The Future is Equal

New Zealand

Better Taxes for a Better Future

Join us to be champions for better taxes – for a better future!

Along with allies across the motu, we have come together to talk about the problems in our tax system and rally together for better taxes for a better future.

Inequality in Aotearoa is continuing to get worse, and COVID-19 exacerbated this hardship for a lot of us. Just last year, our tax system ranked 136th in the world in its effectiveness at addressing inequality.

Across Aotearoa, too many people don’t have access to stable, warm and dry housing, are struggling to afford nutritious food, and are not sure if they’ll be able to access the basics they need from week to week – whether that’s medication, or transport to school or work.

This is not fair.

Everyone deserves to know that they and their whānau can afford to stay healthy and safe. In many other countries, the tax system plays a significant role in addressing inequality – and it could here too.

We want a tax system that will level the playing field and tackle the inequalities that have become so deeply embedded in Aotearoa. We want to see everyone having access to a decent quality of life.

The power to make our tax system better lies with our decision makers – but as voters, we have the power to influence them! Together, we can persuade our leaders to take action.

Join us to be champions for better taxes – for a better future!

Together, we can move Aotearoa towards a more equal society, with a fair tax system.


Oxfam Aotearoa, with our friends at Tax Justice Aotearoa and a large coalition of organisations across the motu, have formed the Fair Tax Coalition.

Together, we’re calling for Better Taxes for a Better Future – we want a better tax system that addresses the entrenched inequalities in Aotearoa.

We want to be assured that all can afford world class healthcare, education and infrastructure that make Aotearoa better for everyone.


The Better taxes campaign was officially launched on 21st June 2023.

At the launch, we heard from a secondary school teacher, social workers, and a tax expert about how our current tax system is broken. They spoke of how our tax system furthers inequality and falls far short of better tax systems in other parts of the world. This results in inadequate resources to fund essentials such as better support for kids with learning needs, healthy school lunches, and school transport. A broken tax system also results in further burdening low-income earners by taking away their access to safe housing and a life with dignity and pushing them further into debt.  

Has tax impacted your life too? We would love to hear from you.


Better taxes for a Better Future is a Fair Tax Coalition initiative supported by:

Action Station, Alliance Aotearoa, Amnesty International, Anglican Advocacy, Climate Club, Closing the Gap, CPAG, CTU, EcuAction Canterbury, First Union, NZCCSS, NZNO, Oxfam Aotearoa, PPTA, PSA, Renters United, Salvation Army, Tax Justice Aotearoa, Wellbeing Economy

Climate Shift: Sign the petition


The climate crisis is getting worse. Communities across Aotearoa are feeling what our Pacific neighbours have been experiencing for years: the devastating consequences of Government inaction on climate change. From Cyclone Gabrielle and floods in the north to severe droughts in the south, these events emphasise how urgently we need climate action. And we’re on a tight deadline to achieve the necessary emissions reductions. 

Girl standing with a canoe

Right now, we have the opportunity to shift to a better, more connected world, where people thrive and nature is protected. But this is only possible if our politicians stop delaying action, and start treating this crisis as a crisis. 

This is our chance to turn things around, and make that future a reality. 

That’s why this year, we’re calling for people across the motu/country to use their voice to demand urgent climate action.

We need leadership from our government, giving full effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and guided by hapū exercising their tino rangatiratanga/self-determination.

Oxfam has teamed up with a wide coalition of organisations to create a collective climate action campaign, called Climate Shift, centering around a ten point plan for Government action. 

Our plan is guided by three key themes:

Aotearoa’s future should focus on opportunities for a new way of living that centre on people and nature, rather than industry greed. Our Government must end coal, oil, and gas, and transition polluting industries – in particular, intensive dairy farming and transport – and shift to climate-friendly alternatives that cut pollution. 

  • End new oil, gas and coal exploration and extraction on land and at sea, and commit to the Port Vila Call for a Just Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific. 
  • Accelerate the just transition to public and locally-owned, nature-friendly, renewable electricity, including by providing grants-based and equitable finance for new renewables, such as household solar and community energy projects. 
  • Transition towards high-density, low emissions communities by making public transport fares free and prioritising investment in walking, cycling, and accessible public transport infrastructure over road spending. 
  • Transition intensive dairying to low emissions farming by phasing out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and imported animal feed, reducing herd size, and banning new large-scale irrigation schemes. 
  • Ensure our laws reflect the urgency required to address the climate crisis by strengthening the Emissions Trading Scheme, legally requiring all local and central government decisions to keep warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, and establishing meaningful environmental bottom lines in new planning rules. 

Climate change is already affecting millions of people around the world, including here in Aotearoa. We want our Government to support these communities with ways and funds to adapt in order to minimise the impact of climate change on their lives. In places where the effects can’t be minimised, these communities should be financially supported throughout the recovery process, and compensated for the loss and damage caused. 

  • Stand with affected communities in the Pacific by renewing and scaling up our climate finance commitments, with new and additional funding to address loss and damage caused by climate change. 
  • Protect communities by making room for rivers to flood safely and enabling a managed retreat from flood-prone areas, through stopping new development in coastal and river flood zones. 

Nature must be at the heart of New Zealands climate response. Not only do oceans, wetlands, and forests store huge amounts of carbon, they also play a key role in mitigating the impacts of extreme weather events. When we protect nature, we are also protecting people, communities, and Aotearoas future. 

  • Maximise native forests’ role in absorbing carbon and in protecting communities from flooding and erosion by effectively controlling deer, goats, and possums on all public land, and implementing a native reforestation programme. 
  • Preserve the ocean’s crucial role in storing carbon by shifting to ecosystem-based fisheries management that ends bottom trawling and restores kelp forests by reversing all kina barrens. 
  • Protect the role wetlands and estuaries play in storing carbon and softening extreme weather event impacts by doubling the area of wetlands in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Climate destruction is happening all around us. This is our chance to turn things around. We need genuine climate action from the New Zealand Government, which gives effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and is guided by hapū exercising their tino rangatiratanga. 

Join our call for urgent climate action, and sign on to support a Climate Shift. 


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Authorised by R Dobric, Level 1/14 West Street, Eden Terrace 

EU outshines NZ with its vote for Corporate Due Diligence

On 1 June, 2023, the European Parliament voted in favour of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) shedding light on the lack of similar due diligence regulations here in Aotearoa, especially with regards to international supply chains which Oxfam Aotearoa says it is deeply concerned by. 

For many years trade unions and civil society groups, like Oxfam, have been lobbying for laws to be put in place to ensure living wages, safety and protection in supply chains owned by New Zealand companies. Whilst the conversation around the proposed Modern Slavery and Worker Exploitation law was a step in the right direction, sadly, some areas have fallen through the cracks.  

Women and men working in factories overseas, making the clothes, food and other products that we consume, can and should be treated with dignity. Dignity means upholding human rights standards in terms of paying a living wage, ensuring safe conditions, adopting gender sensitive policies and several other key human rights standards. 

Earlier this year, Oxfam visited women working in factories in Bangladesh, where – due to the lack of policy – women and men suffer severe consequences. One worker named Sabina told Oxfam about the factory where she works, “Due to the target filling pressure, sometimes I can eat and sometimes I cannot. It’s hard to drink water and use the toilet.” Sabina then goes on to say, “Yes, they abuse [me], but if I meet the target, then they don’t abuse. It happens to everyone. I feel sad and I cry for 1 or 2 hours, then I get relief.” These kinds of human rights violations should not be happening. Without fashion brands being made to do their due diligence, this will continue to happen. 

Corporate due diligence is essential to ensure we can detect, prevent and address human rights violations in supply chains. The What She Makes Campaign launched by Oxfam Aotearoa is one such step towards ensuring corporate due diligence. The campaign works with leading fashion brands in Aotearoa to pay a living wage to the women who make our clothes in hundreds of factories situated across the globe.  

Another approach to guarantee corporate due diligence is when governments enact and implement rules and regulations mandating companies to enforce human rights standards in their supply chains.  

The CSDDD, an example of the latter approach, holds the potential to require that companies address issues such as payment of a living wage, ensure human rights standards in their value chains and be held accountable for environmental and/or climate damage caused by such companies. This is a small, yet positive step towards guaranteeing that women and men working along these supply chains are ensured a living wage, safety, and most of all, are treated with human dignity. 

The CSDDD however, also has its shortfalls, such as only capturing a small proportion of companies, failing to remove significant hurdles in victims accessing justice, affording certain exemptions to the financial sector, and failing to include strong accountability measures for directors of companies. As the European Parliament along with the European Commission and the Council of Europe move forward in finalising the wording of the rules following Thursday’s vote, much work is needed to ensure that the CSDDD is made stronger. This will provide meaningful protection and redress mechanisms to millions of women and men around the world. 

As the European block, the UK and Australia move towards abolition of modern slavery, ensuring due diligence and living wage guarantees, this is a good time for Aotearoa to take stock of its own commitments. The What She Makes Campaign’s most recent Transparency Report showed certain New Zealand brands lagging behind in supply chain transparency when compared to international brands. Hence, it is high time to rekindle the conversations around due diligence and modern slavery, and take concrete steps towards holding companies in Aotearoa accountable.  

Climate Shift: Thank you!


Thank you for joining our call for urgent climate action, and signing on to support a Climate Shift. We’ll be in touch with updates on this campaign.

Want to make your support go even further?




New Oxfam report shows broken promises on climate finance

A new report out this week titled ‘Climate Finance Shadow Report’ from Oxfam shows New Zealand still has much more to do to support poorer countries adapt and respond to the climate crisis.   

Oxfam Aotearoa’s Climate Justice Lead Nick Henry said:  

“Oxfam’s report reveals that as governments around the world begin negotiations of a new global goal for climate finance, rich countries have already broken their promise to deliver US$100 billion a year to assist developing countries.  

“The New Zealand Government is doing better than most on climate finance, but unfortunately the bar is very low. It is time for New Zealand to commit to increasing its climate finance and call on other rich countries to do the same. And deliver on their promises.  

“The new report reveals that globally only a quarter of climate finance is given as grants, meaning most climate finance is provided in the form of loans. Although the New Zealand Government has a long way to go in order to do its fair share, one positive take away is that New Zealand has a strong commitment to give climate finance as grants, not loans.  Loans only increases the burden on poorer countries as they take on expensive debt. Debt created from the failure of rich countries to deliver on their promises. 

“It is also encouraging to see New Zealand increasingly integrate gender-equitable approaches to climate finance, but the Government is a long way off from making sure that the needs of people in all their diversity are met. New Zealand must stand with our whānau in the Pacific – the women, girls, and LGBTIQA+ and others who are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. 

“Rich countries must find new ways to fund climate finance by taxing the wealthiest and the big polluters. In addition, Oxfam Aotearoa calls for new and additional finance to respond to loss and damage caused by climate change. This is a separate negotiation leading up to COP28, and should come with new funding.”  



Click here for the report:  

New Zealand’s current climate finance commitments end in 2025. Commitments for the next period from 2026 will need to contribute New Zealand’s fair share of the new global quantified goal on climate finance to be set at COP28 in December. Discussions on the process for setting the new global goal are underway this week in Bonn, at the intersessional meeting of parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

Rich countries’ continued failure to honour their US$100 billon climate finance promise threatens negotiations and undermines climate action

Rich countries’ continued failure to honor their $100 billon climate finance promise threatens negotiations and undermines climate action

As global greenhouse emissions continue to rise, and climate change wreaks more havoc upon the people and places least responsible for the problem, rich polluting countries are now three years overdue on their promise to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance for low- and middle-income countries.

To make matters worse, says Oxfam, the actual support they provide is much less than reported numbers suggest, and is coming mostly as debt that has to be repaid.

Oxfam’s ‘Climate Finance Shadow Report 2023’ published today shows that while donors claim to have mobilized $83.3 billion in 2020, the real value of their spending was —at most— $24.5 billion. The $83.3 billion claim is an overestimate because it includes projects where the climate objective has been overstated or as loans cited at their face value.

By providing loans rather than grants, these funds are even potentially harming rather than helping local communities, as they add to the debt burdens of already heavily indebted countries —even more so in this time of rising interest rates.

Donor countries are repurposing up to one-third of official aid contributions as climate finance rather than putting forward new and additional money, while more than half of all climate finance going to the world’s poorest countries is now coming as loans.

Among bilateral providers, France has the highest share of its bilateral public climate finance through loans, at a staggering 92 percent. Other loan-heavy culprits include Austria (71 percent), Japan (90 percent), and Spain (88 percent). In 2019–20, 90 percent of all climate finance provided by multilateral development banks, like the World Bank came as loans.

“This is deeply unjust. Rich countries are treating poorer countries with contempt. In doing so, they are fatally undermining crucial climate negotiations. They’re playing a dangerous game where we will all lose out,” said Oxfam International’s Climate Change Policy Lead, Nafkote Dabi.

In the lead up to the Bonn Climate Summit (5 to 15 June), Oxfam also finds that climate-related development financing is largely gender-blind. Only 2.9 percent of all funding identified gender equality as worth prioritizing. Only one-third of climate finance projects in 2019-2020 mainstreamed gender, meaning that they took into account both women and men’s specific needs, experiences and concerns.

Oxfam estimates that the real value of funds allocated by rich countries in 2020, to support climate action in low- and middle-income countries was between $21 billion and $24.5 billion, of which only $9.5 billion to $11.5 billion was directed specifically for climate adaptation —crucial funding for projects and processes to help climate-vulnerable countries address the worsening harms of climate change.

“Don’t be fooled into thinking $11.5 billion is anywhere near enough for low- and middle-income countries to help their people cope with more and bigger floods, hurricanes, firestorms, droughts and other terrible harms brought about by climate change,” Dabi said. “People in the US spend four times more than that each year feeding their cats and dogs.”

Oxfam is highly concerned that adaptation funding is given too little attention when, in the past three years, India, Pakistan and Central and South America have all seen record heatwaves, in Pakistan later followed by flooding that affected over 33 million people, while East Africa is mired in its worst drought in over 40 years, contributing to crisis levels of hunger.

“Despite their extreme vulnerability to climate impacts, the world’s poorest countries, particularly the least developed countries and small island developing states, are simply not receiving enough support. Instead, they are being driven deeper into debt,” Dabi said. 

The expectation that private investors can be mobilized by low- and middle-income countries to contribute a sizeable chunk of climate financing has not materialized, raising only $14 billion yearly, mainly for mitigation. Oxfam says it is difficult to find details on how this private finance is used or who benefits from it. According to a recent Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report, mobilized private adaptation financing rose sharply from $1.9 billion in 2018 to $4.4 billion in 2020, mainly because of a big liquefied natural gas energy project in Mozambique that does not reveal any adaptation activities.

Oxfam is highly concerned that funding for “loss and damage” —climate impacts that cannot or have not been mitigated or adapted to— still has no predictable place within the international climate finance architecture. Loss and damage finance needs are urgent, with estimates saying that low- and middle-income countries could face costs of up to $580 billion annually by 2030.

Oxfam says that ongoing deliberations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to set a new global goal on mobilizing climate finance from 2025 onwards is a chance to rebuild trust between rich and low- and middle-income countries. But if past mistakes are not resolved and simply repeated, this initiative will have failed before it properly starts.

Climate finance providers should be massively scaling-up their efforts and be reporting climate financing on a case-by-case basis, highlighting the actual proportions channeled towards mitigation and adaptation. There is equally an urgent need for more grant-based financing for climate action, and less momentum toward loaning the money they have all promised to give. 

Notes to editors 

Download Oxfam’s ‘Climate Finance Shadow Report 2023’.

In East Africa alone, drought and conflict have left a record 36 million people facing extreme hunger, nearly equivalent to the population of Canada. Oxfam estimates that up to two people are likely dying from hunger every minute in Ethiopia, Kenya Somalia, and South Sudan.

The UN currently designates 46 countries as LDCs.

According to the OECD, mobilized private adaptation financing rose sharply from $1.9 billion in 2018 to $4.4 billion in 2020, mainly because of a big liquefied natural gas energy project in Mozambique that does not reveal any adaptation activities.

According to Anil Markandya and Mikel González-Eguino (2018), the costs of loss and damage in low- and middle-income countries could reach between $290 billion to $580 billion a year by 2030.

According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent $58.1 billion on pet food and treats in 2022.