|Dear Kiwi readers,
Americans yesterday democratically elected Donald Trump as their next President. I respect their decision and congratulate Mr Trump on his victory.
Of course, America is the most powerful nation on the planet, and any change in President has the potential to have a significant impact on our lives.
There are reasons to feel concerned at Donald Trump’s victory.
Through the course of the campaign, Mr Trump did not look like the candidate who best represented the values we hold dear as New Zealanders.
We believe in treating people fairly and with dignity. We show respect and kindness towards those we live alongside as neighbours – regardless of their gender, race, sexuality, religion or ethnicity.
Donald Trump was shown on a number of occasions to fall below the standards we as New Zealanders – and I, as a potential Prime Minister – would expect from someone running for public office.
In fact, he often fell below the standard of decency I would expect from a fellow human being.
That said, he tapped into a powerful sentiment. He became a voice for those shut out of decent jobs, those who saw nothing or no one in the political system giving a damn about them and their issues. People who feel left behind and abandoned by their government.
That’s why here we’ve made issues like housing and jobs a priority. People denied the opportunity to own their own home will get a chance. Young people left jobless and forgotten will get a chance.
I am proud of the alternative Labour will provide at the next General Election in New Zealand. It will not be an alternative based on fear or division, but one based on hope of a better future; a belief that we can build an even better country in the years to come.
But we can’t make that future a reality without your help.
I love New Zealand, and I believe we have the people, the environment and the resources to enable all of us to lead better, more fulfilling lives.
To realise that dream though, for the good of our country and people, we need a constructive relationship with the United States, regardless of who is President.
That is right: America is our ally and our friend. Our relationship as nations is bigger than any one President or Prime Minister.
But that does not mean we will sell out on our values, or trade them off for favours or a game of golf.
The government I lead will not shy away from telling it like it is if we see our values being compromised. I will always stick up for what we hold dear.
We have a proud history of speaking truth to power on the international stage. Although small, we back ourselves to stand up for what we know is right. This is something I commit to continue if elected Prime Minister next year.