16 Sep 2017

Turei tells Green's poverty rally welfare system broken

10:01 pm on 16 September 2017

The Green Party has pledged at a rally in South Auckland to do all it can to end poverty.

Supporters at the Green Party poverty rally.

About 150 people turned out to the Greens anti-poverty rally. Photo: RNZ / Jessie Chiang

About 150 people gathered at the Otara Town Centre to hear from the Green Party about eliminating poverty in the country.

Green Party list candidate Marama Davidson said the party would raise benefits by 20 percent - including student allowances and all core living payments - if elected.

Ms Davidson said that alone would raise every family above the poverty line within a year.

"We are sending a clear, clear message that we will not accept poverty anymore and that we will do everything we can to end it," she said.

"The voices of people who are on the front line and experiencing poverty need to be heard and need to be supported."

She said the Green Party would also make public transport free for every child under 19, and other people with disabilities.

It would also increase the upper tax rate and reduce the lower tax rate.

Metiria Turei speaks to the crowd at the rally.

Metiria Turei speaks to the crowd. Photo: RNZ / Jessie Chiang

Metiria Turei, who resigned as co-leader of the Green Party last month] after admitting she committed benefit fraud, also spoke.

She thanked supporters for their compassion and kindness towards her when she confessed to lying to WINZ about her circumstances so she could receive more money for herself and her young daughter.

"We have a welfare system in this country that is broken ... and it punishes people simply because they need some help," Mrs Turei said.

And she said the Green Party was the only party which was taking poverty seriously.

Actress Robyn Malcolm, who is known for her role on the television programme Outrageous Fortune, also addressed the crowd.

She told them to vote not for themselves, but for the people who needed the most support.

Actress Robyn Malcolm

Robyn Malcolm Photo: RNZ / Jessie Chiang

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