Procurement policy to support gender equity?
Last month, the Government announced a very interesting new rule: when procuring their annual $42 billion worth of goods and services, government departments and agencies would now have to “consider how they can create quality jobs, particularly for displaced workers and traditionally disadvantaged groups such as Māori, Pasifika, people with disabilities and women.”
Given the amount of money involved, this has the potential to be a game-changer. Focussing on multiple groups at once means the rule is more likely to be genuinely effective in empowering those who bear the intersectional burden of more than one disadvantage, such as wāhine Māori, Pacific women, and women with disabilities.
However! Detail on how the rule will be implemented is thin on the ground – so thin, in the case of women and people with disabilities, that it is non-existent. While the Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio are quoted in the announcement, the Minister for Women, Julie Anne Genter, and Disability Issues Minister Carmel Sepuloni are not. In NZ Government Procurement and Property’s response to the announcement, “better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika” are mentioned once; but there is no mention at all of women and people with disabilities.
We are concerned that women – including women with disabilities, but also wāhine Māori and Pasifika women – will be forgotten. We’ve written to both the Ministry of Women and NZ Government Procurement and Property to find out more – and will let you know once we hear back!