When I tell people I’m involved in a political party, they often ask why. As we head into an election year, it’s a good time to look back and ask why we’re here.
I joined UnitedFuture around 2002, after the first election I could vote in. UnitedFuture caught my eye when Peter Dunne won the now legendary worm debate. While Peter’s performance that night caught my eye, it was the party policy that made me cast my first party vote for UnitedFuture (and every time since). I joined when I saw that this was a party I could believe in, more than just good policy, there was an underlying vision that I wanted to see realised.
It was a few years later when I decided to get more involved, turning up to an Auckland branch meeting not sure what to expect. What I found was a group of people who care deeply about the future of New Zealand. A diverse group of people who you’d never expect to be meeting, brought together by the common purpose of trying to make New Zealand a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
I thought it would be nice to observe the party close up, but it wasn’t long before I was pulled in deeper. Drawn in by the passion and determination of this small but committed group, I found myself wanting to do more. But what could a young, politically inexperienced man like myself offer? I soon discovered that the strength of the party is the diversity that had welcomed me when I first arrived – different people with different experiences volunteering their time and skills to make UnitedFuture arguably the most successful MMP party in NZ history.
We’ve worked with both major parties to achieve tax cuts when appropriate, put families on the forefront of the political agenda, made it easier for charities, improved access to medicines and created the Game Animal Council all while maintaining a stable government and our independence. We’ve worked with the other MMP parties to hold governments accountable and ensure that parliament isn’t driven only by those with big money or the loudest voices. And we’ve got more to fight for – we haven’t forgotten income sharing or flexisuper and free tertiary education is still a core policy. Our call for a housing summit to address the housing crisis has been gaining momentum, rising above the political bickering of the other parties.
I’m proud to have played a part in these achievements as a member, candidate, board member, secretary and president. UnitedFuture’s smaller size means that our contributions have a greater impact, making this party truely unique.
So if you haven’t, please renew your membership today. If you have, then tell your friends and family why you belong to UnitedFuture. Sharing your personal story is a powerful way of showing that despite all the negative, divisive extremism there are still good people who haven’t given up on the goal of achieving a better deal for future generations.
You can help make that a reality, by renewing your membership, helping us sign up more members and volunteering your time and skills like I and so many others have. Get in touch here.
Damian Light, Party President.