As part of the NZ Labour leadership election, the candidates are able to email the party membership and sell themselves. Knowing how messy Labour’s membership list can be, I thought I’d reproduce the emails in case anyone wants to use them to make up their mind, but missed getting them.
Here they are, in the order that I received them.
Grant Robertson – New Generation
I am writing to you to seek your support to be the next Leader of the Labour Party. I don’t do so lightly, knowing the task that lies before us, but if you give me this honour I commit to rebuilding our movement and reconnecting with New Zealanders.
I’m proud of the core values of our party to give everyone a fair go, the opportunity to make the most of their potential and the obligation to look after each other. But, like many of you, I heard the message on the doorstep that some New Zealanders had lost their connection to us. Building on our values we have to re-assert our purpose, and be consistent, bold and clear in standing up for all New Zealanders.
To rebuild our movement we must first listen. Not just to ourselves, but also those beyond our party. I am proposing a Labour in the Community programme. An on-going engagement between our party and the people we serve. This will have succeeded when New Zealanders see us as a relevant, liked and valued part of their community, not just when we ask for their vote at election time.
Now, more than ever, we must be a party that faces the future. We cannot rely on past glories or wallow in old conflicts. We must have the confidence to lead the world in facing up to the emerging issues of our time. In reducing inequalities, addressing climate change and applying new technologies there are great challenges and huge opportunities.
Above all, we must be on the side of our people. We need to talk less about ourselves and focus clearly on the concerns of our communities. We need to be the party for education, for health and for housing. We need to build a coalition of workers, entrepreneurs and small business people – those who work, think make and create.
To do all of this we need a new generation of leadership. After six years in Parliament I believe I have the experience to do this job, and the energy and fresh ideas to inspire. We have the talent in our team to take it to the government, and to re-build our movement. Together we can make a difference to the lives of New Zealanders.
If you want to make contact and ask questions or let me know your thoughts, please email me,email@example.com. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible over the coming weeks.
“Grant is a person who is very well grounded, confident in who he is without being arrogant or pretentious. He knows and lives Labour principles…”
“Grant was born in Palmerston North in 1971 and grew up in South Dunedin, the youngest of three boys in a middle class Presbyterian family…”
Nanaia Mahuta – Stronger Together
As a member of the Labour Party you will soon be asked to make an important decision about which person you believe has the leadership qualities that will best take our Party and country forward.
We are at a challenging point in the political history of our Party. We find ourselves in the situation of having to earn back the confidence of New Zealanders, retake our position as a Party that stands for growth, aspiration, opportunity, equality, and be the voice of clarity that New Zealanders can count on to fight for a fair and decent society.
I am seeking your support to lead the type of change that we as Labour members and New Zealanders can be proud of. As your Leader I will:
- Institute change where it is required;
- Build a cohesive, unified Labour Party grounded in and led by our vision for all New Zealanders to achieve their potential;
- Review our policy platform so that we are all of one mind, one voice on the key issues that matter;
- Articulate who we are and what we stand for in the MMP environment;
- Lead with integrity, commitment, authenticity and fairness; and
- Require a disciplined caucus with its sights firmly set on becoming Government.
My goal is for Labour to be Government. To achieve this we must be an aligned team that is clear about its purpose to be a strong Opposition. We have to demonstrate that we are a credible stable alternative Government. We must earn the confidence of voters. We have work to do and it starts with us.
Since 2005 our Party vote has steadily declined. We are not inspiring the confidence of voters and the serious perception is that we must do more to connect with New Zealanders and the issues that are important to them. To do this we must:
– Redefine the Party in order to return to core values that our public relates to and is proud to champion; and
– Unify our Party; our success depends upon our ability to work as a united team.
I would expect that every caucus member would see themselves as accountable to the Party to achieve our objective to become Government. That means a disciplined approach to connecting with people in their communities, getting alongside and leading campaigns for change, building organizational capacity to strengthen our ability to campaign, and be absolutely congruent to the values of the Labour Party. As your Leader I would require greater transparency to the Party for that activity and expect to deliver the same in return. We will be returning to a back to basics approach building from the grass roots up.
I am ready to lead a Labour Party that cares about the state of our environment, wants economic opportunity to benefit more people, supports opportunity and innovation, and helps hardworking people to get ahead.
About the Values I represent
I have long believed that Labour is a Party of aspiration and opportunity. We all have a Labour story that connects us to our working class roots and the opportunities that have emerged from applying our values of a fair and decent society where all people can climb the ladder of opportunity, and where we support growth for more people in an equal society.
I entered Parliament as a List MP in 1996 and have spent most of my adult life in politics. I have held ministerial portfolios and served on a raft of Select committees. As an MP I have successfully won my electorate five times, including in the aftermath of the foreshore and seabed issue which caused huge electoral damage to Labour. This period required transparent and accountable leadership to my electorate and the Party in a way that preserved the integrity of the changes I affected using the process available to me.
I maintain relationships with key decision-makers and influencers of change in my electorate which has weathered the ups and the downs of the political cycle. My leadership style is to build a team based on a common objective and maintaining focus on the important issues. My experiences have taught me that being able to listen, connect, problem solve, be decisive and draw on strengths of people are some of the essential elements to take people forward but, more importantly, authenticity of relationships are crucial to building trust and confidence.
Vote for Change
The election outcome was not the one we had hoped for, many people campaigned for the vision of a better life where more people could thrive, achieve, work and have security. I, like you, believe that when our country thrives we can all do well and no-one is left behind. We are all stronger when we work together.
HON NANAIA MAHUTA MP
It’s Time for Unifying Change and I Have a Plan – David Parker
I am writing to you to ask you to vote for me as your Leader of the Labour Party.
My experience as a senior Minister and in law, accounting and business gives me the conviction, real life experience and steel in my backbone to do the job.
I am standing because I want to lead Labour forward to once again share the hopes and aspirations of working New Zealanders – to lead a party we can all be proud of and one New Zealanders will be proud to vote for. We must look outwards not inwards.
Right now big structural problems face NZ. Our economy isn’t fair. The problems we face nationally are not going to go away. That why it’s vital we have a strong opposition over the next three years and a united Labour Party. I can stand up to John Key and I have a plan to lead Labour to win in 2017.
- We must unite caucus and the party around our common goal of fair economic outcomes for everyone.
- We must start fresh conversations that focus on the priorities of working New Zealanders.
- We must focus on answering the tough questions in a way that unites the country toward a better future.
- We must live up to our responsibilities so New Zealanders feel proud to vote Labour.
Put simply, I believe in a fair go and a fair share. I have the experience, the smarts and the passion to lead that change. I know how to build a better New Zealand – have no doubt about it.
Help me to deliver fair economic outcomes for all New Zealanders by entrusting me with your vote. Labour people are ambitious and optimistic. We know what we need to do. It’s time to get started.
I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail.
Labour is the party that was built by working Kiwis – Andrew Little
Labour is the party that was built by working Kiwis for working Kiwis. We are still that party.
But we have to get our house in order. Because if we don’t then all we have is a bunch of good intentions gone to waste.
We need to fix the machine. We need to bring the pieces of the Labour movement back together and focus them on winning government and making changes we need to to build a fair society.
It’s a big task but it’s one we need to address one step at a time. First we need a caucus that communicates effectively within itself and with focus. Getting to that point will be the first job for the new Leader. Then the Leader and caucus need to reach out to the party and ensure they work well within themselves. Then we need to work alongside our affiliates.
We must find a common cause, within the movement, and with the many, many New Zealanders who want something better for themselves and for their families.
If we don’t find common cause as a movement we will never earn the trust of New Zealanders.
I can do this. I have done this before.
When I became the leader of the EPMU, one of New Zealand’s largest and most powerful unions, it was a house divided. I led the project to bring it together, to modernise it, to bring through new talent. I built a union which took our member’s issues out to the public, to the media, and won the argument again and again. We covered a lot of ground and during that time I dealt with organisations from small business to New Zealand’s biggest corporates on many different issues.
The one unifying thing, across all of these issues, was fairness. We got fair outcomes for our members and for New Zealand workers across the board because we worked together.
We are a party of immensely talented people. But right now we’re working as individuals, not as a collective movement.
We must fix this. We can.
We need to regain New Zealanders’ trust. We need them to know that when we make a promise, we can deliver. We need them to know we stand for them and their ambitions. Not just against what’s wrong but for what is right.
As part of that we must acknowledge the trust Māori put in Labour in delivering us six of the the seven Māori seats. They are our voters and we must make good on their return to us. We must ensure that Māori are represented well within Labour and that advancing their aspirations is a cornerstone of our Party. That’s what being representative is about.
People have asked me why I’m standing. I’m standing because I believe in Labour’s values. I believe in fairness and justice for workers, for families, for all New Zealanders. People aren’t getting a fair go right now, and I won’t tolerate a society in which the very few at the top gain at the expense of the many.
I won’t tolerate a society in which good jobs are destroyed and replaced with insecure work, in which people in the middle are squeezed tighter and tighter by the cost of living and have no way to get ahead. A society in which those at the bottom fall off the edge of the cliff.
These are the principles I have stood for throughout my life and they have been at the core of how I have led. They are the principles that the Labour Party embodies.
But to stand up for those principles we must be a united Party with new ideas and a real plan to win back the trust of New Zealanders.
I can bring the party together. I have the track record to prove it.
I’m asking you to vote for me as number 1 on your ballot so we can rebuild and win. Together
Andrew Little MP