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CTU President Richard Wagstaff’s acceptance speech

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou

I am both honoured and humbled to be taking up the role of CTU President.

I want to thank the PSA and the EPMU for nominating me to this role and to all of the affiliates and officials who have supported and encouraged me to stand.

Being CTU President is a job of great importance and you have placed a great deal in faith in me to play a crucial leadership role of the union movement.

I’m really looking forward to working more closely with all of you and gaining a greater insight and understanding of the issues you confront and the causes you support.

There is much to be done to improve the lives of working people. But I also know that working in union – union members their unions and the CTU is a force to be reckoned with. I will work with you all to make a difference in our battle for a better deal for working people.

Helen Kelly is a hard act to follow that’s for sure! She has given the CTU Presidency an amazing profile. Helen – thank you for your hard work, determination and passion.

We must maintain this momentum and together we will bring a stronger voice and a stronger presence for working people in their workplace, their industry and within NZ society. There is so much change occurring – it’s vital that the voice of working people is heard and listened to in the change process.

It is only through the union movement that worker people will have the power and influence to create positive inclusive change.

We have to organise and build our movement, and that will always be the highest priority.

I look forward to working with you all to make this a reality.