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A new broom?

Written By: - Date published: 8:55 am, January 31st, 2013 - 95 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Word is that Shearer’s team has taken a cue from the media response from Key’s reshuffle and is looking to bolster his new tough image by dropping some of the old hands in his own reshuffle (which will, of course, come after the caucus vote on his leadership). Almost without doubt the losers will be Maryan Street, Su’a William Sio, and Nanaia Mahuta.

Shearer will be hoping that serving up their heads will be enough to get him the kind of “ruthless steel” headlines Key got for dropping Wilkinson and Heatley.

His other move will be to give Hipkins education, bring Shane Jones back, and possibly promote someone he doesn’t like (perhaps Cunliffe) into health as it’s a portfolio labour’s strategists have given up on and now see as a poison chalice.

This change-up probably won’t be enough for the likes of Tracy Watkins, who has made it clear that the real old guard to see off is Trev, Annette, and Phil. But that’s just dreaming: there’s no way Shearer will cross the people that are keeping him in place and the recent hard yards he’s done for Trev’s aspirations for the Speaker’s chair shows just who holds sway in Shearer’s caucus. With those three unmoved, the path to promotion is blocked for younger MPs.

I expect Shearer’s team will try to make a big deal of the of the fact Street gets dropped. It’s well known she voted for Shearer in the 2011 leadership contest and she isn’t needed by him now so makes the perfect scalp to take to show he doesn’t play favorites. Dropping Mahuta will give the press gallery the result they’ve been hinting at for the last year, and giving Cunliffe health will allow them to claim they’re bringing him back up into a big portfolio while keeping him away from anything economic and setting him up to fail.

One thing is for sure though, the core team driving Labour’s centre-seeking small target strategy won’t be touched. Shearer’s new-found toughness can only stretch so far.

95 comments on “A new broom?”

  1. Sio is underrated and very important. Pacifica is so important to Labour and Sio is someone whose links to Pacifica are deep and strong.

    He has a very well organised seat and saw off the Taito challenge with aplomb.

    And Mangere had a huge increase in the Labour party vote last election, by far the biggest in the country.

    He should definitely be left where he is.

    EDIT: and for similar reasons Nanaia should also remain where she is. Her links to Maori especially Tainui are vital.

    • Pete 1.1

      Mahuta has been woefully AWOL when it comes to her education portfolio, though. With all the blunders at Education last year, it was Hipkins who lead the issues for Labour. It’s a balancing act. Do her advantages overcome the deficiencies in he performance? I’m not convinced they do.

      • quartz 1.1.1

        I wonder how much support and resource she got compared to Hipkins. Hint: she stood as Cunliffe’s deputy in 2011 and he’s Trevor Mallard’s right hand weasel.

      • stargazer 1.1.2

        nanaia just had a lovely baby daughter in december. that might explain her absence to you? i’m pretty sick of all the bagging of nanaia without any consideration of the fact that she might have a very valid reason for needing a bit of time out.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.2.1

          She’s been absent all last year, not just since December.

          When she was up as Cunliffe’s running mate (which I still maintain was a stupid idea and probably the lead balloon that stopped him winning), myself and many others had never even heard of her or had any idea who she was.

          • stargazer 1.1.2.1.1

            i wouldn’t say she was absent at all. she took on the burden of the constitutional review and has done a lot of work on that, travelling around the country. sure that stuff doesn’t get in the media, but it’s still work & it made a difference. and since you did mention her running with mr cunliffe, it’s quite possible that there was some fallout from that.

            if you didn’t know who she was then you probably weren’t paying attention. and who had any idea of who mr shearer was before he started running? other than that he replaced helen clark in a by-election, what exactly were his achievements as an MP, as compared to nanaia who was a very competent minister (clearly no stuff ups that caused her name to be in the limelight) and who negotiated the whole foreshore & seabed mess a lot better than tariana turia did.

            which I still maintain was a stupid idea and probably the lead balloon that stopped him winning

            evidence please. the vote was by caucus, each position was voted separately. mr cunliffe could have been voted in with a different deputy had caucus so wished. which MP anywhere has ever stated that choice of deputy affected their vote for leader?

            • Lanthanide 1.1.2.1.1.1

              “i wouldn’t say she was absent at all. she took on the burden of the constitutional review and has done a lot of work on that, travelling around the country. sure that stuff doesn’t get in the media, but it’s still work & it made a difference.”

              Right, I wasn’t aware of that. I am just talking about being absent from the media. The point Pete made is that the Education minister was making such a hash of things last year, why wasn’t Mahuta there to show her up. I don’t think she ever did, and it is that context that we are saying she was absent.

              “if you didn’t know who she was then you probably weren’t paying attention.”

              But there’s a difference between hearing the name of some MP that you’ve heard of before and knew nothing about, and hearing the name of an MP you’d never heard before. That’s the situation with Mahuta for me (and apparently others).

              “and who had any idea of who mr shearer was before he started running?”

              Someone who had been talked up in the media as a potential future leader as far back as the by-election.

              “evidence please. the vote was by caucus, each position was voted separately. mr cunliffe could have been voted in with a different deputy had caucus so wished. which MP anywhere has ever stated that choice of deputy affected their vote for leader?”

              I have no evidence, except for what various people have written in the threads on the standard about the leadership tour as it went on. As for “voting for a different deputy”, sure, they *could* do that, but in reality would they? The other point is that Cunliffe was setting up this “double-ticket” thing as per US politics, and it just isn’t the “done thing” in New Zealand. Now perhaps his double-ticket ploy could have been a good one, but it doesn’t seem to have been well-received by the caucus/media to me, but again that could have just been because of his choice of ‘running mate’ rather than the concept itself.

      • bad12 1.1.3

        Nanaia has been having one of those baby things, Chris Hipkiss has been filling in for Her in the role as Education Spokesperson,

        My view, expressed previously, is that Labour need task both Hipkiss and Mahuta to play ‘tag’ with Hekia Parata, there’s acres of space there,(between Hekia’s ears), within which to create political capital,

        I hold the same view of the economic portfolio, currently Dave Parker has all the presence in the Debating Chamber of a wet rag, having read a number of His speeches, His and Dave Cunliffe’s views on the New Zealand economy are not in fact that far apart and it would seem that it is Parker’s more timid nature that fails to fully elucidate this in terms that the average head can come to grips with,

        My solution, bring Cunliffe on to the front bench so that both are used as another tag team on the likes of English and Joyce,

        Mallard, why not the next Speaker of the House, no ones going to simply sack the Hutt South MP so easing Him into retirement is the next best thing,

        National is weak on the economy, weak in education, and not even on the planet when it comes to affordable housing, those weaknesses should be exploited ruthlessly by Labour in 2013…

      • Rogue Trooper 1.1.4

        same Pete

    • Tom Gould 1.2

      There are some very talented people who would be able to step up to the task if given the chance. Problem for Shearer is balancing merit against the quota system. It would be more honest and transparent to take on the Aussie system of direct factional representation, rather than keep on pretending.

  2. I’d be ashamed to bank my pay cheque if I were responsible for the mess the Labour party have become.
    Four years in opposition and the only hits they’ve landed, on behalf of the people, have all been self inflicted.
    It’s a pity NZ doesn’t have a second chamber for dinosaurs to retire to and pretend they’re still relevant in.

    • CV - Real Labour 2.1

      Well, the National Party have various corporate boardrooms all over the country that they use for the same purpose.

      • The Al1en 2.1.1

        Plain brown envelopes full of cash for everyone.

        Put the policy you’d like to own on the back of a self addressed envelope (no emails ,texts, phone calls or spy cams) and you’ll receive your fan club membership pack and parliamentary swipe card by return.

      • chris73 2.1.2

        Getting rid of Labour politicians?

  3. One Tāne Huna 3

    I hope this isn’t the same “word” that told you Shearer was going to show some spine and put his leadership to a party-wide vote.

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    Sweep the whole lot of them away and start from scratch with people who have integrity and knowledge. It’s the only answer.

  5. quartz 5

    the recent hard yards he’s done for Trev’s aspirations for the Speaker’s chair

    Is Labour putting Trevor Mallard up for speaker? That’s a joke, right?

    • Lightly 5.1

      nope.

      For some reason, they think it’s clever to keep it secret to the last minute.

    • KhandallaViper 5.2

      It’s been on the radar for a while.

      I think Trevor would be a transformational Speaker.
      While he has failed miserably as a Labour Strategist and as a Sports Minister he does have a certain energy and ability to communicate. He could use those talents to make Parliament more relevant to the many who think is is not: the many who do not vote.

      • Anne 5.2.1

        +1 KV.

        He is a talented politician with a sharp mind. The problem is, he turned his talents to a negative cause and upset a lot of good members in the process. His turn may well come and he would be an excellent speaker provided he keeps himself under control.

        We can’t have any speaker/polly fisticuffs in the corridor can we… 😛

      • Jenny 5.2.2

        How would he go on ruling on fisticuffs in the aisles?

  6. Anne 6

    possibly promote someone he doesn’t like (perhaps Cunliffe) into health as it’s a portfolio labour’s strategists have given up on and now see as a poison chalice.

    .

    Let it happen. Cunliffe would probably turn the poisoned chalice into a goblet of nectar.

    • One Tāne Huna 6.1

      I seem to recall a previous leader being Minister of Health at one point…

      • Anne 6.1.1

        I seem to recall the ABC Club No. 1 (yes, same initial) assiduously trying to destroy that leader’s political prospects back in the 1980s and 90s.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          😯

          • Anne 6.1.1.1.1

            Umm… I refer to the initial ‘C’ CV. Those at the forefront of the 80s/90s ABC club were ‘old’ political hands who were jealous of a bright and talented newer colleague.

            Indeed there are some interesting parallels between the two scenarios.

            • CV - Real Labour 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Ah yes thanks Anne. I think I finally got it the first time – and felt shocked… :)

    • King Kong 6.2

      That’s because he is exactly like Jesus.

      You fellas crack me up. If he is so good, how did he have three tilts at the Labour leadership and get out witted, and out performed everytime?

      • CV - Real Labour 6.2.1

        You claim 3 tilts? Date time and place please.

        • King Kong 6.2.1.1

          Please not again. Yes he did have a crack at conference.

          • fatty 6.2.1.1.1

            Please not again

            Yeah, come on people. Why does everyone pick on KK? Why does every story have to be backed up with facts?

            • Tim 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Indeed! It’s just the comments that are obviously designed to goad. Other than that, KK has no better right than I to comment (or so I hope). The guy is obviously a pratt and I wonder why he spends his time here trying to push his fucked agenda, but there is at times, an alternative view that’s inconvenient to have to tolerate (as I keep telling myself – much as I’d like to see them hanging from a 33kV pylon’s crossmember). BTW – I also have no doubt that if things were to continue on as they are – it won’t be that long before such a gruesome view comes to pass

    • rosy 6.3

      I’d love to see Cunliffe take on Tony Ryall – well, someone good take on Ryall. He’s making changes that are passing under the radar. Someone needs to fight against the reduction in access to primary care and keep an eye on the challenges of the merging DHBs.

      • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 6.3.1

        ‘Word is’ that the necessary staffing and preparation for DHB activity is not there – with eventual ‘unfortunate’ results. Certainly overwork, stress and despair at times for those in the hospital field trying to keep it functioning. Perhaps that’s where NACTs want public medicine, distributed from a tent in a field. Mind you that would be already an advance on the level that some are able to access now!

        • higherstandard 6.3.1.1

          Actually although there are always issues in the public health system that could be improved most of the ASMS would agree that Ryall is the best MoH for quite some time.

          • CV - Real Labour 6.3.1.1.1

            I figured he had been doing a good job of keeping them happy because they’ve hardly made a peep last couple of years.

          • ak 6.3.1.1.2

            Pfffttt….apart from their representatives and the non -tory sycophants majority of them…..

          • McFlock 6.3.1.1.3

            dunno about comparisons (other than “beats the living shit out of shipley”), but he does seem to be evidence-led and reads his stuff.

            Shame he’s supervising the ambulance at the bottom of the poverty cliff that the rest of cabinet is throwing kids off.

          • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 6.3.1.1.4

            For the outer circle – ASMS is Assocation of Salaried Medical Specialists. Got it on google.

  7. SpaceMonkey 7

    Everything changes but everything stays the same. It’s smoke and mirrors…

  8. Bill 8

    From the little knowledge I have of who stands where in relation to confidence in Shearer that ‘re-shuffle’ looks very much like whatever it is that comes after the statedgy of circling the wagons has failed. I don’t quite know what that is – something along the lines of:- “Abandon the wagons! We have this tea chest we can fit into and cover all angles from. And we still have some ammo left!” ?

    • CV - Real Labour 8.1

      Hmmmm in western movies if circling the wagons fail, a defence standing back by back is the last option and usually the next step is the slaughter of any remaining pilgrims by angry red indians….

  9. fenderviper 9

    Shearer wont be using any broom by his own initiative. His masters will give him instructions, thats why he got the leaders job that he’s under-qualified for. His task will be to try and read what the masters have prepared for him (in his unique and painful way).

  10. vto 10

    a new broom broom, sheesh, ….

    too much diddle daddle around, not enough meat and mongrel. Example – Key’s state of nation speech sholud have been ankle-tapped with a labour release on some decent issue at the same time. Instead, nothing and Key got un-harassed media time. Then, to make matters worse, National did exactly that to Shearer, issuing press releases on wof and post at same time as Shearers speech. You got ankle-tapped.

    Come on fullas and fullesses, get stuck in. Mewonders if there is too much hand-ringing and care taken which means the momentum and impetus is lost. Over-analysis leads to paralysis.

  11. just saying 11

    If Shearer does reshuffle, and in the way you have suggested it would be truly puerile.
    So I expect he will.

    Labour leaders have been ineptly aping Key’s every significant move for four long years now. And looking like dickheads every time.

  12. Matthew Hooton 12

    What is your threshold for starting a column with “word is”?

    For me (and I have a low threshold as a opinion writer compared with a day-to-day reporter), it has to be something I have heard quite regularly for a number of weeks at a variety of functions. For example, I went to a party last night at Premier House and heard a lot of “word is”s. But I won’t be writing about them in the NBR, or talking about them on RNZ or RadioLIVE, until I hear the same stories a few more times. Because people in politics have a massive incentive to make shit up in order to smear their rivals.

    So, how many times did you hear the story you have reported here (accepting of course that this is a blog and you don’t have quite the same threshold for fact checking that I have, let alone, say, Vernon Small etc.)

    • No you are much more subtle Matthew. You will state a couple of facts in parallel and then let the reader or listener draw a link between the two and form a conclusion even though you have no proof of the link.

      But there again there are occasions where you have said things that can be shown to be, um, not correct.

      So how does it feel occupying the moral high ground. Do you think you should actually be there?

      • King Kong 12.1.1

        It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that lately, Eddies “rumours” have had the appearance of being pushing a very anti Shearer agenda.

        I think Matthew asks a reasonable question.

    • ak 12.2

      Word is, Hooton’s slowly but surely being left out of the loop……

    • geoff 12.3

      They heard it from Duncan Garner’s keyboard.

    • Lightly 12.4

      probably higher than the threshold you had when you said a 4th term Clark government would ban private media and cancel elections.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.4.1

        That was fucking hilarious.

        his basis for that was a Cullen quip that he didn’t undertsand, and some other trifling shit.

        God knows what he thinks of Key’s antics, but he claimed at the time not to know anything about Key getting that paper up north to print a ‘clarification’ of the ‘wages drop’ quote by talking to head office bigwigs in Sydney.

      • geoff 12.4.2

        there a link for that? that one would be great to have saved in bookmarks.

    • bad12 12.5

      While your here Mathew perhaps you could answer a little question i have,

      It seems that every time you and Mike whats his face get to having your little conversations on RadioNZ National my radio begins to emit some very weird noises,

      This emanation forms the sound i am reliably informed that is akin to a facial protuberance being pressed forcibly against an anatomical orifice followed by a loud suctioning,

      Can you please tell me what the cause of this strange emanation from my radio might be???…

    • fatty 12.6

      But I won’t be writing about them in the NBR, or talking about them on RNZ or RadioLIVE, until I hear the same stories a few more times.

      Not everyone mingles with snakes and liars hooter. You know that inherent desire to be selfish…also, just your friends.

      • bad12 12.6.1

        Hooten’s whole comment is really all about ‘Him’, how it was He, and by insinuation not ‘Us’ that received an invite to Premier House and how it was ‘He’ that picked up all the good ‘gossip’ but ‘we’, being such unfortunate peasants that we are not to have received such an invite to ‘teet a teet’ with the high and mighty will have to go to ‘His’ website to read about these pearls of wisdom,

        Translation, Hooten’s web-site is a boring sewer without a modicum of comments containing a shred of intellectual rigor and ‘He’ is losing ground as the Organ Grinders Monkee when it comes to being a mouth piece for the Neo-Liberal agenda,

        Translation, the Slippery lead National Government has had the rug pulled out from under it’s feet by both Labour and the Green Party having announced affordable housing plans that both complement each other while providing for affordable housing in all areas of economy,

        Solution, invite the Organ Grinder’s Monkee’s to a little whine and cheese evening thus blowing their severely dented ego’s up to their former size so as to re-energize the monkee’s in their endeavors to spread the severely discredited message contained in the Neo-Liberal agenda…

    • quartz 12.7

      Well, we’ll find out today if Mallard is being put up for speaker.

      Also: http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/columnists/matthew-hooton/179135/i-MATTHEW-HOOTON-Tearing-down-the-fourth-estate-i

      You’re a liar, Matty.

    • Tim 12.8

      What is your threshold for starting a column with “word is”?
      Pretty much the same as yours (the threshold), every time you open your mouth on n2n or any other venues you’ve managed to nestle your way into.
      Hark at yee!
      You’re not going to start trying to be a de-spinner are you Mathew? It’s only my dint of msm and other uncritical media that provides you with a space that lets you be where you are today.

      I’m sure even the Kethlok Guurl sometimes wonders Why Oh Why! Good thing they gave up on the confessional aye.

      Best thing you can console yourself with is that you share the same sense of entitlement that the current “powerbrokers” in the Labour Party seem to hold.
      If you did, you could probably explain (at least to yourself) most of the anomalies that occur in the polls

  13. onsos 13

    Phil Goff would be big loss in opposition. The guy has made good headway since he stopped being leader. Annette King is similar. Making way for new talent may be important, but these two are properly effective. Trevor Mallard has been underwhelming since going into opposition.

    Cunliffe is not the second coming, but when he stops being a loose cannon, he’ll be a real asset.

    • Lightly 13.1

      when was he a loose cannon? When he spoke for Labour’s values?

      As he did yesterday?

    • Anne 13.2

      …when he stops being a loose cannon, he’ll be a real asset.

      Are you talking about the Clayton’s coup that a few MPs manufactured out of thin air and with a lot of help from Patrick Gower?

    • Olwyn 13.3

      Loose cannon? At least his sights are set on the actual enemy rather than Labour’s supporters.

    • CV - Real Labour 13.4

      Phil Goff would be big loss in opposition. The guy has made good headway since he stopped being leader. Annette King is similar. Making way for new talent may be important,

      At this stage its not merely a question of “new talent may be important” because for Labour it’s now come to “a crisis of renewal” and no one inside the party seems to realise it.

      • Fortran 13.4.1

        Is there any new talent in Labour ?
        The younger ones have not the age and political experience and knowledge yet.
        They cannot stand up against tried and experienced performers.
        They need more time to mature.

        • CV - Real Labour 13.4.1.1

          Maybe start picking from a wider gene pool than their own Wellington-based office staff?

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 13.4.1.2

          It’s hard to get new talent when you are so electorally unpopular.

  14. fatty 14

    I think Labour has to put its best MPs in housing, economy, and social development.

    Kiwibuild is Labour’s best weapon and will be attacked at every opportunity, so housing requires the best communicator…I’d prefer either Cunliffe or Richie Cunningham. Housing will require coherent and effective soundbites, naturally that means Shearer has to avoid any media contact on the subject. I would go with Richie so that Cunliffe can do the economy.

    Social development is a worry because Paula Bennett has been so effective (how the hell did that happen). As the Nats stumble along, their response will be more bene-bashing. Social Development is used as a pressure valve when National’s policies inevitably fail, so expect to see Bennett firing on all cylinders. I would put either Lianne Dalziel here, or Arnold Schwarzenegger if he is available.
    Losing Lianne Dalziel would be a blow for Christchurch, because apart from her, Labour appear to not give a shit about the broken flat city. Its also a risk because Labour assume for some reason that Christchurch will vote red in 2014. Taking away the only effective Chch MP is a risk…but internal face-stabbing has left Labour thin on talent.
    The other option is to continue with Campbell Live as Labour’s spokesperson for social development…but with Campbell Live also the spokesperson for Education, this could be a stretch. Campbell Live needs some support here.
    In saying that, I don’t think Labour should worry too much about education. Campbell Live is getting already getting good support from the teachers. Any options Labour currently offer cannot offer more than a TV3 infotainment show.
    Ideally, someone from Mana or the Greens could switch teams and put on a red cap for a few years. Or Campbell Live could extend to an hour.
    I would also keep Robertson as interpreter for mumble-pants. Its a full time job and nobody else would have the patience to do it.

    • Rogue Trooper 14.1

      comical batman

    • xtasy 14.2

      “Social development is a worry because Paula Bennett has been so effective (how the hell did that happen). As the Nats stumble along, their response will be more bene-bashing. Social Development is used as a pressure valve when National’s policies inevitably fail, so expect to see Bennett firing on all cylinders. I would put either Lianne Dalziel here, or Arnold Schwarzenegger if he is available.”

      Yes, Ardern has been a disappointment as spokeswoman for social development. But often I get the impression, she is only performing the way she does, and saying the things she says, because she is kind of kept on a lead or leash, like a dog. Maybe the seniors like Mallard tell her, don’t go too far, don’t enter that debate, just do what the media may lick up for a headline?

      Another reason is that Labour may to a fair degree actually approve a lot of the welfare reforms, and they are happy the Nats are doing it, so if anything goes wrong, they won’t be the ones to blame. Any “opposition” to the reforms that is verbally uttered is often very selected, and it seems to just be said to appease the traditional Labour voting base. Forget also not the “sickness bene roof-painter tale” by Shearer, to which he never gave more info, and for which he never apologised.

      It was Labour that introduced a Principal Health Advisor and key positions like Regional Health Advisors, Regional Disability Advisors (in 2007), instructed to tell WINZ case managers what they and the selected and preferred “designated doctors” have decided is right and must be done re sickness and invalid’s beneficiaries.

      It was Dr David Bratt, Dr David Rankin, and the likes who trained these doctors to make decisions MSD expects. And all that was planned under a Labour led government (the last one)! I have documentary evidence re all that.

      Add together the dots, and the picture of “welfare” does not look that nice, when it comes to Labour. They have some things to answer, but they never answer to points I raised here and elsewhere. Strange that, is it not???

  15. KhandallaViper 15

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

    Definition
    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Used when a change does not result in an improvement in a situation

    What’s the point in voting? Plus ça change…

    • King Kong 15.1

      Tu es un connard

      Definition
      You are an arsehole. Used when someone acts like a know it all nob head.

      Wow you must be really smart! Tu es un connard

      • bad12 15.1.1

        F off you piece of s**t…

      • mac1 15.1.3

        There’s a satirical sporting blog on Facebook called “Le Connard Dechaine” (where the title says “plus pres des terrains, plus pres des cretins.” Trans. ‘The closer you get to footy fields, the nearer you get to yobs.’)

        Now that is a funny use of the word ‘connard’. And a great pun on the French magazine’s title.

        All this about as ‘a propos’ as KK’s offerings………….

        • McFlock 15.1.3.1

          I reckon he’s on good form today. He’s had me chuckling once or twice.

          Seems to be happy as un cochon dans la merde

  16. I think it would be great to see Street Mahuta and Sio axed from frontbench and put Chris Hipkins in there Shane Jones and maybe Louisa Wall and put Cunliffe in at number 9 and Health my top would be Shearer Robertson Parker Ardern Cosgrove Jones Hipkins Wall with Cunliffe at 9 and Twyford 10 11 Moroney 12 Mackey 13 Little 14 Clark 15 Woods 16 Goff 17 Mallard 18 King 19 Curran 20 O Connor drop that Chauvel Fenton and Dalziel as well.

  17. ad 17

    Labour doesn’t yet have the talent to match National head to head – otherwise we would have had different poll results over the last 4 years. Be honest.

    Part of that goes back to sad sacks who choose Party ranked lists from the same tired old faces. But the same old faces are in Parliament because … very few people voted for Labour last time so we got a piss poor results and very very few MPs when it comes time to hand out portfolios.

    And the primary reason people didn’t get out to vote for Labour and give us more MPs in parliament, and hence more talent for shadow portfolios is … an uninspiring leader.

    In 2008 it was Goff. Don’t tell me he improved late on, don’t tell me it was the campaign. Elections – whether we like it nor not – are presidential, and the loss hangs around his neck and his alone.

    So on current poll tracking we will get about the same result as last time. Yet another Goff, yet another Rowling. If Labour wants better spokespeople to choose from, it needs a better electoral result, so honestly it needs a better leader. Not one that is going to deliver the same result as last time.

    We leed a leader who will electrify the caucus, the members, the supporters, and all the hundreds of thousands who just stayed at home.

    And we sure won’t get that without a leadership vote that functions to unify all of Labour together.

  18. gobsmacked 18

    Most people couldn’t give a toss about a token candidate for Speaker, but it is just one more example of Shearer wearing his T-shirt saying “What do I think? Ask Trevor”.

  19. Fortran 19

    One of the greatest disappointments is Arden – from very high hopes to non event.
    Much more was expected of her, but she does not resonate – hearing her is same, same, same.

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    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    4 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    4 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    4 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    4 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    4 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    4 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    5 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    5 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    5 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    5 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    6 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    6 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    7 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    7 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    7 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    7 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    7 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    3 weeks ago

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