Urgent support needed to help people eat

As another month goes by with record high food prices, the Government needs to urgently increase support for people struggling to put food on the table.

Data released today from Stats NZ shows that food prices remain at a record high. 

“The Green Party will keep saying it: the Government needs to immediately increase support so people can afford nutritious food for them and their families,” says Ricardo Menéndez March, spokesperson for commerce and consumer affairs.

“Kids across Aotearoa are going hungry. Right now, there will be tens of thousands of kids on their school holidays who will not know if they are going to get lunch or not. 

“Only last week the Government put out a report showing that more than one in ten kids are living in material hardship. For kids in single parent households, the number growing up in material hardship shoots up to nearly one in three.

“And earlier this week we saw a report from Oxfam International showing that the tax system in Aotearoa New Zealand designed by previous governments ranks 136th in the world for its effectiveness at reducing inequality. 

“Lower-income families who spend the majority of their income covering the essentials like food and rent, are hit the hardest. Coupled with record high food prices, the pressure on families is immense and it's forcing people to go hungry. 

“Peel back the layers of the cost of living crisis and what we actually have is an inequality crisis. 

“Only yesterday, the Human Rights Commission released a report showing that Pacific people, Māori, and Asian people are not being paid equally for the work they do. Tens of thousands of women, Māori and Pasifika right across Aotearoa have less money for food, less money to pay the bills, and less money for their families. 

“There is no reason why we cannot fix these problems and ensure every family can afford the food they need now and in the future. The solutions exist to fix this - and not using them is a political choice,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.

The Green Party is calling on the Government to: 

  • Immediately boost people’s incomes, including those who rely on benefits to make ends meet
  • Implement a high trust model to access food grants from Work and Income
  • Develop a long-term food strategy including plans to adequately invest in mahinga kai, farmers markets, urban food gardens, and publicly owned venues for growers to sell their produce to communities