A National Day of Kindness in New Zealand, Proof of its Progressiveness


by Sam Soilihi

Posted on May 20, 2019

A National Day of Kindness in New Zealand, Proof of its Progressiveness

On November 16th, New Zealand had it's first Manaaki Day. This Maori word that means kindness, is now a national day where charitable acts are celebrated and encouraged. It started with Eddie Writes' letter, who asked help to his mayor to make an annual "Kindness Day". This idea was liked by the mayor, but also by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who is determined in making her country more progressive through her policies. This act of including kindness in politics, is part of her ambitions and reflects what she has been doing and is still doing for New Zealand. 

Her intentions of improving the social well-being of everyone, is what she encouraged other world leaders during a United Nations speech she had the opportunity to give, a speech that received many applauses. The efforts she has been putting in her social reforms is what many thinkers see as what can be an example for nations and also support for the progressive parties who wish to do the same for their countries.

Ardern's views strongly go against the rising right-wing populists that have grown in presence in America and in Europe. New Zealand has already got social and environmental policies that differenciates the country from others. The new law that gives 10 days of paid leave from work to domestic violence victims or the scheme to build 100,000 entry-level homes and banning foreign buyers from purchasing the island's properties to make houses more affordable, are all progressive policies that are suppose to help the social situation of the country.

For the environment, Ardern and her goverment decided to ban any future plans to build a new offshore oil and gas exploration and to use only renewable energy in order to reach the carbon-neutral objective that has to be reached by 2050. There is hope that these environmental efforts will motivate businesses to invest in low-emission production. Hopefully, many other countries, if not all of them, will follow in these examples set by the small Oceanic country.

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