I am now on the campaign trail! This is so exciting! I am now formally trying to raise funds to ensure that our democratic processes are followed through. I am actually doing it!
My first trip is next week to Te Awamutu. I will meet Party activists as well as fellow candidates, and hopefully will also meet some of the locals. Whilst the Taranaki-King Country Electorate, where I am standing as a candidate, is mainly farming communities and therefore a blue stronghold, people need to have the opportunity to choose from a list of candidates in any election. Therefore, it is not just about winning (though this would be terrific), but also of giving the people of King Country a choice of who they want to represent them in Parliament. However, whilst last election we lost by a large margin, there is no such thing as an unwinnable seat. With your help, we can show New Zealand that heartland New Zealanders want their Country back from those who would sell it to the highest corporate bidder.
Also, we want to mobilise the Party Vote for Labour, so that we can govern this year.
As such, I have written the following on Facebook, which I will now paste here for this blog:
This is such an exciting time. We see Labour as a Government in waiting, ready to reverse the damage of the last six years, and bring New Zealand back into the black economically through sound fiscal policies. We will have a Prime Minister who is an Economist and not a stock trader. Who knows how Kiwi businesses work, and who is out to make New Zealand society affluent and fiscally independent.
To do this, we need good Candidates for Parliament. As you are on my Facebook page, you either are a friend, or support my work in this area. As such, I am sending the first request for financial support.
I have a pre-campaign meeting in Te Awamutu for selection in the Taranaki – King Country Electorate. Once that has been approved, we have hustings for selection.
Some of our neo-liberal politicians seem to have issues with declaring election funds and expenses. This is wrong, and shows a lack of commitment to the democratic process which we have come to expect from the fat cats. As such, I will have my funds always itemised on a spreadsheet on Facebook and available to anyone. Labour is committed to open governance, and the elections are an essential part of our democracy. Therefore, I am copying what I understand President Barack Obama did for his campaign.
I will list what I need expenses for. I will itemise the costs, down to cups of coffee, and so you know what your hard earned money has gone on. If you do not want to be named, that is fine. However, I will give you a code for each donation if anonymous, so you can still see where your money was spent. I will even provide the receipts to show where expenses have gone. (I am minded to use dropbox for this).
If the reason for expenditure changes, then we will put any donation towards a similar expense. For example, if the meeting this week is cancelled, then any funds raised will go towards hustings in March. Any leftover cash can then be returned to the Electoral Committee for use next election, but I do not anticipate having much left over.
So. My first trip on election business. This does not come under the Electoral Act to my knowledge, as I am not yet selected. However, I will still declare it all to be sure.
Next week – Monday 24 February (to be confirmed).
Titirangi to Te Awamutu to meet the people in the Electorate and other possible candidates
Distance – 163 km each way.
Cost – $40 each way
Total – $80
Loan of a tent
Following petrol donations:
Auckland to Te Kuiti – 200 km at 25c per KM = $50
Te Kuiti to Otorohanga – 75km at 25c per km = $18.75
Otorohanga to Te Awamutu – 75km at 25c per km = $18.75
Te Awamutu to Auckland – 165km at 25c per km = $41.25
(Total transport – $128.75)
Five meals at $10 each – $50
Four hot drinks at $5 each – $20
If you can afford $5, that is a coffee to keep me going. $10 is a meal, and $20 is a section of the journey.
Also, $200 is the entire weekend (excluding camping fees), $280 is the next two trips in total, and $30,000 is the entire campaign!
If anyone can donate $30,000, if I get in, I will host you to a guided tour day in Parliament, including meals, flights and anything else practical (and legal and moral).