This response is from Doug Woolerton, standing for the electorate vote in Hamilton East and number 4 on the New Zealand First party list. We have now had candidate and/or party-wide responses from every party in Parliament and a fair few who are extra-Parliamentary - you can find an index of all responses here.
And my apologies to Mr Woolerton, and readers, that this went up without the formatting finished, it should be all hunky dory now.
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?
Pay equity. Must keep on pushing for equal pay and get more women into higher paying jobs.
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?
As above, but include education because many of the lower paid night cleaning jobs will have an effect on this group.
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?
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.
Educate men to understand that violence is not okay and only cowards beat up women and children. Attitudinal change is needed to really make lasting change.
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?
Pay leads to status. As long as these critical jobs are lowly paid, they will continue to be ignored and undernoted. Pay needs to lift and quickly. People matter and looking after people is a priority.
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?
There was an advertising campaign on this a few years ago that was good. We need it out there again. It dealt with the embarrassment factor of breast feeding in public areas and the work place.
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?
Push them into participating and suppoprt them when they do. Make their husbands part of the deal for support.
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?
For men and all New Zealanders. It is men who perpetrate these acts of violence. They need to be told it is not okay by their male mates and the rest of society, as in Question 4.
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)
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?
Cut gst to 10% for a start and actively help with Working for Families type packages, but aimed at lower incomes.
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 are our biggest assets and they are our mothers and the mothers of the nation. We should worship them and care for them.