Your Dose of Hope for June
We hope you and your whānau had a beautiful time over Matariki with our first ever public holiday to celebrate the Māori new year. Here is your midwinter dose of hope to warm you up and stoke some energy into your weekend.
Settle in, stay warm and enjoy the read!
🌏🌱 People are fighting for a better climate future 🌱🌏
People from all walks of life and from diverse communities are doing their best to ensure our tamariki and mokopuna are left with a liveable planet, giving us a kete full of goodness this Matariki season.
➤ After 15 years of opposition from local hapū and community including two OurActionStation petitions, the plans to build sea walls around Paihia have been canned! The sea walls would have stopped tidal water flow, creating havoc for surrounding beaches and the shorebirds that live in the area.
➤ Extra funding for climate action in Tāmaki Makaurau was approved by Auckland Council thanks to thousands of people who voiced their support for a climate action targeted rate during the submission process. Over the next 10 years the rate will fund lower emissions ferries, and more frequent bus routes and trees, particularly in South and West Auckland.
✊🏼 Rangatahi activism brings us closer to a stronger democracy ✊🏼
Youth led campaign Make it 16 want to see Aotearoa lowering the voting age to 16 for local and general elections. The time is now to be heard on issues that will affect young people’s futures most.
A stronger democracy is nearly here thanks to these young campaigners. Green MP Golriz Ghahraman’s Strengthening Democracy Bill being drawn in the members ballot. The Bill proposes to extend the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds among other reforms.
And there’s more. On July 12th these rangatahi are heading to the Supreme Court to secure a ruling that the current voting age is a breach of human rights.
The case will be open to the public so if you’re in Wellington come down and support them at the Supreme Court!
In 2021 the Court of Appeal agreed that the Government has not justified the age discrimination of the current voting age which prevents 16 and 17-year-olds from voting. This is a clash with a law in our NZ human rights that states once you are 16 you cannot be discriminated against based on your age.
How else can you support this campaign?
- Get ‘vocal in your local’ and vote to lower the voting age to 16, here.
- Sign the petition and share Make It 16 with your friends and whānau.
- Read more about the upcoming court case here.
🌻 Better mental health support is on its way🌻
Over 14,000 ActionStation members led by Clinical Psychologist student Lucy McClean have helped secure support and training to bring more urgently needed Psychologists to our communities!
In the lead up to Budget 2022, the government announced a $10m investment into mental health workforce development, including:
⭐️An additional 18 internships will be funded for 2023, then two more each following year
⭐️A pilot with the long-term view to dramatically increase the number of psychology interns has received the go-ahead.
A source from inside the Ministry of Health has confirmed this level of investment in psychologists would never have happened without the public pressure.
While this isn’t a complete win — Lucy’s petition also asked for a wider variety of psychologists in our communities and that more places be made available in University programs — this will significantly increase the ability of people to get the mental health support they need, when they need it.
🎉 Better wages for workers 🎉
By taking collective action, unions and workers have been doing the hard mahi to secure better wages.
Allied health workers, such as the people that test your blood or help your body recover after an injury, will be receiving back pay and an increase in wages to above the living wage after they voted in favour of a settlement reached by employers and the PSA. This is a great result that allied health workers absolutely deserve and will give patients better healthcare at the same time.
The good news doesn’t stop there. NZEI and kaiārahi i te reo have won a historic pay equity claim that will see their wages double. Better pay and better working conditions for kaiārahi will mean better learning environments for our children and more support for a flourishing te ao Māori.
We’re sending a huge shoutout to every worker who organised, collectivised, and whose courage led to these significant wins that show their worth.
✍️ Save the Children’s Commissioner ✍️
Tamariki are the most precious of Papatūānuku’s gifts, a living extension of whakapapa. This means all tamariki in Aotearoa should grow up experiencing playfulness and joy, with full bellies, a roof overhead, and plenty of time shared with loved ones.
Right now, the government is trying to pass a law that will disestablish the Children’s Commissioner, a role that holds Oranga Tamariki to account in its responsibility to treat tamariki with the reverence and care they deserve. The Bill has faced widespread opposition from state care survivors, and groups who work for the rights and health of children.
That’s why people like Aaron Hendry and organisations like VOYCE — Whakarongo Mai are stepping up to withdraw the Bill, and wait to hear the final report of the Royal Commission into Abuse in State Care before proceeding further. They’re asking Minister Carmel Sepuloni, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to listen to the voices of care-experienced rangatahi and stop the Oversight of Oranga Tamariki Bill.
Read more about this kaupapa in this excellent piece by Luke Fitzmaurice for The Spinoff.
That’s all for this month! Thank you to everyone changing the world no matter the time of year.
P.S. ActionStation exists because of the small donations from people who believe in a fair and flourishing Aotearoa. If you love seeing people-powered change, you can become a regular donor with us here.