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Pursuing Justice Through Service

I ROTO I TE WHAKARITENGA MAHI KA WHAI TIKA

www.anglicanaction.org.nz

Today is Saturday, 16th of December, 2017

November

19

Love your neighbour as yourself when making Laws

Anglican Action Centre for Social Justice

Media Release

13 November 2015

Use the golden rule: Love your neighbour as yourself when making Laws

Anglican Action calls for a culture change in Parliament, where the golden rule of ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ and showing compassion for everyone are at the centre of all law making.

Vulnerable refugees who arrive in Australia in desperate circumstances, or marginalised New Zealand citizens who have been living in Australia, and who have their families there are being held in Detention Centres.

“Detaining people as they wait for immigration decisions to be made is appalling” says Anglican Action Missioner, Karen Morrison-Hume.

“We need a Prime Minister with the courage to demand of Australia that they enact policies based on the “golden rule” which would cause them to show love and compassion to the people being held in detention centres in what is otherwise a violation of their human rights and common decency.

“We need a Prime Minister who will model the “golden rule” of radical equality in the way he talks about all New Zealanders, and to value them, including those who have committed crimes.”

“We need a Speaker of the House who upholds a culture shaped by the “golden rule” of radical compassion to all members, especially those who show the courage to voice their stories of sexual violence.”

Through labelling the people who have offended as rapists, child sex offenders and murderers, they are denied their true humanity, limiting their potential to successfully reintegrate after serving their time.

By ejecting a number of women MPs from the house of Parliament, the people who are victims of sexual offences have been denied a voice, reinforcing the silencing of abuse in a climate of diminishing funding for victim support services.

Irrespective of what people have done, human rights are universal and need to be up held universally.

Ends.

Published: Thursday, 19th of November, 2015

November

17

Pensioner Housing Rally

Some great coverage of the event by local and national media:

Waikato TimesRadio NZ podcast and stay up to date with the campaign on Facebook.

Published: Monday, 17th of November, 2014

November

17

Save Pensioner Housing

The content of a letter to the Editor published in the Waikato Times:

 

Dear Editor,

The recent decision by the Hamilton City Council to avail themselves of continuing to provide housing for our most vulnerable pensioners by opting to sell their 344 pensioner housing units is a terrifying example of privatisation wreaking havoc on our community.

This is the very privatisation that overwhelmingly New Zealanders opposed last year. This is asset sales, at a local level to the value of $26 million. This is no small change. Once gone, these assets will never be returned to a publicly owned and accountable body, our City Council. 

For $26 million, the current value of the stock, after purchasing land adequately zoned for the density required, only 130 comparable units would be able to be constructed today. Replacing the entire stock of 344 on new sites is estimated to cost around $68 million. This $42 million shortfall is the true loss to our Hamilton community by the privatisation of these assets. This is a fire sale. This highlights how completely irreplaceable the entire stock of housing is for our community.

Currently the stock of pensioner housing is cost-neutral to council.  Forecasted shortfalls in the ongoing maintenance of these properties seems to ignore the fact that $3.6 million was set aside from the sale of some of the pensioner units in 2012, a move which was to guarantee the financial feasibility of continuing to provide, the remaining supply of pensioner housing for our community members.

We currently have a severe shortage of affordable accommodation in Hamilton and our social service organisations lack the capacity or capital required to house those who require our assistance. There is nowhere for these residents to go.

Even our local MP David Bennett has reiterated the point that this isn’t being driven by changes from central Government. It is however a convenient means to reduce Council debt, but our pensioners with the least resources shouldn’t be the ones left to pay for that.

Karen Morrison-Hume, Missioner, Anglican Action

Published: Monday, 17th of November, 2014

August

26

Just Arts - Difference..

Difference Exhibit

Difference… created by resident artist Maree Aldridge is open to the public in Just Food Cafe located at Anglican Action. The exhibition can be viewed in the café from 8am-4pm Mondays to Fridays.

For a conversation and guide through the installation with our artist please email Maree – maree@anglicanaction.org.nz

Difference title

“We become neighbours when we are willing to cross the road for one another. There is so much separation and segregation: between black people and white people, between gay people and straight people, between young people and old people, between sick people and healthy people, between prisoners and free people, between Jews and Gentiles, Muslims and Christians, Protestants and Catholics, Greek Catholics and Latin Catholics. There is a lot of road crossing to do. We are all very busy people in our own circles. We have our own people to go to and our own affairs to take care of. But if we could cross the street once in a while and pay attention to what is happening on the other side, we might become neighbours.” Henry Nouwen

Difference montage exhibit guide

“…often difference is seen as the fearful stranger or the threat to my comfort, my sense of ‘normal’ or becomes the object of my distain, my judgement and anger… consequently my violence.  Why would I want to cross the road to meet the stranger I fear, or the threat to my understanding of ‘normality’ that I want to avoid or to be face to face with all I distain in judgement and evokes my anger?  Why would I want to be reminded of my own strangeness and difference and that I am far from ‘normal’ in facing another, and encounter again and again many painful walls where there is no invitation or welcome or words to create with… including those walls most stubborn inside of me?  In exploring difference through conversation and research over the last few months I felt to reframe and personify difference through alternative lenses, to consider difference differently and to reflect the many wonderful encounters I have had with difference.  We could have such a counter response if we could explore and alter our seeing, experience a transformation of sight… to no longer see difference as stranger, threat or object of all we distain and fear.  The work I’ve done represents the generous conversation I am attempting to have… Perhaps this different way of seeing and forming relationship with difference will help me and those who find themselves on the same questing path to cross many roads to stand with and love our neighbour – and also to welcome and embrace our own strange wild uniqueness – our own difference.  Yes, we will still encounter walls, in ourselves and in others, we will stand sometimes with one on each side of a wall and encounter an empty silence that shouts “no” and the wall will remain.  But let us try for the exploration of relationship with difference all the same, for in doing so we will touch the edges of our own greatest growth and deepest change…” Maree Aldridge

The installation is a variety of media and poetry exploring different themes and ideas relating to ‘difference’. Difference… challenges us to cross the road once in a while, it creates a space for self-reflection and ‘quiet revolution’.

Difference opening night montage

The opening night featured singer/songwriter Anne Hall, musician Shailah Rudolph, spoken word poet Ashleigh Yates and resident artist Maree Aldridge. It was an amazing evening attracting a large crowd enjoying the live original music and poetry, nibbles, mingling and an exploration of the arts and the soul.

Difference Poem

 

 

Published: Monday, 26th of August, 2013

August

13

The Junction

The Junction at Anglican Action Mahi Mihinare, offers people the opportunity to be together for the sake of the justice of God in the world… The Junction in 2012 gave me new vision and new courage to be what we are called to: As Micah said; To act justly, to practice kindness and to walk humbly with God. Why not come this year, there is much to give and receive.” Archbishop David Moxon

Junction 2013 pg 1 - Copy

The Junction values co-learning, it is a convergence of thinking and active participants with a passion for justice on all levels coming together to reflect and ponder their work in a context that is story-based, contemplative and theological. We endeavour to create a temporary community of shared ‘sight’ and ‘insight’. Our speakers we ask to speak to us from their lives – what experience has taught them, what questions does that experience evoke, what paths have they explored.  The Junction offers exchange and interchange, a timely convergence for justice co-conspiring companions and a deepening of relationship with social justice as a gospel way of life.

The Junction 2013 will use the current art installation Difference… as a reflective space and resource for learning.

The themes for this year include:

Crossing the road for our neighbours. Equality—the justice frontier. Navigating internal changes/challenges of encountering and embracing difference.

Guest speakers this year include and cover some of the following:

We become neighbours when we are willing to cross the road for one another. There is so much separation and segregation…” Aroha Yates “…between black people and white people…” Susan Thompson “…between gay people and straight people…” Lindsay Cumberpatch and Alan Leadley “…between Jews and Gentiles, Muslims and Christians, Protestants and Catholics, Greek Catholics and Latin Catholics…”

Details: 

Monday 14th (5pm start) – Thursday 17th (5pm finish) October 2013. Held at Anglican Action in Hamilton. The cost is $40 which covers the meals. To apply or for more information please contact Maree Aldridge maree@anglicanaction.org.nz or (07) 856 5820

 

Published: Tuesday, 13th of August, 2013

August

06

Hamilton Gambling Policies Review

No More Pokies Hamilton

The Hamilton City Council Gambling Policies are currently under review and public submissions are open until this coming Monday, August 12th.
The Gambling Policies are what outline the activities of pokie machines in the city.

“There are 460 pokies in 31 venues in Hamilton.”

“In 2012, nearly $23 million was lost on pokies in Hamilton.”

Our current policy is considered a ‘sinking lid’ policy; that is a policy that sets a limit for the number of pokie machines allowed across the city as being the total that exist at present with restrictions for if a licensed venue moves, shuts down or decides to remove any of their pokie machines, that no new machines will be allowed to replace those lost. Thus the sinking lid policy gradually reduces the number of machines and this will reduce the harm caused by the pokies.

“The Council’s proposed policy is not a true sinking lid.”

The policy isn’t clear and straightforward, there are numerous exemptions which allow venues to merge and transfer machines. This is not a sinking lid policy.

It is time to encourage and support your whanau, colleagues and community to make a submission stating that you would like to see NO EXEMPTIONS in our Gambling Policies. if you feel comfortable speaking on behalf of your submission don’t forget to indicate this on your submission, it means a lot more to council when they hear the views of people directly.

Submissions can be made easily online and information about the policies and the process is available here:  http://www.hamilton.co.nz/our-council/consultation-and-public-notices/haveyoursay/Pages/Gambling-Policies-Review.aspx

Check out the fact sheet below or visit the Problem Gambling Foundation website for more information about the destructive harm caused by pokies and gambling: http://pgfnz.org.nz/

Hamilton Factsheet

Hamilton sinking lid fact sheet

 

Published: Tuesday, 06th of August, 2013

July

01

Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis

 

Inequality_Cover-HR-600-x-842

“The divide between New Zealand’s poorest and wealthiest inhabitants has widened alarmingly over recent decades. Differences in income have grown faster than in most other developed countries.” Max Rashbrooke.

New Zealand has no excuse for the systemic inequalities that have become entrenched and given moral legitimacy over the last twenty-five years. It makes no sense.” Linda Tuhiwai Smith

Launched last week our copy has just arrived in the office today. Inequality is a hugely important issue and something we are committed to addressing.

Edited by Max Rashbrooke and published by Bridget Williams Books with support from the J R McKenzie Trust and the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, Inequality tells the story of New Zealand society that sadly isn’t unfamiliar to many of us, drawing from the themes of The Spirit Level  (Wilkinson and Pickett, 2009) and The Price of Inequality (Stiglitz, 2012).

Inequality features input from a wide range of New Zealanders to highlight critically the different perspectives and consequences that the destructive impact of inequality has for all of society.

For more info or to order a copy visit: http://www.bwb.co.nz/books/inequality

Published: Monday, 01st of July, 2013

June

18

Public Meeting On Local Alcohol Policy

LAP meeting

You may be aware of something called a Local Alcohol Policy (LAP). Perhaps you followed the debate last year as the National-led Government ignored the recommendations of the Law Commission (here), watching as a watered down piece of legislation seemingly more concerned with the maintenance of the status quo passed into law in the form of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

And then nothing…

Unless you happen to be involved in the alcohol industry, council planning, public health or work with alcohol policy/advocacy, then all talk of LAPs has probably been totally off the radar. This is why last week Anglican Action hosted a successful public meeting on the Local Alcohol Policy for Hamilton, currently being developed by council staff with input from key stakeholders and expert advisers.

The meeting attracted a variety of people from the community on an invitation to be part of the conversation on reducing alcohol-related harm. The formal submission process isn’t until mid-July when a draft policy is released, so this meeting was very much organised as a crash course on what the LAPs are, what they cover, what the process involves and offering information for people to have discussions within their networks and communities. There was space for Q & A with the panel of experts from public health, researchers and council staff to respond to the concerns anyone raised.

Developing a LAP is optional for councils, should a council opt not to develop their own they will fall under the national default policy, this blanket policy actually offers more relaxed licence options than Hamilton currently has in place so would result in greater harm for our community.

LAPs give full discretion to community to decide (via their elected council officials) on what they think appropriate for their community but ONLY on matters that relate to licencing.

  • Location of licensed premises by reference to broad areas (e.g. the suburbs vs the CBD)
  • Location of licensed premises by reference to proximity to premises or facilities of particular kind or kinds (e.g. sensitive sites, Marae, schools, parks, places of worship)
  • Whether further licences (or licences of particular kind or kinds) should be issued for premises in the district concerned, or any stated part of the district
  • Maximum trading hours (that default being off-licences: 7am-11pm, on-licences: 8am-4am)
  • The issue of licences, or licences of a particular kind or kinds, subject to discretionary conditions (e.g. restrictions on advertising material on or around an outlet)
  • One-way door restrictions

Overview of the timeline for the LAP process.

The LAP offers a great opportunity for communities to reduce the levels of alcohol-related harm and prevent further harm. A big thanks to the organising group for this meeting from Poverty Action Waikato, Alcohol Action NZ, Alcohol Healthwatch and Anglican Action. This korero is highly valuable and we will be keeping you posted as this process continues.

 
 

 

Published: Tuesday, 18th of June, 2013