Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson announced last night that he is putting his name forward to become leader of the Labour Party. With the withdrawal of Andrew Little, and Jacinda Adern’s decision not to enter the race, the contest is between Robertson and Cunliffe. Here’s Grant Robertson’s announcement:
Grant Robertson – Labour’s Future
I am announcing that I am seeking the leadership of the New Zealand Labour Party. I offer a new generation of leadership that can unify our Party, and lead us to victory in 2014.
I have taken this decision because I believe I can lead a party and a government that is principled, has vision and works with New Zealanders to give them hope and opportunity.
I believe New Zealanders want the person who leads Labour to fight for them and their families and that is what I will do.
I am proud of the Labour Party; our history, our values and our people. We are a party that is based on the principles that everyone’s contribution should be valued, that a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay, and that we have obligations to care for each other.
Those values are enduring, and I am committed to them. We must give them a modern, strong and clear voice that connects with the lives of New Zealanders. I know that I can provide that voice.
I stand for a unified Labour Party. I have proven ability to work across the caucus and the party. My leadership will be inclusive of the talents of our Caucus. We have a great team that person for person outshines our opponents. With our members and supporters alongside us, and a clear vision and message we will be at our strongest for the 2014 election.
There is a huge amount at stake. Every week New Zealanders can see new examples of how badly John Key and his government have lost touch with their hopes and concerns. From the Sky City deal, to rising unemployment and a lack of respect for our fundamental democratic rights and freedoms, this government is not listening to New Zealanders.
What Labour must do is not just highlight these problems, but give New Zealanders reasons to vote for a Labour government. Our story is one that should give hope to every person that no matter where they are from, they will get the opportunity to achieve their potential.
My vision is for a country that is proud and optimistic about its future. We have got to regain some hope. New Zealanders are tired of the short term fixes and deals, and the failed ideas of the past. We must look ahead and govern for tomorrow as much as for today. We need to build the country that our grandchildren want to live in- prosperous, fair and environmentally aware.
I represent a new generation of leadership that will establish Labour as the party of change and of nation building. We will have the courage to build a new productive economy that generates good jobs and to tackle tough issues like child poverty head on. I will be honest and upfront and will uphold the values of our Party.
I want to acknowledge the many people who have contacted me over the last few days offering their support and advice. I am excited by the opportunity this leadership contest provides to meet and hear from members and supporters and to put my case. I give my commitment that I will undertake this contest with respect for other nominees and to our Party. Let’s get into it.