I’m getting involved in politics and have joined the Labour Party to do good in my community and our society. For too long I have watched as free market capitalism has failed us collectively and I can’t stand by on the sidelines any longer.
But the way this National Party Government have treated the victims of historic State abuse demands a response from every political candidate in this country and I’m starting right here, right now.
If I am fortunate enough to be elected to Parliament, I will work tirelessly to force a Royal Inquiry into the systemic abuse of New Zealander’s at the hands of the State.
I intend to propose a ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ model where those who have been abused at the hands of the State can go on the record of the harm, hurt and damage our Government services have caused them.
The cruelty the current Government are showing these victims is beyond comprehension. After hearing from 1100 victims, Judge Carolyn Henwood recommended an inquiry into abuse at the hands of the State, yet Paula Bennett and Anne Tolley claim there was no systemic abuse so we don’t need one.
Firstly, that attitude is a slap in the face of the victims who have been courageous enough to come forward; and secondly Bennett and Tolley can’t claim the abuse wasn’t systemic because there is too much anecdotal evidence to claim it was.
As a country, I see our ability to sit down, hear from the victims of State abuse and acknowledge the Government’s role in hurting these people as a true test of our maturity as a Nation. We need this conversation for justice, for empathy and for compassion.
Our first duty as Politicians should be to serve the people. By denying any widespread abuse by the State, the National Government are merely serving that State, not the people who the State are supposed to protect.
I will do my best to see that those New Zealander’s receive the justice that they deserve.
Willie Jackson is a Labour Party Candidate