Damian Light is the new United Future party leader

United Future has a new leader – and it’s one of our very own.

New United Future leader, Damian Light.

Botany candidate Damian Light has been appointed new leader following the news long-time leader Peter Dunne would not stand for re-election in the upcoming General Election.

Dunne has been the local member of parliament for the Ohariu electorate for 33 years.

He cited the “current political environment…extremely volatile and unpredictable” as contributing to his decision to step down.

Light has represented United Future as candidate in the last four elections and is currently the spokesperson for Auckland Issues and Diversity.

He recently released the party list – of which the top four candidates are all under age 40.

Light said this “shows our commitment to future generations”.

“There is a good mix of new candidates and those with experience, plus a wide range of personal and professional experience.”

Light has served on the party board as well as party secretary and president.

“Running for parliament is all-consuming and I’d like to acknowledge the unwavering support I’ve received from my family and boyfriend throughout this campaign,” he said.

In a media statement released earlier this week – one of his first since becoming leader – Light said he was concerned the progress made on drug reform is sliding back already.

“United Future has been moving New Zealand towards a health based approach to drugs. However National’s announcement over the weekend of additional funding for the failed war on drugs shows that the old parties do not understand how to fix this problem.”

“Last week Labour Leader Jacinda Adern was widely praised for her response to a question on medicinal cannabis, but her party is yet to launch a drug reform policy,” said Light

He said UnitedFuture has made drug reform one of its top 10 policies for this election, understanding the significant and widespread impact that drugs have on New Zealand.