Contest process exciting

Last updated 08:07 17/09/2013

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OPINION: Recent events within the Labour Party are surely a hot news topic right now and as a member of the party and the Labour caucus I want to take this opportunity to share my views with you, writes Clare Curran (Labour) in From the Beehive.

I'm excited by this opportunity for the wider party, members and affiliates to participate in the process of electing our leader and am looking forward to the rejuvenation and unification this process will bring for the future.

David Shearer is a man of integrity and honesty and I have a vast amount of respect for him. As a member of the Labour team I felt a great deal of sadness at David's decision. SometimesI think people forget that MPs are human too and our strong working relationships are based on friendship and shared political passion. The long hours, unique pressures and challenges we face in the Parliamentary and public environments strengthen these bonds. The uncertainty of a time like this affects many more people than you might expect.

As a team we must and will continue to work together now and into the future to build the strongest party possible and return to government in 2014.

The party leadership contest is the biggest internal political party democratic process ever undertaken in Australasia. It is an exciting sign of the improvements the party is undertaking to our internal processes. So far, the organisation has responded with agility and poise to this new experience; we can be proud of the council members, local electorate committees and members who are working hard to make this process as smooth as possible.

On Sunday Dunedin-based members of the party and Service and Food Workers Union (along with those in Otago and Southland) will have their opportunity to hear from and meet the three contenders, Grant Robertson, David Cunliffe and Shane Jones.

A hustings meeting will be held from 3.30pm at the Kings and Queens Performing Arts Centre in Bayview Rd, South Dunedin. Past members who have not renewed for this year can renew by midnight tomorrow, in order to vote and new members can join at the meeting but won't be eligible to vote.

Whoever the leader chosen by the wider electoral college I am confident the process will help ensure they receive the full support of the caucus and party and I strongly encourage you to get involved and help us select New Zealand's next prime minister.

» Clare Curran is the MP for Dunedin South.

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- The Southland Times

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