SuperBlues make their Mark
SuperBlues are making their mark on National Party activities nation-wide through support for electorate and regional functions and organisation.
Chair Colleen Singleton says hard work by regional co-ordinators means the number of SuperBlues Groups is growing and long standing luncheon or morning tea gatherings are embracing the SuperBlues banner.
The draft handbook for SuperBlues Groups is now being distributed to electorates and as it is “a work in progress” you are encouraged to send comments or requests for a copy to email@example.com.
With more of the 65 and older age group continuing in the work force, SuperBlues meetings should take place at a time and in a venue that suits the needs of likely attendees. These may be a morning tea or lunch to suit retirees or at close of business to fit with the timetables of those in work.
The meetings provide an opportunity to meet National MPs, offer a range of information, become a forum for policy or issues discussion or simply networking and exchanges of ideas.
Colleen says there are a number of facts that SuperBlues members should take into account:
- Those aged over 60 are the largest age group in New Zealand. More than 1.2 million 60-plus people will be voting at the next election.
- Of all age groups, the 60-plus generation contributes the most volunteer hours and money to the National Party. It is the intention of SuperBlues to maximise the benefits of these political assets.
- The 60-plus age group provides the most effective telephonists and scrutineers in the National Party. Time, transport and communication is not usually an issue and this group is keen to contribute. SuperBlues are superb fund raisers and support a wide range of fund raising activities.
- Loyalty is a significant attribute of the 60-plus. Party membership in this age group averages 15 years.
- SuperBlues are a policy resource. They have a wide variety of skills and experience.
The past year has been all about organisation – at national, regional and electorate level. We still have more work to do in this area but we expect there to be a much stronger policy development role for SuperBlues in coming months.
Welcome Kahurangi National
SuperBlues are forming a special relationship with Kahurangi National as part of efforts to diversify our membership base.
We want Maori in the 60-plus age group to feel comfortable joining our electorate and regional groups. Kahurangi National as a Special Interest Group offers an excellent opportunity for us to foster a relationship from which each can benefit.
Discussion between us has been warm and positive. Together we can grow support for the common cause of National leadership for our country.
SuperBlues enthusiasm on display
National House, location of the party’s headquarters and former home of the late Sir Keith Holyoake when Prime Minister, was the venue this month for a fund raising social gathering that displayed in full the enthusiasm and organisational skills of SuperBlues.
Party supporters packed out the reception room of the historic building for the function hosted by former Prime Minister Sir John Key. Thousands of dollars were raised to support the development of a new style English garden being planted in the surrounds.
SuperBlues’ members organised and structured the function so that Sir John, Patron of the National Foundation which bought the House in 2013, was able to move about the gathering with ease to chat and reminisce with a variety of Party supporters.
A special group of SuperBlues’ enthusiasts formed under the chairmanship of a former resident, Mrs Philippa Falloon, have volunteered to look after the party’s new home. During the past 18 months they have brought what guests termed “order and serenity” to the grounds.
“The front and side gardens have been replenished and the challenge of redeveloping the back garden, which is surrounded by a sea of high rise concrete is now being investigated,” says Philippa Falloon.
“We are grateful for the further assistance offered us by architect Crispin Kay in expanding our options for the back garden,” she says.
Funds raised at the function will be spent on further development of the garden and an automatic watering system.
Gathering strength in North and South Islands
Ten SuperBlues electorate co-ordinators in Northern had their first regional meeting at the end of last month chaired by Lee Mathias with Colleen Singleton in attendance.
Lee reported: “We are gradually getting representatives from each electorate but still have gaps for Mangere and East Tamaki and Kelston, Te Atatu, Mt Albert and Mt Roskill. We particularly focused on policy which SuperBlues might like to be part of, whether directly related to the age group or not; events; keeping up with the politics of the day and volunteers with the 2020 election in mind.”
LNI Regional Chair Bernard Cleary signalled November as a big month for SuperBlues in the lower North Island. Wairarapa is establishing a branch in November. Otaki is setting up its branch shortly, while Tukituki and Napier are having a combined event. Mana is holding a meeting late in the month as is Palmerston/Rangitikei. Wellington Metro continues to hold monthly morning teas.
Meetings by Colleen and Deputy Chair James Austin with MPs from the South Island promoted enthusiasm for SuperBlues in their electorates. There’s a lot happening in the individual electorates with morning teas and lunch activities attracting large attendances of senior party members and supporters. Electorate SuperBlues’ contact persons are being identified. Invercargill groups are going well while Otago plans a concentration on SuperBlues’ activities in coming months.
Pat Seymour is developing the SuperBlues presence in CNI. She reports that MPs Scott Simpson, Todd Muller and Hamilton MPs are holding regular coffee meetings for members with good attendances.