Mikaere Curtis is the Greens' candidate for Tamaki-Makaurau, number 16 on the Green Party list, and a sometime commenter here at The Hand Mirror. His was the last reply we received, as of 5pm yesterday, so it's the last that'll be published in our 2008 election survey series.
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?
The single biggest issue facing New Zealand women is the nature of our economic system. Economic value is narrowly defined into that which can be measured by money. This fundamentally colours the nature of economic decisions – from macro to micro – and leads to distortions in how we value many aspects of our economic activities.
Social services, such as education and health, when viewed through the narrow lens of capital economic value, are seen as a cost rather than an investment. Cost is seen as a negative, to be driven down and I believe this is a significant contributory factor in pay equity issues in these sectors, as well as underfunding in general. A system that can accurately measure all the positive outcomes from social services will more highly value those that contribute to those services, and pay equity will be automatically built-in.
If elected, I would encourage the use of alternative approaches to measuring and valuing economic activity (such as the Genuine Progress Index). However, these are decorative rather than fundamental changes, so I would also encourage discussion and debate about evolving the fundamentals of our economic system from one that is narrowly focused, to one that provides more meaningful and holistic measurements.
Green Party combined response to questions 2 to 10.
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.
(no answer given)