Tai. New Zealand Police. November, 2019 https://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/police-launches-te-huringa-o-te-tai
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  • Activate the Emergency Sirens in our Community!
    We have a shared vision of our Mercury Bay and surrounding areas that is safe, and feels safe in any emergency. Emergency sirens are a crucial component of our alert system for the Community. A lot of thought, discussion and research went into implementing them. The elderly, parents, workers, school children, outlying areas - the Community relies on the sirens and they have been the most reliable medium to alert people. Our Community cares, and many when hearing the sirens immediately act to assist others in need also. Deactivating our sirens not only affects people’s lives, it actually puts them in jeopardy in critical situations. There have recently been 3 major earthquakes in a 6-hour period and our community was alerted three hours after the last earthquake of 8.1. We request this decision be reversed and real community engagement is invited before the siren system is deactivated or any changes implemented. Community consultation is essential for everyone to feel safe and the best decisions made. We understand the Council is also interested in safety and are also making decisions based on what's best for the community. We have heard that: • 18 of the 27 sirens in our area are non-compliant with FENZ (Fire and Emergency) so have to be deactivated. • The coverage is patchy due to nature of the hills. • To get very good sirens will cost $5-6 million. The Council wants to explain to communities that sirens have 44% coverage and phone alerts have 93%, which still leaves some people out, but they are going to launch education that you do not wait for advice - "if long and strong get gone" and help your neighbours. We consider sirens an essential part of any emergency system for an empowered Mercury Bay community to ensure its safety. Sign to bring our concerns to Council to keep our emergency sirens.
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  • Adopt the Sustainable Development Goals in Aotearoa
    In 2015, New Zealand joined countries around the world by signing up to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. New Zealand is one of the many countries who made a commitment to implement the SDGs at home, and support the UN in achieving the SDGs in other parts of the world. But we are not doing enough. An independent Commissioner is recommended by Dr Girol Karacaoglu. He calls this an ‘Office of Wellbeing’, similar to the ‘Future Generations Commissioner’ in Wales. This should provide advice on long-term environmental, social and economic objectives with associated targets and monitor progress towards these objectives. The Inter-Parliamentary Union and UNDP have published a report recommending parliaments build an understanding of the SDGs. We should also be “mainstreaming the SDGs within parliamentary mechanisms”. It is promising that the Auditor-General is reviewing NZ’s preparedness to implement the SDGs, but our NZ Parliament could be doing better. In the lead-up to Election 2020, Judith Collins and Jacinda Ardern seemed to agree on something – a four-year parliamentary term. Research New Zealand then found that out of a survey of 1000 people 61% supported moving to a four-year term. If we’re going to encourage long-term planning for future generations under the SDGs, then we need to revisit extending our Parliamentary term. Let’s not forget it until the next election. If you care that: Everyone in New Zealand has enough and nutritious food too eat; Everyone in New Zealand can visit a doctor when the person needs to; Women and girls enjoy the same rights, opportunities, and outcomes as men and boys; Everyone has access to clean drinking water; New Zealanders have decent work which is safe and pays for a living; and Aotearoa's environment stays beautiful, Then you should be caring for the SDGs and signing this petition. The SDGs will help you to talk to your whānau, friends and colleagues about what we can and need to do to make NZ a better place to live for all. Our Parliament and Government can do better on the SDGs and in planning for our future.
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  • Disabled people deserve their full equitable rights
    Everyone should feel included in our society and have access to opportunities. The Government has a responsibility to ensure disabled people can access their full and equal rights. They can do this by setting up an independent regulatory body that is led and run by disabled people. This will enable a society where disabled people can be fully included to be able to fully participate. There are many barriers disabled people face are because society is built inaccessibly. For too long disabled have been ignored and denied equitable access and it is long overdue to bring them in from the cold. If the Government was able to prioritise a Racing Ministry, why a regulatory body to oversee the rights and needs of disabled, led and run by disabled? Please support our petition to help us gain full, non-disabling access to society. Remember disability is the only identity that does not discriminate.
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  • Prevent Cervical Cancer! Introduce HPV Self-Testing to Aotearoa – We Need it NOW.
    A Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) test as a screening test is a proven BETTER TEST than a cervical smear. Cervical cancer is now preventable. We have had the HPV vaccination introduced (free for all aged 9-26 years) - the next urgent step, to save more lives, is the introduction of HPV self–testing. HPV causes almost all cervical cancers. Testing for HPV is now a more effective and safer screening test to prevent cervical cancer than the current screen of cervical cytology (the smear). Everyone with a cervix can do it for themselves! The science is irrefutable. The current screening system is inferior, inequitable and unacceptable. Government have knowingly persisted in using the inferior cervical screening test which will see more women lose their lives. The Ministry of Health is committed to introducing HPV primary screening and self-testing but implementation of this requires government funding to support the programme change - the current screening register is not fit for purpose. HPV self-testing will address inequities in cervical cancer. Wāhine Māori are more than 2.5 times more likely to die of cervical cancer than non-Māori. HPV self-testing is a game changer. The self-test has already been proven to be a very acceptable test for those wāhine under/never-screened. It can be done at a clinic, at home, where-ever is best. Anyone who has a cervix, including trans, non-binary and intersex people can get cervical cancer however it’s hard to love having a cervical smear. It’s uncomfortable, it’s invasive and for some there is also anxiety, whakama, mistrust and previous bad or traumatic experiences. Māori and non-Māori will suffer unnecessary harm and death from cervical cancer unless this new HPV self-test is urgently introduced. We want to see all who are eligible for cervical screening offered this better test. The World Health Organisation is pushing for global elimination of cervical cancer – because of its high level of performance, countries are being encouraged to transition to HPV testing as the primary method of screening. Other countries have already switched to HPV testing as a primary test including England, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Australia. Let's make Aotearoa New Zealand next! Our lives matter. Me aro kī te hā o Hine–ahu-one - Pay heed to the dignity of women. Ngā mihi, Tracey, Francesca, Jordy, Vanessa, Natalia & Kim - on behalf of many others who want this heard, those who are already diagnosed and in memory of those who have tragically lost their lives to this preventable cancer. This petition has the backing of Smear Your Mea, the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā (National Māori Pandemic Group) and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Recent media coverage: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/health/2021/04/why-the-government-should-introduce-self-testing-kits-for-hpv.html More information can be found at: https://www.nsu.govt.nz/health-professionals/national-cervical-screening-programme/hpv-primary-screening
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  • Make All Resource Consents for Factory Farms Open to Public Submission
    The Waikato Regional Council is currently processing two applications to build industrial factory farms in the region. Buchanan Ellis Ltd have applied to build 6 new sheds that will house 42,000 chickens each in Waerenga and PIC New Zealand Limited have applied to triple the size of their commercial piggery to house 12,000 pigs in Maramarua. Both of these applications are limited notification, meaning the Council is not allowing the public the right to make submissions on these resource consents. We believe that factory farms are an issue of importance for the entire Waikato community due to animal welfare, environmental and health concerns, not just an concern for those who happen to live directly beside one. More than 70 percent of New Zealanders are opposed to factory farming and the overwhelming majority of Waikato residents do not want more factory farms built in our region. We should have the right to express this view to our local council in a healthy democracy.
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  • Paid Paternal Leave
    Right now in New Zealand, paternal leave is optional and only at a maximum of up to 2 weeks of unpaid work leave. Extending this for a longer period of time with pay would have many benefits. Some of which include: a break for mothers, especially those who are suffering postnatal depression. As well as, fathers feeling more encouraged to take time off to spend with their baby, and research proves that this initial bond with fathers improves every aspect of the child hauora further along in life. The paid paternal leave provides the fathers with motivation to actually take time off. Being a parent is hard, although this would not make parenting a piece of cake, however, it would make it that much easier. Paternity leave in New Zealand: https://www.findlaw.co.nz/articles/4283/paternity-leave-in-new-zealand.aspx Modernising Parental Leave - Regulatory Impact Analysis: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/assets/f58553252a/ris-2015-modernising-parental-leave.pdf How does Swedish parental leave work? https://everythingsweden.com/parental-leave-in-sweden/ Few Kiwi dads taking paid parental leave for fatherhood https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/few-kiwi-dads-taking-paid-parental-leave-for-fatherhood/ORMFAUOCSWWZP6OEMQ3ZUR4QDM/
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  • End school streaming - let all our tamariki thrive
    As a nation we pride ourselves on being fair. We want to believe that no matter where you are born or into what circumstances, we all have an equal opportunity to achieve our potential. But right now, an unfair practice that divides and labels tamariki (children) from the very first day they arrive at school is standing in the way of that vision. This practice is known as streaming. It’s often called ‘in-class grouping’ in primary schools and ‘banding’ in secondary schools. At primary school, children are put into groups for reading or maths. The top groups get more challenging work, more teacher time and higher expectations. Being put in the bottom class takes away children’s motivation and self-belief. They begin to think of themselves as less clever or capable. Streaming is a systemic barrier to Māori success that operates at every level in our schools, particularly in mathematics and science. Our research has found streaming is one of the most significant barriers to future success, pushing rangatahi off course.[1,2] Streaming can determine the pathways available to kids long after the decision is made. Many students who were told they’re low ability, do not or cannot enter full NCEA courses. The impact of streaming narrows career choices to low skill, low paid, and high risk jobs and employment. We know that it is bad for everybody, but it is especially bad for Māori and Pasifika students. This is systemic racism in action. Ending streaming is one small step that will have a huge outcome for the futures of our rangatahi. An increasing number of schools around Aotearoa have decided to run mixed ability classrooms with incredible results. These schools have all used alternative ways of teaching and have seen students do better academically, especially Māori and Pasifika students. They used tools that brought teachers and students closer together - like learning more about each child’s passions and goals for maths, and scrapping arbitrary deadlines to assess students when they were ready. Academic achievement improves across the board, kids’ self-belief, motivation and aspirations soar, and social and ethnic barriers amongst the students decline. We need the government to step up to support an equitable education system that enables all rangatahi to be inspired by their future, confident in their culture, thriving in their work and empowered to succeed. Add your name today to join us in calling on the government to end streaming in schools and stand up for our tamariki! This is a movement led by Tokona Te Raki - The Maori Futures Collective http://www.maorifutures.co.nz/. *** [1] He Awa Ara Rau - A journey of many paths, 2019 http://www.maorifutures.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/He-Awa-Ara-Rau-A-Journey-of-Many-Paths-Nov-2019.pdf [2] End streaming in Aotearoa, 2021 http://www.maorifutures.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/TTR_Streaming_Document.pdf
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  • Save our maternity sector from crisis
    Whānau forms the foundation of our society. If we treat all families well and support them to thrive from the get go, our communities will flourish. We need to start investing real money and resources into whānau wellbeing, starting with maternity care. Over the last 12 months we’ve seen the ability of our government to respond rapidly and decisively to a crisis. We’ve seen them open their purse and pour money into our economy. We know that they’re capable of making big decisions to save lives and keep our communities safe. And now we need to see them step up with that same kind of energy to address the maternity crisis that we are in. Every pregnant person, parent and baby in Aotearoa deserves the very best care that we can provide as a society. The compassionate and skilled midwives and doctors providing life-changing and life-saving care across Aotearoa deserve to work in conditions where their wellbeing - as well as that of their patients - is protected. Right now we’re not even coming close, but together we have the power to change this. Our government works for us, and it’s our responsibility to join our voices and demand that our government solves this crisis. Not through incremental changes and stop-gap funding, but through a full rebirth of our maternity sector. Thank you for signing this petition. Further Information: PMMRC 14th Annual Report (2021) https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/our-programmes/mrc/pmmrc/publications-and-resources/publication/4210/ PMMRC recommendations https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/assets/PMMRC/Publications/14thPMMRCreport/Appendices_B-F_Recommendation_tables.pdf RANZCOG commentary on Maternal Mental Health https://ranzcog.edu.au/news/ranzcog-backs-call-for-action-to-reduce-inequitabl MERAS 2020 election priorities https://meras.midwife.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2020/07/MERAS-Election-Priorities.pdf Media commentary: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018783765/baby-mortality-for-young-maori-pacific-indian-mothers-needs-urgent-action-report https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018783766/capital-s-hospital-maternity-service-stretched-paper-thin-midwives-union https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/436561/crap-pay-and-horrible-conditions-midwives-at-breaking-point-in-capital-dhb https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/436784/fatigue-burnout-as-dhbs-stretched-to-the-limit-union-warns
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  • Take Action against Modern Slavery
    40 million people globally are in modern slavery. Unlike many other countries, New Zealand has no legislation that requires companies to undertake due diligence looking into the risks of modern slavery within their supply chains and taking actions to address those risks. Modern Slavery legislation is a key way for New Zealand companies to work together to eliminate modern slavery in private and public sector supply chains. WHAT IS MODERN SLAVERY? Modern slavery is the severe exploitation of other people for personal or commercial gain. Modern slavery is in the clothes you wear, the coffee you drink and the goods you love. WHY DO WE NEED A MODERN SLAVERY ACT? 40 million people globally are in modern slavery. There are more people in slavery now than in any other time in history. The world is small and interconnected. Every time we purchase a product there is a chain reaction felt around the world. No country or industry is unaffected. Unlike many other countries, New Zealand has no accountability legislation that addresses transparency in supply chains. This means that New Zealand companies could unknowingly be importing products or services by which people are exploited and enslaved. WHAT WOULD A MODERN SLAVERY ACT DO? Modern Slavery Acts make it easier for a consumer to expect slavery-free products and services from companies. They help prevent slavery through transparency and accountability. They require businesses to understand the risks of modern slavery in their purchasing, to report on those risks and take action to address them. They give the business community guidance and a level playing field. For further information, resources and to get involved check out our campaign website - https://www.signforfreedom.nz/
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  • STOP THE PAIHIA SEAWALLS
    Paihia is a jewel of the Bay of Islands, opposite Waitangi and Russell. Far North Holdings (FNH) has been given funding and the green light to build sea walls in Paihia harbour. This massive infrastructure project was approved as a 'fast track' shovel-ready project in the government’s Provincial Growth Fund in response to COVID19. The Paihia Sea Wall plan was a commercially defunct project that had been shelved for 15 years. FNH say the walls will be a way to restore Paihia's sandy beaches. However hapū, iwi, marine scientists and locals know the impacts will be disastrous. At low tide it’s likely the sea walls will be a monstrosity, hideously changing what was once a beautiful and picturesque view. Motu Maire, the main island out from Paihia which will be directly affected by the seawalls is, and has been, wahi tapu, a sacred and important place to local Māori for centuries. Local iwi Ngati Kawa and Ngati Rahiri have not been properly consulted on the decision-making of this project. Stopping the tidal flow with sea walls and dredging up the seafloor is environmental vandalism which could create unforeseen negative consequences, for example, the erosion of Paihia’s south beach, Te Tii beach and the multiple beaches on Motu Maire. Sedimentation within the wall’s confines is also another major concern. Endangered dotterels and other shorebirds nest on the southern beach of Motu Maire. The seawalls will completely alter the natural outlook from Paihia’s bustling commercial center, which is currently an amazing view over the Bay of Islands across to Russell. Business owners believe this project will ‘kill the goose that lays the golden egg’ for Paihia. While the project has had funding confirmed, much has changed in the world in that 15 years, and FNH made that application without any consultation with local māori (hapū) or the wider community to gauge support for the resurrection. It is entirely possible to restore the main beach of Paihia without the sea walls. The funding can be put to much better use - to projects that bring the hearts and minds of locals together in a positive and constructive way - and to solve the real problems the community is facing as a whole. Far North Holdings' sea walls must not go ahead! Add your name to tell the Council and FNH to preserve Paihia. This online petition is being run alongside an offline petition led by folk from Ngati Kawa and Ngati Rahiri.
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