The value of support parties influencing policy

Last week’s debate over zero-hour contracts showed Parliament and support parties like UnitedFuture at their best. The outcome was an end to the nasty practice of zero-hour contracts and a new law which was unanimously supported. The spur for change was the work of UnitedFuture, supported by the Maori Party, over recent with the Minister responsible, Michael Woodhouse. He was more than willing to listen to our concerns and address where he could, and in the end, produced legislation which every party in Parliament was able to support. Yet again, a victory for our approach of incremental change based on principle.

Also last week, voting began on the flag referendum. While UnitedFuture does not have a party position on flag change (I personally favour a change), we do recognise that the referendum is an important opportunity for all New Zealanders – old and new – to have their say. We encourage people to participate and to think about the future, and which flag best reflects the type of country we want to build over coming generations, and then to vote accordingly. This is not an occasion for inciting racial tension, as one party is doing, but for bringing our country together, and we should grasp that chance by all making sure we have our say.

Finally, local body elections occur later this year. UnitedFuture has decided to support candidates wishing to stand for the party in Auckland in particular, but we are also interested in promoting candidates in other areas. So, if you are interested in being a local body candidate to promote UnitedFuture and its policies, please let me or the President know. Local government provides a good opportunity for community involvement, which sits well with our approach of promoting local solutions, where possible, to local issues.

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