With the Greens at the heart of Government, we're making great progress on protecting our environment, building a fair society, and creating a sustainable economy.
But we know there's still a lot more to do to improve Aotearoa. So share your ideas for what'd you'd like to see happen.
Submissions to the Welfare Expert Advisory Group have now closed. You can still show your support for our plan to put the heart back into our social support system.
Our social support system needs fixing. Currently families are living in poverty thanks to unfair sanctions and low payments. It’s time to change all that and put aroha and compassion back into how we support people who need it.
The Government is currently consulting on how to improve our social support system and wants to hear from you. Submissions close on November 9th so make one today.
Here’s what the Green Party is calling for:
1. Increase baseline benefits
Our social support system shouldn’t leave the most vulnerable people living in poverty. No matter who you are in New Zealand, you should have enough to live with dignity.
2. Remove sanctions
Sanctions punish people for being poor. Kiwis know it’s about time we offered support for those trying to find work, rather than making things harder for them.
3. Change the benefit reduction threshold
Right now, benefit reduction thresholds are so low that people are often put a worse financial position than if they didn’t work at all. We want to increase this threshold, so no one is worse off for finding casual or part-time work.
4. Combine the In Work Tax Credit & the Family Tax Credit
Every child deserves a great start in life, but the In-Work Tax Credit only goes to some families – punishing people who can’t work. Let’s combine it with the Family Tax Credit, so all children benefit.
5. Moving towards a just system of individual needs
People are penalised for falling in love. We need to move towards a just system of entitlements based on individual need so that people can be in relationships of mutual support without fear of losing their financial independence.
"We need to be removing the stigma around mental health and supporting everyone's wellbeing." - Chlöe Swarbrick MP.
Through our mental health tour, we've been hearing stories of employers asking about mental health in job applications with no explanation of how it'll be used or why it's being asked. We're investigating how common this is to inform our mahi and best advocate for positive mental health, wellbeing, and you!
Has this happened to you?
Share your story today.
Together we can help end discrimination and help create healthy workplace practices that supports our wellbeing.
If you want to talk to someone right now about your mental health, or someone you care about, here are some helpful supportive people:
Lifeline (open 24/7)
0800 543 354
Depression Helpline (open 24/7)
0800 111 757
Healthline (open 24/7)
0800 611 116
Safe to talk (open 24/7)
0800 044 334. Trained confidential support for people wanting help to do with sexual harm.
Samaritans (open 24/7)
0800 726 666
Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7)
0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
Youthline (open 24/7)
0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
0800 WHATSUP Children's Helpline
0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.
Kidsline (open 24/7)
0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.
Your local Rural Support Trust
0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)
Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7)
0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.
If this is an emergency: Call 111
Submissions have now closed.
The Green Party supports fair trade, that enforces human rights and protects our environment. We vocally opposed the original TPP, and we’re continuing the fight against the CPTPP – but we need your voice to help us push for fair, progressive trade policy, now and in the future.
We must make sure that trade agreements don’t sign away our sovereignty to multinational giants. We’re pleased that the Labour-led Government is moving in the right direction with the proposed Trade For All agenda – but we’re not happy that they’ve reversed their position and signed New Zealand up to the CPTPP, the so called ‘revised’ TPPA. It’s a dangerous agreement that restricts our government’s ability to look after future generations of New Zealanders. It’s virtually the same as the original TPPA which we marched against arm and arm with hundreds of thousands of concerned Kiwis just a couple of years ago.
What does this Bill do?
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Amendment Bill changes our domestic laws to give effect to the CPTPP. In New Zealand every time the government joins a trade agreement that requires changes to our laws, we have to pass a bill through Parliament.
The Green Party opposes the CPTPP for a few key reasons:
- ISDS: The CPTPP contains ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) clauses that allow multinationals to sue our government to stop policy that’s in the public interest if it affects their profits. ISDS is symptomatic of archaic trade policy that prioritises attracting investment over protecting our planet and people. Worryingly, the clauses could also have significant implications on the ability of the government to fulfil its Treaty of Waitangi obligations.
- Opening the door to suspended provisions: The Government has celebrated suspended provisions which allow us to protect some public interests against the ISDS. But it’s also possible that the suspended provisions negotiated out of the old TPP could be reintroduced, if other countries (such as the USA) decided to re-enter the CPTPP. That would threaten our world leading Pharmac model and could push up the price of lifesaving medicines, or even our ability to regulate tobacco. This legislation signs away our Parliament's right to say no to that.
- Environment and human rights: In the CPTPP, as in the original TPP, environmental protection and human rights are peripheral and vaguely defined considerations – which means they’re easy to get around, and difficult to enforce. In a 21st century trade agreement, we don’t think this is good enough.
- Lack of transparency: Finally, Labour signed up to the CPTPP under a shroud of secrecy, without consulting Kiwis on what they thought first. The Greens stand for open and transparent government, and we don’t think this process constitutes transparency.
Questions to consider in your submission:
- Why do you oppose the CPTPP?
- What would it take for you to support it?
- How do you think the process of negotiating and signing the CPTPP could have been improved? Should the public have been involved?
- What should New Zealand prioritise when negotiating trade agreements?
- What role should international trade agreements play in addressing the challenges humanity faces in the 21st century, such as climate change, refugee crises, and global inequality?