What’s on in Aotearoa/NZ (19/08/15): Farewell Cuban Ambassador Sat 7pm

WHAT’S ON IN AOTEAROA

Thursday, August 20, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby

Civic Society and the role of the NGOs – Kim McGregor, Richard Northey & Priyanca Radhakrishnan – AKL – 20th August
The political struggle for survival of NGOs is getting as tough as their financial plight. NGOs, the people who work in them and those that manage them, continue to work under a reminder to not bite the hand that’s feeds them! They work busy and stressed lives, going the extra yards to make a difference in other people’s lives but fully aware there is so much more that could be done. Historically, our most effective voluntary agencies have been those that have researched and spoken out for the needs of their clients to achieve policy change.
NGOs are critical in the life of a democracy. They responding to need, observe the impact of social and economic policy and make the plight of people and communities known. They point out the poor patterns of health and justice operating in our society and economy and they inform public debate. Their comments will challenge the inertia and complacency of the dominant and privileged. They will make submissions to proposed legislation and to policy proposals and rebut moves that would undermine the lives of communities.
In this way NGOs bring credible content to sustain the wellbeing of society systematically and effectively putting up the narratives and stories that some want to keep out of the public sphere. We have seen funding cuts made because organisations have been too vocal and ‘reviews’ instigated into the scope of social service activities as code for curtailing the way social services influence public debate. Staff, acting with all their professionalism, have been told they are not to speak!
We are thrilled to bring you a line-up that can make this point and defend the scope for free speech.
You can read more and register for this Auckland event here.

Thursday, August 20, 12-5pm, Mt Eden War Memorial Hall, 487 Dominion Rd, Balmoral, Auckland
For the past 20 years, Shakti Community Council has been the national ethnic-specialist organisation providing leading work around safety of women and children, domestic violence intervention services and community prevention initiatives in Asian, African and Middle Eastern communities in New Zealand. From the modest start in Auckland in 1995, Shakti has now established 7 organisations (including 5 refuges and 9 other centres) throughout New Zealand. In 2011, spurred by requests and demands for our culturally specialist services in Australia, Shakti took a leap across the Tasman, and set up service centres in Melbourne and Sydney. Most recently, we launched the first multi-lingual and ethnically-specialist toll-free crisis line in Australia.
Across the other side of the globe, a seeding project has begun in Bangladesh. A group of local women as well as women from the Bangladeshi community in New Zealand is working together to establish a support group in Dhaka.
We are confident that we will be able to follow the same successful trajectory in Australia and the rest of the world, leading to better safety outcomes for women and children from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Therefore the time has come for us to celebrate a major milestone – our total of 20 years of having serviced vulnerable migrant and refugee ethnic communities in New Zealand and Australia. It is also time to celebrate the freedom and empowerment women and children have gained through Shakti’s support; to celebrate the social impact that we have made as an ethnic organisation as well as inter-generational social change. We look forward to seeing you there!
Please RSVP to sfsss or call 09 262 0487 by 11th August, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 7pm, The Peace Palace, 22 Emily Place, Auckland City
The Peace Place invites you to join us for the talk Pilgrimage to the Unholy Land – reflections on a recent visit to Bethlehem.
This talk will be given by Kevin and Barbara McBride and Mike and Liz Beazley, two couples who recently attended the 70th anniversary of Pax Christi in Bethlehem (13 – 17 May 2015).
During their visit they were exposed to the current situation in what we are used to calling "The Holy Land". But what they saw in places like Hebron, Jericho and the Palestinian villages of the West Bank was far from holy. Instead they witnessed the daily oppression of military occupation and the unrelenting assimilation of traditional Palestinian villages,grazing lands, plantations and city environments into Israeli settlements and military reserves.
They also shared time and experience with Christian volunteers, Israeli opponents of their government’s policies (such as ‘Breaking the Silence’) and Palestinian townspeople and villagers striving to develop and maintain non-violent resistance to their exclusion from the right to control their own lives and future.
In addition, they saw how Israeli control of water and land resources is being used against traditional land-owners in a very fragile ecological environment and how the land-owners are resisting this.

Maria Del Carmen (right)

Saturday, August 22, 7pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Auckland farewell for the Cuban Ambassador Maria Del Carmen. Complimentary Mojitos and Music

Monday, August 24, 12-30pm to 1-30pm, Conference Room 1, Third Floor, St Andrew’s, 30 The Terrace, Wellington
Banning nuclear weapons, killer robots, and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. A humanitarian disarmament forum with:
– Thomas Nash, Director, Article 36
– Marnie Lloydd, International Humanitarian Law and Policy Manager, New Zealand Red Cross
– Edwina Hughes, Coordinator, Peace Movement Aotearoa
BYO lunch, tea / coffee will be provided. The A4 poster for the forum is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/forum240815.pdf
Organised by Peace Movement Aotearoa, contact pma RSVP: www.facebook.com/PeaceMovementAotearoa/events

Links – Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/events/855372624515923 – A4 poster, http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/forum240815.pdf

Tuesday, August 25, 4.30-5.30pm, WA Conference Centre, AUT Univercity City Campus, L2 WA Building, 55 Wellesley St, Auckland
Human Rights and Human Wrongs in NZ with Prof Judy McGregor

Thursday, August 27, 9.30am, Where:At Auckland Town Hall Council Chamber, Auckland City
Save Ihumatao, Mangere from SHA. Cost: $18 per person for Breakfast and meeting. Please come and show community support for SOUL (Save Our Unique Landscape), as the Auckland Council Governing Body will be voting to request the Housing Minister revoke the Special Housing Area (SHA) status for a high density housing development adjacent to the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve, Mangere. We need to stop 500 houses being built on the slopes of Pukeiti, sacred maunga to the people of Ihumatao and the site of sacred burial caves. For more information please visit http://www.soulstopsha.org/

Thursday, August 27, 5.30pm, The Backbencher Pub, 34 Molesworth St, Thorndon, Wellington
Wellington housing campaign event: Build momentum for better housing for our children. Please join us at a special Wellington CPAG event on 27 August to support CPAG’s housing campaign. Featuring: Master Puppeteer, Norbert Hausberg and Wellington musician Nigel Parry.
Please RSVP* to admin. *places are very limited so get in quick!

Friday, August 28, 6pm, Rawene Centre in Birkenhead, Northshore, Auckland

Bryan Bruce child poverty talks in Auckland and Dunedin. In 2015 the Quakers have been hosting events around the country with Bryan Bruce speaking on child poverty. Bryan Bruce is the author and maker of documentaries such as Inside Child Poverty and Mind the Gap. He will discuss the growing inequality in NZ society and how it impacts on our children. Bryan Bruce will be talking in both Auckland and Dunedin over August and October.

Friday, August 28, 6.30pm – 8.30pm Caseroom1, Level 0, Owen G Glenn Building, Auckland University

Bassem Eid – ‘Can the plight of Palestinian rights and justice be resolved by the UN and international level initiatives?’. You are invited to a seminar by Bassem Eid, a human rights activist, political analyst and commentator on Palestinian domestic affairs, at the University of Auckland. Born in Jerusalem, Bassem spent the first 33 years of his life in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Shuafat refugee camp. He became a prominent figure during the Palestinian uprising from 1987 to1993 as senior field researcher for B’Tselem, the Israeli information centre for human rights in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. His views are based on years of systematic research of Palestinians, including during the 2014 fighting in Gaza. He speaks about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement and discusses why Europeans stopped funding his Palestinian NGO. You can read more and register for this Auckland event here.

Monday, August 31, 7pm, St Mathew in the City, Auckland
Is Housing a Human Right: Sponsored by CPAG, Auckland Interfaith Council, Islamic Studies Research.

August 31 to September 2
Beating the Big End of Town: How a Community Defeated the East-West Toll Road
Christchurch – Monday, August 31, 7.30pm, WEA, 59 Gloucester Street
Wellington – Tuesday, September 1, 6.30pm, FIRST Union Office, Level 5 Fraser House, 160 Willis Street
Auckland – Wednesday, September 2, 6.30pm FIRST Union Office, 120 Church Street, Onehunga
Anthony Main, one of the spokespeople of the 2014 Melbourne community campaign, will tour his new book ‘Beating the Big End of Town’; an account of the successful struggle that stopped one of the world’s biggest infrastructure projects….

Not only did the campaign stop a destructive toll road but it also helped bring down a Liberal state government in the process. If allowed to go ahead the East-West Link would have demolished hundreds of properties, ruined historic parks and seen billions of taxpayer dollars handed over to private corporations. Thanks to people standing up, organising and protesting it was stopped in its tracks.

Come along to discuss with activists and celebrate a significant example of people power!

The East-West toll road was going to be one of the largest infrastructure projects in Australian history. Its defeat – and the Napthine government’s simultaneous fall from power – defined the 2014 state election and undoubtedly altered the course of Victoria’s future.

But how did a multi-billion dollar infrastructure project – supported and promoted by the major parties, big business and the media – come to be seen by Victorians as a despised rort that had to be stopped? This is the question media commentators and establishment politicians – many of them previous supporters of the East West toll road – have been trying unconvincingly to answer in the months since the election.

Socialist Party writer Anthony Main was one of the main leaders of the community pickets against the project. His new book ‘Beating the big end of town: How a Community defeated the East-West toll road’ provides the strongest answer yet to this question.

Tracing the community campaign against the East-West toll road from its modest beginnings to its dramatic heights and hard won victory, Main provides a colourful account of the forces at play within and without the campaign, the victories and setbacks that defined it, and the politics that competed for strategic dominance of the campaign’s direction.

More than simply a blow-by-blow description of events as they unfolded, ‘Beating the big end of town’ puts the dispute firmly in the political and economic context of contemporary Australia. Big business, with its relentless pursuit of profits, absolutely dominates politics in this worldview, making and influencing decisions against the interests of ordinary people.

Situating the growing campaign against this backdrop became a crucial task for the Socialist Party. Successfully doing this at key junctures opened the door for some of the strategies that would ultimately see the campaign succeed. Not least among these was an orientation towards working class people across the state. Ordinary people were set to lose out big from the East-West Link but were hearing the exact opposite from the entire establishment. The support of these people – either for the toll road or for public transport – would ultimately determine the campaign’s outcome.

Aside from the dramatic scenes on the picket lines, this debate around strategy is where Main’s take on events is most compelling. Victory was never a given. Had the different strategies put forward at various points in the campaign been adopted – an electoralist focus, an orientation towards politicians rather than ordinary people, a pro-Labor Party position – the outcome would have been quite different.

This book is more than just an account of a dispute. Its analysis will be useful for any socialists, environmental activists or community campaigners wondering how to successfully fight back against what can seem like insurmountable odds. Its key lesson is that this fight back cannot ignore politics or the economic realities of neoliberalism and austerity.

This lesson might have previously seemed abstract to young people who didn’t have many successful examples of community victories to point to. In the context of this dramatic win of ordinary people against the establishment this lesson is very real.

Examples of successful community campaigns on this scale are few and far between in today’s world. For this reasons the defeat of the East-West toll road by a community must be analysed and learnt from. The self-promoting and blatantly false version of events that have come from Labor politicians won’t shed much light on things. To find out how it was done, start with ‘Beating the big end of town’ instead.

See facebook events

Wednesday, September 2, 7-9pm, St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby, Auckland

Caritas social justice forum

Thursday, September 3, 7pm, Revelry, Ponsonby Rd, Auckland
It can be hard yakka on the frontline of the fight to keep the Coromandel beautiful, our rivers clean and our land intact, but coming to Auckland and getting support from our friends certainly helps! This is a very special fundraiser as we are very lucky to have one of Aotearoa’s rising stars Estère headlining for us. Supported by a growing list of talented musicians and DJs: Sunny Ray; R.I.A; and Chica Licorica. Will you join us? Thursday 3rd September From 7pm Tickets $20 or $15 for students. You can find more details about the event here. And buy tickets here. We would be very grateful if you would help us promote it via your personal networks too.

Saturday, September 5, 2-3pm, Downtown Shopping Centre, Cnr Queen and Customs Streets,Auckland
Rally for Palestine. Add your presence and make a difference at the only regular public display of support for Palestine in Auckland!

Monthly Rally at Downtown Shopping Centre Cnr Queen and Customs Streets 2pm to 3pm, 4 July 2015 and every first Saturday of each month.

Tuesday, September 8, Business School, University of Auckland
Save the date! Auckland CPAG summit on Welfare fit for families in a changing world. Welfare fit for families in a changing world
The Government has one view of the way it would like to see the welfare state transformed. If family, child well-being and changes in work patterns are put at the centre how should policy be framed and what changes must occur? Join the discussion and analysis
Speakers: Dr Ben Spies-Butcher – Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Macquarie University, Australia. Other speakers TBC. For more information click here

Thursday, September 10, 10am to 3pm at the Western Springs Garden Community Centre.
ADCOSS FORUM ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: This is an interim notice for you to diary the event. ADCOSS is holding a forum on Domestic Violence on Thursday 10th September. The purpose of the day: to consider the figures on the occurrence of domestic violence, identify who is most affected and to examine what impact poverty has on domestic violence. The aim of the day: to work towards setting up a violence protection group in the isthmus area. The programme for the day: will be emailed to you in a couple of weeks and will consist of speakers in the morning followed by discussion and strategy development in the afternoon. Lunch will be provided. Further information: Contact Angela Maynard: a.maynard 445 9996.

Thursday, September 10, 9am-5pm, Waipapa Marae, University of Auckland, 14 Wynyard St, Auckland
The New Zealand Centre for Human Rights Law, Policy and Practice invites you to the below symposium:
Asylum-Seekers: The New Zealand Experience

Saturday, September 19, 7pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn Auckland

The power of Song with the Newcastle Peoples Chorus. Support Act: “Union Made” For more information contact: Ph: tbristow

Saturday, October 3, 7pm, Quad 2 lecture theatre, Otago University, Dunedin
Bryan Bruce child poverty talks in Auckland and Dunedin. In 2015 the Quakers have been hosting events around the country with Bryan Bruce speaking on child poverty. Bryan Bruce is the author and maker of documentaries such as Inside Child Poverty and Mind the Gap. He will discuss the growing inequality in NZ society and how it impacts on our children. Bryan Bruce will be talking in both Auckland and Dunedin over August and October.

Friday, October, 16, 6-8.30pm, Sir Paul Reeves Building, AUT University, City Campus
SEMINAR: EFLIDA BAUTISTA OF PEOPLE SEARCH PHILIPPINES
Eflida will be addressing issues relating to disaster relief in the Philippines, in particular associating it with the misdirection of funds provided for relief purposes and corruption at various levels of government. Given the rise in the frequency of such events, almost certainly related to climate change, this is a topic very relevant to civil society groups who are often heavily engaged in relief efforts. Organised by the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Coalition (APHRC). Supported by the Pacific Media Centre

Save the date: Hikoi for homes – 28th November
On Saturday 28th November CPAG will join with grassroots housing and other organisations to hold a Hikoi from Glen Innes to to Britomart as a protest against the terrible housing situation the most vulnerable New Zealanders are facing right now. More details on the Hikoi will be coming soon.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Reminder: Entries are Open for 2015 Jesson Journalism Awards

Have you got a journalistic project that you want to complete, but can’t get enough money or time to do it? If so, a Bruce Jesson journalism award may be able to help. Applications for the 2015 awards are now open, and close on Friday 18 September. There are two awards, a senior one to fund a planned journalistic project and a journalism student award for work that has already been published. The senior award is unique in New Zealand because it funds time and research costs of up to $4000 in advance for projects that could be newspaper or magazine articles, reports on the internet, books, films, radio or TV documentaries or “any other publication which is aimed at, and accessible by, the general public of New Zealand or any part of New Zealand”.
Projects must be “critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism or writing which will contribute to public debate in New Zealand on an important issue or issues”. Past winners have included Nicky Hager, Max Rashbrooke and Rebecca Macfie for books; Jon Stephenson, Amy Richardson and Peter Malcouronne for magazine articles; Tina McIvor for a research report; and Alister Barry for his 2014 film on New Zealand’s climate change policies, Hot Air. Applicants should submit an outline of their proposed project and explain how it meets the criteria set out on the foundation’s website www.brucejessson.com. It is usual to submit references and/or examples of previous work, and a budget for the project.
The Emerging Journalism Prize for student journalists offers $1000 for “outstanding recent work by New Zealand print journalism students.” It is nominated by the heads of New Zealand journalism schools or journalism programme leaders for work by student journalists published between the closing date of last year’s award, 26 Sept 2014, and this year’s closing date 18 Sept 2015. Entries for both awards will be assessed by members of the Foundation’s Journalism Sub-committee: Geoff Kemp (convenor), Camille Guy, Joe Atkinson and Simon Collins.
Applications and nominations can be submitted online, or mailed to the foundation’s secretary Dr Anita Lacey, c/- Political Studies Department, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland (a.lacey). The deadline is 5pm, Friday 18 September 2015.
Contacts: Dr Geoff Kemp, 021 445 721; Camille Guy, 021 299 2995; Dr Joe Atkinson, 021 320 069; Simon Collins, 021 612 423

The Roger Award For The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating In Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2015
Here is the link to the 2015 Roger Award online nomination form
http://canterbury.cyberplace.co.nz/community/CAFCA/roger-award-2015-form.html You can also download the hard copy nomination form from there.

Campaign Bootcamp NZ – For people between 18 – 30 years – Campaign Bootcamp NZ

Learn how to effect change. Our aim is to empower the next generation of campaigners in New Zealand to accelerate the pace of change. Campaign Bootcamp NZ gets the best campaigners in New Zealand to deliver a one week intensive training to 30 young people from September. The bootcamp will run over six days, and will involve participants learning a complete set of skills to run campaigns, as well as simulating campaigns throughout the course of the training. Follow-up will involve four group follow-up days throughout the year, and a connection with a mentor who will be expected to meet four times with the individual or group to provide support. Additionally, there will be a newsletter for community updates, ongoing support and work opportunities, and if the project is successful, participants will be invited to be trainers and mentors in the subsequent Bootcamps. The boot camp will run over six days. Each day will have a specific focus. For each day we’ll bring in an expert in the relevant field who has been creating change for over a decade.

DVDs Available For Sale Of CAFCA’s 40th Anniversary Speakers

Sam Miller filmed all of CAFCA’s 40th anniversary celebration event, held in Christchurch on May 2. He advises that DVDs are available of the five speakers – myself, Bill Rosenberg, Warren Thomson, Jane Kelsey and Robert Reid. Details of cost and from where to order them are below. Please communicate directly with Sam Miller about this, not with CAFCA. Best wishes, Murray, CAFCA 40th Anniversary speakers’ DVDs available $20 for twin disc 3h 45m set inc postage/packaging and Jewel Case. Individual 2x speakers single DVD’s available for $10 on application. Orders: samuel or 021 147 4019 – payment by Internet Transfer or Cheque.

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