What is This About?

Te Ira Tāngata: People’s Agenda comes from a community of 180,000 people who have, in all sorts of different ways, helped to build ActionStation, a new force for people who believe in a fair and flourishing New Zealand.


We act together, in new ways and in real time, to create what we cannot achieve on our own: a society, economy and democracy that serves all of us – everyday people and the planet we love.

The main focus of our community’s action is in the sphere of government, both holding politicians to account for their actions and – as in the case of this agenda – calling on them to lift their sights above the cut and thrust of daily politics.

With this agenda we are calling on those who hold political power, and those who want our votes, towards a more inspired and inspiring vision of what our country can and must be in the future: a fairer place where all people, and the creatures and wild places we love, can flourish.

In this process, our community asked ourselves what we want Aotearoa New Zealand to be like in 2040, 23 years from now.

We chose this date because it will be 200 years since the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed. 2040 is also the date that the Matike Mai report focuses on for constitutional transformation. This Agenda is focused on the changes we want to see in the ‘kawanatanga’ (or government) sphere, and not the ‘rangatiratanga’ (Māori self-determination and self-governance) sphere.

We hope that Te Ira Tāngata: People’s Agenda for Aotearoa can contribute to a conversation about the values that underpin the kawanatanga sphere, as recommended by Moana Jackson in his comments in Matike Mai:

I believe that change comes from ordinary people having a chance to dialogue and think through issues. And then from that change the political will is changed.
— Moana Jackson
 
Stock shot by Chameleons Eye.

Stock shot by Chameleons Eye.


Why a People’s Agenda?

 

Moving from resisting to reimagining to rebuilding

Over the past three years a community of fair-minded people from all over New Zealand have come together, time and again, to resist harmful policies and call for change. In many cases we’ve won small incremental steps in the direction of a more fair and flourishing world.
In 2017 our community decided it was time to move beyond resisting what we don’t want for our country, and start reimagining what we do want. Then we can use the power of our 180,000 strong (and growing) movement to building a better future for all of us and the planet we love.

To shift the boundaries of what is possible.

With this Agenda, we can re-centre the political conversation around the values that so many of us share – including community, care and compassion – and introduce a positive and cohesive vision of an alternative future.

This lifts our sights as a movement and gives us a long game.

The transformational change we seek won’t be achieved in one election cycle, so our People’s Agenda helps us look beyond the day-to-day of politics to a more hopeful and long-term trajectory of progress.

This enables us to hold power to account, no matter who is in power.

Our People’s Agenda will provide a benchmark for assessing whether or not government decisions match our community’s aspirations. It will enable us to hold to account whichever government is in power.

To rewrite the rules.

For too long politics have been the domain of the powerful few. With this People’s Agenda as our guide, and a growing movement of people who want a fair and flourishing future, we can rewrite the rules in favour of everyday people and the planet we love.

 
Photo courtesy of Serena Stevenson. All rights reserved.

Photo courtesy of Serena Stevenson. All rights reserved.


How was this made?

 

Te Ira Tāngata: People’s Agenda for Aotearoa was created in four phases:

 

Phase 1.

Identifying the issues

 
  • Members of the ActionStation community have been taking part in online surveys over the past three years to identify the issues they thought were of most importance in building a fairer and flourishing future for our country. We gathered insights from 50,636 responses;

  • 393,982 people took part in campaigns on those issues, including by funding research into the issues and sharing their experiences and stories;

  • ActionStation worked with Civic Dinners to create a discussion guide for exploring those issues in more detail, using composite stories, and a survey for capturing the data from those discussions.


Phase 2.

Exploring the issues and developing the vision

 
  • 81 members of the ActionStation community volunteered to host in-person Kai & Kōrero lunches and dinners around the country where they used a structured discussion guide to explore the prioritised issues in more detail, develop a vision for Aotearoa in 2040 and to identify the values needed to get us there.

  • ActionStation hosted events in Auckland and Christchurch, which were attended by another 90 – 100 people.

  • 280 people who attended those discussions filled in a comprehensive survey to capture the key findings / outcomes of their discussions.

I enjoyed the experience. It was an interesting topic to think about and discuss, and not one that I discuss often. It was heartwarming to hear people caring so much about New Zealand’s future, and about making it a better place for all.
— Survey Respondent
 

Phase 3.

Refining the vision and values

 
  • ActionStation contracted an independent researcher to do a thematic analysis of the data from the Kai & Kōrero survey, and to create a survey to test those findings with a larger section of the ActionStation community;

  • 4,013 members of the ActionStation community took part in that survey, prioritising different elements of the vision for 2040 and the values needed to get us there.
 

Phase 4.

Finding the policies and comparing the parties

 
  • ActionStation then consulted with a panel of policy experts to identify 2-3 key policy pathways, each of which was a). aligned with the core values identified by our community members, and b). supported by a body of evidence suggesting these policies could help achieve the outcome expressed in the vision statements prioritised by the community.

  • The experts we consulted included advisors from the Māori world, academics and researchers, independent policy experts and people with lived experience of the issues covered.

  • Some of the people who gave us advice were Moana Jackson, Shamubeel Eaqub, Max Rashbrooke, Max Harris, Jessica Berentson-Shaw, Bronwyn Hayward, Anna Powles, Katie Bruce, Jane Kelsey, Susan St John, Hirini Kaa, Sandra Dickson, Paul Young, Geoff Keey, Tabby Besley, Paul Gibson, Paul Barber, Peter Thompson and Lisa Marriott. While all of these people gave their time generously to advise us, none of them are responsible for the final content of this agenda, and their advice should not be taken as an endorsement.

  • We then used the policy data collated by Policy and Vote Compass, supplemented by data from a survey that we sent to all political parties, to carry out a comparison of each party’s current values, visions and policies against the values, vision and policies in our People’s Agenda.

  • The name Te Ira Tāngata was gifted to ActionStation by Maatakiri Rapira Te Ruki.


Whose Agenda is this?

 

This is called People’s Agenda for Aotearoa, and not ‘the’ People’s Agenda for Aotearoa, for good reason. While the issues, vision and values laid out here reflect those prioritised by the 393,982 people who have taken part in ActionStation campaigns, surveys and events over the past three years, they obviously do not represent the views of everyone in this country.

ActionStation is a deliberately broad tent of fair-minded people who want to get things done. It’s our shared values, plus a willingness to act, that makes someone an ‘ActionStation kind of person’. Not your age, income, postcode, party politics or ethnic background.

As a movement we are committed to certain core progressive values. We act to promote and protect human rights, economic fairness, a flourishing planet and a transparent and accountable democracy. We honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi). We believe the values of community, care, compassion, manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga and aroha are central to building a more fair and flourishing future for all of us and the planet we love and depend on for life.

Our community is diverse, but it is not representative of the entire country. This is our community’s People’s Agenda for Aotearoa. If you share these values and this vision for our country, then this is yours too. Because ‘People power’ isn’t just a nice slogan at ActionStation: it is ActionStation. It’s why we’re here and how we get things done.

 
Photo courtesy of Serena Stevenson. All rights reserved.

Photo courtesy of Serena Stevenson. All rights reserved.

 

ActionStation would like to thank Serena Stevenson, Sarah McCarthy and Angus McNaughton for their kind and generous offer to use their photographs throughout the People's Agenda website. Ehara koe i a ia!