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Random notes on the reshuffle

Written By: - Date published: 2:22 pm, February 25th, 2013 - 82 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Eddie was right about Sio, Street, and Mahuta.

There are no Cunliffe people on the front bench. It’s not a very unifying move.

Trevor has the speaker’s job sewn up if they win so I don’t take his “demotion” very seriously at all. If anything it’ll give him more time to scheme. Lianne, on the other hand, has been sent a clear signal.

I’ll be interested to see how Robertson goes with the jobs role – he’s lined up for the leadership after Shearer so he better show some chops.

Interesting to see David Clark get economic development, I know he has some time in treasury under his belt but he’s not got a lot of business experience. He’ll need to perform to score points off Joyce.

I’d have picked Cunliffe and Little for the jobs and Economic Development roles respectively but that was never going to happen.

Trevett was right about King. I don’t think now, that she’ll be standing for Wellington Mayor and I don’t think we’ll see her retire until at least 2020.

82 comments on “Random notes on the reshuffle”

  1. IrishBill 1

    Oh and one more thing. This is a reshuffle that has put Grant Robertson and his people in poll position.

    • asd 1.1

      But will the polls reflect that? I doubt it. There needs to be blood spilt if we are to take the government to task! It’s a formality based on past observation that if the polls don’t improve for Labour between now and election year, the leadership will be challenged. With baited breath we watch and wait.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    If Annette King isn’t retiring then why isn’t she leader?

    No, she wouldn’t be my first choice, but why isn’t she the ABC’s first choice? Does anybody seriously believe that Shearer is better equipped for the job?

    I assumed Goff and King stepped down after 2011 because they … were stepping down. But they’re not, so we contnue with the worst of both worlds – the same team, with a worse front man. Labour wouldn’t have been any worse off if Goff/King were still there. I’d rather be uninspired by blandness than depressed by hopelessness.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      +1, as usual.

    • I assume the thinking must have been that David Shearer wasn’t ‘tarred’ with the ‘old guard’ (i.e., Goff and King) brush – at least in the mind of the general public.

      But, if that was the thinking, then the strategy gets undermined by retaining (and promoting) the ‘old guard’. I guess that’s why Trevor Mallard’s ‘demotion’ was included, so that it looked like Shearer was, indeed, moving some of the ‘old guard’ along.

      • Lanthanide 2.2.1

        Undermined by Trevor turning around and smugly saying “I’m going to be speaker in later 2014 so I shouldn’t be in the shadow cabinet now anyway”.

    • Beryl Streep 2.3

      I’ve thought this for a while, Annette King is the logical choice to lead Labour into the next election.

      Her back story is good, the Dental Nurse who aspired to be Prime Minister. She’s grounded and very likable in her regular spots on Newstalk ZB. And she’s the best dressed female politician according to Stuff. On top of all that, she’s articulate, intelligent and would wipe the floor with Key in a political debate.

      She’s given up her aspirations to be Mayor of Welly in order to be promoted back to the front bench. I think she might have her eye on the top job…

      • Lanthanide 2.3.1

        I’d certainly take her as leader over Shearer.

        Also she couldn’t claim that she ‘doesn’t read blogs’ either 😉

    • Grassroots 2.4


      Have been watching David Shearer perform in community events lately, I could not stop thinking about how stupid the caucus was 18 months ago to put this man in the leadership position – he is totally uncomfortable, in-confident and it seems like he even did want to be in the spotlight or centre of the attention!

  3. Dr Terry 3

    When will Cunliffe find himself a job (outside this parliament) that is commensurate with his skills and qualifications? Here is a Labour Party happy to cast aside brilliance simply on account of in-fighting, fear, and jealousy. What a wicked waste!!

    • Peter 3.1

      If the L in Labour still stands for anything, it stands for loyalty. Loyalty long past any other redeeming factors.

    • JK 3.2

      To Dr Terry – Not only that, but adding insult to injury by putting him in the junior role to Parker on Finance.

      • ad 3.2.1

        Agreed. Cunliffe should read the signs. A meritocracy would be great, and should be mandatory. This is not the case in politics, of course.

        But Cunliffe you’ve been in since 1999, you’re the only one who knows how to break and remake an industry for the national good (telecomms). So you can be better than being Parker’s bitch.

        Every single leadership change option open to David Cunliffe has been exhausted, including changing the entire Labour Constitution. Nothing has worked for Cunliffe.

        It was OK for Maharey, it was fine for Power, indeed it was just fine for Helen Clark. They all got better jobs and are remaking the world in their own way.

        Run, Cunliffe, go and get a job.

        • Dr Terry

          No need for Cunliffe to run – he can walk away with his head held high (while our heads should be bowed).

        • Olwyn

          Time is on his side. It’s a matter of how long he can continue to absorb slights without lashing out, and whether he continues to think it is worth the effort.

          • Colonial Viper

            He already announced at Waitangi he was out of the leadership games. Backbench role with a few not too demanding portfolios is pretty sweet: more time in Auckland and hanging out with the family, less stress. Nothing to get annoyed about there.

          • Anne

            Slights Olwyn? Crass insults would be a better description. :)

            Yes, time is on his side. You know Cunliffe did have a few problems – a bit abrasive at times and needed to learn a little more humility? Hell, the number of Labour pollies who don’t have exactly the same problem would be less than 10!

            • Olwyn

              😉 His sometimes being “a bit abrasive” pales alongside behaviour that is treated as perfectly acceptable, so long as the people involved are batting for the “right” team. That attitude may well come back to haunt Shearer. If the signal is that you can get away with anything so long as you vote for Shearer he will find it very hard to maintain discipline.

    • yeshe 3.3


    • higherstandard 3.4

      What qualifications does he have ?

      • ad 3.4.1

        Have you seen his CV?

      • dancerwaitakere 3.4.2

        Just casually an MPA from… ya know… Harvard.

        • higherstandard

          MPA ? is that simIlar to an MBA ?

          • Colonial Viper

            Yes, the two middle consonants even sound sorta the same

            • pollywog

              In broken Samoan english, they are interchangeable :)

              Which reminds me. What did my favourite token Polly pick up for being a good wee suckhole nigga to his massas?

              • the pigman

                Pollywog – seen your comments here and the other thread re: Kris Faafoi. Not amused. Hopefully the moderators won’t be either.

          • alwyn

            Not really.
            An MBA from Harvard is a two-year degree that normally allows the recipient to get a decent job in business.
            An MPA is rather like a diploma. It might be of some interest to a Government department but not to any employer in the private sector.
            I suppose he did finish it though.
            The last three Labour leaders could all put “failed PhD” on their CVs.

            • Colonial Viper

              You’re a fucking joke Alwyn.

              To save myself from martyrdom – please justify how you believe Harvard’s Kennedy School accredited a Masters programme which was “rather like a diploma”

              It might be of some interest to a Government department but not to any employer in the private sector.

              Unless you are Boeing Raytheon JP Morgan Bechtel or any other enterprise with significant public sector interests

            • Pascal's bookie

              An MBA from Harvard is a two-year degree that normally allows the recipient to get a decent job in business.
              An MPA is rather like a diploma.


              • alwyn

                You are crediting him with an MPA/ID, which is not the degree he claims.
                As the Harvard material you link to says, it is the Kennedy School of Government’s LATEST degree.
                Cunliffe was there almost 20 years ago, in 1994-1995.
                They didn’t have that degree then but they did have a one year MPA.
                As you can see he only claims that one year degree. American University years start in the middle of the year and he was only there for one year.
                If you are going to reference a degree in the Harvard catalogue at least try and reference the right one.

                • dancerwaitakere

                  Okay Alwyn, lets see you get admitted to the Kennedy School of Government. Then try and get your Masters.

                  Also, Cunliffe already had his Hons.

      • Anne 3.4.3

        David Cunliffe qualifications:


        Int Bacc, United World College of the Atlantic 1982-1982
        BA (Hons1), University of Otago 1986-1986
        Dip Soc Sci (Distinction) in Economics, Massey University 1993-1993
        MPA, Harvard University 1994-1995
        Fullbright Scholar, Harvard University
        Kennedy Memorial Fellow, Harvard University

        • Anne

          David Parker qualifications:


          BCom, University of Otago
          LLB, University of Otago

        • Colonial Viper

          But he hasn’t saved millions of people or stared down an AK74…

          • Tim

            Just a thought…. (having also had a loaded gun pointed at my skull by a nutter) and
            not to minimise just how lethal an AK47 is, a COLT 45, or a pissed off little old lady with a double barrel shotgun can be just as lethal when it comes to getting death.

            The AK47 sounds more dramatic, but talking a drugged-up warlord out of using it might be no more treacherous than talking the pissed off gran from firing off a barrel, OR for that matter, some smart-assed copper under threat from a mentally ill patient marauding through the streets of Whanganui.

          • Hami Shearlie

            That’s right CV – Plus not even a sniff of a thesis on mango skins!! I’m afraid that expert knowledge about mango skins is a MUST for a leader of the Labour Party! Poor David Cunliffe must have chosen Harvard instead! Poor guy, what a lack of judgement!!

          • Rhinocrates

            Well, having grown up during the Cold War, I had a shitload of nukes pointed at my head by senile lunatics. So there.

      • Foreign Waka 3.4.4

        Here it is: A tall poppy that needed to be cut down – as usual and not really surprising.

        David Cunliffe studied politics at the University of Otago, where he was a member of the Otago University Debating Society, and gained a BA with first-class honours. He worked as a diplomat from 1987 to 1994 and gained a Diploma in Social Sciences (Distinction) in economics from Massey University in 1993. He was a Fulbright Scholar and Kennedy Memorial Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School in 1994 and 1995, earning a Master of Public Administration. He worked as a business consultant with Boston Consulting Group in Auckland from 1995 to 1999.

    • Mariana Pineda 3.5

      Agreed, There arent many who have the spark that Cunliffe has. I will be really upset if we lose Cunliffe and Dalziel as those chosen are nowhere near as effective as communicators. \

      Makes me want to cry to have a short sighted so called leader who doesnt seem to want to get the Labour message out there and who absolutely fails to use the best people in the appropriate jobs.

      I dont know who is advising him by perhaps they need to look at the big picture rather than their own petty insecurities and ambitions.

      Labour will not win like this!!

    • Tony 3.6

      Nah. He’s where he is because of his actions. He’ll learn from it and be back. I think Shearer looks good and I’m excited about the new look of the Labour party. Many of you will pick it to pieces but many of you seem to be critical perfectionists with differing opinions whom I doubt would ever be happy. SOLIDARITY.

  4. higherstandard 4

    The duck as speaker ?

    ….. surely you jest.

  5. Cunliffe would have breathed life into the Labour party,he would have taken the people
    with him, now he sits on the backbenches with token portfolios,what a waste.
    Curran should have been sent to the backbenches for her lack of understanding facets
    of the internet and how it works for people behind the key-boards, she is hopeless.
    I can hear the chigga-chugging of the Labour trainwreck all the way to E Day, where
    others will pick up the pieces to help them get over the line to form a government, but,
    the question is ‘do they deserve it’?

    • Murray Olsen 5.1

      My question, VV, is how have we sinned to deserve them as government? A time of international economic and environmental crisis needs bold measures, and I cannot see anything except Blairite (100% Tory) business as usual from this lot. Any progress on solutions will come despite a Labour government, not because of one.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        My question, VV, is how have we sinned to deserve them as government?

        We decided that all our old fashioned socialist, social credit and unionist friends were too uncool, and decided to hang out with the in-crowd with the flash lingo, clever finance talk and stylish economic ideas.

        • Tim

          We succumbed to a culture of ‘greed, selfishness and avarice is good’ – the founding principles of the neo-liberal ideology. It’s not really all that dissimilar to the reasons why peace, love and hippiedom all fell apart, but unfortunately it’s taking a lot longer to get over and the ‘foreskins’ of the ideology seem to be taking a helluva long time to self-destruct.

        • xtasy

          The problem is, the mainstream media, and also the marginalised “public media” have for so many years now followed the populistic agenda to consider anything “government” as evil, to promote the interests of their paymasters, being commercially operating advertisers, and this “sluttery” of media has created the public sentiment that now does consider anything other “private enterprise”, state managed and socially inclusive as being plain “evil”.

          People do not even understand the social perspective anymore, as young generations were brought up and fed the commercialist, consumerist shit that has ruled the media and society now for 2 to 3 decades.

          So Labour are not taking on the challenge, they are giving in to the “trends” and try to merely “look better” and a bit more “humane” than the other right wing propagators of the ideology of private enterprise, the market, individualistic efforts, self aggrandisement and the whole game.

          Labour is now just a slightly more considerate “prostitute” of sorts in the political game, ruled and dominated by commercial lobbyists, who run the show, behind the scenes, and even quite openly too.

          • Tony

            Not all of us “young people” fail to understand the social perspective! And the more intelligent of us are able to see through the commercial bullshit. But yes we have been affected by the change of society and law, for me the most notable would be that of individuality in society and more particularly in business. Businesses operate on negotiating individual contracts in a workplace and derive power from it, while contributing to suspicion and jealousy amongst employees – where I worked you simply couldn’t belong to a union because you’d be frozen out and replaced with somebody who didn’t. So for me, a Labour party with a heavy focus on unions doesn’t have relevance. How does it help those that can’t belong to unions due to the nature of the working environment and also for individual contractors? It doesn’t. Labour needs to get back those in the centre as well if they’re to have a hope, but calling them a “prostitute” is another way of looking at it.

      • @ Murray, ‘How have we sinned to deserve them as government ?

        People are conditioned into accepting what is dished out, it’s a sin of manipulation.

        Progress on solutions can only be accomplished when intelligence overides incompetence.

        Business as usual is for the weak and incapable, much like a limp handshake.

    • David H 5.2

      Another question is how many ex labour supporters are there going to be, that will bolster the numbers of the so called minor parties?? And the more the Greens get the less Labour will like it.

  6. tc 6

    A race to the bottom of mediocrity with unelectable blandness and old guard members who are proven failures at the polls.

    Slippery, Blinglish, Crusher, Smithy along with the scheming trio of Joyce/Findlayson/Ryall will be raising a toast to that shadow caucus and sleeping well, hell even Basher and Aya Tolley may fancy their chances and rubbing their opposites noses in it.

    This is highly likely to end badly for NZ but great for the wealthy elite.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      But that’s the thing tc. Where do the wealthy think this will finally go? The gated compounds surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire you find overseas is a clue. And when things break down further than that…will they really be “better off”?

      • tc 6.1.1

        CV I don’t think they see that as an issue as they subscribe to the ‘It got me this far and we’re doing well so it should still get me even further approach’ and they egg each other on in the belief wealth fixes all.

        So they look at the gated communities and believe there’s will be nicer with better behaved heathens outside as that can’t possibly happen here.

        Nothing has been learned from the nat’s slipping the shonkey one out front and a bunch of fresh smiley faces around him to sell the brighter future, keeping the maurice’s, lockwoods etc out of sight.

        If you don’t learn from history you will probably repeat it as they did in 2011. To paraphrase the oils Peter Garrett ‘Goff was tough till he hit the rough, uncle sam and john were quite enough…’

        To me this shows labour as a spent force politically, socially and morally.

      • Coronial Typer 6.1.2

        Who needs gated communities when real estate capitalism, retirement villages, and school zoning do that for you.

        • Colonial Viper

          Make sure they don’t build any motorways from South Auckland going to those nice upper middle class suburbs.

          • Coronial Typer

            Putting them right to and through through communities is the most class divisive security fence you can make.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    ‘Interesting to see David Clark get economic development.’

    Ah….. ‘economic development’. So, the Labour Party remains hostage to the money-lenders and corporations agenda. In other words, Labour remains a party of covert fascists and eco-vandals..

    In other words wankers.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Well all we need to do is to get the deficit down, get economic growth going, and rejoin the carbon trading scheme (scam), and we ‘ll be sorted. Future generations secure, and all that.

      No reason to be so negative mate.

  8. amanda elborn 8

    What a slap in the face to the most talented of all the Labour Caucas, i.e. David Cunliffe. Not only is his cv impressive, but his performance when in Government was too. Settling Dr’s disputes quickly unbundling telecom and asking immigration for more information on Billy Wu (I think his name was,) rather than granting him residency here. His behaviour has been impeccable too! No brawling in parliament, no drunk driving (Ruth Dyson) no watchin porn at the tax payers expense.

    I hope he stays around and that the caucus comes to their senses, but doubt it. I resigned from Labour today as I thought this was a final slap in the face. I have no confidence in Labour.

    • JK 8.1

      Good on you Amanda. I’ve kept on my membership but have stopped the VFL fund contribution.
      Kept on membership in vain hope things might get better ….. but will re-think whether I re-join in 2014.
      After 30 years of activtism.

  9. Mariana Pineda 9

    Indiscretions should not be rewarded.

    Who were the idiots who opened their mouths and bought into the media manufactured hype after the conference?

    • Paul 9.1

      The Labour Party is compromised by its inaction during the revolution led by a small clique in the 1980s. Some key people from that time are still in power. Until they go and the Labour Party reverts to its mission ( as opposed to being neo-liberal lite), then this is no part for a progressive or a socialist to be near.
      Who is pulling their strings?
      Who are the puppeteers behind Shearer, Goff etc. ?
      Who has a vested interest in Labour remaining a party that supports free market capitalism?
      If you ask the questions, then it seems clear what the answer is.

      • Scintilla 9.1.1

        I tend to think that kiwi politics still follows the template set down by the mother country – for all of our talk about forging our own path, we just seem to import whatever’s happening over there. The French own most of the UK’s nuclear power plants and various pension funds etc own most of their other power generation , imagine who might end up with ours? Ditto charter schools and academies, health and welfare rape and pillage – we’ll be introducing workfare next.

        We seem to have given up on rowing our own waka. Shame.

  10. RedBaronCV 10

    Hope Cunliffe just sits quietly off to one side for a while. To me he is a dog who’s day is yet to come, and when it does he will be the sort of game changer politician that you see only one every second or third generation – Savage?. Some of the major issues bubbling out the back will need a big changes of policy and direction and he has the ability to do that.

    • tc 10.1

      Agree baron, however the wound is deep and he’s a talented lad with plenty of options and no need of all the aggro with a young family and financial security not being an issue, unlike the mallarfia who have very slim prospects outside the troughs of parliament.

      Certainly not his time but will he stick around till it is his time, dunno, hope so.

      • RedBaronCV 10.1.1

        Yep, frankly the country needs him more than he needs the rest of us. What do we do to persuade him.

        • Colonial Viper

          It’s a conundrum aye.

          With some pathways ahead, but not many, and certainly not the ones that people would expect.

          There should be only one activity for Cunliffe today: build New Lynn into a fortress the likes of which even Gibraltar or Alcatraz pales to.

          The old rule is: some days you make more progress by going backwards than by trying to go forwards.

          • xtasy

            “Wagenburg” the South Africans call it, an encircled lot of carts to protect from the surroundings, it was the same in the wild west in the US. So that is New Lynn’s future?

  11. Arfamo 11

    Can’t help thinking that when Labour most needs a Big Norm they seem instead to have chosen Big Bird :). There wasn’t this endless “have we picked the right leader?” debate with National. They picked the right front man and everyone knows it. There were no other contenders. The fact Labour supporters are still asking themselves “did we?” means they didn’t. Now I guess Labour have to figure out how they can sell their policies and their spokespeople, instead of their leader. That’s a lot more work than National have to do – they just keep plonking Key in front of the camer. I suppose Big Dave could somehow manage to pull off a complete transformation and suddenly become extraordinarily media savvy within the next few months, but I’m not holding my breath on that one. I don’t know who he really is or what his political and economic principles are. My worry is that neither does he.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      I don’t know who he really is or what his political and economic principles are. My worry is that neither does he.

      Don’t need to worry about that he’ll just read what’s prepared for him

  12. xtasy 12

    Distress!!! Oooh, I almighty know Annette is one of the better ones and knows a lot, but for heaven’s sake, what was her bloody performance in housing?? It was DISMAL!

    One desperately hopes Health will be giving her amunition to deliver.

    Even Twyford did heaps more on housing in Auckland, and he is now a bit lost for words about housing affordability in Auckland (TV3).

    I suggest many of you commenters read, learn and get your info together.

    Labour is making an attempt, but it is under the WRON G leader, I am afraid.

    So keep on fighting and dreaming. This is NOT going to work, I am afraid, Shearer is da LOOSER!

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    Mike Williams puts the knife into Lianne Dalziel. A poor performer who got what she deserves in her demotion for sticking her beak into a leadership battle. Just focus on your portfolios Lianne and stay out of the way, is the advice.

    Thanks Mike Williams I look forwards to more of your has-been influence in Dear Leaders office.

    Fucking unity my ass: the theme of the ABCs remains clear and strong.

  14. DavidW 14

    The reshuffle must have been organised as far back as 26 January. Everyone but everyone knows that you get strange outcomes from decisions made on the night of a Full Moon – just ask Annette.

  15. peterlepaysan 15

    Is the reshuffle going to deliver votes for labour?

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      I can’t see how that would be the aim.

      The leadership, policy and ideas output resulting from the reshuffle is what should deliver votes for Labour.

      We’ll know in 3-4 months once all the players concerned have got to grips with their new portfolios if its working the way it should.

      So to answer your question, if its going to deliver votes, we won’t know for months IMO.

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