Latest Event Updates
United Community Action Network (UCAN) press release
For immediate release
Monday 14 August at 7am
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.
UCAN is a national grassroots health rights organisation based in Wellington.
The group’s spokesperson, Debbie Leyland, says the growing gap between rich and poor sits next to health under funding as the country’s biggest health concerns.
“More and more people are being denied health care because they can’t afford it,” she says. “Poor housing, homelessness and low wages and benefits are as big a health problem as our growing waiting lists and number of people who need surgery but can’t get on a list.”
New Zealand has enough wealth to provide for all citizens but wealth is “poorly distributed”, she says.
“The provision of basic rights for all citizens just isn’t a priority.”
Leyland is calling on all political parties to support the charter.
Labour party finance spokesperson, Grant Robertson, Green Party social development spokesperson Jan Logie will speak at the presentation alongside representatives from Child Poverty Action Group, The Equality Network and The Living Wage Network.
UCAN has organized a gathering at Parliament steps on Tuesday 15 August, at 12.30, to present the aspirational Health Charter to elected MPs.
Members of UCAN will be presenting the UCAN Health Charter and the UCAN Election statement to members of parliament on the steps of the beehive to Labour MP Grant Robertson and Green MP Jan Logie.
We will then hear from Jan Logie and Grant Robertson on their acceptance of the UCAN Health Charter and statement.
There will also be comment from The Equality Network and The Living Wage movement.
Please come and join us for this event
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.
It is essential to keep the pressure up.
Image: Screenshot of Radio NZ page
Help make Health Funding an Election issue
Join the greatest health minds and activists to make health funding a key election issue.
YesWeCare.nz and United Community Action Network [UCAN] invite you to Health Funding Crisis Forums on Saturday 1st July from 10 am – 3.30 pm.
Our main forum will be held in Christchurch. It will be streamed online to events in Auckland, Wellington, any self-hosted events and online for those who can’t attend an event or where there isn’t one yet. (Want to host an event in your town?)
The pre-election budget is out and the smoke and mirrors around health funding has cleared.
Without action, more Kiwis are going to miss out on the mental and physical health care they need, when they need it.
That’s where you come in.
We’ve invited the most active community groups, workplace and health activists to work on a grassroots election plan.
Campaigning has made mental health a key election issue. We need to keep the pressure up and make physical health funding a key election issue as well.
At the forum, you’ll:
- Hear about the latest research on unmet need and health underfunding,
- How campaigning made mental health a key election issue, and
- Learn how to get your story in the media, or
- Discover how our new health and safety laws can fix unsafe workloads.
We’ll provide lunch. You’ll provide the energy.
For more information visit: http://yeswecare.nz/forums
What are your top three election priorities?
At the conference, we’ll be announcing three health pledges we want all parties, candidates and politicians to commit to in this election. We’re crowd-sourcing the asks and need your help to develop them.
If you or your organisation will struggle with travel costs, please let YesWeCare.nz know. They have a small fund to help.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Nāku noa, nā.
YesWeCare.nz Campaign Coordinator
027 526 8704
Pat Bolster & Debbie Leyland
On behalf of UCAN
United Community Action Network
PRESS RELEASE 21-4-17
CPAG, an independent charity established in 1994, has maintained a robust focus on the elimination of poverty for the children of Aotearoa. Doctors, teachers, academics, healthcare workers and many other committed people contribute to the body of research and reportage that CPAG produces.
Approximately three hundred thousand children live in poverty in Aotearoa. If you add to this the older siblings, parents, extended family and whanau, the burden of poverty escalates. The long term impacts of poverty are widely documented: the tragic loss of potential of the children; increased difficulty in accessing affordable physical and mental healthcare; the increase in incidence of domestic violence; poorer educational outcomes; limited access to decent accommodation; and the tailspin of homelessness. This is an avoidable situation. There needs to be a willingness to engage, innovate, and reduce the impacts of these situations for the benefit of all.
CPAG states “child poverty could be eliminated completely. It’s all about Choice.” UCAN agrees, and this unfolding disaster is a failure of political policy and loss of values based politics.
UCAN spokesperson, Debbie Leyland, says, “These conditions need to be considered as the escalating crisis that it is. It’s brilliant, but also a tragedy, that organisations like CPAG are active and necessary. They are essential in these times to document and report the struggles of the most vulnerable among us. There is something seriously broken in New Zealand.”
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.
Support for UCAN NZ Health Charter
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) supports and endorses the Health Charter by the United Communities Action Network New Zealand (UCAN) that says “everyone deserves the right to health”.
UCAN, an organisation formed four years ago, believes that the right to health 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.”
CPAG agrees that much of the poor health among children in New Zealand is attributable to “inadequate and unhealthy housing, poor living environments that alienate vulnerable sections of the community.”
The link between poverty and poor mental and physical health among children, whose opportunities to thrive are compromised, is very real. Professor Innes Asher, Health Spokesperson for CPAG says that “poverty and unhealthy housing and inadequate basic health care are the drivers behind many of the thousands of children admitted to hospital each year with preventable diseases.
“Comprehensive effective policies are needed to change this grim situation which results in large numbers of children, many of whom are babies, becoming very sick and who often suffer lifelong damage.”
CPAG says that UCAN promoting the right to healthcare that is not met with a cost barrier is a commendable effort, and aligns with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which New Zealand ratified 24 years ago.
CPAG notes with great concern that over half a million New Zealanders cannot afford to see their GPs. We are asking that the Government extends the zero fees scheme for free access to General Practice to include all children up to their 18th birthdays.
This would be one of the measures needed toward a goal of halving the number of hospital admissions for preventable illness among children – which is currently around 40,000 annually.
The UCAN Health Charter (2016) also supports everyone having the right to affordable, safe and healthy housing.
CPAG hopes that there will be a greater commitment by the New Zealand Government to ensuring that every family has access to an affordable, healthy home. Instituting a rental Warrant of Fitness to ensure that a minimum standard is met and that homes are made to be safe, dry, and insulated would be a step toward ensuring better health for all children of low-income families.
Follow this link to download a pdf version of the UCAN Health Charter. Ends