Peter McKenzie Project Update – October 2019

The focus of the Peter McKenzie Project (PMP) is on enabling New Zealand families, their children and grandchildren to flourish in the places they live, work, learn and play. To do this, PMP is supporting work to upgrade its systems and structures so that it can contribute to a reduction in the number of children and families living in hardship in Aotearoa New Zealand.

In May, an important report was released, Whakamana Tāngata: Restoring dignity to Social Security in New Zealand by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG). It is one of a number of reviews taking place which examine the future of various systems, including those focused on criminal justice and taxation. WEAG, chaired by former Children’s Commisioner, Professor Cindy Kiro, made 42 recommendations which together would create:

A welfare system that ensures people have an adequate income and standard of living, are treated with and can live in dignity and are able to participate meaningfully in their communities.

This report makes clear the special opportunity that exists in Aotearoa New Zealand to create significant positive change to benefit the wellbeing of families in hardship, who despite parents’ best efforts, are under long-term stress because of low wages and high housing costs.

There are a number of excellent community groups working to maximise this opportunity. You can add your voice to those wanting government to release the pressure for those families in poverty by upgrading our systems, enabling them to have opportunities to thrive by signing this petition.

In other news, one of the groups PMP is proud to support, WhyOra, has been working to address educational and employment inequalities for Māori in Taranaki. Since the last edition of He Pito Mata, PMP is delighted to continue its support of WhyOra through further funding. This funding will be used to explore how WhyOra might increase the scope of its work to include other sectors outside health. You can find out more about WhyOra at their website: www.whyora.co.nz.