This past week has been huge both on a political front and on a personal front. Both contexts have underscored to me the importance of working together, supporting each other, caring for each other. And to top it all off, I am writing this post on Labour Weekend.
Labour Weekend is the three-day weekend at the end of October where we annually set aside a Monday to not labour. Instead we celebrate the union movement and remind ourselves of the working conditions we have won by coordinating, compromising and collaborating over time. It has only been by forming a strong united block on common causes that we have gained the right to work in places that are ventilated, to sit when we are tired, and to eat and drink when we are hungry and thirsty. We often forget how hard the nineteenth century unions fought to ensure we have these basic conditions. While Labour Day occurs annually and we are wont to take it for granted and simply use it as an extra day off, two other momentous one-off events have happened in the past three days.
On a national front, as a result of our MMP elections, three smaller parties have been able to join together to form a coalition for change in our nation. They are able to do this because they are united in their belief that the trickle down capitalism, so prominent for a good thirty years, has failed and it is now time for us to work together and give capitalism a much more human face by returning to more of the social welfare that our society was previously so proud of. We were proud of it because it showed we valued sharing and caring and working together over individualism, the survival of the fittest and user-pays. We have great hopes for the new coalition government announced on Thursday and led by Labour’s Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand First’s Winston Peters and The Green’s James Shaw.
On a personal front, a beautiful little baby girl, Asher Kahurangi Greenfield, was born on Friday evening to our beloved son and daughter-in-law. Such a precious and vulnerable wee mite. It has reminded me just how much support new mums and dads need from wider family and from community. Equally, it has underscored just how much the wider family and community grow from and are enriched by being a part of a child’s life. It certainly takes a village to raise a child.
We are so looking forward to meeting you, Asher. Your Granne.