PSA CELEBRATES CONVERSION THERAPY BAN
Last month, the PSA celebrated the passage of the Conversion Practices Prohibition Act, which bans the practice of trying to “cure” people of their sexuality, gender expression or LGBTQI identity.
The ban, passed with near unanimity after all but eight MPs voted in its favour, makes it an offence to perform conversion therapy which causes “serious harm,” with a sentence of up to five years in prison attached.
Commenting on the news, Out@PSA member Caleb Gordon said: “I’m so proud to live in a country that understands ‘praying the gay away’ is never appropriate and is, in fact, abuse. Knowing that it is now illegal to abuse young queer people in this way, and all but eight MPs voted for the ban, makes my community feel such hope for the future.”
NATIONAL’S ECONOMIC AGENDA IS A GIANT LEAP BACKWARDS
National Party leader Christopher Luxon launched a series of attacks on “wasteful” Government spending, proposing deeply misguided tax cuts for top earners as an alternative means of controlling inflation.
Luxon’s comments came complete with uninformed jibes about wasteful spending on new public servants – who he described as “faceless bureaucrats” – and a deeply misguided pledge to scrap the top 39 per cent tax threshold for incomes over $180,000.
PSA national secretary Kerry Davies challenged these statements publicly, saying: “These comments are offensive to the public servants who have come together, as part of a team of five million, to keep us safe over the past two years.
“We are the bureaucrats you’re demeaning. We are contact tracers, social workers, healthcare professionals, border workers, and that’s just for starters.”
CTU chief economist Craig Renney argues Luxon’s proposals would only serve to “boost debt, pump up inflation and make it harder for middle income and working New Zealanders to get ahead.”
Contrary to what Mr Luxon says, now is the time for the Government to be bold; to deliver a budget that tackles housing shortages, income inequity, healthcare reform, and the climate crisis.
Investing in services and infrastructure now is the only way to prevent greater costs being incurred down the line. We must stop kicking the can down the road and start planning for the future we want.
COVID FUND BOOSTS WOMEN AND GIRLS’ ORGANISATIONS
Member organisations whose support for wāhine and kōtiro has been affected by the pandemic will receive thousands of dollars in financial support after successfully applying for the Covid-19 Community Fund.
The grant has been awarded to organisations that provide mental health services, safe spaces for women and children, support for retraining and upskilling, and training for volunteers.
The PSA worksites that have benefitted include Wellington Rape Crisis, Aviva, Te Roopu Tautoko ki Te Tonga, Whakatu Te Korowai Manaakitanga Trust, Age Concern Otago, Barnardos Te Puna Oraka Early Learning Centre, and ACROSS Te Kotahitanga o Te Wairua.
Hannah Gorman, PSA member and stakeholder engagement lead at Wellington Rape Crisis, says:
“Our clients were faced with extreme financial insecurity as soon as the first lockdown ended. It was way beyond business as usual.
“The $20,000 we received will help us pay for a new practice team lead, who can train our staff to keep up with our clients’ needs.”
Jan Tinetti, Minister for Women, says: “Covid-19 has had a disproportionate effect on women around the world including in Aotearoa New Zealand, resulting in job losses, increased caring work, and family violence.
“This funding will help these organisations to meet increased demand by lessening the financial strain caused by Covid-19.”
LONG-AWAITED LAUNCH FOR MERCHANDISE PORTAL
The portal stocks all PSA merchandise, including pens, lanyards, notebooks, and apparel. To place an order, you just need to create an online account with your email address and password.
Thanks to collective buying, we don’t make a profit on any of the items we sell. Merchandise is sold to members at – or close to – cost price, and any money raised is either used to purchase more stock, or it’s put into our hardship fund.
MAX RASHBROOKE BOOK COMPETITION
We had a huge response to our competition to win copies of the book Too Much Money: How Wealth Disparities Are Unbalancing Aotearoa New Zealand by Max Rashbrooke.
The lucky winners are Toby Walton from Community Probation Service in Waitakere, Matt Burke from Kainga Ora in Auckland, Anne Curran from Healthcare of New Zealand Support Workers in Hamilton, Yvette Faass from Oranga Tamariki in Christchurch, Thomas Kay from Forest & Bird in Wellington, and Andrew Lonie from University of Otago Academic Services.