Opening the debate on the quality of our democracy
People in Wellington and beyond can help to kick-start a much-needed critical examination of our democracy on August 1
and 2. Public Good and the St Andrews Trust for the Study of Religion and Society (SATRS) are hosting Democracy, Ethics
and the Public Good which will open the debate and seed ideas about future approaches to building a deeper and more
inclusive democracy in NZ.
“Just being able to run an election and register voters is not enough. New Zealand elections should ensure that the
preferences of people and not the power of money is what counts at election time”, said St Andrews Minister Jim
Cunningham. “The loosening of social ties caused by high levels of poverty and inequality in New Zealand are a
significant problem for our democracy” , he continued.
Speakers including academics Bronwyn Hayward, Sandra Grey and Michael Macaulay will provide an overview of the broad
themes and concepts. Campaigners like Myles Thomas, CE of the Coalition for Better Broadcasting, Cath Wallace from
environmental umbrella group ECO and Max Rashbrooke, journalist and editor of Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis will take
us through specific issues.
We will start to describe what is deficient and what is functioning well in our democracy. Most important will be your
voice and ideas. Panel presentations, workshops and time for networking will allow us to refresh the language of
democratic engagement and think about how to secure the quality of our democracy for the future.
You are invited to Join us on August 1st and 2nd at this important event.
Rebuilding the social contract between people and government
A Strong Public Sector: Firstly we will be working to support a stronger public sector. A well resourced, fully capable
and future focussed public service can provide public value in the form of good quality services, infrastructure and a
fair framework of protective regulation for people and the environment.
Genuine Democracy and Engagement: a fuller experience of democracy means we all have a bigger say in influencing the NZ
we want to live in. Real democracy involves more than a couple of opportunities to vote every three years. Genuine
democracy gives place for dissent. Common Wealth: Community wealth is about more than money in the bank. Its about
community assets and community capabilities.