Red Alert

Annual Conference- The Young and the Restless

Posted by on November 24th, 2012

My first time up for air this week, and I have been reflecting on a remarkable annual conference. I’ll do a couple of posts, but I have an overriding residual impression from the conference, and its probably not what you think.

This was my 14th annual conference and without doubt had the highest level of energy and buzz of them all. A significant reason for that, and the stand out performance at the conference came from Young Labour (and recent Young Labour alumni).

They organised superbly through the weekend to see their core policy ideas pass the remit process, including on marriage equality, voting age and poverty eradication. They spoke brilliantly in workshops and on the conference floor, and had two outstanding candidates (Soraiya Daud and Rory McCourt) for the Young Labour rep on New Zealand Council. Congrats to Soraiya on winning that contest.

Having worked closely in the Wellington region with Young Labour over the last few years, this has not just happened over night. Its been dedicated work and an unabashed sense of fun that he seen Young Labour build year on year over recent years.

I have long felt that you can judge the strength of a party on its youth wings, and on any count Labour is in terrific heart taking a look at our young’uns. I left Ellerslie knowing that we are a Party and a movement with a bright and energised future.

12 Responses to “Annual Conference- The Young and the Restless”

  1. thor42 says:

    “End child poverty by 2030.”
    Oh, how “motherhood and apple pie” that is.

    No doubt, “ending poverty” will be achieved by robbing the “rich pricks” (to quote Michael “train set” Cullen) to feed the children whose parents should be feeding them, thus (yet again) removing responsibility from said parents.

    What incentive is there for those parents to improve when everything gets given to them on a plate? There is no incentive whatsoever.

    So-called “poverty” will NEVER be “solved” by taxpayers’ money being thrown at those on low incomes. The ONLY way that it will be solved is by those people being *forced* to wake up to their responsibilities – spending money wisely and not having so many children.
    “Politically incorrect” but true.

  2. Dorothy says:

    I see it didn’t take the trolls long to comment!
    They would be more convincing however if they could point to any example where their policies have actually worked, rather than (in the real world) made things worse…

  3. Kay says:

    Ask for nothing and you’ll get it. Set your sights high and prepare well and who know what heights you’ll scale? Ending child poverty by 2030 is not about saying that no more children can be born unless their parents have a million in the bank. It’s about ensuring that Government policies encourage real job creation, decent jobs, fair wages, and that conditions for bringing up children are healthy and supportive. Access to early childhood education and to free health services is part of the picture. Labour and the Green Party introduced a programme for warm dry insulated homes in 2007. National continued this in 2009 but has now ended the funding. This could be brought back with the Labour Housing project.

    You might ask what housing and education have to do with ending poverty but ending poverty is about more than preventing starvation. When a family spends all its money on heating bills or doctors visits how can they support their children to have healthy lives?

    Yes the Government will need to put money in this, but as Child Poverty Action Group analysis has shown, investment in the early years pays off long term. Preventing severe childhood illnesses saves money on long term health issues and increases the chances of those children having productive lives participating in society as workers and taxpayers. Economics justifies caring for future workers even if it wasn’t the right thing to do for anyone with compassion or a conscience.

  4. bbfloyd says:

    Thanks for that comment Kay…. It’s nice to remember that we don’t need to be obnoxious, childish, and severely limited when discussing real issues….

    The only real worry for me though, is that these “neanderthals” who consider that adopting grandiose names likening themselves to gods gives them credibility, are still over represented by our news media, and within the national party…

    The aims stated are always going to be difficult, to say the least, as long as the political discourse is dominated by the “knuckle dragging” set…

    The fact that one of the(if not the central tenet) the major policy foundations for the national party existing is to eradicate every gain made by the labour party on behalf of it’s citizens…

    THAT is the major impediment to progress on this front… and always will be, as long as they are capable of action, and as long as the mass of ignorant, bigoted, moronic, and severely unbalanced people who make up the majority of nationals support base is allowed to continue with the “cutting off your nose, to spite your face” idiocy…

  5. The Al1en says:

    “No doubt, “ending poverty” will be achieved by robbing the “rich pricks””

    Won’t be the end, but certainly a good, solid start.

    “to feed the children whose parents should be feeding them, thus (yet again) removing responsibility from said parents.”

    It shouldn’t matter about your prejudices and pre conceived notions. It’s all about the kids, stupid.

    “everything gets given to them on a plate?”

    On planet beat up, perhaps, but not in 2012 NZ they don’t, hence the poverty.

    “There is no incentive whatsoever.”

    That’s so true of child youth rates, casual/temp contracts and a minimum wage that that has emphasis on minimum, not wage.

    “those people being *forced* to wake up to their responsibilities – spending money wisely and not having so many children.”

    Any more bitchy stereotypes left in the cannon?

  6. Jack Ramaka says:

    Employment is a very important component of anybody’s life, it gives a person self esteem and self worth.

    The financial rewards enable a person to feed, cloth, house and educate his/her children.

    Hence employment is one of the most importand attributes a society can provide for it’s citizens.

  7. Ivy says:

    Whilst it’s an admirable goal, of course, I feel that “End Child Poverty by 2030″ is an incredibly vague goal that entirely misses the ‘how’. That might well be in the remit, but I’d have thought more specific goals would have been more sensible, given that “End Child Poverty” is a goal of basically every left wing group.

  8. Jack Ramaka says:

    A home vegetable garden is an important start, our forebears didn’t have a local Pak n Save or Countdown Supermarket when they first arrived in NZ nor did the Maoris when they arrived on their canoes.

  9. Gloria says:

    It’s an admirable set of goals for Labour, and thanks to Young Labour for setting this agenda. I would only add that I believe many more young people would be attracted to Labour if the caucus was far more vocal on environmental issues. Young people want to inherit a country and a planet that is free of pollution and achieves housing, employment and energy goals in an environmentally sustainable way. As Labour spokesperson for environmental issues, I would like to see Grant Robertson outline that vision, why have you been so silent on this, when Labour is bleeding votes to the Greens because of Labour’s lack of vision and visibility on these issues. Come on Grant! If you are too busy being House leader give the job to an MP who will do it justice. I know you put out lots of news releases but you need to get out and promote those policies!

  10. Quoth the Raven says:

    If we continue to define poverty as a measure of relative income (e.g., 60% of the median household disposable income) than that dream won’t be achieved. As the line at which someone is categorized as “impoverished” will continue to move up it is a poor measure of the efficacy of any anti-poverty policies. A fixed absolute level of privation that does not change with the living standards of society is what is required. A recent report on childhood poverty defined poverty with reference to material deprivation, but admitted New Zealand does not actually include any child-specific measure of material deprivation. If Labour is actually interested in evidence-based policy and actual privation (not simply inequality) than the first thing they would work towards is a proper measure of childhood poverty in New Zealand, rather than relying on headline grabbing figures that tell us little. Without such a measure we will just get the usual vague insincere vacillating from politicians lusting after ever more power. However, such a measure would give us a clear goal, it would make poverty a solvable problem rather than a hobgoblin for which politicians can use to justify whatever power grabbing policy they see fit and hence wouldn’t be in their interests. As H.L. Mencken said “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule”.

  11. SPC says:

    The healthy homes aspect to alleviating poverty is now Green and Labour Party policy.

    Assessements of rent and housing cost to income is also unrelated to living standards. Building more homes should reduce such cost and improve affordability (thus redcue poverty) – currently not part of the CPI statistic.

    Other needs are affordable access to health care including dentists and where required food in schools.

  12. Palmy Politico says:

    I’m very cynical about voting for 16 year olds. Most youth aren’t interested in politics. And the only youth that are going to vote are those from centre-right families. The Right have a better track record of getting people to the polls than the Left.

    That said I do think that civics education is a good move to get people more involved in the political process.

    It’s also good to see the Labour Party getting revved up to fight in the 2014 Election.