Bring on the Election!

Chooohoo #2017 is finally here! And you know why I’m excited? because it’s election year and I’ve been waiting and preparing for this new year to start for some time now. Why? because I’m ready – I’m ready to bring it – bring all of my energy, hope, enthusiasm, intelligence and experience to the fore for the NZ Green Party and stand as a candidate in this year’s election.

To stand up to challenge the  policy settings and direction that this government has the country headed in – which is leading to increasing inequality, hardship, and struggle for far too many New Zealanders. And how do I know this?

I know this because I KNOW the people who are struggling under National. They are in my community, in my networks and many of them are working as hard as they possibly can, working longer hours, away from their kids, just barely able to afford their rent and food, let alone spare cash for kids clothes and sports (or save a house deposit for a mortgage – #yeahright) No matter how hard our generation works – even on two good incomes and university degrees to boot – we just cannot seem to get further ahead.

THIS despite a government that makes out that all the wealth being generated at the top is trickling down to the bottom. Please! The thing is – they get away with saying that because they DONT live at the bottom! And for the ones that have in the past – Paula Bennett being one of them – they have not only systematically ripped to shreds the very social security system that helped them get ahead, they have also knowingly used public policy to hurt people (e.g. economic sanctions for sole parents) and then not monitored and evaluated the impact that this has had on medium to long term wellbeing (particularly on children). Absolutely disgraceful. And definitely NOT good governance or good enough, in my view, for New Zealanders.

On top of that we have a looming global environmental crisis on our hands and a government that’s unwilling and too scared to take meaningful action on #climatechange. This despite the fact that we are one of the so-called ‘closest friends’ to the very Pacific Island nations and peoples who are going to be the worst affected by rising sea levels. Once upon a time New Zealand was a leader in multi-lateral international affairs. It looks to me that increasingly, under National, we have become predominantly ‘opportunists’ – we jump at anything that might strike us a trade deal and will use any means necessary (contract for services – saudi sheep deal anyone) to influence positive free trade outcomes. As far as I’m concerned (as a former NZ diplomat), that’s a short-sighted strategy, that’s not ethical or in line with things we expect of our developing country partners. So how does that work, Murray? #notcool

For those of us in our 20s, 30s (me) and 40s, we are going be spending the next 10 to 20 years paying for the social consequences and damage that this government has done to a whole generation of kids. Whatever measure you use, we have a child poverty crisis on our hands. How many more years before the true costs of that become evident? And where will Paula, Bill and John (who has already checked out because he can see what’s coming) be then? They’ll probably be doing what Marie Antoinette did so well back in 18th century France – telling us all to eat cake – and work harder.

It’s time for us rise up New Zealand. National has gone too far and it’s time to bring in a Labour-Greens government that can a) clean up the mess National has made and b) take ALL of us forward by equally valuing social and environmental outcomes WITH economic outcomes – which is totally possible in this day in age! And if you doubt me – hold me to account! Cause I’ve got as much skin in this game as you have – a lot to lose and very little to gain. It’s time for change – let’s #bringit!