Elections NZ 2017: Let’s Do This and Vote Wisely

By SUGA Magazine / Published on Sunday, 03 Sep 2017 13:12 PM / No Comments / 509 views
Labours Louisa Wall, Jacinda Ardern (Leader), Kelvin Davis (Deputy)

You’ve all heard it before, “It doesn’t matter who you vote for, as long as you vote” – I would beg to differ, who you vote for really does matter.

At the last New Zealand elections, I voted National. They weren’t a bad choice. Economically (by global standards) National did well for New Zealand.

BUT, this has come at the cost of things equally important such as our environment and the quality of life for vulnerable Kiwis. As far as I can see, National tried to do what they set out to do and it is now time for a change – to address the issues they neglected throughout their three terms.

When Jacinda Ardern was announced new leader of the Labour Party, like a breath of fresh air, she changed the dynamic of the New Zealand 2017 elections. Ardern possesses an authenticity, relatability and purpose-driven charisma that one instantly recognizes as the makings of a great leader.  

But are these qualities enough and how do we go about deciding who to vote for from there?

Don’t get distracted by the wrong issues.

Focus on issues and policies that directly relate to you.

Consider what you truly want from your government.

Think of your personal goals over the next three to five years and identify which party’s policies would best support you to achieve them.

Consider the needs of your immediate community.

Which government would respond to their needs best?

Jacinda talks to MIT students – Leaders of tomorrow | Photo Aupito William Sio FB

Here are the Labour policies that have swayed my vote:

Labour’s Education Policy will benefit myself and many other people I know. More importantly, it can begin to address the unemployment statistics in our community.

Labour’s Housing Policy will address the ever growing issue of homelessness in this country.

Ending Secondary Tax will have a positive impact on Pacific households who work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

Labour’s Clean Rivers Policy will develop practical steps to ensure our children can go swimming without fear of water contamination.

Labour’s Policy to officially recognize the five main Pacific languages used in New Zealand through the NZ education system, would mean that my daughter will have a better chance of retaining my mother tongue.

You will hear that these policies are too high level, too far-fetched and cannot be guaranteed. And the fact is, we cannot guarantee Labour policies any more than we can guarantee National’s. What we CAN do is to consider their promises and hold the party we elect accountable. That is the beauty of being a democracy. Should they fail to deliver in three years, we can use our vote once again to replace them.

“The Jacinda Effect” – South Auckland | Photo Credit Nick Bakulich

As members of our respective communities, we have a duty to our children, our families and friends to ensure we are voting for a government that best responds to our collective needs. Who you vote for matters because it will influence your experience and the experiences of others in this country, for the next three years.

So choose wisely and when you have decided, consider sharing your knowledge with others, so they too can feel empowered to make an informed decision. There is power in your vote but even more power in numbers, so together, let’s vote for the benefit of our community!

-Numalani Fonoti

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Enrol, check, update – From Overseas

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