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'Choose a Party you can Trust?'

31 October 2008

'Choose a Party you can Trust?'

By Su'a William Sio, Labour MP

Mangere Labour Candidate

This coming Saturday, 8 November is Election Day and I am urging everyone in our communities to get out and vote.

This is going to be a significant election for our communities such as Mangere. You will have two votes. One vote will decide which Party you want to lead government and your other vote will decide who you want to be your local Member of Parliament.

The Party vote will decide who you want to lead New Zealand into the future. There are only two choices and I am asking you to decide whether you want a Labour-led government or a National-led one.

To help you make this important decision I am calling on all our communities to consider who you can trust in this general election. There have been a lot of promises & criticisms made by National and its supporters (Act, United Future, NZ Pacific Party, Family First Party, Kiwi Party) and I put it to you now, can you really trust them?

Can you really trust them with the future of our families? Can you really trust them to support our communities in Mangere and throughout Manukau City? Can you really trust them with the future of our nation?

While it may be difficult to read what a politician is thinking about, or see what's in a person's heart, we can make judgments based on words, deeds and past performance. Past performance is a good indicator of how they'll act in the future.

Let's consider the KiwiSaver scheme which now has 827,000 kiwis signed up on it, including thousands of workers in Mangere and throughout our city. This is a savings scheme which belongs to you, and your employers can contribute up to 4% of your savings. National voted against this initiative. Now National is talking about keeping KiwiSaver but reducing the employer contribution to your savings by 2%. Can you really trust them to keep KiwiSaver at all after the elections?

Labour in government introduced the Working for Families initiative. National voted against it. This initiative helps thousands of working families who have children make ends meet in these difficult times. If National voted against it, can you really trust them to keep it beyond 2009?

Labour with support from its coalition partners introduced cheaper doctor visits. National voted against it. When National talks about 'capping or removing wastage' in the public sector, what does that really mean? Can we really trust them to keep our health system in public ownership, or will National and their wealthy friends privatize it?

20 hours free pre-school is such an important Labour initiative for our young children and working families. National voted against it too. Can we trust them to keep investing in early childhood education for our young people? Can we trust them to keep investing in our public education system? Can we trust them to invest in development, salaries of teachers & other school support staff?

National is talking about selling off state houses to existing state house tenants. National also did this in the 1990s. If you weren't able to buy the state house you were living in during that period, what makes you think you are going to be able to buy a house now under this National policy? National sold off those state houses to the business sector and left the tenants to pay market rents to the landlords.

Can you really trust National to look after the future of our families, our communities and this nation of ours? I don't think so.

We are facing uncertain times with the world experiencing economic problems. That's why Labour will introduce a new Job Search Allowance for people who are made redundant from their jobs, if they have been in the workforce for five years or more. This new benefit will not be means-tested against your partner's income. We believe it's important that the government is there to support you and help you find your feet when you suddenly find your job has gone. Can you trust National to give you that same security? I don't think so.

At the end of the day it is your choice. For me the choice is clear.

Labour has a proven track record of working for all our communities. Labour works hard for Maori, Pacific, Asian, Europeans, all our communities, all our families young and old.

Labour provides strong and good leadership for our country. The Labour team is committed to working for the benefit of all New Zealanders.. Helen Clark, Michael Cullen, Phil Goff, Annette King, Parekura Horomia, Pete Hodgson, Chris Carter, David Cunliffe, Nanaia Mahuta, Luamanuvao Winnie Laban and many others.

Helen Clark is rated as New Zealand's best prime minister this country has ever had. She is an experienced, intelligent and hard working leader. The kind of leader that you can count on in difficult times, who is able to make the hard decisions. A leader who says what she believes in and acts on it. A leader who believes in giving people a fair go. A leader who works for all people, irrespective of culture, language, colour, economic circumstance or religious belief. She engages with everyone, young and old, and she believes in taking everyone forward and leaving no one behind.

Helen Clark is a leader who uses her strong leadership for the good of our country and its people. And despite being the Prime Minister of New Zealand, I have seen her wash her own dishes and do her own ironing. She is dedicated to her elderly parents and her extended family, and does not allow the baubles of power to affect how she treats ordinary people. She values social justice, families, equality and freedoms of speech & religion for all people.

In my view, Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, is someone that I trust will lead our nation through these difficult economic times and will ensure that the young, the old, the sick, the poor and the vulnerable will be looked after.

It is your choice, so on Saturday, 8th November, I hope you'll do the right thing for your family, our community and our country, and make the right choice. Choose a party you can trust.

When Labour MP Dover Samuels said his final speech a day before parliament adjourned for the general elections, he said, "To all the political parties, let the games begin and keep it clean." He then looked around at all the political leaders in the House and said, "And may the best woman win."


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