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Supernumerary

Written By: - Date published: 3:50 pm, October 22nd, 2012 - 98 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david parker, david shearer, Economy, election 2014, grant robertson, greens, labour, russel norman - Tags:

I’ve been thinking about what you might call a ‘good problem’ for the Left.. but it leads me to a ‘problem problem’. OK, so let’s say we win the next election – as the Left must do and should do given how unpopular the Nats’ policies are and, for the last year, how inept their political management has been. How do you share the economic portfolios out?

With neither Shearer or Robertson having any economic pedigree, getting the economic team right is vital. And it also means the places are limited – Finance and Economic Development (now really a prize worth having after the creation of the MoBIE super-ministry) are the two economic portfolios worth a damn. Finance has long been as powerful as the Prime Ministership in many respects, and Joyce has grown Economic Development into something approaching their equal.

Now, Labour’s never going to sign over Finance to the Greens in a coalition deal – not unless they’re something very close to equal in size. So, if Labour’s line-up stays as is, Parker would take Finance. That leaves either Cunliffe or Norman to take MoBIE, and you would have to think that goes to Norman along with the Deputy Prime Ministership.

Which, worryingly, leaves the Left’s strongest economic advocate out in the cold and only one of the Labour-Green Government’s top five (Shearer, Robertson, Parker, Turei, and Norman) with the ability to really communicate on economic issues.

Wouldn’t it be craziness to see Cunliffe left out of the picture entirely with some nothing portfolio. The guy most able to take the public with him on economics, left on the sidelines – it would be a terrible waste and a costly one. And wouldn’t it be asking for trouble (and unpalatable for Labour) if no-one but Norman in the senior team could effectively explain economic and fiscal issues to the public?

Like I say, that’s a ‘good problem’, when you’ve got power and you’ve got too many capable people for the positions available. It could be perhaps solved by giving Norman the Deputy Prime Ministership and a grab-bag of junior economic portfolios although I can’t see Robertson enjoying being sidelined.

Which brings me to the ‘problem problem’ for Labour. It is so important to get the economic portfolios right only because the leadership doesn’t bring economic credentials of its own.

No matter which way you arrange the economic portfolios, Labour has the problem, just as it had with Goff and King, that neither its leader nor its deputy have strength in the most important and hotly-contested area of modern politics. Key, English, and Joyce make National’s top three and they are all strong on the economy (no, not strong at running an economy, but perceived as knowledgeable on economic issues). Going against that team with leaders who couldn’t match them on economics cost Labour in 2011 – we all remember Key’s ‘show me the money’, it only worked because it played into pre-existing narratives.

Framing an economic alternative to National is going to be vital to winning in 2014. That work is already underway with the anti-asset sales petition/referendum and the manufacturing crisis inquiry but it will need to be led from the top. The leader of Labour, the next PM, needs to be able to articulate that alternative. I think that if Shearer were better able to handle economic issues then Labour present a single face as the Greens can, and we would be looking at Labour and National neck and neck in the polls by now.

The next election, like the last one and the one before, will be fought on the economy. Key has already shown he can make mincemeat of an opponent who doesn’t feel comfortable speaking the language of economics – so Labour’s leadership had best be ready by then (also, how would it look if the leaders’ debate is a three-way debate with Norman as well? Shearer could end up playing second fiddle).

So two problems. The first – that Cunliffe, the Left’s most able economic communicator, would be supernumerary post-election with the current line-ups, which would make governing a lot harder. And the second – how to have Labour’s leadership ready to foot it with Key, English, and Joyce on economics in 2014? The answer may be crucial for the Left’s election chances.

98 comments on “Supernumerary”

  1. gobsmacked 1

    I’m glad somebody’s thinking ahead.

    The answer is implied in JH’s questions. You just can’t have a double failure at the top.

    If Shearer stays (he won’t), he needs Cunliffe in Finance. When Shearer is replaced, leader Robertson should have Cunliffe, or leader Cunliffe can have Parker if he wants – it will matter less.

    The Right’s campaign lines are predictable — ‘Will scary Green bogeyman get Finance?”. The Labour leader could answer yes or no but he CANNOT say “Ooh … um … er … maybe …”.

    Anticipate the questions. Decide the answers. Communicate them clearly.

    Currently, Labour fail on all three.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      You underestimate the power of media training. /sarc

      • Jim Nald 1.1.1

        Thanks, James Henderson, for a very good piece for some strategic long-term thinking (waiting for Dunnokeyo to fark up even more & lose it for Natz, and then for Labour to just waltz in and think Labour/Greens can easily bring about meaningful change is not a plan and would be bound to end in tears & major disappointments).

        Shearer cannot demonstrate the ability to debate the economic issues fluently (still a lot to do there … and there should be a lot of time to work on this for – say – rather than 2014, try 2024). Hearing Shearer speak about economics and finance turns a listener into a snorer, while letting Parker speak would be a tad bit more of an improvement, perhaps turning a listener into just a snoozer. Robertson is not really an economics, nor finance, guy. He still has time and a few more terms will add more strengths to build up his leadership bid. If he is putting his ears closer to the ground, rather than sipping flat whites within the Beltway, he would not choose to run his leadership campaign with Ardern.

        Collectively, the three of them (Shearer, Parker and Robertson) would operate ok as a team, when led by someone much more skilled, to support and operationalise what will need to be done by a successful progressive Government to improve the economy.

        CV: Noted the sarc. If the messages and the mind that forms them are clear, cogent and grounded, media training would provide useful finishing touches.

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          Key, English, Joyce.

          Vs

          Robertson, Ardern, Parker.

          Takers anyone? Which of those political Rugby teams would you want to be chosen for on the playground?

          Because the question is: is that the optimum political combination in Labour to best National and achieve power?

          Oh, wait. We can’t ever think like that because …. of a very fine majority in caucus seeking to protect their jobs. Goff. Mallard. Ardern. Shearer, etc etc.

          • Jim Nald 1.1.1.1.1

            Ardern will have political capital to negotiate for the deputy Labour leadership if and when she wins Auckland Central from Nikki Kaye.

          • muzza 1.1.1.1.2

            Roberston, Adern, Paker

            Useless, Lightweight, Parliamentarian for global order – in that order

            If you think these three are contenters, or will be good for NZ, you are deluded!

            Of them the only one with potential could be Adern, but that is some period of time off, when she is experienced, confident, and proven not to be corrupted!

  2. Ad 2

    Cunliffe himself can read these scenarios himself, and I bet he has. He knows he’d be on the cutting-room floor in any Greens-Labour coalition.

    But it has been crystal clear even before his failed leadership attempt in November 2011 that the majority in the Labour caucus prefer to suppressive him hard. After all he only lost at leadership by 1 vote. If you were Robertson or Shearer, you would too.

    What you consider in you post is absent of the political machinery of Labour. Check for example in the recent manufacturing summit: did the leadership involve Cunliffe at all? Nope. Yet it was his portfolio front and centre. Whereas Parker steps into Cunliffe’s economic development portfolio any time he wants.

    I could see a Robertson-Ardern leadership boxing Cunliffe even harder than now. They would rather give Finance to Winston Peters that anything meaningful to Cunliffe.

    After the next leadership challenge in February, Cunliffe should walk out the door rather than face more humiliation like this.

    No politician is indispensable. Cunliffe would be a loss. But so is Anderton, and he invented the Ministry of Economic Development.

    The best example is Simon Power. He had all to play for in 2014. But I bet he has more actual political and economic power, more real agency, running investment portfolios for Westpac than in Cabinet.

    A lesser example is Maharey, now staking out a solid field in tertiary education.

    When Cunliffe walks as Power did, and a Labour-Green Government needs to make a call the size of breaking Telecom, ask this: will Parker really do it? Does Shearer hold cold steel? Care to put Robertson up to nationalise Fonterra, or Norman to break up the Fletcher monopoly? Lovely people I am sure, but only Cunliffe has done it, or could do it.

    By neutering Cunliffe, Labour have chosen to neuter thmselves both now and in a 2014-2016 government.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      After all he only lost at leadership by 1 vote.

      Uh, 2 votes.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        A sufficiently tight margin, irrespective, to warrant giving Cunliffe a major portfolio in name only.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Soz, I was really only nit-picking detail.

          One very pertinent point you imply: a Robertson/Adern pairing changes nothing you raise, but is still being considered by Labour insiders as a valid and distinct possibility. It’s dumbass on a monumental scale.

          • Ad 2.1.1.1.1

            It would be particularly melancholy for commentators like yourself or CB or Trotter or Hickey or Oram who favour a strong state willing to make strong market interventions. Currently Shearer’s control of policy is evidenced by letting Shane Jones piss all over it. There would be none of the big shifts made that you seek.

            But if it’s bad now it gets worse under the next shift of leadership.

            Anyone see Jacinda Ardern successfully staring doen Shane Jones in cabinet? She would be a snack. Robertson taking on John Tamihere? Result would be but splitting and Tamihere climbing up the next bully pulpit with his other iwi castles to cannon every known prejudice against the King.

            We are in for an exceedingly mild Labour under Robertson and Ardern. Far less courageous than now, and with absolutely no back story to fill in the absence of communicative skill or policy coherence within Shear.

            Robertson and Ardern, with Shearer’s current supporters, are Labour’s Hollow Men. And women.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Cheers mate.

            • Jim Nald 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Ad: a suggestion for re-phrasing that

              ….. with Ardern and Shearer’s current supporters, they are Labour’s Shallow Men and Women.

              • Ad

                Well it was deliberate. Hagar could equally document the Left with plenty of lineage. Unfortunately that is left to Whaleoil and other sludge-dwellers.

                But Shallow is fine.

    • Olwyn 2.2

      I take it you are talking in terms of public profile, since I know that Cunliffe has played a large part in the EPMU/Manufacturers Assn efforts to get manufacturing back on track.

      • karol 2.2.1

        Good point.  I do think  Cunliffe is having some input.  And Cunliffe was at the EPMU job crisis summit – though so were a lot of other Labour MPs, and Colin Craig.
         
        I think Parker should go from the front bench, though – whatever way it’s looked at.  He’s a light-weight, and a neoliberal one at that.

      • Ad 2.2.2

        Indeed. Labour has been quite happy to use Cunliffe as a policy grunt, but oh no keep him well away from the actual media. Anyone need reminding of the only time Labour has allowed Shearer’s communication skills to be directly compared to Cunliffe’s?

        It was the November leadership contest. Every member could see what a compelling communicator might look like. One that could beat Key from right out the blocks.

        Instead caucus chose Shearer.

  3. fatty 3

    Shearer will not be next PM…if he is still around at the election he will get owned in the debates.
    Shearer’s performance over the last month has been good for a laugh, but that’s about it. NZ has no desire to listen to that muppet stumble over his words for 3 years. They’d rather watch Donkey smile and wave.
    I do feel sorry for the Greens…cause Labour are preventing them from making a real difference to NZ…all because of petty selfishness. Also feel sorry for Mana.
    But in the end we can only blame the public of NZ…Why are these morons so high in the polls? Nobody should even be considering Labour right now. We should all be voting Green or Mana until they give us the respect that we deserve.

    • Ad 3.1

      National has a leader far more popular than Helen Clark ever was. Yet even that is not saving them in consistent poll tracking. Labour continues to improve, and with Shearer as leader. Labour and Greens will most likely form the next government, even if Shearer is leader.

      Question then for you: if as is likely Shearer is dumped for Robertson and Ardern in February, would Labour fare even better, about the same, or worse than Shearer’ Labour is now against Key’s National?

      • karol 3.1.1

        If Labour went with Ardern/Robertson, wouldn’t it be better to have Turei/Norman as co-PMs?  Then the 2 parties could fight it out between them decide jointly as to who would be finance minister.

        • Ad 3.1.1.1

          Best of luck with that.

        • OneTrack 3.1.1.2

          It’s only natural that the Prime Minister-ship becomes a co-Prime Minister appointment with Grant Robertson (male/rainbow) and Metiria Turei (female/Maori). Anything else is sexist or homophobic, and not respecting our treaty partnership.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.1

            Why is it sexist or homophobic?

            And what elements of the Treaty do you see at risk?

      • fatty 3.1.2

        True, Helen Clark was never that popular, but Labour’s policies were in the aftermath of the 1990s when NZ was sick of neoliberalism and Clark offered the third way alternative (apparently its an alternative)…its a very different environment now where both the blue and the red are third way (Nats are pushing back towards a more pure form of neoliberalism, but that is not registering with the average voter).
        In terms of pubic perception, there is little difference between Labour and National because Labour have been so inconsistent with their message. Therefore, the popularity of the leaders is now far more important than it was during the Clark era.

        If Robertson does replace Shearer then that could get them over the line. Because that would mitigate the effect of the pre-election debates where I see Labour losing around 10% due to Shearer’s inability to form a sentence. Although if it was Cunliffe instead, then Labour would probably win quite comfortably.
        With Cunliffe, Labour’s vision would be presented in a much more coherent fashion – perhaps Robertson could do the same.

        There is no way a change of leader could make things worse for Labour…National have handed Labour gift after gift, and it has been wasted.
        I also don’t see what Ardern has to offer Labour. After Shearer, Adern has been the biggest disappointment for me. She has been up against Paula Bennett and what has the result been? Paula Bennett has cruised through this year. That should be like shooting fish in a barrel.

        • Ad 3.1.2.1

          I am confident enough that Labour will form the next government.

          The question the original post leads to is whether it would be a transformational government, as it would be with Cunliffe. Or you get what you get now.

    • Pete 3.2

      Maybe he will be owned in the debates, if he reaches that point. But the political environment is such that silver and bronze can join forces and beat gold. I think we’d be fooling ourselves if we think National won’t be the largest party in parliament in 2014, even if it fails to hold the treasury benches.

      And don’t forget, Labour has been gaining in the polls. The fact 2014 is framed as a horse race rather than a foregone conclusion like last year may motivate a higher turnout.

    • David H 3.3

      Well this time I’ll vote Green. I will NOT vote for the fucking self serving shambles that Labour has become!

  4. Ad 4

    If one were Winston Peters within a Labour-Greens coalition, what position would one ask for?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Lots of prestige, not much work.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Minister of Hot Girls, Drinking, And Cigars. Crikey I think I’ll go for that one myself. :-)

        • Jim Nald 4.1.1.1

          A Minister of Points of Order?
          He would be good at that.
          [Sorry, Winston - couldn't resist that, just one for ole time's sake.]

    • Fortran 4.2

      Winston = Foreign Affairs – it previously kept him out of the country – best place for him in any government.

      • alwyn 4.2.1

        If, after the election, we have Labour 39, Greens 13, NZ First 9, Mana 1 and National 57, Maori 2, all of which would be in line with current polls, all the debate about who of Cunliffe, Parker or Norman will be Minister of Finance will become totally irrelevant.
        Winston will demand Finance, Deputy PM and a Knighthood. He will then support EITHER major party that will give him these baubles.
        He might even go as far as to insist there be no Greens in Cabinet. What, after all, can the Greens do about it? They have already cut themselves off from National and their supporters won’t let them do anything else but back Labour.

    • Fisiani 4.3

      Winston will never be in coalition with the Greens

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    Political parties go through cycles of idealism versus pragmatism (wanting to win).

    If Labour doesn’t make Cunliffe leader in Jan./Feb. 2013, they still have the death wish the Labour caucus had when they wouldn’t remove Goff and eventually pushed in Shearer.

    The Greens, on the other hand, have eased back from ideological purity in favour of a PR strategy to attract votes.

    If Labour doesn’t want to win, I’ll go with a party that does.

    Winning in electoral politics is the art of compromise, not flights of fancy by overblown egos trumpeting their personal ideologies. And winning is EVERYTHING because in opposition you are powerless.

    • Ad 5.1

      So just to argue against myself for a moment, Labour don’t need an ideological spine in the form of Cunliffe if they have the Greens.

      It would turn out like the Conservatives and the Liberals in coalition. Make the smaller coalition partner front the hard stuff, and watch them slowly get roasted by the public. Keeps your Labour brand safe for a term. Live to fight another day, using the Greens as cannon fodder.

      If I were Robertson, that’s how I would roll.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        But if the Greens pulled it off with aplomb, there is every chance that over the medium to long term they would supplant Labour in the minds of the public over the long term. Ending up level pegging with Labour, 20%-25% each in the polls.

        • Ad 5.1.1.1

          Been waiting for the last few elections for Greens to top even 15%, but appear to struggle even to that. Possibly a bit early, but I can see Labour squeaking to the late 30s, Greens 10-12%, NZ First 5%. No?

        • McFlock 5.1.1.2

          at which point the Greens would go all vanilla, maybe even with a hint of blue. Definitely less red.
               
          There is a reason that the Greens are a minor party: they have firm principles in an small area that other NZers disagree with, or that overshadows their ideas in other areas. This alienates some, and the fact is that no matter how they package their policies some miners, farm workers or other industries will view firm environmental policies as a threat to their jobs. I think we need a significant environmental advocacy party, just as we need advocates in parliament for workers/poor/Maori. But trying to make oneself look attractive to many involves de-emphasising those things that a few might really like.
               
          A populist sell out by any other name still has the same smell.  

          • Ad 5.1.1.2.1

            I hope you are not always right. New Labour did OK, Alliance even better, for a while. Better than bring a mere ideological wedge.

            Norman is holding a fine balance at the moment, keeping the rope-haired base and the haute-bourgeois food-shopping purists, sustaining over 10%.

            I think the Greens have a little more political elasticity than 10%, a little.

          • fatty 5.1.1.2.2

            “But trying to make oneself look attractive to many involves de-emphasising those things that a few might really like.”

            True…I’m a former Green voter that moved onto Mana. Not sure how many have ditched Greens. The post-Bradford/Nandor Greens is quite different now.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.3

          But if the Greens pulled it off with aplomb, there is every chance that over the medium to long term they would supplant Labour in the minds of the public over the long term.

          I’m thinking that’s going to happen anyway as, IMO, the young are looking for something different that neither of the two main parties are giving.

    • It is weird though Ama.  Shearer is the candidate of compromise.  Cunliffe is the candidate of principle.  Yet I have this disturbing feeling that compromising may be less successful than standing on principle …

      • Olwyn 5.2.1

        By my reading, choosing an inexperienced candidate of compromise at the time when many New Zealanders are effectively under siege was a dereliction of duty. As Ad suggested in his/her first comment, who among them is going to make the hard call, and actually implement it should it prove necessary? And by hard call, I mean real hard call of the kind Ad listed – not a PR construct, not a kick at those who can’t fight back, designed to be hailed as tough by the right wing media, and to draw hallelujahs from the middle class.

        • fatty 5.2.1.1

          “By my reading, choosing an inexperienced candidate of compromise at the time when many New Zealanders are effectively under siege was a dereliction of duty.”

          That’s a good point Olwyn…just last week a poll came out about Key being too relaxed. It is John Key’s relaxed, and non-ideological position that is his current vulnerability.
          Its a shame that Labour tried to promote Shearer as a guitar strumming good guy for so long…that is the opposite of what the voters were/are looking for.
          Strategic fail for Labour, again.

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1

            Yep. Once the public got tired of John Key’s smile and wave easy as she goes superficiality they weren’t going to trade up for even more of the same.

            Incredible eh.

  6. captain hook 6

    I am sure that David Shearer and the caucus will allot the portfolios wisely and in the best interests of the country as a whole.
    sometimes the choice can be made against the grain and then the minister will have to work harder to master the intricacies.
    whoever gets what there can only be a 100% improvement over the National party botchup of giving Welfare to an out and out misanthrope like bennet or education to someone like Heka Paratai who cant even reed or rite.

    • Ad 6.1

      I would be confident of that I knew Labour’s Education spokesperson was better than theirs, or Social Welfare, or Health, or Police. Just as examples.

      But I haven’t seen Mahuta, Ardern, or Faafoi beat Parata, Ryall, or Collins at anything.

      Sure Labour has some good and competent ones. But thy can’t yet beat them in the ring, pound for pound.

      Nor can we be sure Labour policy would be better, because in too many cases Labour doesn’t know what it is. And when it does, has insufficient discipline to communicate it.

      It’s just not cut and dried yet.

    • handle 6.2

      “I am sure that David Shearer and the caucus will allot the portfolios wisely and in the best interests of the country as a whole.”

      MMP coalitions involve more than one caucus. There’s the first challenge.

  7. Anne 7

    I am sure that David Shearer and the caucus will allot the portfolios wisely and in the best interests of the country as a whole.

    I’m not so sure captain. Deals were done during the leadership battle last year and they have to be honoured…

    There is no question who should have the powerful Finance portfolio, and that is David Cunliffe. No disrespect to David Parker (or Russel Norman) but Cunliffe’s brilliance simply can’t be ignored. My biggest concern is that the tall poppy syndrome is still alive and well inside the Labour Caucus and when you add to that a few prematurely inflated egos and a peppering of political naivety, then there is no guarantee portfolios will be allotted in the best interests of the country as a whole.

    I passionately hope I’m wrong!

    • RedLogix 7.1

      Thanks for this Anne. I think we all hope you are wrong.

      I’m still of the opinion that Goff should have stayed on. In the weeks before the last election he fired and got on top of his game. It’s just bizarre to me that he had to ritually fall on his sword only to be replaced by someone who took the Labour leadership more or less back to ground zero again.

      Given time Shearer might fire as well. I really don’t want to be white-anting the guy; even though there are plenty here who’ve already made up their minds against him.

      Yet undeniably Cunliffe is the right man for the job, ready and able. This is very much a pivotal issue for the Labour caucas … because while us political junkies are happy to say what we think, there are plenty of voters out there who probably sense at some level that there is a faction within Labour who are putting their own personal interests and ambitions ahead of anything else.

      And they’ll vote on that intuition accordingly.

    • Chris 7.2

      If Cunliffe was to roll Shearer, who would he take with him? He is a bit of a one band man and will probably be every bit as polarising as key is turning out to be. I felt he was a lot of the reason that Goff was beaten as I did not see Cunliffe at any time support Goff in his bid. In fact his tepid responses in interviews regarding his support of Goff told a very damning story. He has a huge ego and while he is definitely brilliant at what he does he could also be a liabilitybecause of his ego. Nothing wrong with a little bit of humility!

      • Anne 7.2.1

        Cunliffe is the first to admit he rubbed some of his colleagues up the wrong way in the past and he talked of… needing to mend a few fences after the leadership race. That’s the words of a man who can do humility when it is required.

        I suspect fence mending is exactly what he has been trying to do, and I just hope his former adversaries have graciously accepted his contrition. :)

        It seems to have been forgotten that the reason Cunliffe’s support in the lead-up to the election was conspicuously absent, was because he spent the last week/ten days languishing in bed with a nasty bout of influenza – the same one no doubt which laid me up for two weeks a few months later.

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          Now, there was once a Labour leader who went out election campaigning even when he knew his life was under threat from cancer…

          • Anne 7.2.1.1.1

            C’mon CV.

            Wildly fluctuating temperature? Can hardly walk to the bathroom and back? Congestion and headaches? No strength in your limbs. You’re saying… he should have been out on the hustings in that condition and risked ending up in hospital with serious complications? Add to that the number of people he would have infected and you have an exercise in stupidity.

            • Lanthanide 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Yip, cancer is generally not as debilitating as the ‘flu for the majority of it’s run. That’s why people end up dying from it – because when they find out anything is wrong it’s too late.

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh I was just sayin’. Didn’t mean nothin’ from it. Labour in 2011 had far bigger issues than Cunliffe’s sick days.

    • David H 7.3

      Thats the problem They are NOT interested in the whole country. Just in their own self serving interests.

  8. Rich 8

    Be more effective if they implemented a system with a lead minister and seniors and juniors (a bit like in the UK).

    Then they would need to take a wrecking ball to Treasury. Strip it back to the technical financial management side, and make all the economist positions redundant. Set up a separate advisory committee with non-neoliberal economists (mostly from overseas or outside government, I suspect, given our neo-lib monoculture).

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Interestingly, Steve Keen remarked that he got a better reception from our Treasury and Reserve Bank than he did from any other comparable central banking institutions around the world.

  9. Chris 9

    The last time I saw Parata wriggling on the end of a hook at Chris Hipkin’s questioning Lockwood handed her her APPARENT answer which she AND HE accepted. So this makes you wonder how anyone in Opposition can make any headway at all. A lot of the time Lockwood is the problem for Opposition and the answer to national’s so called winning a debate (so called)

    • David H 9.1

      And when Winston calls him on it he gets slapped down, But I think Winston has made a formal complaint about Lockwoods continual interfering and answering of questions.

  10. Chris 10

    I would also love to Sue Moroney on the front bench! She would be a match for anybody.

    • karol 10.1

      +1 Chris.
       
      Also, on the question of  National’s surfeit of economists/finance/business people in Key roles – well that’s the neoliberal way.  I think it’s time to rewrite the narrative, and put the genie back in the bottle.  A Labour-Green government should have the best finance minister available.  I see Cunliffe as that person.
       
      But the PM and Deputy don’t need to be as great on economics, in my view.   They need to show very good leadership, be excellent communicators to the general public, and good managers – and have clearly articulated policies that will take the country back in a genuine left wing direction.
       
      I just watched bomber’s Union Report on Triangle, with Sue Bradford and Chris Trotter.  I got a couple of important points from it.
       
      The Labour Party won’t change unless the grassroots join together and push them in a better direction.  For Trotter this means the unions need to reassert their influence over the Labour Party.  He reckoned it’s very important that unions do this over the next few weeks. 
       
      They talked about how neoliberalism had shifted public attitudes so people have an individualist outlook, and we need to spread the word and get back to the concept of action through solidarity. It was good to hear Bradford say that we need to understand that “workers” includes the unemployed, and it includes beneficiaries.  So she wasn’t just talking about people joining unions, but for beneficiaries in Auckland to join the Auckland Anti-poverty group.
       
       

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        The unions can’t do it. The biggest unions left in NZ won’t get involved. Not quite solidarity, eh.

      • Anne 10.1.2

        The Labour Party won’t change unless the grassroots join together and push them in a better direction. For Trotter this means the unions need to reassert their influence over the Labour Party. He reckoned it’s very important that unions do this over the next few weeks.

        It’ll take a bit longer than a few weeks but couldn’t agree more…

  11. geoff 11

    So, hypothetically speaking, would Shearer have to step down or could he be shoved?

    • McFlock 11.1

      Could be shoved. But the harder the shove, the messier it gets and the more questions/innuendo can be raised about infighting, loyalty to new leadership, and numbers counting. And the bigger the hit in the polls at transition time as it all goes on – it might be 2 steps forward, three back.

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    Are you watching the greatest farce on earth? I mean the US election. If you can’t recognize it in your own country, see it in theirs.

    1. Successful politicians NEVER tell you what they really think because it costs too many votes. Example: Romney’s behind closed doors blunder about 47% of people don’t pay taxes.

    2. Successful politicians don’t discuss the paramount issues. Example: The US is in the economic crisis of its life but they talk about gay marriage, abortion, Afghanistan, gun control, etc.

    3. Wining is about image. The tv ads are negative because the game is to destroy your opponent’s image.

    I don’t know or particularly care what Cunliffe or Shearer will do as PM. I know whatever they do will be more to my liking than what the Tories will do.

    Conclusion: Get someone with an image who can beat the Tories. Right now that’s Cunliffe. He’s damn good at it.

    End of story.

  13. Chris 13

    End of story, not so sure. Am only speaking for myself but I am heartily sick and tired of the so called debating(histrionics) that now seems to be the most acceptable to the NZ populace. key and his ilk have taken away the gravitas of Parliament and turned it into a Punch and Judy show,never answering questions but diverting with stupid, irrational and a lot of times absolute lying answers and getting away with it, mostly with what I have seen the able assistance of the speaker. john key has been an abberation and hopefully soon we will see an end of him and a beginning of a resurgense of a Party that truly wants to see our country grow and prosper.If that is an amagamation of parties then so be it, but we cannot be any worse off than under this present (cannot think of a word).

  14. AmaKiwi 14

    @ Chris

    I agree with you. Key’s image in unraveling. Mr. Nice Guy is morphing into a shifty liar with convenient lapses of memory.

    I never hear Parliament discussing what MP’s on both sides know: we are falling into a financial black hole. Say that and the voters would shoot the messenger.

    Thanks for agreeing with me. It’s all about image.

  15. AmaKiwi 15

    Here’s my proposed “new image” Labour line-up.

    Sam Neill for PM. He’s handsome, modest, easy to trust.

    Russel “Gladiator” Crowe to dismember Crusher Collins in Papakura.

    Kim Dotcom to be Attorney General.

    Rachael Hunter takes on Maggie Barry and will become Minister for the Arts and Special Emissary to Hollywood.

    Could they manage the country? Probably not. But they’ll win in a landslide.

    • Jim Nald 15.1

      Not quite sure whether to laff or to nod approvingly because Rachel Hunter and Kim Dotcom may well carry out the Arts & AG responsibilities better than Chris Finlayson.

  16. central scutinizer 16

    All this is quite interesting. Only one problem. Before labour can win an election. They need voters. Example: All the brain dead couch potatoes who sit on their fat asses on polling day reciting the same inbred cliche ” Aw fuck! I’m not voting. They’re are all the same anyway”. Until those people vote. Labour has three shows of winning an election. A dog show, a shit show and no show.

    • fatty 16.1

      They don’t have to vote Labour…they could vote the Greens or Mana. But the real problem is that for many people there is little difference between National and Labour.
      What about a 50 year old beneficiary who has been under/unemployed for a number of years. Does it really make much of a difference? Maybe under National there will be a little less stigma, but in reality they will still be unemployed under either party. Still living on the edge, still excluded from society.

      I agree with you in that Labour need these people to vote, but its up to Labour to give them someone to vote for. That’s the problem with flirting with the centre, the marginalised continue to be marginalised and they don’t bother participating. Its a bit unfair to label it an ‘inbred cliche’…I’d say its a decision that they have come to – because of the inbred strategy from Labour.

  17. handle 17

    “and only one of the Labour-Green Government’s top five (Shearer, Robertson, Parker, Turei, and Norman) with the ability to really communicate on economic issues.”

    You’re under-rating Norman’s performance over the last couple of years.

    • karol 17.1

      huh?  Handle, I think the implication from the quote is that Norman is the best able to communicate economic issues – note, at the moment, Cunliffe is not in that top five at the moment.

  18. AmaKiwi 18

    My personal opinion: Norman is intelligent, thoughtful, considerate, but not a rousing speaker.

    That’s not good enough to win a general election.

    Just before the last election I saw Cunliffe at a multi-party candidate’s night in a National stronghold. This was NOT a Labour meeting. 2 Greens candidates spoke, 1 Conservative candidate spoke, as did speakers from several minor parties. No National candidate showed.

    Cunliffe ripped into National. He tore them to shreds. The audience stood up and cheered!

    That’s what wins elections.

    • David H 18.1

      And thats what the Stalwarts in Labour don’t want. They don’t want anyone to stand up and show them up for what they are. A bunch of lying, cheating, soulless fools, who only have one, and only one vested interest. And until you get rid of that, with some decent caring politicians. Then people will just stay at home on polling day.

      And yes I could list them but you know them, as well as I do.

  19. RedBaron 19

    Well if labour provide the PM then why not have co-deputy PM’s Russell & Meretai (with a large welfare portfolio) and even Winston could be at that level, as well as being Foreign Minister. He’s good at that- anybody would be better than Murray- and he doesn’t want to sell NZ. If legally they need only one deputy PM then that could be rotated around the three of them.

    Cunliffe needs to be Finance – someone has to get in there and sort out Treasury’s attitudes and he’s the dude. Parker IMHO and Russell are are more on the longer term strategic policy side and they could share out MObie functions between them. Mobie probably needs to be broken up anyway.

    Robertson under 1 PM 3 deputy PM’sstructure does miss out unless it is a group of 4 but in tandem with Meretai could be over looking the big welfare health education spending side of the equation.

    Most women vote on the left and they have taken a pounding under Nact so it makes sense to have a women high in the order and to have emphasis at the top on welfare needs. It won’t mean more money just reassurance of a better attitude.

    Actually I think we would be very well served as a nation by the top group of the two greens leaders, Winston, Cunliffe and Parker with Shearer keeping the peace. Nor would it be a mistake to have a significant female presence in the next row down .

    • Lanthanide 19.1

      Deputy PM in NZ is more of an honorific than anything. We don’t have succession like in the US where the deputy would become PM automatically if the PM should leave office. Deputy PM in NZ probably mostly boils down to “who gets to take the big chair when the PM is out of the country”, as well as being a nod to long-serving politicians.

      Having 3 co-deputy PM’s wouldn’t be accepted by the public (especially with one of them being Winston). Even having 2 would be difficult.

    • karol 19.2

      Most women vote on the left and they have taken a pounding under Nact so it makes sense to have a women high in the order and to have emphasis at the top on welfare needs. It won’t mean more money just reassurance of a better attitude.
       
      I tend to be one of those women.  And in the above quote you are, for me, pointing in the right direction.  However, there is a touch of tokenism there.  I think it’s not that women, and social policies should get a nod, they should be given much more importance.  Too much emphasis on money-stuff first, and the kind of society we want second.  It should be the other way around. 
       
      Following that, I agree we need to best person possible in Finance, to provide the best means of making the social policies work – and Cunliffe is that person, IMO.

      • RedBaron 19.2.1

        Oops quite right Karol and unintended. Too much post and run.

        Just for the record the more diversity at the top the better IMHO. I do not see Meretai as a token and there are a number of the other extremely competent women. I also find it interesting that Norman gets more “mentions” than Meretai despite their equal status. Having diversity does I think reassure various sectors that their interests are likely to be considered.

        WRT to the money I did not intend to infer that a token woman should be placed at the top as a distraction while social assistance and social policy spending was run into the ground or not reconsidered.

        The cupboard is going to be pretty bare I fear after the next election. I can also see the Nact’s signing up huge contracts for their RONS at the last minute to appease their mates and make sure the incoming government has to find the funds. I would love to see Labour & the Greens fire a few shots at this now by saying they will past legislation to void certain contracts unless they have been prefunded out of existing votes.

    • David H 19.3

      Well for starters there’s Julie Anne Genter for transport, she has ripped Brownlee a new one more than once this year

  20. Sue 20

    Two talented singers, singing an identical song, both technically correct, both polished and performance ready. – Yet, one will always stand out. – One has the x factor, the other doesn’t. I have seen this time after time sitting on audition panels.

    You can supply as much media/performace training as you like, it will not ultimately make a difference…………..between the two singers, or in this context the two David’s (or three)

    Cunliffe is the clear standout, he is the natural performer.

  21. Fortran 21

    But Wiston has not been included in the Power Game.
    It remains a possibility that he could hold the balance of power.

    As for suggesting Norman has economic credibility is ridiculous.
    He is pretty words, but no experience whatsoever in this area, but Greenpeace can advise him !

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      As for suggesting Norman has economic credibility is ridiculous.
      He is pretty words, but no experience whatsoever in this area, but Greenpeace can advise him !

      wtf?

      Better than having a self-interested bankster in charge of the country.

  22. RJL 22

    Would MoBIE remain intact under a successor govt.?

    I doubt it, as the conglomeration only really seems to make sense if its point is to accumulate power and influence with Steven Joyce.

    A divided MoBIE would give a larger number of “important” seats to distribute amongst coalition members.

    • ad 22.1

      MED as an agglomeration of functions was helpful because it could at least start to challenge the pre-eminence of Treasury in budget prioritisaiton. While it had a functioning and Cabinet-backed Growth and Innovation Framework, that worked.

      These days however, Treasury’s Cabinet recommendations to the budget (ie raising new taxes and making everyone with a proposal jump through those Better Business Case hoops) remain primary.

      The new MoBIE has a better chance of challenging Treasury, without that overarching framework.

      With a new agglomerated MoBIE, Primary Industries, Minsitry of Social Development, and more to come in Justice and Corrections, among others, what amalgamation gives a Minister is of course more concentrated power. No Minister will unwind their own power, and delegate it out to some less-deserving political serf.

      Now, if there were a fund that could challenge the primacy of Treasury in funding allcoation and enable Cabinet to have an alternative policy lever, that would be worth a scrap over. For example, amalgamating the funds of EQC, ACC, and NZSuper into a sovereign fund that supports local exporters and enables them to grow …

      Labour-Greens have to think beyond the existing policy levers and start generating new ones as soon as they get in, or they will see quickly that the state’s instruments are now far weaker than even under the Clark administration.

    • OneTrack 22.2

      And that is the important thing. Plus we get to employ some more publc servants.

      • Colonial Viper 22.2.1

        Fire the private sector consultants, hire people to recharge our public services!

        • GregJ 22.2.1.1

          I’d agree – although in fairness quite a lot of them are former public servants made redundant and now getting their pound of flesh back from a system that threw them out in the first place. (grrr – can’t get angry face icon to work!)

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    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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