Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Highlights: Labour and Greens' State of the Nation speeches

Labour leader Andrew Little and Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei gave their State of the Nation speeches at a joint event in Mt Albert this afternoon.


Here are some of the highlights from Little's speech:

CANCER BATTLE

"[There's] one fight in my life that stands out. And it wasn't one that I chose. It was my battle with prostate cancer. I was diagnosed at the age of 43 ... While I waited to see whether the treatment was successful, uncertainty hung over me and my family.

"I know many of your families have faced that same uncertainty ... I've been in their shoes. I've sat awake at 3am wondering whether my body would ever heal. New Zealanders deserve treatment, they deserve compassion, they deserve a health system that puts them first.

FAMILY

"My son Cam turns 16 this year ... Every weekend I can, I get along to watch Cam and his mates at Saturday rugby, often embracing the gentle Wellington southerly. They're smart kids. They're creative. Determined. Courageous. You see it in the way they do their schoolwork. For their generation, there are no limits ... They own New Zealand's future but, right now, there's a good chance they will never own their own home. That's the harsh reality facing those kids."

TRUMP AND RACISM

"Looking around the world right now - President Trump in the US, and the Far Right in Europe - holding on to a positive, inclusive vision is more important than ever. The places that used to light the world with their progressive thinking - their lights shine more dimly now.

"Let us never loosen our hold on what makes us who we are ... We can show there's a better path than isolation and bigotry. It's our turn to shine and to lead the way; to be New Zealand at its best. New Zealand can be a beacon to the world. This is a country for all of us, for everyone who lives here."

BILL ENGLISH

"We got a new Prime Minister last year. But we don't have a leader. Since taking the reins, Bill English has failed his first tests of leadership. He should be at Waitangi next weekend, representing all the people of New Zealand on our national day. But he won't be. He should be here in Mt Albert, making the case for his Government in the byelection. But he isn't. He should have fired the failed housing Minister, his friend Nick Smith. But he didn't. Bill English is a competent bean counter. But he's showing he's not a leader."

THE KIWI DREAM

"Every day National governs, the Kiwi Dream slips further away for more and more people. Bill English has to take responsibility. He cut the budgets for health and education. He's ignored the housing crisis and sold our state houses. The buck stops with him.

Here's the truth: National is out of ideas and out of touch. They've got nothing new to offer."


Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei speaking at the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall today. Photo / Dean Purcell
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei speaking at the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall today. Photo / Dean Purcell


Here are some of the highlights from Turei's speech:

FIERCE WOMEN

"I want to talk to you today about one of my greatest inspirations, Mana Wahine.

"... When I became a mum, holding my baby daughter, I realised the work of Niniwa i te Rangi, Kate Sheppard and all those fierce women who had gone before, was a long way from finished. And it's the Aotearoa New Zealand that we are all working to create.

"When we look back on [late union boss] Helen Kelly and look to [former Green co-leader] Jeanette Fitzsimmons now, we know that they fought for us. Helen never stopped fighting. Jeanette hasn't stopped. And neither will we."

RAPE CULTURE

"Some of you might remember when your Labour and Green women MPs refused to be silenced when National Party men used rape as a political weapon. We walked out of Parliament and straight into your arms. You told us that we had walked out for you, spoken out for you, stood up for you against an insidious rape culture. For each of us it was the very personal made political and it was hard.

"... I don't need to ask the values of the people here. Or to look up feminism in the dictionary, unlike Bill English. I don't need to ask whose side we are on."

NATIONAL MINISTERS

"There are few easy solutions in politics. But when you can't rely on your Minister of Women's Affairs to stand up on behalf of women who are victims of sexual assault, who can you rely on? If the Minister for the Environment won't stand up for healthy, swimmable rivers, lakes and beaches, then who will? If the Minister for Social Development won't apologise to vulnerable children who were abused in state care, then who will?"

"... What we have learned from National in the past nine years is that they might do what is easy, but they won't do what is right.

"The Green Party will do what's right, even when it's not easy."

BILL ENGLISH

"Now we have a new Prime Minister who believes Government can do no more. A Prime Minister who won't end poverty. A Prime Minister who is the architect of the housing crisis. A Prime Minister who accepts locking out an entire generation from warm, safe and affordable housing."

LABOUR AND GREENS

"We have the skills, knowledge and values to help shape Aotearoa, to make our great little country even better. To address the most urgent issues affecting families. To create a modern New Zealand economy where we all thrive, not just the privileged few.

"That's what we - myself, James, Andrew and Annette are going after in 2017. That's why the Greens and Labour have signed the Memorandum of Understanding. To see our parties, the Greens and Labour working together to deliver for our children, our communities, our environment.

"To see Andrew Little become our new Prime Minister."

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 29 Mar 2017 16:53:20 Processing Time: 687ms