The history of New Zealand is one of ongoing colonisation. We support the concepts and practices of tikanga, tino rangatiratanga, and mana motuhake, and their expressions in He Whakaputanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
The British Empire brought capitalism to Aotearoa, taking Māori land through the barrel of a gun, and enforcing a new legal system that dispossessed whānau, hapū, and iwi of their lands and way of life. Stolen land was then given to agents of the Crown to develop the capitalist economy. The dispossession and undermining of tino rangatiratanga continues today, most clearly demonstrated by the struggle at Ihumātao and the environmental degradation taking place across the country. We reject the idea that lower life expectancies, lower wages, and higher rates of poverty for Māori are the result of individual failure or inadequacy. It is a direct result of colonisation. The settler-colonial capitalist system was built on exploitation, racism, and stolen wealth.
Māori have struggled for tino rangatiratanga against Crown sovereignty for nearly 200 years, and have made important gains in terms of recognition and legitimacy from the Crown, but this is not enough. To achieve true equality, liberation, and resolution between Māori and settlers, we must move beyond capitalism together. We demand a constitutional transformation that enshrines tino rangatiratanga into our political system.
The collective labour of society has produced great wealth but this wealth is overwhelmingly held by a few. We oppose capitalism because it produces this unjustifiable inequality, poverty and social exclusion.
The capitalist system ensures that working class people are deprived of the collective wealth that we produce. A small number of people own and control production and distribution of goods and services, while the rest of us have to work for them in order to make ends meet. Employers hire workers in order to profit from our work. Their wealth depends on our work. The only reason employers can make this profit is because they had the money to hire workers, buy or lease the land, resources, and machinery, in the first place. They make money because they already have money. Those of us who actually do the work get very little, while the rich get richer. Exploitation and inequality is a feature, not a bug, that is built into capitalism.
We reject the capitalist system and seek to build a society that ensures prosperity for all. We are building socialism because only through a socialist economic and political system will be able to thrive. Socialism means that everyone’s needs are cared for, and that decisions about our economy, workplaces, and living conditions are made democratically, not by the rich and powerful. It means building a new society together, where no one is disposable and your value, wellbeing, and the wellbeing of future generations isn’t determined by how much you own.
The existence of all living beings depends on the natural world. It is impossible to create an environmentally sustainable future and avoid ecological disaster without directly challenging established wealth and the capitalist mode of production.
Our existence relies on Papatūānuku. The clothes we wear, the food we eat, the minerals and materials needed to build our homes and infrastructure, all come from working with, and being a part of, the natural world. But our planet is under threat. Corporations extract materials from the earth, dispose of waste, and manufacture consumer products in the cheapest way possible regardless of its impact on the planet. Human-made climate change poses a real and immediate risk to all life on Earth. Rising sea levels, rising temperatures, and cyclones wreak havoc on Indigenous and working people all over the world. Islands are being swallowed, bodies of freshwater are drying up or being polluted with toxic waste, and displaced people are forced to search for new homes.
Serious changes need to be made to mitigate this crisis. But corporations will not change their practices, instead pouring funds into lobbies that deny the effects of climate change in order to protect their profits. Politicians have been dragging their feet for decades as scientists have warned us of the oncoming threat. To reduce the harm already being caused by climate change and environmental degradation, we need to exercise our own collective power against corporations and capitalists who exploit Papatūānuku, just as they exploit the people. It’s up to us to create an environmentally sustainable future and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Economy and society are not natural but are the product of political struggle. We pursue revolutionary transformation because freedom and justice are not achieved by reform alone.
Capitalism has not existed forever. Humans have lived in sustainable societies before, sharing wealth and knowledge. We can see this in the historical records of pre-colonial Māori society, and through the knowledge, practices, and social values passed down through generations. We don’t have to accept the way things are as natural or inevitable. Over the last thirty years, the ruling class has pushed through reforms that line their own pockets, making life worse for working class people. It only makes sense that we push back.
Significant reforms and political gains made by New Zealand workers in the 20th century have been rolled back by the ruling class, who dominate Parliament. The era of quality state housing did not wither away naturally, it was fought against by powerful property lobbies. While we support reforms that immediately improve the lives of working class people, we pursue revolutionary transformation because liberation and socialism cannot be achieved by reform alone. The current system is designed to further the interests of the interests of the rich and powerful. The only way we can build socialism is by taking control of, and democratising, our workplaces and communities, and removing the settler-colonial capitalist government from power.
We live in a shared world where wealth is collectively produced. Rather than being governed by divisions based on race, gender, or the work we do, we hold that all are of value and have a right to this wealth.
Inequality and oppression are intrinsic to the capitalist system. Capitalism benefits from inequality. As long as employers are able to offer less pay or worse conditions to certain groups of people for the same work, that drives down pay rates, working conditions, and living conditions for everybody in the long run.
But oppression doesn’t just happen in the workplace. It happens throughout society, through widespread violence against women and gender non-conforming people, police brutality and mass incarceration of Māori, racist migrant and refugee policies, and public and private space that is designed to be inaccessible to people with disabilities. We fight for liberation from oppression and discrimination. Everybody has value and no one is disposable, regardless of race, gender, age, sexuality, or disability. None of us are free until all of us are free.
Politics is for everyone
Politics is the domain of everyone. Because the current parliamentary system fails to reflect Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the common good, we propose a politics which engages everyone equally and honours the intent of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Our political institutions put up barriers that stop us from getting meaningfully involved. Politics is reduced to a vote that happens every few years, where you get to choose which members of the ruling class will control societal affairs. We hold that politics is the domain of everyone. Because our parliamentary system by design fails to uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the common good, we organise for a society that engages everyone and honours tino rangatiratanga. We can build a democratic society where all of our voices are heard.
Our struggle is global because colonialism and capitalism operate across national borders and exploit national differences. We pursue international solidarity and organisation, and combat the tendencies of reactionary nationalism.
New Zealand is connected to a global system which makes products in one part of the world and then distributes them to another part. Much of the work we do in Aotearoa is connected to a global supply chain, which means workers here are connected to workers around the world. We can make use of these connections to build international solidarity. We’re all part of the same system and need to work together. We reject any reactionary nationalism that would have us believe we have more in common with New Zealand’s capitalist class over dispossessed and working people in other parts of the world.
We are not waiting for perfect conditions to practice these principles. Working together, we model as best as possible the cooperative, caring and democratic society we wish to create.
This is our moment! We can’t afford to wait for the perfect conditions to build revolutionary power. We must act now to prevent the impending climate collapse and create a world we deserve to live in. Time is running out for Papatūānuku, so we need to respond with urgency.