All posts by Peace & Social Justice Group

Cyclone Gabrielle

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How can we help?

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, the devastation it has caused, and the terrible impact this ex-cyclonic storm has wrought on our people and our land in Aotearoa, New Zealand. We are witnessing huge amounts of strength and sadness, and the media pictures portray the huge scale of this disaster.

How can we help? The need now is primarily for financial help in the recovery and rescue stage. Here are a couple of links to websites where donations can be made.

There are many people and organisations raising funds to help with this disaster, and if you haven’t already, please do help by contributing – every bit helps .

Our hearts go out to all.

Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Bill

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The Peace and Social Justice Group of the Auckland Unitarian Church have made a submission to the New Zealand Parliament in support of the proposed Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Bill. Submissions closed 1st December 2022

This purpose of this omnibus bill is to improve compliance and enforcement legislation to deter employers from exploiting migrant works, and to deter employer non-compliance with immigration and employment law. The related offence and penalty regimes are amended to ensure mirror enforcement regimes for by both migrants and non-migrants. The bill also aligns the powers of the Labour Inspectorate and Immigration New Zealand, and supports greater collaboration between the two regulators to undertake compliance and enforcement activity.

For more information, please refer to:-

The Peace and Social Justice Group supported all aspects of the Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Enmployees) Bill, and recommended that the Bill be passed in its entirety, and that the Bill obtain Royal Assent as soon as possible.

Modern Slavery and Worker Exploitation – MBIE consultation

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Update 14/6/22

On 6 June, a small group of 6 PSJ members (Gary Bendall, Henri van Roon, Paul Henriques, Shirin Caldwell, Jonathan Mason and Brenda Bendall) representing the wider Peace & Social Justice Group met on Zoom to go through the MBIE survey, discussing each point, and reaching a consensus answering the survey questions. The completed survey was submitted to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on 6th June on behalf of the Peace and Social Justice Group of the Auckland Unitarian Church.

All members had personal knowledge of situations where Modern Slavery and Worker Exploitation had occurred. The varied work and life experiences of the 6 meant that considered responses were made, and many thanks go to all for their very valuable contributions.

An opportunity to have your say on Modern Slavery and Worker Exploitation as it relates to NZ.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) are seeking feedback on new legislation that aims to achieve freedom, fairness and dignity in the operations and supply chains of entities and to address modern slavery and work exploitation, both in New Zealand and internationally. 

The proposal would create new responsibilities across the operations and supply chains of all types of organisations in New Zealand, with more responsibilities for larger organisations.  Submissions close 7th June 2022. 

The PSJ Group are working towards a collective submission, however you can submit as an individual if you wish. This social action fits well with our UU 7 Principles, so please take this opportunity to have your say.

For more information on how to make a submission, please go to

If you’re short on time, read the summary of proposals and complete a short survey. It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes and can be anonymous, or you can make a detailed submission at Survey: Legislative options to address modern slavery and worker exploitation

Submissions and survey both close on 7 June 2022 at 5pm. 

Thank You!

Continue reading Modern Slavery and Worker Exploitation – MBIE consultation

Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal

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Thank you everyone, together we raised $690 for the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal 🙂

As the fighting in Ukraine continues, the humanitarian need is growing, and your help in supporting the NZ Red Cross relief effort with the $690 donation is very much appreciated.  Well done everyone!  The church congregation raised $440 for the appeal, adding to the PSJ Group donation of $250 – a great effort by all.

Again, thank you !

NZ Red Cross Ukraine Appeal

“People in Ukraine are suffering. More than 11 million people are believed to have fled their homes in Ukraine since the conflict began, according to the United Nations. As well as the 5.3 million who have left for neighbouring countries, and another 6.5 million people are thought to be displaced inside the war-torn country itself.” (BBC News, refer link: How many Ukrainians have fled their homes and where have they gone? – BBC News) These are devastating times for the people in Ukraine.

How can we help?

You can help by supporting the NZ Red Cross Ukraine Appeal through our church Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Campaign. Our church has started a Campaign fund with the Peace and Social Justice Group donating $250 to start it off. You are welcome to add to this fund by donating online to the…

Our PSJ appeal closed Friday 17th June 2022, however you can make a donation directly to the NZ Red Cross “Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal” after that date if you wish.

Thank you 😊

Note, the usual tax relief for donations apply.

Interfaith Celebration of Human Rights Day

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On Wednesday evening, 8 December 2021 at 7.00pm,

Auckland Unitarians Peace and Social Justice Committee are hosting an Interfaith Celebration of Human Rights Day which is held annually on 10 December.

All are welcome and we encourage you to join a Zoom gathering for 60–75 minutes via the Zoom Link below.

Faith representatives include Rev Clay Nelson for Auckland Unitarians, and Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Maori-Bahai, Sikh, Islamic speakers, each of whom will present a five-minute sharing of how their faith expresses its commitment to human rights. The event relates to Article 18 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which begins “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”

Voyager 1 – Earth from beyond Neptune
this pale blue dot is the only home we’ve ever known‘ – Carl Sagan

Chants of Universal Peace

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We would  love you to join us this Saturday evening, 30th October 2021 from 5-6pm for an hour to uplift our spirits through chants of universal peace.

Sing-along from the privacy of your home … multi-cultural, musical, meditations – chants from various wisdom traditions – easy to learn, taught by call and response.

Optional community connection and conversation (6-6:30pm).

Zoom link info:

Meeting ID: 860 1719 6979

Passcode: 216897

Blessings of Peace and Joy to you at this challenging time!


An outreach of Auckland Unitarians Peace and Social Justice Group

Pacific Dyslexia Aid – June 2021 Update

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Although Tonga fortunately has no community transmission of COVID-19, travel there is not possible at present and thus the pandemic has seriously affected our ability to train teachers in the use of Steps as well as supply laptops to schools.

Our main effort has shifted to attempting to collect from New Zealand companies laptops which are up for replacement. We will then provide them to Tongan primary schools as soon as we can. In addition, fund raising continues in order to purchase new laptops for the schools.

We look forward to being able to return to Tonga and assist their Ministry staff to expand this valuable and well received Steps literacy programme, especially helpful for dyslexic children.

Tongan teachers and Ministry of Education and Training staff with certified Steps Pacific Islands literacy trainer Dr Paul Henriques of our Auckland Unitarian Peace and Social Justice Group, in January 2020.

India Covid-19 Humanitarian Crisis

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While NZ has been at Covid-19 Alert Level 1 for some time and life for most has largely returned to “normal”, the Covid-19 virus is spreading exponentially overseas, and especially so in India. With more infectious variants occurring, India is in crisis and in desperate need of medical supplies including oxygen, respirators, PPE and isolation facilities. Hospitals are overflowing.

Continue reading India Covid-19 Humanitarian Crisis