E mihi ana ki te rangi. E mihi ana ki te whenua. E mihi ana ki ngā maunga. Me ngā wai horapa nei o tēnei whenua. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.
Ata mārie and welcome!
Let me start by saying a massive thank you to all of you.
Not only for being here on a classically cold and wet Wellington morning, but for all the support you have given to the Green Party over the years.
As Greens, we are all too familiar with the fact that lasting change doesn’t come quickly or easily. It never does.
But James and I - and our eight amazing parliamentary colleagues - are really proud of what we have achieved over the last six years.
Together, we have taken more action on climate change than the previous three decades of governments combined.
We have secured the biggest-ever boost in funding to protect native plants and animals.
And we delivered New Zealand’s first-ever plan to eliminate family violence and sexual violence.
We have also had big Green wins in areas like rainbow issues, birth injuries, alcohol regulation, seabed mining, and electoral reform.
And we couldn’t have done any of that without you.
But let’s be honest: while we have won some victories, we have also been held back.
Held back by the two main political parties that time and time again have pursued power for its own sake, rather than collective purpose.
I think they have both got something fundamentally wrong when just 311 families have enough money in their bank accounts, or tied up in tax free property portfolios, to lift every single family in this country out of poverty - and yet, they don’t have the courage to do anything about it.
I think they have got something fundamentally wrong when only a few weeks before our communities were devastated by flooding, National was promising to reopen oil and gas drilling.
Not only that, but just weeks after the flooding, the Labour Cabinet started chipping away at the climate plan a Green Party climate minister, James Shaw, put in place last year with no plan to make up the shortfall.
I think they have got something fundamentally wrong when instead of saying they will fix the unfair rules which see 1.4 million renters pay more of their income for cold, mouldy houses, Labour ruled out rent controls and National said they would open up young people’s retirement savings so they can be raided to push up already unsustainable rental bonds.
Today, we stand here, and we say loudly and clearly that we have had enough.
We have had enough of the politics of indifference.
We have had enough of the same old tired ideas.
We have had enough of political leaders ruling out necessary change because they are worried about losing a few votes.
If you’re at home today wondering how you’re going to pay the bills, or counting every dollar as you make your way around the supermarket.
If you’re picking up extra shifts just to pay the rent, or skipping study so you can earn enough to eat.
If you’re looking on as wildfires and flooding ravage communities around the world and are worried about the world your kids will grow up in.
Then, like us, you’re also probably looking at the two major political parties and thinking “is that it?”
But here’s the thing: this campaign is not about Chris Hipkins, or Chris Luxon. And it most definitely is not about David Seymour.
This campaign is about you.
It is about all of us and what we can do together to improve the lives of millions of people.
Ko tēnei te wā. The time is now to be bold.
Ko tēnei te wā. The time is now for thinking big.
So, today, with your support - and the support of thousands of people right across Aotearoa - we begin the biggest grassroots campaign we have ever seen in this country.
A campaign to transform Aotearoa.
Not only are we going to fight to tax the super wealthy and use the money to make sure people have warm homes to live in and an income to live on.
Not only are we going to prioritise climate action and build thriving communities that work for people and nature.
But we are going to take this campaign directly into communities across Aotearoa - in town hall meetings, in door-to-door conversation, in phone calls, and on street corners.
Because that is how we win. That is how we make change happen.
Today, we are gathered in the beautiful, vibrant city of Wellington.
A city of limitless talent, passion and creativity.
A city that will soon be represented by two new Green MPs: Tamatha Paul in Wellington Central and Julie Anne Genter in Rongotai.
Two incredible, strong wahine who are standing to represent their home and community.
They may be the underdogs, but the Greens have been the underdogs before - and we have won.
We have won through hard work and community building.
People coming together organising, knocking on doors, picking up the phone to talk to other people about the issues they care about and what they want to see from the next government.
Three years ago Chloe Swarbrick and the Green Party defied the odds in Auckland Central - and this year we are going to do it again here in Wellington.
Because, just like Auckland in 2020, we know that Wellington Central and Ronogtai do not belong to any political party; they belong to the people of Wellington.
So, don’t just watch the polls, be the polls. Don’t wake up on 15th October and wish you’d done something.
If you can host a billboard, make some calls, knock on some doors, or chip in some cash to help take on the status quo, haere mai.
Help us make this campaign about the needs of everyone in this country - and the ideas, the policies, and the changes necessary to meet those needs.
Help us make it about the thousands of parents who are going hungry just so they can make sure their kids can get enough to eat.
Help us make it about the people forced to pay through the roof to live in cold, damp, and unhealthy homes.
The nurses, the midwives, teachers, social workers struggling to make ends meet and cutting back on heating their home
Help us make this campaign about our shared future.
About freeing ourselves from the constraints of a majority government and creating something new, something better.
An Aotearoa where everybody has what they need to thrive.
Over the last few weeks, people will have got a taste for what the Green Party is about this election.
Ending poverty, faster climate action, hoki whenua mai, and nature protection.
That's what we can achieve together.
So, when you look at your parliament after the 14th October, make sure it is filled with politicians who don’t hold long-term ambitions for power, but who just want to get shit done for people.
That is politics.
That is grassroots transformation.
That is the Green Party.
And to tell you more about it, I am delighted to introduce my friend and my fellow co-leader, James Shaw.