After Triple the Vote
To everyone who believes in a fair, just Aotearoa where we can all thrive. You have every reason to feel deflated or disappointed after the election results from the weekend.
While there are still half a million special votes to be counted, what we know is that the political pendulum has swung us towards deeper inequality. Looking past the spin and shine, a National and ACT coalition will erode the rights of people already doing it tough, in order to offer even more advantages to our wealthiest few.
We can expect that the incoming government will ignore the role that large corporations have played in driving domestic inflation, and will punish workers by getting rid of the best opportunity they have to lift wages in their sector through Fair Pay Agreements.
Despite National’s platitudes towards ‘all New Zealanders’, renters will face even more insecurity with No Cause Evictions, and people on income support will lose more than $17,000 over five years when benefits are indexed to inflation. Meanwhile, 300 landlords who have over 200 properties each, will gain an extra $464 million in total.
For National, ‘all New Zealanders’ do not include Māori, considering the plans to scrap the agency that was created to help us live longer. The proposal to put our constitutional document, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, to referendum is a direct attack on the shared agreement our country rests on, and even the conversation suggesting as much is seeing an increase in racism, misinfo and disinfo as with our neighbours in Australia (solidarity with First Nations people at this time).
Despite the shiny veneer of ‘change’, National and ACT are simply returning us to failed policies of the past and doubling down on a climate-devastated future that will deepen poverty, racism and injustice — while offering relief for millionaires.
They may have won the election, but do not forget that they needed to rile up racism, lie about their tax cuts and procure mega political donations to pay for it.
We will not pretend that the coming months and years will be easy.
Although we could not predict these results, we knew that a worst case scenario was possible. Which was why we Tripled the Vote with you all. To diminish any ounce of power from the far right, and put it towards the seats of decision-makers who will protect people and our planet.
We will never know what the results might have looked like, had we not tripled our votes, but we can be certain that the movement for people and our planet is stronger for it, and that showed in some outstanding results for parties that prioritise people and planet at the polls.
We firmly believe that Triple the Vote made a significant step for progressive electoral campaigning in Aotearoa, and this cannot be taken away from us. The gains we made, the lessons we learned, these are invaluable, these are what strengthen our movement for real, lasting change, beyond the election cycle.
Our political power is like a muscle. It gets stronger the more we use it, and you never know where it will lead. When we strengthen those muscles together, we are stronger than the sum of our parts. And we will need strong collective muscles for the time ahead.
We can expect that our incoming government will deliver political attacks on those of us struggling the most. It’s our time to hold the incoming Government to account and support the Opposition to stand strong in the face of dangerous policies.
Most importantly, we will need each other.
The next three years will require us to show up for each other — whether it’s Māori, Pacific communities, renters, workers, people on income support, refugees, disabled whānau or queer and trans loved ones.
We must build solidarities that make all of us stronger, together.
We knew going into this election that we would need unity and action. In many ways we weren’t able to meet the moment as a wider progressive movement, and the challenge now is to confront this, and to figure out how we build from here. It has brought to the fore the need for leadership which seeks out opportunities for solidarity and power building so that we can win big in the future.
For our team, we are going to take some time to step back and think about where best ActionStation fits into the fabric of our movement for change, and this may take a minute. It is going to be very hard not to respond with haste and emotion over the coming weeks, but we must strategise now, if we are going to be anywhere different in three years time. We trust that others in the movement will step up while we take stock — and we will be back before you know it.
As kaimahi within the progressive movement, we can’t know exactly what will be required of us over the coming years, but what we do know is that we are going to have to try out new ways of working, and at times it will be uncomfortable, challenging. We are excited by the sparks of resistance that have led the way — particularly in Te Ao Māori. We will also need to spend time with our failures, and learn from them, collectively. This will help us find our points of unity, strengthen our relationships and clarify our strategies in the mahi ahead.
If you are involved in making change in your community, we encourage you to think about how to expand your work to support and be supported by others who believe in the same change. If you’ve never taken part in political action or community organising before, but you know you want to do something, follow that instinct!
If you want to join the ActionStation community, you can sign up here and join us in the long journey to justice.
For Te Tiriti, for the climate, for the people, for all of us.
With love and appreciation for you all,
The ActionStation Team