This is a list of posts dating back to when UCAN NZ was formed in 2012

Presenting the Petition

In this video we start at the doorsteps of Parliament.

Dr Nikki Turner and United Community Action Network are delivering a petition to Riccardo Menendez March

Debbie Leyland from UCAN started with an introduction to the speakers, next was Nikki Turner and then Riccardo.

a Petition to the Minister of Transport, Michael Woods

from Aotearoa Collective for Public Transport

to make public transport permanently half price for everyone, and free for all under-25s, tertiary students, Community Services Card holders, and Total Mobility Card holders and their support people.

please Sign the petition

Parliament Petition

Petition of Nikki Turner on behalf of United Community Action Network: Removing prescription charges for Community Service Card holders

Published date: 15 Sep 2022


The petition closing date has been extended until 9 November 2022

Petition reason

Low-income households are currently experiencing significant hardship. Many are reliant on important medications. We consider that the $5 cost per item to a maximum of 20 items in any one year is a significant barrier to accessing these medications. Some large commercial organisations use their private resources to waive the $5 fee. This is not feasible for many community pharmacies. We believe this problem can be rectified by amending the Health Entitlement Cards Regulations 1993.

This petition is closed

Notes from Newtown & Strathmore Community and Health Network Meetings

August / September 2022

Two meetings were held in August and September with representatives from community health groups, local church groups, health providers, community centres, activists in the Newtown and Strathmore areas and representatives from Te Whatu Ora Capital Coast to talk about the health reforms, locality plans and for networking of health and community agencies working in the area.

Below is a summary of the presentations, discussion, issues, questions and ideas:

Regional Housing Action Plan (RHAP) – including the whole population

Thanks very much for the RHAP. As you know, UCAN has been actively concerned for over a decade by the fragmented and partial responses to this issue. We are very relieved to see that your Committee will form a clear and transparent governance structure to implement the Plan.

Free Public Transport

The Free Fares organising team would love to call your attention to a couple of upcoming public transport campaigns. These have a lot of crossover with our kaupapa, so we thought that as a member organisation of the Aotearoa Collective for Public Transport Equity you may also be interested in supporting.

The “predatory” business model used by discount pharmacy chains is being looked into by an MP
after being alerted to the issue by a fellow MP
Australian-based Countdown and Chemist Warehouse, along with New Zealand-owned Bargain Chemist, absorb the $5 prescription co-payment charge, often to the detriment of surrounding independent pharmacies.

A Letter to Human Rights Commissioner

Dear Professor Hunt,
Thank-you for the work the Human Rights Commission has done producing your ‘Framework
Guidelines on the right to a decent home in Aotearoa’ and the welcome announcement that there
will be a National Inquiry into housing referencing Article Three of The Treaty.
United Community Action Network (UCAN) is a Wellington-based community organisation that
works to raise the health and wellbeing issues of marginalized communities and people to
enhance community health, wellness and quality of life for all people.
We have spent much of the last decade searching for a Crown agency willing to provide
substantive support for the housing element in our UCAN Health Charter (attached). The Charter
has been endorsed by over twenty significant organisations, representatives of the two parties in
government, and many people as individuals.

Many people on limited incomes are excluded from the freedoms offered by the COVID-19 Vaccine Pass, says health rights lobby group UCAN – United Community Action Network Aotearoa New Zealand.

A major problem lies with the technology required to get a pass, says spokesperson Debbie Leyland.

Wellington to trial free public transport on weekends

Wellington will trial fare-free or heavily discounted public transport on weekends next March.

The one-month trial, which is likely to apply to all bus and train services in the region, will largely be to explore new fare structures.

The trial was approved by Greater Wellington Regional Council at a Transport Committee meeting on Thursday.

Metlink general manager Scott Gallacher said the trial would help to prepare for the national integrated ticketing project, a new smartcard for payment for all public transport being developed by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

“We want to test the resilience of the network if we suddenly have public transport that’s free on weekends…. are the travel patterns much different to what we currently see and if they are different, what are those patterns?” he said.

UCAN has joined the Free Fares Coalition

It’s not totally what the UCAN Charter calls for, but it’s a step in the right direction. Free Public Transport is one of the elements surrounding good public health.

As part of our work to [promote family well being], we have joined with dozens of organizations from around New Zealand to support the Free Fares Campaign. Together we are calling on Transport Minister Michael Wood to make public transport FREE for all under-25s, tertiary students and Community Service Card holders.

Meeting with MP Paul Eagle

Some members of UCANmet with Paul Eagle. We talked with MP Paul Eagle and his advisor, Brian Dawson and covered:

The mental health needs and unmet needs of people living in Rongotai and the continued lack of recognition of the importance of community facilities and housing needs.

The lack of any engagement structure at the DHB level to advocate for people with mental health and their families needs.

Progress Report September 2021

UCAN members are meeting with Paul Eagle on October 4th to discuss establishing a mental health service in South-East Wellington. This is to ensure that people in this region get the mental health services they are entitled to.

“Health is so much more than health”: UCAN delivers Health Charter and Election Statement to MP’S.

On Tuesday 15 August, members of UCAN and supporters met on Parliament steps to hand over the Ucan Health Charter and Election statement UCAN Health Charter 2016 to Members of Parliament.

We were joined by supporters and by the fabulous, The Brass Razoo Band.

Health charter to be delivered to parliament

The United Community Action Network (UCAN) will deliver it’s health charter to parliament tomorrow, Tuesday 14 August at 1230pm on parliament grounds.

The College of Nurses, low-cost health providers, The Equality and Living Wage Networks and the Public Health Association Wellington branch are some of the groups who have signed the charter.

The charter calls for the right to: health care, a living income, a safe and healthy home, the ability to take party in society, a safe environment and an education.

Report from Radio NZ on Equality Network presentation

Good coverage from Radio NZ on the presentation of the Equality Network‘s Election Statement.

It is essential that the issue of reducing inequality remains forefront with an election breathing down our necks. Any inaction on concrete and committed longterm planning to reduce inequalities will continue to have long-reaching impacts for those who live in the harshest of conditions in Aotearoa.

Presentation at the launch of Equality Network Election Statement

Debbie Leyland spoke on the step of Parliament voicing endorsement of the Election Statement launched by the Equality Network. Attached is the text of Debbie speech.

We believe it is possible for all New Zealander’s to enjoy a decent life, one where everyone thrives. But we recognise that big imbalances of income and wealth have been deeply destructive and unfair. They corrode our social fabric and limit the life chances of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders. Combined with other inequalities – such as those of gender and ethnicity – they damage lives and deepen disadvantage.” Equality Network, Election Statement 2017

An invitation to the Health Funding Crisis Forums

Help make Health Funding an Election issue

Join the greatest health minds and activists to make health funding a key election issue. and United Community Action Network [UCAN] invite you to Health Funding Crisis Forums on Saturday 1st July from 10 am – 3.30 pm.

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) Press Release.

Please see the press release from Child Poverty Action Group(CPAG) who have published this endorsement of the UCAN Health Charter. We thank CPAG for their ongoing commitment and advocacy to improving the health and wellbeing of children, and the families they live within, in Aotearoa.

An open letter to DHB Board members – 2016 elections

This text is from a speech presented by Professor Don Matheson at the launch of the 2016 UCAN Health Charter to the prospective Capital and Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) Board candidates in the 2016 election cycle.

This letter comes from a network called UCAN that is supporting action being taken to ensure everyone in New Zealand enjoys the right to health.

The UCAN Charter for Health

That right is being denied to many in Aotearoa/ New Zealand, through poor access to health services, an unfair economic and education system that strongly favours the wealthy over the poor, inadequate and unhealthy housing, poor living environments that alienate vulnerable sections of the community. We have not met our Treaty obligations. We believe as a nation we can and must do better than this.

The Devastating Effects of Health Care Cuts 

“Two tragic events in Wellington’s southern suburbs of Newtown and Kilbirnie calls attention to the devastating consequences of inadequate health funding, including the ongoing health funding cuts, for mental health consumers”, says spokesperson, Debbie Leyland, from the Wellington based health advocacy group, United Community Action Network (UCAN).

Fewer and fewer New Zealanders able to access the health care they need, when they need it.

The United Community Action Network (UCAN), which was established to protest cuts to community based primary health care services is concerned that the people who need health care the most in this country are becoming less and less able to access it.

News from United Community Action Newtown

Members of the south Wellington community and supporters will be taking to the streets to argue that funding cuts affecting vital primary health services such as the Newtown Union Health Service (NUHS), as the CCDHB attempt to make $20 million of savings this year.

Health cuts will hurt most vulnerable

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Media release from United Community Action Newtown (UCAN)

In a classic case of David versus Goliath, concerned members of the Newtown community will protest the quarter million funding cut to the Newtown Union Health Service on Friday.