Category Archives: Press Release

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…

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…

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.”

Tick4 Kids

Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa, the NZ Council of Christian Social Services, NZEI  Riu Roa, The Public Health Association, To Ora Hou, Every Child Counts  and CPAG have formed a coalition with a number of other organisations and individuals to promote Tick4Kids, a campaign to make children’s interests a central focus for the 2014-2017 parliamentary term. The spokesperson for this campaign is Deborah Morris-Travers, the advocacy spokesperson for UNICEF NZ.

Deborah has prepared a video: Hearing the voices of our children. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxnKtVHEmWg

For more details refer www.tick4kids.org.nz

Revealed: Which parties will do the most to reduce New Zealand’s growing inequality crisis?

The Equality Network, a group of New Zealand organisations dedicated to reducing inequality, is today releasing a rating of political parties and their policies on tackling income gaps

The ratings reveal the Greens out in front, with a rating of three stars out of a possible four, and Labour and the Mana Party not far behind.

The full ratings are:

Greens – three stars

Labour – two and a half stars

Mana – two and a half stars

New Zealand First – one and a half stars

Maori – one and a half stars

National – one star

Conservatives – half a star

United Future – half a star

ACT – no star

“Inequality and poverty is a leading concern at this time and people are looking to our political leaders do something about it.” says Equality Network spokesman Peter Malcolm.

The Equality Network is a non-partisan network of organisations—see www.equalitynetwork.org.nz – working under the mantra that more equal societies are better for all.

“New Zealand has seen significant change and growth over the last 30 years,” Peter Malcolm says.

“We are regarded as one of the least corrupt countries in the world and are valued for our innovation and sense of fair play. However, along with the benefits of growth has been an unprecedented rise in inequality. New Zealand’s income gaps increased faster than anywhere in the rich world between the mid-1980s and the mid-2000s.”

In the lead-up to the General Election on September 20, 2014, the Equality Network is calling for fundamental change in the areas that it believes have the most impact on inequality. It has ranked the parties’ policies in the following six areas:

  • Getting more people into well-paid jobs
  • Closing the salary gap in the workplace
  • Reducing gaps through taxes and benefits
  • Better education to break cycles of poverty
  • Stronger health and housing to reduce poverty’s impacts
  • Strengthening democracy to bring people together

Each of these areas has been broken down into specific policies.

In each area, the parties have been given a rating out of four stars for how much impact their policies will have on inequality, in which: no star = no impact; one star = small impact; two stars = moderate impact; three stars = strong impact; four stars = very strong impact.

In all the ratings, parties 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 close income gaps).

For more information or comment, contact Peter Malcolm on (07) 5524809 (022)3086982.

For comment and information, contact Peter Malcolm phone 07 5524809                          mobile 022 3086982         Email [email protected]