Our Agenda Values

Why focus on values for our People’s Agenda?

Māori have a long tradition of action based on tikanga Māori values (Māori culture values). Values have been shown to influence our attitudes and behaviours. They represent our guiding principles and our broadest motivations, influencing the attitudes we hold and how we act. Values also connect to the heart as well as the head.

ActionStation members were asked to prioritise 12 values in the survey, which were themselves prioritised out of a set of 24 values included in the Kai & Kōrero discussions. Those 24 values were made up of 12 drawn from tikanga Māori, and 12 drawn from the work of researchers (in particular Shalom Schwartz) who have identified a set of values that are broadly held across global cultures.

I enjoyed the opportunity to talk about values, rather than issues and policies. It feels like having strong, positive values is the first step. From there, we can work towards better things, together.
— ActionStation Member
Photo courtesy of  Serena Stevenson.  All rights reserved.

Photo courtesy of Serena Stevenson. All rights reserved.

The people who took part in creating this agenda had shared views about a number of common values. Some of those include:


Equality and fairness

Equality together with fairness recognises different starting points and pathways to enjoying the same rights and freedoms.


Custodianship: care and responsibility for taonga (that which you treasure), especially nature.


Love, empathy and compassion for all without discrimination.

Community and belonging

Togetherness with the purpose of mutual care, support and creative enhancement.


Hospitality, kindness respect, generosity and care for others without expecting anything in return.

Photo courtesy of  Serena Stevenson.  All rights reserved.

Photo courtesy of Serena Stevenson. All rights reserved.

These are not the only values that people talked about, but these were the ones people talked about most often. Other values are equally important, certainly for the people who talked about them. Those other values include curiosity, learning and creativity, wairuatanga, whanaungatanga and rangatiratanga. All of these values are important, interconnected, and to some extent interdependent.

It’s especially important to consider these values collectively because, as research by linguists like George Lakoff has shown, concepts like ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ can hold widely varying meanings for different people. These concepts are best understood by considering their context, and specifically the other values that are referred to alongside them.

In this case, for example, we can best understand what people meant by ‘equality and fairness’ by considering those concepts alongside the values of manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga, community, belonging and aroha. All the values inform each other, and considering them together both helps us to understand the meaning people ascribed to each of them and to apply them collectively, in a harmonious way.

As one survey participant wrote:

Community and belonging are emergent values ... they emerge when we get the other things right.

Our Agenda Vision

How will Aotearoa New Zealand be different in 2040, if we put the values set out above at the centre of government decision-making and the way we live together in our towns, country and world?

In 2040 Aotearoa New Zealand will be a fair and flourishing country with care, creativity, courage and compassion at its core. We will honour te Tiriti o Waitangi and the rights of indigenous people in our constitution, our institutions and in everything we do. Everyone in our country will be proud of Aotearoa New Zealand for the positive role it plays globally.

We will have a robust democracy powered by informed and connected citizens, guided by accountable leaders. In all our decisions, we will put the well-being of everyday people and all forms of life on our precious planet first, and government policies will build a society and economy that truly serves all of us. Every person in our country will be safe, welcome and included and will have enough to live on, a warm, safe place to live and the means and support they need to learn and thrive.


Specific Vision Statements


honouring te tiriti o waitangi

Treaty Waitangi 180x180.png

Our constitution and structures reflect our Treaty commitments, and rangatiratanga is guaranteed to Māori. Every person in Aotearoa New Zealand understands and respects Te Tiriti as our founding document, understands the harm done by colonisation in our country, and works to heal injustices and to see Te Tiriti honoured.



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Every person in Aotearoa New Zealand feels safe, welcome and included in communities where resources are shared for common good and all voices are heard.


equality and fairness

Equality 180x180.png

We are a more egalitarian society in which wealth has been distributed more fairly to reduce inequalities, and every person in Aotearoa New Zealand has enough to live on, a warm, safe place to live, and the means and support they need to learn and thrive.




Power 180x180.png

Power has been redistributed and decentralised through transparent and accountable government to ensure community interests are not disregarded, and everyday people have more power over their lives and their community, rather than big corporations, the wealthiest 1% and a handful of politicians.



Justice 180x180.png

A more compassionate justice system built on community and connection, which prioritises prevention of crime, restoration of harm and rehabilitation of people, so that every person in Aotearoa New Zealand has access to a justice system which gives them a chance to put right any harm they have done and to build a better future for themselves and their families.



Environment 180x180.png

Sustainability and the health and well-being of all forms of life are at the heart of government decision-making and will drive our economy so that our natural taonga (treasures) thrive and our rivers, air, oceans and wild places are clean and healthy. We will honour the interdependence of humans and other natural taonga.



Democracy 180x180.png

Aotearoa New Zealand’s transparent participatory democracy, characterised by openness, listening and collaboration for the common good, makes it possible for every person to participate actively in democratic processes, and be listened to on decisions that affect their lives.



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Fully accessible, comprehensive education in Aotearoa New Zealand encourages critical thinking and debate and supports everybody to develop their full potential at all stages of life.



NZ's Role 180x180.png

Aotearoa New Zealand maintains an independent, principled and values-based approach to foreign policy, providing humanitarian assistance in conflict zones, international mediation and reconciliation services, and offering refuge to those who need a safe environment in which to thrive.


How will we get there?

Once we had this crowd-sourced vision for Aotearoa New Zealand in 2040, the obvious question was: how will we get there?

Part of the answer lies in the values our community has already identified: Aotearoa New Zealand will be a fairer and more flourishing country in 2040 if we restore those shared values – caring for each other and our natural treasures, being compassionate and ensuring everyone has a fair chance at a good life.

But what will those values look like in practice?

To answer that, we took the hundreds of suggestions made by the ActionStation community and talked to wise elders, independent policy experts, academics and people with lived experience of the issues.

Here’s what we learned:

  • We’re going to need fresh ideas, bold policies, and a willingness to try new things.

  • This is going to take more than three years, so we need the ActionStation community to be guardians of our vision, ready to hold all future governments to account.

  • There are some steps that need to be taken as soon as possible, to tackle the most urgent problems and put us on the right track for a fairer future for all. Those are the areas we will focus our campaigns.

Stock shot by Chameleons Eye.

Stock shot by Chameleons Eye.


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!