I wish you good health, good food and good times with those you love during this holiday season.
I hope it is a relaxing and meaningful time for you, as it has been for me, with my wife Anuschka, our children and extended family in Auckland and away in Northland.
I must say that after the historic election loss of 2014, it feels great to enter a New Year with a fresh slate.
This year, in addition to my role as Foreign Affairs Spokesman, I will be Labour’s Spokesman for Consumer Affairs.
New Zealand is known for its strong sense of fair play. If you feel that you are not getting a fair go from your supermarket or power company, let me know.
I will write more about this in my next column.
Meanwhile, Andrew Little has made a very strong start as Labour’s new leader.
We are in good spirits – and looking forward.
He is preparing an important State off The Nation speech for later this month – keep an eye out for it.
Supporting working New Zealanders will be a top priority for Labour this year.
We have launched ‘The Future of Work Commission’ to investigate policies that will help hardworking New Zealanders who are feeling the squeeze when they should not be.
People on middle incomes, people running their own small businesses and people working on contracts are mostly overlooked by current government policies and we aim to change that.
A new international report has shown that New Zealand and Mexico have the two most unequal economies in the OECD, which is holding our economy back.
We do not want to live in a society where only the very rich are comfortable, while everyone else works hard and struggles.
Getting the balance right in our economy will be another strong focus for Labour throughout 2015.
As a good opposition should, we will also be holding the National government to account – all the more important when (Prime Minister) John Key and several of his ministers are already being criticised for overconfidence this early in a new term.
Whatever happens in the 2015 political year, you will read about it here in my fortnightly Indian Newslink column.
In the meantime, I wish you a relaxing, safe and peaceful holiday season with those who are most important to you.
David Shearer is elected Member of Parliament from Mt Albert. He is Labour Party Spokesman for Foreign Affairs and Consumer Affairs. Read our Editorials, ‘New Year begins on positive notes’ ‘Unbiased Media vital for Democracy’ under Viewlink.