The Progressive Party of Aotearoa New Zealand
Equity in Outcomes: Having ‘one size fits all’ services available is not enough. We have significant groups within Aotearoa that do not enjoy high standards of health e.g. Tangata Whenua, so evidence-based healthcare must be measured by delivering results in the real world – not only under “clinical” conditions. Achieving positive health outcomes is the measure of a successful health modality – as such, we will have a pragmatic, responsive, dynamic and integrated healthcare system based on research and actual outcomes.
Health Research: Health care is delivered based on evidence of real-world health outcomes. With funding from targeted taxes, Aotearoa NZ can develop a world class health research sector, can become a knowledge exporter, can specifically target research to broaden healthcare system – e.g.Māori Health practices/medicines, Naturopathy, nutrition etc…
Diversified Healthcare system: A Progressive government will develop an integrated healthcare system incorporating the best of all health and wellness modalities. Include branches of healthcare not normally considered “mainstream” e.g., Māori health practices/medicines, naturopathy etc…. Active research sector will constantly inform healthcare delivery system.
Culturally based service delivery is integrated into sector – people are able to choose those services that suit their needs.
Practitioner bodies supported to professionalise and develop systems of registration in line with current registered health professions.
Purchasing capacity: Funding is to be shifted toward the community and the Primary health sector – out of big hospitals and tertiary care. Primary health includes a wide range of health providers (not just GPs and medical practices). Good quality Primary health delivery is cost effective as it reduces the need for more expensive tertiary level services (hospitals and specialist services). People have a determined level of funding attached to them and they can opt into health services that suit them through “enrolment.” This would see an extension of the present enrolment system that operates with privately-owned medical centres/gp practices, to for example, a natural health centre. Broadening of health funding in this way will allow access to a wider range of evidence-based health services for people.
Targeted Funding: Commodities that are harmful for people’s health, such as cigarettes and alcohol or cannabis products, should be taxed at rates that are significantly higher than the rates for essential goods and services. The revenue from such taxes will be targeted to finance the health care system.
Tangata Whenua: The Progressive Party supports ‘by Māori for Māori’ approaches through research and culturally appropriate services. Outcome focussed – Improving Māori health outcomes a key priority. Proactively address issues of systemic bias and racism.
Health Boards: Establishing an independent National Health Board sitting outside of the Health Dept comprised of health experts including elected and appointed members, to oversee Te Whatu Ora. The Board will be the arbiter with regards to interpreting research and defining health priorities for health delivery as well as assessing health outcomes and issues of equity and systemic bias. Having the Board sit outside of the Health Ministry will help counterbalance political influence. Among other things, the Board would have ethical oversight and arbitrate complicated and controversial health practices/scenarios.
Cooperatives: Encourage the development of the cooperative model of primary health delivery. This leads to a more community integrated and service-minded model of health provision. It will also reduce the loss of qualified staff overseas and reduce interference from large corporate health business.
Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: The Progressive Party supports the legalisation of cannabis seeing it as a health issue rather than as a crime. Tax revenue to be health targeted. Conduct research into health effects of cannabis products, both therapeutic applications and health-related harm from recreational use.
End-of-life legislation: The Progressive Party supports the End-of-Life Choice Acr 2019.
COVID and future pandemic scenarios
- Offer targeted enhanced protection and treatment to vulnerable people; invest sufficient resources to identify at-risk people, especially in generally low-risk categories such as the young. With half of the early fatalities in developed nations with covid-19 occurring among people living in rest homes, this should be one focus of protection.
- Since it was not possible to control Covid’s delta and omicron variants, review the efficacy of mass testing, contact tracing, quarantine, and lock-downs.
- Vaccination to be voluntary.
- Increase the capacity in hospitals and intensive care units to cope with seasonal demands of respiratory illnesses, including covid-19. Public health to broaden their range of treatment options at each stage of the process for prevention, infection, and recovery.
- With children being at low risk of a covid-19 fatality, in general avoid restrictions on face-to-face learning at schools, childcare centres, and universities.
- Restrictions on travel across New Zealand’s border, to be risk-based.
- Since there are questions as to whether vaccines convincingly reduce covid-19 transmission, review the need for vaccination passports or any form of discrimination based on vaccination status.
Focus on Health not just disease: Reshape parts of the health system to focus on encouraging healthy living and building resilience within communities and individuals, not just reactively treating illness. Recognise the interconnection between health, education, housing, justice, food and the natural environment.
Parents and caregivers will be acknowledged as the first teachers of their child. Their active collaboration, involving them, the school and their child will be expected, encouraged and supported.
Discipline is redefined as behaviour management. Misbehaviour is seen as an action which requires attention in terms first of understanding the intent of the child. Then through a restorative process the child has the opportunity to understand the harm caused by his/her action and the need to put it right.
There needs to be clear instruction for all students from year 9 to 13 on the constitutional documentation of this country including both TeTiriti o Waitangi (1840) and He Whakaputanga o nga Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni. The history of colonisation of this land needs to be critically examined and the ramifications of this for future generations needs to be explored.
The Māori concept of Hauora will inform the Progressive Party’s approach to education. Hauora is a Māori view of health and covers the physical, mental, social and spiritual needs of everyone. Māori believe that each of these 4 concepts supports the others. Currently taught in the PE and Health curriculum, Hauora needs to be extended into other curriculum areas.
The Party proposes that meditation and mindfulness be taught, and students be encouraged to examine their relationship with the universal creative entity. The Dalai Lama has stressed the value of meditation by saying if every 8-year-old in the world were to be taught meditation, violence would be eliminated from the world within one generation.
Neohumanism* will be taught in conjunction with meditation. Neohumanism asserts we are all interconnected in a circle of love that extends beyond humanity to include the animals, plants, and the inanimate. When we see that we have a consciousness hidden deep within, and that the same consciousness is in everything, we don’t just feel love for all, we are all. Neohumanism equates with universalism in the sense that we are bringing the entire universe within our concept of family.
*Neohumanism was first propounded by Indian philosopher and social activist, Shrii P. R. Sarkar.
Our policy is centred around Māori language gaining parity with English in New Zealand. The Progressive Party will work towards Aotearoa New Zealand becoming bilingual with Māori language being a compulsory subject in primary and secondary education. There is ample evidence to show the benefits of early second language study to all round brain development. In New Zealand we generally fall well behind in learning other languages. Well educated Europeans can often communicate in several languages.
Māori culture is not New Zealand culture and is in the hands of the Māori people themselves. Māori will receive the same access to funding that all other cultures receive. Māori themselves may want to invest more heavily in their cultural expression, and if they do this, will reap the benefits of strong cultural development and any commercial benefits this may offer. National entities may want to integrate elements of Māori culture, such as the use of the Māori haka by sporting teams. Over time New Zealand culture may incorporate more elements of Māori culture just by adoption. It is the duty of government to encourage understanding of the different cultures in our society, but the government does not have a mandate to engineer assimilation of cultures, other than to follow those that have been naturally assimilated by general convention.
The Progressive Party will also emphasise a full exploration of Aotearoa/New Zealand history in our education system including Māori culture, early settlement and New Zealand’s pre-settlement history. Some of our history is not flattering and contains a considerable amount of violence. The Progressive Party does not want a sanitised version taught, as this will not produce an understanding amongst existing and future generations of the trauma that has been suffered by the people of our country. Our view is that we can only move forward with integrity if we are fully aware of our past. This will necessitate being taught with reference to the existing norms of the time, e.g. we may not need to demonise the British, if all peoples of the era had adopted the same norms of conquest, and they just did it more effectively. Instead it may be reassuring to see how far we have come and the importance of safeguards against falling back into such repugnant norms. Or we may see parallels to these norms expressed in embryonic form in corporate or political culture and seek to stamp them out at an early stage.
The Progressive Party supports entrenching Māori seats in Parliament so that they have the same protection as general seats in Parliament. In regard to health, it also supports Māori for Māori approaches through research and culturally appropriate services.
The capitalist driven corporatized agricultural practices globally are heavily industrial, placing profit at the centre of all practices and to the detriment of life itself.
The Progressive Party will implement agricultural policy that incorporates traditional as well as recently developed models of agriculture that not only are proven to be productive and efficient in feeding people but at the same time are ethical in treatment and care of animals and ecosystems, promote justice and community wellbeing, and are instrumental in also regenerating and restoring damage to soil and ecology including waterways.
Some of the models and systems that would be supported and encouraged would include: Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, Biological/organic, Bio intensive, Bio dynamics, Permaculture, Small scale mixed farming vs agribusiness corporatized farming.
In Aotearoa New Zealand agribusiness corporatization of increasingly large scale farming especially dairying, but also industrialized horticulture, is increasingly detrimental to both people and communities, land, waterways and animals as well as to a just, fair and equitable economy.
A Progressive government would encourage agriculture to adopt the cooperative model at all levels of agricultural production whether small holdings and associated cottage industry or larger scale agricultural production.
In response to the threats posed by global warming and backed by Government research, farmers would be incentivised to shift to the production of plant-based protein including in-vitro meat – meat products manufactured through “tissue-engineering” technology. Such a shift would also accord with New Zealand’s legal recognition of animals as sentient beings.
Back in the 1970s, New Zealand and Australian scientists were at the forefront of the science of global climate change, analysing ice core samples taken from Antarctica made as early as the 1960s. By the mid-1980s the science of global climate change was well understood. Looking at data from over 1 million years, scientists could see a close causal correlation between carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and atmospheric temperature. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases like methane, trap the heat from the sun and cause the atmospheric temperature to rise.
There are other celestial cycles that also cause atmospheric temperature to increase or decrease like the sun’s solar output, the distance the earth is from the sun, because our orbit around the sun is not completely circular, and wobbles in the spin or rotation of the earth itself around its axis of spin. As these celestial impacts have changed, atmospheric temperatures carbon dioxide levels have also changed in unison. Together they add up to the natural cycles of global climate change.
There are two other natural phenomena that affect global climate change, and they are volcanic activity and the effect of melting ice mass on the stability of the earth’s spin, called the wobble. Insufficient research has been done on how the warming of our atmosphere and melting of ice will affect the stability of the earth’s spin. But it is reasonable to think that they will increase the frequency and severity of climate events. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have always moved in unison with atmospheric temperature in the natural cycle.
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution human beings have added considerably more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. But it has only been since the 1950s that the use of fossil fuels has sky-rocketed adding huge amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. This has created an added human pushing effect on global temperatures. The destruction of forest and other habitats have also disrupted the carbon cycle with fewer trees to absorb the extra carbon dioxide being put into the atmosphere. Domesticated animals have also increased carbon dioxide and methane emissions. Methane is more than 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
The last time that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere were this high, 400 ppm, the temperature of the atmosphere was 2° warmer. We were fortunate that while humans were warming the atmosphere with our greenhouse gas emissions, the natural cycle was going through a cooling phase, an inter-glacial cold snap or mini-ice age which started about one thousand years ago with temperatures only increasing with the coming of the industrial revolution. But now the natural cycle may be in a warming phase coming out of or still influenced by coming out of the mini-ice age. So not only do we have the human effect pushing the temperature up, but the natural cycle may also be pushing temperatures up. These two effects piggybacking off each other may speed the creation of more positive feedback loops. If this happens it will result in unprecedented speeds of increasing warming to the atmosphere.
What will this mean? Glaciers and ice sheets will melt and along with thermal expansion, sea levels will rise. Though sea levels have been very stable for the last 10,000 years, 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age, sea levels rose by as much as 4m in a century. We might expect sea levels to rise a lot faster over the next century. We may have reached the point already where it is almost impossible to stop sea levels from rising by 10m. Alarmingly this rise could occur in the next century.
The big problem is the positive feedback loops that cause a kind of runaway greenhouse effect. When the Greenland glaciers melt, they alone will add 7.5m to the sea level globally. Ice reflects sunlight back into space. When it melts, rock and water are exposed to the sunlight and they absorb energy and don’t reflect it back into space. There is twice as much carbon locked up in frozen tundra than there is in the atmosphere. Some of this is released as carbon dioxide and some as methane when the frozen earth thaws out. Also, methane that is locked up in ice crystal form is released when the ice crystals melt. Remember methane is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. As peat bogs and wetlands warm, increasing microbial activity produces more methane.
Water vapour levels in the atmosphere will also increase with temperature. Water vapour is another greenhouse gas, slightly offset by increasing cloud cover reflecting back some sunlight. Decomposition of growing numbers of dead animals, fish and plants, both on land and in the acidifying oceans, produces more greenhouse gases. And finally, forest fires caused by extreme weather events produce additional greenhouse gases.
What can we do about the situation?
We need to understand that this is a civilisation ending event. Nations that have existed for a long time will no longer exist at the end of this century. Many of our island neighbours will simply disappear under the ocean. There will be internal and external conflict within and between nations as they try to deal with shrinking landmasses and more frequent and violent weather events. Many of the world’s cities are in the zone that is only 10m above sea level. We will see a massive destruction of infrastructure, and displacement of people, all around the world.
New Zealand will have to forge ahead no matter what other countries are doing. We need to act decisively now. We will have to start to move our country’s infrastructure and population above the 10-metre mark. We will have to stop burning all fossil fuels. We will have to build a renewables industrial complex, to provide renewable energy technology for ourselves and the rest of the world and especially the poorer and developing countries. We have built our affluence on cheap fossil fuels. We cannot afford developing countries to build their wealth on fossil fuels. So we will have to help them with alternatives.
We will have to triple our hydro and renewables electricity production, in many cases using smaller more flexible hydro dams as the risk of seismic activity increases. We will have to Increase our native forest cover to 50%. We will have to encourage people to adopt a plant-based diet since 15% of our greenhouse gas emissions are the result of eating meat. We will have to convert municipal sewage and organic waste management facilities to biogas and biodiesel production. We will have to increase the production and installation of photovoltaic solar panels. We will have to expand our wind energy production. We will have to electrify, and innovate our transport system. Electrified rail will play an increasingly important role in heavy transport.
Many people worry about the cost of moving from our present fossil fuel economy to a renewables economy. But a renewables economy is much more efficient than the old fossil fuel economy. Also New Zealand is in the enviable position that we have not invested in the heavy industry required to support fossil fuel technology, like internal combustion engine construction. Therefore New Zealand can invest in building a new industrial base to support post fossil fuel technologies at no cost of discarding old production technologies. We also have abundant renewable energy resources, water, sun, wind and biomass/organic waste. Given our level of education, social cohesion, affluence and resources, if New Zealand cannot make this change, then no country can. This is the challenge of our age. This is something that we must do together. Future generations will look back and wonder at our lack of substance, or applaud our commitment to their future. You have to decide now, which it will be.
The Progressive Party Aotearoa New Zealand does not support population control measures because it is clear that people can live zero carbon lifestyles. First nations cultures and contemplative orders use holistic approaches, leveraging materially simple lives with substantial inner spiritual lives and service, to achieve high levels of satisfaction. Population then is just a multiplier. It multiplies negative effects and will multiply our efforts to become carbon negative.
- Build renewables industrial complex with substantial government funding and equity development.
- Support innovative strategies with necessary resources.
- Improve disaster management infrastructure and resources.
- Use productivity commission to monitor and improve economic output to energy input ratio.
- Set native forest cover allocations for large private land holdings.
- Prepare to move infrastructure and build new eco-housing 10m above sea level.
- Set higher eco-housing standards and support the removal of gas appliances in favour of electric.
- Electrify and innovate the transport system.
- Promote plant-based diets.
- Transition farming away from animal production to plant based food and bio-fuel production.
- Set a timetable to stop all imports of fossil fuels and use as little of our own as we can manage.
- Convert municipal sewage and organic waste management systems to biogas and biodiesel production.
- Convert heavy transport industry to electricity and biodiesel where electricity alone is not an option.
- Convert all small engine applications to electric e.g. lawnmowers, blowers, hedge trimmers etc.
- Prepare for an influx in climate refugees and provide international legal support to nations to support their sovereignty over submerged islands.
- We have to make this transition together so that no one group or person has to bear a larger portion of the cost.
- We must all have input into the strategy so that we can all own it.
- Everyone will have to be resourced to participate in this effort, which will mean a concerted effort to reverse the extreme disparity of wealth that has occurred in our society.
- Consultation and education will be critical elements in unlocking the human potential needed to solve this crisis.
- Re-orientate foreign aid to include greenhouse gas reduction and prioritising supporting South Pacific nations first.
- We will adopt a holistic approach, utilising spiritual, mental and social capital to bolster people’s contentment as we transition away from the existing materialistic, consumerist based economy. This will require people to have access to training related to communication, relationships, philosophy, trauma, meditation, stress management and other personal well-being instruction.
- The cost to the government from funding this transition will be recuperated by equity development in and profits received from the various business entities formed to make this transition. The Progressive Party Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to the all-round welfare of all. We are all in this together. And no one will be left behind.
Please feel free to fact check these points. All information is widely available on the internet.
- Small enterprises employing up to say 9 people providing non-essential goods and services. According to Statistics New Zealand, 93.6% of New Zealand businesses employ 0-9 employees.
- Large key industries such as the railways, power generation or mining that tend to be monopolistic. These would be state managed.
- Reflecting the Party’s commitment to economic democracy, the remainder of industry would be incentivised to operate as worker-owned cooperatives. This sector would include those providing essential goods and services including housing, aged care facilities, banks and supermarkets. See also A Progressive Perspective on Cooperatives
Thus, workers would be enabled to purchase shares in the companies in which they worked. When workers held over 50% of the shares this majority would elect a board of directors who in turn would appoint a CEO.
To bring this shift about would require strengthening New Zealand’s cooperative culture and the emergence of cooperatives in the different industry sectors. It is envisaged that in time most enterprise with more than 9 employees would fall within this category. This transformation of a major part of the economy would be helped by the establishment of a Centre for Cooperative Studies, the appointment of a Minister and the establishment of a Ministry for Cooperatives. The task of this ministry would be to extend the principle of democracy to the economy and the workplace.
Policies would be geared to ensure that New Zealand deals with the rest of the world from a position of strength.
The Progressive Party prefers taxing accumulated wealth, speculation and waste rather than productivity and economic initiative. To encourage productivity and initiative a Progressive government will become a major business equity provider and use this equity provision to shape the direction of the New Zealand economy to be more self-reliant, sustainable, efficient, equitable and respond to emerging technologies.
GST will be removed from fresh fruit and vegetables in line with public expectations in these financially very tough times.
Income tax will eventually be phased out by raising the tax-free threshold over time. Initiallythe tax-free threshold will be set at $30 000. To replace the tax income lost by this change, tax rates on higher brackets will be raised. Corporate tax will also be raised and tax evasion will be policed more vigorously. The Party will establish a new Inter-generational wealth transfer tax.
2024 Tax Brackets
$0 – $30k 0% *
$30k – $60k 15%
$60k – $90k 33%
$90k – $180k 39%
$180k – $300k 42%
$300k + 48%
Inter-generational Wealth Transfers**
Inter-generational wealth transfers are the leading contributor to inequality in New Zealand. Inter-generational wealth transfers either as accumulated gifts or inheritance will be taxed as if they are income by the recipient. Gifts and inheritance passed to their immediate spouse will not be taxed as this is not an inter-generational transfer. Trusts will also account for these transfers as if they were income and be taxed accordingly. In the end a dollar coming in is a dollar coming in, be it from wages, investments, gifts or inheritance.
Family trusts are normally taxed at the highest individual income tax rate which is at present39%. This will increase to 48% with the establishment of our new higher tax bracket.
Standard Wealth Tax
A Progressive government will introduce a flat 2.5% wealth tax on net worth. The threshold for this wealth tax applying will be net worth of $10M for couples and $5M for individuals***.
Capital Gains Tax
A Progressive government will establish a capital gains tax after sufficient research has been done on reducing its impact on those on lower and middle-incomes. A capital gains tax needs to have flexibility and will do a disservice to the people if it is utilised as a blunt instrument. The capital gains tax will be introduced after our other tax reforms are established effectively.
Waste taxes will make up increasingly more of the government’s tax revenue until closed loop economies can be established in each sector. The goal is to have systems with zero waste. Natural systems do this effectively 100% of the time and our economy needs to follow this example. Waste taxes will therefore constitute a temporary source of government funding.
Taxes levied on health damaging products to reduce their use will be extended from alcohol and tobacco use to sugar in foods and beverages and legalised marijuana. Marijuana industries overseas have generated large flows of revenue for the government from licensing
production and distribution as well as taxing products. Taxes on gambling will be increased
and supports reduced for gambling industry activities like horse or greyhound racing.
Speculation in the real economy will be discouraged as it is a major driver of economic
instability. Taxes and all other means necessary will be utilised to reduce speculation in the
economy. If people want to gamble, they can do so using one of the gambling modes, but not on housing or other important commodities that people depend on for their daily living. A Progressive government will move to identify and deflate speculative bubbles as they emerge.
Change company tax from 29% to 38%. 5% above its previous level of 33%.
*Australia also operates an income tax free threshold
**Ireland also has a Capital Gains Tax and an inter-generational wealth transfer tax called CAT Capital Acquisition Tax which is set at 33%.
*** The Greens are proposing a wealth tax of 2.5% but with a threshold of net worth of
$4M couples and $2M individuals which we think is too low and will affect small and medium business development. 3 of 36 OECD countries still have net wealth taxes. Switzerland’s net wealth tax provides 3.9% of its tax revenues.