Jacinda Ardern is the hottest political ticket in town.
Her appointment as Leader of the Labour Party has changed everything.
I was very fortunate to be selected as the Deputy Leader, the first Maori in the post.
This position is an honour to hold and while much has been made about the relevance to Maori and Te Tai Tokerau, I have a responsibility to ensure all New Zealanders get a fair deal.
It is not an opportunity I intend to waste.
Within 12 hours of our appointments over $200,00 had been donated to the Party and the total is now over $400,000. More than 2000 new volunteers have signed up to help with our election campaign.
An instant favourite
The Labour Party has a vibe, energy and a momentum that have sent a shock through the political establishment. Jacinda has had instant cut through with women, men and young people across the country.
Much of Jacinda’s appeal is that what you see is what you get.
The optimistic, articulate, intelligent person you see on television is exactly the person you get when you meet her in person. There are no airs and graces.
She is authentic and real, attributes difficult to find in many politicians.
She makes the National Party leadership look bland, boring and stale.
She is a breath of fresh air. A policy launch on a Sunday afternoon was attended by an estimated 400 adoring voters.
A week earlier we’d be lucky to get a couple of dozen attending our events.
The old saying that a week is a long time in politics has rarely been so perfectly illustrated. However, there is much to be done.
On a Saturday afternoon, I met Victor, a 32-year-old, fully-qualified builder, who, along with his partner, has a child.
They have managed to save a bit of money, but in his words, they “are really struggling.”
People are working longer and harder but seem to be getting nowhere.
Victor wants a government that will change the settings to make sure he and his family can get ahead, that they can put more money away and that they will have something to hope for in their future.
The selection of Jacinda and me to these positions in the Labour Party will mean little if we are not in Government to make the changes necessary.
Helping New Zealanders
There are tens of thousands of Victors across New Zealand who we want to help so that he and his family have the fulfilling life they want, without the struggle.
We cannot do it without your support.
Together, Let’s do this.
Kelvin Davis is Member of Parliament elected from Te Tai Tokerau and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party of New Zealand.