Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

VNZ marks International Day of Democracy

VNZ marks International Day of Democracy (15 September 2017)

New Zealanders are facing an exciting month, as 2017 General Election is drawing near. While the excitement for the upcoming election continues to rise, International Day of Democracy on 15 September is sure to give us a welcome opportunity to reflect on the wider value of our democratic society. The theme for this year’s International Day of Democracy is peace and stability.

As the UN envisions it, a truly democratic society is not only a system that allows each person to cast a single ballot, but also a space where all individuals have a chance to make their voices count. This month, New Zealand has a unique opportunity to strive towards an inclusive society built on accountable institutions at all levels – a society where everyone is valued, disputes are settled without violence, and vulnerable groups have access to appropriate support. Voters have known to experience both excitement and frustration after the election. However, at this critical moment, we must remember that voting is not the only way to express our opinions. It is certainly the most important process in any democratic society, but other channels of actions are also available.

Volunteering is a good way to directly impact the community around us. First and foremost, volunteering is a democratic action that sustains an inclusive, fair society from the smallest level. Each volunteer’s action sends ripples through the society by making hidden issues visible and looking after the well-being of their local communities. In fact, even the government agencies may find their resources overstretched, if it weren’t for the contribution of countless volunteers across the nation. According to the data published on Stats.NZ, NGOs contributed $9.4 billion to New Zealand’s GDP in 2012 alone, which includes $3.5 billion generated by the labour of volunteers alone. Stats NZ also observes that the value of volunteering has been on the rise since 2004. Despite the reduction in the total hours of contribution, the loss has been made up by the increasing number of passionate volunteers who seek to change the world through their action.

In the truest democratic fashion, NGOs across New Zealand are directly involved in shaping a better future. Shakti is one of those organisations. Run on the dedication of strong-willed volunteers, Shakti aids the migrant women and children who suffer from the lack of cultural understanding and language barrier, which leaves them defenceless against the domestic violence. Shakti New Zealand has been established in 1995. Since its inception, Shakti’s key strength has always been the advocates in the small regional offices who mobilised limited resources to cover crises lines, education of the general public, workshops, the welfare and safety of migrant women and children. Regardless of where one stands – in solidarity, by the helpline, with a stack of necessary forms, for a moment of silence – each volunteer paved the way towards the legislation against forced marriage in 2016. As Justice Minister Amy Adams noted, the legislative ban sends a clear message that our society refuses to accept such forms of violence.

On 15 September, Volunteering New Zealand would like to recognise all the organisations and volunteer on the forefront of democratic change. Their combined efforts add maturity of our community. In the truest sense, they are the actors who still speak loud without words.

If you are searching a suitable opportunity to get involved, visit our website for helpful resources. In Mahatma Gandhi’s famous words: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ) is an association of national volunteer-involving organisations that have a commitment to volunteering. Their mission is to maximise the impact of volunteering in our communities. www.volunteeringnz.org.nz


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Let It Go: MP Pay To Be Frozen

The Government is freezing MP salaries and allowances for a year while developing a fairer formula for future pay increases.

The Remuneration Authority is due to make a decision on MP pay shortly.

“Today Cabinet agreed to freeze MP Pay till July 2019, and to reassess the funding formula used by the Authority to ensure it is fair and in keeping with this Government’s expectations and values,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. More>>

 

Cop Shop Top-Up: 1800 New Police Through NZ

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today confirmed further details around the allocation of the 1800 additional officers, following a $298.8 million increase for Police in Budget 2018... “These 1800 officers, alongside 485 support staff, will really enhance our work to keep people safe, and ensure they feel safe,” says Mr Bush. More>>

ALSO:

Human Right Commissions: Concern On Aged Care And Consent

A new report published by the Human Rights Commission raises concerns about the legal and human rights safeguards for an estimated 5000 elderly New Zealanders in secure dementia units and psychogeriatric facilities. More>>

ALSO:

Justice Reform: Andrew Little Interviewed By Corin Dann

“We’ve had thirty years of the auction of more penalties, more crime, more people in prison but it‘s not working, it’s not making us safe.” More>>

ALSO:

Greens AGM: Leadership Stands Firm On Waka Jumping Bill

The Green Party leadership have dug in their heels and will not be reversing any of the decisions they have made in government. Former MPs Jeanette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford had hoped the caucus might be persuaded this weekend to pull its support from the waka jumping bill. More>>

ALSO:

TOP Still Going, Actually: New Leader For Opportunities Party

New leader Geoff Simmons' aim as the leader of TOP is to take the party into Parliament at the next election where it can advocate and implement progressive reform in areas including fair taxation, cannabis legalisation, affordable housing, and environmental protection. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case... More>>

MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>

ALSO:

Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages