Last on National’s list

The Spinoff has a series of posts on the people who are last on their party’s list.

Some highlights from Shelley Pilkington who is 75th on National’s list:

Growing up, life was hard. I’d experienced hunger and homelessness and for a time been a ward of the state. When I left school I felt the pressure to work and support my family.

But one day, as a young adult, I realised that handing out money wasn’t achieving anything; I needed to leave home and take responsibility for my own future.

I went to live with my grandfather.  Grandad had faced a rough childhood too but had worked hard and done well, even receiving an MBE for his significant contribution to social work. He helped me to catch a vision for my future by teaching me about goal-setting, how to budget and save money, and encouraged me to further my education.

When it came time to vote, I asked my grandfather, “Who should I vote for?”

He said, “The National Party. They’ll back you.”

And that’s been my experience. . . 

I know that the values of personal responsibility, hard work and reward for effort are not just political ideology; they actually work.

But to achieve these things well, we also need strong families and caring communities – another key National Party value. We need to be surrounded by people who believe in us – like my grandad – who invest their time and attention to lift and encourage others to be everything they were meant to be; and to be supported by a government that gives people a hand up, not just a hand out. . . 

Despite the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19, under a National-led government businesses will be inspired to grow, invest and employ more people. National’s plan is to generate more tax revenue by sharing in business growth instead of punishing success with additional tax. A growing economy will provide more money to payback debt, to spend on infrastructure, healthcare, education and a cleaner, greener environment – the things New Zealanders really want. . . 

At 75th on the list Shelley isn’t expecting to get into parliament this time but what an asset she is to the party now and will be to parliament in the future.



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