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Seasons greetings from David Cunliffe

Written By: - Date published: 7:40 pm, December 24th, 2013 - 89 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

As we close the year I’d just like to wish you and your loved ones a happy, safe, and relaxing holiday season.

Around our beautiful country, Kiwis are getting together with their families and friends to celebrate special times, rest and relax.

But for too many New Zealanders the holiday season offers little joy. The kids who are asking Santa for a house because they’re living out of cars, the minimum wage workers who are spending the season doing shift work and still struggle to pay the bills, the families who are apart because they can’t afford the cost of coming together, the thousands who will be relying on charity for their Xmas dinner.

At the same time there’s hundreds of millions of dollars available for multinational companies, for Hollywood studios, for selling our assets, for the wealthy few.

This is the hard reality of New Zealand under the current government.

But there’s a better way than this, a way to make sure every New Zealander gets a fair go and decent opportunities. And next year, election year, we’ll work for it. Together.

In the meantime, enjoy the holiday season and make sure you come back refreshed and ready to win.

My aroha to you and your loved ones,

David Cunliffe

PS: if you’ve not taken the chance to send an Xmas card to the Prime Minister you can do it here.

89 comments on “Seasons greetings from David Cunliffe”

  1. BM 1

    Merry Xmas Dave.

    I disagree with the guts of your message thou, as this link demonstrates.

    Things really ain’t that bad are they.

    Tip for the new year, Dave.

    Focus on the positive, people prefer that.

    • karol 1.1

      Focus on the positive, people prefer that.

      Which people? The ones who are doing fine and don’t want to hear about the inequality gap, and those with little to be cheerful about this summer?

      It’s a very positive message from, Cunliffe – about working to make NZ a better place for all.

      • Bazar 1.1.1

        If you call that positive, your world must be very bleak indeed.
        Xmas is a time to celebrate, not to commiserate.
        While there are others who are in need, this is the one day of the year that shouldn’t be depressed just to make political points.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          Fuck off and stop depressing them with your support for shite policies then, asshole.

          • Bazar

            You’re a bastion of goodwill to all men oak, with an intellect to match.
            Don’t forget to try and enjoy xmas when you’re not busy pissing down on everyone from up high.

            • Akldnut

              How Bazar

              The only one pissing on people from up high is you, it’s so easy for pricks like you to forget the hundreds of thousands who are going without.

              The only thing is that your kind are disingenuous and apply an out of sight out of mind mentality, and only talk about it once forced to – without any action.

              I agree you should fuck right off.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              Pretends goodwill to all men. Supports the National Party. Cognitive dissonance much?

        • karol

          Xmas is a time to celebrate, not to commiserate.

          To celebrate what exactly?

          And really! Not make political points?!

          All I see in the run up to Christmas is rampant exploitation and commericalisation – it’s already been hi jacked by the neoliberals – it’s a celebration of consumerism! And that is already political.

          It should be about thinking of others – especially those who are in need/

        • karol

          Xmas is a time to celebrate, not to commiserate.

          To celebrate what exactly?

          And really! Not make political points?!

          All I see in the run up to Christmas is rampant exploitation and commericalisation – it’s already been hi jacked by the neoliberals – it’s a celebration of consumerism! And that is already political.

          It should be about thinking of others – especially those who are in need/

          • karol

            PS: This is a left wing blog. So I’m not really impressed by righties coming here and telling me how I should respond to Christmas Day.

    • Paul 1.2

      Can’t believe the Labour Party ( or any progressive grouping) would be relying on your vote, BM.
      So I doubt they need your sage advice.

      • BM 1.2.1

        Labours never going to win pitching at the disillusioned 10%.

        Until whoever’s in charge of strategy on the left side realizes that you’ll never beat National.

        Personally, I hope the penny never drops.

        • karol

          It’s not the disillusioned 10% – there’s a far higher percentage struggling to get by.

          But, I guess the Nats voters just don’t care – seems it’s just all about winning, and nothing about ethics.

          • Colonial Viper

            Correct. The bottom quarter of the population is doing it very hard and going without on a regular basis. And those in the 26th to 50th percentile struggle to make ends meet week to week as well.

            As you note, BM would quite like the big end of town to continue along in a smooth velvety delusion without being disturbed or concerned.

      • Murray Olsen 1.2.2

        BM looks forward to the day when he won’t even need to vote – when our leaders will be chosen by the Business Round Table, with valued input from our allies in Wall St.

        The positive news is that people are waking up to this neoliberal bullshit we’ve been subjected to, including some, but not all the Labour MPs. The positive news is that, sometime in 2014, Key will be on a flight back to Hawaii, that Benefat will no longer be in charge of the Mystery of Sosh Devlopmint, that Collins will no longer be perverting the national sense of justice, and Bill English will be showing that he doesn’t actually know how to run a farm.

        Merry Christmas, David. Please don’t forget the beneficiaries as recent Labour governments have done. Help us build a country for all Kiwis. It’s been a while since Aotearoa has felt like that. Let’s take it back. Let’s get Green, Mana, and Labour working together.

    • weka 1.3

      “as this link demonstrates.


      Things really ain’t that bad are they.”

      That link is full of nonsense. Oooh, look, people spend more at Christmas. Oooh, look, it’s up x % on whenever. Oooh, look, people spend more the week before Christmas than they did the week before that. The whole thing reads like someone with a fixation on numbers just vomited a bunch of stats out of their brain with no context or meaning attached.

      eg, spending on camping gear is up. My bet is that less people can afford to go overseas or stay in motels etc.

      “”Kiwis were also out gathering all the last-minute essentials for their Christmas lunch, with food retailing up 81.8 per cent yesterday on the same day last week,” said Whiston.”

      Honest to god, does that sentence have any meaning in it at all?

    • Bearded Git 1.4

      I can smell the fear BM. You know David Cunliffe will have Key on toast in this election.

    • dave 1.5

      is it let them eat cake BM ? 3000 food parcels bm a record ,but no we the elite who caused it dont want see it hear it or beleave it exists go back to your gated community because next year we are going to burn your little fictional world down !enjoy planet key while you can because its going to end ! as your KEY said your time in the sun in over

  2. karol 2

    Thanks, David.

    I also am thinking of those with little to be cheerful about right now. Thank-you for the indication that you will be targeting the inequality gap next year.

    Have a good summer break with those close to you.

  3. Noko 3

    “the minimum wage workers who are spending the season doing shift work and still struggle to pay the bills”
    Anyone wanna pay my bond? Moving year in year out sucks, especially when it’s in the middle of the holidays for everyone else and peak work period for us petrol station workers.

  4. tinfoilhat 4

    Sod off 1% trougher.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1

      They can’t help it: they’re afraid of David Cunliffe and what they think his government will mean for them. The fact escapes them that they do better under Labour-led governments, just like everyone else.

      My dearest wish for them is a visit from the ghosts of Christmas Past Present and Future.

  5. Naki Man 5

    Merry Xmas Dave

    National are doing a great job of running the country
    It must be very frustrating for you to see the economy doing so well.

    PS Your dirty tricks just turn the voters off.

    • karol 5.1

      Dirty tricks? That’s the territory of the NActs, Jason Ede et al.

      They are also very good at projecting their failings onto the opposition.

      Bigger queues than ever at foodbanks, and not one expression of concern from the righties: for them it’s all about winning, and no concern for those doing it tough.

      • Olwyn 5.1.1

        Indeed Karol. I sometimes get nostalgic for the days when right wingers had actual thoughts in their heads, and argued that the public good was better served by their side. I didn’t agree with them, but I at least had a modicum of respect for them.

        • karol

          Health and poverty – only today on Stuff:

          A national throat-swabbing campaign has identified nearly 50,000 children at risk of getting strep-throat, which can lead to rheumatic fever, a Health Ministry report says.

          Health Minister Tony Ryall’s report into implementing the New Zealand Health Strategy was released today, reporting on district health boards’ and the Ministry of Health’s success in meeting national health targets.
          As part of the programme, children who had sore throats were able to have a swab and be tested for strep throat, and were given antibiotics if needed.

          The programme targets communities in areas with the highest incidence of rheumatic fever – an illness commonly associated with poverty and poor housing.

          The health response is fine. But you’d think the NActs would do more about the underlying cause – poverty.

          And there’s also the working poor, NM – people working long hours and still struggling to bring in enough fr their families to live a healthy life. People who want jobs and can’t find them. People living in garages…. etc

          The callousness of righties is a wonder to behold – especially at a time of year that encourages thinking of others..

        • rhinocrates


      • Naki Man 5.1.2

        Wake up Karol
        No one is starving here, obesity is a far bigger health issue.
        You would think some of these lazy people might try growing there own food, Nah that would be like work.

        • karol

          Dear oh, dear, NM. You show so little knowledge about health and poverty. As for those in poverty growing their own food? Many try, not that many can.

          • chrissy

            I agree karol. A lot of people (probably ones who have never tried it themselves) think you just pop a seed or seedling and it will grow. We have a large vegetable garden and it requires lots of time, lots of money, constant vigilance, good rainfall, no baking hot days,no birds, no cats, no small children and so on. The crop failure without pretty much living in the bloody patch weeding, snail , slug removal etc. is depressingly high And who wants a constant diet of silverbeet which is about the only thing we rely on to not fail.
            People who arrogantly say “just grow your own food you lazy whatevers” are just plain stupid. As if that will solve the problem. What about meat, milk, bread and all other staples needed in a diet, what about the necessities of life like clothing, shoes, soap, toilet paper, sanitary requirement for women, medicine for ill people and maybe even a little indulgence like chocolate or a glass of wine or a beer or two.
            People like Naki Man are totally out of touch with reality, unless it is keys reality. And it is about time he realised that most of the TRUTH about poverty in NZ is not reported by media. Instead we get orgasmic reporting of record rampant consumerism paid for presumably by Credit Cards. So we will have even more poverty come the New Year. And so it starts again. Vicious circles. Happy New Year everybody.

        • Paul

          You also show very little of the spirit of Xmas compassion.

        • weka

          “You would think some of these lazy people might try growing there own food, Nah that would be like work.”

          Ignoring for a minute that you are most likely at tr0ll… you obviously either don’t garden and have no fucking idea how much skill, time and resources are required to do that successfully at the level of feeding a family in a reliable way, or you do garden and were handed the skills and resources but no sense of gratitude for that privilege. Or you’re just a mean fuck.

        • rich the other

          Naki man,
          good on ya ,I’ve noticed only a couple of serious critics , Karol and Paul , it seems even on this topic the left aren’t convinced themselves.

          David ,take positive action , get rid of those who don’t fully support you.
          Next election you are doomed so get rebuilding for the following election.

          Merry Christmas even tho your party is full of atheists

          • karol

            Even in the holiday period…. the righties keep coming here and trying to divert with spinning.

            Hope they get time for some r&r today and tomorrow.

          • karol

            Even in the holiday period…. the righties keep coming here and trying to divert with spinning.

            Hope they get time for some r&r today and tomorrow.

          • Draco T Bastard

            good on ya ,I’ve noticed only a couple of serious critics , Karol and Paul , it seems even on this topic the left aren’t convinced themselves.

            I’d say don’t kid yourself but that’s all you RWNJs ever do. Facts never enter that thick skull skull of yours. I’ll give you a hint: Obesity isn’t solely caused by over eating.

            Perhaps others haven’t replied because Paul and Karol have already said what was needed.

        • Will@Welly

          Listen, you great big lard of human effluent, if you knew a thing or two about modern food processing and food manufacturing you’d stop and shut your ‘orrible big gob!!
          In the last few years. in the “name of progress” = $$$$, manufacturers have been loading processed foodstuffs up with calories in the shape of sugars, fats and starches to prolong their shelf life and make them more enticing and flavoursome to consumers. WE don’t need that amount of crap in the food we consume.
          In the early 1970’s, scientists in Japan, developed corn syrup, which is now used extensively in food manufacturing, our bodies aren’t built to handle a direct shot of straight sugar like that.
          Then Mr. Naki Man, since you’re one of them thar hillstock inbreds, tell me why in this country where we produce so much fresh fruit and produce, is milk dearer than a litre of coke, or bread dearer than a packet of potato crisps? And why is it we subsidize overseas interests when consumers here pay a premium? Is that just National pandering to it’s cronies again?
          The other thing, if you’re renting, some landlords don’t like you digging up the back yard to have a vege garden, or in other places, the sections are so small, there ain’t no room to grow veges. Or if like alot of folk, you get turfed out of your rental every few months, can you really afford to invest long-term if you don’t know if you’ll be there.
          And finally, Naki Man, it’s about time you stopped chewing on you cud, pulled your head out of you know where,hitch your horse to something more in line with your level of comprehension, instead of trying to mess around with the more intelligent folk. I would have suggested a playcentre, but they’re over-run at present.

          • BM

            For you, Merry Xmas

            • Will@Welly

              B.M. – I understand National Party supporters such as yourself were granted a free lobotomy by Tony Ryall. I don’t think you’ll need to bother. Merry Christmas Mr B.M..

    • Linz 5.2

      Naki Man, you’re deluded.

      • karol 5.2.1

        Denial – many righties are very good at it.

        • Paul

          It’s the complete lack of empathy I don’t understand.

          • karol

            It’s the complete lack of empathy I don’t understand.


            • Colonial Viper

              They have to maintain denial and moral superiority, otherwise they might have to take personal responsibility for the society and the political economics which has resulted.

              • emergency mike

                Cognitive dissonance – “Well it can’t be that I’m a mean-spirited oppressor protecting my own privileged position. Nope, that just doesn’t seem right, I’m aweseome. So um… why can’t these people just grow their own vegetables ffs? Or they could just eat cake. Chocolate cake, lemon cake, pecan pie, take a look and all them Lampton Quay cafes, there’s all sorts of cake they could eat.”

            • Akldnut

              It’s the complete lack of empathy I don’t understand.

              It’s sickening

  6. Olwyn 6

    Have a wonderful Christmas David. May 2014 bring into fruition the better way you are talking about.

    • Chooky 6.1

      +1….with the Greens and Mana ….as as fighting battalion to defeat Nact for a generation!.

      Xmas wish list for Santa Cunliffe’s new 2014 coalition government:

      Bring back a strong free state education system….modeled on Finland ( get rid of ACT private lobbiests on education paid by the Ministry and influenced by USA business contractors for failed USA privatised charter school system)

      Bring back Continuing Education

      Bring back a free state funded tertiary and university education system based on France and Germany ( not the failed class/ privilege privatised USA and British model…which excludes some of the best and brightest from the working class and impoverished middle class….and leaves tertiary education as a privilege for the wealthy mediocre )

      Bring back a great independent Public Service…well educated and skilled and committed to doing the best for all New Zealanders ( get rid of the uneducated crony private contractors lining their pockets and who come with corrupting agendas)

  7. Linz 7

    Thanks for coming on The Standard and wishing us well, and thanks especially for giving us hope for a better tomorrow. You have done very well since you became leader. This from John Armstrong no less: “Since taking over from David Shearer, David Cunliffe has not put a foot wrong – at least in a strategic sense.” (I would have stopped the sentence before the dash.) I hope you and your family have a great holiday season, and here’s hoping we all have the best of years in 2014. My best election so far was 1972. I’ve got a feeling 2014 will be even better.

  8. Philj 8

    BM and Naki, you are troughing in the wrong place. I wish you both good health, cause if you haven’t you will join the long queue. Course u have health insurance. Hope you learn some kindness and aroha. It is the season.

    • Akldnut 8.1

      Hope that if you do get sick it wont be too bad, because the private health system will pay to use the public health facilities and you will be pushing someone in the public system further down the queue.

  9. Redzone 9

    Naki man what planet are you on? Try growing vegetables when you live in a car and work 2 jobs and then that doesnt even cover the cost of rent. Poverty is for real in NZ. Wake up and show some compassion. Your smugness is nauseating.

  10. RedLogix 10


    Again thanks for wishing us well here at The Standard. It’s a passionate community and we’ve been inspired in the hope that you have what it takes to turn Labour away from the neo-liberal madness that has held the caucus in it’s thrall for far too long.

    It’s a long haul David and we have your back. Make the most of these few relatively quiet weeks – it’s going to be a great year ahead.

    Kind Regards

  11. Saarbo 11

    Thanks David…also a merry Christmas to all of the Standard commenters (Left ones) and post’ers.

    A funny thing has happened in our family Christmas this year, we have a large family and my aging mum has asked two of our siblings to stay away because they always bicker and cause distress amongst other family members, they also happen to be the only two family members who vote right/National (lol)…there is something in that! Looking forward to a peaceful Christmas this year.

    Looking forward to helping to get rid of this not only mean spirited National party but also hopelessly incompetent (except at spin).

  12. xtasy 12

    Thanks David,

    It should all be available by now to Labour Party insiders, members and spokespersons, but much still seems to go down unnoticed. Thank you David, I still am hesitant to support you, but you are at least the “lesser evil”. By the way, get the UNFAIRNESS, and the PUNITIVE approach in welfare policies to be part of your program for the election campaign, and you may be surprised how many are affected and may give you their votes.

    If you need some real info and advice, as to how to beat the Nat and ACT jerks, I think I could perhaps assist with some guidance here and there, that is if you are interested, as some of your own are not up to it.

    Contact the host or editor, and he may pass on my details.

    Keep it up and do the right thing!

    Do NOT forget the government’s warfare against welfare recipients, or it will come back to be your peril one day. The system is hideous, the Minister is mean and lying, the affected are crapped on day and night. There are not enough jobs, but they push sick and disabled now, same as sole parents if they may have a baby only one year old!!!

    Rgds X

    • xtasy 12.1

      Further to that, tip or advice:

      As you suggested already on RNZ, get yourself, your wife and perhaps whole family made more public and familiar with the wider NZ public!

      Also consider the NZ spirit of tangata whenua and whatever, to create a spirit for togetherness, and learn from what is happening in Latin America:

      With your smartness and resources it should be sugar sweet easy to win the election 2014. But we all know that the MSM is in the pocket of Key and his lot, and that is where your biggest challenge will be.

      Doing the right analysis, and above all, getting the RIGHT program together, Labour should win easily, but that is where it hinges according to my view, the program and policies. We get too little and it is too wishy washy.

      Get all that sorted, and a bit more, and you will be PM in late 2014!

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 12.2

      I like xtasy’s message and wish to add please reassess Labour’s approach to superannuation

      – it just seems that now that the jobless and those with health challenges have been screwed down as much as humanly possible and there is no more that can be taken off them we are now going to move onto the oldies. PLEASE we’ve had enough of this nonsense.

  13. One Anonymous Knucklehead 13

    Merry Xmas and happy new year to one and all, ho ho ho and all that.

    2014 is going to be a good year. We’re going to change our government.

    • Anne 13.1

      Season greetings to all, and I hope David Cunliffe takes X up on his offer. xtasy has a wealth of knowledge and understanding especially when it comes to Welfare and Winz.

      The thing I’ve noticed about David is that he doesn’t set himself up as the arbiter of all knowledge. He treats people with respect and listens carefully to their views no matter who they are – a CEO or a road worker. Funny that because his former detractors who were inclined to suggest he was otherwise… were far more inclined to consider themselves better than the rest of us.

  14. Tracey 14


    its up to you to change this country for the better. You have to find the way to cut through the spin and lies of this govt in ways the people will get. You have to find the way to get alot of people to see that the world is not for everyone as it is for them.for gods sake start reminding this country how huge the govt debt now is… how chchch is largely covered by insurance… so who has the money gone to.

    I believe most nzers are fairminded but you have to make them see there is something which requires their fair mindedness.

    we will all vote but we cannot shape how anyone votes only you can.

    dont let the vulnerable down david.

  15. Tracey 15


    top tip brother. Hope 2014 treats you well.

  16. Tracey 16

    12 litres of coke for 12 bucks…theres a problem right thete

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      One litre for each day of Christmas…awesome

    • Naki Man 16.2

      Those so called energy drinks, Mother, red bull. V etc are doing far more damage than coke

      • McFlock 16.2.1


        • Paul

          And / or evidence?

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

          I believe those energy drinks contain even more sugar than coke and also large amounts of caffeine. I think that some of them suggest a limit of 4 per day due to the potential adverse health effects that they could create. This might be what Naki Man is referring to.

          • McFlock

            That’s my understanding too, but I suspect people drink much more high-fructose-fizz on average than caffeine analogues. Red Bull’s pretty pricey compared to milk or coke, istr.

          • rhinocrates

            Well, if the poor are made unhealthy by drinking energy drinks, let them drink Châteauneuf-du-Pape!

  17. Lanthanide 17

    I can’t help but think that after 3 years of the next Labour government, all of the things he listed as being problems in NZ will still be problems.

  18. Tracey 18

    I agree lanth … the crucial thing is beginning a change of direction not just talking.
    each time key talks about reform labour needs to call it what it is… making unemployment look better by pushing the vulnerable into city missions. Spend some money on people who can counter frame the bs argument that nats put up.

    tell john key you can now show him the money … its at warner bros… rio tinto… and other needy corporates and in return we have 50b debt and overseas banks creaming interest from us and a minister of tourism who likes to spend his money into the us economy cos no where here meets his standards.

  19. Steve Wrathall 19

    Meery Xmas and please spam John Key with Labours “Xmas cards” so we can harvest your emails.

  20. Tanz 20

    I just do not understand why Key made it harder for first home buyers. That is one of his worst moves.

  21. Kevin 21

    Did you note all the iPhones being used to take pix at the City Mission lunch???

  22. tricledrown 22

    Naki not much difference between coke and energy drinks

  23. tricledrown 23

    I thought all the right whining grinches would be in hawaii celebrating a sucessful year of ladder pulling.

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