Today represents the end of this year’s round of Labour Regional Conferences. Six of them in Dunedin,
HamiltonCambridge, Blenhiem, Auckland, Whanganui and Wellington over the last seven weekends (with a week off in the middle for a NZ Council meeting!) Part of me will be pleased that I might get a couple of hours off in the next few weekends, but they have been fun, energising, challenging and enlightening.
I can relay the message that the party is in good heart, that there was vigorous debate over our organisational review, policy issues ranging from economic growth and trade to the republic and marriage equality and that Whanganui had the best food. (but it was good everywhere!)
But what I really want to do, on behalf of our Caucus, is to say thanks. To the hundreds of delegates who came to the conferences, to the people who fed them and who organised everyone, to those who organised the social functions. These conferences are a reminder of what great people you are. Your dedication and commitment to Labour is tremendous. As MPs this is our job as well as our passion. You are pretty much all volunteers who give so much of your time to the party and the causes we believe in. It is so appreciated.
As David Shearer said at the end of the Wellington Conference today, while our goal of course is to be elected to lead a government in 2014, it is more importantly about the historic mission of our party to provide opportunity, fairness and justice for all New Zealanders. Our activists are both our foot soldiers in that mission and our inspiration to take the fight on. So, simply, thanks for all your work.