It is appropriate that at this point that we cast our thoughts back to the founding of the party on Wednesday 17 April 2013. Yes; only 13 months ago, we held the first meeting in Auckland.
From amongst those visionaries we acknowledge the drive and enthusiasm of two individuals in particular:
John Harrison from Napier and John McLean from Wellington who organised and gathered together a group who became known as the Founders of the Party.
At that initial meeting, the name of the party was agreed and the broad policies established. The requirement for a logo was discussed and that was placed in the hands of Graham Clarke, of Tauranga.
That initial group met several times over 2013 and in early 2014 a Board was elected by the original founders.
We have had several highlights during the formative months but also some disappointments.
We have attracted over 1200 members who have offered real support to assist the party’s growth and bring us to this point. We have had many comments of support as members returned their applications.
We have also attracted some absolutely dedicated volunteers who have helped deliver over 140,000 brochures to letter boxes around New Zealand. Many have individually delivered thousands. One I know has delivered over 10,000.
Tauranga and and Hawke’s Bay have proven to be the areas of greatest support. We have a very strong following here and credit goes to the dedicated local members who have spread the word far and wide.
Of special note is Dr Tom Johnson to whom Hawke’s Bay and the party owes a great debt. Tom has stood up and spoken on behalf of the party both locally and nationally giving the party a face and a go-to person for comments.
We have also placed a number of advertisements in local and regional newspapers and other publications like NBR, funded by the party or individual members in various areas.
However, there have been several disappointments along the way. The major one is the general apathy of the majority of NZ citizens. We have only 1200 members despite the dedication and hard work of the one law for all team. The poor response to the 140,000 brochures and some newspaper advertising comes to mind.
This is also the reason that funding the party has largely come from the $10 membership fee and generous donations from others. Running a party organisation is expensive, and that’s with Board positions all being voluntary and unpaid and many Directors paying the cost of their expenses in doing their job.
Registering the party, appointing an auditor and other general compliance costs suck up a lot of the funds. As an example, it will cost $1000 just to register a party list with the Electoral Commission.
To effectively campaign at this election, we could need around $1,000,000. We have a mere 1% of that in our bank at this point.
Our application to be registered as a political party is being processed by the Electoral Commission, so we will be involved in this election, but it will be at a less effective level because of the lack of funds.
But we will be doing our best. For, if we don’t, then, come September, whose box could you tick on the ballot paper?
We have also been unable to attract the talent to spearhead an election campaign. Despite our efforts, a leader has not been identified and we have only a few election candidates.
We also desperately need additional support to share the administrative load and to inject new ideas and enthusiasm into the party. We have a list of skill sets required:
* Strategic direction/development
* Media liaison
* Social media management
However, it is not all doom and gloom. We are here today and your commitment is strong, as it is from the other hundreds of members throughout New Zealand.
The issue of one law for all continues as our major focus. Not only are our rights as citizens under attack nationally but also there is creeping infiltration locally, as misguided and misinformed local government representatives and the Local Government Commission attempt to hijack our democratic processes.
The insidious introduction of race based selection and appointments is like a cancer in our democratic society. It must be stopped.
We remain steadfast in the face of this and committed to challenge the ongoing attack on our democratic rights.