Engage Aotearoa

Category Archives: Refugees / Migrants

One Woman Walking Hikoi Reaches Whanganui Monday 22 April 2013


Universal Periodic Review: Do New Zealanders Have Their Human Rights Upheld?

The right to health, to justice, to work, to education, to be free from discrimination: these rights belong to all of us. New Zealand has signed international agreements to uphold these rights, but how well are we actually doing?

The Universal Periodic Review is an important opportunity for individuals, NGOs and civil society organisations to share their experience and views on New Zealand’s realisation of human rights for everyone. What people and communities say can influence future developments. It isn’t just about writing reports. Communities will be consulted on what’s important for them. UPR 13/14 is an opportunity to work with other like minded groups, and to lobby the Government to make voluntary commitments and/or accept recommendations made by the working group following the UPR 13/14 process.

The Commission is offering free workshops to support civil society in UPR 13/14. In addition there will be opportunities to engage in discussions with government officials in April/May and subsequently to comment on the draft New Zealand government report. The Commission would also welcome the opportunity to discuss key issues with community groups and individuals to feed into the UPR 13/14 process.

The workshop dates and times for 2013 are:

  • Auckland          26 March (1.30 – 4.30pm) Auckland Law School
  • Wellington        4 April (1.30-4.30)
  • Christchurch      11 April (1.30-4.30)
  • Dunedin           16 April (1.30-4.30)
  • Hamilton          7 May (1.30-4.30)
  • Invercargill      9 May (Time TBC)

Please contact Michael White on michaelw@hrc.co.nz if:

  • You wish to attend one of the Commission’s workshops;
  • Would like to receive further emails about how to be involved in the UPR process;
  • If you or your organization are hosting an event where the Commission could talk about UPR 13/14; or
  • You would like the Commission to assist with facilitating co-ordinated engagement from your sector.

In the meantime for more information on UPR 13/14 and how you can get involved see: http://www.hrc.co.nz/international-human-rights-new/faqs-for-upr-1314

The Commission looks forward to working with you around UPR 13/14 to ensure the full and active engagement of civil society organisations across the country, helping to garner actual positive changes on the ground.

Transition Times 3: Changes to Benefit Structure

For your information from New Zealand Council of Social Services.

‘Transition Times’ #3 forwarded on behalf of Ros Rice, CEO, NZCOSS

Please note you can access NZCOSS Facebook where Ros posts information and commentary almost daily. https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Zealand-Council-of-Social-Services/148340588547487. There is also a link on the front page of the website.


Tracking changes to the NZ Government’s funding and administration of social services in our communities.

(NZCOSS is not offering opinion or critique on the information that we are providing in this mailout.)


Date: 07.6.2012



  • Changes in structure of benefits
  • Introduction of a fiscal liability-based ‘Investment Approach’
  • A ‘Youth Package’ – for 16-17 year old youth and 16 -18 year old teen parents on benefit
  • Changes affecting parents and sole parents on benefit
  • Changes affecting people with long-term illness or disability


Three new main benefits:

  • Jobseeker Support – replaces current UB, SB (those who are temporarily unable to work due to illness will have a temporary work-test waiver) and DPB for those with youngest child aged 14+ years
  • Sole Parent Support – replaces DPB-Sole Parent for those with youngest child under 14
  • Supported Living Payment – replaces IB and DPB-Caring for Sick and Infirm

Also: Youth Payment & Young Parent Payment (see Youth Package)


  • Significant change to method of measuring performance and accountability for Work and Income’s activities
  • Annual (or biannual) actuarial assessment of long-term future liability of current (and future?) beneficiary population (ie, sum of all future benefit costs for current beneficiary population. Current estimate: approximately $45b).
  • A primary expectation on MSD/Work and Income will be to reduce the long-term fiscal liability number.
  • Amount of assistance provided to a person to be guided by the estimated liability they represent (and therefore the reduction in the long-term fiscal liability estimate if they leave benefit)
  • A new Board to oversee this – reports direct to Ministers of Social Development and Finance
  • In future, MSD funding may include performance rewards/penalties according to performance against change in LTFL estimate.


  • Applies (broadly) to 16-17 yr old youth and 16-18 yr old parents (single or couples) not supported by family or parents (ie mainly those previously eligible for the Independent Youth Benefit or Emergency Maintenance Allowance ). Commences in July 2012.
  • Intensive ‘wrap-around’ assistance – main focus being to achieve NCEA Level 2, also parenting and budgeting courses and other obligations (and incentives)
  • Heavy emphasis on money management – rent and bills paid directly, remainder on payment card for groceries, up to $50 cash as ‘In-hand Allowance
  • Services will be provided by contracted providers (private, NGO or Iwi)
  • Sanctions: based on recommendation of contracted providers: up to 100% (youth), 50% (young parents)


  • Part-time work test (15 hours) when youngest is 5 yrs; work preparation expectations when youngest is 3 yrs;
  • When youngest reaches 14, sole parents move from SPP to JSS with 30 hour work test and (presumably) JSS abatement regime

‘Subsequent child’ policy: if woman has child when on benefit:

  • Child’s age is disregarded for work-test obligation once s/he reaches 12 months old
  • Applies to couples on benefit as well as sole parents.
  • Applies at W&I discretion on ‘underlying principles’ of the policy, and can include wider circumstances if W&I believes a woman is seeking to get around the intention of the policy

Medical costs paid for contraceptive advice and for long-acting contraception for mothers on benefit and for their teenage daughters


  • Full details are yet to be announced.
  • Work capacity assessment procedures to be introduced
  • Presumably to apply to all applicants for the new Supported Living Payment and to all those currently on IB (and possibly some SBs)

Ros Rice, Executive Officer NZCOSS

(With thanks to Michael Fletcher; Senior Lecturer, Institute of Public Policy, AUT University.)

Have Your Say on the Gambling Harm Reduction Amendment Bill

A new gambling bill is currently before Parliament. The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill is a private member’s bill in the name of Te Ururoa Flavell.

Have your say in creating better gambling laws by making a written submission or make an online submission here – www.haveyoursayonpokies.co.nz/ to the Select Committee. This can be as short or as long as you like. You can submit for or against parts of the bill or the entire bill. If you make a written submission, you can also make an oral presentation. You can be as creative as you like. This is your chance to tell your story about the impact of gambling on you, your family and your community and to tell politicians about the changes that you want to see.

p.s. Some info, current editorial from the Herald


Current facts on gambling


Is gambling a concern in NZ?


5 year distribution of Pokie funds under the current system in Auckland– see PDF attached (as requested by some local organisations)

Regional Settlement Support Newsletter June 2012

In the latest edition of the Regional Settlement Support Newsletter is a mapping of new information initiatives and support programmes developed by service providers over the past six months. (www.arms-mrc.org.nz/Doc/Publication/News_Regional201202.pdf)

They have also highlighted some challenges faced by Auckland’s newcomers.

They are also working on a media workshop for service providers. If you would like to attend the workshop, or have any feedback on the newsletter, please email them to shomap@arms-mrc.org.nz

Update on the Living Wage Campaign


On Wednesday 23 May an exciting new movement of community, faith-based groups and unions united around a common goal to address poverty and inequality in New Zealand was launched.

Around 200 people attended the launch of Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand in St Stephen’s church hall in Jervois Road, Ponsonby, Auckland. The event was a positive and affirming celebration.

A big thanks to all the community organisations, faith-based groups, unions and others who made this launch a huge success!

The launch

Our MC, Rev Mua Strickson Pua, did a wonderful job, even inviting speaker Uesefili Unasa to join him for a hiphop version of the song She Works Hard For Her Money.

Uesefili spoke of the importance of a living wage for the Pacific community. Other speakers included: Darryl Evans from Mangere Budgeting and Family Support Services, Rev Margaret Mayman from St Andrews on the Terrace, NZ Council of Trade Unions President, Helen Kelly, and Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota President Barbara Wyeth and National Secretary John Ryall.

Those speeches will be published on the new Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand website http://www.livingwagenz.org.nz/ when they are available.

The winner and runner up of the SFWU Living Wage song competition, Kane Hogan performed his song. Listen here. http://soundcloud.com/living-wage-aotearoa-nz/kane-hogan-more-for-all-need-a.

But the highlight was the official sign-on by community organisations, church groups and unions to a giant poster of the Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand statement:

“A living wage is the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life. A living wage will enable workers to live in dignity and to participate as active citizens in society. We call upon the Government, employers and society as a whole, to strive for a living wage for all households as a necessary and important step in the reduction of poverty in New Zealand.”

Afterwards, community, church people and unions joined for a lunch.

Supporting organisations

The list of supporting organisations is growing daily. For a list of all organisations (to 23 May) click here. www.livingwagenz.org.nz/support.php

Follow up

On the day of the launch a website and facebook page went live. Hundreds of people have signed on to receive regular campaign updates and have volunteered to get involved and donate their skills to the on-going campaign.

Media coverage

The launch attracted huge media coverage. To view go to: www.livingwagenz.org.nz/news.php

Next steps

Wellington Meeting

Wellington groups are invited to a meeting to plan the next steps on Wednesday 4 July 1pm – 3pm, at Epworth House, behind Methodist Church, 75 Taranaki Street, Te Aro, Wellington.

For information email: lyndy.mcintyre@sfwu.org.nz

Auckland Meeting

Auckland groups are meeting to establish an Auckland coalition on Thursday 5 July, 2pm – 4pm at St Stephen’s Church Hall, 65 Jervois Road, Ponsonby.

For information email fala.haulangi@sfwu.org.nz

Advance Pasifika

March for our future. Gather at Albert Park, Auckland at 9am 16 June to march for a better future for Pacific people.

For information: 021 024 58674 or email advance.pasifika@gmail.com

Meanwhile, sign up to the Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand facebook page: www.facebook.com/LivingWageAotearoaNewZealand


Celebrities say WTF?! about suicide among LGBT youth

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect – More than 30 of New Zealand’s leading celebrities come together in this Rainbow Youth and Outline campaign to ask New Zealand to stand together and say WTF?! .

Watch the video and share with your friends!


UNCRPD Monitoring Survey 2012

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability is a UN convention that aims to enshrine the rights of people with disabilities in law to ensure all people are afforded the human right to participate in their communities.

The New Zealand government has ratified the UN Convention and thus made a commitment to ensure legislation, policy and procedure to protect the rights of people with disabilities – including disability caused by the effects of a mental-health problem.

In 2011 a report to the UN was written by the government to summarise their progress towards this goal. A shadow report was also written by community groups in consultation with their stake-holders. There were some key differences in the perspectives of these two reports.

A monitoring survey has now been established to gather a wider perspective of how people living with disabilities in the community see things.

Follow the link below to fill out an anonymous survey and help the UN monitor what NZ needs to do better for people living with disability.


Tree Planting Expeditions with Kaipatiki Bush Project


Kaipatiki Project Environment Centre warmly invites the community to come and plant native trees in Eskdale Reserve Network this winter.

Members of local churches, schools, community groups and business are welcome to join forces with local people in these family-friendly events – and there is a free barbecue for all planters.

Bring gumboots, a spade if you have one and lots of enthusiasm!

  • Sat 2 June, 9.30am-12.30pm: Frances Kendall Reserve, Kaipatiki Road (near Kaipatiki bridge), Glenfield
  • Sat 7 July, 9.30am-12.30pm: Domain Road, corner Domain & Glenfield Rds, Glenfield
  • Sat 4 August, 9.30am-12.30pm: Eskdale Reserve (Cemetery end), Glenfield Road, Glenfield
  • Sat 1 September, 9.30am-12.30pm: Eskdale Reserve (near Cemetery), Eskdale Road, Glenfield

Enquiries: ph 482 1172

email: coordinator@kaipatiki.org.nz

Website: www.kaipatiki.org.nz/volunteer

Press Release: Ethnic Media’s Contribution to Settlement in NZ

9 May 2012

Press Release:  Auckland’s Ethnic Media’s Contribution to Settlement and Integration

Service providers helping migrants settle in the Auckland area are collaborating with ethnic media to look at the best ways of getting information to newcomers and their communities.

Nearly 80 representatives from various service provider organisations heard from keynote speakers from ethnic media journalists at a Regional Settlement Network meeting organised by Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS).

The speakers included Lynda Chanwai-Earle, Spoken Features Producer, Asian Affairs, Radio New Zealand National; Terri Byrne, Planet FM – Station Manager; and Robert Khan, Tarana FM Manager Director.

According to Robert Khan, the point of difference between mainstream and ethnic media is the direct connections that ethnic media create with their audiences.   “With Radio Tarana, we connect with our listeners, we listen to them, share their views, cover their side of the story, as opposed to mainstream, where usually the generic news angle is taken”, he says.

Lincoln Tan, NZ Herald columnist, also facilitated a discussion with panellists, representing various ethnic media.   Panellists Maggie Chen, CEO, Chinese Herald; Ane Ponifasio, Managing Editor, Samoa Times & Radio Samoa; Brendon Fraser, Educator, EMINZ Media Agency; and Sang Yong Lee, Director, The Korea Town magazine, shared their views and experiences on how community integration can be assisted through delivery of multilingual information.

ARMS Chief Executive, Mary Dawson, says the last decade has seen a big rise in Auckland’s ethnic media.  “They play an important role in getting information out to new migrants from over 160 ethnic backgrounds about all kinds of local matters, commercial and non-commercial,” Dr Dawson says.

“Most of us not from those linguistic backgrounds have little idea about the proliferation and scope of Auckland’s ethnic media and the meeting was extremely useful in giving us some ideas on how to get our messages across to people.”

ARMS is funded by Immigration New Zealand to provide the Regional Settlement Network meeting twice-yearly.  The Network brings together organisations and government agencies to share good practice, information and trends and to encourage collaboration that assists newcomers to New Zealand, to settle more easily and quickly.

For more information Contact:

  • Shoma Prasad, Communications Officer, Auckland Regional Migrant Services
  • P: 09 625 3095
  • E: shomap@arms-mrc.org.nz