100 years and Labour Looking Forward

Nanaia Mahuta

The Labour Party conference was special this year – we are the oldest political party and at a very important milestone in our political journey.

With Andrew Little at the helm, the theme of the conference went back to grassroots – we are ‘For the People’.

Growing levels of poverty and inequality have created a huge divide where the differences are stark, and many people are left out of the opportunities that should be open to all.

It is common now to hear stories of whanau struggling to make ends meet, sleeping in cars, trying to find an affordable, warm home to rent, going without power for the coldest months and insecure employment. That’s why Grant Robertson launched the Future of Work report and the 62 recommendations that we will be adopting as a medium to long-term solution towards investing in the future and supporting all our people to thrive, succeed and contribute to New Zealand’s growth.

There were several fringe meetings inviting speakers to discuss topical issues like; child wellbeing, innovation and technology, lifelong learning and the economy.

We even got in a spot of campaigning for Mt Roskill Labour candidate Michael Wood, and it is clear to see why he is the best candidate to represent the locals in the up-coming by-election. He cares about the community and understands the policy levers that will support transformational change so people can get ahead.

The last word must go to union stalwart and leader Helen Kelly who lost her battle with cancer. She stood up for the working rights of those who deserved a fair go. She will be a leading light to so many of us as we continue to advocate in favour of unionism, collective bargaining and fair workplace relations, we were reminded of her message to ‘be kind’ in the bigger world of politics and the battle we have leading into the 2017 election that advice translates as making sure ‘the ladder is there’ for those who need it most so they can do better, be better, have more because we are a Party that cares!

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