The positives of this election are obvious:
– Working people gave a near 60% majority to a Labour-Green government. Some modest promises like 10 days sick leave and continuing minimum wage increases can be banked going forward.
– The conservative NZ First brake on this previous government was removed and the party probably eliminated for good.
– Labour supporters gave a clear indication that they have reservations about the lack of policy and direction from Labour during the election campaign by giving electorate seats to the Green’s and Maori Party, both of which have stronger policies for workers and the environment.
– The National Party became a reactionary rump and its venomous leader makes zero progress during the campaign.
By running a campaign almost devoid of policy the government has given its supporters a blank page upon which we need to write our concerns and needs, and those of the planet we live on, into a policy for our mutual survival.
Unions and social movements involved in fighting against the problems that capitalism creates – from unemployment to degraded rivers – need to work together to impose policies on this government that can create a future for working people and the planet that doesn’t reproduce the degradation of both that happens now.
The most important first steps we need this government to proritise are:
– Jobs for everyone who wants to work to rebuild the country for a post-Covid world
– Make the minimum wage a living wage
– A living income for those who can’t work with individualised entitlement .
– A pathway to residency for those caught in New Zealand who have made this country their home.
– All new spending directed towards transitioning the economy to a net-zero carbon future as soon as practically possible.