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The lesson of Lange

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 pm, December 12th, 2011 - 64 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david shearer, heritage, labour, leadership - Tags:

David Lange was a good man with a sharp mind, he was quick as a cat thinking on his feet – especially debating – he was an excellent communicator. With only six years’ parliamentary experience before becoming leader of the NZLP he was also the least experienced of all Labour’s twelve leaders to date. David Lange got eaten alive.

Lange oversaw the worst years of the Labour Party, where the parliamentary and party wings grew further and further apart and bitter factional rifts and back-stabbings prevailed. His inability to manage his caucus opened the door for an unprecedented hijacking of the Party’s ideological compass by neo-liberals, and Lange eventually became an unwilling puppet for the more experienced but less principled old-hands behind him.

As a sensitive man Lange didn’t handle the awful pressure and toxicity of the leadership and paid a heavy emotional and physical toll. He left Parliament a pretty broken man. It wasn’t a good experience for him, for the Labour Party, or the people Labour represent.

So will lucky number 13 be the newest ‘least experienced Labour leader’ or will we have learned the lesson?

64 comments on “The lesson of Lange”

  1. RedLogix 1

    As a sensitive man Lange didn’t handle the awful pressure and toxicity of the leadership and paid a heavy emotional and physical toll.

    By one of those sheer accidents of life I had the chance to see that close up and personal one day. I got to spend some hours with the man … in a rather non-political setting, and long before I became poltically aware or active myself… and came away with the very distinct unspoken impression that David Lange rather desperately no longer wanted to be PM.

    Within months he had resigned.

    • David Lange was my MP for 10 years and my family were senior office holders in the Mangere LEC.  DC is my current MP and, well you know.

      There are similarities between the two but some clear differences.

      Both are exceedingly intelligent.  Both are capable of towering rhetoric, Lange especially although Cunliffe is better on his feet in analyzing situations.  Both have that ability of being very funny.

      There are differences though.  Lange did not like confrontation, he preferred to get on with anyone.  He also let Douglas get out of control.  He had the dignity and decency to call for a cup of tea and a halt to Rogernomics but he was never in command of economic policy.

      Cunliffe has a keen sense of the levers of power and what has to be achieved to make sure the correct result occurs.  He would be in control of Caucus  the way that Lange never was.

    • Mr Magoo 1.2

      I think drawing parallels between Lange and Shearer based solely on that they were both the “new kids on the block” is a very weak (and possibly highly disingenuous) argument. Lange and Shearer are not the same people by a long margin.

      And what crushed Lange is not likely happen in today’s environment.

      Honestly? This was a pretty pathetic read. I would liken this to the sort of logic you would read on kiwiblog or whaleoil. (of course the logic, it lacked the frothing at the mouth)

      • Mr Magoo 1.2.1

        And thus they have rolled the dice.

        Shearer is in. The gamble is on – let’s hope it pays off.

        Good luck to you!

  2. logie97 2

    and when the MSM talk about old-past-their-use-by-date politicians, wasn’t Dunne in the Lange government? Wonder what sort of loyalty he displayed there. Or was he then what he is now – a change with the wind politician?

  3. Brent J 3

    Is that a young Mallard in the background?

    • dancerwaitakere 3.1

      I believe it is. Makes a mockery of the claim that Shearer is a fresh face. He is merely a fresh face on an old machine that is the Labour establishment bitterly afraid of change.

  4. fender 4

    Whoever wins tomorrow we all need to support fully.
    Lange would shred any of the current Nats in a debate.
    Dunne has become a laughing stock and is really mean not sharing his hair with Pete George the web-based media egghead guy we all love.

    • seeker 4.1

      Sorry Fender can’t do that.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        I’ve volunteered long and hard for Labour this year.

        Caucus better show insight and understanding into the way forward for all of us, Tuesday morning. And a clear willingness to support painful, fundamental reform of the party.

        If they don’t choose a leader who can deliver on that while not only standing toe to toe against Key, English, Peters, Turei and Norman, but also outshining all of them in the media and in the House, a strategic blunder will have been made.

      • fender 4.1.2

        Love to hate then.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1

          Do you know how to motivate human beings to give their all?

          Or do you think that for most activists Tuesday should simply be a case of “The King is Dead! Long Live the King!”

          • fender 4.1.2.1.1

            Oh seeker can’t support fully whoever wins (?)
            And you can’t either CV?

            • the sprout 4.1.2.1.1.1

              some will, many won’t.
              depends on whose interests caucus serves i suppose

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1.1.2

              I’ll suggest something to you. I figure that around 50% of the hardest core real world activists that Labour has are going to be examining the nuances of Tuesdays caucus decision very fracking closely.

              Now answer my question. Do you think that the leadership decision, no matter which way it goes, should simply be a matter of “The King is Dead! Long live the King!”

              • fender

                Well without unity may as well split the party into two then if thats whats necessary.

                • Colonial Viper

                  So answer me the question. Should party activists treat the outcome of the caucus vote as a case of “The King is Dead! Long live the King!”

                  Because I notice you haven’t bothered to respond to either my question, or the philosophy behind that statement. Clue: its not a liberal philosophy.

                  • fender

                    Party activists can treat the outcome however they wish, if some choose to jump ship or whatever thats their gig.
                    I would like to see David C and Nanaia win too, but if they don’t get the numbers then I won’t suddenly ditch supporting Labour.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      When I was studying World War I, I always wondered to myself what was going through the minds of the enlisted British soldiers waiting in the trenches. Waiting for their orders to come down from above. Orders to leap over the top of their protective trenches en masse, to charge their way over and under lines of barbed wire, in the face of unstoppable sweeping arcs of German machine gun fire.

                      And of course, I also wondered what was going through the minds of the commissioned officers and Generals who were giving the orders.

            • seeker 4.1.2.1.1.3

              Of course I support David C. and indeed Nanaia Mahuta for reasons I have been posting for days now. It is David S. that I really can’t support as leader mainly due to his inexperience. I think it was idiocy for him to have put his name forward and I can’t support idiocy. Therefore if he becomes leader I will sadly have to withdraw my support for Labour and will probably join the Greens. Can’t fight battles with the soft metal of an unforged sword.

  5. SHG 5

    Lange would eat any of the present members of the House alive in a debate. He is the strongest parliamentary orator and debater of recent memory.

    And – if one accepts the central premise of the original post – he was a failure as a Labour leader.

    Why, then, is everyone in Labour getting in a tizz about needing a new Leader who is a strong debater and speaker?

    • lprent 5.1

      …needing a new Leader who is a strong debater and speaker

      That is for the media side, house side and eventually the debates. But we have had PM’s with poor house (although not many nor for long) and even media skills.

      For me, I find the lack of caucus and ministerial experience the most bothersome. That was what caused Lange to be such a failure. He was incapable of controlling his ministers or even his caucus directly. He relied on others to do that for him. He then found out what it felt like to be a bird in a gilded cage – ineffectual and useful as a sock-puppet.

      The lack of party experience isn’t good either. That gets to be a real handicap when trying to put together a campaign.

      The problem is that political leaders need to be pretty well rounded in all of the areas that they impact on others. Being really good in one area doesn’t compensate for the lacks.

      Being aware of where the lacks are is really really important. The pace of politics is usually such that even a simple mistake at the wrong time often doesn’t leave you much recovery room. You have to take advice on those areas and to accept advice most people usually have to understand why they need it and trust those giving it.

      Some media seem to talk about Shearer having two years grace. He doesn’t. He’ll be lucky if he gets two months. Basically when the house is back, he’d have to be on form. I don’t think that it is feasible even with the good support.

      • Jim Nald 5.1.1

        My friend from the UK, a Lib-Dem candidate for the European Parliament, reminded me of the saying that “elections are won in years”.
        That’s years, not months or weeks. And also not in the few days in the lead up to polling day.

        The Labour Caucus this morning must keep that in mind and select a candidate who can take the fight to the National Government here and now, and to build up the pressure and sustain that until 2014. Let’s hope the choice will be made wisely and in the overall and best interest of the Labour Party both for now and the long term future.

    • fender 5.2

      If you want to be Leader I think the very first thing you need is strong debating and communication skills. How can you get your message across otherwise, let alone instill any public confidence.
      I’d not like to have a leader who bumbles along like I saw Paul Quinn do on Backbenches recently.

      • lprent 5.2.1

        Helps a lot. But in opposition getting your caucus spending effort on bringing down the government rather than expending it on gossiping about each other is usually the primary key. The best use of debating and communication skills initially is inside the caucus and shadow cabinet.

        • Pete George 5.2.1.1

          spending effort on bringing down the government

          That’s a very sad statement.

          The primary aim of any party, leader or MP should be working for the good of the country. Sure, if there are real issues in government that need examined or exposed then that should happen, but best possible governance should surely be the overriding aim.

          Trying to undermine the government with the aim of bringing it down if possible is not good for the country – and if you see Labour results over the last three years it’s not good for the party either.

          Destructor obsession can become self destruction. And it turns off voters.

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1

            And did your party’s collective wisdom ‘turn on voters’? Fuck you’re politically naive.

            • Pete George 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Yep, I think I do naive quite well.

              I’m also prepared to try and think outside the square, have a fresh look at how we could do things better – and I’ve listened to a lot of people who want things done better.

              Maybe Labour could benefit from a bit of ‘naive’ and less of the ‘same old’.

              • lprent

                See my reply below. Mostly you are just rediscovering ideas that are quite old and quite dead. They died for a reason. It is rather tedious pointing you to history that you could easily look up. But suffice it to say I looked at almost every idea I have ever seen you articulate when I was in my 20’s, along with the critiques and where they were attempted to be implemented and why people thought that they failed.

                History is a wonderful thing. You should read it sometime to learn to avoid very old mistakes.

              • kriswgtn

                hhaha and ur UF leader has been around as long as Goff

                Banks has been round since when the forming of the atom?

              • Colonial Viper

                Maybe you deliver some damn proven results in the electorate before you start your political consulting business, yeah? And I mean results other than successfully suppressing research on behalf of corporate industry.

          • lprent 5.2.1.1.2

            You appear to have missed a few centuries of actual experience with democratic systems. What you are describing was the strange philosophy that caused some of the framers of the US constitution to want the vice presidential position to always be the main opponent of the president. Where apon they can (as gentlemen) work for the good of the country. Needless to say that never happened, and with good reason. It will inevitably lead to a system where by the winner and losers merely meet after the election to divide up the loot.

            What happened in practice across the democracies was the development of the loyal opposition whose role was question the government ritually, rigously, and to try to bring about their downfall. That was the required feedback mechanism to prevent stultification of the political system. There was always an incentive for the opposition to remain hungry for a change and to highlight the deficiencies of the status quo.

            United Futures main political philosophy right from the formation of the United party was only to piously divide up the loot (and that tradition is assiduously followed by Dunne today) – in fact to my eye that was the only reason that they did form. They will of course try to cover themselves with a fig leaf of respectability, like the one you just articulated. But it really is just the same as self justification of a bandit arguing that preying on the weak is merely a form of evolutionary social Darwinism

            I suspect that you are merely a political innocent who could do to read some political history to catch up on the reasons why some structures work and persist in politics. I realize that it is the role of professional innocents to not gain knowledge. But I do think that you really try to carry the John the baptist metaphor somewhat too far.

            • Pete George 5.2.1.1.2.1

              You appear to have missed a few centuries of actual experience with democratic systems.

              You appear to have missed the fact we are now in the 21st century. Like Labour. How successful are they with the seek and destroy approach?

              We can learn from the past but can do better in the future – if we want to. I suspect you’ll agree that the Internet has changed things a wee bit, and opened up mass communication to the masses.

              • Colonial Viper

                Get off the frackin teleprompter.

              • lprent

                You are over egging the effect of the social change such technology brings. It doesn’t change basic human behaviors, it merely provides a new outlet for them and allows changes and discussion to propagate more rapidly.

                It doesn’t obviate the need to read history because the first thing that I and others do is to reach into history to find out what was the flaw the last time that theory arose. We act as the opposition to point out the flaws. Merely trying to dismiss it with things are different now doesn’t cut it. Why are they different? What is the effect that you expect to see? How is it going to change human social behaviors formed by our evolutionary history (or our nature if you prefer 18th century thought) which have proved to be remarkably persistent.

                Now remember that I have been doing this social network stuff since about 1980 – it isn’t like I haven’t been around and around all of the arguments about the social effects of networks on the way. Why do you think that this site operates so well socially? Why do you think that there were so many experiments on massive social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, etc all happening at the same time? This stuff got discussed massively over the decades, and quite literally the ideas were sitting ready when the tech and economics made it feasible. The ideas of the critics decades ago also turn out to be valid.

    • and despite Lange’s exceptional gifts he was still slaughtered and the party left in ruins, because he was so politically inexperienced

  6. Brent J 6

    2nd least experienced was Geoffrey Palmer with 10 yrs. Also not a great ending.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Let’s go with 2.5 years instead now, that would be a good move.

    • bbfloyd 6.2

      not a great beginning for palmer…. he was always just a pawn in lange’s game plan to stymie moore….. i’m not entirely sure why, but i didn’t forgive him for that for years….

  7. Blue 7

    There seems to be a bizarre trend emerging in NZ politics now where a candidate needs to have next to no experience to be taken seriously.

    Stoked by the examples of Obama and John Key, the demand is for ‘fresh’ and ‘new’ and anyone who’s been around longer than five minutes is ‘stale’ and ‘uninspiring’.

    Odd thought really, that in any other job experience is king, and people without a track record in the industry don’t get considered, while in the top job of running the entire country, we prefer someone untried and unknown.

    • bbfloyd 7.1

      havn’t you kept up with the fashions? it’s not cool to have an attention span longer than a goldfish…..if everyone thought with any depth on political and economic issues, then we would have a rush of jounalists and advertising executives stampeding to therapy in epidemic numbers….

      and that wouldn’t be fair to them, or their employers…..

    • seeker 7.2

      +1 comment Blue.

    • newsense 7.3

      Obama was very experienced comparatively I thought? Had experience in his state government and as his state senator?

      • felix 7.3.1

        Yes he was, but he was marketed as a fresh face without “insider baggage”.

        The fact that this wasn’t actually true – and that he could have campaigned on his experience but instead chose to emphasise his supposed “freshness” – beautifully illustrates Blue’s point.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    XXX was from the outset the supposed puppet of a small group who put him up knowing his inexperience would leave him vulnerable to their manipulation, but thinking he might be popular and a good enough public and parliamentary performer to defeat YYY

    😯

    [sprout: that was a good comment you quoted but i’m not sure where it went, it seems to have been withdrawn. seemed pretty apposite]

  9. McFlock 9

    My impression – it being a bit before my time – is that it was also a shortcoming in the wider party. Nobody knew economics enough to be able to recognise and refute neoliberal BS. It’s not just down to the leader, the depth of the field also counts.

  10. Kairos 10

    A huge blunder is in the making if caucus believes it is the sovereign power in the Labour Party and ignores the clear will of the wider membership for a Cunliffe/Mahuta leadership.
    The Greens will benefit from disaffected Labour activists jumping ship but more important the Labour heartland supporters (the poor, the workers, the disengaged) will lose hope.
    To rebuild Labour from the ground up will require the re-involvement of these supporters. A failing leader, as Shearer will inevitably be, will make that task nigh on impossible.
    The Party anger at such a wilful snub of the Party wishes will have consequences come candidate and list-selection time. An organisation like the Labour Party has a long and strong memory.

  11. vto 11

    I got no idea about party politics and all that kerfuffle but it seems clear to me that the newbie nature of Shearer is pretty much the defining factor for him. Why rest all of your re-election chances on an unknown? Talk about risky. That is known as an unwise decision. It might be clever, if it works, but not wise – and cleverness is always risky. Not a time for risk methinks. 2c.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      People tend to be optimists, and they always think that they can beat the house odds.

  12. Matthew Hooton 12

    I think you are quite unfair to David Lange. He won Labour two elections, inspired the nation sick of Muldoonist politics of hate and fear, reformed the economy, introduced the anti-nuclear policy and withdrew from the alliance with the US, helped launch the Maori renaissance, stopped sporting contact with South Africa, and stopped the economic reforms from moving into social policy and the flat tax. If David Shearer can achieve as much for Labour, and I am sure he can, then he will be seen as one of your greatest leaders.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Well this comment is quite remarkable and should be noted.

    • lprent 12.2

      He also caused Labour to shed a significiant part of its core support base while chasing a different fickle one. Allowed both the party and the country to be run by a very small clique in dictatorial manner that made Muldoon look like a sensitive democrat, and caused a complete reformation of the political system as a consequence. Caused the party structure to fracture and largely disintegrate.

      Are you sure that wasn’t the analogy you were stretching for?

    • Good to see Matthew wholeheartedly supporting Shearer.  He obviously has the interests of the Labour Party at heart and only wants the party to succeed against National. 

    • RedLogix 12.4

      All true Matthew, but there are many who still call that period the first ACT government.

      It was a government full of tension and contradiction. Never before or since have we seen a Prime Minister and his Minster of Finance bitterly and openly campaigning against each other. We forget that in the 80’s we pretty much had only what the media was willing to report; imagine if that level of dysfunction and divisiveness went down today!!!

      It is a measure of David Lange’s greatness that he achieved so much in the face of such odds. But equally it came at an enormous cost. Personally he was shattered; remember he was one of the few NZ PM’s to ever resign.

      And the cost to his Party was immense; it took Helen Clark a decade to undo some of that damage. There are still many who haven’t forgiven Labour for allowing itself to be hijacked to the madness of the neo-liberals economics.

      None of that would have happened if Lange had been in control of his caucas in the way Helen Clark was. Indeed as a Minister of Health a very young Helen witnessing that disaster must have been deeply formative for her. No wonder H1 and H2 overcompensated towards over-control.. they had lived through what happens when you lose it.

      • just saying 12.4.1

        I notice you absolve Lange from any moral responsibility for what happened. I certainly do not.

        He was a “great” wit and raconteur. I had faith in him, gave him my first ever vote and he betrayed that trust. Because of his assurances that those who had been harmed would finally gain from all the pain, he sold NZ a second term of moral bankrupcy, like a dodgy second-hand car dealer. And until near the end, he was having a whale of a time, glorying in the plaudits and the limelight, and enjoying the delights of a postponed adolescence.

        After he left the party he indulged in a prolonged ‘poor me’ and never took one jot of responsibility, as if he was rogernomics’ number one, most wounded victim.

        I was horrified that Robertson named him as his personal hero. It’s obvious that the Labour caucus have nothing to do with the current generations of the people that bore the brunt of that time, socially, economically, physically and spiritually.

        • RedLogix 12.4.1.1

          I notice you absolve Lange from any moral responsibility for what happened. I certainly do not.

          And I wouldn't quibble with you either. Lange left a thoroughly mixed legacy and I guess everyone has their selected highlights and lowlights.

  13. Ballistico 13

    I hope the best David wins, and whichever does win I hope they can rally the caucus around them and take it to the Gnats.

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    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    1 day ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    1 day ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    1 day ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 day ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    1 day ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    2 days ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
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    2 days ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
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    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
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    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    6 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    10 hours ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 day ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 day ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    1 day ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    1 day ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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