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ACU COVID-19 Update

As we finish preparing for COVID-19 Alert Level 4 we wanted to do an update on what we’ve been doing for COVID-19 prep and how community services will change during level 4.

1️⃣ Unfortunately, mould removal and curtain replacement services are suspended until further notice. We are investigating ways to provide these services in a reduced form that complies with pandemic guidelines.

2️⃣ Over the last week ACU volunteers have been ensuring that WCC tenants are aware of public health measures for COVID-19 by creating posters in languages spoken by tenants. We have also provided support options for self-isolating residents such as grocery or face mask drop-offs.

3️⃣ We are extremely disappointed by the Government’s mortgage freeze without corresponding rent freeze measures, which only facilitate wealth extraction from tenants to landlords. The ACU is in the process of creating guidelines on how to ask for a rent delay, landlords’ obligations during the pandemic, and other measures to support tenants through this exceptional time.

4️⃣ If you need support with anything during Level 4, from grocery shopping to face masks, to even just having a cuppa with someone over video call, drop us a line. We’re here to look after the community during this and are working on how to best to that.

It’s been a wild two weeks, and chances are it will only get worse. We’ll get through this together and will be back to normal soon enough. 🙂

One of our COVID-19 preparedness posters
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ACU Statement on Waitangi Day

This Waitangi Day, the Aotearoa Community Union acknowledges that the land on which members live was confiscated from local iwi by the Crown and British monopoly capitalism. Any solution to the housing crisis that legitimately empowers communities must be grounded in a solution to the national-colonial question here in Aotearoa.

During the early years of colonisation, this land seizure and enclosure was a necessary part of primitive accumulation necessary to kick-start capitalism in Aotearoa.

The same capitalist relations with the land as when the New Zealand Company and the British bourgeoisie broke apart the primitive-communal land relations of pre-contact Māori society can be seen with Fletchers’ plans to develop Ihumātao or the privitisation of state houses and gentrification of areas such as Tāmaki and Porirua pursued by recent governments from both sides of the House.

The ACU, as part of our commitment to a democratic and community-centered housing system, recognises that the abolition of Māori national-colonial oppression and the profit motive behind it, is an integral part of progressing social relations in Aotearoa.

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ACU begins curtain replacement programme

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Image may contain: indoor, possible text that says 'After'

The Aotearoa Community Union has begun offering free replacement curtains to ACU members with severely mouldy or otherwise unsuitable curtains.

If you are already a member of the ACU, you can register for curtain replacement by using this form. If you are yet to join the Community Union, you can sign up here.

It is our goal to ensure as best as possible that this new decade is one without damp, moldy or unlivable homes.

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ACU holds BBQ for Council Housing tenants

This weekend the Aotearoa Community Union held a holiday BBQ for residents of the WCC Pukehinau flats in the sunny Aro Valley to celebrate the end of our first year in action.

The ACU has significant membership within the Pukehinau flats and functions as a popular democratic organ for the tenants in community life and dealing with WCC. Over half the tenants joined ACU as part of our push to increase hygiene and waste removal facilities. We are negotiating with WCC to achieve the best possible solution.

All over the country, we are isolated from fellow members of our community and jointly exploited by our landlords and our parasitic housing system as a whole. The work of Pukehinau tenants within the ACU is a model for how we can organise as a community to fight for our own interests and strengthen ourselves as well.

The whakawhanaungatanga and solidarity shown by the Pukehinau residents is a model for the next year of Community Union work.

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ACU strongly opposes privacy invasion of state house tenants

Starting from May next year, Kāinga Ora, the successor agency to Housing New Zealand, wants to begin installing multiple sensors in up to 2000 state houses as part of its Smart Homes project.

These sensors would be able to connect a whole wealth of data about state housing tenants, such as power usage, internal humidity and temperature, carbon dioxide levels, light and air pressure, and external temperature and humidity.

This data would allow the government to be able to see the private lives of residents in minute detail – down to which rooms had curtains open and when, or how many people were in each room.

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ACU raises over $1200 to support bus drivers

Aotearoa Community Union members in Wellington last week raised $1275 for locked-out bus drivers in Auckland.

A core principle of the Aotearoa Community Union is working-class solidarity, so supporting our fellow workers in FIRST Union was a no-brainer.

Before the agreement was reached to end the lockout, ACU members spent two days on the streets in conjunction with Unions Wellington bucket collecting for the lockout fund.

The money raised will go directly to the bus drivers as help compensating for wages lost during the lockout, which was particularly important given the expensive time of year.

The Aotearoa Community Union is ready to support the bus drivers, or any other group of workers, again in the New Year if needed.

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Two Aotearoa Community Union members out collecting