Congratulations to all the UnitedFuture and UnitedFuture aligned candidates who contested the recent local body elections. Overall, we polled about 25,000 votes, which is extremely encouraging. Special mention must go to former MP and deputy leader, Judy Turner, who, as Deputy Mayor, topped the poll for the Whakatane District Council and Lee Carter who was elected to the South Wairarapa District Council. Our candidates in Auckland and Canterbury also polled respectably, although they were not elected. Nevertheless, I was delighted by their showing and we are extremely grateful for their efforts on our behalf. It all bodes well for the future.
At Parliament, UnitedFuture continues to play a vital role, supporting the Government when it pursues good policies and holding it to account when it does not. The stand we took on child poverty was commented on widely, and our proposed solution of a Child Poverty Act, along the lines of legislation introduced in Britain during the time of the Conservative Liberal Democrat Coalition, has received a lot of support. Likewise, our recent initiative to exempt registered charities from the costly new Police vetting regime has been very popular with groups working in the charitable sector. And we were delighted when the cross party Labour, Green and Maori Party group on the housing problem proposed a national housing strategy be developed, pretty much the same as the national housing summit we have been promoting for several months now. Over the next little while we will be releasing new ideas on policies for senior citizens and population development, including an enhanced version of the “Gold Card” we are calling “Super-Me”.
The next election is looming ever closer, and we will be shortly be calling for candidates, workers and funders for the coming campaign. The work we have been doing in recent months is all part of a steady build-up to that, and I am very encouraged by our progress to date. We are getting to the business of end of things, so I invite your support to join us in whatever way you can, as we work towards our goals over the next year.
Hon. Peter Dunne, UnitedFuture Party Leader.