• Put nature at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery
    Nature is on the verge of collapse. New Zealand has 4000 species in trouble, polluted waterways and a damaged marine environment; only transformative economic and policy decisions can restore and sustain our planet and our people. The rebuilding of our society after the impacts of COVID-19 provides us with a chance to restore our natural environment for both current and future generations.
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  • Keep Dunedin Rail Rolling
    The closure and/or mothballing of Dunedin Railways will lead to the loss of a substantial number of local jobs. It will end one of the most popular visitor experiences to Dunedin and Otago. The flow on effects for other local stakeholders would be considerable. Keeping jobs and skills in Dunedin, introducing local commuter services, and engaging staff in local rail projects is the positive alternative. When tourism rebuilds, this popular service will then be ready and waiting. 🚂 Dunedin railways workers propose positive solutions to prevent closure: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU2004/S00631/dunedin-railways-workers-propose-positive-solutions-to-prevent-closure.htm
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  • Community Checkpoints Are Protecting Vulnerable People from Covid-19
    The evidence is clear: this positive and decisive community action, led by iwi and supported by police, councils and health providers is saving lives. From Ōpōtiki Mayor Lyn Riesterer crediting this initiative for the fact that there are no cases of Covid-19 within the Te Whanau-a-Apanui tribal boundaries; to South Taranaki Mayor Phil Nixon saying "I really support what they're wanting to do to protect our community. They're going to great lengths to look after us", it is clear these checkpoints are not just keeping people safe but making people feel safe, too. As the country has moved into level three, and reports of huge numbers of New Zealanders not following lockdown protocols are becoming all too common, it is imperative that the government maintain support for these community initiatives that have been protecting people so well at level four. New Zealand can beat Covid-19, but where required, community checkpoints must remain a key part of the regional response.
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  • School Strike 4 Climate NZ & 4 Tha Kulture Open Letter Calls For Covid Green Response
    As the youth of Aotearoa, it is important that the decision and projects that we put forward work around securing our generation a safe future. The children of New Zealand will be paying off the debt collected from the stimulus project. We demand that you, as the leaders of today, ensure us a safe future
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  • Universal Education Income / Te Rourou Matanui-a-Wānanga
    1) STUDENTS ARE IN POVERTY Right now, tertiary students are in poverty. The poverty that students experience is a result of years of successive governments eroding the financial support that tertiary students have access to. The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the economic vulnerability that students face. Students have lost the part time jobs that provided essential weekly income to cover weekly expenses like rent, power and food. Many of the jobs that students in the gig economy, tourism and hospitality disappeared overnight, too early for them to be rehired by their employer to qualify for the Wage Subsidy. The Tertiary Support Package announced by the Government on 14 April 2020 fails to address this poverty. Increasing the amount of course related costs for domestic full-time students from $1,000 to $2,000, only increases student debt, and fails to provide relief in the areas of hardship that students face, simply because this money is not able to be spent on accommodation or food costs. It is also unable to be accessed by part-time students, many of whom relied on employment, they now don’t have, to make ends meet. One student says: “...I don’t know what to do, I’m barely managing to pay my rent, I can’t pay power, I can’t afford nutritional food, I can’t even afford to buy warm clothes now that it’s getting colder. I don’t have much in the way of clothes as it is and most don’t fit me anymore. I spend more time in bed trying to keep warm because of lack of clothes and not being able to afford power.” 2) STUDENT DEBT CRISIS We have a student debt crisis in New Zealand. Student debt in New Zealand continues to climb to unprecedented levels, surpassing $16 billion this year despite the student loan scheme being introduced in 1992. For students who borrow living costs on top of course fees, in order to survive while they study, effectively double their student loan every year. The student debt crisis impacts the lives of prospective students, current students and graduates. It creates a significant barrier that deters many prospective students from accessing the opportunities post-secondary education provides, especially from lower socio-economic communities. Money should not determine one’s ability to further their education. Research shows that student debt places harmful mental pressures on current students, affecting their wellbeing, academic performance and political participation. Upon completing their tertiary studies, research highlights that graduates experience the full weight of their crippling student debt when 12.5% of the income is deducted each week, and their ability to start a family, buy their first home or travel overseas is greatly restricted for many years after graduation. Students are being buring in debt before they even get started. Students should not be forced to take on a debt sentence to access education that will benefit communities across Aotearoa. 3) EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO THE RECOVERY Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that “education will be key to our economic recovery”. We agree. However, the week-to-week cost of being a tertiary student is a barrier for many people wanting to begin studying for the first time or re-train, especially given that many people have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19. This is especially the case for people with dependents, or people who are already vulnerable in our society. Donna, a full-time nursing student and solo mother is one of these students who is just scraping by. In a few years, Donna should be a qualified nurse, saving New Zealanders lives and contributing to New Zealand’s economy. She won’t achieve her dreams without additional government support. For education to be universally accessible, we must have a universally accessible system of support. SUPPORTED BY New Zealand Union of Students' Associations, Te Mana Ākonga and Tauira Pasifika PROOF THAT A UNIVERSAL EDUCATION INCOME IS ACHIEVABLE? In response to the hardship that tertiary students in Canada have experienced from COVID-19, the Canadian Government has implemented an equivalent Student Benefit of $1,250 per month for eligible students and $1,750 for students with dependents or disabilities. The tertiary education policy of New Zealand First and the Green Party both include a universal student allowance, which is the equivalent of Universal Education Income / Te Rourou Matanui-a-Wānanga. REFERENCES AND MORE INFORMATION: ‘Why increasing student debt is not a support package’ https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/16-04-2020/why-increasing-student-debt-is-not-a-support-package/ Student Benefit in Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/04/support-for-students-and-recent-graduates-impacted-by-covid-19.html Tertiary Support Package announced by the Government https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/covid-19-tertiary-student-support-package NZUSA Income and Expenditure Report 2017 http://www.students.org.nz/studentreport NZUSA Kei Te pai? Report 2018 http://www.students.org.nz/mentalhealth Student Loan Scheme Annual Report 2019 https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/series/student_loan_scheme_annual_reports/student-loan-scheme-annual-report-2019 Green Party Tertiary Education Policy https://www.greens.org.nz/tertiary_education_policy New Zealand First Tertiary Education Policy https://policy.nz/topic/Education#Tertiary%20Education ‘Crushing student debt is putting students off political action’ https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/shows/2019/09/crushing-student-debt-putting-kids-off-getting-political-author.html Student Debt and Political Participation by Sylvia Nissen https://www.bwb.co.nz/books/student-political-action https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783319963211 Photo: Trinity Thompson-Browne (@trin_tb)
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  • COVID19: Re-set Our Economy Sustainably
    Sustainability has been at the forefront of New Zealand’s news, our elections, and spurred hundreds of thousands of kiwis to peacefully protest. Despite this, and the extremely urgent message science is giving us, there has been a distinct lack of action. COVID19, in an unexpected and undesirable way, has given us the opportunity to re-set. Our new normal does not mean going back to the ways we know are broken. Our new normal means re-setting how we live, work, produce and govern in a way that regenerates. To start to heal what we have done while living outside the biophysical limits of the Earth. This gives us, future generations and other species a fair chance. It will help prevent, and be more resilient to, future crises. This disruption is a time to re-think systems and unite business, government and NGO's. Unlike ever before, we have the means and motivation to collaboratively and fairly transition our economy for a sustainable future. It's clear that if this opportunity is not navigated properly, with courageous and informed decision making, the future we are borrowing from our Mokopuna (Grandchildren) will not be a bright one. The decisions now will make our bed for decades to come and they must be the right ones. Our Leaders have a moral, and legal (Paris Agreement), responsibility to create a strong, resilient, local economy that regenerates Papatūānuku (Mother Earth) and fosters actualised human wellbeing.
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  • Partially reimburse University of Otago students for semester one and minimise university job losses
    Students at the University of Otago are dealing with a decreased learning experience due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Practical classes and field trips have all been canceled and all learning is via online lectures and sometimes zoom classes. As students, we are making the best of a bad situation but feel that we should not be charged the full course fees when we are not receiving the original course content in full. It is also important that the staff of the university have job security moving forward.
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  • Invest in a healthy and flourishing planet for our future - a covid response
    The Government has shown a commitment to COVID-19 recovery and have indicated that it will make significant investment in infrastructure. To protect the planet and protect our future, it is important that this investment does not lock us further into the high-emission pathway we are on, as such investments will accelerate the climate and ecological breakdown. The Government has tasked the Infrastructure Industry Reference Group to present it with projects that are ready to start within six months. The projects that are selected will be pivotal in determining our future! We are afraid for our ecosystems, animals and people that projects which lock us into a high-emission and ecologically unsustainable pathway will be selected. To prevent this, and to achieve a future that is connected to a healthy and flourishing planet, we need to urge the Government to invest in transformation climate change projects. Further examples of possible projects include restoring our ecosystems, enhancing walking and cycling routes, and green tech innovations. Please sign this petition if you want to call on Government to invest in a healthy and flourishing planet for our future. Government seeks infrastructure projects https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government-seeks-infrastructure-projects
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  • End Live Export at Port Taranaki
    Live export of farmed animals puts animals at risk, both on the sea voyage and when they arrive in their destination country. Onboard ship, animals can be thrown around in rough seas and some struggle to survive on the unnatural diet, so different from the paddocks they were raised in. At their destination, these animals can face an additional long journey by road and then an uncertain future. Port Taranaki started exporting cows at the start of 2020. In January, 4,800 cows spent 17 days at sea to their destination in China. This was followed by 3,300 cows being exported in March, again to China, and a third shipment of 4,450 animals in April. These cows are being sent to expand and strengthen the dairy industry overseas. Taranaki Regional councillors have chosen to allow these thousands of cows to be exported from Port Taranaki to places with lower animal welfare, transport and slaughter standards than New Zealand. Caring Kiwis don’t want this cruel trade to continue. [1] The export of live farmed animals for slaughter has already been banned, due to the suffering this trade inflicts on animals, but a loophole permits animals to be shipped for breeding purposes, which ultimately end in slaughter. The cows exported will likely be confined life-long in concrete factory farms and, once no longer “profitable” they will be slaughtered by means so cruel they are illegal in New Zealand. 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. Taranaki councillors are putting profits before animal welfare. The live export trade is currently being reviewed by the Government and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has expressed his preference for a conditional ban on livestock exports. [2] Despite this, live export ships continue to take tens of thousands of New Zealand cows to an uncertain future. The elected officials of Taranaki Council have the power to stop all future live exports from Port Taranaki. For the sake of animal welfare, live export needs to be stopped for good. PLEASE SIGN to end the cruel export of live farmed animals from Port Taranaki. References: [1] https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/120114883/protesters-make-stand-against-live-export-near-port-taranakis-gates [2] https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=12275052
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  • COVID-19: Grant Emergency Benefits for Migrants
    We are global citizens. Aotearoa NZ must show a good example of manaakitanga. Our migrant community contribute hugely to our society, our diversity, the economy and workforce. Everyone needs a secure place to live and access to life's essentials at this time. Migrant communities are at risk of facing severe economic hardship due to loss of employment and the inability to return to their home countries due to travel restrictions around the world and the danger of COVID-19. If the government does not provide this emergency benefit, people may feel they have to fend for themselves and possibly break lock-down. That's a concern. We are all in this together and we must all support one another to get through this. Granting benefits to migrants is the compassionate and healthy thing to do.
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  • Abolish interest during mortgage holidays while the Covid-19 crisis occurs
    Banks have only offered the same mortgage holiday terms applicable in ordinary circumstances (pre-pandemic). While other businesses are pulling out all stops to help and may not survive, banks are effectively doing nothing. We have been told that the recession arising out of this crisis will be far worse than the GFC, therefore the measures put in place need to be stronger. Many people are in greatly reduced circumstances due to lock down. Many have, or will, lose their jobs and may take some time to find a new one. In the short term this greatly affects young people with new mortgages, low income mortgage holders, and people who have had to re-finance recently due to unforeseen reasons. It also penalises people who have been paying diligently for some time, causing them to go backwards too. Landlords who hold mortgages over their properties may want to ease the pressure on their tenants finding rent, by decreasing their liabilities too. In the longer term adding interest increases household debt so people will have less spare cash to spend in the economy after the crisis, slowing recovery.
 Lack of money in society at this time can lead to increased social problems and crime. These are extraordinary times, we need extraordinary social measures. New Zealand banks are not following our Government’s and other NZ Business's good example, and we are well aware of the huge profits banks have been making in recent years. Your signature here will make a difference to the world we experience after this pandemic passes.
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  • Pay increase for essential workers
    A lot of essential workers are in jobs with low pay and very little job security. They include supermarket workers, cleaners, truck drivers, aged care workers, food and beverage factory workers, mental health workers, ambulance drivers, rubbish collectors. They are now on the front line of this pandemic, providing food, fuel, care, supplies and various other products and services to us. Covid-19 has now put extra pressure on all these workers. It has placed them in a very vulnerable position, causing extra worry and stress, since many need to be in close contact with a lot of people. It often requires them to take precautions with their clothing and equipment, and in some instances, they have the expense and worry of living apart from their families. On top of all this, they are simply exhausted by sheer hard work. These workers keep our country running every day, even more so during this pandemic - let's pay them fairly for their work and also pay a bonus to say thank you and acknowledge the exceptional circumstances. 'Essential' supermarket workers should be paid more during outbreak, union says, Stuff, 27 March 2020 https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/120638053/essential-supermarket-workers-should-be-paid-more-during-outbreak-union-says Coronavirus: Ryman Healthcare gives essential workers pay boost https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/120646094/coronavirus-ryman-healthcare-gives-essential-workers-pay-boost Essential workers deserve a living wage https://www.livingwage.org.nz/essential_workers_deserve_a_living_wage
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