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Staunch Launch -Youth Take Off!

Media Release 10.07.2000

STAUNCH LAUNCH -YOUTH TAKE OFF!

Staunch, the Alliance youth wing, held it's first national gathering over the weekend, and elected two spokespeople, Tom Haig and Julie Fairey. Over twenty youth activists from around Aotearoa-New Zealand met in Wellington, enlivening the fusty halls of Parliament with their youthful exuberance anddynamism. Staunch has committed to campaigns and positions onthe following issues:

Free education - "The Alliance is the only party with a commitment to free education at all levels, and we're committed to continuing the fight for thisright," said Tom Haig.

Decriminalisation of marijuana - "Youth are hugely over-represented in the court system because of the current unfair and unrealistic laws regarding marijuana. A conviction for possession currently has an effect far outweighing the so-called crime committed," said Julie Fairey.

Fair trade not free trade - "For those who are already disadvantaged, free trade is driving them further down, and what is needed is a commitment to fair trade, recognising workers' rights and protecting the environment," said Tom Haig.

GE labelling - "Given the huge public concern about genetic engineering people must be given the information to make a decision about what they eat,"said Julie Fairey.

Paid Parental Leave within the current term - "This is a basic workers' right and the social benefits far outweigh any minor costs to employers. There are so many factors counting against having children, such as the student loan scheme, that a few encouragements are sorely needed," said Tom Haig.

Opposing all discrimination against youth - "Schemes such as the Yellow Triangle programme and the youth minimum wage clearly discriminate against youth. Discrimination is totally unacceptable and we will be campaigning against this at every opportunity," saidJulie Fairey.

Staunch is mainly based around campus Alliance branches, and will be acting regionally as well as nationally.

Contact Staunch Alliance National Spokespeople: Tom Haig (04) 384 1920 or Julie Fairey (021) 216-7868,(09) 623-2676


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