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Christchurch / Canterbury Schools, Effecting Change, Government Policy, Protest - Have a Voice, SOSNZ

Petition for Democracy in Christchurch

A number of petitions, rallies, and so on are being planned in support of Christchurch and, in particular, its education system. I’m sharing this one, and will add in any others as and when they pop up, so keep your eyes peeled.

Vote Canterbury Kids

Why this is important

 Together we pledge to stand up for Canterbury’s kids, protecting and retaining democracy for our local schools, city and environment
This petition is for the democratic decisions for our kids’ schools, city & environment.

New Zealand was the first nation to win the vote for ALL citizens, and that movement was led by Kate Sheppard and a small group of women and men from Canterbury.   Let’s ensure that we renew that great democratic legacy for children.

Since the earthquakes in Christchurch we have seen democratic decision making swept aside in three really important ways.

1. First the government has taken real decision making power away from our elected city council and replaced it with an unelected government with no plan in sight for how they will transition back to elected decision making.  Even if we vote for city councilors next year they have no real power over any important local decisions.   We may not have all agreed with the city council, but it was our council!

2. Second, without warning the government suddenly suspended the right of citizens to vote for a Regional Council (ECAN) which makes the decisions about our water, air quality, and public transport for 5 years.   This is simply unjustifiable.   The government has appointed commissioners who they argue have done a good job but if so now the Commissioners should stand for election and gain a public mandate.

3. Third, the government has announced a sweeping array of changes to our local schools including closures and mergers.   Some of the plans maybe good, but the grounds for other changes are less clear.   Long term this represents a major change to the way we make decisions in locally elected school boards.   Nor is it clear why we’d need new ‘charter’ schools, when we already have community schools we call “Tomorrow’s schools”.   Our schools are the heart of our children and our community recovery, we need to take time and make change in small steps not a great rush.

To recover from disaster you have to take people with you.  

Our tamariki, our children need stability, warm homes, secure schools and to be listened to with respect, we all do.  It is unwise and unfair to rush so many changes through -change must be done with the people’s vote through our schools boards, city council and regional council.

Sign the petition here.

Source: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Vote_Canterbury_Kids/?cJcZdbb (retrieved 17.9.12 at 17.55)

About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi

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