After a successful conference and announcement of the new shadow cabinet, Andrew Little is looking forward to getting together with family for Christmas and a spot of R&R.
We’re off to the Wairarapa to spend time with my wife Leigh’s family, then New Plymouth to visit mine. We just do the very traditional Kiwi Christmas – with a big lunch.
Labour is ending the year on a good note. It has been an important year in terms of settling down the caucus and the party and getting everyone focused on the task ahead.
We had a great conference and the challenge for the next year is the hard work of developing the policy we want to put up for 2017.
We outlined at conference that we aren’t going to be campaigning on scores of differing policies but will settle on half a dozen bold and definitive manifesto policies.
We are a party that is committed to jobs and good incomes and, at a time of increasing unemployment, I’m determined to offer very constructive options for Kiwis.
We will be making our first policy announcement in the New Year and by this time next year will have rolled out most of the major policies we will campaign on in 2017 and will be strongly focused on campaigning to win.
Our valued members can support that campaigning by doing exactly what they are already doing: giving their time and amazing energy to signing up new members, delivering flyers and continuing to feed into the party’s decisions through their local branches, our website and their local MPs.
We are always eager to hear feedback and ideas. It’s very important and we value it highly. I see any emails directly addressed to me and hope everyone eventually gets a reply. Good ideas get fired off to various policy committees for consideration.
The shadow cabinet reshuffle has been an opportunity to bring forward the next generation of talent and fresh thinking, while also acknowledging that we still need the hand of experience in terms of putting together an alternative cabinet to lead the nation. These are facts I took into account in putting together the team we have.
Our challenge in the New Year will be to keep getting our messages out to the public and to connect with as many New Zealanders as possible.
It will be great to switch off and relax over Christmas but I’m also really looking forward to getting back to work in the New Year and connecting with more New Zealanders. One of the best things about this job is the chance to meet so many Kiwis of different backgrounds and catch up with them in their own places and hear about the issues that are important to them and their families.
Thank you again for the hugely valuable work you do for our party and for the good of our communities and our country. I wish you a happy and relaxing break – and look forward to working with you next year as we build on the good work already done and the exciting opportunities ahead to build a powerful and constructive campaign for 2017.