MANA PARTY POLICY STATEMENTS

Please click below to view the following policies:

    Te Reo Rangatira – Te Reo Māori

    Ko te reo te mauri o te Mana Māori!   Nā Tā Hemi Henare

    Ko te reo te mauri o te Mana Māori, nā TāHemi Henare

    Te Reo Rangatira, Te Reo Māori is the first language of Aotearoa.  The Waitangi Tribunal found that Te Reo is a taonga and as such is guaranteed the protection of the Crown.  The Wai 262 Report, however, shows how government’s Māori Language Strategy has failed.  While more Māori and non-Māori know more Māori words and phrases, there is a dwindling pool of fluent speakers.

    But Te Reo Māori is much more than a language of communication.  It contains within it the fields of Māori philosophy and knowledge that is at the heart of Māori culture, heritage, and wellbeing.  All Te Reo Māori initiatives have struggled to achieve their goals because of the heavy cultural and financial limitations forced on them by the government agencies they report to.  Numbers of Te Kōhanga Reo dropped from 850 to 460 after the movement was shifted from the Department of Māori Affairs to the Ministry of Education.  Government also put a cap on the number of Kura Kaupapa Māori that could be opened, shutting down the ongoing access of whānau to Te Reo after kōhanga.  The number of Wānanga was capped at three by government once the Wānanga had shown they could attract huge numbers of Māori (and later non-Māori) into tertiary education.  Most Māori PTEs that grew from MACCESS have closed due to limitations put on them by NZQA and funding cuts by TEC.

    The majority of the funding spent on Te Reo Māori at the moment is not in kōhanga, kura, immersion classrooms, or broadcasting.  It is spent in mainstream classrooms.  Ministry of Education research shows that little is retained two years after the learner leaves school.

    MANA policy priorities are to:

    Establish an independent Te Reo Māori Authority elected by Māori voters at general elections.  The Authority will be responsible for the protection of Te Reo Māori and Mātauranga Māori.  Recommendations for the Authority are that:

    • All funding currently spent by government through its agencies will now be allocated by the Authority – including the funding that is currently spent by the Ministry of Education, Te Puni Kōkiri, and Te Māngai Paho, and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.
    • Following a review and audit of the current provision, the Authority will set policies for Te Reo Māori and Mātauranga Māori and fund accordingly.
    • It will develop the curriculum it believes will develop learners who will fully realise their potential from a baseline of cultural knowledge and practice.
    • Ngā Kōhanga Reo, Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori, Ngā Wānanga, and all Te Reo Māori providers will be funded by the Authority rather than the Ministry of Education or the Tertiary Education Commission.
    • It will approve the curriculum for Te Reo Māori and Mātauranga Māori that is followed at all levels in mainstream early childhood centres, schools, and tertiary institutions, and will fund these activities.
    • It will evaluate the Te Reo and Mātauranga Māori outcomes it is purchasing through all medium – education, broadcasting, promotional, community, whānau, and iwi – and adjust its funding to achieve the best outcomes.
    • It will lead research on language acquisition to develop initiatives to accelerate learners’ ability to speak Te Reo and practice Mātauranga Māori.
    • It will be responsible for achieving a nation in which 100% of all New Zealanders can hold a conversation in Te Reo Māori by 2040.

    Treaty Settlements Policy

    The purpose of the Treaty settlements system is to justly settle Crown breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.  A suite of policy changes is needed to ensure claims lodged under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 are settled more justly.

    MANA policy priorities are to:

    • Remove the 2014 deadline for lodging historical claims with the Waitangi Tribunal to better enable iwi with such claims to properly research and state their cases.
    • Increase resourcing of the Waitangi Tribunal so that it is better able to hear and expedite the settlement of claims in a fair and timely manner.
    • Expand the jurisdiction of the Waitangi Tribunal to make binding recommendations in certain cases.
    • Increase the value of settlements to iwi by introducing a graduated system of settlement rather than a one-off settlement package.  This would replace the current “full-and-final” settlement system and would enable the Crown to justly settle claims over time.
    • Establish an independent Treaty of Waitangi Commission, where the Commissioner is elected by Māori voters at general elections.  A key role of the Commission would be to oversee the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal and the negotiations of the Office of Treaty Settlements to better protect the rights of iwi claimants.
    • Prioritise the return of Crown owned lands including those held by State Owned Enterprises where there are proven claims over those lands in keeping with the maxim “Me riro whenua atu, me hoki whenua mai”.
    • Ensure that the texts of He Whakaputanga o Ngā Rangatiratanga o Niu Tireni and Te Tiriti o Waitangi are the reference points in settlement dealings between iwi and the Crown, and not the Crown’s principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
    • Abolish Crown appointment of brokers and facilitators to effect settlements, and ensure iwi have the capacity to select their own leaders and appoint their own advisers without Crown interference.
    • Begin a process to settle the way in which political and legal power is structured in Aotearoa New Zealand.  Settlement must include meaningful constitutional transformation.

    Health Policy

    A key focus of MANA is to improve the standard of living of low income whānau in terms of housing, income, and employment.  An adequate level of housing, a liveable income, and a job with good work conditions where people are in charge of their lives, are key determinants for whānau health and wellbeing.  Working to bring about higher standards of living are critical to addressing the health issues that Māori currently face, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, respiratory conditions like asthma and emphysema, and rheumatic fever (rheumatic heart disease).  Other contributing factors are smoking, alcohol, poor diet, and the lack of access to non-discriminatory, quality health care.  The public health system needs to be more comprehensive and include oral, visual, and aural health care.  The significantly greater tax take from the “Hone Heke tax” would fund expanded health services and new initiatives.

    MANA policy priorities are to:

    • Eradicate third world diseases from New Zealand.
    • Support the development of a high quaility public health system which is free and accessible for all New Zealanders.
    • Reduce accessibility to tobacco products and ban tobacco advertising, with a goal to ban the importation, manufacture and sale of tobacco in New Zealand.  In the medium term cigarettes would be provided by pharmacies on prescription.
    • Ban the advertising of alcohol.  As with tobacco, the idea is to target alcohol companies to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol consumption.
    • Introduce restrictions on the advertising of unhealthy kai, including that of fast food chains, to children and young people, and to more strongly regulate what goes into processed foods and beverages.
    • Remove GST from all food (and everything else), but introduce a tax on fast foods and soft drinks.
    • Provide healthy meals for all children at school.
    • Introduce free after-hours medical care for children under 16 years and for senior citizens.
    • Eliminate institutional racism in the health system through greater ethnicity-based auditing, a more effective governance system, the expansion of Māori health provision, and health workforce development to address racism in health care workers and systems.
    • Introduce plain language information for users of health services to improve health literacy.
    • Include health care services for eyes, ears, and teeth within the subsidised primary health care system.
    • Develop a paramedic training programme for areas where health services are scarce.
    • Support the Pharmac model of affordable medicines and protect it from drug company cartels through unfair trade agreements.
    • Levy private health providers to contribute to the public health system where they transfer patients to maintain private profitability.
    • Provide free family planning and contraceptive advice.
    • Provide for a community veto on pokie venues, liquor outlets and fast food companies in local neighbourhoods.

    Livelihoods Policy

    The wellbeing of individuals and whānau depends on a decent and secure livelhood so people can live in dignity.  Some workers are not well supported at work and do not receive an adequate living wage for their work.  Unemployment is on the rise again, and Māori unemployment continues to be nearly three times that of non-Māori.

    Youth are particularly affected by unemployment. Māori resources are not used to benefit Māori small businesses or workers; the trickle-down approach of Treaty settlements has not worked.  The crises of climate change, peak oil, and food security mean that we have to prepare now for the post-carbon (post-oil) world by recovering traditional approaches to sustainable livelihoods and discovering new strategies.

    To maintain current jobs and create new, better quality jobs, especially for young people, requires investing in and developing new, sustainable economic development and employment initiatives.

    MANA policy priorities are to:

    • Pursue measures to provide full employment (with full employment the unemployment benefit would not be needed).
    • Immediately increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour (1 April 2012) and raise it to two-thirds of the average wage (1 April 2013).  We oppose the call to reintroduce a lower minimum wage for youth.
    • Ensure no-one leaves school without moving to employment or training.
    • Develop an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable economic development programme with national and regional development strategies.
    • Support changes to employment relations laws that give workers greater bargaining power to negotiate wages and conditions with their employers, and oppose changes that reduce the bargaining power of workers and unions.
    • Introduce a requirement for all State-Owned Enterprises and Māori corporate entities to prioritise the employment of New Zealand residents or face significant financial penalties.
    • Incentivise the processing of New Zealand resources in New Zealand so the value-added component benefits the country.
    • Introduce a scheme to create new community service jobs for those currently unemployed. This would involve work in schools, hospitals, retirement villages, kuia/koroua flats, and community organisations.  Workers would be paid the minimum wage instead of a benefit, and workplace adult literacy and numeracy learning would be provided where required.
    • Increase government investment in pāpākainga and other community housing construction projects in areas where there are shortages of low cost rental housing, significantly boosting employment in the construction industry.  (Investment in environmentally sustainable housing is of particular interest as it is more labour-intensive, having the potential to create greater levels of employment)
    • Support the creation of quality apprenticeship schemes that can train young people in trades training, without the burden of high tertiary education fees.

    Economic Justice

    The rising cost of living means that more people are struggling to make ends meet and provide a decent standard of living for their whānau.  The rising cost of kai, petrol, electricity, and rents have contributed to this, as well as the recent increase to GST.  Small increases in the minimum wage and the small tax cuts to low income earners have not been enough to meet these rising costs.  Official reports show that the gap between high and low income earners in Aotearoa continues to grow, and it is estimated that 170,000 children live in poverty.  Many whānau have borrowed to make up the falling real value of wages over the last 25 years, meaning that low income whānau have become easy bait for loan sharks.  Recent changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) also mean that whānau will pay much more than their fair share towards the cost of reducing global warming/climate change from 2012.  More cuts to essential public services such as health and education will be made to cover the costs of bailouts and other corporate welfare, making low income whānau even less well off.  Taxation policy needs to be much fairer across the board and low income whānau need greater incomes.

    MANA policy priorities are to:

    • Abolish GST
    • Significantly increase the tax take by introducing a tax on financial speculation, called the “Hone Heke tax” (chopping down GST and income tax), which will be designed using examples of similar taxes introduced overseas.  Initially it will be used to replace the annual $15 billion collected by GST.
    • Immediately increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour (by 1 April 2012) and raise it to two-thirds of the average wage (by 1 April 2013). MANA opposes the call to reintroduce a lower minimum wage for youth aged 16-17 years.
    • Support changes to employment relations laws that give workers greater bargaining power to negotiate wages and conditions with their employers, and oppose changes that reduce the bargaining power of workers and unions.
    • Increase benefit incomes to a living income, including extending the in-work tax credit to the children of beneficiary parents.
    • Abandon the market-based provision of essential services such as electricity and water in favour of non-profit and sustainable provision of those services.
    • Regulate loan sharks and restrict banks’ profit margins on loans, credit cards, and mortgages.
    • Reduce the tax paid by low income earners by not taxing the first $27,000 earned and introduce a more progressive tax scale where the wealthy accept the responsibility to pay the largest share of the tax income.
    • Introduce a capital gains tax on all but the family home and Maori land.
    • Collate all sources of income, including from shares, bonds and investments, to be taxed at an individual’s personal tax rate.
    • Reintroduce inheritance tax to be paid on a progressive scale for inheritances valued at over $500,000.
    • Regulate family trusts and other tax avoidance devices.
    • Close corporate tax loopholes to make sure that all businesses, especially transnational companies, pay their full share of tax.

    Education Policy

    A 100% free, high quality education system is the best investment a country can make in its own future.  Not only is education not free, it is failing Māori and it is failing the poor.  It is time for an overhaul.

    The qualifications gap between the rich and the poor and between Māori and non-Māori must be closed to give every school leaver similar opportunities to get jobs or to get into higher education.  Learners from poor communities get much fewer qualifications than those from the more well off areas.  And Māori get much fewer qualifications than non-Māori whatever the neighbourhood, rich or poor.

    This matters because this is what school leavers are judged on for their first few jobs or to get into most tertiary level courses.

    The gap begins early with younger Māori and younger low income mothers giving birth with fewer resources and skills to give their children the best start.

    It continues at the pre-school level where Māori and low income families are less likely to access early childhood education at all.  When they do access it, they are limited by the costs and by availability whether in state, community, or privately run ECE.

    The gap is locked in at primary and secondary schools.  Children are force fed through a system built to turn field hands into factory workers.  This system is out of date for today’s young and for the fast paced multi-media, multi-tasking world they live in.

    For those fortunate learners who make it to tertiary, they are then up against huge costs.  MANA believes that it is inhumane to saddle young people with a huge student debt before they have even started their working life.

    MANA would put some of the takings from the Hone Heke tax to ensuring free, accessible, high quality education services across the entire sector from pre-schools through to tertiary.  This includes free tertiary education for all.

    MANA policy priorities are to:

    Early childhood

    • Intensive support for those parents who need it for the first three years of a babies life.
    • Ensure quality standards and equal funding for all early childhood education centres.
    • Ensure families in low and middle income areas have access to free, quality ECE.
    • Streamline processes for parents to establish new community owned and state owned ECE.
    • Te Reo Authority to set curriculum for, fund, and audit te reo and mātauranga Māori outcomes in all ECEs.

    Schooling

    • Review of current way education is delivered to find better ways of engaging learners so they are best prepared for their world.  This will include research showing what works for Māori, Pacific, and the children of low income families.
    • Support the principle of free state and community owned schools.  Cancel public private partnership contracts for schools.
    • Build schools into Taiao Hauora centres with free dental, healthcare, and social support.  This includes free breakfasts and lunches for all children – starting with children in low income areas, community gardens for all schools, working on the environmental issues in their area, and every school to have easy access to a swimming pool.
    • Build schools as community centres, with home-school literacy partnerships, restoration of community education, development of trades training, and other tertiary courses available and creating more community-based jobs in schools.
    • Abolish National Standards and replace with information that lets parents know how well their children are doing compared to other children, nationally, without the bad effects of the current direction.
    • Te Reo Authority to set curriculum for, fund, and audit te reo and mātauranga Māori outcomes in all schools.

    Tertiary 

    • Reduce and then end all tertiary education fees over time.  In the meantime, there should be no further interest on student loans.
    • Provide students with community-based jobs to help them complete their courses and reduce their debt.
    • Provide graduates with incentives to work in areas where there is an identified need.
    • Māori providers of tertiary education to be funded as a Treaty partnership responsibility of the Crown.
    • Phase out funding for PTE’s, but review and audit Crown owned tertiary education institutions to ensure they pick up the gaps left behind (i.e. to ensure ongoing access for students).
    • Require public tertiary institutions to plan together for the provision of courses to meet the needs of students and community development goals.

    Environment & Energy Policy

    MANA believes that the health and happiness of the people of Aotearoa is inextricably linked to the wellbeing of Papatūānuku.

    Māori practices of Kaitiakitanga have a key role to play in moving to adopting environmental, economic and social practices that are consistent with this view.

    Successive governments have failed to recognise that Papatūānuku has limited resources that need to be used respectfully. Economic growth has been put ahead of the environment, resulting in lands, air, coastal areas and waterways becoming degraded.

    The global environmental crisis of climate change and peak oil urgently requires us to develop more sustainable modes of living and to prepare for the post carbon (post oil) world that is coming.

    Climate change cannot be successfully addressed without acknowledging that it is caused by the capitalist economic system which requires perpetual economic growth no matter what the cost.

    A more equitable distribution of resources both locally and internationally is critical to changing how people interact with the earth, deal with climate change and protect the environment.

    MANA rejects so called market solutions to climate change and environmental degradation.  Such attempts conceal the causes of the problems and  open up new mechanisms for profiteering by the rich elites at the expense of the environment, the poor and the vulnerable.

    We will repeal the present Emission Trading Scheme. We propose to replace it with policies and regulations that will lead to a genuine reduction in carbon emissions in a fair and just way.

    MANA believes the Precautionary Principle should be applied to the introduction of all new technology. This means that if an action or policy might cause harm to people or the environment, those who are taking the action or implementing the policy must prove that it is harmless, unless there is already scientific consensus to this effect.

    At an international level MANA supports the People’s Agreement On Climate Change And The Rights Of Mother Earth, The Indigenous People’s Declaration: ‘Mother Earth Can Live Without Us, But We Can’t Live Without Her’, and the Universal Declaration Of The Rights Of Mother Earth, which came out of the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change & the Rights of Mother Earth held in Cochabamba, Bolivia in April 2010.

    MANA policy priorities are:

    Treaty of Waitangi 

    • Ensure Treaty obligations are understood and actioned.
    • Give hapū and iwi decision making powers equal to government and local government in developing environmental policies relating to biodiversity, prospecting, the management of coastal areas and RMA plans so they can exercise kaitiakitanga over lands, coastal areas, and waterways.
    • Action Section 33 of the RMA which allows local authorities to hand over functions, powers and duties to iwi.
      • Resource hapū and iwi to carry out the above
      • Support Kaitiaki in fulfilling responsibilities to the environment.

    Rivers and Sea Water 

    • Maintain the mauri of all water bodies by resourcing local communities to monitor their own waterways.
    • Ensure all New Zealanders have access to potable water.
    • Water supplies will be retained as a public good, managed locally and not onsold as assets to foreign corporations.
    • All wastewater is to be treated to food gathering standard and then discharged through land (unless the soil is unsuitable), rather than directly into streams rivers or the sea.
    • Stormwater outlets adjacent to sealed roads will have silt traps to filter runoff.  Support homeowners call for tanks to be erected to collect water from roofs of all new houses.
    • Encourage riparian planting along all waterways.

    Seabed Mining 

    • Ban fracking.
    • Cancel deep sea oil exploration and drilling.
    • Polluters pay to clean up the impacts of their activities.
    • Support research into bioremediation of toxic materials using nature’s own microorganisms.
    • Establish a body to assess the social and environmental impacts of new technologies like nanotechnology, geoengineering and synthetic biology. This body will apply the precautionary principle when assessing these technologies. MANA will also support the establishment of an international agency to carry out this work.
    • Ensure those involved in industrial activities pay to clean up any pollution they cause.

    Food sovereignty

    • Ban the growing and experimentation of GE and GM crops.
    • Promote and resource organic food production including hua parakore foods and extend current funding for the establishment of maara kai by whānau, marae and communities.
    • Develop a land transition plan which will include:
      • regulation of farming practices to reduce environmental damage,
      • improve the quality of waterways,
      • increase localised food self-sufficiency,
      • reduce dependency on export agricultural production.
    • Protect New Zealanders’ rights to save heritage seeds and exchange food.
    • Develop alternative food production, ownership and distribution methods to free New Zealanders from the clutches of international food companies and local supermarket chains.

    Housing Policy

    A decent home is a necessary foundation for families to flourish.  Too many individuals and whānau live in inadequate, substandard, overcrowded or unsafe accommodation.   MANA believes that everyone has a right to secure, healthy housing, whether they live in cities or rural districts.

    Māori suffer disproportionately from inadequate housing, and continue to experience discrimination both in accessing decent accommodation and in the ability to borrow capital to build on Māori land.  It is time that Aotearoa abided by treaties like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples, with the state guaranteeing provision of adequate shelter for all.

    Homelessness is a much bigger issue in Aotearoa today than many people realise.  Much more needs to be done to ensure that housing is available where and when people need it, through secure, affordable rentals and through improved access to loans for those who aspire to home ownership.

    All new housing should conform to high standards of energy efficiency and sustainable construction and design standards.

    MANA policy priorities are to:

    • Acknowledge the reality of homelessness in Aotearoa by making it a duty of Government to ensure every individual and family is housed, in secure, safe and affordable accommodation.
    • Develop a national housing strategy based on quality research which identifies true levels of homelessness and substandard living arrangements.
    • Build 20,000 more state houses within the next two years.  This will start to deal with the current crisis in housing availability for low income people, and will also create jobs and training opportunities.
    • Maintain income related rents at no more than 25% of income for state, local government and community and iwi social housing.
    • Introduce a ‘warrant of fitness’ for all rental housing, to ensure no accommodation is let without basic standards being met, including sanitation, insulation, warmth, fire safety and the removal of any toxic materials.
    • Provide adequate ongoing funding for emergency housing, women’s refuges and supported housing for those with particular health and social needs – in every district.  Increase funding and other support for tenants’ protection groups.
    • Introduce a major papakainga housing programme, which works to overcome in sensitive, practical ways the many current barriers to building housing on Māori communally owned land.
    • Extend the range of options for assistance with home purchase for low and middle income earners.
    • Increase Government support for third sector housing providers – whānau, hapū and iwi, community and church based organisations who work to provide quality social housing (rental and owned) in local areas.  Support the development of Indigenous housing models, as well as sweat equity, shared equity, eco housing, cooperative housing and other innovative forms of home ownership.
    • Maintain and increase rural housing improvement programmes which enable whānau to bring their homes up to decent health and safety standards.
    • Government to assist with the establishment of  a community owned banking network, either as a new entity or as a non-profit stand-alone part of Kiwibank, with functions including:
    • Assisting with housing loans for papakainga and other tangata whenua and community based social housing initiatives.
    • Providing capital for the development of other community enterprises which support job creation, and the meeting of social, cultural and environmental needs.
    • Enabling genuine community ownership through democratically elected, accountable shareholder directors.
    • Increase funding and support for environmentally sustainable and low cost, low tech building trades training programmes.
    • Establish the right of people to remain in or return to their home rohe without penalty from the state, and increase government support for rural districts, including through greater assistance with public transport, sewerage, water, wastewater, waste, roading and other infrastructure.

    Social Wellbeing Policy

    In Aotearoa today, one in five children are growing up in poverty.  Wages are low, much work is precarious, and benefits are paid at levels too low to enable people to survive with dignity.  Unemployment remains high, and impacts disproportionately on Māori and young people.

    MANA believes that every adult has a right to a decent job, or to training and education that will enable them to get a  job.  Investment in full employment and other sustainable livelihoods, and creating an enabling environment for iwi and community economic development are critical to breaking cycles of unemployment and poverty.

    Anyone who is unable to support themselves because they are out of work, sick, injured, disabled, elderly, or a sole parent deserves support from a compassionate welfare system.  The current system is far too complicated.  It wastes huge amounts of taxpayers’ money on administration, and does not provide even minimal adequate support for most people on benefits.  All too often people coming to Work and Income are treated with disregard and contempt.

    At the same time social harms like violence, abuse and neglect, problem drinking and gambling and other deeply rooted social and health issues impact significantly on many individuals, families and their wider whānau.

    MANA believes that all children deserve the best possible chance in life, and that adults and children alike have the right to live free from violence, neglect, and abuse.  The government has a role in helping to deal with these problems, as do whānau,  hapū, iwi, and church, community, union and other voluntary organisations.

    Everyone deserves access to quality, culturally appropriate social services whether delivered by the state or by non-government organisations.  The non-government sector – community groups and rōpū Māori – has the capacity to achieve far more than is currently possible, should the state choose to provide an enabling rather than paternalistic environment in which  these organisations can flourish.

    Social policy and social development should be set within the framework of the provisions of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

    MANA policy priorities are to:

    Welfare

    • Make full employment a top priority of government.
    • Provide a one-off hardship grant of $1,000 for every person aged 18 and over who is on an income of $30,000 or less, whether they are on a benefit or in paid work – and for it to be paid by Christmas 2011, to enable people to address immediate needs.
    • Work towards implementing a Universal Tax Credit/Universal Basic Income where everyone in Aotearoa aged 18 and over would receive a minimum, liveable, tax free income after which progressive tax would kick in.  This would eliminate the huge costs involved in administering the current shame and blame Work & Income system, end poverty traps, and assist in creating a far more equal society.
    • Redirect some accommodation supplement funds to enable many more beneficiaries and other low income earners to rent from state, iwi, and community owned housing providers on an income related basis, or participate in rent-to-buy initiatives, rather than continuing to provide subsidies to private landlords.
    • Lift benefits to at least pre 1991 equivalent levels – National slashed benefits in 1991, and these cuts have never been restored. Index benefits to a fixed, adequate percentage of the average wage, as currently happens with superannuation.
    • Extend the In Work tax credit to the children of beneficiary parents.  This would immediately lift incomes for beneficiary families.
    • Reinstate the Training Incentive Allowance for people on the DPB (Domestic Purposes Benefit) so they can access all levels of tertiary education.
    • Maintain national superannuation as a universal payment for everyone aged 65 and over.
    • Throw out the current social security law which is complex and out of date, and write new law based on making the welfare system simple and fair,  based on the principles of manaakitanga.
    • Radically change the culture of Work & Income so that people coming in for assistance are treated with respect, granted their full entitlements, and so that staff are trained and supported to work sensitively with people from a diverse range of backgrounds. First steps will include:
    • Removing review of decisions from the Benefit Review Committees to a far more independent body.
    • Creating an independent social security ombudsman to deal with complaints against Work & Income staff who humiliate or mistreat people.
    • Implement a social marketing campaign to begin to undo the negative stereotyping of beneficiaries.
    • Provide stable, ongoing funding for community based beneficiary and ACC advocacy groups throughout the country.

    Children 

    • Support a framework of universal health & wellbeing screening for all babies and children.  One possible model is Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungtanga o Nga Tamariki, as presented by former Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro in 2008.
    • End child poverty.
    • Recognise that the work of raising children is as important as paid work; extend paid parental leave for up to one year; and support quality pre-school and out of school education.
    • Increase funding and other support for children with disabilities and their families and whānau.
    • Ensure that the needs and rights of tamariki and rangatahi are reflected in all policy that may affect them, and where possible, involve children and young people in planning and decision making.
    • Ensure quality mental health services for children and young people are adequately funded and available in all parts of the country.

    Family Violence

    • Promote in every way practicable a culture of non-violence in the home, school and communities.
    • Resource and support parenting education in schools, and increase funding for quality parent and family support programmes in the community.
    • Provide stable, sufficient funding for women’s refuge, rape crisis, men’s stopping violence groups and other organisations working to support those affected by family violence.
    • Provide free counselling and well subsidised legal support for those affected by family and sexual violence.

    CYFS   (Child, Youth and Family)

    • Improve the quality and accountability of CYFS services throughout the country, including in rural and provincial rohe. Ensure adequate training and support for staff. Develop an organisational culture which respects and understands the children, families, whanau and communities served by CYFS.
    • Set up an independent review and appeals system for those who have complaints about CYFS.
    • Discard the Adoption Act 1955 and replace and update it with new legislation which takes into account many factors, including whangai, and an understanding that overall, the welfare and rights of children should be paramount.

    Gambling

    Pokie machines are an extremely harmful and deliberately addictive form of gambling.  Therefore MANA seeks to:

    • Abolish pokie machines from local communities and allow a community veto on pokies in casinos.
    • Remove the distribution of pokie profits from the gaming charities, and allocate funding through established, publicly accountable mechanisms such as COGS or Internal Affairs Lotteries committees.
    • Prohibit smoking in all gambling venues.
    • End gambling advertising in all media.
    • Ensure that organisations which deal with the harms created by problem gambling are adequately resourced out of the proceeds of gambling.

    Alcohol

    The misuse and abuse of alcohol takes a high health, social and economic toll on individuals, families and communities.  MANA therefore seeks to:

    • Give communities a veto over whether and where liquor outlets are established.
    • End alcohol advertising on radio and TV and replace sponsorship of cultural and spots events by alchohol companies with government funding.
    • Strengthen liquor legislation to reduce teenage drinking.
    • Increase alcohol taxes, and use the income generated to help fund adequate, quality alcohol and drug addiction services across the country.

    Tangata Whenua, Community & Voluntary Sector

    • Ensure Government departments understand and recognise the key role this sector plays in enhancing social, cultural, environmental, and economic wellbeing.
    • Review the Charities Act 2005. Ensure that organisations which play an advocacy role are not denied charitable status. If a group carries out political advocacy in accordance with its kaupapa, this should not be used as a reason for refusing it Government or charitable funding.
    • Improve access to grants and loan funding and facilitate an enabling legal environment for the development of community enterprises; consumer, worker and housing cooperatives; ethical, community-run finance and banking initiatives; and alternative barter and currency schemes.  Support the establishment of a community owned banking network (see Housing policy for more detail).
    • Work to ensure Government understands and respects the worth of voluntary work in the community, on the marae, and in the home,  including the right of tangata whenua to determine what ‘voluntary’ and ‘community sector’ means to them.

    Disability Issues

    Disabled people have rights that must be protected and promoted, and have the same human rights as all other people to be treated with dignity; to live, to have full and equal access to healthcare, high quality education, fulfilling work, an adequate standard of living, appropriate housing, freedom from discrimination, the transmission of language and culture, and full and effective participation in society.  The state is legally obligated to take active steps to fulfil these rights and to make sure others do not interfere with them.

    The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) recognizes that disability is created when people with impairments encounter barriers in society that hinder them from living the lives they choose.  MANA acknowledges this definition, as chosen by disabled people in the writing of the Convention, whilst respecting alternative world views.

    In Aotearoa, one in five people are disabled.  Māori have a higher rate of disability than non-Māori and face extra barriers, including racial discrimination and lack of access to culture.  Disabled people are often disadvantaged in employment, education, income and standard of living, access to public transport, and access to health services.  Barriers include:  inaccessible building design and provision of information; services are delivered in places or ways that don’t meet people’s needs; and negative societal attitudes and behaviours.  These barriers also affect the whānau of disabled people, and those who love and care for them.

    MANA policies related to welfare, housing, education, and economic justice all aim to increase the living standards and support the right to participation of disabled people.

    In addition, MANA policy priorities are to:

    Ensure equal rights and access to justice for disabled people by:

    • Enshrining the UNCRPD in domestic legislation.
    • Ratifying the UNCRPD Optional Protocol to enable disabled people whose rights have been breached to take cases directly to the UN.
    • Promoting the development of anti-discrimination legislation.

    Promote the full participation of disabled people in creating an inclusive Aotearoa by:

    • Increasing the visibility, voice, and participation of people with disabilities in central, regional, and local government across all sectors, including governance, planning, policy, research, and service provision – and increase the resources available to enable this to happen.
    • Build the research capacity of people with disabilities, across all areas (e.g. health, design, education, economics) to increase control and influence over policy and planning, and to monitor progress.

    To enforce accessibility standards in the provision of:

    • Transport
    • Housing and the built environment
    • Information
    • Technology

    Improving the standard of living for disabled people and their whānau by:

    • Introducing a non-means tested benefit to meet the costs of disability of all disabled people.
    • Removing the inequity in access to services and healthcare between ACC and Ministry of Health clients, bringing all recipients to the higher level of access to resources.
    • Abolishing the minimum wage exemption permit and ensuring meaningful jobs are available to all disabled people.
    • Ensuring that all disabled people have the right to be educated alongside their peers in a properly resourced learning environment.
    • Increasing the options for disabled people to use affordable and accessible community facilities to maintain fitness and wellbeing.

    Improving access to culture and language by:

    • Promoting the development of accessible marae and cultural facilities.
    • Increasing the use of New Zealand Sign Language in public life including support for the ongoing development of Māori signs

    People who require disability-related support should be able to receive it in the place they want, from the people they want, in the way they want, and in a culturally appropriate manner as determined by them and their loved ones.  This will be achieved by:

    • Ensuring health, disability, and social services staff are properly trained and provided with ongoing professional development, especially in cultural competencies, and that competencies are audited.
    • Providing fair payment for support workers, including immediate resolution of the ‘Parents as Caregivers’ case and ensuring night shift workers receive the minimum wage with immediate effect.
    • Include disabled people and their whānau in developing ways to monitor the quality and performance of health and social services.
    • Increase the availability of services and facilities for long term and short term care and residential living that are age- and culturally appropriate for diverse groups of Māori, Pacific, and other peoples.
    • Increase community-based rehabilitation services.