Everyone has the right to a life of dignity – children, young people, adults, kaumatua and kuia.
Unfortunately however, too many of our whānau are trapped in a poverty cycle. There is a shortage of state housing, homelessness is out of control, we have 40,000 children admitted to hospital every year with preventable illnesses, and society is facing record levels of family and sexual violence, abuse, neglect, gambling, drug and alcohol addiction and unemployment that add immense pressures to the already tough life faced by many families.
We also have a welfare system that is too complicated, compliance-focused, provides inadequate levels of support, and punishes people too much; a system that needs a major overhaul to ensure it provides a compassionate and effective service to those in need.
Government has a role in helping to address these issues, as do whānau, hapū, Īwi, and church, community, union, and other voluntary organisations. The non-government sector can do a lot more if properly supported by policies and funding, and that is where government must step up.
MANA policy priorities are:
The Welfare System
- Provide $1,000 Christmas hampers to low-income and needy whānau
- Stop discriminating against children, as with the ‘Working for Families’ policy
- Extend the payment of NZ superannuation to those aged 60 years and over
- Develop a culture within government departments which demonstrate respect for the needs of children and whānau, including an independent review and appeals system
- Provide stable funding for beneficiary advocacy groups throughout the country
- Eliminate child poverty
- Extend paid parental leave to 12 months
- Increase support for children with disabilities and their whānau
- Make all policy child-centred
- Fund quality mental health services for children and young people
Family and Sexual Violence
- Promote a culture of non-violence
- Resource marae-based programmes that help restore whanau wellbeing
- Resource parenting education classes
- Stable funding for women’s refuge, rape crisis, anti-violence and similar groups
- Free counselling and legal support for those affected by family and sexual violence
- Frontline support for rape and domestic violence