Govt yet to fully implement a single key WEAG recommendation three years on: new research

Source: Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)


None of the 42 key recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) have been fully implemented almost three years after the report release, with 22 minimally or partially implemented, new research by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has found.

In February 2019, following consultation with over 3,000 New Zealanders, government-appointed WEAG experts recommended complete reform of the welfare system, providing 42 key recommendations and 126 detailed recommendations to inform this overhaul.

The Government’s vision – for a welfare system where people have an “adequate income and standard of living” – is not being realised, according to CPAG researchers and report co-authors Caitlin Neuwelt-Kearns and Professor Emeritus Innes Asher. In their second annual stocktake of implementation of WEAG’s recommendations, they found progress in improving the welfare system to be “slow, patchy and piecemeal”.

“If transformative welfare reform had been introduced as WEAG recommended, our communities would have been better equipped to withstand crises, including a pandemic,” says Professor Asher, who also served as a WEAG member. “Accelerating welfare reform would be an appropriate response to Covid-19 – but so far we have seen slow implementation progress, with no acceleration from last year.”

“An overly complex and unsupportive welfare system detracts from the ability of parents and caregivers to be mentally and emotionally present for their children,” says Neuwelt-Kearns. “At this pace, it could take decades to implement welfare reform as envisioned by WEAG, and such delays are potentially harming children.”

The number of children living in benefit-receiving households has risen by over 15% in the last two years to 208,000 children, roughly one in every five in Aotearoa. Yet the social security system still provides inadequate income and other support for these families, who are among the most likely to live in entrenched poverty.

“We’ve seen some positive developments in the last year, including the Budget 2021 core benefit increases – a welcome step towards income adequacy. However our findings suggest that for most people – including couples with children, and all adults without children – April 2022 rates won’t meet wage-adjusted WEAG rates.”

Furthermore, family incomes are made up of more than just core benefits, and WEAG recommended a “comprehensive package of increases”, including significant increases to Working for Families tax credits which haven’t been delivered.

“The Government has signalled a review of Working for Families, but as yet we have no timeline or details,” says Professor Asher. “Children can’t live on promises.”

“In 2019, WEAG described this comprehensive package of increases as a ‘minimum, immediate first step’, yet families have lost out on crucial income over the last few years due to slow Government roll-out. A couple on Supported Living Payment with one child will have been denied over $25,000 by April next year, because welfare reform was not implemented as quickly as WEAG recommended. These are significant sums that could have made a vital difference to family and whānau wellbeing, particularly during the pandemic.”

CPAG recommends the Government reforms the purpose and principles of the Social Security Act by the end of its current term, to ensure the foundations of the system reflect a commitment to improving wellbeing, and to uphold Te Tiriti. They also urge the Government to leverage the upcoming Working for Families review to deliver substantial income boosts to all families in a timely manner, particularly those in the deepest poverty.

Click here to download the PDF version, or Word version of the report.

Save the Children commits half a billion USD to tackle malnutrition

Save the Children commits half a billion USD to tackle malnutrition

Source: Save The Children

Save the Children today committed to invest around half a billion USD to tackle malnutrition with the commitment made as part of the Tokyo 2021 Nutrition for Growth summit held as the world faces the worst hunger crisis this century.

The Tokyo Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit 2021 taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday and is a key global moment for donors to pledge funds and make policy commitments to meet the Global Nutrition Targets.

Save the Children International CEO Inger Ashing said:

“Through such a bold investment, the organisation will aim to ensure 105 million children, in over 40 countries, receive support to prevent and treat undernutrition. It will also work to reach over 14 million children and their families with livelihoods support, including through cash and voucher assistance.

“The Nutrition for Growth Summit comes at a critical time for children. Malnutrition is linked to nearly half of all under-five deaths. In 2020, 149 million children were stunted (too short) and 45 million children were wasted (too thin). Without fast and decisive action from the global community, an additional 3.6 million children will become stunted by 2022 and additional 13.6 million children wasted because of the impacts of the pandemic. Save the Children has been a key voice in the development of this summit.

“It will continue to ensure that commitments by governments and other stakeholders are implemented in order to meet children’s right to health and nutrition.”

Health – More deliberate focus needed to ensure all people in Aotearoa experience good wellbeing

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission

Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission report highlights need to listen to and work alongside people with highest need and those disproportionately experiencing inequity
Te Rau Tira Wellbeing Outcomes Report 2021 found that most communities in Aotearoa New Zealand tend to experience good wellbeing, most of the time. The report also found that a concerningly large minority of people and communities experience persistently poor wellbeing.
“This may not come as a surprise to many, but that does not make it any less concerning,” says Board Chair, Hayden Wano.
“When a person or community experiences positive wellbeing, they are generally engaged with society and have good quality of life and mental health. For those experiencing negative wellbeing, the reverse is often true. Our report shows that while a substantial majority are in a positive space, too many people and their communities are not.
“As a country, we need to address this. The He Ara Oranga report from the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction highlighted that mental wellbeing is deeply connected to wider wellbeing in our society. People called for this understanding to be embedded within our mental health and addiction system, our wider health and social system, and at every level of society.
“The wellbeing of each of us should be the concern of all of us. We live together in the same country – if some communities are marginalised, it affects us all,” he says.
Through Te Rau Tira, the Commission found that most people in Aotearoa experience good or better wellbeing across the range of measures examined; measures like life satisfaction, safety, and sense of purpose. However, some communities experience far worse wellbeing outcomes. Most marginalised groups, such as young people, veterans, rainbow communities, Māori, Pacific peoples, former refugees and migrants, children in state care, older people, rural communities, disabled people, prisoners, and children experiencing adverse childhood events, looked at felt life is less worthwhile, and reported less security, poorer mental and overall health, and greater discrimination and barriers to wellbeing.
“Some vulnerable individuals and communities can become caught in a cycle of negative wellbeing. This is not good for them, nor for the broader community. It adversely affects, sometimes very seriously, many aspects of their quality of life, including their health. We need deliberate focus to see wellbeing increase across these communities – it’s vital to our collective health and wellbeing as a nation,” says Wano.
The report reveals a positive story of the growth of Māori collective strength, and wellbeing / oranga – while at the same time, there continues to be a disproportionate number of Māori individuals and whānau who are not doing well and are experiencing poor wellbeing across multiple dimensions.
The Commission’s role is to assess and monitor the wellbeing of all people in New Zealand. Through our He Ara Oranga wellbeing outcomes framework, we can bring a particular focus to those communities that experience persistently worse wellbeing outcomes.
“Our He Ara Oranga wellbeing outcomes framework was developed alongside communities and created with people with lived experience of poor wellbeing. It reflects what people say matters to them. Importantly, our framework brings together a te ao Māori view and a shared perspective view,” says Hayden Wano.
Te Rau Tira introduces the Commission’s vision to improve wellbeing for communities in Aotearoa.
“We want to see Kia Manawanui Aotearoa, the long-term pathway for mental wellbeing, implemented by government in a way that reflects the needs of all communities. We want to see new ways of working with communities and service providers, including encouraging community-led solutions, delivered by those who understand these issues and the communities that they are affecting,” says Hayden Wano.

First exercise day of 2022 just weeks away

First exercise day of 2022 just weeks away


Otautahi – The first days of 2022 are just weeks away, raising the spectre of the annual tradition of resolutions, such as getting fitter.

Healthier behaviours are valued more since covid arrived so 2022 promises to be an even more active year for Kiwis, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says.

A recent American survey found that health and diet are the most important 2022 new year’s resolutions.

Beddie agrees with the research and says people wanting to be more active next year should, first of all, enjoy the luxuries and pleasures of Christmas through the festive season.

“Kiwis should enjoy their time with friends and family / whanau over Christmas and also commit to being more physically active in 2022 – and most importantly develop a plan of how this will happen.

“Healthy living isn’t about sacrificing for one day, it’s about making changes for the long term, so people should focus less about how much they eat on Christmas day and more on how well they eat and how active they should be from January 1 on.

“For already active people the challenge can be maintaining the routine; the frequency can drop, but it’s important to keep up regular work outs.

“For those that are not active on a regular basis then holidays and a break from routine can be a great opportunity to form new habits.

“Christmas is approaching fast, and many people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on research studies, most people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season helped by lack of physical activity and exercise.

“Kiwis should still keep up their physical activity routine whenever possible and if they can’t do that, be that going for a walk, or trying some activity.”

He says an obesity epidemic is gripping New Zealand which also has a physical inactivity crisis, being the 13th worst in the world and the worst for children with only 10 percent meeting World Health Organisation guidelines.

Exercise is the #1 sport in New Zealand with more than half a million participants and growing research confirming the health benefits of activity for all Kiwis.

For further information contact Make Lemonade NZ editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

Massey University confirms COVID-19 vaccination policy

Massey University confirms COVID-19 vaccination policy

Source: Massey University

Massey University has confirmed its COVID-19 vaccination policy. From 14 February 2022 all staff, students and visitors will need to be fully vaccinated to enter Massey campuses or take part in in-person university activities.

This includes in-person teaching and learning functions such as classes, tutorials, workshops, labs, examinations and assessments. It will also extend to on-campus facilities such as libraries, student services, student accommodation, gyms, counselling and health services, offices and research and related activities.

This decision will be reviewed in November 2022 and consider any guidance and advice we receive from the Government.

As part of this work, the university asked staff and students to complete an anonymous survey which showed that a majority of staff and students who responded were already fully vaccinated. The consultation period ran form early November until the 30th and a clear majority of the staff and students who responded were in favour of adopting the recommendation.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas wants to thank students and staff who responded and provided feedback, which the Senior Leadership Team considered.

“This decision has been about balancing people’s rights to make their own decision on vaccination against the rights of students and staff who wish to study and work in a safe environment where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is minimised.

“Massey has an obligation to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our university whānau. Whilst we realise not everyone agrees with the policy, we consider it the best course of action to keep our campuses and people safe.”

The university has a good selection of programmes and courses that can be completed completely by distance, and these remain available for all students no matter their vaccination status. The university is committed to working with and supporting students on the next steps available to them, especially if this decision means they can no longer access campus.

“We will work with students who choose not to be vaccinated to find a solution where possible so they can complete their studies via distance courses.”

The details of how the university will implement and manage the vaccination policy are being finalised and communicated with staff and students between now and when it comes into effect.

Here are a set of FAQs that will be updated as and when new information is available.

A list of programme offerings that are not available to un-vaccinated students can be found here.

Survey shows franchise sector has grown in contribution despite the pandemic

Survey shows franchise sector has grown in contribution despite the pandemic

Source: Massey University

Some of the key findings from the latest Franchising New Zealand 2021 report.

The survey, the tenth of its kind, was conducted between 30 September and 29 October by the Massey Business School, and sponsored by the Franchise Association of New Zealand. Report author Professor Jonathan Elms says the $9.2 billion increase in business format franchise turnover, which excludes sales from motor vehicle and fuel retail, despite difficult trading/operating conditions and lower projected total units reflects the intrinsic resilience of the franchising business model.

“The New Zealand franchise system is a significant contributor to the economy, and involves multiple businesses and industry sectors. Despite a very constrained operationing environment, the franchise system continues to deliver through being adaptable and flexible. There are some world-class operators leading the way in New Zealand.”

The survey found there to be 590 business format franchisors in New Zealand, with 71 per cent of these brands being homegrown. The sales turnover of the business format franchise sector is estimated at $36.8 billion, up from $27.6 billion in 2017.

The survey data was gathered during a period of continued border closures and business restrictions that limited trading opportunities and generated operating and economic uncertainty.

Franchise Association Chief Executive Robyn Pickerill says when asked about the impacts of COVID-19 on business, the top three responses returned were the significant disruptions to trading, greater levels of stress and mental health concerns, and adjusted hours of operation. The key challenges going ahead are labour shortages with a lack of suitable skilled staff in many areas, supply chain issues and the uncertainty of periodic business interruptions.

However, Mrs Pickerill says that despite these impacts, franchise operators continue to show resilience and adaptability to succeed, recognising a number of opportunities that the pandemic had brought to light. “Diversification, having an increased online presence and targeting local disposable income were all identified as areas of opportunity that the pandemic have highlighted to business owners.”

Professor Elms says franchise employment has also risen, at a rate of around 8000 a year since 2017. “Franchise businesses are employing more staff than in 2017, which again speaks to the resiliency of the business model. At present it’s estimated there are 156,820 people employed in a franchise operation in New Zealand.”

The support franchise owners receive as part of the business model is another feature that Professor Elms believes is integral to its success.“The support offered by franchisors and fellow franchises is unique to the sector. This is evidenced through sharing best practices, investment in training and development, and community engagement. All are necessary to help franchises weather the COVID-19 storm.”

Further key findings include:

  • New employees within franchisee units receive 40 hours of training within their first year, while established employees receive 20 hours of training per year. 
  • 97 per cent of franchisors provide training to reinforce employment best practice and compliance.
  • 65 per cent of franchise brands actively implement environmental sustainability and ethical measures within their operations.
  • There are 32,000 business format franchise units operating in New Zealand.
  • Auckland is the most popular location for franchise support offices.

The main purpose of the franchise survey is to obtain current information about the structure, practices and performance of the franchise sector in New Zealand, including recent trends and challenges. Conducting the survey regularly will help the sector to build an analytical time series and set benchmarks for future performance. Survey sponsors include Westpac, Nexia New Zealand, Franchize Consultants, The Franchise Coach, Stewart Germann Law, Iridium Partners and Franchise New Zealand Media.

Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards ­Ngā Tohu Pou Kōhure o Aotearoa Semi-Finalists Announced for Seven Categories

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: New Zealander of the Year Awards

The New Zealander of the Year Awards Office announce the Semi-Finalists in seven categories for the 2022 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards ­­Ngā Tohu Pou Kōhure o Aotearoa. From thousands of nominations, these remarkable New Zealanders stood out; identified by our independent judging panel as upholding the mana and spirit of this much-loved awards programme.

2022 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Te Pou Whakarae o Aotearoa Semi-Finalists:

Dame Hinewehi Mohi DNZM (Havelock North) – Singer, songwriter and producer, Hinewehi Mohi is an artist of iconic status, who has championed the development of bilingual music, television production, music therapy and advocacy for te reo and tikanga Māori.

Dame Judith Anne Kilpatrick CNZM (Auckland) – Dame Judith Anne Kilpatrick spent her career in nursing and is a pioneer of the field, in 2021 she was made a Dame Companion for services to nursing education, and has raised the standards and knowledge of the profession.

Dame Valerie Adams DNZM (Auckland) – Dame Valerie Adams is known internationally for her strength and character on and off the shot put field; she has won 107 world events and received her fourth Olympic medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Professor Michael Baker MNZM (Wellington) – Professor, leading researcher, and Science Communicator of the Year, Professor Michael Baker, has been a reassuring, measured voice during the Covid-19 pandemic, influencing Government policy, and sharing his epidemiology expertise with the public in an easy and helpful way.

Hon Kiri Allan (Gisborne) – Hon Kiri Allan is the East Coast MP and Minister for Conservation and Emergency Management and is known for publicly addressing her cancer diagnosis and encouraging others to get tested.

Judge Andrew Becroft (Wellington) – Judge Andrew Becroft was the Children’s Commissioner for six years, ending his tenure in 2021; the former Principal Youth Court Judge has been vocal in his calls for further resourcing of the Royal Commission’s Inquiry into Abuse in Care, he is a tireless campaigner for the rights of children.

Lisa Carrington MNZM (Auckland) – Flatwater sprint kayaker, Lisa Carrington, became New Zealand’s most decorated Olympian after winning three gold medals at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics; her skill and hard work have made her one of New Zealand’s most successful and high-profile sports people.

Lyall Thurston QSO JP (Rotorua) – Lyall Thurston campaigned for the inclusion of folic acid in bread products for more than 30 years, securing his goal in 2021, his work will help reduce neural tube defects (NTDs) in New Zealand babies.

Melissa Vining (Southland) – Melissa Vining is an advocate for better and equitable health services for all New Zealanders; motivated by the loss of her husband Blair to bowel cancer, she’s set up a Charity Hospital delivering free colonoscopies to prevent the further loss of life for the people of Otago & Southland.

Tā Tipene O’Regan (Canterbury) – Tā Tipene O’Regan is known for his work in Ngāi Tahu’s Treaty Settlement, as an educator and as a public figure whose life has been dedicated to building an inclusive, bicultural nation.

Miriama Kamo, Te Koruru Patron of the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards says, “Once again, it’s been an extraordinary year – marked with deep challenges, exhilarating celebrations and courageous decisions. And through it all, our Semi-Finalists have each demonstrated their unwavering commitment to making this country a better place for us all – stepping up to act as ‘pou,’ as support and strength for whānau, for communities, for our country and beyond. It’s an honour and a privilege to play a role in acknowledging the achievements of our 2022 Semi-Finalists. Ngā mihi nunui ki a koutou katoa.”

In its 13th year, the annual Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards celebrate Kiwi from all walks of life; those who inspire, give hope and lead across seven Award categories. Included in the categories this year is a new award dedicated to recognising those who are ensuring the future of our environment – The Department of Conservation and Ministry for the Environment New Zealand Environmental Hero of the Year Award Te Toa Taiao o te Tau.

Earlier this year, the Awards Office called on New Zealanders to honour extraordinary Kiwi, those who use their passion to make Aotearoa a better place, by casting a nomination. Thousands of nominations were  then rigorously evaluated by an independent and diverse judging panel, and the 10 Semi-Finalists per category selected.

All Semi-Finalists go on for consideration in the next round of judging, where they are carefully whittled down to just three Finalists in each Award category, to be announced Tuesday 22 February. Category Winners will be revealed at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala Dinner, set to take place on Thursday 31 March 2022 in Tāmaki Makaurau.

To learn more about the 2022 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Awards Ngā Tohu Pou Kōhure o Aotearoa Semi-Finalists and their incredible stories, visit

Category Award Semi-Finalists for 2022:

University of Canterbury Young New Zealander of the Year Te Mātātahi o Te Tau

Abbas Nazari (Christchurch) – Abbas Nazari’s journey as a refugee from Afghanistan to New Zealand at the age of seven is harrowing, but in equal measure the success he’s achieved since then is astonishing.

Ezra Hirawani (Hamilton) – Ezra Hirawani started his own power company to provide electricity to the many New Zealanders living in energy hardship, and against the odds, he has compelled the industry to make systemic change.

Jacinta Gulaskeharam (Wellington) – Jacinta Gulaskeharam is a social entrepreneur who is using candour and positivity to end period poverty. Her work has helped provide thousands of free period products to young people in need, and secured free products for school students.

Josiah Tavita Tualamali’I (Christchurch) – Josiah Tualamali’i is a young mental health activator and leader, he works hard and speaks up to ensure Pacific perspectives and needs are met.

Pania Newton (Christchurch) – Pania Newton became the face of a new generation of activists during the occupation at Ihumātao, her unwavering commitment to protect her whenua ignited complex conversations and raised awareness of the land’s rich history.

Rangipo Takuira-Mita (Tauranga) – Rangipo Takuira-Mita is a young innovator working with a group of environmental leaders to inspire the restoration of tupuna mātauranga, encouraging caring communities that nurture nature.  

Sophie Pascoe (Christchurch) – Sophie Pascoe is a top athlete, winning 11 Paralympic gold medals and four Commonwealth gold medals. She has shown New Zealanders that any set-back is surmountable.

Stan Walker (Whanganui) – Stan Walker is a New Zealand musician who aims to use his voice to keep te reo Māori alive and promote all the gifts of te ao Māori.

Tayla Nasmith (Auckland) – At just 12 years old, Tayla Nasmith started a charity for mothers to be. Partnering with Police and midwives, Tayla works to provide essentials for those in greatest need.

Zak Devey (Huapai) – Zak Devey’s mahi is helping young prisoners be creative and self-reflective with writing. The university student runs creative writing workshops at Mt Eden Prison to support the hauora of young men.

Ryman Healthcare Senior New Zealander of the Year Te Mātāpuputu o Te Tau

Boyd Klap CNZM QSO (Wellington) – Touring the Anne Frank exhibition throughout New Zealand, Boyd Klap has worked hard to promote inclusive communities and to end discrimination.

 Dr Murray Heasley (Auckland) – A campaigner for sexual abuse survivors, Dr Murray Heasley has helped numerous New Zealanders seek justice and gain acknowledgement of their experiences.

Erin ONeill (Tauranga) – Erin ONeill understands the effects of addiction on family members: she runs Brave Hearts NZ – Manawa Kaha Aotearoa – a support network for whanau and friends with a loved in in addiction.

Hansa Naran (Auckland) – A strong presence in her Manukau community, Hansa Naran has spent decades using her voice to speak up for the rights of others, in 2021 she has been busy as a translator for the Indian community, an advocate for gender equality, and a fundraiser for Covid-19 relief support.

Murdoch Ross (Whangārei) – Murdoch Ross is a visionary who’s turned his ideas into action, championing the development of numerous community facilities in his home town of Whangārei.

Ngatuakana O-Rangi Wichman (Auckland) ­– Ngatuakana O-Rangi Wichman is a force in her community, she ensures people are provided with practical items such as food and clothing, and by teaching life-skills and self-sufficiency.

Pat Macaulay (Mosgiel) –Pat Macaulay is a stalwart supporter of rural New Zealand, for more than 50 years she has volunteered, championed and fundraised for rural and farming communities.

Rereata Makiha (Northland) – Rereata Makiha believes in the power of sharing knowledge and using oral traditions – korero-tuku-iho to connect and educate the next generation.

Te Warihi Hetaraka (Whangārei) – Te Warihi Hetaraka’s work in arts as a leader, adviser and practitioner has centred around passing on mātauranga Māori traditional knowledge systems.

Terry Foster (Auckland) – Terry Foster is a pioneer community-led housing, his work with not-for-profit housing provider, Abbeyfield New Zealand, has changed the landscape for retired living options.

Trade Me New Zealand Innovator of the Year Te Pou Whakairo O Te Tau

Angus Brown (Auckland) – Angus Brown is the founder of neuroscience developed brain food, Ārepa, a drink proven to enhance cognitive function.

Brianne West (Canterbury) – Brianne West has changed the face of beauty products the world over, establishing the regenerative beauty and personal care brand, Ethique, that fosters scientific innovation while remaining firmly focused on protecting the planet.

Cameron Smith (Auckland) – Take2 founder and CEO, Cameron Smith is changing the face of the tech sector. Running web development training courses for prisoners, he connects them with internships that lead to jobs and is reducing reoffending massively in the process.

Grace Glass (Christchurch) – Grace Glass established Natural Paint Co to change the status quo, creating healthy paints for homes, people and the environment.

Inu Akerei Maresala-Thomson (Waikato) – Inu Akerei Maresala-Thomson is the founder of MYRIVR, a social good, community app that connects users with 8,000 health and social services around the country.

Kevin Halsall (Otaki) – Kevin Halsall is a determined inventor, whose explorative approach to design has helped create a hands-free, off-road, mobility scooter; the Omeo is taking off around the world, changing wheelchair users’ lives by giving them the opportunity to get outdoors independently and with ease.

Mark Sagar PhD FRSNZ (Auckland) ) – CEO of Soul Machines, Mark Sagar is leading the way for intelligent, AI design. From his R&D lab in Auckland he is generating an international reputation as a pioneer in the field.

Rereata Mākiha (Northland) – Rereata Mākiha believes in the power of sharing knowledge and using oral traditions – korero-tuku-iho to connect and educate the next generation.

Saia Latu (Auckland) – Saia Latu is an entrepreneur and founder of TROW Group, a deconstruction and waste management company that supports environmentally sustainable repurposing of construction materials.

Sarah Brown (Christchurch) – Sarah Brown is a communications specialist, who alongside husband Matt Brown, runs ‘She’s not your rehab’, the social movement promoting violence free communities and changing men’s lives.

Department of Conservation and Ministry for the Environment New Zealand Environmental Hero of the Year Award Te Toa Taiao o te Tau

Brianne West (Christchurch) ­– Brianne West has changed the face of beauty products the world over, establishing the regenerative beauty and personal care brand, Ethique, that fosters scientific innovation while remaining firmly focused on protecting the planet.

 Charmaine Bailie (Auckland) – Described as a force of nature, Charmaine Bailie is an ecologist overseeing numerous large-scale environmental restoration projects. She uses her skills, humour and energy to support people and the whenua.

Courtney Davies (Auckland) ­– Courtney Davies is a young agricultural hero working to educate, support and develop cutting edge science to sustainably grow New Zealand’s agribusiness industry.

Deborah Manning (Auckland) – Deborah Manning was a lawyer when she changed her career a decade ago to establish KiwiHarvest, a food rescue organisation that has redirected six million kilos of edible nutritious food destined for landfill to people in need.

Hayden Smith (Auckland) – Hayden Smith started Sea Cleaners 19 years ago, and it’s been cleaning tons of rubbish from our oceans five days a week, ever since.

Jacqui Forbes (Raglan) – A community waste expert, Jacqui Forbes is passionate about zero waste; she runs Para Kore Marae’s innovative education programme to support iwi, hapū and whānau to create a zero waste future for Aotearoa.  

Joe Youssef (Auckland) – Joe Youssef is the Founder and Chief Encourager of All Heart NZ, which works to provide a practical sustainability solution for business throughout Aotearoa to Redirect, Repurpose and Reduce all aspect of waste.  

 Kaya Freeman (Wellington) – Kaya Freeman is a young environmentalist making an impact with her leadership of Forest & Bird Youth, restoring wild places and wildlife.

Professor Bronwyn Hayward MNZM (Christchurch) – University of Canterbury Professor, Bronwyn Hayward, is an esteemed academic, whose work on climate change, sustainability and youth politics has been influential globally. She was a lead author on the UN’s IPCC Special Report on 1.5C and is a member of the IPCC’s core writing team.

 Sam Gibson (Gisborne) – An excellent communicator and innovative researcher, Sam Gibson is a conservationist who inspires others. Striking a balance between matauranga Māori and Western practice, he leads significant restoration projects.

Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year Ngā Pou Whirinaki o Te Tau

Dignity – Dignity was created by Miranda Hitchings and Jacinta Gulasekharam to provide free period products in Aotearoa. Sixty-two workplaces now support Dignity’s Buy-one, Give-one initiative that helps thousands of people living in period poverty.

Energise Ōtaki – Energise Ōtaki supports the Ōtaki community to achieve a sustainable and affordable energy future, including offsetting climate impacts from the town’s energy consumption.

Matakaoa Community ­– The Matakaoa community worked together to keep Covid-19 out of its town, uniting in a shared purpose to keep people safe, they achieved exemplary vaccination rates.

New Zealand Falcons – The New Zealand Falcons are a gay and inclusive rugby team providing an environment for everyone to participate in rugby. The team’s kaupapa of manaakitanga and whanaungatanga embraces players to be confident and be themselves while focusing on fun and personal development.

Te Rarawa Noho Taiao group – Te Rarawa’s Noho Taiao is an intensive, hands-on science hui for young people, the kaupapa aims to increase the number of rangatahi Māori pursuing careers in science, environmental sustainability, technology and business.

Para Kore Marae – Para Kore Marae’s innovative education programme, with community waste expert Jacqui Forbes at the helm, supports iwi, hapu and whānau to create a zero waste, carbon-neutral future for Aotearoa.

Perfectly Imperfect Charitable Trust – Perfectly Imperfect salvages fresh fruit and vegetables otherwise deemed too unattractive for market, and in the process supports growers and gifts nutritious food to people in need.

Soldiers Rd – Taaniko and Vienna Nordstrom – Taaniko and Vienna Nordstrom’s project, Behind the Wire, takes the portraits of men in prison and provides an uplifting experience that helps shift their self-perception.

Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand – The Supreme Sikh Society builds community facilities, runs food banks and connects people with support in tough times; its volunteers open their hearts and resources to the community around them.

The Polynesian Panther Party – The Polynesian Panther Party has been advocating for Pasifika rights for fifty years, and is considered a leader in community-based activism.

Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year Te Pou Toko o Te Tau

Alice Mander (Wellington) – Alice Mander is a law student, activist and writer. Her reflections on living with a disability offer insight into the disparities that exist in the world, she is a vocal student politician and is effecting change on campus.

Brendon Warne (Auckland) – Brendon Warne is a drug-free campaigner and the founder of the Anti-P Ministry, an organisation that has helped thousands of former addicts become addiction-free. In sharing his own battles with meth he has helped others overcome their dependencies.

Caroline Herewini MNZM (Porirua) – Caroline Herewini is a human rights advocate committed to ending family violence; she is the Chief Executive of the Te Whare Tiaki Wāhine Refuge and has led the organisation for 20 years.

Dame Areta Koopu DNZM (Auckland) – Dame Areta Koopu is an activist and advocate for women’s health; a former Māori Women’s Welfare League President, Human Rights Commissioner and a Waitangi Tribunal member she is an outstanding thinker and leader within New Zealand.

Dave Letele (Henderson) – Dave Letele is the founder of the not-for-profit Brown Buttabean Motivation programme – a free, gym-based weight-loss programme that has inspired thousands of New Zealanders to get fit and get healthy.

Deborah Manning (Auckland) – Deborah Manning was a lawyer when she changed her career a decade ago to establish KiwiHarvest, a food rescue organisation that has redirected six million kilos of edible nutritious food destined for landfill to people in need.

Matt Dagger (Wellington) – The General Manager of Kaibosh, Matt Dagger has been leading food rescue efforts for the past 10 years; and is  known for raising awareness of food waste and finding new, creative solutions to prevent food loss and fight food insecurity. He is the Chair of the Aotearoa Food Rescue Alliance.

Panapa Te Wheru Ehau (Gisborne) – Panapa Te Wheru Ehau is the Co-Founder and Director of both Hikurangi Enterprises (local sustainable economic development) and Rua Bioscience (pharmaceutical cannabis). With expertise in social enterprise, he is on a mission to increase the well-being of whanau and whenua through sustainable economic development in Tairāwhiti.

Sian Neary (Auckland) – The General Manager of Auckland’s Graeme Dingle Foundation, Sian Neary looks after 42 staff members who support 9,000 tamariki in the region. During lockdown Sian was instrumental in creating the Tamariki Talks programmes, providing educational content for Papa Kāinga TV.

Te Warihi Kokowai Hetaraka (Whangārei) –  Te Warihi Kokowai Hetaraka was Pou Whakahaere at Te Puni Kōkiri for ten years, he is a senior New Zealand artist and cultural leader; committed to developing and sharing matauranga Māori, he is an esteemed teacher and mentor.

Flooding on SH 1, Kuku

Flooding on SH 1, Kuku

Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Severe flooding has been reported on SH 1 at Kuku, between Ōhau and Ōtaki. 

The road remains open at the moment, however the water is reported to be rising, and there may be further delays or road closures. 

Motorists are asked to avoid or postpone unecessary travel in the area if possible. 

For those on the road, make sure you take extra caution and drive to the conditions.


Issued by Police Media Centre. 

Human Rights Commission welcomes national strategy to eliminate family and sexual violence

Source: Human Rights Commission

Human Rights Commission welcomes national strategy to eliminate family and sexual violence

December 7, 2021

The Disability Rights and Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioners are applauding Aotearoa New Zealand’s first national strategy to eliminate family and sexual violence – Te Aorerekura.  

The 25-year strategy was released earlier today by the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Marama Davidson 

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says this strategy acknowledges disabled people bear a disproportionate burden of family violence and sexual abuse 

The voices of disabled people have been listened to in this strategy. I, and others in the disabled community, engaged with the Joint Venture working group to insist disabled people’s experiences of violence were included.  

We can only achieve better outcomes through collective actionUntil this strategy, we have not explicitly acknowledged how our power structures have overlooked the impacts of family and sexual violence on tāngata whaikaha Māori and disabled people.  

“Nor have we addressed how prevailing attitudes have kept disabled people silenced about the violence and abuse they experience for too long.  A lack of workforce knowledge has also meant inadequate responses when people do speak up”, said Ms Tesoriero.  

It’s heartening to hear that the Government will embark on a new approach that is victim-centred, ensuring continued inclusive and accessible services focused both on prevention and appropriate responses to support survivors and families at risk of violence,” said Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner. 

It has taken us far too long to get here. I’m hopeful the intention and investment will begin protecting, healing, and restoring the lives of children and women victimised by family violence, particularly for our wahine Māori, Pacific and ethnic women. 

“I would like to see ongoing resourcing and adequate support for survivors as well as perpetrators of family violence to seek the help and rehabilitation, so we can continue to create peaceful homes and safer communities,” adds Sumeo.  

“While we address the underlying causes of violence, let’s make sure we respond and care for those who are impacted now in the most appropriate and effective ways”. 

Ms Tesoriero agreesadding; “It’s right that disabled people’s voices have been heard and the social dynamics contributing to the increased risks are visible in the strategy.   

The strategy recognises mātauranga Māori. This provides the opportunity for tāngata whaikaha Māori to be an integral part of tāngata whenua led solutions. This will be crucial to its success.  

“My focus now will be on monitoring how the 10 agencies involved with the resources and recommendations I made earlier this month in the two reports I released Whakamanahia Te Tiriti, Whakahaumarutia te Tangata (Honour the Treaty, Protect the Person) and Whakamahia te Tūkino kore Ināianei, ā Muri Ake Nei (Acting Now for a Violence and Abuse Free Future). 

“These reports set out the evidence available on the causes and impacts of violence and abuse against tāngata whaikaha Māori and disabled people. 

They provide, for the first time, an evidence base and graphic illustration of the violence and abuse suffered by tāngata whaikaha Māori and disabled people. They show a continued absence of effective responses to reduce its incidence.  

“Te Aorerekura builds a strong foundation for participation, informed action and ultimate evolution. It takes us in the right direction”.  

Serious crash – SH58, Porirua

Flooding on SH 1, Kuku

Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Emergency services are in attendance at a serious crash on State Highway 58 near the intersection with James Cook Drive in Whitby, Porirua.

Police were called to the two-vehicle collision shortly before 6.20pm.

Two people have been injured in the crash, one with serious injuries who is being airlifted to hospital.

A section of State Highway 58 has been closed due to the crash, which is expected to cause significant delays.

Eastbound traffic is being diverted onto Postgate Drive and traffic travelling west is being diverted onto Joseph Banks Drive.

Police advise motorists to avoid the area if at all possible.


Issued by Police Media Centre