Labour leader Jacinda Ardern opens Labour Party's annual conference in Auckland

8:10 pm on 4 November 2022
Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern opening the party's annual conference in Auckland.

Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern opening the party's three day annual conference in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Katie Scotcher

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern is urging party faithful to use its annual conference to "refresh and rejuvenate" ahead of next year's election.

A few hundred party members and MPs gathered in the South Auckland suburb of Manukau this evening for the start of the three-day event.

The conference comes as Ardern and her ministers face pressure over the cost of living, high inflation and the government's planned reforms.

Labour will be looking to reset its messaging and gain momentum this weekend, as recent polling shows National and ACT could form the next government.

Before Ardern officially opened the conference, the audience was shown a video of policies Labour has implemented during its five years in government.

The recent passing of the fair pay agreement legislation drew the biggest response from the crowd.

Ardern told the party's base the video made her feel "weary but also really invigorated".

Labour was "just getting started", she said.

Just a year out from next year's general election, Ardern urged the audience to use the weekend to "reflect on what we've done, and we've done much, but also on what needs to be done to refresh and rejuvenate for the year ahead, to remember why we are Labour."

"So after five years of progress, let's keep going," Ardern said.

Ardern also thanked outgoing party president Claire Szabó for her three years in the role.

"You have had to deal with some incredibly difficult but also incredibly important issues for us as a Labour Party," Ardern said.

Szabó will address the conference tomorrow.

Ardern will deliver her keynote speech on Sunday.

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