web analytics
The Standard

Thriving children, liveable communities & sustainable resources

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, July 25th, 2014 - 14 comments
Categories: capitalism, climate change, election 2014, equality, greens, Metiria Turei, poverty, russel norman, sustainability - Tags:

This week the Green Party has been continuing it’s election focus on reducing poverty and inequalities (with a strong focus on its impact on children), and developing sustainable communities.  This brings into focus two current crises that we need to put every effort into tackling: poverty/inequality; and the destruction of our environment as a result of climate change and over-dependence on extractive resources.

green_party_leaders_russel_norman_and_metiria_ture_4dec906e26

This week, Russel Norman & Metiria Turei announced some key policies focused on these areas of crisis.

The underlying causes of both these crises is the profiteering, individualistic, and often short-term ethos of capitalism, especially the turbo-charged, consumerist, “neoliberal” brand of capitalism that has been running rampant in recent decades.

The Green Party has chosen to focus it’s election campaign on tackling these crises through some key areas, and practical policies,. These are likely to have meaning for large numbers of kiwi households living within our current context, dominated by media-fueled culture of misinformation, diversion, and individualism.

It seems, though, that the Greens have decided that it won’t have electoral traction to focus strongly on the impact on adults of of poverty and the inequality gap.

At the beginning of the week, Metiria Turei announced a policy of 20 hours free early childhood education for two year olds.  This is to be one plank an inter-related raft of policies focused on “thriving kids”.

Green Party 20 hours free ECE 2 yr olds

The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.

The Green Party will make a series of policy announcements in the run up to the election which will cumulatively form a plan to ensure that every child has enough of what they need to thrive.

In the first of these announcements, made today, the party has announced a package to support families by extending access to free early childhood education and improve the quality of all ECE.

The key policy points in the Green Party’s plan for supporting families access ECE are:

  1. Extend the 20 Hours free early childhood education subsidy to cover two-year-olds, at an initial cost of $255 million. As the benefits of this successful scheme are opened up to at least another 40,000 children, more kids will get a good start in life and the burdens on their families will be eased.
  2. Provide $32 million a year to restore funding for 100% qualified teachers, as part of an ambitious plan to boost the quality of early childhood education and make sure every child gets the right care and support.

The cost of the package will be $297 million per year, rising to $367 million within four years.

The full policy is here.

The evidence has long been clear that the early years are crucial to a child’s social, physical and educational development; and that good early childhood care and education provisions can contribute living a positive and satisfying life as an adult.  The policy outline quotes some relevant sources, providing supporting evidence.

The outline then points out how this will help families on low incomes:

…for every dollar spent now on ECE, society saves anywhere between $3 and $16 down the track.

Subsiding high-quality ECE is a powerful equaliser, helping compensate for the harder start in life that many children face, and making a bigger difference to low-income families. It also smooths the path for families that have both parents in work because they cannot afford to have one at home fulltime with their child. According to a 2010 OECD study, New Zealand working families pay 28 per cent of their net income on childcare – the fourth highest percentage of family income in the group of 32 industrialised nations belonging to the organisation. Extending ECE subsidies addresses a shortfall in the support provided to some young families.

Yesterday Russel Norman announced a renewable energy policy that continues the focus on children, schools and their communities: the “Solar in Schools’ Policy:

Green Party Ra sun solar policy

The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools.

The $20 million is expected to:

  • Help around 500 schools install solar over three years
  • Result in 6.7MW of total installed capacity
  • Achieve annual savings of $1.64m (exclusive of GST) over the 25 year lifespan of the panels installed
  • Achieve total savings of $41m (exclusive of GST) over the 25 year lifespan of the panels installed
  • Allow schools to invest in other areas of teaching and learning with the money saved
  • Educate kids, staff, parents and the wider community about clean energy

These are very good policies, tackling urgent needs, and promoted in a way that will be meaningful to people in many households, especially those with children and young people.

We also need a strong surge of grassroots pressure to put more focus on the impacts of poverty, inequalities, and environmental destruction on people of all ages.  Children do not exist in communities that are separate from the lives of adults – young, old and in-between.

stop robbing poor to feast rich

As an older member of society, I am very happy for government spending to prioritise measures to ensure all children get the very best start in life.  This IS the key to a thriving society of the future.

And I really like the way the policies on environment are inter-linked with those aiming to tackle income and wealth inequalities, and produce livable collaborative communities.

We are all in this together.

14 comments on “Thriving children, liveable communities & sustainable resources”

  1. tinfoilhat 1

    Thanks for continuing to post on the issues that matter Karol, it’s all too easy to get distracted by side issues.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      +1

      • blue leopard 1.1.1

        +2 Thanks for informing us Karol.

        It is getting a bit noticeable that posts on apparent ‘distractions’ are gaining more attention than ones about policies.

        I guess the ‘distractions’ deal with symbolism and that symbolism speaks to the non-verbal element of our lives – which we spend more time experiencing than we do in actively thinking about principles and consequences.

        I guess this is why people are so vulnerable to manipulation when symbols, photos and insinuations are actively applied to shift ‘perceptions’ – this by-passes thinking altogether.

        I don’t think National would have the slightest chance of winning if peoples’ intelligence was appealed to. The manner in which National are campaigning is one of taking advantage of and cultivating democracy’s weakness -mob rule. Yet another reason not to vote for National….

        It is easy to decide who not to vote for however I am hard pressed on deciding who to vote for between Greens, IMP and Labour … That is where the posts on policies are invaluable….I guess I will be deliberating on that until the last day like last time…sigh….

  2. Chooky 2

    +100…the Greens are the ones to vote for imo…they are consistently good and on target

    …plus they have a brilliant female and a brilliant male leader….co-leaders…Maori and Pakeha

    ….the Greens lead the way in so many ways!!!!….to what is best in New Zealand!

  3. tricledrown 3

    New Zealand is no longer the caring sharing society .
    Those who travel overseas see abject poverty and when they come back they are no longer interested in the plight of our poor.
    desentstized however the 250,000 children living in poverty have only a 5% chance of breaking out of the poverty cycle.
    This will mean a bigger burden on fewer tax payers.
    Short sighted penny pinching by right wing govts mean a less prosperous future for everyone.
    While investing now in making sure these children succeed will mean a more prosperous future for everyone!

  4. Macro 4

    These are the sort of Policies we need.

    I expect to hear more sound Policy announcements from the Greens in the coming weeks. School “Hubs” is one. There is so much need out there and so little being done, the Social Service agencies are groaning under the increasing weight. The food bank in our town is nearing the bottom of its barrel. And with more redundancies in the coming weeks with the closure of yet another old firm (over 100 years of manufacturing) it will get worse. No wonder the local sunshine boy is keeping a low profile in the lead up to the Election!

    The drop in Dairy prices is seeing a lot of long faces around town, and it is noticeable with the sudden drop in Log prices too that the trucks have slowed. Thank goodness for that – we get our roads back again. What an incredibly stupid thing to do – to place all your hope in a few low value added products.

    “Hands off” government such as NZ has suffered over recent years has lead to a country that is now on it’s knees economically – only viable for the fortunate few, who selfishly think that everyone should be like them!

  5. Tracey 5

    hear hear.

    ALL kiwis have a right to thrive not just survive.

  6. Sable 6

    Yet more common sense from the Greens. Focusing on the genuine needs of New Zealanders. Now if we can just flush Maserati Mike and his Tory chums out of the MSM this country might actually stand a chance of amounting to something.

  7. Looking forward to the threeway leaders debates, more so now that Hoskins will be on notice for his obvious bias.
    MT and RN will do a great job on JK by sticking to policy and appealing to the sensibilities of voters… Like they have been for the past few years. The party certainly looks coordinated, unified and on target.

    • karol 7.1

      Are the Greens going to be included in the Leaders Debate?

      • The Al1en 7.1.1

        I did read somewhere they were being included, or might be, though not sure it’s a done deal.
        It should be a gimme given consistently polling over 10% and around 15%.
        I’ll try to fish the story out.

        • The Al1en 7.1.1.1

          “Meanwhile, National’s campaign team is pushing behind the scenes to include the Greens in the pre-election debates, but TVNZ has ruled this out.”
          “It is understood National wants co-leader Russel Norman as part of the debate to hit home to voters that a Labour win would also bring the Greens into government.”

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10303335/Labour-claims-Hoskings-biased

          So I guess wishful thinking or the nats get there own way just one more time.

          • Tracey 7.1.1.1.1

            It ought to be based on current representation not poll based representation, which is not representation.

            In the next election, on this basis we might have 3-4 people in the leaders debate.

            In any event it is misleading to call it such when only two leaders are invited.

          • Tracey 7.1.1.1.2

            Big surprise. Not content with getting their number one fan as moderator, they want other things their way too.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Key’s threat to veto premature
    John Key’s threat that he might use a financial veto against the Bill that will introduce 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave is premature and based on inflated costings, says the bill’s sponsor, Labour ‘s Sue Moroney.  “The Government keeps saying… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Reflections on the plastic bag tour
    After a marathon public tour around New Zealand that took me to 29 different places around New Zealand from the far north of Kaitaia to the deep south of Invercargill to talk about phasing out plastic bag use, I wanted… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    7 hours ago
  • Labour celebrates Tongan language and diversity
    Tongan Language Week is a timely reminder of the importance and beauty of our Pacific culture, identity and language in New Zealand, says our first Tongan born, Tongan speaking MP Jenny Salesa.  The theme for Tongan Language Week in 2015… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Privatising CYF about ideology not care
    John Key’s suggestions today that Child Youth and Family could be privatized will be a terrifying thought for New Zealanders already dealing with the mess created in private prisons and plans to sell our state houses to Australians, Opposition Leader… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Govt must make most of Jetstar competition
    Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    3 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    4 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    4 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    4 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    5 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    5 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    5 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    5 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    6 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    6 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    6 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    7 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    1 week ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere