While communities struggle with record increase in prices to almost everything at the moment, a record number of people and families turning out to food banks, the public housing waitlist at an all time high, disproportionate incarceration rates for Indigenous and migrant communities, our hospitals being constantly over-worked since Covid, our education system being short-staffed and under-resourced as we still deal with the impacts of the floods and cyclones in our communities, the PM Chris Hipkins has revealed that the Labour Party were considering a wealth tax and capital gains tax in the 2023 Budget but chose not to because he reckons they ‘didn’t have the mandate to implement those changes’.

Auckland Action Against Poverty Coordinator Brooke Pao Stanley says it’s not surprising given it’s normal for settler colonial governments to choose capitalism over people and planet since time immemorial but for the PM to say he doesn’t have the mandate to implement those changes surfaces an interesting point, because Labour have the mandate of mandates with their majority government. “Our communities supporting the frontline have been calling for this, so we know there’s an appetite for taxing wealth to invest in our communities”.

“We’re over the lies, gaslighting and constant politicking at the expense and well-being of our communities. We’re burnt out from having to respond and deal with so much happening on so many levels ALL THE TIME and it’s violently unjust that we have the levels of poverty in NZ we do, that this Labour government has a MAJORITY mandate and does nothing to address this as an emergency. Poverty is violence, and that the government continues to brush it away as a heavily stacked social determinant tells us all we need to know – this Labour government and successive governments don’t care about people who are poor”.

“We want the state to be responsible for meeting the essential needs of People and Planet – poverty is NECESSARY for the existence of capitalism and so to eliminate it, we need to look at constitutional transformation via Matike Mai and other levers like transforming our tax system so that we’re all cared for and looked after”.

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