New Zealand is at crossroads and we all have a part to play in choosing the right direction.
Epsom is set to a pivotal battleground for the election on November 26.
I am delighted to have been selected to contest Epsom for the Labour Party.
There is a fight to be had for the future of our country and I am rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck in for the country that I love.
Political decisions have real life consequences. Just look at what has happened in England with riots and looting, and then consider the bind the US is in after years of mismanagement under (former President George W) Bush.
I believe that the Act Party, now led by Dr Don Brash, following his and John Bank’s bizarre takeover while not even members of the Party – are extremists.
Their vision for New Zealand is as divisive and repugnant as that of Hone Harawira at the other extreme.
Labour will not work with either of them.
The record of Dr Brash on race issues is appalling, and should be called for what it is. The veneer of civilisation is thinner than we care to admit in every country.
D Brash’s irresponsible rhetoric and misrepresentation on issues like Foreshore and Seabed when he was the Leader of the National Party were irresponsible and encouraged racial intolerance.
He has often played the race card to advance his other political ends.
He had earlier politicised the constitutionally independent Reserve Bank of New Zealand. His policies would lead to economic divisions and racial disharmony, which would leave us all poorer and unhappy.
A real choice
Labour is determined to give the voters of Epsom a choice. In a democracy, voters deserve to be shown respect by giving them the choice of who they vote for. National and Act are taking the people of Epsom for granted and treating them like sheep to try and construct an outcome that brings MMP into disrepute – to bring Act into Parliament, with disproportionate influence, on the coattails of Epsom.
This happened last election with Rodney Hide, the self-proclaimed ‘perk buster’ who subsequently embarrassed himself, and Act, to the annoyance of those who elected them.
Do the electors of Epsom want to repeat that mistake by again electing Act?
New Zealand has structural problems. Yes, the current Government is running a large deficit of $16.7 billion this year, in part because its tax cuts were unaffordable. This deficit must be reversed. But despite that, New Zealand’s government debt is low, because Labour ran surpluses for eight years. We had no Government debt when National took over in November 2008.
Labour was and is fiscally responsible.
New Zealand’s bigger economic problem lies in our high private debt. It keeps growing because we import more than we export. For decades, our current account deficit has added to our net debt each year.
Structural problems need structural solutions. Change nothing and nothing changes.
A coherent plan
Labour believes that New Zealand needs to save more, invest more in the productive export sector and export more. Our proposed changes to tax, savings and monetary policy are needed, which Labour would bring.
Labour has a coherent plan for the growth of our economy. It enables tax cuts for a majority of New Zealanders, paid for by taxing capital gains at a moderate rate. This is both fair and will improve the economy by directing more of our investment capital into the productive export sector, rather than the speculative sector. We will make sure that all New Zealanders, rich and poor play their part in this recovery.
I am standing for Labour in Epsom at the election, because the outcome of that seat is critical to all New Zealanders. I want New Zealand to be a great place for our children to grow. I am therefore driven to try and stop the likes of Dr Brash being returned to Parliament.
This is a fight for the future of New Zealand.
David Parker is Member of Parliament on Labour List and the Party’s Economic Development Spokesperson and Shadow Attorney General. Labour recently announced his candidature from Epsom, a constituency to watch in the ensuing General Election.