I spent my early years in Invercargill. It was a great place to grow up, and our neighbourhood had a really strong sense of community.
But when I was ten years old, my mum, brother and I moved up to Christchurch.
We moved for family, education, and future job opportunities – but one of the consequences of the move was that we couldn’t afford to buy our own home.
The rental market in Christchurch was tough, and we had to move several times. I still remember settling into a great family home and adopting Nigel the cat, only for Mum to let us know that the house was actually going to be sold two months after we moved in.
The insecurity of renting was hard. And unfortunately, there are many other families in Christchurch and all around New Zealand still facing that same instability today.
In fact, since I was a kid, it’s only got more difficult for people to get onto the property ladder. Right now, home ownership is at its lowest in 66 years, house prices are spiralling out of control, and there are thousands of Kiwis living in cold, damp homes – or even worse, in cars and garages.
I know how important it is that all Kiwis have a safe, secure and stable home to live in. That’s what Labour stands for, and that’s why I got involved in this year’s campaign.
This year’s election campaign plan is focused on community organising. We’re going to build up our Labour volunteers, and in turn, they’ll help bring even more people together to help us change the Government. Our recruitment phase will culminate in a local campaign launch where hundreds of people, just like you, can celebrate the power of our communities.
Our movement is called the Community Action Network, or CAN for short. And it is made up of thousands of people like you and me, each with their own story, sharing their values and spreading our positive message.
This year, we’re asking everyone to give it a go. Why not join us? Sign up here and we’ll give you a call: labour.org.nz/volunteer
Jake McLellan is our Canterbury Field Organiser for the Community Action Network, and a community board member in Christchurch.