Silver lining in United Future clouds

United Future has had major membership problems. First it had a dwindling membership, and when it admitted the numbers had dropped below 500 the Electoral Commission de-registered the party.

There is no legal allowance for re-registration of a party so United Future has to register as a new party using old fashioned paper records. That sounds absurd but it’s the rules as stipulated by legislation and the Electoral Commission.

So this is a major administrative task for the party. It also puts party funding in jeopardy. A ruling from Parliament’s Speaker on this is yet to be made.

So this all looks very messy, and it is. It’s also embarrassing for the party.

But there has already been a significant silver lining.

All small parties struggle to maintain interest and members. Government support parties tend to fade in importance in the eyes of voters.

But all the publicity since the shock de-registration has precipitated a surge in new membership.And as Peter Dunne has said:

“Events surrounding my resignation, funnily enough, also helped.”

Reports indicate the numbers have close to trebled, which means somewhere around 1500 members. This is huge compared to the past few years.

The party has a lot to do to manage the new membership. If they want to retain interest they need to include the members in party affairs, keep them informed, listen to them and encourage active participation.

The dark clouds that have engulfed United Future have also provided an injection of new interest in the party. This was badly needed. It has to be used wisely.

There is now an opportunity to revitalise the party and make it relevant in next year’s election. There’s a lot to do but at least the party has had the boot up the bum it needed.

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1 Comment

  1. As in winter, we all find things that are negative to be an inspiration towards surviving a ‘cold blast’ as we have now physically in the South Island etc. So I am encouraged that the negative aspect of this ‘cold storm’ has inspired us all towards surviving the brutal political storm.


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