Gender Justice Collective Te Roopu Manatika-ā-Ira is an independent, non-profit network drawn from all walks of life. We have completed the #YouChoose2020 survey, where we heard from 3,500+ women, wāhine, trans women & non-binary people what they needed to live to their best life. At the same time, we’ve taken some of the recurring issues and themes that we’re hearing, and put those to our political parties. The answers that they provided are below (unabridged). Please note that the invitation was put to all major, registered parties that are not single-issue focus. To date, three responses were received.
Answers provided by the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand:
What policies, projects and programmes of work has your party either been responsible for instigation or delivering that specifically improves the lives of wāhine Māori and takatāpui?
We know that wāhine Māori are over-represented in prison populations because of the systemic racism they face. While there is still much work to be done to transform our justice system, this term we were proud to restore prisoner voting rights, to campaign to prevent Armed Response teams from becoming a permanent fixture in Māori communities and to push for more fairness and safety for victims of domestic and sexual violence in the justice system.
We’ve also made progress on putting te reo in schools, with plans for mainstream kura starting to take shape, as well as Māori history in schools. This will mean better results for our tamariki, young wāhine and revitalisation efforts overall.
We secured $35 million in funding for the Maternity Action Plan which will develop services that better reflect a kaupapa Māori approach to maternity care.
Budget 2019 included an historic $320 million for addressing family violence and sexual violence. This included funding to identify and support violence prevention service for diverse communities including LGBTQI+, elderly, youth, disability and new migrants.
The 2020 Budget included significant support to stabilise New Zealand’s family violence services with a focus on extra support for services by Māori for Māori. This has been essential throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.
Jan Logie as Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues) has ensured a strong Māori voice the all-of-government work to develop a strategy to end family violence and sexual violence. The Interim Te Rōpū (list available here https://nzfvc.org.nz/news/members-te-r%C5%8Dp%C5%AB-m%C4%81ori-advisory-group-announced) were brought together to advise on the strategy and also develop the enduring mechanism for government to genuinely engage with and take leadership from Māori on this work.
What policies, projects and programmes of work has your party either been responsible for instigation or have developed that specifically advance gender equity (including transgender, non-binary and intersex people)?
Green MP Julie Anne Genter has served as the Minister for Women over the past three years of government. In this time we have finally passed the Equal Pay Amendment Bill so that New Zealanders working in female-dominated professions will have a clearer pathway for pay equity - this is one of the biggest gains for gender equity in the workplace since the Equal Pay Act 1972
Julie Anne has also championed the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan for more equity in public service. The Action Plan creates a model for other employers to learn from, so they can tackle their gender pay gaps – by measuring their gaps, enabling flexible work, equalising starting salaries, ensuring equal pay for the same jobs, and developing women for senior and higher-paid roles. Now, the public service gender pay gap is at its lowest point since measurement began in 2000. The 1.7% decrease in the last year is the largest annual reduction in the gap in 17 years.
Please provide examples of when you or those in your party have improved the quality of life for women, trans women, wāhine and nonbinary (those who walk between the binary worlds) and intersex people. Please be specific.
In this term of government, Green MPs Julie Anne Genter and Jan Logie have served as the Minister for Women and Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues) respectively.
Jan’s role has included leading the whole-of-government response to family violence and sexual violence and represents the first time any government has created a role in the Executive specifically focused on these issues.
We passed the Domestic Violence (Victims’ Protection) Act which provides paid leave and workplace protections for people impacted by domestic violence.
Family violence legislation passed at the beginning of the term has updated our laws to cover the different behaviours and dynamics that constitute family violence, including making strangulation a separate offence, and specifying how family violence can occur within a caring relationship or in migrant communities. This legislation focused on the safety of victims and their families and creating processes for decision-makers including judges and the police to keep that safety at the forefront of their decisions.
We introduced and fought hard for the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill which changes our court processes to ensure victims are not re-traumatized by their experience in the justice system, and focuses sexual violence trials on determining the facts, not relying on myths and misconceptions about sex and relationships.
This includes restricting inappropriate questions in court and allowing complaints to give their evidence in alternative ways.
We lifted the cap on gender confirmation surgeries. It was previously capped at three male-to-female surgeries and one female-to-male surgery every two years - there will now be no cap on the number of surgeries performed, and the previous caps will become a minimum number of surgeries every two years.
We know that nearly 95,000 9-to-18 year olds may stay at home during their periods due to not being able to afford period products – so we are making period products freely available in school bathrooms, to support children and young people in poverty, and to help them continue learning at school.
We set up Piki – a free mental health support pilot to support 18 to 25 year olds with mild to moderate mental health needs. The Capital & Coast DHB area is planning to take on 20 new counsellors to help up to an estimated 10,000 young people.
We also know that women, girls and gender diverse people are across the country have suffered due to COVID-19, that’s why Julie Anne Genter announced financial support for 155 community groups. Initially, the Community Fund was set to allocate $1million, but due to overwhelming demand, the Government decided to double the fund to a total of $2million. Successful applicants’ services range from support for single mothers who have lost their jobs; mental health services; support for women experiencing violence; kaupapa Māori services; essential supplies such as food, nappies, period products, and blankets for marginalised women and girls; support for retraining; as well as increased support for volunteers that support women and girls
Family Planning has seen a 168 per cent increase in appointments for two new long-acting reversible contraceptives (Mirena and Jaydess) since we fully funded them with $6 million dollars focused on long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) in November 2019. We delivered the biggest cash-injection to Family Planning in over a decade to help them address wait times and patient demand.
We delivered the largest ever funding boost for primary maternity services, $242 million maternity support package which will support rural women and those with high-needs pregnancies.
We extended Paid Parental Leave to 26 weeks in July 2020 - and we also increased these payments by an extra $20 a week
While we are very proud of the achievements mentioned above, there is much more we would have liked to achieve. The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics highlighted our responsibility to uphold and uplift the equality of all people – something the government as a whole has sadly failed to do for our Rainbow whānau and others marginalised communities.
Jan Logie strongly supported amendments to the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Act that would have allowed people to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates, and we are committed to passing those amendments in the next term of government.
We are also committed to preventing unnecessary surgery on infants and children who are intersex or have diverse sex characteristics, and further removing barriers to accessing gender-affirming healthcare.
Please list the initiatives your party intends to get done in the next three years to provide to improve to ensure Aotearoa New Zealand is the best place in the world to be a woman, trans women, wāhine and those who walk between the binary worlds (including non-binary and intersex people).
- Reform welfare with greater support for families especially. We would like to introduce a Guaranteed Minimum Income of $325 per week for all those not in full-time work. We will introduce a family Support Credit of $190 per week for the first child and $120 per week for subsequent children and a Universal Child Benefit for each child under three of $100 per week. This will go some way towards acknowledging the value of unpaid care work and household labour, often done by wāhine and women.
- We will amend the Births Deaths Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill to allow people to change the gender marker on their birth certificates the same way they can for their passports and driver licences
- We will prioritise initiatives recommended in the Mana Wāhine inquiry
- Introduce pay transparency legislation and increase support for preparing claims.
- Provide training and workforce re-entry programmes for sole parents of school-aged children.
- Guarantee equal gender representation in Government appointments, while addressing other gaps including ethnicity and disability.
- Ensure job creation and apprenticeship programmes have policies promoting inclusion, to reduce gendered job segregation.
- Implement a fair funding model for midwives that prioritises high-quality care, and increase social support services during pregnancy and postnatally, with a focus on marginalised communities’ healthcare needs.
- Increase funding to Family Planning clinics to ensure contraception and abortion care is available everywhere and update abortion legislation to provide for safe zones. Expand the provision of free period products in schools.
- Create an Office for Rainbow Communities, tasked with developing and implementing an intersectional plan to improve LGBTQIA* rights, championing rainbow issues, and providing a point of government contact for rainbow communities.
- Ban conversion therapy.
- Support initiatives to educate institutions, including Local and Central Government, about Rainbow issues.
- Develop specific employment and equity standards to be used whenever government is tendering for services.
- Implement the recommendations of the Ko Te Wā Whakawhiti report to reform Oranga Tamariki
Watch our livestream Q&A with the Green party:
Do you like this page?