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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 Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    14 hours ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    14 hours ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    15 hours ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    15 hours ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    18 hours ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    1 day ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    2 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    5 days ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    6 days ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    6 days ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    7 days ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    7 days ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    7 days ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s affordable homes plummet 72% under National
    Comprehensive new data from CoreLogic has found the number of homes in Auckland valued at under $600,000 has plummeted by 72 per cent since National took office, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This data tracks the changes in ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt should face the facts not skew the facts
    National appears to be actively massaging official unemployment statistics by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those looking online, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Household Labour Force Survey, released tomorrow, no longer regards people job hunting on ...
    1 week ago
  • More voices call for review of immigration policy
    The Auckland Chamber of Commerce is the latest credible voice to call for a review of immigration and skills policy, leaving John Key increasingly isolated, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister is rapidly becoming a man alone. He ...
    1 week ago
  • Better balance needed in Intelligence Bill
    Labour will support the NZ Intelligence and Security Bill to select committee so the issues can be debated nationwide and important amendments can be made, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco circus has no place in NZ
    A High Court judgment proves National’s private prison agenda has failed and the Serco circus has no place in New Zealand correctional facilities, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • State house sell-off a kick in the guts for Tauranga’s homeless
    The Government’s sale of 1124 state houses in Tauranga won’t house a single extra homeless person in the city, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Tauranga, like the rest of New Zealand, has a crisis of housing affordability and homelessness. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Axing Auckland’s affordable quota disappointing
    Auckland Council has given away a useful tool for delivering more affordable housing by voting to accept the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendation to abolish affordable quotas for new developments, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ae Marika! Māori Party Oath Bill fails
    The Māori Party must reconsider its relationship with National after they failed to support Marama Fox’s Treaty of Waitangi Oath bill, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police Minister all platitudes no detail
    The Police Minister must explain where the budget for new police officers is coming from after continuously obfuscating, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lost luggage law shows National’s lost the plot
    The Government has proven it can’t address the big issues facing the tourism industry by allowing a Members Bill on lost luggage to be a priority, Labour’s Tourism spokesman Kris Faafoi said. “Nuk Korako’s Bill drawn from the Members’ Ballot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hiding behind the law – but can’t say which law
    National is refusing to come clean on what caused the potential trade dispute with China by hiding behind laws and trade rules they can’t even name, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “National admitted today that an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Work visas issued for jobs workless Kiwis want
    Thousands of work visas for low-skilled jobs were issued by the Government in the past year despite tens of thousands of unemployed Kiwis looking for work in those exact occupations, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “A comparison of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis nationwide now paying for housing crisis
    The Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis is now affecting the entire country with nationwide house price inflation in the past year hitting 26 per cent, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “None of National’s tinkering or half-baked, piecemeal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut piles pressure on Government
    Today’s OCR cut must be backed by Government action on housing and economic growth, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler’s monetary policy statement underlines the limits of Bill English’s economic management. He says growth is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must explain the McClay delay
    Todd McClay must explain why it took two months for him to properly inform the Prime Minister about China’s potential trade retaliation, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “This may be one of the most serious trade ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut would be vote of no confidence in economy
    If Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler cuts the OCR tomorrow it would show that, despite his loudly-voiced concerns about fuelling the housing market, the stuttering economy is now a bigger concern, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Leading medical experts back Healthy Homes Bill
    Leading medical experts have today thrown their weight behind my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, saying it will improve the health of Kiwi kids, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The Bill sets minimum standards for heating, insulation and ventilation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, it’s time to listen to the Auditor General
    Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman needs to listen to the independent advice of the Auditor General and review the capital charge system imposed on District Health Boards, says Labour’ Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The capital charge on DHBs has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peas explain, Minister
    The Minister of Primary Industries needs to explain how the failure of its biosecurity systems led to the Pea Weevil incursion in the Wairarapa, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says “The decision to ban the growing of peas in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PM’s police numbers wrong
    The Prime Minister has said that police numbers will increase in-line with population growth, however, the Police’s own four year strategy clearly states there are no plans to increase police numbers for the next four years, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial double speak on GP Fees
      The Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga was simply making it up when he claimed today that General Practitioners had been given money in the Budget to lower fees, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In a reply to a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must close loophole in LVR rules
    The Government must urgently close a loophole in loan to value ratio mortgage restrictions which are stopping homeowners from buying new houses before they sell their old one, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank was forced to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bulk funding means bigger classes
    National’s plan to bulk fund schools can only result in bigger class sizes and a reduced range of subject choices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for John Key to sack his Housing Minister
    It is time for the Prime Minister to take serious and meaningful steps to address the housing crisis – and start by sacking Nick Smith as Housing Minister, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Clearly whatever it is National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coleman puts skids under cheaper GP visits
      Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders with high health needs are missing out on cheaper GP fees as the cost of going to the doctor hits $70, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “The number of practices subsidised to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police indifference over dine-and-dash appalling
      The fact that the police couldn’t be bothered investigating a dine–and-dash in Auckland is appalling and shows an indifference that is unacceptable, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The way it stands these men have got away scot free ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Covenant promises new deal for our children
    A covenant drawn up by Judge Carolyn Henwood  promises an important new deal for New Zealand’s children, says Labour’s spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern.  “It’s important that this covenant is a pledge to all children in this country. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Flagship fund more housing policy on the fly
    The Government’s flagship $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund was so rushed it wasn’t considered until after the Budget and announced just a month later, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Documents obtained by Labour through Written Parliamentary Questions show ...
    3 weeks ago

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