Jan 19, 2021

TangataWhenua.com

Maori News & Indigenous Views

The Battle of Mana commentary: Joe Carolan

3 min read

In the working class streets of Porirua, hundreds of workers and residents are already backing the demands raised by Matt McCartens campaign for tax justice, full employment and a living wage.

Dino, a member for MUNZ living in Calliope Crescent, has been on the picket lines in Napier in 2007 defending jobs and conditions. Theres no excuse for unemployment in this country- theres heaps of work that needs doing round here- look at the state of disrepair of some of the state houses. None of the major parties have any solutions for the blight of unemployment- thats why Matts demand for 3000 jobs in Mana is electric. Im definitely thinking of switching from Labour on this one.

Jennie from Castor Crescent is a young Maori woman who has finished a course in childcare, but cant find any work. Theres a lot of young working mothers here stretched trying to manage jobs and family at the same time. If there were crches and childcare here in the community, not only would it be a big help for these mums, but it would create hundreds of jobs for childcare workers like me. Its impossible to survive on benefits- Im voting for Matt.

Grandfather Sonny invited campaigners into his home to sit down with his sons. Ive supported the unions all my life. But the rot started in Labour with that Roger Douglas. Lange and his mob brought in GST first- Ive never forgotten that. Its good to now see a union man like Matt saying we should get rid of it completely. That will help working people buy more food for their kids.

Lucas from Waihora Crescent is sick of low pay in New Zealand. Im already voting for Matt, bro. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a great idea- people need enough to live on, otherwise everyone is going to end up moving to Australia. Its great to see a staunch candidate sticking up for us at last.

Caroline and her partner are currently living in a garage in Champion Street. Theyre on the waiting list for a state house. Meanwhile, there are over 30 empty houses in Cannons Creek counted by door knockers. Without families living in these houses, they are broken into, the windows are smashed, the copper fittings in the plumbing are ripped out and the walls kicked in. Activists are going to house Carolines family in one house, and set up a community crche in another, and local unemployed electricians and carpenters are going to repair the damage. The Peoples House will create an example of what full employment serving the community in Mana could look like.

Theres a real battle on in Mana over the next two weeks. A big vote for Matt will be a message to the big parties that working class people will no longer accept low pay, unfair taxes, poverty and homelessness.

Nows the time for all activists, union members and socialists to come and help us.

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