This response is our first from a Libertarianz candidate - Richard McGrath is their candidate for Wairarapa and number 2 on the Libz 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?
State interference in women’s lives – Libertarianz would trim back the state to three basic functions – police, justice and defence.
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?
Libertarianz don’t see that as a problem. The logical way to pay workers is based on their productivity. If a woman is more productive than a man doing the same job, rationally speaking she should expect to be paid more. Unfortunately, many employers do not act rationally. However there should not be laws against acting irrationally per se. Fortunately, irrational employers tend to disappear in a free market economy.
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?
No – Libertarianz would make abortion on demand legal up to 24 weeks gestation, possibly later. A woman’s body belongs to her, no-one else. We don’t believe there is a ‘right’ to contraception or any other sort of health care, as it implies that someone could therefore be forced to fund and provide that care. A woman who finds herself pregnant has sole discretion about whether she gets an abortion, but also sole responsibility for the child if she decides to remain pregnant and raises a child.
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.
Increase penalties for violent crime – third conviction for a violent offence should mean locking up for life. Keep psychopaths locked up forever. State should attempt where possible to force perpetrators to compensate their victims. Allow women (and anyone else) to use handguns in self-defence.
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?
This is an employment issue and government should not stick its nose in. Radical tax cuts commensurate with a scaling back of government spending would allow the workers of today to make provision for their care when elderly, so that they can afford adequate home or rest home care. Deregulate rest homes, etc., so that they are not so expensive to run.
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?
It’s none of the government’s business, it’s a matter for mothers to sort out, using community based supports such as La Leche and Plunket as needed. It is an educational matter. Those people who wish to promote breast feeding should do so themselves, and use their own money to do so.
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?
Leadership positions should go to those those most competent and qualified, and not be based on sex, race or any other accident of birth.
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?
Violence per se is an issue for everyone. Men and children and the elderly are often victims of domestic violence. Elimination may not be possible as you can’t lock someone up before they commit a crime. Families should be encouraged through education to avoid using violence as a solution to problems. Tougher sentencing for violent crimes. Enact a free market economy to increase employment and prosperity, reduce taxes to increase average wealth. Wind down public welfare and farm it out to charities and private groups that target the needy so much more accurately.
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 – it’s their choice to breed. If you encourage single parent families financially, you will get more of them. Libertarianz would stop the DPB after 3 years if elected.
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?
By ensuring a free market, clamping down on fraud and coercion but otherwise staying out of the picture. There is no ‘right’ to good food, or I would be eating caviar and sipping champagne as I type these words.
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 have the same individual rights as men. There are no ‘group’ or ‘collective’ rights in society, only individual rights. There is no reason why women should not be able to scale the heights in a free society. The problem is that we don’t yet have a free society.