A New Direction.
Last weekend I laid out Labour’s new direction for New Zealand. I have been humbled by the feedback I have had from so many of you on my speech to the annual conference. I set out a vision for a fair and prosperous New Zealand. A country where the Government isn’t a spectator, and instead gets stuck in and backs Kiwis to be the best they can be.
The conference also marked historic change for the Labour Party. We have made important and necessary changes to our organisation and how we select our leader that will see us be more open, democratic and membership-driven. I want to thank Party President Moira Coatsworth who, with me, co-sponsored the review that led to these changes. Moira provided excellent leadership through this process that we can all be proud of. It is an exciting time to be in Labour. We are energised and strong.
On Tuesday the Party Caucus met and unanimously endorsed my leadership. I called this meeting to end unhelpful speculation. That has now happened, and we are committed to moving forward to promote our message of hope for New Zealanders.
I have made the difficult decision to demote David Cunliffe. I have not taken this decision lightly, and I know the events of recent days have been distressing for some within the Party.
David Cunliffe is a loss to the Labour frontbench. I hope he will be able to contribute again in the future.
Labour’s focus is on the core values of a fair go and opportunities for all and on change for the better in jobs, education and housing. That was the clear message of the conference.
The Caucus is clear and focused. Our job is to win the confidence of the country to implement Labour’s ideas and values. My commitment to you is to lead our team to victory in 2014.
PS – This weekend I’m going to be out with the team collecting signatures for the Keep Our Assets coalition “Sign-A-Thon”. I’d like to urge you all to get involved. Click here for more details.