The Green Party will take a Tiriti-based approach to income equity and security. We will ensure that workers’ wages are sufficient and - while working towards a universal basic income - simplify the income support system, ensure that its levels are sufficient and that transition to work is non-punitive. We will support and value unpaid work and participation in our communities, including that done by parents, volunteers, and seniors.  


Every individual and household has enough income and resources to live a fulfilling life with dignity and participate fully in society. 

Values and Principles

Income support and other related policy decisions must be consistent with the following values and principles:

  • Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi: The Māori economy should be thriving and dynamic and be achieved through equitable practices and the rangatiratanga of hapū and iwi made visible.
  • Ecological Wisdom: An essential element of sustainability is knowing when we have "enough". Many people in our society do not yet have "enough"; hence income support is vital to a sustainable society. 
  • Social Responsibility: Basic material security and sufficient income for all, and a fair distribution of the economy's benefits and burdens, will lead to better outcomes for all members of our society, including gender and pay equity. 
  • Appropriate Decision-Making: Marginalised communities should have meaningful input into our income support system.
  • Non-Violence: The focus of income support is on meeting people's needs: it should not be used as a behaviour modification tool, should avoid discrimination, and should be culturally responsive.
  • Simplicity and Universality: Income support should be accessible, easily navigable, and incur minimal administrative costs and delays.

Strategic Priorities

The Green Party’s strategic goals include: 

“Poverty will be eliminated, everyone will have enough income and wealth will be held more equally.”

Actions in this policy that will help achieve this include:

  • Remove Work and Income's "limited employment location" policy, in recognition of tangata whenua rights to live within and/or return to their rohe where they have whakapapa and whānau. (1.3)
  • Introduce a tax-free threshold at the bottom end of the income scale as part of wider tax reform. (2.10)
  • Reform the Social Security Act 2018 to implement the principles of this policy and, as a minimum, give effect to the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group in 2019. (3.1)
  • Ensure that those with a health condition or disability continue to receive a benefit regardless of relationship status, recognising the importance of this independent income for wellbeing. (3.14)
  • Provide a participation allowance in addition to other benefits to all beneficiaries who carry out a minimum number of hours of voluntary work per week with organisations providing value to the community or the environment. (4.12.4)
  • Identify ways to allow flexibility in the age a person may receive New Zealand Superannuation (...) (4.16)

Connected Policies

Household livelihoods are strongly connected to policies that affect the Workforce, including Tertiary Education. The income support system is part of and dependent on the wider Government Economic system. The livelihoods of some groups need additional support - see our Disability, Women’s, Youth, Kaupapa Māori, and Tagata Moana Policies, for example. 


Latest Social Development Announcements


MSD figures show Govt determined to punish beneficiaries

The 53.7 percent rise in benefit sanctions over the last year is more proof of this Government’s disdain for our communities most in need of support. 
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Government prioritises punishing beneficiaries again

Frivolous check-ins with beneficiaries are the Government’s latest plan to find excuses to punish those on the Job Seeker allowance and add to the ...
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Government shows allergy to evidence in benefits crackdown

The Government has been caught in opposition to evidence once again as it looks to usher in tried, tested and failed work seminar obligations for j...
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New unemployment figures paint bleak picture

The Green Party is calling on the Government to do more for our households in most need as unemployment rises and the cost of living crisis endures. 
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Govt must prioritise building more homes, not kicking people out

If the Government was serious about moving families into public housing, they would build more houses so there is actually somewhere for people to ...
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Benefit sanctions will punish people who need support

The National-led Government’s plans to arbitrarily increase benefit sanctions will have a lasting impact on the people who need our support the most.
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