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David Cunliffe’s first hundred days

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, December 23rd, 2013 - 159 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, labour - Tags:

Cunliffe Labour save our futureDavid Cunliffe has now been leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party for 100 days and I thought this to be an appropriate time for reflection on how he has performed so far.

A bit of perspective is helpful and as someone with an insider’s view of what was happening can I say that the leadership contenders campaign tour was exhilarating and exhausting both at the same time.  I do not know how David, Shane and Grant kept it up.  Shearer’s resignation came out of left field in terms of its timing and it is clear that the camps struggled initially to get themselves organised.  But they all hit the road, they got their social media campaigns up and running and each of them gave it their all.

The result was resoundingly clear.  While on the first ballot David lost the caucus vote he won 60% of the membership vote and 70% of the affiliates vote.  The membership and activists expressed a very clear preference.  And someone who had been relegated to the back benches only 8 months beforehand became Labour leader.

On the day he became leader David said “[t]omorrow morning we start our election campaign against the Key government.”

And that is what he did.

The day after the election result I was astounded to read David pronouncing a very deft line about the TPPA.  Labour would not support the treaty if the text was not released.  Both radicals and moderates would be attracted to the notion either that we do not sign up to the agreement at all, or that we only do if the public knows what it is letting itself in for.  Finally a Labour leader had learned about triangulation of issues.

David’s first question time in Parliament was mostly good although a couple of misspoken words put a dent in it.  But the substance of the questions and what came from it was fine.  And there have been subsequent occasions during question time  where he completely and utterly messed with John Key.  I cannot recall this happening before during Key’s reign and although the effect on the population at large may be minimal, the effect on morale in the parties is significant.

There was then the caucus reshuffle.  Under Shearer and Goff there had developed a trend for there to be an A team (or an ABC team) and a B team.  As Charles Chauvel passionately said the party needed both of its wings to fly and the division should not happen.  It is clear that David respected this, his reshuffle resulted in Shane Jones occupying a senior position and others such as Clayton Cosgrove, Annette King and Chris Hipkins occupying senior positions obviously on merit.

David could then state that all of the MPs were on the train and the train had left the station.  Of course the corollary of this is that getting off a moving train is a very dangerous thing to do.

After this there was an attempt, birther style, to attack David’s credibility specifically his claim that he had some involvement in the formation of Fonterra while working at Boston Consultancy Group.  Cameron Slater posted many articles on the subject and the time sheets were the subject of almost as much scrutiny as Barak Obama’s birth certificate.  Matthew Hooton went feral on Radio New Zealand which wisely posted an apology and retraction.  Hooton also gave an apology although it appears through gritted teeth.

I expect that further attacks will be made as time goes by.  But this one was badly targeted and clumsy and caused damage to the credibility of the attackers rather than to David.

Then there was the Auckland local body election results.  David pledged considerable personal support to the candidates.  In the Whau ward which occupies much of his seat a Labour branded campaign successfully replaced National aligned Noleen Raffles with Ross Clow and the Local Board went from having one Labour aligned member out of seven to five Labour members.  In Henderson the results went from zero to three (although one is under threat from action related to a recount) and in the Waitakere Ranges area (my home turf) the Labour Green Future West ticket went from three to all six local board positions.

And then there was the Labour Conference in Christchurch.  It was the best attended conference for many years apart from Auckland’s 2012 conference where interest was intense because of the Constitutional proposals to give members a say in future leadership contests.  David’s speech was well received.

This was followed by the Christchurch East By Election.  David put a lot of time and effort into this campaign and a lot was riding on it.  A loss or even a modest win would have been a major set back.  But after a stonking win the sense of momentum in Labour’s direction continued.  The win was especially important because the loss of party votes in the Christchurch region at the last election was a major reason for National’s return to power.

The No Asset Sales referendum results were then announced and with a two to one vote against asset sales the result was again resounding.

The polls have been bouncing all round the place but the poll of polls shows an initial significant lift during and following the leadership campaign with a subsequent drop off but essentially Labour Green is neck and neck with National.

The morale in the party as a whole has lifted considerably.  Membership is well up on the figure 12 months ago.  Certainly in the Auckland region there is a determination to win which was missing beforehand.

Will David become the country’s next Prime Minister?  Anything can happen but this time next year he could be PM.  But I know that the work of both Labour and Green activists will be vital and he will not succeed if there is not a concerted grass roots campaign to replace this Government.

159 comments on “David Cunliffe’s first hundred days”

  1. philj 1

    Good summary. Looking forward to election night.
    As an aside, it may be that Wallace Chapman may be the replacement for Chris Laidlaw on RNZ Sunday morning. Any official confirmation? I also note that Wallace was MC for a Sunday Afternoon discussion with, among others, Professor Clements, Nicky Hagar and Gaylene Preston, on the topic of NZ’s attitude to War and conflict. Wallace was found out to be seriously exposed in his understanding and knowledge. At least he was honest in declaring his ignorance. Not a good start, if he is to replace a heavyweight Chris Laidlaw on Sunday morning.

  2. Ad 2

    He will be an excellent Prime Minister.

    Thoroughly looking forward to battling for Labour to win in 2014, and win handsomely.

  3. rich the other 3

    Managed to force a pointless referendum on a done deal, the only things achieved was to waste of $9million to get the predicted result ,also it has undermined the whole purpose of referendums.
    Also he hasn’t been able to control parker who is still insisting on lifting the retirement age .
    Cunliffe hasn’t been able to control the extreme greens and is leader of a divided party.

    • lprent 3.1

      Weren’t you blaming the Greens for that? Or has your story changed yet again?

      After all I have observed that your morals, politics and even personality appear to change most of the time. Only the petty nastiness and dumb stupidity seems to be a constant

      • rich the other 3.1.1

        Iprent
        Correct ,
        cunliffe wasn’t able to recognise labour was being used by the greens, very poor judgment.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Two thirds against asset sales. Why isn’t Key and English taking notice of that overwhelming democratic mandate to stop the sale of Genesis?

          • rich the other 3.1.1.1.1

            nobody acted on the previous 4 referendums and this one was trying to undermine a policy which was approved of by voters at a GENERAL ELECTION .

            This one was truly a huge waste of time and money and is bringing shame on labour.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Not “trying” to undermine – succeeding: cf: the share price.

              Choke on it, trash.

          • Melb 3.1.1.1.2

            Why aren’t Labour/Greens making “hard labour for violent offenders” part of their law and order policy? Many more people voted for that, at a much higher proportion than two thirds.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.2.1

              Because it’s a stupid 19th century policy?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.1.2.2

              Because self-serving right wing vengeance fantasies masquerading as penal policy create more crime. Personally, I think people advocating for more crime should be locked up.

            • rich the other 3.1.1.1.2.3

              Melb ,
              Please Don’t ask such difficult questions , you expose the two faced hypocrites for what they are , mindless two faced hypocrites.
              Merry Christmas.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Though quoting the whole question from the referendum would have completely ruined the effect, but bullshitters gonna bullshit I guess.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Yeah, attack the messenger, trash. That’s all you’ve got, eh.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It’s only a difficult question to simple minded fools such as yourself as you proved by not understanding OAK’s answer.

            • McFlock 3.1.1.1.2.4

              Actually, that’s not what people voted for. Reread the question, rather than just quoting the bits you like.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.2

      Broad church looks divided to man with one eye.

    • jpwood 3.3

      yawn

    • Colonial Viper 3.4

      Managed to force a pointless referendum on a done deal, the only things achieved was to waste of $9million to get the predicted result

      Key and English cost the country about $1.5B in bad market timing and excess investment banker and PR fees.

      Surely that should be of more concern to you?

      • phillip ure 3.4.1

        @ viper..+ 1..

        phillip ure..

      • rich the other 3.4.2

        green/labour undermined the value of these assets of which we still own 51% , economic treason I would call it.

        • Colonial Viper 3.4.2.1

          So what do you call the assholes who sold our sovereign assets to foreign privateers?

        • Michael 3.4.2.2

          Rightwingers always label their critics “treasonous” because they cannot distinguish between the common good and their short-term financial interests. Your post is a classic example of the fallacy.

          • Bazar 3.4.2.2.1

            Because everyone understands that sabotaging the value at which the shares could be sold at is for the greater good.

            I don’t call lefty critics treasonous, but as for a party that made a policy that can only be seen as vindictive and malicious just to score political capital, calling them treasonous doesn’t seem to far off the mark.

            But thats lefty philosophy isn’t it, no price too high to ensure victory. Shame its always the rightwing governments that are left to find ways to pay their bill.

            • Colonial Viper 3.4.2.2.1.1

              You mean there’s no price too low that Key won’t gift away our assets to his bankster mates at.

              And that’s the philosophy of bankster led crony capitalism.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.4.2.2.1.2

              The only treason carried out was by this government in selling the assets and thus making the majority poorer and they’ve done it solely so that a few can become even bigger bludgers on the rest of us.

            • North 3.4.2.2.1.3

              Bazar your mirror is malfunctioning bizarrely.

            • KJT 3.4.2.2.1.4

              Where do we find these idiots?

              Or is it yet another wannabee satirist?

              Who is borrowing millions a week for unaffordable tax cuts?

              Who has to restore infrastructure and rebuild after RWNJ’s have had a term in power?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.5

      Well, if it was the predicted result, total opposition to the assets sales, then why is it that you and other RWNJs have been telling people that National had a mandate to sell when it’s obvious that they didn’t?

      • rich the other 3.5.1

        Because they had a mandate ,they won the general election , pretty simple .
        A quote from Ken Douglas “”leaders are elected to lead ” that’s what Key and co are doing , with a mandate.

        • RedLogix 3.5.1.1

          That’s ok rto. Inevitably the left will win an election – and we will get to silence you with exactly the same logic.

          Remember how much you didn’t like it when Dr Cullen said exactly the same thing; “We won, you lost, eat that”. Rather more earthy than your “we have a mandate and leaders are elected to lead” line – but it means exactly the same thing.

          Alternatively you may want to consider that our democracy is supposed to be rather more nuanced than this idiocratic polarisation we have fallen into. Governments get to govern; Oppositions get to oppose – but the role of Parliament as a whole is to steer the overall course of the nation according to a broad consensus.

          And consensus is only achieved when people actually listen to each other and are prepared to do some down and dirty horse-trading.

          Of course National won a General elections (by a mere 20,000 votes) but they lost a specific election on the issue of asset sales (by a 2:1 margin). This makes arguing for a mandate on this matter very hard to argue.

          • rich the other 3.5.1.1.1

            redlogix
            I voted for labour/ Cullen then so no problem.
            Correct on one point ,sooner or later the left will win an election ,it will be later, cunliffe hasn’t realised the negative impact green is having on them , guilt by association

            • Hanswurst 3.5.1.1.1.1

              What rubbish. The Green vote doesn’t “negate” the Labour vote, it complements it.

              • Bazar

                He didn’t say negate, he said negative.
                And yes the greens are detrimental to labour. Any coalition comes about as a compromise, which both sacrifice to achieve a majority.

                That means the more votes the greens get, the less power labour will have to enact their policies as they see fit. Thats detrimental. Its very detrimental when a green vote is taken from what would otherwise be a labour voter.

          • Bazar 3.5.1.1.2

            “That’s ok rto. Inevitably the left will win an election – and we will get to silence you with exactly the same logic.”

            So long as Labour actually announce their election policies, they have the mandate to follow through with them.
            Given both Labour’s past history with elections promises and two faced Cunliffe, i won’t hold my breath.

            “Alternatively you may want to consider that our democracy is supposed to be rather more nuanced than this idiocratic polarisation we have fallen into.”

            I suspect its human nature more than anything else. People want their choices simplified by stereotyping people into groups.
            And groups hold power because of electability of their candidates.
            Personally i’d rather like to see electionate MP’s free reign on their votes, and only list mp’s votes used to tow the party line.
            Too many laws get passed with electorate mp’s told they must tow the line (and Labour was the worst with this)

            I believe there was a quote from a US founding father along the same lines, that the worst thing that could happen would be for parties to form, rather than independent congressmen. But for the life of me, i have never been able to find it again.

            “And consensus is only achieved when people actually listen to each other and are prepared to do some down and dirty horse-trading.”
            Consensus isn’t needed to rule, just a majority. Its just i hope that the majority is well informed on their choices, and held to account. Thats the biggest reason we need an opposition.

            “Of course National won a General elections (by a mere 20,000 votes) but they lost a specific election on the issue of asset sales (by a 2:1 margin). This makes arguing for a mandate on this matter very hard to argue.”

            Its easy to argue.
            In the vote that mattered, they won.
            In the vote that didn’t matter, they lost.

            To avoid giving national a mandate that included asset sales, they needed to lose the election (or have kept the policy unannounced).

            And for those who said they didn’t win because they received under 50% of the votes…
            Their coalition partners Act and United said they would support asset sales, which makes that point mute.
            After all, we are a MMP government, if you don’t accept parties uniting to push their agenda, you clearly don’t accept MMP.

            • Colonial Viper 3.5.1.1.2.1

              You do know that 68 out of 70 electorates have voted against asset sales, right? Including almost every single National seat – like Bill English’s electorate of Clutha Southland.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.5.1.2

          Just as the referendum result gives the left a mandate to drive the share price down and invite you to choke on it, trash.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.5.1.3

          Because they had a mandate ,they won the general election , pretty simple .

          I know you authoritarian types don’t like it but democracy doesn’t work that way. It’s the people in charge, not parliament and the people have said that they don’t want asset sales and they’ve been saying that for the last 20 odd years.

          • rich the other 3.5.1.3.1

            What a load of crap ,you are a complete fool.
            We have democracy every 3 years, because of it ,National is obliged to honour it’s election policy , sell 49% of selected assets, that’s what voters voted for and their coalition partners approved.
            The tail must never wag the dog.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.5.1.3.1.1

              We have democracy every 3 years

              No, democracy happens all the time despite what the authoritarian types want.

              The tail must never wag the dog.

              What tail? The majority of people don’t want to sell our assets. It’s only the minority that want to sell them.

              It is you and your ilk that are the fools.

            • RedLogix 3.5.1.3.1.2

              You are of course arguing for a three year dictatorship by Cabinet committee.

              In the absence of any balancing powers, as is usual in other constitutional arrangements, NZ is prone to governments ramming through unpopular measures – like asset sales.

              We just held a referendum on this matter and asset sales were rejected by a 2:1 ratio. You cannot argue that it’s a popular policy.

              As I said above, our democracy is a lot more nuanced than you think. We balance the preeminent power of the Cabinet with that of Parliament, the Opposition, the Select Committees, the Supreme Court, the Press Gallery and of course public opinion. Out of this mix our political system seeks a broad long-term consensus.

              In the absence of consensus we are prone to ideological polarisation which is a recipe for instability – one government will implement a policy, the next will radically undo it. In the absence of consensus National can sell assets, but Labour can find a way to negate this.

              You get to crow for a while, but it’s lousy political management.

              • rich the other

                The problem with this is National didn’t even bother to campaign in the referendum , they didn’t have to , they offered this policy at the election and won.

                To make things worse for you , no government has recognised any of the previous referendums, green/labour included.

                • Tat Loo (CV)

                  Why do you keep referring to an outdated 3 year old election? Are you desperate or something?

                • RedLogix

                  The problem with this is National didn’t even bother to campaign in the referendum

                  If I didn’t bother sitting an exam how bizarre would it be if I claimed that I ‘would have passed if I had’.

                  To make things worse for you , no government has recognised any of the previous referendums, green/labour included.

                  I presume you refer to the S59 reform affair. As I said above our democracy is a balance between a number of influences – and in that case there was an almost complete Parliamentary consensus supporting the reform. A badly worded, ambiguous referendum was not going to tip the scales.

                  Although if you examine the entire story closely it can be argued that the intensity of the public debate did result in worthwhile amendments to the legislation itself. That’s how real democracy works.

                  • rich the other

                    Smacking bill , number of mps and two others , all ignored by parliament , the big difference with this one is this policy was voted on at the general election which committed the government to implement the policy .

                    People rightly expect governments to honour election promises , they actually have a moral obligation to keep their pledges.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The “morals” you speak of are those of traitors to their own country, selling off the work of our hard working forefathers for a few pieces of silver.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @Rich the Other

                      Perhaps the 639 548 people- who voted for National or Act and who didn’t vote in support of Asset Sales expected that if National got into power they would understand that they were being given a mandate to govern in general yet would be responsive to public pressure not to sell asset sales in the event that that arose. It was clear there would be strong public pressure on the matter.

                      How quaint of the electorate – that so many people noted Mr Key’s responsiveness to public pressure on matters in the first term he was in government and thought that he would continue to respect clear messages from the public in the second term.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      People rightly expect governments to honour election promises , they actually have a moral obligation to keep their pledges.

                      No, actually, they don’t – they have a moral obligation to implement what the public want. That’s what makes NZ a democracy rather than a dictatorship. Unfortunately, National have been acting as if it’s a dictatorship and we don’t have the necessary laws to prevent them.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                + 1 Red Logix

                It appears that Labour sets up positive policies when in government and spends much time in fixing what National governments have broken and then when National gets into power they cause a great deal of damage, stop investing in positive outcomes and cream off the profits that Labour has created. National then declare far and wide to the general public that the profits ‘they’ve created’ is due to their marvellous management.

                Sum total:
                = not a great deal of progress for the country as a whole followed by increasing disenchantment with the political process and less people voting
                Sum total of sum total:
                = even more of the same.

            • Murray Olsen 3.5.1.3.1.3

              What about the election policy of wages catching up to Australia? Why aren’t they obliged to honour that one? Surely, following their own logic, it would have been better to get wages up across the board before the stolen goods sale, so more mum and dad investors actually could buy some.

            • North 3.5.1.3.1.4

              “We have democracy every three years” ???

              That’s like saying marriage vows bind once a year on the anniversary of their making forget it otherwise. How excellent !

              The other rich one’s appreciation of and regard for democracy is but the ooze liberated just south of the tail. Strangely he/she/it thinks it’s gold.

              How I look forward to the divorce in ’14.

          • Bazar 3.5.1.3.2

            There are many kinds of democracies, perhaps your point would be more effective if you explained which democracy you were talking about.

            You clearly aren’t talking about a Representative Democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representative_democracy) which is what New Zealand is goverened under, because our democracy does work that way, regardless of how hard you want to believe otherwise.

        • KJT 3.5.1.4

          National also had a mandate to raise wages to the same level as Australia, to keep GST at the same level, and many other election promises they have broken.

          Still waiting……………………………………………………………………………

    • QoT 3.6

      Managed to force a pointless referendum on a done deal

      So what you’re saying is they can get things done?

      • rich the other 3.6.1

        No QoT,
        what I’m saying is they know how to waste time and money , they were told quite clearly before the referendum that the result would be ignored and the govt would honour it’s election policy.
        cunliffe should show respect for any govt’s honouring election policy , obviously he doesn’t.

        Cunliffe has demonstrated he APPROVES of party’s who say one thing and then do something else, he has demonstrated he can’t be trusted.

        • Colonial Viper 3.6.1.1

          68 out of 70 electorates just voted against asset sales. They’ve seen the hundreds of millions of dollars that Key and English have wasted with their bad market timing, bad strategy, and big bankers and PR fees.

          For you to refer to an old election result is disingenuous at best, anti-democratic at worst.

          Even Bill English’s own electorate voted heavily against asset sales, and they told him they hated it in 2011 as well. I know that because I was in the room.

          How can you even dream of justifying this?

        • QoT 3.6.1.2

          It may just be that I don’t care and was taking the piss.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.6.1.3

          Cunliffe has demonstrated he APPROVES of party’s who say one thing and then do something else, he has demonstrated he can’t be trusted.

          Oh, BS. If anything he’s shown he will listen to the people unlike John Key and National who have shown that they will act as dictators against the will of the people and against their best interests.

  4. sttonra. 4

    Labour under David Cunliffe is moving in the right direction, more of the last few months and the roll will begin.

  5. fisiani 5

    The Cunliffe is truly the Messiah. He is bound to win in 2014. It is his destiny.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Good on ya DC. Have a great break with friends and family. The team will be pushing hard for you down here in the deep south come 2014.

  7. tinfoilhat 7

    Not quite sure what you mean by your last couple of sentences ?

    Are you expecting Green activists to be pushing for Labour candidates ?

    • mac1 7.1

      Those two sentences seem pretty clear- we are after all considering a Labour/Greens government, are we not? If that happens, Cunliffe will be PM, and the grass roots movements of both Labour and Greens will be vital.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        O/T but Labour need to take a big step backing away from deep sea oil drilling for the relationship with the Greens to work well. Those reserves should be left in the ground for future NZ use, and economic growth needs to be targeted at leading in clean green energy.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          +1

          A sign of good faith from Labour towards the GP wouldn’t go amiss either.

        • RedLogix 7.1.1.2

          Jared Diamond in his book Collapse: How Societies choose to Fail or Suceed identifies five factors that contribute to collapse: climate change, hostile neighbors, collapse of essential trading partners, environmental problems, and failure to adapt to environmental issues.

          The chapter on the Greenland Norse is especially poignant. A tough, capable people who had every reason to be proud of their legacy – irrationally starved to death when the climate changed against them – because they considered the ocean of fish which surrounded them beneath their dignity to eat.

          I’ve frequently pondered this little tale. These were not a stupid people, but because of the geographic peculiarities of Greenland, only a few locales were especially favourable and of course it was the elites of their society who occupied them. And it was these elites, out of touch and largely insulated from the increasing inequality and deprivation surrounding them – who set the cultural norms. Among them of course – was the disdain for eating fish.

          Living along side of them were the Inuit, who had been there before the Norse arrived, and continued to thrive – well adapted to their harsh world – long after the Norse starved or left. The lesson is stark.

          Diamond also discusses examples of societies which actually did make the hard choices necessary to invoke the changes and adaptation needed. But the invariable common factor in each of these cases – was a social leadership class who was still in touch with the ordinary people and what was happening for them.

          If Cunliffe can avoid this trap – and keep the Labour party in touch with ordinary New Zealanders – then the hopes placed in him will be justified. That’s going to be the test.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2.1

            If Cunliffe can avoid this trap – and keep the Labour party in touch with ordinary New Zealanders – then the hopes placed in him will be justified. That’s going to be the test.

            Labour hasn’t been in touch with the ordinary NZer for about 30 years. It’s why we still have neo-liberalism and why, after this election, we’ll still have it.

    • mickysavage 7.2

      Tfh

      During the Christchurch East by election I got some stick for suggesting that Green voters should vote for Poto.

      The next election will be different. Green needs to maximise its party vote and Labour needs to do the same. The only room for strategic voting is in electorates where there is a chance of an upset, primarily by Labour candidates but if there are any electorates that the Green candidate may win then yep I am fine with strategic support for them as well.

      • weka 7.2.1

        But given that it’s unlikely that the GP will win an electorate seat, what else could Labour offer in exchange for strategic support?

        • mac1 7.2.1.1

          It has happened, weka, in the Coromandel.

          • alwyn 7.2.1.1.1

            The Green Party did, once, win an electorate seat as you say. They scraped in after special votes were counted. It was of course a long time ago, 1999, and in the next election the candidate dropped to third place, getting about half the votes of the winner. I understand she wasn’t a very good electorate MP.
            It is extremely unlikely it could happen again, of course. In the 2011 election the Labour candidate got 5,831 votes. The Green candidate got 5,660 votes. Their combined total of 11,491 was 7080 behind the winning candidate, from National, who got 18,571 votes.

          • weka 7.2.1.1.2

            Yes, I’m aware of that mac1, but do you think there are any electorates that the GP have a chance of winning at the next election and that Labour could support them with? If not, what could Labour offer the GP for their own concessions towards Labour?

            • McFlock 7.2.1.1.2.1

              what can labour offer the greens?
              Offshore exploration moratorium for a start.
              I suspect thered be a gap between eg lab min wage and grn minwage, or maybe employment law where lab can move towards the greens in policy. Maybe renationalising assets.

            • mickysavage 7.2.1.1.2.2

              How about one less National electorate MP and one more Labour electorate MP? They do make a difference.

        • McFlock 7.2.1.2

          Policy compromise.

      • mac1 7.2.2

        That makes sense, mickeysavage. I’ve been in the situation where the Green candidate who became a list MP apologised to me for not causing such an upset in my favour. It makes more sense if for no other reason than tipping out National candidates would cause National to have to rely on their list MPs listings more and disrupt their planning for long term succession, and career building, of MPs in so-called safe seats.

        It might also upgrade the calibre of the National candidates if dullards and dead wood could be pruned by the electorate voters so that eventually the individual (and normally safe) electorate would at least be served effectively by them.

        Keeping the National candidates honest in their own electorates would also reduce the amount of free time for MPs to go off supporting other candidates’ campaigns.

        • alwyn 7.2.2.1

          Your last sentence has now made things clear to me.
          I thought that the Labour Party dropping from 45 electorate seats in 2002 to 31 in 2005, 21 in 2008 and then 22 in 2011 was because the candidates were generally pretty useless and the party as a whole not very popular.
          You have clarified things. If having fewer electorate MPs allows lots of free time for your list MPs to go off supporting other campaigns it is clear that getting trounced was a deliberate ploy on the Labour Party’s part. Who else is going to get beaten in 2014?

          • mac1 7.2.2.1.1

            If you want to extend my argument to claim it was the LP’s deliberate ploy, then you’d need to be standing on a step ladder, for that’s a pretty long bow you’re drawing there, Alwyn.

            • alwyn 7.2.2.1.1.1

              Right, I’ll have to go back to my first assumption I guess, as given in my second sentence.
              I won’t ask you to confirm that that that is the correct interpretation though.

  8. weka 8

    A good write up thanks micky. However, I’m sill waiting for evidence that Labour is truly changing away from neoliberalism, and am toning down my expectations so I don’t get disappointed.

    “The day after the election result I was astounded to read David pronouncing a very deft line about the TPPA. Labour would not support the treaty if the text was not released. Both radicals and moderates would be attracted to the notion either that we do not sign up to the agreement at all, or that we only do if the public knows what it is letting itself in for. Finally a Labour leader had learned about triangulation of issues.”

    Having read Tracey’s email conversation with DC and Goff on this the other day, I now consider DC to be misleading the public. The way I understand it is that if we get public access to the agreement, Labour will ‘consult’ with the public as part of signing up, which basically means we will see how we are getting screwed instead of finding out later. The only hope I can see if that DC believes that having a public document will lead to public pressure on the L/G govt to seriously protect our interests and allow Labour to make some changes then that it can’t promise before the election. Too much sneaky for me if that’s the case.

    Still also waiting for some indication from Labour that will sort out the clusterfuck that is now welfare.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      There are no strong peoples movements pressuring Labour to stay left and helping to hold capitalist interests at bay. So this is what you get.

      • weka 8.1.1

        “There are no strong peoples movements pressuring Labour to stay left and helping to hold capitalist interests at bay. So this is what you get.”

        Thanks for that bit of honest insight CV, it’s one of the most useful things I’ve seen on the matter.

      • Bearded Git 8.1.2

        If you think Labour are still in thrall to Roger Douglas then vote Green or Mana. This is the beauty of the left’s position coming into this election. Plenty of options where few votes are likely to to be wasted. (Hone will get in no problem)

        Key only has the Crazy Crayfish party on his right*; latest polling 0.7%. Larf!

        *not sure if Crazy is really to the right of Key…..

        • weka 8.1.2.1

          I already vote GP. The issue for me is how good a coalition partner Labour will be, hence my interest in what is happening internally in the party. What CV has just said makes alot of sense, not just for Labour but for all of us.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.1.1

            One is honoured to be of service.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 8.1.2.1.1.1

              “There are no strong peoples movements pressuring Labour to stay left and helping to hold capitalist interests at bay. So this is what you get.”

              Ooo I sincerely hope this is not the way the Labour caucus are thinking on deciding their position and strategy.

              Whilst having additional pressure by other strong peoples movements would be excellent and have the excellent effects that you (C.V.) imply I just think it is foolhardy for Labour to take such a passive approach to their potential supporters.

              My understanding is that Cunliffe got ‘unexpectedly’ strong support to lead the Labour party caucus from his stance on dropping the neo-liberal approach and being more clearly left and that the opportunity for him to be voted leader was created by a pretty strong ‘peoples movement’ from within the Labour party membership.

              It is perfectly o.k for right-wing parties and those high on the list of Labour to live by such attitudes – it really doesn’t matter if there is a low turn-out for such people – they get to keep their jobs regardless. This type of moral hazard is, in fact, what is occurring throughout the western world at present. ‘Who cares how many people vote – I’m sweet regardless.’ There really is not real import for such people to ensure the maximum possible turnout.

              However, there is a huge swag of people who are dispirited through not having their interests represented and politically disengaged and not voting in response. The most common complaint from such people is that ‘it makes no difference who I vote for [so I won’t bother].’

              Cunliffe got a strongly positive response from the Labour membership to his message that there will be a shift in the Labour party away from an ‘anti-neoliberal’ stance and toward more genuinely left policies and I believe Labour would get a similar response from the general public if this shift continued to be asserted clearly.

              That there has been some conflicting messages recently re what stance Labour is really settling on only serves the right-wing and those high on the Labour list and ensures that a Labour/Green win in the next election is not as assured as it could be.

              I think therefore that if Labour are only going to be assertively following what Cunliffe got voted in for if they receive further pressure from people who are in actuality getting increasingly alienated and giving up is a cop out and will only serve the interests of those who are already advantaged by the status quo.

              This is the sort of cop out I sincerely hope I am not going to be seeing from Labour. I predict that the Labour party will be finished as a large credible party if they take this stance toward the next election.

              • Colonial Viper

                What you term a “cop out” is merely political reality. Attempting to rely on the good faith of politicians is a fools’ game. The squeeky wheel gets the oil. Pressure maintains the course. And do you really view our major political parties as still being “credible”? If so, I am amazed.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  lolz I had a feeling I would be picked up for my use of the word ‘credibility’ :)

                  …all I can say to that is that some people still appear to keep voting for them…so perhaps in those peoples’ eyes there is credibility? (yeah that’s weak I know….but I had to justify it somehow….)

                  It is a cop out to call not expecting good faith from politicians a ‘political reality’ because the real political reality is that the people that need to be placing pressure on politicians are never going to do so because they are disenchanted from being completely ignored for so long. Completely ignoring parts of our community is a political failure on the part of politicians so I am asking them to consider correcting the problem that they have created and create a more genuine democracy

                  I am asking for some good faith from the Labour caucus. I believe if they were to cultivate some good faith at this time would be very beneficial to NZ as a whole and it would be good if by writing such things some feelings of the public good could be inspired in them….erhem…afterall, this is one attempt at people pressure you were asking for…

                  • Colonial Viper

                    What I am doing is stating how Roosevelt’s “New Deal” came about…also NZ’s first Labour Govt…none of the good which was done came from ‘good faith’ on the part of the politicians. All of those politicians were “made to do the right thing” by the mass movements of people and organisations which put them there.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      And what I am doing is stating that the politicians of the Labour caucus have already been ‘made to do the right thing’ by a mass movement of people in their own organisation and if they ignore the message their people gave them it is at their own peril.

                      i.e. They end up losing what remaining credibility they have left and become a small party with little clout and let’s face it, the political reality is no lobbyist is going to continue giving them perks to ignore public interest when this sorry scenario eventuates.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Labour Party Conference, including the union affiliate members, gave caucus the discretion to increase the super entitlement age to whatever caucus deemed necessary.

                      So how does that fit in your picture?

                    • Olwyn

                      What the membership and affiliates hope for from Labour must be obvious to the caucus, given the size of Cunliffe’s win and the claims that helped him to get it. The membership and affiliates are the people who can inspire others to vote and get active: they can get the non-voters from 2011 involved.

                      However, gaining discretion regarding superannuation and the TPP, knowing the general position on it, and treating that discretion as licence, is bad faith, and weakens the potential for grass roots momentum.

                      It is only 100 days so far. Cunliffe has made certain commitments. I very much hope he is arranging his office etc., so as to successfully rein in people who would otherwise undermine these commitments. The mass movement- leadership relation is a two way thing. It fails if one side looks like it is reneging.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      ++1 Olwyn

                      “So how does that fit in your picture?”

                      Considering what has proceeded from the decision to leave the superannuation ‘issue’ up to the caucus ‘its a mistake’ is how this fits in with my picture.

                      It would be interesting to know what led up to the membership making this erroneous call .

                      Did Cunliffe get up and do one of his inspiring speeches and leave the membership feeling they could trust the caucus ‘to do the right thing’? Or did a number of caucus or ‘experts’ get up and tell everyone that there is no way other than raising the retirement age to address the [fabricated] problem re affordability of superannuation? Were the membership told that polls indicate that the public ‘are warming to the idea’ of raising the retirement age? [Did those polls offer those voting any information on the matter or offer any alternative solutions?] What occurred prior to the membership deciding to leave the issue to the caucus? I don’t know.

                      All I know is raising the retirement age sounds dodgy and more of the same narrow-minded approach that we have come to expect from politicians in general.

                      ‘Can’t really wring anymore out of the jobless and unwell so let’s move on to the oldies.’

                      Politicians get paid good money and are supported by research teams being paid good money to come up with ideas that will work for NZers’ interests and yet it appears left to small bands of people who have no time and/or no money to come up with better ideas and to spend much time and money that they haven’t got mustering up support from the general public who have even less time and no interest because they are scrabbling about trying to survive the increasingly high pressure lives they are living due to complete failures from successive governments to act in their interest.

                      With this backdrop there are people like Russell Brand being watched by millions, giving pretty good reasons [even for someone who is strongly against not voting] for why voting is a waste of time.

                      Brand comes from a country with a very captured FPP system, whilst NZ has MMP which allows for more variety and less capture however most people watching Brand won’t know these differences and I am guessing will be rather taken with his logic.

                      I just don’t want to see us having less and less democracy through more and more people not seeing the point to voting while we continue to pay very large incomes to people who are supposed to be addressing our problems in a sensible way completely reneging on their duties.

                      We shouldn’t be discussing whether ‘good faith’ from politicians is to be expected or not, it should be a given and might I suggest that some politicians might be very affronted and become as unmotivated as the general public if they continue to be related to by all in sundry as lacking sincerity. Intent may be being covered by misguided beliefs.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The answer is that the membership was captured by caucus-led ideas that cutting super was the only way to make it sustainable. Caucus put no other suggestions on the table eg raising taxes was not even discussed as an option.

                      Too many members use a neoliberal framework without even realising it. And too many others are inclined to follow the lead of caucus instead of pushing back.

                      And to be realistic, fuck all of those at Conference would have been in the bottom 20% of income earners, other than the occasional student.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Hey thanks a lot for the reply CV, I really like that about The Standard; how one can learn more details about the dynamics of current affairs here than from the mainstream ‘information’ sources.

                      That is really sad to hear that – Labour membership did so very well re the change in how they elect the leader and I was very inspired with what Cunliffe was presenting.

                      I want to support Cunliffe’s ideas, yet can only do that if Labour stick to them. Both Mana’s and the Green’s policies and performance are too good to throw a vote away on a party that vacillates and I would guess I am not the only one who will take this approach in the next election. I also trust that ‘non-voter’ types are more likely to come out and vote if there is a clear difference between Labour and National.

                      I hope that Labour keep these points in mind next time they are trying to decide whether to water down the ideology that Cunliffe won his leadership on.

    • Michael 8.2

      Me too. The entire “future focus” bollocks (changes to the Social Security Act and WINZ policy since 2007) must be repealed and replaced with law and policy that is (a) humane and (b) rational. Labour cannot achieve these objectives with the current MSD “Board” (annual cost @$1.5m) and senior bureaucracy. It will need to change the State Sector Act quickly if it wants the machinery of government to work on other settings than the ones marked “National”. This will be an early litmus test of Labour’s bona fides if it attains office next year.

  9. Tanz 9

    The ABC club are still a liability, they won’t budge from their roles.

  10. Tamz 10

    ABC club need to be demoted or pulled into line. Still a liability they will backstab when they can.

  11. Tamz 11

    sorry the double comment, whoops

  12. any assessment of where this ‘new’ cunnliffe labour party is heading..and what shade/hue they actually are..

    ..(a neo-lib blue..?..or a progressive shade of crimson..?..with a 50/50 mix of those two..resulting in a sickly mix of colours..negating both..and ending up with nothing much..?..)

    ..this colour-rating will have to wait until the big-announcement’ in the new year from cunnliffe/labour..

    ..there cunnliffe will offer the voters seachange..or just more of the same…

    ..we can’t really know the actual cut of cunnliffes’ jib until then..

    ..phillip ure..

  13. TightyRighty 13

    Who is this David Cunliffe you talk of? Haven’t heard of him at all in the last six weeks?

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Check your early morning Twitter feed

    • alwyn 13.2

      You are being most unfair. He is the man who had the fastest rise, and fastest fall, in popularity in New Zealand’s political history.
      In the last Morgan poll with Shearer as leader, Labour got 31.5%. Cunliffe, in the first poll after he became leader, took them up to the giddy heights of 37%, a truly remarkable feat.
      Then, at two week intervals they got 37%, 35.5%, 32%, 34% and then 30.5%. Perhaps he has now gone into hiding in the hope that his fall back to being less popular than Shearer will stop.

    • halfcrown 13.3

      “Haven’t heard of him at all in the last six weeks?”

      You wouldn’t have, if all you only listen to and read the right wing shit that is put out as “news” by the pathetic excuse this country has as the MSM.

  14. Andrew 14

    David Cunliffe’s line on the TPPA:
    “The day after the election result I was astounded to read David pronouncing a very deft line about the TPPA. Labour would not support the treaty if the text was not released.”

    If Cunliffe fails on this approach to an issue so vital to NZ’s future, he will have lost a vast number of Labour, Greens, and potential-leftish voters. Fingers crossed, everyone.

    • Melb 14.1

      Yet Goff is publicly backing it. The Labour Party trying to have a bob each way.

      • Bill Drees 14.1.1

        Goff should be dropped immediately as an example to others: having two ex leaders in a caucus is a liability Cunliffe cannot afford.

    • Wayne 14.2

      Andrew, are you really expecting Labour to vote against TPP?

      For instance, if it is negotiated sometime in 2014, but too late for all legislative change to go through before the election, what will an incoming Labour/Green govt do (if the election turns out that way)?

      More particularly, will the Greens demand that NZ not implement TPP as a price of being in govt, or will Labour say, “what other choices do you really have, we are going to enact it anyway and get the votes from the Nats,” (which is sort of what happened with the China FTA).

      That would certainly show the Greens who was boss, and therefore might appeal to David Cunliffe for that reason alone.

      I suspect you are going be disappointed by Labour’s attitude to TPP. I do not think a NZ govt (including a Labour led Lab/Green govt) will turn their back on a FTA which has Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the US as parties. And if they did they will be a one term govt.

      • Pascal's bookie 14.2.1

        You keep calling it an FTA Wayne. Would you say that is accurate, and if not, why do you keep saying that?

      • RedLogix 14.2.2

        Wayne,

        So I take it you unconditionally support the TPP. Regardless of it’s terms?

        • Wayne 14.2.2.1

          I know enough about FTA agreements (and trust Tim Groser) that I can be confident that the agreement that is finally negotiated will be acceptable. And I include broad encompassing agreements like the TPP.

          For instance the China FTA is actually a much broader agreement than simply a FTA on physical goods.

          I suspect for many on the Left they will oppose it no matter the terms. As they did with the China FTA. For instance the Greens have opposed every single FTA. From that I am entitled to discern a pattern.

          Though I appreciate for those who oppose the “neoliberal”system of the last 30 years (as with the Greens) free trade is part of the system that must be opposed.

          Labour of course does not instinctively oppose the neoliberal system, they mostly just want to modify it. But there are a number of Labour backbenchers, (typically not the those who will be decisive in a govt) who also oppose the neoliberal system. David Cunliffe might sometimes use left rhetoric, but he is a modifier, not a revolutionary.

          Of course if the Labour/Green percentages were reversed, New Zealand might get a radical govt, and way more than in 1935. But that is a different political landscape than is currently possible.

          • RedLogix 14.2.2.1.1

            Well I appreciate the candid response Wayne. Clearly however you must know something the rest of us muggles don’t.

            Because basic Lawyering 101 taught me never to sign a strange document that I had not, or worse still, could not read.

            Now if it was a standard FTA agreement covering the usual trade in goods and services then we would be entitled to make some assumptions based on previous experience.

            But what little we do know of this TPP is that it’s a corporatist charter whose scope is a lot broader than the usual FTA – and extends into areas that clearly have the potential to infringe on national sovereignty … especially given that NZ risks being a sliver of lamb chop between two 800lb gorillas, the USA and China.

            Besides – your answer really does essentially demand we all place a great deal of faith onto Mr Grosser. That fact alone seems to run counter to simple democratic accountability.

            Update:

            I don’t know if anyone has an answer to this hypothetical, yet plausible scenario. Imagine some large Chinese corporate decides to import into NZ some exact knock-off of a US-based corporate’s product. The Chinese insist that under our FTA with them we cannot prevent this trade.

            At the same time the US corporate sues our collective arse off for breaching our IP agreements under the TPP?

            Any idea which trumps which and how this no-win scenario gets resolved? Or is this simply a conduit for the NZ taxpayer to funnel cash into the US corporate’s coffers. (Even better imagine if the US and Chinese corporates ultimately had the same owners – playing each other off for just this purpose.)

            • Colonial Viper 14.2.2.1.1.1

              NZ is walking a fine line between 2 superpowers. One ascendant, one not. Tricky stuff.

          • phillip ure 14.2.2.1.2

            @ wayne..

            should lab/grns get govt..

            ..and lab then stall/stop the serious reforms that are needed..

            ..and end up just repeating clark..and doing s.f.a. about poverty/environment (just to name two..)

            ..we could get a lot nearer that percentage-reversal in ’17..

            ..but i would really rather that what is needed is done in ’14…

            ..the urgencies are all around us..

            ..and they/we can’t afford to wait for another three years..

            ..phillip ure..

          • KJT 14.2.2.1.3

            “Free trade”.

            Now I know you are really in cloud cuckoo land.

          • newsense 14.2.2.1.4

            we just want proof of the benefits for ALL NEW ZEALANDERS not just a few and not all in the distant future while the pain is in the present.

            It’s gotta pass a cost/benefit analysis and also the likelihood that other countries will also go for it.

            What concessions are the Americans currently making?

            Do you genuinely believe that there will be access to Japanese and US agriculture markets?

            What industries will be killed off in NZ as a result of the other demands?

      • Colonial Viper 14.2.3

        This describes perfectly how powerless the citizens of a country are with regards to the neoliberal framework that sovereign states find themselves enmeshed in, that small nations like ours are forced by external powers an pressure to sign over our Parliament’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction to increase the powers of faceless transnational corporates registered far far away in various tax shelters.

        BTW is the US and Japan going to open up their ag/hort markets for our farmers then? If not why is the deal worth the paper it is written on?

        • Draco T Bastard 14.2.3.1

          BTW is the US and Japan going to open up their ag/hort markets for our farmers then?

          Nope, even if it’s called for in the agreement they’ll just work around them. Such tariffs have been against the rulings on the WTO for quite some time (hell, we’ve even won some rulings against the US because of them) and yet the US and Japan and a few other supposedly “free-market” countries still have them.

        • Wayne 14.2.3.2

          There will be substantial gains in agriculture access, from both the US and Japan, probably more from the US since their farms have become more productive. The main reason is because they believe they can compete better, so they also want access to Japan.

  15. McGrath 15

    He’s better than Shearer, but needs to unify his message ie. “Raging Red” Shearer to the unions, light shade of red elsewhere.

  16. Ian 16

    Dairy farmers are benefiting directly from the FTA with China ,and I thank Helen And Goffy for their foresight.Cuniliffe is not going to set the electorate alight to get rid of the Nats.FFS he got a police warning for dodgy electioneering only last Friday.And labour Len ain’t doing your cause any good either. Have a merry christmas .

    • KJT 16.1

      Oh great. Dairy farmers are doing well while the rest of the community is heading for collapse.

      We wouldn’t have needed it without the daft twits who unilaterally gave up all NZ trade and manufacturing protections, in the idea that the USA, Japan and the EU would do the same with their agriculture. Yeah right.

      Notice no other first world country has been daft enough to follow suit.

      8.2 billion of imported junk from China in return for 7.7 billion of commodities.
      While we pay with unemployment, rising poverty, polluted streams and huge borrowing.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Don’t forget all the foreign workers that dairy farmers employ, this economic model is really helping them too.

  17. Philj 17

    Xox
    Well expressed CV. I’m with you.

  18. peterlepaysan 18

    How is David going to get all the non voters to show up? That lot have skipped two elections in a row.

    The nats and key are vulnerable (and know it) they will be fighting very hard (and dirty).

    Labour’s weakness iis the low voter turnout.

    That has to be addressed.

  19. bad12 19

    Anti-Neo-Liberalism, A truly Red Labour Party, David Cunliffe an extremely likable product of New Zealand at a time when there was a society that gave every one a fair go,

    My view is that a wary electorate has seen Cunliffe in those two of His views i have touched on above severely over-reach with the rhetoric, building an expectation among the electorate only to realize He has neither the tools nor the Caucus to deliver such massive change inherent in the rhetoric,

    We will begin to get ‘the picture’ as next year electioneering begins in earnest, if Cunliffe cannot deliver the ‘social justice’ tragically lacking from 30 years of neo-liberal eperimentation then the Green Party may well poll 15% at the 2014 election,

    Given Goff has already undermined Cunliffe as has Parker with the latest announcement on raising the age of Superannuation, He will need some extremely robust ‘social policy’ announcements befor the electorate will install Him as Prime Minister,

    Should Labour continue pushing the raising of the age of entitlement for superannuation as a viable option it may well aide NZFirst but will probably see Labour at risk of polling in the high 20’s on election day…

  20. TightyRighty 20

    @halfcr(l?)own

    Blaming the media now? Doesn’t playing the victim card ever get old? How about DC hasn’t done anything newsworthy except break electoral law recently? Sounds a bit closer to the truth doesn’t it?

  21. just saying 21

    Agreed.
    Hell he could reach out into every freaking state house in the country and guarantee those people security of tenure, and the promise of even more social housing (to get the rellies off the couch etc.) I reckon, if widely publicised that would be good for at least 100,000 new voters ticking Labour. My neighbours will start to be hassled in the new year – the legislation has been passed. The threat of being kicked-out is a great motivator.

    Cunliffe has the rhetorical skills to sell social democracy to the electorate. It pretty much sells itself if it gets a decent hearing. A lot of people are feeling very insecure. Their whole lives have been deliberately destabilised. Labour could sell security and a better quality of living through full-employment, housing, health, social security and labour law reform and a decent minimum wage. It just won’t.

    • just saying 21.1

      Damn. The above, which wont let me edit though I’m well withing the time, was supposed to be a reply to bad12 at 19

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.1

        You’re spot on. Identifying with, standing beside, and advocating for those in NZ who are living their days in insecurity and precarious situations is what needs to be done. And it will turn out and extra 100,000-200,000 votes, easily. And they will all be Left votes.

        Labour needs to signal that they will not just tinker, but will actually change the game.

        • Olwyn 21.1.1.1

          +1. And with regard to your earlier comments about the need for a mass social movement, we desperately need such a vehicle, but I have no idea how to get one going. It would be great if we could have mass marches against poverty, for instance, around the time of the 2014 budget.

          The success of protests cannot always be measured by their direct results, but by the solidarity that they generate. In this sense, the anti-supercity march, the POAL march and the GCSB meetings worked to some extent. If we want Labour to represent us, making our presence felt would make it clear to them that management and rhetoric are not enough. It would give those to the left of the party the excuse they need.

          • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1.1

            We pick a concrete issue, around which concrete activities can be organised.

            So no “March Against Poverty” (abstract and intellectual) but instead a March for a Living Wage, or a March for Full Employment.

            The success of protests cannot always be measured by their direct results, but by the solidarity that they generate.

            Spot on.

            • Olwyn 21.1.1.1.1.1

              You are right, something concrete and current is a better idea. I suggested “poverty” in the belief that it captured a long list of problems. I am deeply suspicious of the separation of child poverty from poverty per se. It is the kind of thing the centre-left comes up with in the belief that they cannot be so callous as to deny X, in this case children, which can then inadvertently invite solutions like farming kids out so the parents’ doles can still be cut, or a new generation of corporate Mr Bumbles with orphanage projects.

  22. Chooky 22

    David Cunliffe sounded very good this morning an radionz!…He is going to take the fight to Nact!

    However John Key was sounding confident….and says they have still lots of reforms in store for the Public Service and Education amongst other things

  23. Natwest 23

    First 100 days? – “FLOP”

    Indecisive, no straight answers, lying and has made no inroads whatsoever into Nationals support at around 48 – 49%. He’s been about as effective as Shearer – and we no how good that was!

    John Key will mince him next year.

  24. tinfoilhat 24

    John Key will mince next year.

    FIFY

  25. gnomic 25

    Can Labour win a seat in Hamilton? They need to. However the weaker National MP, Bennett, has a majority of 8000 or so. A big ask. As Hamilton goes, so goes the nation?

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      It’s a difficult fight ol’ Hamilton. Doable but much ground work needs to be done in Q1 next year.

      • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 25.1.1

        Labour needs to mount a serious candidate against Tim Macindoe. Letting Sue Moroney run is handing Hamilton West to National on a platter.

  26. captain hook 26

    By the time of the election the whole country will know that National is a spent force.
    They can’t do anything right and to put it in their own terms they have had their turn and they holed out.

  27. Not a PS Staffer 27

    That esteemed writer AD recalled Charles Chauvel’s advice that a party needs both wings to fly effectively.
    Cunliffe had been wise in shaping his team to bring all factions together.
    To maintain that unity Cunliffe must be ruthless in enforcing discipline: the first sign of arsehole behaviour from Trevor must be responded to with instant sacking; no trial or jury required.

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  • Oi Auckland Transport: fare’s fair
    Auckland Transport should go back to the drawing board on its proposal to charge commuters for its park-and-rides, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “When we need to be getting people out of their cars and onto public transport, it’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Is Nick Smith making it up as he goes along?
      Housing Minister Nick Smith must release the list of Crown land parcels which formed the basis of the Government’s Budget announcement, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “If the public is to have any faith the Government is not just… ...
    3 days ago
  • Norway moves first to dump coal investments
    The Green Party today called on the Government to secure cross-party support to sell its investments in coal mining companies.The Norwegian Parliament's finance committee agreed in a bipartisan motion yesterday to instruct the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Fund to sell… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 days ago
  • Fonterra payout $13b black hole over 2 years
    Fonterra’s dramatic cut to its forecast farmgate payout over this season and next will lead to a $13 billion black hole over two years, and shows the need for a plan to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour calls for select ctte inquiry into Rural Broadband Initiative
    Labour is calling for an immediate inquiry into the flailing $300 million rural broadband initiative, before companies and consumers are forced to pick up the tab for the new $150 million broadband tax, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “Rural… ...
    3 days ago
  • Public broadcasting takes big hit under National Government
    Public broadcasting funding has been cut by 25 per cent in real terms since the National Government took office in 2009, leading to the erosion of our once world-class news and current affairs culture, says Labour Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. … ...
    3 days ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another snag
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    3 days ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another sang
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    3 days ago
  • Wilkinson appointment wrong in principle
    The appointment of former Conservation Minister Hon Kate Wilkinson as an Environment Commissioner is wrong in principle, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker. “The doctrine of separation of powers requires judicial processes to remain separate and independent from the legislature… ...
    3 days ago
  • McCully doesn’t deny bribe in Saudi sheep scandal
    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.… ...
    3 days ago
  • National must back our future doctors
    National must support our future doctors and agree to the calls from the Medical Students’ Association and the Young Nats to lift the arbitrary 7 year cap on student loans for medical and dental students, Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David… ...
    3 days ago
  • Taxpayer the loser after Government folds
    Steven Joyce today admitted the main exhibition hall at the New Zealand International Convention Centre is 19 per cent smaller than what was described at the time other bidders were edged out of the process, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David… ...
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s lack of ambition for women
    Yesterday, the Government put out a media release entitled “Number of women leaders continues to grow”. It was to inform us that the percentage of women on state-appointed boards has increased to 41.7%, up from 41.1% in 2013. Well, woo-hoo… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Auditor-General exposes Key’s scapegoating of Council
    The National Government's blaming of Auckland Council for the city’s housing crisis has been exposed as scapegoating in the Office of the Auditor-General’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Auditor-General says Auckland Council’s part in fixing the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Reform – not money – needed for meat sector
    The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government cuts corners on school bus funding
    The safety of children – not cost cutting – should be the main objective behind the Government’s funding of school buses, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Buried in the detail of this year’s Budget are $19 million of funding… ...
    4 days ago
  • Women the losers under National’s cuts
    National’s poor performance in appointing women to state sector boards is set to get worse with funding cuts to the nomination service provided by the Ministry for Women, Labour’s Woman’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Minister for Women Louise Upston… ...
    4 days ago
  • Help sought by agencies now asked to help
    The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    4 days ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    4 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    4 days ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    4 days ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    4 days ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    4 days ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    5 days ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    5 days ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    5 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    6 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    1 week ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 week ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 week ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 week ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 week ago

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