A road show has taken place in Rotorua this week to raise awareness about the "universal basic income".

Basic Income New Zealand (BINZ) is a group advocating for an income to be paid to every citizen, including children. It would replace Work and Income, and would not affect superannuation.

President Lowell Manning, who is based in Paraparaumu, said BINZ was not in the business of promoting any particular amount.

He said the aim of the road show was to raise awareness and create the momentum whereby the basic income might be introduced.


"The traditional link between work, and income, is broken because of automation and technology which is reducing the need for workers. If people don't have an income, then business can't produce anything either, so it's a double-sided thing.

"We believe that the basic income is just as important for business as it is for the public at large."

Mr Manning said it was important to discuss the idea of a basic income with the community.

"This is the first time we've got out on the road to make contact with people, to get a feel for how things are. You have to start somewhere."

BINZ is non-partisan but Mr Manning said several political parties had looked into the idea, including Labour who discussed the concept at its Future of Work conference in March.

Local BINZ committee member Te Rangikaheke Kiripatea said he became involved as he felt an iwi presence was required.

"This will contribute to the fabric of the nation."

Mr Kiripatea said a scheme such as this wouldn't happen overnight but they wanted to start a conversation.

"We wanted to engage with people. How this would actually be implemented is another discussion."


Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Darrin Walsh was at the presentation by BINZ at his office on Wednesday.

When asked about the basic income concept by the Rotorua Daily Post he said he understood the call but there was a lot more work that needed to be done by BINZ. He said he had given them this feedback after their presentation.

BINZ also presented at the Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, the Rotorua Youth Centre and for the trustees of LoveSoup Rotorua.

The road show now heads to Hamilton and Auckland.