There has never been a better time than now to be a National Party member.
The popularity of Party Leader and Prime Minister John Key is at a record level and the Party is consistently rated above 50% in all opinion polls.
The message to more than 650 delegates who attended the Party’s Annual Conference held in Auckland’s Sky City Convention Centre on July 17 and 18 (2010) was loud and clear: “Stay focused on growing the economy, promoting better law and order, raising education standards and reducing the hospital waiting lists.”
These were some of the issues of the National Party’s 2008 General Election Campaign and since forming the Government, it has introduced statutes, policies, programmes and practices to deliver on those promises.
A Party in Government cannot choose a fight; that is the prerogative and will of the Opposition.
Credit to National
All actions, deeds and thoughts of a Government should be in the larger interest of the country and directed to benefit a majority (if not all) of people.
The fact that the New Zealand economy felt the least jolt of the global financial crisis and recession and the fact that it recovered faster than expected (and certainly faster than other economies) is a tribute to the confidence that Mr Key and his Council of Ministers have been able to instil in the economy.
It is also a testimony to his competence and leadership skills.
In a straightforward message to the Regional Chairs & Deputy Chairs and Electorate Chairs, Mr Key said, “Take your local MPs to places where they normally do not visit.” He wants an in depth outreach of National Party so that all views are heard.
In a democracy, not all voters would agree with everything that a government does.
It is good to have difference of opinion and healthy debates.
The Party’s volunteers and elected officials must extend their hands of friendship to everyone in the community and spread the Prime Minister’s message on issues that matter the most to ordinary New Zealanders.
This has been my belief since long and I have conscientiously been trying to build a bridge of friendship within the community.
Ethnic communities are divided not only over political ideologies but also on personality cult, personal rivalry and worst of all, self-centredness and egotism.
It is time for the ethnic people to look at what is best for the community and the country, irrespective of their political ideologies and the strength of their wallets.
Our community comprises of people who have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and of those born here.
In my opinion, we should leave behind what was not good in our societies back home, and draw on all that is good and noble.
We are one people here – not Fiji-Indian, India-born Indian, North or South Indian.
We are Indian New Zealanders. That is our common ground, and only in unity is there strength.
Our nation of 4.5 million people can achieve prosperity only when we give more than what we take; serve more than what we are served; and sell more overseas than what we buy.
There is no single silver bullet to attain economic prosperity. I strongly believe that the ethnic communities have a major role to play in achieving that prosperity if they stay united.
The Prime Minister’s announcement extending the 90-day probation period to all workplaces, changes to the Holidays Act, and more employer-friendly personal grievance procedures is one piece of the puzzle.
There was a gathering of people protesting outside the Sky City Convention Centre when the scheme was announced.
The simple question one needs to ask is, “Why would an employer go through the process of recruiting someone, invest in training and fire at the end of 90 days?”
There is no evidence that the 90-day probation announced last year was misused in large scale.
(Editor’s Note: See related story under Businesslink in this issue).
A TVNZ Reporter (for the Q&A Programme) asked a delegate if he would put his house as a bet on National winning the Election in 2011.
His reply was, “Mate, I will – my house, boat, car, in fact everything that I own. National Party will return to form the Second-Term Government. Have no doubt about it.”
That statement not only reflected the mood of the National Party members and supporters but also the performance of the Government since November 2008.
Ram Rai is a Citizen’s & Ratepayers candidate for Puketapapa (Mt Roskill) Local Board in the forthcoming Auckland Council Elections. He can be reached on 021-655922. Email: email@example.com