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Fitzsimons makes case for Greens

1 February 2005

Fitzsimons makes case for Greens

Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons told the first sitting of Parliament today that New Zealanders hold quality of life considerations very dear.

"Those who focus on economics as a measure of everything simply don't understand that ... a majority of Kiwis would trade some income and wealth for better quality of life," Ms Fitzsimons said.

New Zealanders defined a better quality of life in terms of the social and environmental conditions in which they live, she said.

"That is why the country, and a Labour government, needs the Greens to protect our land, our water, our air, our food, and the other creatures we share the planet with. Labour on its own can't be trusted to do that."

Ms Fitzsimons was delivering a speech in response to the Prime Minister's state of the nation address. The Green Co-Leader argued that the Government had squandered the opportunities presented by New Zealand's booming economy.

"Too many people have not participated in the good times, and poverty remains an issue, particularly for many of our children," she said. "This has meant poor housing, poor health, leading to poor education and unemployment."

Ms Fitzsimons said that Labour had presiding over a national income moving in favour of capital and away from workers, despite the present low unemployment rate.

"While National is driving a wedge between the working and non-working poor, Labour is also drifting away from those most in need."

The Prime Minister's desire to get more women into the workforce was problematic, she said.

"The Government must not pressure women to leave their kids if they want to raise them themselves. Raising children is some of the most important work you can do and women must be free to choose to do it themselves if they want. There is a strong feeling that this Government does not regard raising children as 'real work'."

ENDS

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