People are a priority for Labour.
This week, I went on a bit of a road trip in the South Island.
It started on the West Coast, talking to Spring Creek miners and their families about the impact of job losses on their lives and their community. Their response was grim. Some may end up losing their home. They can’t find new jobs and are worried they’ll have to leave the Coast. They blame the Government and Solid Energy for making false promises about how secure their future was at the mine.
Their stories are heart-breaking and I really appreciate their willingness to share their personal fears with me. We’ll be bringing you more details about this soon. They need our support and Labour will stand alongside them.
The next stop was Christchurch where I met with principals from schools slated for closure and spoke to a rally of hundreds of concerned parents led by NZEI. What hurts the most is that the community is not being given a say in their own future. After all they’ve been through, they deserve better than that.
I also spent a day in Blenheim and heard concerns that what’s happening to education in Canterbury is just the beginning of an agenda that this Government will roll out nationwide.
The message I’m getting from communities as I travel around the country is that people aren’t a priority under this Government. We’ve seen new evidence of that with the decision to remove protections for low-income workers. Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act gives thousands of workers the right to keep their jobs and the same pay and conditions if the business they work for is sold. That’ll be gone under National.
National is driving down wages and taking this country into decline. I have a very different vision for NZ. We need to change. We need to build wealth on the back of innovation and hard work so everyone benefits. That’s the way of the future under Labour.
Leader of the Labour Party