It has been a tumultuous year for New Zealand. Covid-19 is a global pandemic that has taken over one million lives around the world, and has left no country unaffected. We have been through uncertainty, fear, lockdowns, and a major economic shock. Yet as we enter the final week of Election 2020, New Zealand is in an enviable position. We have saved lives, protected our vulnerable, and we currently have no cases of Covid in the community.

Hardly any other countries have achieved these results, and many continue to struggle under the weight of growing infections. Because of our successful elimination strategy, New Zealand now has the best possible opportunity to recover and rebuild. Labour has always said that the best health strategy is also the best economic strategy.

As a team of five million we have made so much progress this year. Given all of our hard work and sacrifices, now is not the time to put it all at risk.

This is the fundamental choice that you face as a voter at this election. Do we keep moving forward with the leadership of Jacinda Ardern and Labour that has served our country so well this year, or do we put it at risk with a change in direction?

Make no mistake, a change of government would put our progress at risk. The National Party is chaotic and disorganised. With three leaders in a few months, leaks galore, dissension in the ranks, and an error ridden budget proposal, this is no longer the party of John Key and Bill English. They would be a risk to both our health response, and our economic recovery.

What New Zealand needs is stability and a plan. That is what Jacinda Ardern and Labour are rolling out. Jacinda Ardern’s leadership is strong and decisive, you have seen her in action as our country has dealt with crises like the March 15 attacks and Covid. You know that she has a cool head, that she puts people first, that she brings people together, and makes the tough calls.

As we move into a rebuild phase, our plan is all about providing a pathway through some challenging times ahead. It is focussed on protecting and supporting jobs. Following on from the successful Wage Subsidy scheme we are supporting small businesses with interest free business loans, creating thousands of new ‘jobs for the environment’ cleaning up our waterways, providing free trades training and apprenticeships for our young people, and making a record investment in infrastructure to build schools, hospitals, and transport infrastructure to employ thousands.

Most importantly, we are focussed on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe. By keeping Covid out of our community we will continue to save lives, and help to keep our economy open.

We have made so much progress together this year, and now is not the time to put it at risk. Party vote Labour to give Jacinda Ardern a strong mandate to form a stable government so that we can keep moving.