- Date published:
2:57 pm, July 30th, 2023 - 31 comments
Categories: act, chris hipkins, Christopher Luxon, climate change, covid-19, Environment, housing, labour, national, poverty, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:
I can’t say that you were my preferred choice as Labour leader but that is the position that you hold.
A great deal hangs on how you perform in the next few months and can I wish you the best and all strength.
The country is in a precarious position and there is a huge amount at stake.
I thought last election when Labour won 50% of the party vote that this election would be a walk in the park and we would win it easily.
But obviously things have not worked out as hoped and things are obviously very closely balanced.
National has got itself into shape. It was a laughing stock last election but it has knuckled down and Christoper Luxon has given it some discipline and shape.
Rich supporters who strangely think their privilege is not sufficient and needs to be further enhanced beyond their current ridiculous levels have poured huge amounts of money into National’s and Act’s coffers. And farmers who are incandescent with rage at attempts to make them farm in a more sustainable way even though their business model depends on a sustainable environment have added to the feeling of malise.
And Luxon has flooded the zone with shit. Every day National is completely and utterly negative. His comment that New Zealand was a negative, wet and whiny country was clearly his intent, and not a criticism.
There is a strong sense of grumpiness, emanating from those with power and privilege but it has fuelled into ordinary people’s feelings.
Even though this Government handled a one in 100 year pandemic extraordinarily well.
Or has put into place reforms that have caused Greenhouse emissions to peak and which have been declining for a while. As commented on by Marc Daalder:
A drop in greenhouse gas emissions due to Covid-19 measures was sustained well beyond the end of movement restrictions and lockdowns, new data shows.
In fact, climate pollution continued to fall through all of 2022, with the December 2022 quarter delivering the lowest figure in at least nine years barring the period covering the first lockdown, Statistics New Zealand reported on Thursday. While the pace of the decline isn’t yet sufficient to meet New Zealand’s climate goals, it suggests we have well and truly bent the emissions curve and are on our (slow but steady) way to a net-zero economy.
Add to this the formation of the Climate Change Commission and recently announced deals with New Zealand Steel and Fonterra which are the equivalent to taking off the road 300,000 and 120,000 cars respectively. These are deals which National would have no inclination or desire to make.
Or housing. Housing prices which have been a scourge have stabilised and started to decline. Record number of new houses being constructed and an impressive 12,000 new Kainga Ora houses being provided in the past five years are causes for celebration.
Or child poverty. It is accepted that recently reductions in important indicators have stalled, but overall there has been a reduction in these most important of measurements. From 2018 to 2022 the percentage of kids living in households with less than 50% of the median household income after deduction of housing costs have reduced from 22.8% to 15.4%, and the percentage of children living in households with material hardship have decreased from 13.3% to 10.3%. And benefit levels have improved significantly.
Or free school lunches for kids which Act wants to scrap. This is a programme that the Government should be really proud about. After all it results in significantly happier and healthier kids an overall better health quality of live. The most underserved kids benefitted even more than the others. I have no doubt that in the long term the programme will lead to positive lifelong benefits and more equitable outcomes.
Or fair pay agreements. On top of record increases of wages for nurses the introduction of the Fair Pay Agreement system will provide the best change for workers in decades. They will set minimum standards across whole industries so we can win decent work – better pay, hours of work, health and safety, training, and worker input in decision making.
More needs to be done but we need a Labour Government to continue with work in all of these areas. What it has achieved is something that the Government should be proud of.
So what I am asking you to do is be proud about these achievements and be brave with future announcements. Rather than use political tactical reasoning to make policy decisions do what is best and argue the point.
Previous Labour leaders who succeeded have shown what is required. Micky Savage was loved by all for his generosity and understanding, Peter Fraser admired for his direct leadership, Norm Kirk was revered for his desire for New Zealand to be a proud and independent state, David Lange gave us hope and made us smile, Helen Clark was admired for her complete mastery of the job and Jacinda Ardern showed us all that Politics can and should be conducted in a kinder and more generous fashion.
No pressure but you also need to give us hope and confidence and pride. A Labour Party that has these emotions can do anything.
All the best and I will continue to do what I can to make sure that you remain Prime Minister of Aotearoa New Zealand. The alternative fills me with utter dread.