Category Archives: Action

Media Release: Using Your Vote for a Better Balance of Income & Wealth

Immediate release 15th September 2017

Clear choices for voters are revealed in this election on policies that can share the income and wealth of our country more fairly. Parties that have committed to policies that are likely to make good progress towards greater equality are the Green Party, the Labour Party and the Māori Party. Meanwhile, while other parties’ policies are rated as unlikely to make progress or some even to have a negative impact.

This is according to a scorecard released today by the Equality Network, a group of New Zealand organisations united by the vision of a more equal Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Inequality, poverty and housing are top election issues and this scorecard is a way for people to see how the political parties shape up in responding to the clear wish for a better balance of income and wealth in this country,” says Paul Barber from the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, that is part of the Equality Network.

The Equality Network has identified three immediate areas of action for any new Government after the election – lifting low incomes, better housing and fairer tax. As well as this, seven other areas for longer term commitments are covered, all of which will make for a better country where the resources are shared to the benefit of us all.

“It is exciting that these important social issues are so prominent in the public debate at this election and we hope that whatever the make-up of a new government is after the election, they will take immediate action quickly to make a difference,” says Paul Barber.

In the scorecard, parties’ policies have been assessed based on a combination of their ambition (how strongly they are committed to tackling inequality) and their plan (the level of detail they have for policies to reduce income and wealth imbalances) based on information published by the parties and summaries from independent election websites.

Policies were looked at that impact on the three immediate ambitions of the Equality Network:

1) Income for all that provides the necessities of life through a Living Wage and fairer income support;

2) A Government-funded house-building programme to help address the housing crisis and provide everyone with healthy, affordable homes with long-term tenure; and

3) A tax on very high levels of wealth and higher top tax rates on the highest incomes to ensure that everyone contributes their fair share and enables our families and whānau to thrive.

The seven other areas with longer term commitments to reduce inequalities were also considered as part of the scorecard. These include: full partnership between Māori and the Crown, a free healthcare system. increased education funding for free quality education, huge boosts to retraining and job skills programmes, collective bargaining laws, curbs on political donations and broadcasting that serves the public interest.

For more information you can find the policy scorecard and 2017 Election Statement on the Equality Network website http://www.equalitynetwork.org.nz/

View score card here.

ENDS

Media Release: Collective agreements and political donations for all: ways to rebalance power

Tuesday 12th September

Collective agreements and political donations for all: ways to rebalance power

The Equality Network is calling for the Government to put curbs on political donations to stop money distorting politics, and to enable industry collective bargaining, making fairer working conditions for everyone.

The Network, whose members include NGOs, and organisations focused on health and workers rights, insists that changes to our legislation are needed to enable collective bargaining so that individuals struggling on low incomes can advocate for better working conditions, and better salaries. Read on…

Media Release: More than Māori Language Week required for a full partnership

Tuesday 5th September

The Equality Network (EN) is calling for the Government to commit to a full partnership between Māori and the Crown to fulfil the promise of Te Tirīti – which means more than promoting Māori Language Week once a year.

Members of the Network, a non-partisan organisation of 37 members united by the vision of the a vision of a more equal Aotearoa New Zealand, say that the Government must commit to fulfilling its obligations under Te Tirīti.

Anaru Fraser, Kaiwhakahaere Matua-General Manager of Hui E! Community Aotearoa says that the presence of Te Reo Māori is just one way that we can honour Te Tirīti, and the level of te reo spoken in the community indicates genuine engagement and partnership. “It shows a practical outcome of commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.” Read full press release here…

Every Child Counts and the Child Poverty Action Group: Housing Election Forum

Every Child Counts and the Child Poverty Action Group:  Housing Election Forum where there will be a joint call for urgent action on housing to recognise every child’s right to a safe, affordable and healthy home.

WHEN: 5:30pm, Tuesday 5 September 

WHERE: Meeting at Wellington Railway Station (inside the front entrace by the lotto / food kiosk outside of the New World supermarket).

A bus will then collect attendees and travel to a surprise location, and return by 7:15pm.

At 6pm you will hear from special guest speakers including Lisa Woods from Every Child Counts, Debbie Leyland from UCAN NZ, and David Pierce from Sustainability Trust.

MPs (as below) will then speak about what they will do to improve access to safe, healthy, affordable housing.

Labour – Grant Robertson Labour,
Greens – Marama Davidson, Greens,
National – Euon Marrell
NZ First – TBC

This is an opportunity for you to learn about what different parties will do to improve access to safe, affordable, healthy housing for all children in Aotearoa New Zealand. There will also be time afterwards for you to ask questions and share your concerns.

RSVP essential as spaces on the bus are limited:

Lisa Woods at everychildcountsnz.org.nz or phone 021 1228 273.

See CPAG website for more information or the Facebook event here!

 

Media Release: The “hidden costs” of a free education”

The Equality Network is asking for politicians to commit to a truly free education, which will benefit all children, irrespective of their household incomes.

Members of the Equality Network, a non-partisan organisation of 37 members united by the vision of a more equal Aotearoa New Zealand, say that the hidden costs of education are putting unnecessary additional stresses on our poorest families. Read full release here…

CPAG priorities or family housing

CPAG housing recommendations: Released in July 2017, CPAG’s ‘Priorities for familiy housing outlines the current housing crisis and puts forward three key recommendations:

CPAG recommends that the following policy changes should be considered by Government in response to the outlined challenges and conclusions:

1. The Accommodation Supplement should be reviewed as a matter of urgency and especially

following the April 2018 increases to determine its effectiveness in reducing housing related

poverty for New Zealand’s poorest families and households.

2. The Residential Tenancies Act should be overhauled with a view to improving tenants’ rights and in particular to giving them:

– more secure tenure,

– access to effective advocacy and support in disputes with landlords,

– protections against excessive rent increases, and,

– guarantees to decent quality housing through a comprehensive warrant of fitness programme.

3. A Social Housing Plan should be developed within 12 months, that is based on realistic forecasts for future demand for social housing and that budgets are allocated to fund this plan over at least a ten year period.

PSA Housing Booklet release

The PSA will be releasing it’s book Progressive Thinking: Ten Perspectives on Housing on Monday the 21st August in Auckland. The release follows the recent publication Progressive Thinking: Ten Perspectives on Tax, which was a top 10 seller at Unity Books. The edited book; Progressive Thinking: Ten Perspectives on Housing, is part of the PSA’s election year efforts to re-examine and reframe social debate in areas of importance to our members.

The book will contain ten journalistic perspectives from academics, campaigners and researchers on housing from rental reform to disability issues

Over the last few years the PSA has heard an ever-growing body of evidence that the current government’s approach to housing is failing. The PSA is adding its voice to the many who are demanding change.

The PSA has a proud history of advocating for high quality public services that contribute to the health and wellbeing of our communities. Members have told it that housing is a priority concern in election year, and because they – and their families and communities – are amongst those bearing the brunt of the current housing crisis.

If you want to attend: RSVP to Sarah by Friday 18 August [email protected]

ActionStation: People’s Review of Rentingin progress

ActionStation:

ActionStation is working with Renters United on the People’s Review of Renting  – a people powered report on the state of renting in 2017. The report, due to be released the week starting 21st of August, will contain several recommendations to improve the lives of renters based off the insights from over 610 people who shared their experiences of renting.

Rick Zwaan, a Campaigner with ActionStation says “for too long the government has had it’s hands off the wheel with housing. The results for renters have been disastrous. This election year it’s crucial that ensuring everyone can live in a warm, dry, safe home is high on the agenda. It’s essential that the voices of renters are part of that.”

600 gather to hear solutions on housing

On the 9th August, 600 people filled the Wellington Cathedral of St. Paul to hear electoral candidates talking about the housing crisis. For more information/ a write-up of the event click here. Videos from the event can be found here.

Closing remarks from Bishop Justin Duckworth:

“[Hon Alfred Ngaro] you made a really good point that the answers are not [over the road at Parliament,] they’re here.  They are here – they are in this room and we’re living those answers regularly.  But we do need a little bit of help.  … here’s some things we would like.  We would like affordable housing for New Zealanders, number one.  We would like increased social housing stocks, number two.  And we would like rental properties fit for people to actually live in and prosper their lives in.  That’s the stuff we need your help on.”

Pickapath

Pickapath is an interactive tool which has evolved as a collaboration between ActionStation and The Morgan Foundation. It allows you to make the decisions for a couple who are expecting a new baby and are facing a range of issues (income and housing especially – two of our key Equality Network issues). It’s a real eye opener and a good resource to share. https://pickapath.actionstation.org.nz/