WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Step out and Vote

WelCom invited the leaders of the parliamentary parties of the 51st Parliament to respond to the 10 issues in the NZ Catholic Bishops’ 2017 Election Statement.

Step out and Vote: The New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ 2017 Election Statement.
Ki ō tātou tuākana, tēina i roto i te whakapono, ā, ki ō tātou hoa kirirarau o Aotearoa.

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ 2017 Election Statement sets out 10 issues the Bishops consider important to the country. The Bishops encourage voters to be informed about these issues, ideas, realities and ideals when voting in the general election in September.

(Copies of the statement have been sent to all parishes. It is online www.wn.catholic.org.nz/step-out-and-vote/)


Rt Hon Bill English

National Party Leader and Prime Minister

Pro-Life Policies
I’m opposed to abortion and euthanasia.

Bi-Cultural New Zealand
Māori occupy a special place in New Zealand as the tangata whenua. I’m proud that this Government has settled 58 Treaty claims and built a constructive working relationship with iwi leaders.

Cultural Diversity
It’s a pleasure to be part of a vibrant multi-cultural society that has melded the best of so many cultures, something that is reflected in my own family and extended family.

Migration
Whether we came on the first waka, or later, by boat or plane we are all immigrants. We welcome people who come here to make a contribution.

Safe Society
Everybody has the right to live a life free of violence. We are putting more police on the beat and tackling family violence to make New Zealand safer.

Caring For Our Planet
We are working hard to improve the quality of our waterways and eradicate predators, and we are doing our fair share to combat global warming.

Fair Tax Structure
On 1 April next year our Family Incomes Package will increase the incomes of 1.3 million families by an average of $26 a week and reduce child poverty by 30 per cent.

Mental Health
Better mental health is a priority for National which is why the Government has just announced a package of 17 new initiatives to improve mental wellbeing.

Affordable Housing
The best way to reduce the cost of housing is to match supply with demand. We’re on track to build 200,000 new homes over the next six years – the equivalent of four Dunedins.

Prison Population
We’ve increased funding for rehabilitation and reintegration by 60 per cent since 2008 and had some success, but a smaller number of more serious offenders are now receiving longer sentences.


Jacinda Ardern

Labour Party Leader and Leader of the Opposition

Pro-Life Policies
Any legislative change on voluntary euthanasia is a conscience issue for Parliament and therefore a decision for each Member of Parliament.

Bi-Cultural New Zealand
Labour will work towards strengthening bicultural New Zealand by supporting cultural initiatives, alongside addressing disparities in Māori health, education, housing, and pay outcomes. We will continue to support the treaty claim process.

Cultural Diversity
Labour welcomes the growing cultural diversity of New Zealand. In regards to your statement on refugees, Labour will increase the refugee quota to 1,500.

Migration
Labour will continue to welcome migrants as an integral part of our society and we’ll rebalance policy settings to ensure we have the infrastructure to cope with a growing population.

Safe Society
Labour also recognises the growing supply of methamphetamine; this is why we will fund 1,000 additional police. We will also invest in addiction services.

Caring For Our Planet
Labour would set up an independent Climate Change Commission, introduce carbon budgets, and ensure just transitions for workers in sectors affected by climate change.

Fair Tax Structure
Labour believes a taxation system should have three characteristics – being fair, simple, and collected. Labour is committed to a tax working group to ensure this.

Mental Health
Labour will increase mental health services in primary care and for every secondary school and hold a review of services to address any gaps.

Affordable Housing
Labour has a comprehensive plan to solve the housing crisis, which includes building 100,000 affordable homes for first time home buyers over 10 years.

Prison Population
Labour agrees that the rising prison population is a concern. We must turn it around by addressing the root causes of crime, and improve rehabilitation programmes to stop recidivism.


James Shaw

Green Party Leader

Pro-Life Policies
We support a compassionate society for the marginalised: increased funding of palliative care services, greater inclusion for people with disabilities and protecting elderly from abuse.

Bi-Cultural New Zealand
The treaty is at the centre of our Green Party charter and kaupapa. We stand for a New Zealand that honours Te Tiriti and Māori.

Cultural Diversity
We believe in an open and diverse New Zealand. We have the most ambitious policy on increasing the refugee quota and will stand against xenophobia.

Migration
We support a fair, compassionate, supportive immigration system that treats migrants as more than economic units. We will invest in supporting migrants and preventing migrant exploitation

Safe Society
The penal system which criminalises the vulnerable and robs children of their parents for drug possession is unjust. We will focus on a rehabilitative approach.

Caring For Our Planet
We stand careful stewardship over all creation. We have the most ambitious climate plan which commits to a carbon zero Aotearoa by 2050.

Fair Tax Structure
Tax should be used to create a fairer society with a preferential option for the poor. People who can contribute more to the common good should.

Mental Health
A nationwide inquiry is needed to identify systemic problems, and deliver effective solutions. Young people are waiting far too long accessing early intervention support services.

Affordable Housing
We support affordable housing: housing first approach to end homelessness, rent fairness to assist renters, rent-to-buy to help low-income home buyers and mass state housing construction.

Prison Population
We will address drivers of crime through fixing the safety nets of our broken welfare system and shift to a compassionate, rehabilitative approach to justice.


Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Party Leader

Pro-Life Policies
We favour a citizen-initiated binding referendum on abortion held at the same time as a general election. Abortions should be safe, legal and rare.

Bi-Cultural New Zealand
We embrace our Māori cultural background but oppose a ‘parallel state’ for Māori, all state programmes, like healthcare and education, should work for all New Zealanders.

Cultural Diversity
New Zealand First believes in one institution, one law and one set of systems regardless of our backgrounds in the 21st century.

Migration
We support migration at sustainable levels, to benefit this country. We oppose immigration used as a source of cheap labour.

Safe Society
We want safe, secure communities where people and their property are respected and protected. We are going to train 1800 extra police as soon as possible.

Caring For Our Planet
We believe in being responsible stewards of our planet. The conservation of our country’s natural and cultural heritage has international significance and is a New Zealand First priority.

Fair Tax Structure
We want a fair and equitable system, and believe those on the higher incomes should bear a greater portion of the tax burden than those with lower incomes.

Mental Health
We support an inquiry and will increase funding and the options of mental health services available, working towards a community view instead of a medical view of services.

Affordable Housing
Those unable to own their own home must have access to quality and affordable rentals. All working New Zealanders must have a genuine opportunity to buy their own home. Mass immigration must be severely cut back. If not, talk of solving our housing crisis is just dishonest.

Prison Population
We want to reduce the prison population by using alternatives and introducing optional short custodial sentences with stipulated supervised work.


Hon Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox

Māori Party Co-leaders

Pro-Life Policies
The protection and preservation of whakapapa/mana tūpuna is fundamental to whānau wellbeing. Whānau decide on the sanctity of whakapapa and Whānau Ora policies promote whānau self-determination.

Bi-Cultural New Zealand
Our key platform is kotahitanga, rangatiratanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi where our cultural tapestry celebrates Mana Māori; Mana Motuhake and embraces the diversity of all in this land.

Cultural Diversity
We will advance the aspirations of all peoples in Aotearoa, underpinned by values of Te Ao Māori including Manaakitanga, Whānaungatanga, Wairuatanga, Mana whenua, Kaitiakitanga and Te Reo Māori.

Migration
We support policy that fosters cohesiveness between cultures while respecting Māori as tangata whenua, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and acknowledging the mana and mātauranga of immigrants.

Safe Society
Ensuring all children have a good start in life is a key priority. Tamariki are our past, present and future and their right to wellness includes nutritious food, a dry, safe and warm home and connection to their cultural heritage.

Caring For Our Planet
We support initiatives, with input by iwi, hapū and whānau, which seek to restore the mana and wellbeing of our taiao, such as our waterways.

Fair Tax Structure
The Māori Party believes in a Living Wage and excellent employment conditions for all workers, equitable pay and broadening the eligibility for paid parental leave.

Mental Health
Our vision is oranga Māori, oranga Aotearoa. Whānau is central. We are committed to a loving, caring and supportive society for all and an equitable, sustainable health system.

Affordable Housing
Everyone should live in a safe, warm, healthy, affordable home. We want to end homelessness by 2020, improve the rights of tenants and increase home ownership.

Prison Population
We believe in building strong communities, not more prisons; reform of the justice system including dismantling of institutionalised racism; reducing prisoner numbers by 2025 and a community-led response to restorative justice.


Hon Peter Dunne

United Future Party Leader

Pro-Life Policies
Issues of this nature [abortion] come down to a decision about the health of a woman and whether they can give informed consent to what happens to their body.

Bi-Cultural New Zealand
New Zealand’s heritage came from a union between two peoples and that must be respected. The future of New Zealand also needs to embrace the multicultural country we have become.

Cultural Diversity
We agree wholeheartedly.

Migration
Absolutely agree. On almost every metric, immigration has been something that has enriched New Zealand.

Safe Society
Absolutely.

Caring For Our Planet
Ensuring that our environment is future proofed so that it can be enjoyed by current and future generations should be a key goal for any government.

Fair Tax Structure
Agree. That is why implementing distortionary tax policies being advocated by some parties undermines that work ethic through disincentivising their willingness to work.

Mental Health
Communities are the heart of our healthcare system and we must ensure that community providers of mental health services are properly resourced.

Affordable Housing
The best thing we can do is recognise that the Government does not have a monopoly on good ideas and bring together all stakeholders to design a strategy.

Prison Population
We agree and would like to see focus placed on restorative justice, rehabilitation and flexibility within the justice system.


David Seymour

Act Party Leader

Pro-Life Policies
Part of leading a meaningful life is having choice over one’s body and one’s death. That’s why I sponsored the End of Life Choice Bill.

Bi-Cultural New Zealand
ACT celebrates our bicultural past, as well as our multicultural present.

Cultural Diversity
ACT supports people’s rights to live according to their own culture, religion, and beliefs.

Migration
ACT has always been New Zealand’s pro-immigration party. We welcome peaceful, productive immigrants.

Safe Society
The most basic task of Government is to keep us safe. ACT will reduce crime through both deterrence and education.

Caring For Our Planet
ACT would bring back the native birdsong Captain Cook heard by selling Landcorp and granting the funds to community-run sanctuaries.

Fair Tax Structure
ACT believes when people keep more of the money they earn, they are better placed to invest in their families, their communities, and themselves.

Mental Health
There is no single policy that will end suicide, but ACT would give schools more flexibility to devote resources to mental health services.

Affordable Housing
ACT would restore housing affordability by cutting red tape to allow new supply. This would reduce prices and incentivise better quality.

Prison Population
ACT would cut criminal recidivism by reducing prison sentences for those who gain basic qualifications such as literacy, numeracy, and driver licences.