Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Mana Leader Calls for a War on Poverty

MANA MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From Hone Harawira State of the Nation Address
Delivered today at Kia Maia Marae in Mangere.

Mana Leader Calls for a War on Poverty

MANA leader Hone Harawira today called for “a war on poverty” an issue which he says is beyond politics.

In a speech regularly interrupted by spontaneous applause from an audience of between two and three hundred Mr Harawira said MANA takes the view that the most important issue of this election is poverty, and in particular child poverty.

He said poverty is the primary issue that defines the State of the Nation today.
“Poverty is at record levels right now - at exactly the same time that the rich are experiencing record levels of wealth; when the top 1% has more wealth than the bottom 50%; where the gap between the rich and the poor is worse than in most developed countries; where poverty has become the norm for much of the country; and where we have 270,000 children going hungry every day, suffering from bad health, and picking up diseases that we thought only existed in the third world.

“The poor need help - not excuses, not belated promises, but action - now - and we will work with anyone to address this issue.

“And we don’t care who claims they’ve said it first, we don’t care who says they’ve got the best policies and we don’t care who wants to be the lead speaker - this goes deeper than political posturing and the hope of securing a few votes here and there.

“We need to park our politics at the door, commit to listening to the experts like CPAG (Child Poverty Action Group), and we need to agree upon a course of action that delivers immediate and positive change for the children of the poor.

“We need a formal commitment to a plan to eradicate poverty and we need to work together on legislative change regardless of who the government might be.

“We need to commit to doing something now – not next month, not next year – but now, before poverty becomes normalised in our lives,” Mr Harawira said.

“Failure to act is simply not an option. We call on all those who profess a love for our country to join with us in a war on poverty before it’s too late,” Mr Harawira said.

“If ever the country needed a movement to redress the devastation caused by 25 years of free-market economics under both Labour and the current right-wing government of National, ACT and the Maori Party, then now is the time and MANA is the team.

“The country is crying out for a new direction, a direction away from the broken belief that the market will provide, and that capitalism will lift us from the quagmire of destitution, and the facts are simple – 25 years of prancing down the capitalist road has given us staggering levels of unemployment, third world diseases in communities of the poor, huge increases in the price of food, electricity and petrol, an ever more costly health system, and an education system designed to keep the poor from ever achieving success.”

Mr Harawira said MANA’s plan to improve the nation included:
Cost of living
1 Abolish GST to ease the financial pressure on those on low incomes
2 Get rid of pokies, loan sharks, and liquor outlets in poor communities
Education
3 A free high quality education system because that is the best investment a country can make in it’s future
4 Free meals for children at schools because every child deserves the opportunity to learn and to start the day with a decent meal regardless of their circumstances
Employment
5 Provide jobs for everyone on the unemployment register - in schools, marae, hospitals, old peoples homes, kaumatua and kuia flats and community facilities - because a working family is a better family
Income
6 Increase the minimum wage to $15 to put more money into the hands of workers and more money back into the economy
7 Make the first $27,000 tax-free to give people more money for the basics in life such as food, power, petrol and rent
Housing
8 Commit to building 20,000 new state houses to reduce overcrowding and health problems, and to provide the basis for thousands of apprenticeships and jobs in all of the building trades
9 Set state rentals at 25% of a family’s income
Health
10 Free healthcare for all because paying to keep a nation healthy is cheaper than paying to fix a population suffering the many illnesses of poverty

“Our ideas aren’t rocket science, and we can pay for them with a simple savings and tax plan – saving money by giving no more tax cuts to the rich, no more tax breaks for big business, no more bailouts for failed finance companies, cancelling the construction of new prisons, no more subsidies for private schools, and no more public monies on millionaire yacht races – and a simple taxation plan based on the Hone Heke Tax, a real Capital Gains Tax, an Inheritance Tax, and a Progressive Income Tax.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Fair Pay Agreements Should Be Embraced

Are Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) truly the work of the devil? Given the vehement response to them last week by (a) employer groups and (b) by their parliamentary friends on the extreme right, you could be forgiven for thinking these FPA things will mean curtains for commerce as we’ve known it for the past 30 years. Believe me, they won’t. Less excitable types will regard FPAs as heralding only a mild shift towards a more centralised form of bargaining over wages and conditions, much akin to what other successful economies (eg Germany) have recognised for decades... More>>

 

Government: Further Action Against Gang Crime

The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their ... More>>

ALSO:

Maori Party: Whakatōhea High Court Decision

“We applaud the Whakatōhea High Court case that has now set a precedent for Māori rights and interest in their foreshore and seabed. It’s an outstanding decision because the Court recognises all reclaimed lands with significant and boating traffic” ... More>>

ALSO:

Judith Collins: Speech To Lower North Island Regional Conference

Good morning, delegates. It’s an absolute privilege to be speaking to you all here today as your leader. I’d like to acknowledge National Party President Peter Goodfellow, my fellow board members, my lower North Island colleagues and all of ... More>>

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:

PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels