Two Parties, Two Events, One Election

National and Labour come to Indian Newslink Party

Venkat Raman –

One of the most endearing aspects of New Zealand politics is its simple and honest politicians, irrespective of the Party they represent. From Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Ministers and Members of Parliament, they are all accessible, easy-to-converse and understand. They are also down-to-earth people who are aware that someday when would be ordinary New Zealanders again.

Such was the environment at the launch of the Electionlink pages of Indian Newslink held at Raviz Restaurant in Botany Junction, Auckland for the National and Labour Parties respectively on Monday, February 27, 2017 and Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Both days brought together supporters, volunteers, businesspersons and other special guests.

National Day

Prime Minister Bill English led the team on February 27 with Ethnic Communities Minister Judith Collins, Pacific People’s Minister Alfred Ngaro and Land Information Minister Mark Mitchell. Among the National Members of Parliament present were Tim Macindoe (also a Director on the Party’s Board) , Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Melissa Lee, Jami-Lee Ross, Chris Bishop, Jono Nayler and Dr Parmjeet Parmar. National Party Directors Alastair Bell and Andrew Hunt were also present.

It was an evening of humour and serious talks, with Mr English recounting his recent experiences as Prime Minister (since December 12, 2016).

He was confident that he would lead National into the fourth term, sighting the achievements of the National government since November 2008.

“The economy is stronger than ever, we have more people on jobs, less on benefit, we have invested substantially in health, education, law and order and other core sectors. People do not want a change,” he told the gathering.

Labour Day

Fresh from victory at Mt Albert (where a by-election was held on February 25) and Mt Roskill (on December 3, 2016), Labour Leader Andrew Little had reason to be jubilant, with renewed confidence. He appeared positive of victory in the ensuing general election.

That enthusiasm was shared by a number of his Parliamentary colleagues present at the Electionlink launch. They included Grant Robertson, Phil Twyford, Jacinda Arden, Carmel Sepuloni, David Parker, Su’a William Sio, Sure Moroney, Stuart Nash, Louisa Wall and Michael Wood. David Cunliffe, who has announced that he would not seek re-election and Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Labour’s Candidate at Maungakiekie proved to be good conversationalists.

“National Party will win again in general election 2017.”

“People have had enough. Labour will form the next government.”

The two divergent views, made wider and louder by other political players in the fortnights to come, would make up our Electionlink pages from here to the general election on September 23, 2017, when the verdict at the polls would determine who occupies the Beehive and the Treasury benches in Parliament.

Until then, we would do our job of reporting, analysing and commenting on the evolution of policies and programmes from both sides of the political spectrum.

More detailed reports with additional pictures will appear in our next issue dated March 15, 2017.

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