Labour’s first ever Leadership Election College process is now roaring into action. We last wrote to you five days ago, on the evening that the election was triggered. Since then:
- The New Zealand Council, the governing body of our Party, has finalised the Rules under which the election will run; appointed Tim Barnett, General Secretary, as the Returning Officer for the election and confirmed the membership of the Leadership Election Advisory Group, which has oversight of the election process under the Rules.
- The nomination process has opened and closed, generating three outstanding candidates (in alphabetical order): David Cunliffe, Grant Robertson and Shane Jones.
- The Party has contracted with a Christchurch-based provider, electionz.com, to administer the election; they will be working with Thames Publications in Wellington – a Living Wage employer. The Returning Officer will maintain oversight of this operation. As a modern Party, we also wanted to give you the opportunity to vote electronically (in the same way that the Census included an online option this year).
- Key dates have been set – the ballot papers for all who were members when the election was triggered will be sent out at the end of this week, and will need to be back with electionz.com by noon on Sunday 15th September (posted by Wednesday 11th or completed online), with a result an hour or two after that;
- Twelve (12) meetings have been organised, to a standard format (details at the campaign page on www.labour.org.nz), the first on Saturday 31st August and the last on Tuesday 10th September. Candidates will be at all 12 meetings to speak and answer questions.
- New Zealand Council has agreed that people who have been financial members of the Party sometime between January 1 2011 and August 22 2013 but have not yet paid their membership for 2013 can renew their membership and vote, so long as they do so before 12.00am on Friday 6 September. In addition, people who join after August 22nd (the day that the election was triggered) can attend the meetings.
There are a couple of key points for members as you plan your voting:
- The Electoral College has three sections (Party Members, Caucus and Affiliates). You will be sent a ballot paper for every section of the Electoral College that you are entitled to vote in. You can only vote once in each section.
- You will have three ways of voting after you receive your ballot paper in the mail – by posting it back (a freepost envelope will be included in the mailing), voting online (the mailing will include a unique pin number which you can use) or by taking your written ballot paper along to one of the twelve meetings and placing it in the ballot box there. If you are a member of the Service and Food Workers Union, you will be handed your ballot paper at one of the 12 candidate meetings and will need to vote there (unless you have applied for a postal vote).
- If you will be overseas when the voting is happening, you will be able to both receive and send your ballot paper by email. For that to happen, the Party HQ needs to have your email address. If you are already registered by us at an overseas postal address and we have your email address, we will automatically capture your details.
And there is one message for all of us, in the heat of this internal Labour election. The media, other political parties and the wider public are all watching how this election is conducted. That means that every one of us needs to focus on the policies not the people, on the positive not the negative, on the future and not the past. That way we all win!
Moira Coatsworth, President
Tim Barnett, General Secretary (and Returning Officer)
PS: You can contribute to running this exciting process by clicking here and making a donation to the party.
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