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Family Party Mangere campaign Launch


Speech notes for Mangere town centre

Family Party Mangere campaign Launch

Saturday 8th December 2007 at 12pm

Richard Lewis




Kia ora and warm Pacific greetings,

As the leader of The Family Party, I am privileged to be in the heart of Mangere today, to be amongst people who share our passion for the families and children of this community. That passion extends beyond Mangere to Manukau and indeed, the whole nation.  

This is a unique occasion - that a political vehicle would be launched out of Mangere to bring a voice for “family values” in parliament.

The Family Party was formed to give us all a party we can truly call our own. To have a voice that would be heard and respected in the highest place of power. The Family Party was formed to give Mangere a genuine political alternative to Labour - to make sure Mangere is represented after the next election. Indeed, The Family Party was formed to give all New Zealanders, regardless of ethnicity, social or economic status, religious or political persuasion, a genuine pro-family… traditional values voice in parliament.  

MMP opened the door for parties dedicated to a specific cause. The Greens have their cause. The Maori party have their cause. Our cause is bringing traditional family values back to parliament.

If next year The Family Party should have the privilege of being elected, we will literally force government to put New Zealand families ahead of any other political agenda. 

Ladies and gentlemen, our nation desperately needs political change. Because the failed outcomes of three terms under Labour are no more clearly evident than they are right here and now in the heart of South Auckland. Take a look around. Why is it that Mangere is socially and economically lagging behind every other electorate in our country? I’ll tell you why. Because the leadership of today’s Labour has made it that way.

I stress the term, “today’s Labour” for a reason.

Because unlike the Labour party of yesteryear, today’s Labour is a very different political animal. It does not respect the traditional Christian values that our forebears lived and died for. The legacy of compassion and ‘family’ that was once Labour’s has been hijacked by a new breed of politician that cares more about their own interests than the wellbeing of our families. 

The predicament for many of us is that we have formerly supported Labour because our parents did. We haven’t asked the hard questions. We haven’t sought to know what today’s Labour is really all about, until now.

Times have changed. We honour the Labour of yesterday. We solute those leaders who have gone before us. But our reality is having to live with the Labour party of today.

Looking back, I don’t believe it was so much the ‘party’ that our forefathers supported but rather, the values that the party once represented - good, old-fashioned Christian family values. Values that are timeless and universal. 

A Labour loyalist recently told me that Labour used to be a picture of ‘applied Christianity.’ Today, that person is seriously disillusioned because the picture has changed.  There are probably many others in the Labour camp who feel exactly the same way.

Well today people of Mangere, together, we have a wonderful opportunity to correct the picture and recover for ourselves, the legacy of compassion and family values.  As the only Christian party in our country - social justice is not just what we want, it’s who we are. Don’t get me wrong. We are by no means perfect and we don’t have all the answers. We are all learning along the way. But what we do have is the blueprint to bring the kind of change we are talking about today.

The start point towards positive change is in getting back to the basics. We must recapture the very traditional family values that today’s Labour has carelessly discarded. 

Values that put the wellbeing of others before ourselves. Values that protect families and don’t break them down. Values that empower parents, not treat them as criminals and second-class citizens. Values that protect our children from violence, prostitution, alcohol and drugs. Where the line is not blurred between what is right and what is wrong. Values that show compassion in times of need. Values that recognise politics is about people, not power.

You see, the thing we all have in common is that we build our lives around our families. The fundamental problem with government today, is that politicians want us to build our lives around parliament. Well, that is a sick, selfish and dangerous attitude towards families and the underlying reason behind the social carnage we face today.

Our mission is to take the power off politicians and put it fairly and squarely back into the hands of the New Zealand family. Having restored the balance of power towards families, we want to improve your position, socially and economically. Making home-ownership achievable and not an unrealistic dream. Putting healthy food on the table. Quality education for our kids. A hospital bed when we need it. A hand up in times of need. Being safe in our homes and our community. The wherewithal to make and save money. Giving our kids a future and a hope.

None of these things are a reality under the present Labour government.


Having said that, I realise old habits die hard. And some of us may still be affections towards the Labour camp because that’s all we’ve ever known. But today, is not our greater responsibility to the future, for our children.  We cannot change the past, but today, we have the power to create a new tomorrow. The Family Party is offering you the vehicle to do it. Because if we really want change we cannot keep doing the same things by electing the same parties and the same people. 

I can assure you of this. That I, together with Paul Adams, Jerry Filipaina and our whole organisation will work tirelessly day and night to give the people of Mangere a stakehold in the next government.

Labour has looked outside of Mangere to find their candidate for this community. Not us. We will stand one of Mangere’s own sons. A man who was raised here… schooled here… and lives here. His name is Jerry Filipaina.

So I want to announce today - The Family Party is the genuine contender against Labour for this seat. I believe we can win it. We’ve made it our mission to win it. In fact, can I be so optimistic as to say that I believe Mangere can lead the way in restoring traditional family values, Christian values, in parliament!


Mangere has a strong Christian tradition. There’s a church on nearly every corner. We’re in the right place at the right time to get this party started! 

In concluding, yes, we are the underdog. It’s going to be a David and Goliath scrap. But that’s the way we like it! One thing I know for sure, this seat will be won by either Labour or The Family Party… the choice is yours. 

So I ask you to choose with our children in mind. Choose Christian values, choose family values, choose The Family Party and your man, Jerry Filipaina.

Thank you and God bless.



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