Election 2023: Council of Trade Unions 'proud' of campaign against National, says 'money well spent' despite result

The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) says its campaign against the National Party during the election trail was "money well spent" despite the blue-nami election result.   

CTU chief executive Richard Wagstaff joined AM on Tuesday and when asked by AM's Ryan Bridge if he regrets getting involved and "being so negative" during the campaign – he said he does not.   

"No, we don't regret that at all."  

The CTU ran a series of ads which featured a black and white picture of Prime Minister elect Christopher Luxon with "out of touch" and "too much at risk" written in capital letters below him. 

Election 2023: Council of Trade Unions 'proud' of campaign against National, says 'money well spent' despite result
Photo credit: Newshub

At the time the ads were released National fired back, dubbing them "nasty".  

Now the votes have been counted, Aotearoa's Parliament is washed with blue and we'll soon have a new government.   

Wagstaff told AM it was important for the CTU to "stand up" for the interests of working people.  

"We think that removing fair pay agreements, we think that cutting taxes for landlords and reducing public services that we all depend on are policies that won't suit our members and they won't suit working people. And it's important within a democratic framework that the voices of workers are heard," he said.  

"We're proud of what we did."  

When asked how much CTU members' money was spent on the campaign, Wagstaff told AM it spent "well under the cap" and the exact amount will be released in due course.  

"In our view, money well spent."  

He wouldn't be drawn on a rough figure on the amount spent, but Wagstaff said it fundraised thousands of dollars with "people wanting to join in" and support their campaign.   

When asked if he believed Labour leader Chris Hipkins ran a good campaign, he said "a good campaign is a campaign that wins in the end, and we didn't succeed and or he didn't succeed."  

"I think there's plenty of time for self-reflection and looking at what comes next. That's the nature of democracy."   

Watch the full interview above for more.