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Turei: 2014 election campaign close

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei’s speech - Green Party 2014 election campaign close

Metiria Turei MP on Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 13:27

Today we stand on the cusp of something awesome - the first ever Green Party in Government in New Zealand.

Change - real change - is literally hours away. I can feel the bristling urgency and hope, can't you?

The truth is that change can't come soon enough - for our rivers, for our kids, for our climate, for our economy.

For six long years we have watched the National Government take New Zealand in the wrong direction.

We are the tiny country at the bottom of the world that can, but we have been held back for six years by a vision-less Government that just wont.

National has been bad for New Zealand.

It's treated our rivers and lakes like dumping grounds.

It's driven 35,000 more kids into poverty.

It's pollution economy has delivered environmental degradation, low wages and missed opportu-nities too numerous to mention.

John Key's entire campaign is based on the message that this is as good as it gets.

How unambitious for New Zealand.

Well, my friends, the Green Party has much, much greater plans for Aotearoa New Zealand.

This Saturday, Election Day, we take our beautiful, loveable Aotearoa back.

The Green Party has campaigned this election on a three-fold promise - a cleaner, fairer, smarter New Zealand.

Our plan is for a New Zealand whose rivers and beaches are clean and swimmable, where every one of our kids has enough to thrive, and where our economy is robust and innovative and works for everyone.

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That is the promise that we have made to New Zealand.

And that is the promise we will deliver upon in Government.

The Green team is in good heart and great spirits - just look at our MPs and candidates.

That is my kind of team.

We're not #Team Norman or #Team Turei.

We're a team of highly competent equals, full of integrity, honesty and an abiding love for Aotea-roa New Zealand.

While other political parties have fought, floundered, fluctuated and fudged, the Greens have gotten on with doing what we do best - putting forward a vision and a plan for a cleaner, fairer, smarter New Zealand.

And that's worked.

We are the fastest growing political movement in New Zealand.

Both our membership and volunteer base are the biggest and strongest they've ever been.

This election we have run our biggest ever ground campaign, making over 15 times the numbers of phone calls we made in 2011 and knocking on tens of thousands of doors.

One in every five of these face to face conversations secures us a Green vote.

And that is why our polling puts us on track for 15 percent of the vote, meaning six new Green MPs in parliament this Saturday - 20 in total.

We stand today on our record, not hype.

We have led the opposition for the last three years and we are ready to lead in Government.

This is within our grasp.

We have the policies to transform our economy and build a stronger New Zealand - one in which we are mindful of others and mindful of our ecological limits.

The opportunity to do that great work is but hours away.

Someone once sang that it's not easy being Green.

I disagree.

The incredible support we've been getting from people up and down the country makes it really easy.

From the heart of South Auckland to the farmers market of Dunedin.

From gatherings at Parihaka to university campuses in Christchurch - we have been getting a lot of love.

People are ready for positive Green change.

Election campaigns mean lots of panels and lots of interviews, and one of the most common things I get asked is what do you most want to achieve if in Government?

The answer for me has always been simple.

When in government, I will do every single thing possible in my power to eradicate child poverty in New Zealand.

We cannot afford to spend any more time talking around this issue.

One in four New Zealand children now live below the poverty line.

Under National, 35,000 more children are living in severe poverty. Yet John Key says he's done about all he can to help them. That is simply unacceptable.

Solving child poverty is not impossible; it's entirely possible. We have the tools, and the tech-niques - it's now simply a matter of choice

Next week - next week! - I hope to be part of a new Government that sits down together and puts the interests of our nation's children at the top of its to-do list.

In Government, I will take personal responsibility for ensuring that every New Zealand child knows that they matter and that their country refuses to waste another drop of their potential.

I will ensure our children come first.

One of our key themes this election has been love - love for our kids, for our country, for our land, for our people.

After six long years, National has forgotten what love looks like.

Love isn't exclusive. Love doesn't pollute. Love doesn't give up.

Everything I've seen on the campaign trail leaves me convinced that we cannot afford another three years of National.

Voters have a real choice this Saturday.

They can have more of the same, with the damage this would do to our environment and our children.

Or they can Party Vote Green for a genuinely fairer society, cleaner environment and smarter economy that works for everyone.

Only a vote for the Green Party is both a vote for a new Government and a vote for a new direc-tion for New Zealand.

Only a vote for the Green Party guarantees a stable, united and principled force in Parliament.

Friends, we have one day.

Let's use every last ounce of love in us to make real that change that New Zealand so desperate-ly needs.

Love New Zealand, you wonderful people, and go make that change happen!

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