Thursday, 21 July 2011

My campaign opening speech!

Here it is.

It was a few months ago now, but it feels like the campaign really is heating up now, so I thought it was still a good time to post it. Enjoy!

Kia ora koutou,

It’s great to see so many of you come in support of the Greens@Vic campaign launch party for election 2011! I’m Zachary Dorner, the Greens@Vic Candidate, and I’m excited to be sharing the stage with the awesome James Shaw, our Wellington Central Candidate, and one of our hard working Green MPs, Dave Clendon.

Thanks to the awesome Greens@Vic organising team for helping make this night a success. And thanks heaps to Sophie and the Realistic Expectations for coming to entertain us, and Martin Wilson for providing sound and lighting gear.

The theme of this campaign launch, and of the opening campaign around the country is “What are you looking forward to?” Today at Vic we’ve been asking many fellow students that question, and you can get your photo taken too tonight by our roaming photographer Simon.

We’re asking this question to help us all think about what the future might hold. JS/DC has already outlined what an important year this is for New Zealand, and the question is doubly important for young students like us to ask.

John Key seems like a nice guy and all, and I’d certainly want to have him at my place for a beer and a BBQ. I do, however, have a number of bones to pick with him at this hypothetical BBQ that will never happen.

First question for John – Why did you cut taxes for your rich mates, then cut Working for Families, Kiwisaver and Tertiary Education funding on the grounds of not having enough tax revenue? (You got free tertiary education John, the least you could do is invest in my generation’s education, and our future prosperity.)

Second question – Why do you hate young people? OK, that might be a little bit unfair, but someone looking in from the outside at your policies might conclude that you do. For students like us, if we are looking for a job, we face an uphill battle. (Youth unemployment is at 19%, and even well qualified people are struggling to find work, like you and I should be, come the end of our degrees. That’s a problem with your poor economic management John – not very good for a Party that prides itself on economic management.)

Third question – Why do you hate young people? This time the question is a little fairer. When you grew up, you could swim safely in our lakes and rivers, now you’re allowing this to become all but impossible for us. And when you were young you would have thought the weather came and went, but the overall climate would stay the same. But in the last nine months you subsidised big polluters by $800 million to ensure there will be more floods, more freak weather events, and no stability or certainty left in the climate for people in my generation.

Now, John – I would say – if that is your real name, there are really great ways you could change all this. You could join the Green Party or adopt our policies. The Green Party will create a future we can all look forward to.

By supporting the Green Party, you are supporting tertiary education.

By supporting the Green Party, you are supporting Green jobs for all, and a prosperous economy.

By supporting the Green Party you are supporting affordable, warm and healthy housing – and that includes the Wellington student flat.

And at this point John Key would be like “OMG, that lyk totes makes sense now. After today, which is Friday, I will get straight to work on that Green economic vision that is so much better than my current one, which is non-existant.”

Yes, my friends, that is the type of advocacy I am capable of. And that is why I am your candidate, for Victoria University, and the Green Party, this election year.

I come from a place of social and environmental advocacy that started while listening to Bomber on Channel Z – an awesome radio station, for those of you not old enough to remember. I built up a Green group at school, Onslow College out in J-ville. Now I am studying economics and environmental studies at Vic, I spent last year as VUWSA’s Environmental Officer, and this year I am campaigning for the Green Party through Greens@Vic.

Through my experiences I have worked out a magical formula, which I shall reveal to you tonight. Ready? You can change the world, learn heaps of cool shit in the process, and have an awesome time all at once.

And I can see that you all agree, which is why you are here tonight to have a good time, and start changing New Zealand for the better. So make sure you are signed up, to help the Greens@Vic out, and to help out the Wellington Greens this election year.

You will be able to join us in such projects as: votes and vino – heading out to the Wairarapa to get their votes, and to sample some of their delicious wine. The warm healthy rentals competition, where we try and find the crappest flat in Wellington, to make the point that we should set minimum standards on rental housing. We’ll be enrolling young people to vote, and we are planning on creating a student army in the two weeks after exams finish and before the election on November 26, to paint the town Green.

You can also help us with great election moments such as dressing up in costumes, secret late night missions, putting up and taking down billboards in the rain, and so many other fun fun times.

And at the end of it all, on election night when we get more Green MPs elected than ever before and have a great party, you can think “I was a part of making that happen”. So make sure you give your details to one of the people roaming around with clipboards so we can keep in touch.

We also need money, and lots of it if we are to cement ourselves firmly as New Zealand’s third political Party. We don’t have large corporate backers, so we need everything we can get. So even if you, the poor student, put the $2 you have in your pocket into one of our koha buckets tonight, you are still helping make a difference.

So what I am looking forward to? I’m looking forward to a great year. We will have good times, meet new people, and most importantly, increase the Green Party vote. Then we can get to work on creating a New Zealand we can all look forward to.