Donna Wynd is number 20 on the Green Party list, and is standing for the seat of Manukau East. As with all Greens candidates to date, her responses to questions 1 & 11 should be read alongside the Greens' combined response to the other questions, which is linked below. You can find a full index of all candidate responses to date here.
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?
Strange as it seems at the end of the biggest economic boom in decades, it seems to me the biggest issue facing new Zealand women is poverty. Women are about 50% more likely to earn less than $24,000 than men - in other words they risk losing money in the great tax cut feeding frenzy. The group most likely to be living below the breadline is sole parents with children, and the vast majority of these are women. If, as we expect, the country moves into recession, history suggests that the biggest losers will be low-paid women in unsecure jobs. Women on low incomes are most likely to live in substandard housing in neighbourhoods with few public services, and suffer domestic violence. And it's not just them the suffer the debilitating effects of poverty, their children do as well.
Addressing this requires that we acknowledge many women's standard of living is severely economically straitened, and make a commitment to improving it. Raising incomes is the obvious start; improving child support policies so all children are supported regardless of what their parents do; increasing funding, especially special needs funding, to low-decile schools, and making doctors visits for children free 24/7 along with all prescriptions.
Green party combined response to Qs 2 to 9.
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.
At present the socially acceptable roles for women seem to be limited to sexual object (how badly does TV advertising suck at the moment?) or automaton whose sole purpose is to contribute to the gross national product. In fact we're mothers, aunties, caregivers, fat, skinny, community volunteers and ambitious corporate types. It's time our social policies started to recognise this.