The opportunity to travel to New Zealand has been absolutely wonderful for touring, exploring,
and meeting new people. However, I came to the country to be a part of the Labour Party’s
team, and help the left-centre party earn votes. In a nutshell, the political party I am devoting my summer to is a progressive party that works to protect and be the voice of the working class
citizens of New Zealand. I found out my electorate squad this week as well. I was placed in the
electorate where I will be campaigning this week. My team consists of eight hard-working
Labour supporting volunteers from my Fellowship, and our fearless leader and MP (Parliament
member) candidate Deborah Russell. Deborah is a tax expert, and is running for Parliament for
the first time in the electorate of New Lynn.
Campaign work in New Zealand has many similarities to our domestic campaigns. I have been
vigorously reaching out to volunteers via telephone, monitoring any issues or concerns the
voting electorate of New Lynn may have, inviting the public to social events we are conducting
as a team, as well as just chatting with anyone that may like to have a chat on behalf of their
viewpoints. Canvassing or door knocking has also been an experience. In the New Zealand
climate, I can begin my journey going door-to-door doing similar things as I do on the phone, but a 70 and sunny day can quickly take a turn for the worse. Fortunately when scattered showers decided to ruin my beautiful canvassing day, I was equipped with a rain jacket and a Labour Party bucket hat. I like to door knock in style! It is so crazy how a flip switches and the clouds open up on an otherwise perfect day!
In addition, my first week of work brought me to a local community center in New Lynn with our
MP candidate Deborah Russell, for an open meeting on policing. As people stormed in to get to
the best seats, I was in charge of racking up a sign-in sheet, which was a petition to get a voice
out on behalf of the strong feelings towards the housing crisis New Zealand currently faces. I
wore my fancy shoes to the event, and collected contact information for the locals that
participated in the event. Questions, comments, and concerned were all brought up, and
Deborah did a stellar job of addressing each individual. It was a great experience to see such
professionalism and how a meeting of this sort was work, as well as to get my feet wet with the
work I would be participating in in my future with the campaign team.
Work has just kicked off, and I have caught campaign fever. The appreciation of candidates,
Labour supporters, and Kiwi’s, which are natives of New Zealand, in general has been inspiring.
I feel my work truly can make a difference, and that is gearing me up to contribute tirelessly and
tangibly make my short stint on the campaign trail matter.