An outline report of what was discussed at the recent BACS hui on poverty in Aotearoa

Report of the BACS Trust Hui in Auckland.

A brief synopsis of what was discussed at our hui in late September.

Members of BACS and other guests were invited to attend our event kindly hosted by Auckland Airport.

This was to discuss potential ideas to take forward to the Peter McKenzie project on poverty in Aotearoa, with a particular focus on child poverty.

What BACS did was to convene this opportunity to listen and share knowledge across the business sector and community.

30+ people were presented initially with a slide presentation, showing the results of a membership survey BACS conducted in 2014.  This had been highlighted through members’ interests towards resolving poverty; child poverty etc.

On the day workshop groups identified a number of systemic solutions or projects:

1 – Basic Income

Extend the pilot of a basic income for all which replaces most other benefit related payments and allows beneficiaries freedom and dignity to work without penalty.

Ensuring all people have a basic income drives an uplift in incomes leading to greater economic prosperity for all and better meeting of basic human needs – food, shelter, education & health and a fairer distribution of economic wealth.

Search the world for international solutions.

2 – Empathy project / poverty of love

Have a public conversation around our values as a country and develop a common purpose.

Treat people as individuals not statistics or economic groups– the reasons for poverty are different for every individual and family and situation.

Bring back the love and caring for each other, rather than disconnected ‘what’s in it for me’ culture that seems to be pervasive.

Have a more connected society – can start small within neighbourhoods – but also encourage more affluent people to visit less affluent areas to understand how others live – share spaces more.

Compulsory community service – like compulsory military service of the past – investigate the Swedish model of this.

Encourage economic development in regions and small towns to reverse urban drift and lesson the housing crisis and associated issues.

By understanding individual circumstances – create a country with more empathy, and therefore more likelihood to help each other – and lift the children experiencing poverty up.

Provide “simulation” exercises for business community/business leaders to increase empathy and seek business engagement in problem solving.

Solutions involve all sectors of society, not enough engagement from business perhaps.

BACS continue to work with both organisations to be part of the solution.

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