This weekend just gone there was a conference in Wellington for Labour candidates to get us all up to speed with the campaign. We’re ready to go.
As a first time candidate, it was extremely useful to learn from some of the more experienced campaigners; from those who knew about electoral law1; and from those with more specialist skills. It was great to meet more of the very diverse array of candidates Labour has put forward, with a wide variety of experience and backgrounds. And it was very encouraging to hear those running the campaign speak with passion about how we can win; and to hear Phil Goff speak strongly about those for whom we need to win the election.
We need to win for those on average wages, who are struggling to find a loan to pay private doctors, after the 8 hour wait to get their daughter’s broken arm to be fixed was too long; those whose fixed bills leave them far too short for food at the end of the week; and those who need a little extra help to stay in their homes, but it’s now being denied them. We need to win to save the assets our ancestors built up from being sold off. We need to win so we don’t have a lost generation of unemployed young people while we bring in foreigners to rebuild Christchurch because we’ve not up-skilled our own citizens.
So the message was heartily received: go out there and win it in the community. The central campaign will try some different things to break the media narrative; but if we each do the work in our electorates, convincing ordinary New Zealanders on the ground of our merits and National’s dangers, we will have a Labour-led government in November.
It is ultimately up to all of us who want that Labour-led government to go out and make it happen.
1 Electoral law is complicated: a very sincere thank-you to John Key for making it much easier for us to do all our electoral finance sums etc by declaring the election date early.