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2019 Gatherings

7:20PM on Thursday the
12th September

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POST ELECTION REFLECTIONS

OUTCOME

The Election and Post-Election negotiations are over and we have a new Minority Coalition Government comprising Labour + NZ First with Confidence and Supply support from the Greens. National and ACT are now in the opposition.

POLICY

At the very outset I want to reinforce Prayer @Parliament Policy: We do not endorse any one party or parties. We want to promote Christian influence in every party.

REACTION

How are you reacting to the change of Government? It will depend on whether you supported (a) a Labour-led Government or (b) a National-led Government. Like the rest of NZ voter’s Christian voters will be in two camps. (a) Those who voted for a Labour-led Government will be very delighted with the outcome (b) those who voted for a National-led Government will be very disappointed!

PRE-ELECTION

As Christians we would have prayed for our preferred Governing Coalition. We would have voted and encouraged others (remember P.I.E.V.E. Project). Most of us have taken our duties as Christian citizens very seriously.

POST-ELECTION

I want to particularly address those who are in the ‘disappointed’ category. At the human level our part is to do what God requires us (Ro 13:1-7; 1 Tim 2:1-2). Having done that, we leave the final outcome in God’s hands, He is Sovereign. Those who govern us are called God’s servants 3 times in Rom 13. They are God’s servants, not necessarily in the sense in which we usually use that term namely followers of Christ doing ministry. They are God’s servants:

  • Not because they are necessarily Christians. When Paul wrote Romans 13 there were in all probability no Christians in government.
  • They are not God’s servants because they are the ones we voted for.
  • They are God’s servants because they are performing a God-ordained function of governing (Rom 13:2).

ELECTORAL SYSTEMS

There are no perfect electoral systems of government. Neither First Past the Post (FPP) nor Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) are perfect. Should the party that won the largest number of seats be given the first opportunity to form a government? This is a matter for intelligent discussion as well as other aspects e.g. coat-tailing, 5% threshold etc.

ELECTION SWINGS

It is important to keep things in perspective. In our recent history, Labour and its support partners governed for 9 years under Helen Clark. This was followed by 9 years of John Key and Bill English led government. The last time there was a 4-term Government (12 years) was 45 years ago under Holyoake (1960-1972). And now the pendulum has swung again. And it will swing again sometime in the future. You will get another opportunity in 3 years’ time.

We will all experience both delight and disappointment at various times, not only in the Election outcomes but also in so many other spheres of life. It is important at this time to take hold of Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else guard your heart for everything you do flows from it”. See also Psalm 42 and 43 and 1 Kings chapters 18 & 19. To those who supported Labour-led Government Congratulations! To those who supported a National-led Government Commiserations!

To be disappointed is human but we must not let disappointments degenerate into bitterness, cynicism, disillusionment and disengagement with the political process. Christians are resilient, you will bounce back!

PRAYER POINTERS

In Luke 18:1 Jesus told his disciples to always pray and not give up. Let us therefore pray for:

  • Our New Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, our second youngest PM in NZ and youngest female PM.
  • The New Cabinet and Ministers outside the Cabinet the full list of the Ministers will be posted shortly on the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s website at http://www.dpmc.govt.nz
  • The full list of MPs will be posted on the Parliamentary website at: http://www.parliament.govt.nz
  • Bill English. Mr English is a practicing Christian, a highly experienced politician having served for some 30 years in Parliament. He is a humble man and a decent human being. Pray fervently for him, his wife Mary and family during this very painful period and for wisdom about his future.
  • The outgoing Cabinet Ministers and Ministers outside the Cabinet. Some have served for three terms, others were new additions. This will be a very difficult and painful time of transition for them.
  • Pray for all remaining MPS that those in government and in the opposition, will all make constructive contributions for the welfare of NZ.
  • MP’s staff. Some will have to find employment serving MPS others may have to find jobs outside Parliament.
  • The Electoral Commission and its staff who do enormous amount of work behind the Scenes to ensure that our elections are conducted with integrity.
  • I have written to MPs especially those who have supported Prayer @ Parliament.