By Metiria Tūrei
Wouldn't it be great if we lived in a world where all children had decent clothes and shoes, lived in warm, dry homes and had full tummies?
You'd expect that to be the vision for all politicians in Parliament, but sadly it's just not.
The Green Party has policies that will lift children out of poverty so that in New Zealand, at least, mums and dad can give their kids a chance at a good life and a fair future.
When I promoted my Bill to extend the in-work tax credit to all children, Prime Minister John Key ruled it out.
When the Children's Commissioner's recent report recommended a universal child allowance, Mr Key said that was “dopey”.
On Wednesday of last week he said I was "barking mad" for even raising the idea.
I had a bit of fun in Parliament last Tuesday asking how John Banks could remain a minister when he clearly lied to the Prime Minister about a donation he received. I asked if there were different rules on "Planet Key".
The Prime Minister got carried away with the fantasy and described a place that rich men may dream of, golf courses, holidays and no jobs to worry about.
Well he got the last thing right. There aren't jobs for people to go to. That's what made this dream scenario so depressing. The New Zealand John Key dreams of is not the one he lives in.
His aspirations are of an elite wealthy group, not every day Kiwis who dream of a decent income and happy home environment.
On Wednesday, I highlighted that there are 270,000 children living in poverty while their mums earned $13.50 an hour cleaning the toilets on his plentiful golf courses.
The Prime Minister's response: There would be no need for toilets in such a heaven.
Great that he can joke about a New Zealand where 150,000 children in beneficiary households live in severe poverty.
They don't get a holiday from poverty. What they need is politicians willing to take action to make their lives better.
Metiria Tūrei is co-leader of the Green Party