A message sent out by Nanaia Mahuta last night to all Labour members.
We finished the membership husting meetings in South Auckland last night and it is clear that we need to make necessary changes to become Government. Members have identified a number of issues that must be addressed to restore trust and earn the confidence of voters.
We must commit to getting out House in order:
Under my leadership there will be a clear expectation that our sole objective is to promote the values and policies of our Labour Party. We need to utilize the diverse skill set of our caucus and continue to modernise our party organisation and fundraising capacity to be campaign ready for 2017.
The perception of factional interests is not helpful to our cause and it is my view that greater accountability between that Parliamentary and Party Wings will be required in order to achieve greater discipline. Our LECs may well have a constructive role in this process. We will need to change the way in which caucus operates and the external response should be that we are fresh, energized and reaching out to people, communities and stakeholder groups in different ways.
The benchmark for success should be a change in external perception about the way we are presenting as a Party that is in step with the lives of ordinary New Zealanders who seek a fair go.
We must review our Policies:
Our Party has a robust policy development process. We need to define the ideas that will help make New Zealand a better place to live, raise children and support economic growth.
I believe that our point of difference is that in standing up for a fair and decent society we champion the need to reduce inequality. We will advocate towards an inclusive economy that will go hand in hand with caring for the environment and working for those who are most vulnerable. We can show that our point of difference is that in upholding the value of fairness, we will ensure that the ladder of aspiration and opportunity is there for everyone as they move from one rung to the next and we will not pull it up or leave anyone behind.
We must put People and Communities First
Our strength has always been connected to our working class origins and our grass-roots approach in relating to people. We have a proud legacy and we can redefine our relevance to workers and people in the productive sector as we seek to earn the confidence of more New Zealanders.
We can utilise the next three years to get alongside and engage with community, business, iwi, industry, education, health and social sector organisations to listen and respond to the issues that require new solutions.
We must be a strong and constructive voice in Opposition
Members were unanimous in their expectation that we must be relentless in holding the Government to account. We need to push for accountability and transparency in decision-making and not associate with the tactics that have brought all politicians into disrepute.
I believe that we cannot be distracted by the politics of personality and must be focused on the issues that will lift outcomes for ordinary people.
The measure of our success will be when people are talking about our ideas and solutions and criticising the lack of action by the Government.
The Way Forward
I have discerned that members are confronting the choice of leader with sober reflection. We are in unchartered waters, our Party vote has declined since 2005 when Labour was accused of no longer listening and therefore could not be trusted. While I have some personal insight into this time, like the effects of decisions in the 1980’s we either learn from past mistakes or we are doomed to repeat them.
I believe that we can make the necessary changes to clear the way and move forward. Your support means that you have determined to change from the old style of politics towards this approach.