Suzanne spoke about how New Zealand’s attributes of transparency and integrity can prevent corruption and generate transparency. She spoke about how it was important for New Zealand to be proud of what we have – New Zealand has the second least corrupt public service in the world. Suzanne asked ‘why is New Zealand so strong in terms of corruption when we aren’t working hard enough to prevent it?’ Suzanne suggested the answer lies in the nature of our families and whānau. She emphasised the importance of the beginning of a child’s life, and she recommended 18 months parental leave shared between mothers and fathers. Suzanne told the group that integrity brings the building blocks for communication and trust, however asserts that these benefits are largely unharvested. Suzanne left the group with a positive message to ‘be proud, we have the ability to grow a healthy whānau and nation, and that’s key to our integrity base, growing the economy and the tax space, and we can reduce poverty.’
The December 2015 TacklingPovertyNZ workshop brought together 36 young New Zealanders between the ages 18 and 25 to prepare a youth perspective on the issue of poverty in New Zealand and how we might, as a country, go about tackling it. Participants spent most of their 72 hours in Wellington working hard at Treasury, in order to present their findings to MPs and other guests at the finale presentation at Parliament on Wednesday, 9 December 2015. Every year, the McGuinness Institute has worked in collaboration with the New Zealand Treasury to create a collaborative space for young New Zealanders to explore complex public policy issues together. The workshops have always proved exciting, enjoyable and insightful. The McGuinness Institute would particularly like to thank the staff at the New Zealand Treasury for their continued support and encouragement.
2016 Workshop tour
On 29 March 2016 we began our TacklingPovertyNZ tour in Queenstown with a group of local participants. Later this year we will continue the tour of one-day workshops around the country. Our aim is to contribute to a national conversation about how New Zealand might tackle poverty. After each workshop we will prepare a discussion paper to map local issues and to explore ideas participants developed throughout the day. In addition to being available to the public, each discussion paper will be given to the Chief Economist of the New Zealand Treasury.
The next stop on the TacklingPovertyNZ tour is tentatively booked for Rotorua on 19 August 2016. We are currently in discussion with other regional councils including Far North, Gisborne and Manawatu. If you are interested in being involved in your constituency’s local tour, or nominating local participants, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.