by Jan Logie
New Zealand has long been known as the Land of Plenty, and with good reason – the land and the sea provided many people with an abundant healthy diet; we were the first country in the world to achieve an 8 hour working day and we were considered the ‘social laboratory of the world’ with cradle to grave support for those who needed it.
But yesterday, Statistics NZ revealed that for half of all of us, New Zealand is the Land of Not Enough.
Its New Zealand in Profile 2014 booklet shows 48% of New Zealanders don’t think they have enough money to live on.
The Green Party doesn’t believe this is inevitable. We believe inequality is a result of Government decisions and Government decisions can restore the balance:
We could raise the minimum wage and strengthen employment rights so everyone gets a fair return for their labour. We could set national water standards and fishing limits so people were able to feed themselves from our water ways again. We could regulate our supermarkets so they don’t mark-up fruit and veges by 500% while breaking even on chippies and sugary soft drinks. We could ensure everyone who is not able to work has enough to look after themselves and their children. We could offer low interest loans on solar and ensure people get a fair return on the power they generate, so costs are reduced…
This isn’t about more government spending it’s about smarter government.
This land can be plentiful again. New Zealand should be a great place to grow up for everyone not just 52% of the population.
This is something that was a part of my identity growing up. I thought of us as a country that believed we all deserve good lives and a fair future.
This is the Green vision and why we are here.