The big headline of the Government’s Budget yesterday was its Family Incomes Package – a range of measures including changes to income tax thresholds and the Family Tax Credit. Overall the Budget is a huge disappointment and a missed opportunity to make real progress on pressing social and environmental issues. We want more support for […]
While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local schools for the past two years. The hot and healthy food has been provided to […]
Hundreds of children are being made to suffer because of a surge in benefit sanctions being applied by the National Government. Figures came out this week showing that there has been a 50% increase in people with dependent children having their benefits sanctioned this year. We don’t know quite how many children this affects, because […]
Homelessness is a disgrace. It’s ugly and dehumanising and I can’t bear to see it every day in my home town of Wellington. Unlike Sir Robert Jones, though, I’ve never thought about blaming the victims for their situation. That’s bully talk and Sir Robert should both be above that and also willing to look deeper […]
Lots of people are saying 2016 has been a bit of a shocker, with political events like Brexit and Trump; US Police shooting black people – and the emergence of Black Lives Matter; the death of legendary musicians like Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen (and let’s not forget Lemmy at the very end of 2015) […]
When I was told I was the recipient of the Public Health Association Tū Rangatira mō to Ora award I was speechless. It took a little while to process. I’m not very good with surprises, and I consider the work I do for tamariki and whānau as a service, so being rewarded for it seemed odd. […]
We have a housing emergency in New Zealand. Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have so many people living in garages, in cars and on the streets. This is not the kind of country most New Zealanders recognise or want. There aren’t enough houses in […]
When my parents first visited me in Auckland ten years ago, they remarked on how there were no homeless people on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, they were used to seeing the impacts of horrendous inequality and a lack of a social safety net: people living under bridges, in cardboard boxes, people who may […]
This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.
Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing of our tamariki.