Improving the wellbeing of all New Zealanders sits at the heart of the coalition government’s plans. While economic growth is important, it is not an end in itself.
Rather, it should be used to ensure that all people in our country can live healthy and meaningful lives, that our environment is looked after, and that we move forward together as a country.
Labour Party Values
This means including people.
It has always been central to Labour’s values that we seek to build a country in which everyone regardless of ethnicity, gender, class, religion, or any other identity is included and has a fair chance to reach their full potential in life.
What does this mean in practice? Simply put, it means policies that give all New Zealanders security and opportunity.
Accessible healthcare is a cornerstone of security in people’s lives.
People need to know that healthcare is accessible, affordable, and of high quality.
We have moved to reduce GP fees, restore health budgets, fix up run-down hospitals, improve mental healthcare in the community and schools, and improving access to cancer treatment.
Decent and affordable housing is about ensuring that all families have a stable place to live in our communities.
We are investing in Kiwibuild to ensure that first homebuyers have an affordable option, reviewing tenancy laws to make sure we have the balance right, and building thousands of state houses so that low income families are included.
An inclusive education system is one of the most important things we can do to give opportunity to everyone. We are investing in more teachers, and better funding for schools and ECE centres. Through our fees free policy tertiary education including university, polytech and trades training is now more inclusive because cost is not a barrier to entry.
Our Families package means that hard working families have their efforts recognised through a significant income boost. Working for Families payments will increase by an average of $75 a week for over 380,000 working families, the BestStart payment of $60 per week will help families with a new baby, and the Winter Heating Payment means our Seniors can afford to keep the heater going through winter.
Building safer communities is an important part of ensuring that people feel secure.
We are investing in 1800 new Police Officers and getting more Police on the beat at the community level.
At the same time, we are investing in the jobs and education that will pull our young people away from crime and into the life of a contributing citizen.
I am very proud of our work with New Zealand’s ethnic communities to ensure that social inclusion is real and not just a catchphrase.
Strength of Diversity
Our diversity is a source of strength and brings new insights, skills and opportunities to our society as well as helping New Zealand to build connections around the world.
Our government believes that we must build strong and meaningful relationships with ethnic communities – understanding the issues, hearing about the problems and ideas, and partnering to ensure that all of our people are able to achieve their full potential in life.
New Zealand is one of the most peaceful multicultural societies in the world and we continue to strive for a country in which all people are fully included as valued citizens.
This is our pledge to the readers of Indian Newslink on the occasion of Publication’s 19th Anniversary. I wish all staff and readers all the best on this important landmark.
MichaelWood is elected Member of Parliament from Mt Roskill Constituency in Auckland.He is Parliamentary Undersecretary to Ethnic Communities Minister.
- Parliamentary Undersecretary to Ethnic Communities Minister Michael Wood (File Picture)
- Michael Wood with his wife Julie Fairey, Deputy Chair of the Puketāpapa Local Board
- Auckland Tamil Association President Vai Ravindran honoured Michael Wood with the Title of ‘Tamil Selvan,’ (The Treasure of Tamil) at their Diwali Festival on November 17, 2018
- Ronita Sharma, winner of the ‘Business Excellence in Retail Award’ with Michael Wood at the Eleventh Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards held on Monday, November 26, 2018 at SkyCity Convention Centre, Auckland City