My values are Labour values.

I want to help build a stronger, more caring society. I am passionate about Dunedin, and I bring considerable energy and wide experience to the task of representing this electorate.

My diverse work background has given me an understanding of the economic and social levers that can be pulled to achieve meaningful change.

Please read some of the discussions included here. I welcome your comments.

- David Clark

A brighter future?

I was out with supporters door-knocking again yesterday.   

The day was clear and warm, and so were the welcomes.  The people I’ve met in recent weeks have been generous with their time.  

While the majority of people in the area we canvassed yesterday are Labour supporters, those that aren’t were friendly too. People appreciate the fact that a local politician is listening to what’s going on for them and their families.

One story in particular has stuck with me. 

Bill and Maree (not their real names) live in their own home, and have worked hard to pay off much of their mortgage.  Daughter Lisa has recently turned 17 and is living at home with Bill and Maree.  Son Darren has just finished University.  Bill and Maree have always held down solid jobs and bring in an average income.  This has generally been enough.  They were however impressed last election by John Key’s promise of tax cuts and ‘a brighter future’, and placed their vote with him.

But things have not turned out as hoped.  Prices have risen and risen, and bills are getting harder to pay.  The tax-cuts they were expecting haven’t lived up to expectations.  And then Lisa fell pregnant. It wasn’t planned, but she’s determined to be a good mother.  Bill and Maree want to support her, but they’re fearful they won’t be able to provide all that is needed for the new addition to the household.  Having worked hard consistently down through the years, they went down to WINZ with Lisa to see what support is available.  Nothing: unless Lisa is estranged from the family.  Not until she’s 18.

Bill and Maree are feeling hard done by.  Having worked hard and paid taxes all of their lives, they were expecting a little bit extra from Mr Key.  Instead, they’re seeing seriously rich New Zealanders enjoy the big big tax cuts, while they don’t have quite enough to make ends meet. And then, to make matters worse, when they need a bit of help, they’re realising that’s not there either.

Bill and Maree are disillusioned.  They’re changing their vote.  But on top of their disappointment about Mr Key’s failure to deliver them a brighter future, they’ve another concern.  It’s the future of their kids.  Not only are they worried about their daughter: their son Darren is wanting to settle down too. 

Darren’s just finished a degree and has been offered a very good job in Dunedin.  But his partner’s pregnant, and they’re concerned about the cuts to Working For Families. With a student loan and the cuts to Working For Families, they too will struggle to make ends meet.  Darren’s mates are telling him to move to Oz.  One of them has already, and he’s earning nearly three times as much doing the same job. 

This story echoes others I’ve encountered in recent weeks.  

Many ‘swing’ voters feel disillusioned with the Government that they voted in last time.  Some say the jury is still out, and they want to give Key another chance.  Others are sick of him.


6 comments on ‘A brighter future?’

  1. 15 May, 2011
    Diane Yeldon

    This issue of adult children supposedly being out of parents’ care and yet not eligible for any social welfare payments is a serious one. It also happens to tertiary students.
    For example, if the mother and father have split up, the father’s income may make any adult children under the age of 25 ineligible for Student Allowance and Emergency Unemployment Benefit during the long summer break. I don’t knowof any process where they can force their parents to support them ( although they can claim ‘estrangement’ but what if they are not ‘estranged’?) I faced supporting two young adult tertiary student children on a single person’s benefit and was saved only by my ex-partner being made redundant and so having an income drop. Often the non-custodial parent loses touch or is under too much financial pressure themselves. A young person over 18 on the Unemployment Benefit gets far better govt income support than a tertiary student, surely a disincentive to gaining skills. Tertiary students don’t really get enough to buy enough food, even when they are eligible for any kind of income supprt.

  2. 15 May, 2011

    That’s very sad, I hope Labour get in.

  3. 15 May, 2011

    Please highlight any policy points that might relate to this example where Labour would have been different over the last three years from the current bench seat warmers?

  4. 15 May, 2011

    Hi BevanJs.
    Labour would have done many things differently. To pick one important one in this context: under National, the burden of tax has shifted from the most wealthy to lower and middle income earners. Labour would not have given tax cuts to the really rich at the expense of the everyday GST-paying citizen.

  5. 16 May, 2011


  6. 14 June, 2011
    Blair Marsh

    I am very sad about hearing this, i have 3 young kids, i was let go of my job and was earning 35k a year and now have to live on a benefit now if working for families get cut how are we meant to live? we struggle as it is and for a fact today we went into work and income for some clothes for my kids and they said we dont pay for clothes but i made a huge fuss and they finally agreed to help us. So if labour gets back in i want to know if tax cuts are on the agenda and also about working for families? plus gst will that come off vege and fruit or all fresh food?? i am voting labour and always have because labour is for families and low to middle income earners. HOPE U DO WELL DAVID U GOT MY VOTE!!!

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