• Tell the government: act for a safe climate future
    Last year Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called climate change our generation's ‘nuclear free moment’ - a moment in history when New Zealanders stood up to global powers and said ‘we will do what we consider right’. It’s time to walk the talk. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report calls for ‘unprecedented changes’ to avoid the world warming more than 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial averages.[2] As part of our efforts to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming we must stop looking for more oil. Email the Energy Minister Megan Woods today to: 🌏 fully support no new petroleum prospecting, exploration, and mining permits anywhere offshore with clear commitments to a timeline for phasing out the existing permits; 🌏 support a ban on extension of all petroleum mining permits, on and offshore, as they reach their expiry dates; 🌏 not support any new petroleum prospecting, exploration, and mining permits in onshore Taranaki or anywhere else in Aotearoa; 🌏 strongly object to allowing new or existing onshore petroleum permit holders to access conservation land for any petroleum associated activities, including minimum impact activities. The oil industry is using all its lobbying power to pressure our elected representatives to keep our dependence on oil and gas. We need to act to support the government to take the necessary steps to move to a clean energy today. References 1. OMV more time to drill in Great South Basin, Interest, 17 Oct 2018 https://www.interest.co.nz/business/96379/warning-bells-rung-loud-and-clear-over-oilgas-exploration-ban-adding-pressure-already 2. IPCC climate change report calls for urgent action to phase out fossil fuels, The Guardian, 9 Oct 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2018/oct/08/ipcc-climate-change-report-urgent-action-fossil-fuels-live
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  • Keep Postal Services in Naenae
    The recent complete withdrawal of the postal services has upset our community - the residents and the surrounding small businesses and shops. For Naenae residents, it now means that they have to travel out of the suburb for NZ Postal Services, such as posting, courier pick-ups / drop-offs, bill payments, vehicle registrations, etc. The closest postal agency now is in Avalon. For older persons, and others such as those without access to a car, this is a $9-$10 taxi trip one-way. For those using the bus system, the NZ Post Office in Queensgate Mall is the most accessible (but not the nearest) Post Shop at a cost of $4 one-way. Naenae is one of the most socio-economically deprived suburbs in the country, with a significant proportion of the residents on limited fixed incomes, many with no or limited access to vehicles and the internet (i.e., internet banking). With the removal of the postal services, many Naenae residents end up spending money they can't afford to get to a Post Shop in order to complete necessary everyday household business transactions so they can keep their lights on, their homes warm and their telephones working. Many of our residents also use the postal service to send and receive letters, postcards, care parcels and gifts to (grand)children, family, and friends. Now, there is an additional cost and inconvenience to do so. Removing the postal services from Naenae represents an unreasonable imposition of costs and time for a service which was reasonably in demand from the 8,200 Naenae residents. The removal of the postal services from Naenae has also had a noticeable negative affect on the small businesses and retailers in the Naenae shopping area. They are losing out on business from people who would shop and/or get their prescriptions filled before of after using the postal services. Retailers have commented on the noticeable drop in people and in business transactions since the postal services left Naenae. We want Naenae to be a strong, vibrant community where people are able to access essential services in their community. We want to support our small businesses and retailers in our town centre / shopping area. Keeping the postal services in Naenae plays an important part in doing this. Note: We understand one of the reasons why NZ Post removed all postal services was because they didn't have another shop to partner with. We have at least 3 businesses in the shopping area who put their hand up when the removal of the postal services was announced and who are still interested in set up postal services in their shops. This petition was written by Lillian Pak and Chris Norton, on behalf of Team Naenae Trust, in response to numerous queries and concerns expressed to Team Naenae Trust both individually and at the Trust's community meetings.
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  • Fix Political Donations
    Recent scandals have once again brought our loose electoral finance laws to light. The current rules around campaign finance are allowing anonymous donations to hide motives and influences. Our democracy should be transparent and open, we should know who is bankrolling our representatives, and who they are listening to. In New Zealand there are no limits on the amount anyone can give to a political party (this is uncommon internationally). It’s only if your donation is over $15,000 do you even have to be named. That has lead to a lot of shifty accounting. Last year it was reported that four out of every five dollars donated to big parties is in secret. That is tens of millions of dollars in anonymous donations funding our politics. There are three ‘quick fixes’ that would address the worst abuses of our electoral funding system until we can work out a more long term solution. All donations over $1500 should be declared and the donors named. Loopholes that allow fundraising through trusts, diners, and charity auctions to remain anonymous should be closed. Donations should be publicly disclosed in real time, to allow greater and immediate scrutiny. Introducing those changes would have an immediate impact on the transparency of our political system, allowing much greater scrutiny of who has influence of the politicians elected to represent us. Why not just make all donations public? There are good reasons some people can’t make their political beliefs public, like family pressure or sensitive employers. But when anonymity is used to hide motives and influence bought through major donations, it becomes a problem. A $1500 threshold would be a balance. There should be a complete rethink of the way our politics is funded to make sure it’s fitting of the society we want, and there are some exciting ideas of how that would look. But these quick fixes are a first step towards a fairer system.
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  • Fair Council Representation for Mount Roskill
    There is currently a representation review which occurs every six years to set up the wards which elect local councillors for Auckland City. A working party of four councillors and four local board members has been working through a consultation process and will be putting up a final proposal to the council governing body on 19 October. The proposal being put forward will make the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward population of 177,800 the highest of any ward. This is far too big a population for effective representation. Councillors are more accessible and accountable when representing manageable populations. and can focus on our particular issues. The number of events that those councillors are expected to attend are reduced with a smaller population and they can focus on more local issues. At present Auckland has seven wards which elect two councillors each and six (Waitemata and Gulf, Orakei, Maungakiekie-Tamaki, Whau, Rodney and Franklin) one each. The present situation gives some wards two to two and and half times as many people as others. The cost (in time and/or money) to candidates seeking to reach these numbers is much higher than for those contesting single member wards. This is likely to limit the numbers willing to stand in those wards. If the governing body accept the new Working Party proposal with 177,800 people in the Albert-Eden-Roskill (or Albert Eden Puketapapa ) it will be a decision that results in less effective representation for our neighbourhood. The Local Government Commission will make the final decision in November or December. Please sign to support a representative council for Albert-Eden-Roskill ward. Link: https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/topics-you-can-have-your-say-on/consultation-on-electoral-boundaries-and-representation/Documents/electoral-review-faq-august-2018.pdf
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  • Tell our politicians to protect your privacy online
    Facebook have announced fifty million Facebook accounts were compromised by hackers, who could have had complete control of your account, and any apps you use Facebook to log in to. This is being described as the worst data breach in Facebook's history. It means fifty million people, including New Zealanders, could have had their messages, private information, Instagram, Tinder and other apps accessed by hackers. That opens you up to fraud, theft, and blackmail. This is the first serious hack of Facebook since the European Union passed new data protection laws, the GDPR. Because of that Facebook had to report the hack within 72 hours and will face extra scrutiny for how they deal with it. If the company is found to have not done enough to protect users, they could be liable for billions of dollars in fines from regulators. They will face few consequences in New Zealand though. Our Privacy Act was written in 1993, and doesn’t have ways to deal with hacks like this. The good thing is the act is finally being modernised, and the MPs deciding what changes to make report back next month. Tell them they should expand protections for your information online. At ActionStation we have advocated for changes to the Privacy Act to include meaningful penalties companies who fail to tell you when they’ve been hacked. We also support other GDPR style regulations that would give you more control over how your data is used. We can’t let this become normal. This hack shows that neither Facebook, or any other corporate whose business model relies on gathering increasing amounts of your private data, can be trusted. If one of the richest companies ever to exist isn’t able to, or isn’t interested in, protecting us from outside attackers, we need to change the way they work. In the past two years we seen have scandal after scandal showing social media platforms, which are run by some of the wealthiest people to ever live, being used to spread misinformation, discourage voter turnout, organise violence and harassment, and having a cavalier attitude to protecting your sensitive information. It's time to change things. Email Raymond Huo (the chair of the Justice Select Committee) now to ask him to protect our privacy.
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  • Illegal Israeli settlement goods – Make labelling compulsory, not optional
    At the expense of Palestinians, Israel continues to expand its presence and control in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) through the establishment of settlements. Israeli settlements have caused the displacement of thousands of Palestinians from their homes, contributing to the current Palestinian refugee crisis. According to UNRWA, the number of Palestinian refugees was 5.34 million as of January 1, 2017. The international community (including New Zealand) considers the establishment of Israeli settlements illegal under international law, because the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits countries from moving population into territories occupied in a war. Many products are made in Israeli settlements which are exported worldwide. In 2017, New Zealand’s total imports from Israel totalled around 185 million NZD. However, there exists no mandatory bill in New Zealand which states that goods must be labelled indicating their country of origin. This means that New Zealand consumers may not know or be able to find out where the goods that they purchase were made. We believe that consumers should be able to know if a product was made in Israeli settlements. Through the mandatory labelling of Israeli settlement consumer goods that are imported into New Zealand, we seek to raise awareness about Israeli settlement goods and subsequently decrease support for Israel’s illegal actions. If New Zealand consumers know where products are made, we believe that they will make more informed choices and can help influence change through their collective power as consumers by boycotting Israeli settlement goods. If the New Zealand government remains indecisive on this issue, then New Zealand consumers may never receive the information they need to make informed choices and the injustices against Palestinians will continue to worsen. If New Zealand and other nations do not act, Israel will continue its illegal land grab causing severe consequences for peace, stability, and security in the region and abroad. If you want to see the mandatory labelling of Israeli goods implemented in New Zealand, please add your signature to the petition. We appreciate your support! We are Massey University BA students working together on a group project for Peace and International Security. Julia Welsh-Morris, Preston Hiew, Llorne Howell, Callum Huntley, and Michaela Licht Links to Further Information About the Topic: Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/files/Israeli-settlements-good-ban-FAQs-FINAL_0.pdf The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement: https://bdsmovement.net/ Consumers’ Right to Know Bill: https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/00DBHOH_BILL72059_1/consumers-right-to-know-country-of-origin-of-food-bill Irish Bill to ban Settlement Goods https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/bills/bill/2018/6/ New Zealand imports by country: https://tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/imports-by-country Petition to release medical supplies for Gaza https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/israel-military-must-release-medical-supplies-on-gaza-flotilla?bucket&source=facebook-share-email-button&time=1535557559 UNRWA Palestinian Refugees Jan 1 2017 https://www.unrwa.org/resources/about-unrwa/unrwa-figures-2017
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  • Stop work on the Waimea Dam, consider sustainable and affordable alternatives
    The Tasman District Council mayor promised the public that they would “have their say” on the Waimea Dam, however he used his casting vote to prevent a referendum on this highly significant issue. Large numbers made submissions on the dam through the Long Term Plan process, but submissions were limited to governance and funding only. 85% of those submitting on the funding objected to the funding model, which would see all ratepayers forced to subsidize Waimea Irrigators. Petition spokesperson Jon Pawley says, “This petition is simply a way for the public to actually have their say on this hugely significant issue that involves all ratepayers for decades to come.” The reasons given for objecting to the dam are not just about funding, as residents are generally happy to pay for essential regional assets like airports, libraries and museums. A summary of objections include: • The claims of funding in the latest news issued by TDC don’t even mention the ratepayers, or the fact that 82% of the water will be for irrigators whose portion of the costs is less than 20%. Further cost overruns, maintenance and operating costs will be overwhelmingly paid for by the ratepayers. • The block of conservation land needed for the dam will require an act of parliament to inundate. This act could set a dangerous precedent for our natural environment. • The claim that river health will improve, when it is more likely that the increase in intensified farming will result in further degradation of downstream waters. The recent study showing 72% of our freshwater fish are endangered or risk extinction, should be of concern and Dr Mike Joy said this is largely due to increases in irrigation which forces intensified farming methods. • The claim that the dam will secure water supplies for 100 years, never tells the whole story, like that it is limited to a zone of benefit and has NO benefit for the rest of the region who will be paying for it. • The significant leakage from the existing water supply system of 10,000 cubic metres of water per day needs to be investigated for urban needs. All future development, urban and rural, could take increased responsibility, just as all Golden Bay rural development is now required to provide their own 20,00 litres of water storage. External parties have proposed alternative solutions to ensure Tasman District residents have a secure water supply, but so far council has refused to cost these options, focusing instead on presenting the Waimea Dam as the only possible option.
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  • Improve mental health education under NCEA
    NZ’s youth suicide rate is the highest in the OECD nations; it is five times higher than the UK and double the USA (UNICEF Office of Research, 2017). While we cannot presume to know the complete solution, we think that providing teens with a weekly health class as part of the NCEA schedule could go some way to helping improve their outlook on life, as well as teaching them essential life skills surrounding topics such as mental health, food and nutrition, exercise, hygiene, sexuality, and other ways of keeping their mind and body healthy. We believe that learning more about mental health issues, and how to get help for yourself and your friends, could be an essential part of reducing the stigma attached to depression and other mental health illnesses. Currently mental health is to be taught in health classes, however from our experiences with and as previous teenagers, what is set out by the government and what is taught differs. This creates people who not only don't know about what to do when someone is feeling suicidal, but also a knowledge gap on other mental/sexual/physical health topics. We also consider that these classes could teach teens to manage the stress and anxiety associated with NCEA and learn coping skills that will help them throughout their lifespan. We are losing too many teens to suicide and that loss is devastating, not only to family and friends, but to NZ as a whole, as we miss out on their full potential and contribution to our communities. We are Massey University BA students working on a group project to improve mental health in New Zealand. While the overall rate of suicides is extremely concerning, we have chosen to focus on the teen suicide rate. References: UNICEF Office of Research. (2017). Building the future: Children and the sustainable development goals in rich countries, Innocenti report card 14. Retrieved from https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/RC14_eng.pdf
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  • Soft Plastics Recycling Bins for Whakatāne
    Being included in the Love NZ Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme will help communities of the Eastern Bay of Plenty recycle: • Carrier Bags • Bread, pasta & rice bags • Fresh produce bags and net citrus bags • Frozen food bags • Confectionery wrap and lolly bags • Dairy wrappers • Plastic packaging around toilet paper, kitchen towels, nappies and sanitary products • Courier packs • Newspaper and Magazine wrap • Chocolate & muesli bar wrappers and Biscuit packets (wrapper only) • Chip packets • Ice cream wrappers • Cereal box liners • Recycle bubble wrap and large sheets of plastic that furniture comes wrapped in (cut into pieces the size of an A3 sheet of paper first) Basically anything made of plastic which can be scrunched into a ball. It will allow us to divert all these things away from landfill. Soft plastic packaging is not collected for recycling by councils because it can contaminate the recycling process. New Zealanders use over 1.6 billion plastic bags in the home every year! Soft plastic waste is being used to produce other objects such as park benches and fitness circuits for playgrounds. These bins will help us move up the waste hierarchy from, disposal, to recycle and might even get some of us thinking about how we can go further and prevent such waste in the first place.
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  • Let's get a dog park at the new Green Road Reserve in Auckland
    Rodney Local board are currently asking "If you were building a new park the size of Auckland’s Cornwall Park, what would you put in it?" They are currently seeking feedback until 21st September 2018. There are over 100,000 registered dogs in Auckland and 33% of them are located north of the Harbour Bridge. One of the key elements of animal welfare for dogs is regular exercise so having dedicated dog areas is important to give dogs the best chance of being well behaved. Also important is to have off leash exercise areas as this helps to have good dog social encounters (this does not always happen if dogs are on lead) and for dogs to have maximum enrichment opportunities while being exercised. Having a fenced dog park within the dog exercise area would also help those with young or new dogs in developing recall when off lead and allow you to train your dog in a safe environment. We believe that Christchurch has great dog parks and dog exercise areas including The Groynes, Victoria Park and Bottle Lake Forest Park. Many are fenced and feature agility equipment. It would be fantastic to get something similar for Auckland dogs and their families to use. In the last year Auckland dog owners paid Auckland Council over $8 Million dollars in dog registration fees. It would be encouraging and positive for those who pay their dog registration fees to see their money being invested in an asset that they can use with their dogs. If you'd like to find out more, or to complete council's feedback survey on what should be part of this reserve, then just click on this link below: http://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/articles/news/2018/8/help-shape-tomorrow-s-park/
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  • Dear Winston, let's double the refugee quota and do our bit
    The Government already has plans underway to support the small number of families that will come with a rise in the refugee quota. The opening of facilities in Invercargill and Christchurch will make it easy to meet the needs of people granted refuge in New Zealand.[2] What we really need to do is fix both the housing crisis and help those in need. We could be taxing extreme wealth in individuals and corporations so the government has enough money to do both. Millions of people around the world are looking to rebuild their lives where it’s safe. To raise our refugee quota from 1000 to 1500 is still a small number compared with other countries - even Australia accepts many times more people seeking refuge than New Zealand per capita.[3] With 60 million people around the world looking to set up a safe home, an increase from 1000 to 1500 is a small number for us, but will mean the world for those people.[4] Email the Rt. Hon. Winston Peters to urge he gets behind lifting the quota. Use the email template to send a quick message. 1. NZ is a long way off its international aid commitment, but is moving in the right direction https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/103751999/nz-is-a-long-way-off-its-international-aid-commitment-but-is-moving-in-the-right-direction 2. Invercargill chosen as new refugee settlement location https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/media-centre/media-releases/invercargill-chosen-new-refugee-settlement-location 3. Fixing NZ's 'dismal' refugee figures https://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/fixing-nzs-dismal-refugee-figures/news-story/d5ad0c7d3c6a7d17d0642fc5767a924f 4. Figures at a Glance http://www.unhcr.org/figures-at-a-glance.html Also: Winston Peters declares U-turn on Government's plan to boost refugee quota https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/09/winston-peters-declares-u-turn-on-government-s-plan-to-boost-refugee-quota.html NZ works to double refugee quota as others close their borders https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/104837520/NZ-works-to-double-refugee-quota-as-others-close-their-borders Winston Peters: NZ should increase refugee numbers https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11451314
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  • Appoint a Minister for Rainbow Issues
    Appointing a Minister for Rainbow Issues would be a major step forward in establishing true equality for our LGBTI+ communities. It would make New Zealand more inclusive of its diverse communities. It would make a clear statement to LGBTI+ people that they are being treated as the equals of other citizens and residents of this country. It would streamline the way, in which LGBTI+ issues are handled by the Government and it would ensure that such matters are handled by a representative, in whom they may have confidence. It would enable such matters to be handled with competence and continuity and it would enable LGBTI+ people to see that this is so. It would make it easier for the Government to consult with LGBTI+ communities. It would give transparency to the handling of LGBTI+ issues and it would demonstrate yet again that New Zealand is a world leader in social equality and fairness. As an example the Government of the Australian Capital Territory has an Office for LGBTIQ Affairs. http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/policystrategic/the-office-for-lgbtiq-affairs
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