My name is Selvi Balasubramaniam, and I’m a Sri Lankan Tamil from Auckland who’s been calling Wellington my home for a year and a half now.
My childhood was a real Kiwi upbringing. My lovely immigrant parents brought me and my two siblings up here. They have always worked long and hard to ensure we live comfortably – and they still do. You could say that they’re living the Kiwi dream – they’ve got a house, they’ve got good honest jobs, their children are pursuing their education.
They’ve always taught me and my siblings to take care of each other, to look out for our friends and be kind, always. So it’s not surprising that they too are Labour voters – in fact, I challenge you to find a bigger Helen Clark supporter than my mum! To me, Labour is the party that embodies friendship, camaraderie, and just general kindness.
I’m volunteering for the Labour Party because I’m not seeing that kindness from the current government. I’m not seeing that friendship and camaraderie.
Where is the kindness as students are struggling under the weight of their five-figure loans? Where is the kindness as house prices and rent are growing faster than wages, forcing people onto the streets? Where is the kindness as people are waiting months for their urgent mental health care needs?
I am disappointed with the direction our country is going in, and I know many of you are, too. When I speak to other people volunteering for Labour, we have a lot in common. We want to see change. We are worried about what will happen to our families, our friends, our community under another term of the current government.
If you feel the same way, then I encourage you, no matter where you are in New Zealand – whether you’re way up north, way down south, or somewhere in the middle – to give any time you can to the party.
Whether it’s talking to people at the vege markets or talking to people over the phone or at their doorstep, any contribution you can make will be hugely appreciated. I signed up to Vic Labour during O Week at Victoria University, and I’ve been hitting the phone banks every week since then.
Volunteering means hanging out with like-minded people, doing work that makes a real difference. As long as we’re talking to people, growing our Community Action Network, we can change the Government.
We’ve now got less than three months to go until the election. In other words, that’s plenty of time to volunteer, and spread the kindness.
I'm counting on seeing you soon to make some phone calls alongside me.
Our Community Action Network is made up of thousands of New Zealanders, all around the country, doing their bit to help us change the Government. You can be part of it, too – just sign up here and someone will be in touch to let you know more about how you can help out.