This response is from Hilary Calvert, Act's candidate for Dunedin North, and no. 6 on the Act Party List. Other Act responses received to date have been from Colin du Plessis, Peter Tashkoff, Matthew Gardiner, and we have at least one more scheduled to go up in the next few days. You can see the full list of survey 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?
ACT answer: Tax burden. ACT's policy is for 12.5% tax up to $20,000 and 15% tax over $20,000 by the year 2018/19 Currently families pay far too much if 1 of the family contributes more of the paid work. And for women without children they pay far too much in general.
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?
Our policies are towards helping to lift the lower paid. This is much more important than having them the same. The only way you can ensure that everyone gets the same is by bringing the top down to meet the lower paid people.
Question 3. Do you think NZ's current approach to reproductive rights (abortion, contraception etc) is correct? (Yes or No or No Answer, please) No
If not, what changes would you want to make?
Wahetever rules we make should be the same for everyone throughout NZ. And we should be trying to reduce abortion like we worked on drinking and driving.
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.
Our policy is to support the apprehension and approriate punishment for all crime whether major or monir. We support mentoring programmes for families at risk to break the cycle. We support 3 strikes and you're out. The state should pay reparations awarded to victims and then recover the monrey from the offenders. And we wouild provide more police.
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?
The biggest offenders in paying low wages to these workers are government departments and government funded organisations. The government should actually be good employers if they expect others to be. ACC should not expect family members to look after their own for free.
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?
The government role is 1 of encouragement and support, particularly for the first 3 months. If we only incentivised plunket nurses to help establish breast feeding the way we incentivise cops to issue tickets....But the government cannot ensure anything only encourage and enable.
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?
Not the job of political organisations, unless you mean shchools who should be providing training for democracy the way they used to provide children with encouragement to talk in front of the class.
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) All NZers.
If elected, what strategies would you like to pursue to eliminate domestic violence?
See above. Repeal the anti smacking law so as parents feel confident in teaching children right from wrong. We all know that beating children is wrong,. And we also know that leaving them out of control is wrong. They then grow up out of control.
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)
No one in NZ has the luxury to choose work options solely on the basis of the best choice for their family, so no they are not special in this regard.
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?
Let them keep more of their own money so they can buy food. No one can promise good food. I don't even know what you are calling good food.
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.
Women's role seems to me similar to mens, but with slightly different choices. I think children are best brought up by 2 adultas who love them to bits, preferably at least 1 doing the nurturing role and at least 1 doing the hunter gathering role. I think the nurturing people are best if they can have a nurturing role, whether they are men or women, and the hunter gatherers need to be able to support their families other than by government handouts.