For me personally, February is a time to refocus; I am concerned about a number of issues, but I need to clarify for myself what is most important right now, aside of course, the referendum for the next New Zealand flag.
As a foreign policy watcher, I have notice a number of ‘pushes’: Syrian Civil War peace talks, Britain may leave the EU, Russia reasserting itself, China grapples with protest over its artificial island building in the South China Sea, the EU doesn’t quite know how to deal with nearly 800,000 refugees (this is just one quoted number), Da’esh is strangling Iraq, Libya is now a extremist playground, the American presidential primaries have ruffled nerves. The list could go on. I hope that engagement with the UN, on New Zealand’s part as a Security Council member, will help with these problems.
I know UnitedFuture will support efforts at calming, and restoration, in that regard. We can no longer not be involved. The question becomes “what is being ‘pushed’ upon us vs what should we ‘push’ for? What is being pushed on us becomes not only the observer’s passive concern, but an incentive to encourage others to do something about it.
As I promised last month, I will cover the three themes starting soon, but I wanted to emphasise the word ‘push’ because the themes have large issues and small ones. The themes, ‘Practical solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change’, ‘Overcoming the challenges of increasingly diverse communities’, and ‘Recognizing the long term negative consequences of wealth inequality’ need to be broken down a little; it is going to be critical for us to focus squarely on what we can ‘push’ to achieve.
Quentin Todd, UnitedFuture board member