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  • Writer's pictureCarol Barron

Economic Justice - Building a Methodist Response

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Recently MCNZ President Peter wrote to our Prime Minister about the issue of economic justice and received a long response from Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment, as the matters raised fell within her portfolio. See copies of both letters below.

In her letter, Minister Sepuloni sets out what the Government has done and states that the welfare system may not be meeting the needs of all New Zealanders. She goes on to say that the Government is committed to overhauling the welfare system, provides a link to the progress they have achieved to date on the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group[1] and acknowledged there is more work to be done.

Minister Sepuloni describes the Inland Revenue’s research on how much tax high-wealth individuals pay as “an important basis for future discussions about tax policy.”

Minister Sepuloni acknowledged in her letter that MSD and IRD treat debtors and debt differently. She advised that the Government is moving towards “a more unified, cross-agency approach to the way in which debts and debtors are treated.” Some members of the Methodist Alliance Working Group campaigning to increase benefit levels and abatement thresholds attended the consultation on a proposed debt to government framework earlier this year.

This same Working Group has produced a resource for Parishes to facilitate robust discussions on the topics of income security, wealth distribution and debt to Government. The Working Group also partnered with ActionStation’s Fairer Futures network, a collaboration of anti-poverty groups calling for Government to wipe debt to the Ministry of Social Development to lift the weight off families and whanau. Fairer Futures is also campaigning for liveable incomes in Aotearoa New Zealand with seven steps for a fairer future. The resource includes some of the stories from the Lifting the Weight Report to illustrate what life is actually like.

We hope to have the resource available for distribution at the August Synods, and we encourage everyone to use this resource to deepen your understandings of the issues. We hope the resource will also be useful in assisting you to frame questions to ask candidates in any meet the candidates meetings you hold.

We are open to hearing feedback, suggestions, and thoughts from across the connexion about what more Weteriana can do to help shift Aotearoa New Zealand to a more just economy and society where everyone can flourish.

Carol Barron, National Coordinator

03 375 0512 | 027 561 9164 |

230503 Letter from MCNZ President to PM about wealth distribution and income security
Download PDF • 276KB

230523 Response to President Peter Taylor from Hon Carmel Sepuloni
Download PDF • 171KB

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