Engage Aotearoa

Category Archives: Politics

Panui from NZ Maori Council | Nationwide Hui | Now to 18 Sep 2013

A Letter from the New Zealand Maori Council, Te Kaunihera Maori o Aotearoa

26 August 2013

He Panui

Tena koutou

Nationwide consultation on the Crown’s review of the Community Development Act commences in September 2013, at a time when the New Zealand Māori Council is challenging Crown action on a number of issues vital to Māori rights and interests. These include rights to water, to the radio spectrum, to the benefits of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, to citizenship and electoral rights and to provide safety to Māori communities through the Māori Wardens.

The Council is concerned that the timing of the consultation process when these cases are pending and the exclusion of the Council as a partner in the consultation process puts at risk the Council’s work of advocating for and protecting Māori communities. Details about the Council’s current and past action to protect Māori rights and interests are attached to this letter.

This letter encourages you either to attend the consultation hui www.tpk.govt.nz/en/consultation/mcda/ or to relay your views to the Council Secretary, Karen Waterreus (karen@maoricouncil.com).

The unique feature of Council is its statutory mandate to work for and on behalf of the greater Māori community. Council works for all Māori, whoever we are and wherever we are. Council still has a job to do to protect Māori rights and interests and must remain in existence.

Ngā mihi
Maanu Paul, Co-Chair and Sir Edward Taihākurei Durie, Co-Chair
The New Zealand Maori Council
Te Kaunihera Maori o Aotearoa

Upcoming Hui Dates

  • Whangārei Wed 4 September 8.30-10.30am Whangarei Terenga Paraoa Marae Porowini Avenue, Whangarei
  • Auckland (North) Wed 4 September 4-6pm Orakei Marae 59b Kitemoana Street, Orakei
  • Auckland (South) Thurs 5 September 8.30-10.30am Te Puea Marae 41 Miro Road, Mangere
  • Palmerston North Thurs 5 September 4-6pm Kingsgate Hotel 110 Fitzherbert Avenue, Palmerston North
  • Whanganui Tues 10 September 8-10am Te Taura Whiri Building (TPK Office) 357 Victoria Avenue, Whanganui
  • New Plymouth Tues 10 September 2-4pm Mururaupatu Marae Te Arei Road, R.D. 3
  • Hamilton Weds 11 September 8-10am Rangiaowhia Marae TWOA, Raroera Campus, Te Rapa
  • Rotorua Weds 11 September 1-3pm Te Papaiouru Marae Ohinemutu
  • Christchurch Thurs 12 September 8-10am Twiggers Addington Raceway
  • Nelson Thurs 12 September 2.30-4.30am Whakatu Marae 99 Atawhai Drive, Nelson
  • Lower Hutt Tues 17 September 9-11am Waiwhetu Marae Puketapu Grove, Waiwhetu, Lower Hutt
  • Porirua Tues 17 September 2-4pm Takapuwahia Marae 2 Nohorua Street, Porirua
  • Dunedin Weds 18 September 8-10am Arai I te Uru Marae 24 Shetland Street,


Meet the Northshore Candidates for Auckland City Local Body Elections 2013

NSCSS bi-monthly meeting – Meet the Candidates

If we value and want community to remain strong and present in Auckland City and Local Board areas we need to exercise our right to vote on the basis of informed decisions.

Meet the candidates standing as Auckland Councillors for Albany and North Shore Wards and as Devonport-Takapuna, Kaipatiki and Hibiscus & Bays Local Board Members.

Your opportunity to hear the candidates address local concerns.

  •  Date: Wednesday 18th September 2013
  •  Venue: Taitamariki Girl Guiding Hall, Auburn Reserve (Off Auburn St, Takapuna, North Shore) parking permits available
  • Time: 12.00pm – 2.30pm (Light Lunch Provided)
  • Cost: Free

For all enquiries and registrations contact Dean, Ruth or Leanne.

Ph: 486 4820, or email: info@nscss.org.nz

PLEASE RSVP for catering purposes by Monday 16th September

International Petition Demands “Let us see Drug Data! Drug hazards are not trade secrets”

A petition has been making its way around the internet urging drug companies to stop lawsuits blocking public access to drug trial data. The petition names physical health medications, but this issue is also highly relevant to the availability of drug trial data about psychiatric medications.

The petitioner, David Healy of Cardiff, Wales writes: 

Drug companies maximize the sales of new drugs by hyping their benefits while downplaying significant risks. In 2010 the European Medicines Agency began releasing patient-level data from the clinical trials used to approve new medicines in Europe – a development hailed by American and European researchers and researchers around the world as a major step towards drug safety.

This process has been shut down by a lawsuit taken by two American corporations – AbbVie, makers of Humira, the number one selling medication in the world with projected sales of $10 billion in 2013; and InterMune, whose pulmonary-fibrosis drug Esbriet has recently been approved in Europe at a cost of over $40,000 per year.

AbbVie and InterMune have filed suit to deny access to the data from their trials on the benefits and harms of these drugs, claiming these vital facts are “trade secrets” whose release would harm their profits. Their action has led to the shutdown of the entire public-access program, leaving millions of patients worldwide, and their doctors, in the dark.

We call on AbbVie and InterMune to drop their European Union lawsuit and release all patient level data on Humira, Esbriet and their other products. Vital data on drug safety should never be hidden as a “trade secret.” By copying this petition to President Barack Obama and members of his Cabinet we call on them to ensure that meaningful public access to clinical trial data becomes the policy of the FDA and is written into any international trade agreements governing the sale of prescription drugs and devices.

Copies to:
President Barack Obama;
Margaret Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner, Food & Drug Administration;
Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, United Nations;
World Health Organization Director Dr Margaret Chan.

Click here to sign the petition.

Health Select Committee Meeting About Petition for Better Mental-Healthcare Choices in NZ

Update: The Health Select Committee is not accepting submissions from the public for their meeting on the Petition for Better Mental-Healthcare Choices in NZ at this stage, as was advertised in the August 5th notice below. Submissions are to be accepted only from the petitioner (Annie Chapman) and the Ministry of Health.

As public submissions are typically invited, the team at Engage thought the same would be true of the meeting about the Petition for Better Mental-Healthcare Choices. We apologise for any inconvenience and frustration caused to anyone who had prepared or sent a submission in.

Engage Aotearoa has sent their submission in and encouraged the chair to consider it anyway.

Click here to read Engage Aotearoa’s Submission on the Petition for Better Mental-Healthcare Choices.

We will keep working to turn our recommendations into realities,” says Engage Aotearoa service director, Miriam Larsen-Barr, “It’s what we do anyway and it won’t be the last opportunity we have to reach the decision-makers with our ideas for how to make the recovery journey easier for people living in NZ.

If you feel strongly about these issues and wonder how you can be part of the change in an ongoing way – contact Engage Aotearoa and introduce yourself. The team of volunteers is always keen for more hands on deck and more perspectives for the mix. Email admin@engagenz.co.nz

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


The Petition for Better Mental-Healthcare Choices in NZ had it’s first reading by the Health Select Committee on the 10th of July and submissions are invited by the 23rd of August.

Find out more about making a submission here.

If these options are difficult for you, contact the chairperson of the Health Select Committee Paul Hutchison paul.hutchison@parliament.govt.nz 

Contact Annie Chapman for more information on hikoiforhealth@gmail.com 

Click here to visit the Hikoi website.

Community Meeting with Work and Income Staff : Mangere 22 Aug 2013

Work and Income have made some Changes to Benefits

To find out more

Come to a Community Meeting with Work and Income Staff who will present information on the changes and cover other areas of concern for the disability community

  • Thursday 22nd August 2013
  • 10.00 AM – 12.30 PM
  • Auckland Disability Law @ Mangere Community Law Center Unit 9, Shop 27, Mangere Town Centre

Venue is wheelchair accessible and there will be NZSL interpreters available

If you would like to attend please RSVP to Auckland Disability Law


 phone 09 257 5140

text 027 457 5140

Access requirements – please advise of dietary and other access requirements.

Mike King Korero Heads to Taranaki Region in September

Mike King and Tai Tupou are hitting the road again in September to encourage schools and communities to make it cool to korero about the tough stuff, so we all make it through.

  • 10 September, 1 pm, Cool to Korero, Francis Douglas College, New Plymouth
  • 10 September, 7:30 pm, Community Korero, War Memorial Hall, Stratford
  • 11 September, 7:30 pm, Community Korero, Waves Building, New Plymouth
  • 11 September, 12:30 am, Cool to Korero for Hawera High and Patea Area School, The Hub, Hawera
  • 12 September, 11:30 am, Combined Community Cool to Korero, Opunake College, Opunake

While the team at Key to Life are getting ready to hit the road, the team at Engage Aotearoa will be adding recovery resources from each of these towns to The Community Resources Directory, so they can be delivered to those who need them when the team hits the ground in each of their locations across Taranaki. If you know of any services in the Taranaki region you think others would find useful, email them in to info@engagenz.co.nz.

Take It From Us Radio Tues 13 August: Fighting stigma & discrimination in Waikato

On Tuesday August 13,Take It From Us features another Like Minds broadcaster fighting stigma and discrimination, this time in the Waikato. We hear from Danielle Wall, a radio host working for Progress to Health, as to how Like Minds is making a difference south of the Bombay Hills. Take It From Us on PlanetFM 104.6 on Tuesday @ 12.30pm.

Listen live on 104.6FM at 12.30pm or online www.planetaudio.org.nz

OR if you missed the broadcast, listen for the next seven days @: www.planetaudio.org.nz/takeitfromus

Catch up on the last four shows online: www.likeminds.org.nz

And don’t forget the new Facebook page. Just visit @ Facebook.com and type ‘take it from us’ in the search box. Email takeitfromus@mail.com for any feedback and comment/suggestions for shows.

Disability Forum 29 August 2013

Disability forum: Trading in Public Places bylaw review and Signage bylaw review

  • Date: 29 August 2013
  • Venue: Recreation Centre, Awhina House, Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, 545 Parnell Road (Parkside Entrance. Parking is behind the Jubilee Building. Entry to the Recreation Centre is from the car park). 
  • Time: 10.00 am – 1.00 pm.

Do all businesses in Auckland keep the pavements clear so you can navigate them easily with your cane or wheelchair? Do you have any feedback for Auckland Council and Auckland Transport about how bylaws could improve our streetscape?

The Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are reviewing the regulations that relate to trading in public places and signage as part of the wider bylaw review project.

The purpose of the review is to look at the existing regulations and develop two new bylaws to control the use of signage and trading in public places in Auckland.

The reviews aim to identify common issues with signage and trading and identify the most appropriate means to address those issues.  Where necessary we will develop bylaws (Auckland Transport and Auckland Council) to protect the public from nuisance, maintain public safety and amenity and minimise potential offence as a result of unregulated signage and trading activities.

As part of the review we would like to engage with disabled people in the early stages of the project to gather information on the following:

  • What issues do disable people experience related to signage and the activity of trading in public places eg the placing of: signs on the footpath, tables and chairs outside cafes
  • how existing forms of regulation work
  • what does not work
  • what are common issues for disabled people relating to signage and trading in public places
  • what should the new bylaws address

A three hour workshop has been set up for Thursday 29 August from 10am until 1pm at the Recreation Centre, Awhina House, Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind at 545 Parnell Road (Parkside Entrance. Parking is behind the Jubilee Building. Entry to the Recreation Centre is from the car park).

The venue has level access with onsite car parking, including accessible car parks and accessible bathroom facilities.  A PA system will be used.

Morning tea will be provided

New Zealand  Sign Language Interpreters have been booked for the forum.  please confirm if you will need the Interpreters by Thursday 22 August by emailing Kristin Spyve or Rebekah Stuart- Wilson.

Please RSVP for the forum. Can you please RSVP to Kristin Spyve or Rebekah Stuart- Wilson on the below contact details by Thursday 22 August.

Kristin Spyve

Rebekah Stuart- Wilson

Please also contact Kristin or Rebekah to discuss any other access needs.

An agenda for the forum will be emailed to all registered participants on Monday 26 August.
Recreation Centre, Awhina House,
545 Parnell Road, Parnell 1052 (Parkside entrance)

Link to google maps to show the location

Updates from the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership

IIMHL Features – England

Whole-person care: from rhetoric to reality in achieving parity between mental and physical health

A new Report from England argues more should be done to ensure mental health treatments are on the same level as treatments for physical health and more promotion of good mental health and improved funding into research into mental illness are all also crucial for ensuring parity of esteem between­­­ the two aspects of healthcare.

The report, developed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in conjunction with other mental health organisations, highlights the significant inequalities that still exist between physical and mental health care, including preventable premature deaths, lower treatment rates for mental health conditions and an underfunding of mental healthcare relative to the scale and impact of it. It also highlights the strong relationship between mental and physical health. Poor mental health is associated with a greater risk of physical health problems, and poor physical health is associated with a greater risk of mental health problems.

The report makes a series of key recommendations for Government, policy-makers and health professionals, as well as the new NHS structures which came into force on April 1 including the NHS England, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Public Health England.

Professor Sue Bailey, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “Much has been done to improve mental health in the last 10 years but it still does not receive the same attention as physical health, and the consequences can be serious. People with severe mental illness have a reduced life expectancy of 15-20 years, yet the majority of reasons for this are avoidable. Achieving parity of esteem for mental health is everybody’s business and responsibility. We therefore urge the Government, policy-makers, service commissioners and providers, professionals and the public to always think in terms of the whole person – body and mind – and to apply a ‘parity test’ to all their activities and to their attitudes.

Improving Personalised Care and Support for People with Mental Health Problems

From the UK this new guide aims to increase the number of people with mental health problems experiencing the full benefits of personalised care and support. Currently, only 9% of people with mental health problems of working-age have a personal budget, compared to 29% of older people and 41% of adults with a learning disability. Paths to Personalisation, published by the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi), offers examples of what needs to be in place to make personalisation work in mental health. It provides examples drawn from latest practice and policy and up-to-date sources of advice for people. Coproduced with people who use mental health services and service professionals, the guide will help organisations meet government priorities to increase people’s choice and control over the care and support they experience.

Additional Features from Scotland

The British Journal of Psychiatry – Special issue focussing on campaign and attitudes

This special issue focuses on stigma and discrimination in England. It describes evaluations of the ‘Time to Change’ campaign conducted in England. It also looks at employment and role of the media.

There are seven articles followed by comments by leading mental health people.
Content Page April 2013, Volume 202, Issue s55 – all open access.

Adult Mental Health Benchmarking Toolkit: Year ending 31st March 2012
(2013). Scotland: National Health Services.
Annual publication of the Mental Health Benchmarking Toolkit comprising data up to 31st March 2010. The toolkit provides information on a range of indicators to compare key aspects of the Adult Mental Health Service in Scotland.

For general enquiries about this update or for other IIMHL information please contact Erin Geaney at erin@iimhl.com

Funding Cuts to Talking Therapies Hits the News

The NZ Herald has reported growing community concern over increasingly restricted funding for talking therapies across the country. Click the headline below to read the full story.


Alarm Over Depression Therapy Cuts – NZ Herald, 29 July 2013

Major insurance providers, Sovereign, have disclosed they will only fund medication and exercise as treatments for depression in future, given the cost associated with talking therapies and the number of people who need them.

In the article, Mike King of The Nutters Club and Key to Life Charitable Trust comments “I can say from experience that talk therapy absolutely works. But few people can afford it. We don’t need less talk therapy. We need to be working with the Government and insurance companies to find ways for more people to get affordable or free therapy.”

A representative from Sovereign insurance states that antidepressants are “proven to work” and uses an example of a person who is only mildly depressed following a period of unemployment as a time when talking therapy would be considered unnecessary and antidepressants considered sufficient. “This shows a misunderstanding of the research,” says Engage Aotearoa service director, Miriam Larsen-Barr, “antidepressants have been shown to be effective only at the severe end of the spectrum. People with mild to moderate symptoms can most definitely be helped with talking therapy and are much more likely to respond positively to that than antidepressant medication. People tend to have these experiences for a reason. Talking therapies help people address those reasons in ways that medication alone cannot, for all that it has its place and uses.” 

One might argue that restricting treatment choices to medication or exercise alone limits service-users’ ability to make the best recovery choices for them or freely give their informed consent – choice is considered a fundamental part of consent and choice requires multiple options. This is reflected in the Health and Disability Commissioner’s Code of Consumer Rights. In the recent Partnership Report from Changing Minds, service-users specifically call for a greater range of choice when it comes to their recovery. The NZ Herald article has already inspired much debate.

Comments on Facebook posts sharing the article are calling for some kind of action to address the issue of funding for talking therapies. Funding for therapy has been an issue for quite some time. Improved access to talking therapies was one of the requests made in the Petition for Better Mental-Healthcare Choices that was delivered to parliament in June. The Health Select Committee will be meeting to discuss the petition in the next month or two, but have yet to release the date of their meeting. If you are passionate about this issue and want to add your voice to those calling for better access to the things that work, email your submission to the chairperson of the Health Select Committee Paul Hutchison at  paul.hutchison@parliament.govt.nz or contact your local MP.