Virtual Hustings Meeting – Question 14
Winning in 2014 : Why are you the one to take on and beat John Key?
Question : John Key seems to be made of Teflon, people love his down to earth way and the fact he is a self-made millionaire, what do you think is needed to take the shine off his popularity and why do you think you can be ‘the one’ to take him on and win the next election?
Submitted by : Annalise Roache, Auckland
Explanatory Note: From September 10th to 14th 2013 as part of the official selection process for a new leader the New Zealand Labour Party is holding a “Virtual Hustings Meeting” hosted by Red Alert and organised by Scoop Amplifier. Over 7 days questions were solicited from eligible voters in the election. The questions and answers are now being posted as a set of 14 posts at the Red Alert Labour Party Blog. This started Tuesday 10th September, and continues till Friday 13th September. At Red Alert all-comers are welcome to discuss the answers in the comment section of the blog. The candidates are expected to participate in these discussions at times over the five days till Saturday 14th September.
LABOUR LEADERSHIP CANDIDATES’ ANSWERS
Answer from David Cunliffe
For too long, Labour has consistently under-estimated John Key.
I won’t. I’ve got his number. John Key and National are prepared to spend billions in next year’s budget to make sure they win the next election. We must be ready to win and lead.
I can foot it with John Key or any other National Minister in any debate, anywhere, anytime. But we need to offer a clear alternative to John Key and his Government.
A Labour party I lead will offer a clear vision for a fairer, more prosperous New Zealand.
At the last election more than 800,000 people didn’t vote. We must engage and re-energise these people. They don’t want to hear that Labour is just a paler shade of blue; they want a true Labour party.
We must harness the collective talents of our Party, caucus and Labour movement for a common cause.
We need a renewal of our single, united purpose to speak for those who can not speak, to advocate for workers and their families, and recognise the needs and rights of hardworking New Zealanders everywhere.
To win, Labour needs urgency, unity, and strategy.
That is what I offer. I am ready to win.
Answer from Shane Jones
John Key is a wealthy man and has been able to convince voters that they too can enjoy his good fortune.
I believe I can match his down to earth ways.
I can relate to the 800,000 voters who have not turned out to vote Labour in 2011.
I do not trot out jargon because I believe kiwis want to hear an authentic voice.
A voice which brings Maori, provincial, Pacifica and working class votes forward.
Answer from Grant Robertson
More than half New Zealanders say that they don’t believe what John Key says.
I believe that the shine is wearing off him. New Zealanders feel that he is out of touch. But we can not underestimate him.
We need to speak directly, consistently and clearly to them to show that National has failed them, and that Labour has the values and the policies to make their lives better.
I have proven that I can put John Key under pressure in Parliament, such as during the GCSB/Ian Fletcher debacle.
Now is the time for me to take it to him right across New Zealand.
I would love nothing more than to go head to head with him in debates to call him out on his failure to deliver a brighter future.
I believe I have the skills to put Labour’s message authentically, directly and clearly to New Zealanders, and the political judgement to know the issues to use against him.