Thoughts on this the final day of the 2011 election campaign.

Before I head out leafletting again I thought I’d just write a quick final summary of the campaign

Best moments РThe Young Feminists Electoral panel turn out and questions, the Plimmerton meet the candidate meeting, visiting community groups and elders in Porirua, when house after house said they were going to vote green, PHAG, our Soiree, being put through my paces by people at the market and of course all of your support.

Worst moments – National party people throwing things at me, and unnecessary drama

Biggest issues being raised by people– housing, low wages, a decline in funding and lack of stability in community funding, the Sandhills Expressway, Rena, education, welfare, health, a lack of hope and opportunity for the young, and an increasing lack of faith in the system.

Our response:

Housing -The Greens will extend the home insulation scheme to a further 200,000 houses and build a further 2000 houses for social housing.

Low wages – The Greens will raise the minimum wage to $15ph immediately and then peg it to 2/3rds of the average wage. I spoke to a couple of guys around my age the other weekend one was a carpenter and the other a mechanic their wages have only gone up by about $5 over the last 10 years. I believe we need to return to the idea of a living wage and employers and employees having a fair contract relationship not employers offering charity to their workers in the form of wages as all too much of the discussion around employment seem to suggest.

Funding for community organisations – The Greens will reduce reporting requirements, fight to bring back COGS (which is a community administered govt. funding scheme that works using the knowledge of the community) and seek to extend funding periods to ensure stability and security.

The Sandhills Expressway – The Greens will do whatever we can to stop this 8-12 metre high expressway being ploughed through the heart of our gorgeous community.

Rena/off shore drilling – the Greens will put a moratorium on further deep sea oil exploration until we know we have the capacity to respond to any disaster and we can be satisfied the companies have good safety records. We will also work to stop ships of convenience having such free access to our waters.

Education – The Greens will scrap national standards and reduce staff student ratios, and better resource our teachers and schools to work with children from a range of cultures, with a range of learning needs. We will address child poverty, poor housing and over crowding to even up the playing field for children in school.

Benefits – The Greens will extend the in work tax credit to give beneficiary families an extra $60 a week in the hand. We will also stand up against the idea that everyone should be in paid work. We know and accept that until we have enough jobs, eliminate domestic violence, child abuse, mental and physical illness, and create an enabling society that does not discriminate against people with disabilities we will need welfare. We will try to support benefits at a level that will not exclude all these people and their children from participation in society.

Health – The Greens will seek to make sure health care services are appropriately tailored to the communities they serve and we will adequately resource prevention and early intervention.

Young people – The Greens will radically reduce child poverty and give children a better start and this in turn will help young people. We will also create a smart green economy that will provide meaningful work for young people.

A lack of faith – The Greens will maintain our integrity (possibly the most important thing we can do in parliament). We will work towards a participatory democracy and promote transparency and honesty in all our dealings. We will hold on to voting according to our policy so everyone knows what we stand for. I do believe we are different from the other parties; our values are clearly articulated and available for all to see (ecological wisdom, social justice, non-violence, and appropriate decision making).

So in short, I think the Greens have got the answers for the communities concerns AND we can provide these solutions without going into debt or selling off assets. It’s amazing what can happen when idealists get practical.

7% for the Greens and I will be an MP next week.

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