Parliament resumed sitting this week. We have seen the same old speeches, the same old policies. Nothing seems to have changed, nothing is new. Just more politics as usual.
As our name implies, UnitedFuture looks to a new style of politics and political engagement. Of course, as a responsible government partner, we have to play our role in dealing with the issues of the day. But beyond that, our focus is always on the opportunities that lie ahead, and what we need to be doing now to maximise those for current and future generations. Last week, I was honoured to deliver the annual Digital Leaders Forum lecture at the House of Commons in London, where I made the point that for effective citizen engagement and participation in the future, governments will need to change the way they operate, to become less focused on their own institutions and structures, and instead to place individual citizens’ interests at the forefront of what they do, and how they do it. (You can read the full lecture at: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/speech-digital-leaders-annual-lecture-houses-parliament-westminster-london-new-zealand%E2%80%99s-digi).
This is very much what UnitedFuture is about today, and is a million miles away from the tired old speeches, the name calling and silly games that the other parties indulge in.
The days of politics as usual are well and truly over. We are seeing that trend all over the world – the Sanders and Trump phenomena in the United States are the most dramatic, but by no means only, examples. The common message is that people are yearning for political leadership that looks ahead, and respects their interests. UnitedFuture has consistently sought to occupy that space in New Zealand – now it appears our time may have come. I invite you to join us on that journey, and to invite your friends and associates to be part of the ride as well. It looks like being a good year ahead!
Peter Dunne, Leader United Future