"There is no accidental future for society" - Linda Tuhiwai Smith.
Against the backdrop of the climate crisis, Covid-19 is causing disruption to our lives. White supremacy and colonisation caused much the same for Māori communities when settlers brought their ideas and ways to Aotearoa. They encouraged our relationships to Papatūānuku/Great Mother and Mystery/Gaia/Spirit/Mother Earth/the natural environment to be dismissive and disconnected. We manipulate the land, drain the rivers, take violently from our oceans and forests to build cities and the things we need to live in them, much of it becoming waste which cannot be easily broken down and returned.
White supremacy and an exploitative economic model sees us treat each other as we do the land - our worth being determined by our labour and colour of our skin. We believe the amount of money we receive earns us the life we get to live and lead, not paying any mind that it might not be enough. We have accepted this as ‘just the way it is’ in order to keep the flow of goods and services going.
The capitalist economic model and its various institutions built for us, the labour required to support these, the views we hold of each other and the ways in which we operate means we have prioritised money and profit over people and land. Our violent colonial history of land and Māori culture confiscation stays in the dark, where we believe if we keep moving forward we can forget about it.
Over the last ten years AAAP has predominantly focused on improving our social security system and lifting incomes for people, but we know that there are limits to these changes in a world where landlords, supermarket corporations, and private services can simply increase their prices to demand more money. We still believe benefit levels must be liveable and obligations to access security should be removed, but alongside these changes we need to transform our relationships to ownership and private capital, in a way that’s holistic and from both individual and collective perspectives.
As our economy slows down we are being shown what’s important essential work. In amongst this chaos and destruction is a space to reset and rebuild as the response to Covid. We want to put forward a Universal Services (US) model that honours our natural environment via a green economy which will enable us to provide free and public social services to everyone, as a bridge toward Matike Mai. We need to seed a radical vision for a future now, so people don’t have to pay to live and thrive. We want this bridge to centre essential work and services, and support the call for institutions like the Ministry of Green Works.
Our dreams and imaginings:
- Liveable Incomes (benefits to be liveable, individualised and to remove sanctions from support) and Universal Services as a bridge toward Matike Mai.
- Supporting the calls of mana whenua to have tino rangatira over their land and resources.
- Supporting the calls for a Ministry of Green Works as a model that centres essential work - people deserve enough money for themselves, their families and communities to thrive. This means all unpaid and voluntary work to be valued, whether it be care or creative work.
- Redistribution of wealth, resources and power to communities so they can have more control over their lives and futures.
- End debt to the Crown.