You would have seen Labour’s election message by now – Vote Positive.
When we chose it months ago, we felt that it represented Labour well, but never dreamed how appropriate it would be for this election in particular.
In one of the dirtiest election campaigns New Zealand has ever seen, I am proud of our ‘Vote Positive’ message. We have not become caught up in the sludge.
The revelations in ‘Dirty Politics’ reflect badly on the National government.
But in the next two weeks, the details will be forgotten and we would have chosen the government that will be with us, making the big decisions that affect our lives for three years.
My hope is that New Zealanders will base that important decision on policy.
Labour currently has some of the strongest policies in my living memory.
Most New Zealand parents believe class sizes are too big: we will train 2000 more teachers so that children get more time with them. The smaller the class, the more time teachers would have to devote to their students, and improve their teaching practise.
We will address the housing shortage and make sure that New Zealand is once again a place where people who work hard can own their own home. We will also help Kiwis into their first homes by building 100,000 quality modern starter homes.
Hot energy policy
New Zealanders pay too much for electricity. Our whole power industry is outdated, unfair, and needs an overhaul. Labour’s innovative NZ Power policy will bring down household power bills by hundreds of dollars a year.
We will extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks so that our children get the very best start in life and the country reaps social and economic benefits later on.
Labour is committed to good jobs, decent work conditions and fair wages driven by a high-performing economy. That includes increasing the minimum wage to $16.25.
We will grow a strong economy through solid and stable economic management.
We will broaden our economy to create smart, high-value jobs and exports, so that Kiwis can raise healthy, happy families, have well-paid and secure jobs, and the chance to buy their own homes.
All our policies are carefully costed and funded. Labour will balance the budget and run surpluses every year.
We will reduce net debt faster than the current government and pay off National’s record debt by the end of our second term.
National Party Leader John Key recently said that an election should be a contest of ideas. On that, I wholeheartedly agree. Look at Labour’s policies and ideas – they win hands-down.
David Shearer is elected Member of Parliament from Mt Albert Constituency in Auckland is the Labour Party Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Energy.