Pacific Island Community Leaders take a stand against poverty
Today, on International Anti Poverty Day, Pacific Island Community Leaders will stand alongside cleaners, caregivers, hospital service workers and their supporters to make their voices heard against poverty in New Zealand.
Pacific Island Minister Reverend Mua Strickson Pua and Sione's Wedding star Oscar Kightley will rally at Britomart in Auckland at 5pm with low paid Pacific Island workers campaigning for an end to poverty wages.
In Wellington, a rally outside Parliament at midday will challenge government minister Ruth Dyson to take responsibility for lifting cleaners out of the institutionalised poverty for cleaners working in Government owned and tenanted buildings.
"There is poverty in New Zealand. We see it in our communities. Our families experience it. " said Reverend Mua Strickson Pua
" We need to make our voices heard about the poor living conditions, the poor health, the low paid jobs that are destroying the lives of Pacific Island people"
"Cleaners, caregivers and service workers are the unseen and unrecognised workers in our country. The work they do is important and must be respected. Today on Anti Poverty Day, Pacific Island workers are standing up to be seen and heard and to demand respect and an end to poverty in their communities." concluded Reverend Mua.
Cleaners were calling on the government and the public to support their calls for changes to their industry.
"The New Zealand Government has said it supports cleaners' calls for improvements to their industry, and has welcomed moves by the Property Council and building owners across Australia and New Zealand to adopt the Clean Start Principles to improve the cleaning industry" said SFWU Cleaners Union National Secretary John Ryall
"But the Government has not made a commitment to lifting cleaners out of poverty in buildings where the Government themselves make the decisions about cleaning work."
Cleaners challenged the Government to face up to their responsibilities on Anti Poverty Day and make a commitment to lift cleaners out of poverty.
Auckland City. Rally and March. Meet at Britomart, downtown at 5pm - Oscar Kightley will make an Anti Poverty day statement
Wellington. Rally and March. Meet at Parliament at 12noon - Minister Ruth Dyson will address the rally