All posts by Peter Malcolm

Set up a local Tick for Kids group

Tick for Kids is a coalition of organisations and individuals working to make children’s rights and interests a central focus for all MPs.

The coalition is in the process of setting up Tick for Kids groups in different areas across the country where people interested in advocating for better policies for children can connect, campaign and advocate locally (and help roll out national Tick for Kids campaigns in their area).

We’re looking for people interested in helping set up a group in their area – though you won’t have to do it alone as interested people will be connected with others. If you’re interested in finding out more please contact Lisa at Every Child Counts – 021 1228 273 / [email protected]

Or if you know of a network already operating in your area that would be useful for Tick for Kids to connect with, it would be great to hear from you.

Support the AAAP Benefit Impact

Auckland Actions Against Poverty (AAAP) is accepting applications of interest to volunteer at its 2016 Benefit Impact at the Mangere Work and Income, on Tuesday 5, Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 April.

During this Impact AAAP, in conjunction with advocates from around the North Island, aim to provide one-on-one advocacy to over 500 beneficiaries and low paid workers from Mangere and the wider Auckland area to ensure they are receiving their full legal welfare entitlements.

The group aims to work with approximately 50 advocates plus other volunteers each day to provide first class advocacy. They would like to invite you to register your interest in volunteering as either an advocate, runner, political worker or supporter/food/catering (see attached for role descriptions). The Ministry of Social Development will put on approximately 20 staff each day to cope with the influx.

This will be the fourth Impact event that AAAP has hosted. It hosted the first Impact ever held in the Auckland region at the Onehunga Work and Income office in December 2012. In 2013 at New Lynn Work and Income 257 people were supported to access their full and correct benefit entitlements, and in 2014 in Mangere they worked with over 500 people. This would not have been possible without support from advocates and other volunteers who came to Auckland from as far away as Dunedin to support this event.

AAAP’s ongoing work continues to uncover the real and persistent need for further advocacy throughout Auckland. It aims to work with as many people this year in an attempt to address some of this ongoing need – especially in light of the appalling effects of this government’s welfare reforms.

 Volunteers are asked to donate 1 day of their time at a minimum. If you are interested in volunteering on this event, please register your interest by emailing the AAAP Coordinator, Sarah, on [email protected]. Sarah will then be in touch with further information. Please note, for various reasons we will not be able to take on all of those who register their interest to volunteer. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Basic Income New Zealand (BINZ)

Basic Income New Zealand came into being early 2015 as a direct consequence of two talks by Professor Guy Standing given at a Humanist, Rationalist and Skeptics conference held at Havelock North on February 14 and 15. Professor Standing spoke about his most recent work and the concept of The Precariat and his latest book ‘A Precariat Charter’. The Precariat Charter lists 29 articles all seeking to restructure society into one where all citizens may live fulfilling lives.

Article 25 of the Precariat Charter specifically asks for a Universal Unconditional Basic Income which, as the name suggests, means that all citizens, including children, receive a regular payment, without any strings attached, adequate for all regular living expenses.

There are a number of proposals with regard to payment levels and sources of capital and a good picture can be gathered from visiting the websites of the now numerous organisations worldwide promoting UBI. The New Zealand BINZ website can be found at www.basicincomenz.org  The website has links to BIEN, the Basic Income Earth Network, which in turn gives access to many other national organisations.

I refer you to Article 25 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

What do we do to reduce Inequality.

By promoting UBI we seek to make all New Zealanders aware that this is a real possibility.

Trials have been conducted in many parts of the world and invariably the outcomes were positive and the benefits huge.

Not only will there be a reduction in poverty but also all the social consequences of people living more dignified lives. Once awareness of UBI is widespread and work opportunity dwindles due to automation and corporate greed, the people of New Zealand may be ready to insist the government of the day implements UBI similar to what is happening in many other countries.

Not only will this reduce Inequality, it will also have great positive consequences in health, education, social interaction, crime and imprisonment, mental health and many more.

Contact:

Interim Secretary, Gaylene Middleton:  [email protected]

Interim Treasurer and membership Secretary, Karl Matthys: [email protected]

 

Poverty Action Waikato report on nurture and neglect

Poverty Action Waikato is undertaking research to develop a 2015/16 “Window on Waikato Poverty” report. The focus of this report is to develop understandings of the experiences of neglect and nurture in our communities.

Neglect and nurture are experienced in different ways across our society. When society, communities and individuals neglect to care for one another this has devastating consequences. Babies, children and young people often suffer the most from neglect. This suffering can impact their whole life journey. Without opportunities for healing and restoration, experiences of neglect can result in further suffering. When the nurture of our most vulnerable populations and the care of one another is prioritised by individuals, communities and society, flourishing and wellbeing are enabled.

Our research will provide social services and community with the information that will support advocacy for a future where poverty and neglect are not tolerated and all people are supported to live flourishing lives. We are talking with people in Social Service agencies about the ways they observe and experience both neglect and nurture operating in their communities and gathering some up-to-date regional statistics.

This research is supported by the Social Development Division of the Hamilton City Council. A summary of findings will be presented to Hamilton City Council in February 2016 followed by the final report which will be a public document.

Young women’s mental health survey

The Mental health Foundation is doing a survey to research project focusing on young women. This is part of the research phase of a potential new project which will focus on positive mental health and wellbeing information for young women aged 18-24, who have no children.

As part of the initial scoping phase of this project, the foundation is conducting a short survey to find out how young women get help when they’re feeling down, what types of resources and information would be most useful, and the best way to reach them with this information.

The online survey is at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MSNXX6C . The survey closes on Friday January 29th  2016. All those who participate and choose to leave their first name and contact details will go in the draw to win one of three Dr. Hauschka Harmony kits.

If there are any queries regarding the survey, please email [email protected].

Latest Child Poverty Monitor shocks

The latest Child Poverty Monitor has provoked widespread coverage with its figures showing 305,000 or 29% of New Zealand children live in income poverty, two-thirds of them for long periods of time.

The report has also prompted debate about the nature and causes of poverty, and has launched the ‘It’s Not Choice’ campaign.

The Child Poverty Action Group welcomed the release of the report, a collaboration between the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, Otago University’s New Zealand Child and Youth Epidemiology Service and the JR McKenzie Trust.
The Child Poverty Monitor shows child poverty is now significantly worse
than the 1980s. In 1985 the percentage of children in families experiencing relative after housing costs income poverty was 15%. Now it is 29%.
CPAG spokesperson Assoc Prof Michael O’Brien said, “New Zealand has the power to change the dreadful statistics revealed by this report right now, with committed leadership.  Children are far more likely to experience poverty than retired people.  We have excellent policies in place to support older people and could do the same for children.”

 

However, Auckland Action Against Poverty’s Sue Bradford warned that: “Nothing will change until those in power take poverty seriously.”

More Wellington staff get Living Wage

Wellington City councillors have voted to pay their low-paid security guards employed via contractors the Living Wage. The step towards becoming a Living Wage council was voted for 9-6 by councillors last month and was overwhelmingly supported when it went out for consultation in the 2014 Annual Plan process.

Sadly the Wellington Chamber of Commerce has announced it will take legal action to try and stop the council paying.

“The Chamber seems determined to do everything they can to keep these workers on poverty rates, ignore the overwhelming support of  Wellingtonians for the Living Wage and to spend a lot of money on pointless litigation,” said Living Wage Wellington spokesperson Reverend Brian Dawson.

 “Councillors should be applauded for wanting to provide the best services to the people of Wellington, and not just because it’s the right thing to do. There is plenty of international evidence showing that paying the Living Wage leads to more productive workers, higher morale and lower turnover.”

Support the Make My Future Fair Campaign

Organisations campaigning for greater equality are urged to support UNICEF New Zealand’s new child rights campaign, called ‘Make My Future Fair’/ Meinga tōku āmua kia tika.

Make My Future Fair is a call for all New Zealanders to stand up for our children. It uses an interactive website to tell the story of New Zealand’s record on children’s rights, focused on health, education, violence, youth justice and family – at FairFuture.nz

“Every child in our country is a citizen with rights, needing special protection. Through Make My Future Fair, New Zealanders will be able to explore how well New Zealand is doing to uphold children’s rights and how this is impacting in real ways on children’s wellbeing,” said UNICEF NZ Advocacy Manager, Deborah Morris-Travers.

Rights are the foundation of a well-functioning society and economy for every nation and New Zealand is no different. The upholding of rights leads to collective progress for all citizens. Not realising these rights can lead to long term negative consequences for individual citizens, especially children.

“We know there are high levels of public concern about issues impacting on children. At the same time there is an unprecedented government focus on children, with the potential to deliver real improvements in wellbeing if coordinated and underpinned by a child rights approach. We have brought together some critical information about the issues and solutions to inspire and challenge all New Zealanders to maintain a focus on our nation’s children and take action.

“When people visit FairFuture.nz the first thing they will see are statements children have made about their life in New Zealand. Through videos and other content, users will be able to learn more about the issues and how they can take action at home, in their own community and by writing to government ministers and MPs to urge them to prioritise children.

“22 years on, it is time for New Zealand to step up to its obligations under UNCROC to ensure fair treatment so that every child is healthy, educated, safe and able to fully participate in our society. This is about ensuring our children have great childhoods and grow to be healthy adults who can contribute to a future we can be proud of,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.

Carols for WCC cleaners

It’s going to be another tough Christmas for Wellington City Council cleaners, whose pay rates are little more than the minimum wage. Living Wage Wellington invites you to join us for Christmas carols at Wellington City Council, to support council cleaners and call for them all to be paid a Living Wage.

Some of the St Andrews Singers will lead us in song, and Deputy Mayor Justin Lester will host us and take our message back to Wellington City Council.

Wear a Living Wage T shirt (or red, if you don’t have one) and lend your voice for our wonderful cleaners this Christmas.

Tuesday 15 December,  12.30-1pm

Wellington City Council foyer (Wakefield Street)

Auckland ‘Equal Pay Day’ rally

Tues 10 Nov is equal pay day – 14% from the end of the year, which is how much less the average woman earns compared to the average man. It’s the day New Zealand women start working for free for the rest of the year. More info from [email protected]

Join us on the lawn at 360 Queen St, 12.15pm to 12.45pm, Tues Nov 10, for spirited speeches, funny woman Michele A’Court and a message to the Mayor.

Join the Pay Equity Coalition Auckland in marking this day and starting to balance up pay rates in our city. 122 years since NZ women got the vote and our journey to equal pay has slowed down. For the 2nd year running we are still 14% behind on average hourly income.

The time has come – for our Mayor and his Council to lead Auckland employers in paying 100% for the work Auckland women do – pay the job not the gender.