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Time for change

I was born here in Wellington, one of six kids, brewed in two batches. I was almost five when I became a big sister to what would eventually be three younger brothers. I was less than pleased.

Eventually though, I came around, realising there were games to be played, bad advice to be given, and parents to rally against.

One of my brothers and I are two sides of the same coin. When I was competing, he was composing; when I organised, he created; and when I got mad, he got sad.

Sometimes that sadness is still too big. He can struggle to feel good enough to show himself the basic kindness he so freely gives to others.

When he asked for help last year, our system pin-balled him. Bouncing him from GP to clinic to WINZ and back again, while my family desperately hoped he would be caught in time.

But we were lucky. We had more than hope, we had some money. So we could come together and offer to pay to cut through the system and get him to see a counsellor.

How many more young men are not that lucky? How many more families have only hope?

I firmly believe our health system should be something we should be able to depend on, not hope for. That's how it was established, that's how it should be funded.

So I am fighting this year for my brother. I am fighting for him to be able to access the support services he needs without his big sister getting involved every time. I am fighting for a New Zealand where our people can access the care and support they need, when they need it.

Everyone in our movement has their own reasons for getting involved, but we all have one really important thing in common: we know we can do better, and we know to do that, we need to change the government.

If you agree and you'd like to join us, we'd love to have you. Sign up here, and we'll be in touch: labour.org.nz/volunteer

Alice is our Wellington Field Organiser for the Community Action Network. If you're in the capital too, why not join Alice and our other supporters and volunteers as we launch CAN on Saturday 24 June at Wesley Church on Taranaki Street? Find the details here.