I'd just like to clarify one issue before we press on with more survey responses - we have sought the responses of candidates as individuals, and as such their replies should be read as representing their thoughts and views. Sometimes these will differ from the policy of their party, (and it may be that we get party responses on some issues in future) so please bear in mind that not all candidates for Parliament are pumped out of a Candidate Making Machine (TM) at Party HQ.
This isn't in response to anything in the reply below (which I've only had time to skim) but due to a couple of other candidates who have responded pointing out that they are still individual human beings despite their party colours.
Below's response is from Colin du Plessis, who is the Act candidate for Ohariu and no. 9 on the Act party list.
The Questions & Answers
Question 1. What do you believe is currently the single biggest issue facing New Zealand women, and how would you like to address it if you are elected?
Alcohol dependence-I would be very keen on introducing a meaningful life skill component into the curriculum of school children from and early age. This would include a balanced view of alcohol and drug usage.
Question 2. New Zealand women are paid, on average, over $300 a week less than men, and the difference is worse for Maori and Pacific Island women. What do you propose as a first step towards closing the gender pay gap?
Equal pay for equal work irrespective of race, colour or creed. Enact equality of remuneration legislation including equal leave entitlement for males on maternity related needs.
Question 3. Do you think NZ's current approach to reproductive rights (abortion, contraception etc) is correct? (Yes or No or No Answer, please)
If not, what changes would you want to make?
As part of my previously mentioned life skills component in the education system I would introduce the concept of reproductive responsibility so that young people are equipped to understand the financial requirements of rearing a child. The ACT party, as a liberal institution would argue the all should have free access to abortion. I personally disagree with abortion as a freely available option to terminate unwanted pregnancy. Control of fertility should be available to all young people of legal age but more needs to be done to educate young people about the responsibilities, both financial and ethical, of bringing a new life into being.
Question 4. The police and the courts do not work in preventing violence against women. What other government actions would you take to ensure women can live without fear?
I would give tax incentives to Church and social organisations that house and council abused and battered men and women in order to increase the range of facilities available to such. However once again in the long term more needs to be done in the education of young people as to correct attitudes towards drugs, alcohol and violence.
Question 5. Those who do the caring work in our society, paid and unpaid, are often the least recognized and the lowest paid, and they work the longest hours. What do you see as the priority to address these issues for those caring for our sick, our elderly and our children?
I personally believe that older people should not be farmed off to retirement homes merely as a matter to convenience to the younger generation. Where it is unavoidable for people to go into care, the salaries of carers should be made up of a state as well as a family contribution and set at a level equivalent to nursing staff. The carers should then be subjected to a strict code of conduct and disciplinary code for misconduct.
Question 6. The Ministry of Health has recently launched a campaign to encourage breastfeeding and is now recommending that babies be breastfeed to at least one year old. What do you think the government could do to ensure that every woman who wants to breast feed can?
Educate all boys and girls as to the biological realities and requirements of human beings at school level. Educate at school as to the need to go home and breastfeed their babies when required.
Question 7. What single measure do you think our political organizations could take to better encourage young women to be involved and take on leadership positions in our communities?
Women appear to be far better socialised to do that at an early age. It is young boys that need the education to take their correct role in society, that of responsible fathers and husbands.
Question 8. Do you see domestic violence as an issue for women, for men, or for all New Zealanders? (Women, or Men, or all New Zealanders please)
If elected, what strategies would you like to pursue to eliminate domestic violence?
It is an isue for all. Our economic policy is designed to eliminate the poverty that leads ultimately to crime and violence.
Question 9. Successive governments have effectively cut the Domestic Purposes Benefit. Do you believe people raising children alone should have sufficient financial support from the state so that they do not need to go to work until they believe that is the best choice for their family? (Yes or No or No Answer, please)
Yes, but they should be educated as to their reproductive responsibilities. The DPB should be a hand up primarilly to serve the growing child's needs, not a lifestyle choice.
Question 10. Women do the vast majority of cooking and shopping, and increases in food prices are a burden borne disproportionately by women. What do you think our government can or should do to ensure that everyone has access to good food?
I disagree-in a balanced houshold both husband and wife contribute towards expenses. Food security is a function of economic security, something that a socilialist government is eternally unable to provide.
Question 11. Do you have any further comments that you wish to make about the role of women in our society? Please feel free to share your thoughts here.
It is a pity that orgnisations seek to highlight the incompatibilty of the sexes. More should be done to highlight the positive benefits and influence of stable relationships and marriages upon society.