The incoming Labour government has the mandate to govern how they see fit and Auckland Action Against Poverty see this as their opportunity to hold true to their vision for equality, sustainability, opportunity, freedom and solidarity as outlined in their manifesto. Transforming the welfare system and culture at WINZ and building and acquiring enough safe and secure public rental housing should be top priorities.
“Every day Auckland Action Against Poverty works with people on the frontline who’s circumstances are severely affected and impacted by the fact they don’t have enough money to survive” says Coordinator Brooke Stanley Pao.
“At the 2017 election Jacinda Ardern was very clear that child poverty was an issue that she wanted to address. In the last 3 years we haven’t seen the changes required to lift children and their families out of a malicious poverty cycle that keeps people disempowered. This has only gotten worse with Covid.
“Not only do they have a majority, they have the most Pacific and Māori MP’s ever. The communities we serve are majority Māori and Pacific and these politicians have a duty to ensure the changes these communities need are fast tracked by this Labour government.
“Poverty in this country is a crisis and deserves the same urgent response as Covid did. We here in Aotearoa have enough resources for all of us to thrive, and the only thing holding us back from supporting people into their full power is political and ideological will. Continuing to keep people trapped in poverty means continuing to uphold a colonial and racist system.
“We are looking to them to individualise and raise benefits to liveable levels and remove all sanctions at WINZ because all of them are punitive. Let’s keep it moving toward a more just and Te Tiriti based Aotearoa for all.”