Here’s what the ActionStation community achieved in January 2017
Spoiler alert: it’s mighty impressive
We’re gearing up for a massive 2017.
Since we got back in early Jan, we’ve been diving into the feedback we got from more than 4,000 of ActionStation members to shape the direction of our election strategy this year. We’re planning to present our plan on Facebook Live next week and we’ll send an invite out very soon.
In the meantime, if you feel so inclined, you can chip in to our election fund here.
Our movement is growing bigger and bolder every day, but we are going to have to grow bigger, and take much bolder action together, if we are to make sure this election year takes our country in the direction of the future we want.
For now though, we wanted to introduce you to our new Community Campaign Manager Eliot (there’s a photo of us at the bottom), and let you know about what we’ve been up to this month.
Here are the campaign highlights from January:
We’re building the momentum to allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis
Tens of thousands of Kiwis, often older people, are using cannabis products for medicinal purposes, and in doing so are breaking the law as it now stands. They use it to treat a variety of ailments such as chronic pain, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, appetite loss and nausea. Many sick and suffering people have had to find relief by going through prohibitively difficult official channels, but most, by necessity, through unofficial and illegal channels.
We feel New Zealand is ready for a change in the legislation to allow compassion and understanding, and responsible regulation in regards to a health issue. We became aware that a very simple change to existing legislation could make the difference and immediately free up access to a range of medical cannabis products, and give doctors the power to prescribe them safely in a controlled manner.
Sick people need access to safe, accessible, legal and high-quality medicinal cannabis, and this law change will allow that to happen.
We’re finding out what New Zealanders understand about inequality
New Zealanders consistently express high levels of concern about the growing imbalance between the rich and the poor in our country, and the increasing numbers of New Zealand families doing it tough.
People agree this is a problem, and want something to be done to rebalance our economy and give all New Zealanders a fair shot at a decent life. But this hasn’t translated into large numbers of people demanding that our Government commits to the specific solutions that evidence shows will do the most to redress this imbalance.
Why is that? That was the question we set out to answer with a piece of research undertaken in collaboration with a range of other organisations working to end inequality and poverty in New Zealand. The first phase involved focus groups in Auckland and Nelson, the results of which will feed into the next phase of the research, starting next week.
We’ll have results in February, and this will help us design campaigns in 2017 that result in New Zealanders calling on political parties to commit to policies that will rebalance our economy, and make a real difference in the life of families doing it tough.
We’re always looking to expand our research into messages that work. If you’re able to, please chip in to help fund this kind of work today.
We’re closing the loopholes for mega-wealthy tax dodgers
Most of us pay our fair share of tax and contribute to funding the public services we all value like schools, hospitals, roads and footpaths. Yet some mega-wealthy companies use tricky accounting to get away with paying little (or no) tax here.
These tax dodgers use a mechanism known as ‘diverted profits’ where they make a lot of money here in New Zealand, off all of us, and then siphon those profits offshore to places with lower, or no, tax rates.
Following the successful lead of our friends in the UK and Australia, we’ve refreshed our campaign to crack down on these tax dodgers, pressuring the government to implement a Diverted Profits Tax.
We’re choosing multiracial and multicultural solidarity and coexistence, over fear, hatred and anger
We have an election this year, which means we have an opportunity to have a national conversation about the kind of country we want to be. What kind of example do we want to send to the world? Will we choose multiracial and multicultural solidarity and coexistence, or will we choose fear, hatred and anger?
Trump’s executive order to ban people from certain Muslim-majority countries entering the U.S (except of course the ones America have big oil business with) is not only despicable, it’s not backed by any evidence that it will improve national security. Americans are more likely to be killed by their own clothes, or another American, than the are someone from one of the banned countries.
Here in New Zealand, Trump’s actions have revived the national debate around whether or not we as a nation are doing enough for people seeking refuge in countries free from war. The short answer is: we are not.
We’ve identified five practical ways you can help people seeking and granted refuge in Aotearoa New Zealand:
We’re still standing with Standing Rock
Just days after his inauguration, Trump signed an executive order to plow ahead with the destructive North Dakota Access Pipeline. With a stroke of his pen, Trump has chosen oil companies over indigenous Americans and a healthy planet.
Despite this devastating news, we can still help the courageous water protectors who have been putting their lives on the line to stop the pipeline. By continuing to target the projects’ funding, and cutting off the money supply we can make it impossible for the expensive pipeline to continue.
Our plan is to print off the 5000 powerful messages you’ve written and post them to Citibank’s headquarters, staggered in bunches of 100 at a time, over the next few weeks. As piles of envelopes stream into Citibank’s post box week after week the staff won’t be able to ignore them. Will you help us?
We’re working hard to keep big money out of politics
News broke this week that American billionaire and million dollar donor to the Trump campaign, Peter Thiel was just granted New Zealand citizenship, despite not fulfilling the usual legal requirements.
This raises the obvious question: Can you buy citizenship here? And if so, what else can you buy?
Our movement needs to be strong if we’re going protect our democracy from the influence of billionaires like Thiel.
We’re levelling the playing field so all New Zealanders can enjoy sports
Sport is a part of our cultural identity. We invest $960 million each year in sports and recreation, but most live sports games are only available to Kiwis who can afford a $1,000 a year Sky TV subscription.
Once upon a time, when New Zealand was not divided as sharply into the haves and have-nots, the All Blacks test matches were free-to-air.
New Zealand First has put forward a Bill that would ensure “games of national significance” are broadcast, live and free-to-air, on TV for all New Zealanders.
We’ve launched a petition to support that Bill going through Parliament. Everyone should be able to watch our national sportspeople compete at the highest level without having to pay ridiculous amounts to private broadcasting companies for the privilege.
12 year old, Nicole hands in her 3,000+ petition to Parliament!
Our new Community Campaign Manager Eliot had the enormous privilege to support Wellington schoolgirl Nicole, as she did a handover of her petition at Parliament yesterday. Nicole is just 12 years old and had set up her OurActionStation petition just one week ago at her youth camp.
Eliot says “It was amazing watching Nicole holding her own in a media scrum explaining why it was important for people with Crohn’s and Colitis to be able to use workplace toilets when they cannot find a public loo and why it was important to get legislation on this. I saw her being empowered in that moment and her community was empowered through her.”
Mā te wā (bye for now),
If, like Nicole, there is something you are passionate about working to change in our country or world, you can start a campaign here.
The best part? We’ll be there to support you every step of the way!