A spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty wants all Pacific MPs in Parliament to support the call for Liveable Incomes. Agnes Magele says many of the children and families living in poverty in NZ are from our Pacific communities, and it makes sense for all Pacific MPs to advocate for ensuring that our people have enough to thrive.
Agnes says, “Our grandparents and parents came to NZ to help fill a labour shortage, for better opportunities for us and our children and yet the data across all measures shows that we haven’t been given those opportunities. It’s time for our Pacific politicians to be a strong voice for change on our behalf. The Labour Party has such a fierce backing from our Pacific community and so they need to show us the same love we show them by voting them into power. They need to fight for our rights in those halls of power”.
According to the latest Statistic NZ numbers for child poverty released last month, while children from all ethnic groups live in households with relative low income and in material hardship, the rates for Māori and Pacific children in the year ended June 2020 were higher across almost all measures compared with New Zealand overall. 1 in 4 children living in poverty in NZ are Pacific.
Agnes is asking the Pacific MPs to fight to eliminate poverty in NZ, not just reduce it. “We’re asking them to support the call for Liveable Incomes for all. We’re asking them to be the voice of change in our time of need. They are there to represent the will of the people, and I’m asking them to activate their responsibilities as our leaders to ensure this happens.”
“We’d like to call on all the Pacific MPs: Carmel Sepuloni our Minister of Social Development, Aupito William Sio our Minister of Pacific Peoples, Jenny Salesa, Poto Williams, Kris Faafoi our Minister of Justice, Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki, Dr Neru Leavasa, Terisa Ngobi, Tangi Utikere, Barbara Edmonds and Teanau Tuiono to support the call for Liveable Incomes,” says Agnes
Green Party spokesman for Pacific Peoples Teanau Tuiono says the Green Party will push for better wages and fair pay agreements to help tackle poverty within our Pasifika Communities.
He says, “what we see is that working families are working harder and longer every day, struggling more and more to make ends meet. No one should be working more than three jobs or expecting our kids still in schooling to financially support their families. We need a Guaranteed Minimum Income, so that everyone can live with dignity.”
Image: Auckland Action Against Poverty – Liveable Income banner