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LabourHQ: Election Update 1

Written By: - Date published: 12:48 am, August 28th, 2013 - 42 comments
Categories: labour, leadership - Tags:

Labour’s first ever Leadership Election College process is now roaring into action. We last wrote to you five days ago, on the evening that the election was triggered. Since then:

  • The New Zealand Council, the governing body of our Party, has finalised the Rules under which the election will run; appointed Tim Barnett, General Secretary, as the Returning Officer for the election and confirmed the membership of the Leadership Election Advisory Group, which has oversight of the election process under the Rules.
  • The nomination process has opened and closed, generating three outstanding candidates (in alphabetical order): David Cunliffe, Grant Robertson and Shane Jones.
  • The Party has contracted with a Christchurch-based provider, electionz.com, to administer the election; they will be working with Thames Publications in Wellington – a Living Wage employer. The Returning Officer will maintain oversight of this operation. As a modern Party, we also wanted to give you the opportunity to vote electronically (in the same way that the Census included an online option this year).
  • Key dates have been set – the ballot papers for all who were members when the election was triggered will be sent out at the end of this week, and will need to be back with electionz.com by noon on Sunday 15th September (posted by Wednesday 11th or completed online), with a result an hour or two after that;
  • Twelve (12) meetings have been organised, to a standard format (details at the campaign page on www.labour.org.nz), the first on Saturday 31st August and the last on Tuesday 10th September. Candidates will be at all 12 meetings to speak and answer questions.
  • New Zealand Council has agreed that people who have been financial members of the Party sometime between January 1 2011 and August 22 2013 but have not yet paid their membership for 2013 can renew their membership and vote, so long as they do so before 12.00am on Friday 6 September. In addition, people who join after August 22nd (the day that the election was triggered) can attend the meetings.

There are a couple of key points for members as you plan your voting:

  • The Electoral College has three sections (Party Members, Caucus and Affiliates). You will be sent a ballot paper for every section of the Electoral College that you are entitled to vote in. You can only vote once in each section.
  • You will have three ways of voting after you receive your ballot paper in the mail – by posting it back (a freepost envelope will be included in the mailing), voting online (the mailing will include a unique pin number which you can use) or by taking your written ballot paper along to one of the twelve meetings and placing it in the ballot box there. If you are a member of the Service and Food Workers Union, you will be handed your ballot paper at one of the 12 candidate meetings and will need to vote there (unless you have applied for a postal vote).
  • If you will be overseas when the voting is happening, you will be able to both receive and send your ballot paper by email. For that to happen, the Party HQ needs to have your email address. If you are already registered by us at an overseas postal address and we have your email address, we will automatically capture your details.

And there is one message for all of us, in the heat of this internal Labour election. The media, other political parties and the wider public are all watching how this election is conducted. That means that every one of us needs to focus on the policies not the people, on the positive not the negative, on the future and not the past. That way we all win!

Best wishes,

Moira Coatsworth, President
Tim Barnett, General Secretary (and Returning Officer)

PS: You can contribute to running this exciting process by clicking here and making a donation to the party.

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42 comments on “LabourHQ: Election Update 1”

  1. tracey 1

    Not mobile friendly and couldnt see a link to click

  2. Tracey 2

    No probs. here’s the link for those on mobiles to use


  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Leadership Election College process

    Is this the official name for the process? It’s just a really bad acronym, LEC, conflicting with the long established Labour Electorate Committee (LEC).

    So these meetings are not public meetings?

    Can people turn up and join on the day of the meeting, in order to attend?

    • bad12 3.1

      Would have liked to have turned up for a lurk,look, and listen in Wellington too, but, i can understand that having non-Party members attending might create difficulty with voting,

      i cannot tho simply discount the past as Moira so kindly asks us to do, the past is who we should be in the future, simply adapting that past to what the future brings us…

      PS, its good to see the Party is fully involved with supporting ‘ the living wage’, hopefully the next government reflects this in it’s Legislative program…

    • lprent 3.2

      Can people turn up and join on the day of the meeting, in order to attend?

      Nope. Card carrying is the word… And since I didn’t inform the NZLP of my change of address at the start of the year this could be a problem.

      Perhaps if I wear my various badges for VFL and century fund?

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Well I know all the party officials who will be sphincter police at the local meeting but I hear that I’m not flavour of the month currently 😈

        • Te Reo Putake


        • lprent

          I’ve worked with most people in the local LP for decades, including right back to the ructions at the end of the 80’s and early 90’s. You’d be surprised at how little the active members don’t care provided you don’t heckle. It is always pleasant when one of the old New Labour (or whatever reason that they disengaged) activists returned to the fold

          Usually the only people who try to hold grudges are the junior politicians who haven’t spent time on the ground. The old hands tend to just follow the rules if there are any set and make exceptions if it is too much hassle.

          Mostly it is politics, not personality

          • Colonial Viper

            Usually the only people who try to hold grudges are the junior politicians who haven’t spent time on the ground.

            You don’t say 😉

            Cheers lprent. Not worried in the least, I’m doing my bit and going along regardless!

            • Tim

              Maybe the juniors will turn up at Pipitea Road wherever that is, and everyone else Pipitea Street

  4. I have real concerns about the electronic option. Not because I expect foul play in this particular contest — I’m sure it will be clean — but because online voting is bad in principle and using it here lends it legitimacy for future use in national elections.

    Assurances about the integrity of an online voting system can only be provided by a small number of technical people (I am one of those kind of people). In the event of a dispute, in practical terms there is no way to satisfy objectors — you can only rely on experts saying “trust us”. This is in contrast to a paper ballot where all votes can be audited by untrained people of reasonable intelligence. It’s hard enough to verify the chain of custody of paper votes. For a lay person to verify that electronic data in the hands of a returning officer is really an accurate record of user actions is next to impossible.

    In a national election the incentives are there both to cheat and to dispute the result of a legitimate election. Online voting greatly increases the scope both for cheating and dispute.

    This is why I’ve written to party officials suggesting that electronic voting not be used in future.

    • weka 4.1

      Thanks for that Stephen. I have a gut reaction against electronic voting, so it’s good to have the rational explanation for why it’s a bad idea.

    • bad12 4.2

      Indeed, save a postal workers job and vote by snail mail should be the battle cry…

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      Thanks for putting your thoughts down in writing to party officials, Stephen. I too have serious concerns about online voting, electronic voting machines and the like, and believe that they should be avoided.

    • lprent 4.4

      Hey Stephen. I agree (I’m a c++ geek in my day job).

      But if you feel strongly about it, write a post and send it through. I never seem to have time to finish the rant I started in 2011

    • Rich 4.5

      Moreover, even if technical issues are all solved and everything is properly audited and above board, there is no way to determine whether a secret ballot is in fact secret.

      This isn’t so much of an issue for a (hopefully) well behaved electorate like the Labour Party, but it can and does lead to abuses in national or local elections.

      (I actually think NZ should go back to ballot box voting for councils, with the election dates synchronized with general elections to maximise turnout).

    • jaymam 4.6

      Yes I don’t like electronic voting. There should be a paper record, so why not use paper in the beginning? As far as counting votes is concerned, I’d like to see about 100 votes in an envelope, counted independently by at least two different people, and they keep counting that envelope until all the counters agree. Sort of like the punch and verfiy for punch cards, if anyone is old enough to remember them!
      I have seen video of people counting national election votes and their methods look just horrible.

      Of course for the Labour leaders’ vote, any result that doesn’t say Cunliffe/Ardern is clearly stupid and would be an indication that the voters don’t want Labour to win the next election.
      (Assuming that David Cunliffe gets more practice in speech making)

  5. Curtis 5

    Good to see they are stopping off in the West Coast

  6. Ron 6

    Does anyone know what kind of format the meetings will be. Is it just a straight three prepared speeches and then the patsy questions or what?

    • Anne 6.1

      Don’t worry on that score Ron. Unlike their pliant and brainwashed counterparts in National, Labour members don’t do “patsy” at all well. I’m talking about the members here – not the pollies. That’s why Labour conferences and meetings like the up and coming leadership meetings are so much more interesting – even fun.

  7. Takere 7

    Great turnout today at the Manukau Convention Centre …… heaps of support for Shane Jones from the brown folks! The people I spoke to were behind Jonesee all the way.

    • jaymam 7.1

      Are they choosing who they like or who will help Labour win?


      Cunliffe 79.1%
      Robertson 20.9%
      Jones 0.3%

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        It’s exactly as the bet says – who will be the next Labour Leader.

        • jaymam

          I’m talking about what the people at Manukau Convention Centre are thinking.

          • Colonial Viper

            Ahhh. Sorry. I think the answer is that Takere is just FoS.

            • Rhinocrates


              What does that stand for?

              Forgive my ignorance.

              Anyway, I have the impression that “Takere” is just Jones’ astroturf, if not a sock puppet, or considering a recent misogynist outburst about “women’s problems” (‘cos women don’t vote, I suppose), a moron.

              Robertson… if he’s endorsed by the likes of Hoots now that even they see that Jones is a non-contender, then that’s surely a mark against him. Unfortunately, I think that he’s so blinded by his own ego, he’ll take that as a sign that he can “seize the middle” – you know, those half dozen soft Nat votes that somehow matter more than the 800, 000 roof painters.

            • Takere

              Thats not very nice CV ….. been a bully and abusive is allowed for some ….. different rules for different folks. Hmmm that sounds familiar?

    • Rodel 7.2

      2 people?…and.”….the brown folks”?..sounds like “the coloured folks”.
      Now where have I heard that before?

  8. tracey 8

    Nz post is laying off workers and sponsorjng the black caps…

    I too dont like electronic voting. A number of reasons including the ongoing assumption everyone has a computer at home and everyobe is computer literate.

  9. tracey 9

    Gcsb sis powers etc… influence of usa and we should trust the security of online voting???

    why do people think the days of the cia influencing foreign elections is gone?

  10. Ron 10

    I think that ballot box voting is probably easier to rig than electronic voting. After doing electoral work for many elections and seeing some things like lost ballot boxes etc I think that a properly designed electronic system is way more secure

    • Stephen 10.1

      How can you tell?

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      A lost ballot box might mean you lose a hundred votes at a booth.

      A fucked computer system might mean every vote cast across the country is suspect.

      Why build that scale of fragility into the system?

      • jaymam 10.2.1

        Remember the Florida voting machines and how Bush got re-elected? And a machine that started off with -4000 votes for one candidate!
        Think how different the world would have been without Bush.

        • alwyn

          I think I remember it a little better than you do.
          The problem with Florida was really in 2000, when Bush was first elected and not in 2004 when he was, in your words, “re-elected”.
          It was also a problem with mechanical, rather than electronic, machines which left “hanging chads”.
          Florida in 2004 didn’t have any more problems that any other state and wasn’t a particularly controversial result.

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