Positive Periods: Strategic Plan and Values
We want to exist in a country where every young person has a positive experience with their periods.
Every student in New Zealand will have informed access and choice of period products.
The government acknowledges the prevalence of period poverty, commit to comprehensive menstrual health education, mandate in the Education Act to provide period products for all students and provide reusable period products to give dignity of choice.
We are a catalyst team from across the health, education and political sectors who are driven to end period poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand. We will achieve this by challenging the culture that justifies the tremendous costs for people menstruating, and pushing for systemic policy change that will see all students in New Zealand having access to and choice of menstrual products
Māramatanga: means understanding or insight. We believe in the right for all menstruating people to have an informed understanding of their bodies through enhanced education and access to a range of menstrual products with cost being removed as a barrier.
Kotahitanga: means to act as one, and often refers to the value of community. In order for this initiative to be successful, we believe we need to engage people with the capacity to create change, as well as people who we are aiming to assist through this project. That includes maintaining those relationships and connections with care, respect, kindness, and integrity.
Manaakitanga: means showing respect to one another. We can do this by recognising that some individuals – outside of facing socioeconomic deterrents– face other oppressive institutions that deepen their discrimination and access to menstrual products, such as ableism or transphobia. We strive to keep this kaupapa (issue, cause) inclusive of people with periods from a variety of experiences, backgrounds and life contexts.
Kaitiakitanga: means guardianship and often refers to guardianship of the environment. There are many sustainable options for menstrual products on the market, for example organic biodegradable products or reusable menstrual cups and cloth pads. By tackling period poverty, we believe we can supply students with sustainable menstrual products thus being much kinder to our landfills and oceans.
The context of what we operate in
We acknowledge the bias, privilege and conflict we have in our roles in our own mahi working in or alongside the period industry but come this campaign holding the mission and values as more important.
The 504,466 menstruating students are our focus and we aim to alleviate any barrier of periods to their education.
Awareness of Period Poverty and the campaign to do something about it
Proposing community driven responses to government
Holding a national conversation regarding Period Poverty
The team has weekly campaign meetings to discuss plans going forward as team members have busy lives on their full-time priorities.
The paper released is a discussion paper using publicly available data from retail pricing at supermarkets and public Ministry of Education data. We would expect there to be significant cost savings from a government procurement process as they would determine the products they would like to procure from an open tender process. This paper has chosen to use some products and their public pricing as a guide only to the full costs that may be incurred for this initiative.
At this stage we are looking for organisations to support this movement in principle to make period products free in all schools in New Zealand. If this would be of interest let us know.
The discussion paper is a living document and edits or clarifications can be requested. Updates to the document will be done weekly post campaign meetings.