GPJA #463 (Part 1/3): What’s On and some announcements (18/5/13)

GLOBAL PEACE AND JUSTICE AUCKLAND NEWSLETTER No. 463, May 19, 2013

WHAT’S ON IN AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND

Sunday, May 19, 1pm Piha Surf Club, 15 Seaview Rd, Piha. Located in the Piha Domain, the entrance is near the Lagoon.
Protect Our Beaches, Stop Deep Sea Drilling! Auckland Campaign Launch: The National Government has recently announced plans to allow deep sea drilling off the West Coast of Auckland. Just imagine an oil spill washing up on our iconic West Coast beaches like Piha. If we had a leak from a deep sea oil rig, the damage to our environment, economy and reputation would be catastrophic. On Sunday, the Green Party will launch a new campaign to protect our beaches from deep sea drilling and we’d love for you to be involved. Please join our speakers Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei, Gareth Hughes MP & special guests, current NZ Surfing champion Mischa Davis & Kiwi rowing legend Rob Hamill. We will not stand by and let the Government take this risk with our beaches and we hope you won’t either. http://www.facebook.com/events/367115153399059/

Sunday, May 19, 2pm, Maritime Museum, Corner of Hobson Street and Quay Street, Viaduct Auckland
Te Roopu Wahine Toko I Te Ora Māori Women’s Welfare League Ngākau Atawhai Branch proudly presents WAI 262 & FRIENDS URGENT FUNDRAISER. “Honouring our Tipuna on what they began & securing the future for our Tamariki”. We are fundraising to support two delegates Maanu Paul & Hema Broad to attend the Global Indigenous Preparatory Conference 2013, Norway for the UN World Indigenous Conference on Indigenous People 2014 tinabarclay or text/phone 027 698 5899. Account name: NGAKAU ATAWHAI – MWWL Account number: 38-9009-0163157-01

Monday, May 20, 7.30pm, Peace Palace, 22 Emily Place, Auckland.
Screening the second of our series of short films from the ‘Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream’ Symposium from the Pachamamma Alliance. ‘How did we get Here?’. For more information go to Come even if you missed the first part! Free/ Koha. The third part will screen Monday, 17th June

Tuesday, May 21, 10am, “The Parlour”, Pitt Street Methodist Church, 78 Pitt Street, (just off K Rd), Auckland
Gambling Laws Not for Sale! A Community Leaders Forum: Support Metiria Turei, Denise Roche & community leaders as they speak about why the Government’s convention centre for pokies deal with SkyCity should not go ahead. Sign & share the Green Party’s online petition opposing the Government’s convention centre for pokies deal with SkyCity at http://www.greens.org.nz/gambling/gambling-laws-not-sale Download the hard copy petition opposing the Government’s convention centre for pokies deal with SkyCity from http://www.greens.org.nz/petitions/gambling-laws-not-sale and start collecting signatures. Completed forms can be sent to Denise Roche MP, Freepost Parliament, Private Bag 18888, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160.

Wednesday, May 22, 12.30pm-1.30pm, N614 Epsom Campus.
A Conversation with Visiting Professor Nancy Jackson – Critical Studies in Education, University of Auckland. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear an important Canadian critical theorist and activist. Nancy’s bio below: “My own background is technically ‘critical sociology of education’ … but I have focussed my attention for 25 yrs on the adult sector. A lot of my work has focussed on questions around work/labour, especially questions about how work gets ‘framed’ by those who manage it and define it for education/training purposes, and whose interests prevail in all this. I have always promoted popular and participatory approaches to learning and indeed to research. For the past decade I have been doing critical work around the rise of adult literacy as the object of international policy making, and the resulting tensions with the world of practice, in both community and workplace contexts. I am a feminist, post-structuralist with marxist roots. I have been a labour, anti-racist, anti-colonial activist in community settings during all of my academic career. I am saddened by the ravages of neo-liberalism, both inside and outside of the academy. I started at the university in the heady days of the 1970’s activist movements; I have retired at the end of 2012, hoping to spend more time returning to activist pursuits.”

Wednesday, May 22, 7pm, Kinder House, 2 Ayr Street, Parnell (cnr Ayr St & Parnell Rd), Auckland
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF NEW ZEALAND (INC) Presentation by Mr Christopher Woodthorpe Director, United Nations Information Centre for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. You are warmly invited to a talk by Mr Christopher Woodthorpe, from the UNIC based in Canberra, on Wednesday 22 May at Kinder House, 2 Ayr Street, Parnell (cnr Ayr St & Parnell Rd). The presentation will begin at 7 pm and is entitled, ” The UN in our daily lives”

Friday, May 24, 6pm, Room WG 808, 8th floor, Sir Paul Reeves Building, AUT City campus
To mark International Women’s Day for Peace & Disarmament 24 May WILPF is screening I Came to Testify. When the Balkans exploded into war in the 1990s, reports that tens of thousands of women were being systemati-cally raped as a tactic of ethnic cleansing captured the international spotlight. I Came to Testify is the moving story of how a group of 16 women who had been impris-oned by Serb-led forces in the Bosnian town of Foca broke history’s great silence – and stepped forward to take the witness stand in an international court of law. www.wilpf.org.nz

Monday, May 27, 6pm, Mezzanine Meeting room of the Wellington Central Library
Public meeting on the illegal surveillance by the GCSB. You are warmly invited to a public meeting to discuss the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), the illegal surveillance it conducted, the law change being made to legalise its unlawful activities and the role of the GCSB in the US global surveillance network. Speakers: Nicky Hager, Keith Locke & Michael Bott (NZ Council for Civil Liberties). Organised by OASIS http://oasisfromsurveillance.blogspot.co.nz/

Tuesday, May 28, 7pm, Room OGGB4, lowest level of the Owen Glen building, University of Auckland
FREE CLIMATE DOUBLE FEATURE: aucklandcoalaction

Saturday, June 8, 2pm, SGINZ Buddhist Community Centre, 40 Eaglehurst Rd, Ellerslie.
Auckland Peace City – Nuclear Free New Zealand Annual event. Featuring our Mayor for Peace – Len Brown. We are celebrating the DVD launch of the ‘Auckland Peace City & Nuclear Free New Zealand’ produced by Nikki Wood and Laurie Ross. Very suitable for highschool students and everyone who cares about protecting our world. It will be interesting, entertaining and provides a positive focus of wholesome national and civic pride in our collective achievement. (It is a fabulous historic record of the people who participated in our Aotea Square event last year.) PLUS, the Peace Foundation will introduce the ‘Auckland Peace City Toolkit’ of projects suitable for community groups and Local Boards to implement for the on going process of nurturing the Peace City culture. EVERYONE WELCOME. (circulate as you wish). Warm regards Laurie Ross

Sunday, June 16, 7.30pm, Thirsty Dog Pub, Karangahape Rd, Auckland
BLOOMSDAY (Enter Bella Cohen, great heaving transvestite dominatrix with snappy glasses.) BELLA COHEN: Do you know who I am? No, I’m not Aaron! I am Jenny Shipley! Love me like a Chinese corporation! Climb into bed with my fellow Hong Kong shysters! Roll in the lucre of my fraudulent, money-laundering associates! I’m Jenny the Dosh, former Prime Minister, powerful face of free trade, quick profits and the modern National Party. I am Crafar Farms, I am Genesis Power, I am Mainzeal Properties, I am the successful Tory politician, multiple directorships coming out my bum each worth 80 grand a year, my little piggy trotters greasy with travel perks and all Ihave to do is turn up and shove my slobbery snout in the swilling trough! Snorrrk, snorrrk, snorrrk! I am Bill Birch at Dorchester, I am Doug Graham at Lombard, I am John Luxton at Blue Chip. . . I am 21st century New Zealand! (SINGS) “E Ihoa Atua…” So, down, down! I’m Shanghai L’il and I’m in for the kill!
Bloomsday! With James Joyce, Noelle McCarthy, Joe Carolan, Michael Hurst, Liesha Ward-Knox, Rick Bryant, Yuko Takahashi, Brian Keegan, Linn Lorkin, Chris Trotter, the Jews Brothers Band, Farrell Cleary… Great story, great music, great jokes, great characters! … including Joe Carolan as The Sinn Feiner Citizen! The best show in town! The only Hiberno-Hebrew Bloomsday in the known world!

June 22-23, (Day 1 venue TBA), Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall.
National Conference on Palestine:

JOIN THE 2013 SOLIDARITY BRIGADE TO VENEZUELA – DECEMBER 4-13, 2013
Witness a people’s revolution in action. The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s 14th international solidarity brigade to Venezuela this December is a very special opportunity to observe, learn about and be inspired by the Bolivarian revolution that is transforming Latin America and challenging the greed and exploitation of global capitalism by showing that a better world is possible.
Since 1998, when the late Hugo Chavez was first elected president, the Bolivarian revolution has achieved remarkable things by putting control of Venezuela’s politics and economy back into the hands of the poor majority. Despite the challenges created by Chavez’s death last March and the right-wing’s campaign to undermine new President Nicolas Maduro, this people-power driven revolution continues to flourish and defy all attempts by the imperialism-backed opposition to destroy it.
The brigade itinerary is being planned in consultation with our partners in Venezuela, but during the 10-day visit, participants will:
– visit social missions, communal councils and communes, as well as production cooperatives, public health and education services, sustainable development projects, community controlled media stations, and women’s and Indigenous organisations and projects; and
– meet with a wide range of grassroots organisations, community activists, trade unions and government representatives to learn more about the “socialism of the 21st century” being created by the Venezuelan people; and
– spend time in the capital, Caracas, and travel to a regional area of Venezuela.
Brigade registration and costs
The registration deadline for the 2013 brigade is September 1, 2013. Accommodation, transport within Venezuela and English-Spanish translation throughout the brigade will be organised for all participants by the AVSN.
Participants will need to book their own international airfares. Please do not purchase your tickets before the registration deadline of September 1.
In addition to your international airfare, you will need to budget for approximately $1200. This will cover your brigade registration fee ($500 for waged workers or $350 for students/pensioners), and your food, transport and (shared) accommodation in Venezuela.
To register or for more information: EMAIL: brigades
www.venezuelasolidarity.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS

HELP FIGHT THE INJUSTICE OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST 230,000 CHILDREN

Please support CPAG’s legal challenge in the Court of Appeal: Why are so few older people materially deprived? The answer, very simply, is that governments have implemented policies to minimise deprivation among the elderly. By contrast, New Zealand society has chosen to tolerate significant child deprivation. We could choose otherwise.

Professor Jonathon Boston, Co-Chair, Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group on Child Poverty.

On the 28th and 29th CPAG will be at the Court of Appeal aiming to ensure the government takes accountability for policies that are discriminating against our most vulnerable children.

We have seen negligible political progress on reducing child poverty since the introduction of Working for Families. We argue that the design of that programme has got a lot to answer for in the perpetuation of child poverty in many families. When so many low income families are systemically left out of provisions designed to reduce poverty it is no wonder that we see the distress in our communities.

At CPAG we believe private charity alone cannot solve this problem and that major changes to government policy are needed.

The Working for Families package has been widely criticised for the speed at which it was passed into law and the lack of transparency around its development – there was no public consultation – no green paper, no white paper, no select committee process and it was passed into law in one day. No account was taken of the 230,000 children who would miss out, despite New Zealand’s human rights commitments to protect all children.

Under the UN declaration on Human Rights -everyone has the right to social security measures such as family assistance payments to the caregiver aimed at reducing poverty. Maori and Pacific Island children miss out disproportionately so the policy is also racially discriminating in outcome.

In particular, a specific component of Working for Families – the In Work Tax Credit, a child-related family assistance payment, unfairly discriminates against 230,000 of our poorest children. This adversely affects the children of those not in paid work meaning that these children – through no fault of their own – do not receive the same financial support as others. Children of beneficiaries have the right to be treated like all other low-income children. But it is not only beneficiaries’ children. As low income families lose hours of work through the troubling redundancies we are seeing or by losing work in the earthquake, their children become un-entitled to this very significant payment, even when no benefit is being accessed.

Worse the caregiver in these families can get bills from IRD for any overpayment made during this time. Some families may eke out an existence for weeks before going on a benefit and they may then find they are charged for overpayment as they were not meeting the hours of work rule for the IWTC.

In the UK, the- per child per week tax credit is now separated from work incentives. In Australia, all low income children are treated the same, making their system much more effective than ours in reducing child poverty. We did that too until this element of the undeserving poor crept in, first in 1996 and then intensified in 2006 under working for families.

A child’s needs don’t change just because the work status of their parent does. As you know, the extra $60+ per week the family misses out on currently could make a huge difference to their well-being. Since 2006 around $3 billion dollars has been denied to the poorest families- it is no wonder we are seeing such distress.

We are committed to this cause and have been pursuing the issue in the courts since 2008. We argue that this policy discriminates against children on the basis of their parents’ work status, which is prohibited under the Human Rights Act. Our case has reached the Court of and will be heard 28th and 29th of May in Wellington.

The ability to challenge the government has set a precedent because it affirms the right of non-government organizations to challenge policy on human rights grounds, on behalf of others, without the organizations having to be directly affected by discrimination.

CPAG hopes that by informing people of the need for this action we will see an increase in the calls for change. The government needs to feel the pressure. We are determined to work towards giving ALL children a chance at a healthy and bright future and hope that we can have your support.

Yours faithfully

Susan St John, QSO

Economics Spokesperson for CPAG

027 5364 536

Further information about the case and our appeal is also available at http://www.cpag.org.nz/infocus/

Join us on Facebook

Our guiding principle is the right of every child in New Zealand to

Security, food, shelter, education and healthcare

HIDDEN AGENDAS: WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TPPA, THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT BY JANE KELSEY

In this short e-book, Professor Jane Kelsey says ‘despite the dearth of official documentation that has been released, we have pieced together information from diverse sources, to reveal a disturbing picture of what the TPPA could mean for our nations and communities. It remains enormously frustrating that our governments continue to hide behind a self-imposed veil of secrecy and refuse to conduct a comprehensive analysis that weighs their expected benefits against the predicted downsides, or even publicly debate the agreement’s implications. This e-book aims to help fill that void, as did No Ordinary Deal:Unmasking the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement, also published by Bridget Williams Books, in 2010.’ Available direct from www.bwb.co.nz and from major retailers including Amazon, Kobo and eBooks.com

COROMANDEL: NO MINING REGATTA MAY 18TH

Kia ora koutou, My name is Ruby and I am emailing from Coromandel Watchdog. We are currently working on a campaign which is focused on preventing a prospecting permit granted in the Schedule Four conservation area of the Coromandel Harbour going ahead. At the center of our campaign is a No Mining Regatta to be held on May the 18th. Our aim is to send a clear message to this government and the mining companies that they are not welcome to mine the Coromandel. It will draw attention to the fact that Schedule Four conservation land is not safe from the threat of mining and support the right to protest peacefully at sea and on land.

The event has two aspects, at sea and on land. A flotilla will navigate along the seaward border of the prospecting permit, coming to anchor in front of Wyuna Bay. On the beach at Wyuna Bay there will be a land based event which will include speeches from Catherine Delahunty and Bunny McDiarmid. As the boats move into the waters in front of Wyuna Bay, kayakers and surfers from the beach will join them.

We don’t want this day to be all about saying NO. As a part of our setup we will have a display board where we will put up information about environmentally and economically sensible directions we can move in. Would you help us put this together by sending us any information and research you think may be relevant?

It would be wonderful to have you with us on the day, with your boats, kayaks, surfboards or banners and if you could send through any contributions to our solutions board.

If you are interested in supporting us by either coming along and having some fun, helping with preparations for the display/research board, or if you would like more details about the day please get in contact with me at ruby

If you wish to discuss media for the day so that we are all on the same page and can maximise our effectiveness please talk to our coordinator and spokesperson Renee Annan whose contacts are below.

I have attached two documents: a copy of our poster/invite that we would hugely appreciate being spread far and wide; and the invite for captains in case you have any friends with boats.

All the best, Ruby, Campaign Coordinator, Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki

m: 0221027414 / e: ruby / Facebook Event

MARCH AGAINST MONSANTO – SATURDAY MAY 25

Together we will unite and march against the monster that is Monsanto. New Zealand is one of the last countries without GMOs but this isn’t going to last long if Monsanto have their way. We need to let our fellow Kiwis know the dangers of genetically modified foods before it is too late.

We need to get as many people involved as possible for this to be a success. We need farmers, organisations that promote organic food or anyone who is for GMO labelling.

We need banners, flyers, stickers, bullhorns, anything that can alert people to the cause. If you can help out with any of the above please post on the wall or message directly.

If we all do our bit, this march will help raise awareness of the dangers we all face and start waking people up to the curse on this planet that is Monsanto.

We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison. That’s why we March Against Monsanto.

CURRENT NZ MARCH LOCATIONS

Auckland https://www.facebook.com/events/168932459932934/

Christchurch https://www.facebook.com/events/257378607742003/

Wellington https://www.facebook.com/events/589013124456893/

New Plymouth https://www.facebook.com/events/364155907021803/?ref=3

Nelson https://www.facebook.com/events/128929110628000/?ref=22

Rotorua https://www.facebook.com/events/264719693671906/

Tauranga https://www.facebook.com/events/514056908629667/

NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PALESTINE

Kia Ora Koutou supporters of Palestine Aotearoa wide. This is an open call to be involved in organising the countries FIRST EVER national conference on the question of Palestine and building an organised, coordinated BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement with long-term goals/ strategy to ensure our institutions and companies are not complicit in allowing Israel to profit off its brutal occupation. This call comes a result of interest in Wellington, and recent discussions at the most recent BDS Auckland meeting where many groups/parties in attendance expressed their support for the idea.

The suggested conference date June the 22-23rd in Auckland as the planning of a large speaking event featuring Israeli writer Miko Peled and Gazaan Yousef AlJamal is underway. Some people may need to make travel arrangements so it would be good to confirm this asap.

We want to see a democratic network with involvement from all NZ’s Palestine groups. If you are interested in making such an event happen and contributing to the korero, in a big, or small, way then please register your interest by sending an email to bdsaotearoa. We are looking for representatives from all groups to be a part of an organising committee and others to be involved in helping out.

Some inspiration:

Further information on the call for BDS made by Palestinian civil society in 20:http://www.bdsmovement.net/call

Please feel free to send this email on to other activists and advocates who may be interested in being a part of the organising committee.

In Solidarity, Nadia (SJP Wellington) and Tali (Kia Ora Gaza)

INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS: A SHORT COURSE FOR JOBS AND WELFARE ACTIVISTS – April 10 – July 17

Auckland Action Against Poverty invites members and supporters to join us:

Introduction to economics: a short course for jobs and welfare activists.

This series of eight workshops will be held from 6.00pm – 8.00pm at our AAAP office, 86 Princes St, Onehunga.

Snacks and drinks will be available from 5.40pm before each session begins.

This course is not academic. It is aimed at people who are taking part in advocacy and action on jobs and welfare, and would like to understand a little more about economics, and about the kinds of solutions that AAAP supports, as opposed to those inflicted on us by neoliberal governments.

You are welcome to come to one, some or all of the workshops – but we ask you to register with us at contact by Tuesday 2 April for the first four sessions.

There is no charge for the workshops, but a small donation from those who feel in a position to contribute would be appreciated.

Part (a) Economics for beginners

1. The Economy and Me – looking at our own lives through the lens of ‘economics’. Starting to identify and understand some key concepts. Wednesday 10 April.

2. The Economy and Economics – introducing more key terms, with an update on recent critical developments in the global and local scene. Tuesday 23 April.

3. The Government’s Budget May 16 – what are budgets? – how do they work? What do we need to look out for on Budget Day from the point of view of beneficiaries, unemployed people and low wage workers? Wednesday 8 May.

4. Unemployment – an overview. Historical context, why it exists, how capitalism uses it to maximise profit at the expense of us all, paid workers, unemployed workers and beneficiaries alike. Wednesday 22 May.

(b) Economics – Current issues. This second part of the programme is aimed at those who attended the first sessions, as well as others who may already have a grasp of basic economics, but who would like to take part in learning and discussion around these particular issues.

5. Welfare policies, paid work and unemployment – how these interact with each other from an economic perspective. Wednesday 5 June.

6. Universal Basic Income – what is it? What might a progressive version of UBI look like in 2013? Introduction and discussion. Wednesday 19 June.

7. Decent Job Creation – in our current situation and beyond – key concepts, ideas, challenges. Wednesday 3 July.

8. Challenging capitalism – beyond reforms within the system, looking forward to an economics as if ordinary people and the environment mattered. Wednesday 17 July.

For more information, contact AAAP contact Ph 634 0591

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