President's Message - A big year ahead
Tēnā koe e hoa. I hope you are well and feeling energetic.
One hundred days.
That’s how long we have to go until the next government of New Zealand is decided on September 23. That’s what this issue of Working Life is all about.
We’ve spent this year listening to our members about what matters most to them in this year’s election, which is sure to be closely fought. The outcome is important for all of us, our families and our communities.
In the last issue of this magazine, we showed you what PSA members say the important issues are to them in this campaign. This time we’re digging a little deeper into how we intend to spend the next one hundred days putting those issues front and centre in our work.
Housing was the first priority for many PSA members. Plenty of people are concerned by house prices and wonder if they’ll be able to afford a mortgage. Many are worried they can no longer reasonably expect to buy a home at all. And then there’s the issue of insecure rental properties, with spiralling rents and limited protections for tenants.
You also told us that health was a significant concern for you. We’re hearing every day about how an underfunded health system is struggling to provide timely support to those who need it most, particularly in mental health, where demand is always growing. We take a closer look at these issues via the Yes We Care coalition’s roadshow which travelled around the country earlier this year.
And then there’s wages and the cost of living, which are always crucial for our members: some workers in the public service have not received a pay rise for almost a decade, and many of you are worried about increasing inequality and how to fund strong public services while the current Government is offering tax cuts.
Where we stand
The PSA doesn’t donate to any political party, and we don’t support any party in particular during elections.
We’re not going to be telling you who you should vote for this September. We’re not going to tell you who not to vote for, either. That wouldn’t do justice to the diversity of people who are PSA members, and it wouldn’t be fair of us to assume a position on your behalf.
What we are going to do is campaign for change.
We want to see a change of priority, a change of tone, a change of heart. The current track clearly isn’t working for many New Zealanders, including the most vulnerable in society.
Policies that benefit “the many, not the few” should be the foundational basis of any government.
So we’ll be working to put your priorities to politicians of all stripes, and in the next issue, we’ll show you which parties support our priorities. Until then, I hope you enjoy reading about how we’re campaigning for change in 2017, and how you can get involved.
I hope you’ll join us.