Overview of New Zealand Campaign
Plans for this Year MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY is set to continue as a coalition working alongside its members, continuing to reach out to people currently unengaged and provide these people with an avenue into further education, feeding them into existing information and campaigns. (A similar approach to MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY UK)
We are planning a handover of our petitions to our Prime Minister Helen Clark in July – to coincide with our one year anniversary.
Reach out to the public beyond the ‘usual suspects’ that NGO’s already target Engaging the public with poverty issues at a symbolic level (white bands, texts, etc) Educating the public into poverty and injustice (eg. beyond giving aid) Providing a way for the public to respond and take deeper action on poverty – feeding them through to member organisations Demonstrate to the government that there is a level of support
We see Sir Bob’s visit as being a huge opportunity to gain both public momentum and political action.
Policy Demands and Targets This year we are broadening our scope to include other aspects of the overall Millennium Development Goals and issues that vitally affect poverty, but have not yet been part of the MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY policy platform (eg. health, education, HIV/AIDS, small arms, corruption, etc). This is in accordance with the direction that we understand GCAP are heading in 2006. We will continue to fight on our four 2005 key platforms –More and Better Aid, Debt, Trade and Ending Child Poverty in New Zealand. Campaigners will maintain the push for the NZ Government to change their policies and expend their political capital in the interests of the world’s poorest people. MORE AND BETTER AID New Zealand’s overseas aid budget currently stands at 0.26% of Gross National Income (GNI). Last week our budget was announced and our government again failed to address our calls for more aid. The budget simply reiterated Finance Minister Michael Cullen’s announcement last year that the government would commit to reach 0.28% of GNI by 2008. During the election, the Labour Party (majority party in the coalition government) said that they would increase the level to 0.35%. As the budget stands this promise will not be achieved. We are just one of two countries who do not have a plan in place to reach our promised target of 0.7% by 2015 and we remain near the bottom of the OECD in the amount we contribute to aid compared to national income and well under the OECD average of 0.42 percent . At our current rate we will not reach 0.7% until 2050.
Together with calling for a plan to be put in place to increase the level of aid, we are calling for better aid. This is less relevant in NZ where the policies of the government aid agency, NZAID, are relatively progressive. We are calling for the reduction of excessive military expenditure worldwide and for the redirection of those funds to social spending that meets human needs.
DEBT We are calling for an extension of the number of countries that should qualify for the debt cancellation package agreed at the G8 summit, with no onerous conditions that require policies such as privatisation, trade liberalisation or financial liberalisation. We will also continue to fight for fair and transparent debt arbitration process that balances the rights of debtors and creditors within a framework of development needs.
The New Zealand government is an aggressive free trader, choosing to side with the EU and US in pushing the developing nations to open up their economies at an early stage of their development. We want the NZ government to change their policy to give primacy to development needs in WTO negotiations, bilateral trade deals and regional trade agreements (mainly with the Pacific island nations, particularly the Melanesian countries that have social indicators similar to sub-Saharan Africa).
ENDING CHILD POVERTY IN NZ One in five New Zealand children live under the poverty line. Even though most New Zealanders consider that we need to help those in our own backyard before helping others, there is persistent poverty in New Zealand. We are calling on the government to establish a systematic plan and timetable to end child poverty in New Zealand.