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A new broom?

Written By: - Date published: 8:55 am, January 31st, 2013 - 95 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Word is that Shearer’s team has taken a cue from the media response from Key’s reshuffle and is looking to bolster his new tough image by dropping some of the old hands in his own reshuffle (which will, of course, come after the caucus vote on his leadership). Almost without doubt the losers will be Maryan Street, Su’a William Sio, and Nanaia Mahuta.

Shearer will be hoping that serving up their heads will be enough to get him the kind of “ruthless steel” headlines Key got for dropping Wilkinson and Heatley.

His other move will be to give Hipkins education, bring Shane Jones back, and possibly promote someone he doesn’t like (perhaps Cunliffe) into health as it’s a portfolio labour’s strategists have given up on and now see as a poison chalice.

This change-up probably won’t be enough for the likes of Tracy Watkins, who has made it clear that the real old guard to see off is Trev, Annette, and Phil. But that’s just dreaming: there’s no way Shearer will cross the people that are keeping him in place and the recent hard yards he’s done for Trev’s aspirations for the Speaker’s chair shows just who holds sway in Shearer’s caucus. With those three unmoved, the path to promotion is blocked for younger MPs.

I expect Shearer’s team will try to make a big deal of the of the fact Street gets dropped. It’s well known she voted for Shearer in the 2011 leadership contest and she isn’t needed by him now so makes the perfect scalp to take to show he doesn’t play favorites. Dropping Mahuta will give the press gallery the result they’ve been hinting at for the last year, and giving Cunliffe health will allow them to claim they’re bringing him back up into a big portfolio while keeping him away from anything economic and setting him up to fail.

One thing is for sure though, the core team driving Labour’s centre-seeking small target strategy won’t be touched. Shearer’s new-found toughness can only stretch so far.


95 comments on “A new broom?”

  1. Sio is underrated and very important. Pacifica is so important to Labour and Sio is someone whose links to Pacifica are deep and strong.

    He has a very well organised seat and saw off the Taito challenge with aplomb.

    And Mangere had a huge increase in the Labour party vote last election, by far the biggest in the country.

    He should definitely be left where he is.

    EDIT: and for similar reasons Nanaia should also remain where she is. Her links to Maori especially Tainui are vital.

    • Pete 1.1

      Mahuta has been woefully AWOL when it comes to her education portfolio, though. With all the blunders at Education last year, it was Hipkins who lead the issues for Labour. It’s a balancing act. Do her advantages overcome the deficiencies in he performance? I’m not convinced they do.

      • quartz 1.1.1

        I wonder how much support and resource she got compared to Hipkins. Hint: she stood as Cunliffe’s deputy in 2011 and he’s Trevor Mallard’s right hand weasel.

      • stargazer 1.1.2

        nanaia just had a lovely baby daughter in december. that might explain her absence to you? i’m pretty sick of all the bagging of nanaia without any consideration of the fact that she might have a very valid reason for needing a bit of time out.

        • Lanthanide

          She’s been absent all last year, not just since December.

          When she was up as Cunliffe’s running mate (which I still maintain was a stupid idea and probably the lead balloon that stopped him winning), myself and many others had never even heard of her or had any idea who she was.

          • stargazer

            i wouldn’t say she was absent at all. she took on the burden of the constitutional review and has done a lot of work on that, travelling around the country. sure that stuff doesn’t get in the media, but it’s still work & it made a difference. and since you did mention her running with mr cunliffe, it’s quite possible that there was some fallout from that.

            if you didn’t know who she was then you probably weren’t paying attention. and who had any idea of who mr shearer was before he started running? other than that he replaced helen clark in a by-election, what exactly were his achievements as an MP, as compared to nanaia who was a very competent minister (clearly no stuff ups that caused her name to be in the limelight) and who negotiated the whole foreshore & seabed mess a lot better than tariana turia did.

            which I still maintain was a stupid idea and probably the lead balloon that stopped him winning

            evidence please. the vote was by caucus, each position was voted separately. mr cunliffe could have been voted in with a different deputy had caucus so wished. which MP anywhere has ever stated that choice of deputy affected their vote for leader?

            • Lanthanide

              “i wouldn’t say she was absent at all. she took on the burden of the constitutional review and has done a lot of work on that, travelling around the country. sure that stuff doesn’t get in the media, but it’s still work & it made a difference.”

              Right, I wasn’t aware of that. I am just talking about being absent from the media. The point Pete made is that the Education minister was making such a hash of things last year, why wasn’t Mahuta there to show her up. I don’t think she ever did, and it is that context that we are saying she was absent.

              “if you didn’t know who she was then you probably weren’t paying attention.”

              But there’s a difference between hearing the name of some MP that you’ve heard of before and knew nothing about, and hearing the name of an MP you’d never heard before. That’s the situation with Mahuta for me (and apparently others).

              “and who had any idea of who mr shearer was before he started running?”

              Someone who had been talked up in the media as a potential future leader as far back as the by-election.

              “evidence please. the vote was by caucus, each position was voted separately. mr cunliffe could have been voted in with a different deputy had caucus so wished. which MP anywhere has ever stated that choice of deputy affected their vote for leader?”

              I have no evidence, except for what various people have written in the threads on the standard about the leadership tour as it went on. As for “voting for a different deputy”, sure, they *could* do that, but in reality would they? The other point is that Cunliffe was setting up this “double-ticket” thing as per US politics, and it just isn’t the “done thing” in New Zealand. Now perhaps his double-ticket ploy could have been a good one, but it doesn’t seem to have been well-received by the caucus/media to me, but again that could have just been because of his choice of ‘running mate’ rather than the concept itself.

      • bad12 1.1.3

        Nanaia has been having one of those baby things, Chris Hipkiss has been filling in for Her in the role as Education Spokesperson,

        My view, expressed previously, is that Labour need task both Hipkiss and Mahuta to play ‘tag’ with Hekia Parata, there’s acres of space there,(between Hekia’s ears), within which to create political capital,

        I hold the same view of the economic portfolio, currently Dave Parker has all the presence in the Debating Chamber of a wet rag, having read a number of His speeches, His and Dave Cunliffe’s views on the New Zealand economy are not in fact that far apart and it would seem that it is Parker’s more timid nature that fails to fully elucidate this in terms that the average head can come to grips with,

        My solution, bring Cunliffe on to the front bench so that both are used as another tag team on the likes of English and Joyce,

        Mallard, why not the next Speaker of the House, no ones going to simply sack the Hutt South MP so easing Him into retirement is the next best thing,

        National is weak on the economy, weak in education, and not even on the planet when it comes to affordable housing, those weaknesses should be exploited ruthlessly by Labour in 2013…

      • Rogue Trooper 1.1.4

        same Pete

    • Tom Gould 1.2

      There are some very talented people who would be able to step up to the task if given the chance. Problem for Shearer is balancing merit against the quota system. It would be more honest and transparent to take on the Aussie system of direct factional representation, rather than keep on pretending.

  2. I’d be ashamed to bank my pay cheque if I were responsible for the mess the Labour party have become.
    Four years in opposition and the only hits they’ve landed, on behalf of the people, have all been self inflicted.
    It’s a pity NZ doesn’t have a second chamber for dinosaurs to retire to and pretend they’re still relevant in.

    • CV - Real Labour 2.1

      Well, the National Party have various corporate boardrooms all over the country that they use for the same purpose.

      • The Al1en 2.1.1

        Plain brown envelopes full of cash for everyone.

        Put the policy you’d like to own on the back of a self addressed envelope (no emails ,texts, phone calls or spy cams) and you’ll receive your fan club membership pack and parliamentary swipe card by return.

      • chris73 2.1.2

        Getting rid of Labour politicians?

  3. One Tāne Huna 3

    I hope this isn’t the same “word” that told you Shearer was going to show some spine and put his leadership to a party-wide vote.

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    Sweep the whole lot of them away and start from scratch with people who have integrity and knowledge. It’s the only answer.

  5. quartz 5

    the recent hard yards he’s done for Trev’s aspirations for the Speaker’s chair

    Is Labour putting Trevor Mallard up for speaker? That’s a joke, right?

    • Lightly 5.1


      For some reason, they think it’s clever to keep it secret to the last minute.

    • KhandallaViper 5.2

      It’s been on the radar for a while.

      I think Trevor would be a transformational Speaker.
      While he has failed miserably as a Labour Strategist and as a Sports Minister he does have a certain energy and ability to communicate. He could use those talents to make Parliament more relevant to the many who think is is not: the many who do not vote.

      • Anne 5.2.1

        +1 KV.

        He is a talented politician with a sharp mind. The problem is, he turned his talents to a negative cause and upset a lot of good members in the process. His turn may well come and he would be an excellent speaker provided he keeps himself under control.

        We can’t have any speaker/polly fisticuffs in the corridor can we… 😛

      • Jenny 5.2.2

        How would he go on ruling on fisticuffs in the aisles?

  6. Anne 6

    possibly promote someone he doesn’t like (perhaps Cunliffe) into health as it’s a portfolio labour’s strategists have given up on and now see as a poison chalice.


    Let it happen. Cunliffe would probably turn the poisoned chalice into a goblet of nectar.

    • One Tāne Huna 6.1

      I seem to recall a previous leader being Minister of Health at one point…

      • Anne 6.1.1

        I seem to recall the ABC Club No. 1 (yes, same initial) assiduously trying to destroy that leader’s political prospects back in the 1980s and 90s.

        • Colonial Viper


          • Anne

            Umm… I refer to the initial ‘C’ CV. Those at the forefront of the 80s/90s ABC club were ‘old’ political hands who were jealous of a bright and talented newer colleague.

            Indeed there are some interesting parallels between the two scenarios.

            • CV - Real Labour

              Ah yes thanks Anne. I think I finally got it the first time – and felt shocked… 🙂

    • King Kong 6.2

      That’s because he is exactly like Jesus.

      You fellas crack me up. If he is so good, how did he have three tilts at the Labour leadership and get out witted, and out performed everytime?

      • CV - Real Labour 6.2.1

        You claim 3 tilts? Date time and place please.

        • King Kong

          Please not again. Yes he did have a crack at conference.

          • fatty

            Please not again

            Yeah, come on people. Why does everyone pick on KK? Why does every story have to be backed up with facts?

            • Tim

              Indeed! It’s just the comments that are obviously designed to goad. Other than that, KK has no better right than I to comment (or so I hope). The guy is obviously a pratt and I wonder why he spends his time here trying to push his fucked agenda, but there is at times, an alternative view that’s inconvenient to have to tolerate (as I keep telling myself – much as I’d like to see them hanging from a 33kV pylon’s crossmember). BTW – I also have no doubt that if things were to continue on as they are – it won’t be that long before such a gruesome view comes to pass

    • rosy 6.3

      I’d love to see Cunliffe take on Tony Ryall – well, someone good take on Ryall. He’s making changes that are passing under the radar. Someone needs to fight against the reduction in access to primary care and keep an eye on the challenges of the merging DHBs.

      • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 6.3.1

        ‘Word is’ that the necessary staffing and preparation for DHB activity is not there – with eventual ‘unfortunate’ results. Certainly overwork, stress and despair at times for those in the hospital field trying to keep it functioning. Perhaps that’s where NACTs want public medicine, distributed from a tent in a field. Mind you that would be already an advance on the level that some are able to access now!

        • higherstandard

          Actually although there are always issues in the public health system that could be improved most of the ASMS would agree that Ryall is the best MoH for quite some time.

          • CV - Real Labour

            I figured he had been doing a good job of keeping them happy because they’ve hardly made a peep last couple of years.

          • ak

            Pfffttt….apart from their representatives and the non -tory sycophants majority of them…..

          • McFlock

            dunno about comparisons (other than “beats the living shit out of shipley”), but he does seem to be evidence-led and reads his stuff.

            Shame he’s supervising the ambulance at the bottom of the poverty cliff that the rest of cabinet is throwing kids off.

          • NoseViper (The Nose knows)

            For the outer circle – ASMS is Assocation of Salaried Medical Specialists. Got it on google.

  7. SpaceMonkey 7

    Everything changes but everything stays the same. It’s smoke and mirrors…

  8. Bill 8

    From the little knowledge I have of who stands where in relation to confidence in Shearer that ‘re-shuffle’ looks very much like whatever it is that comes after the statedgy of circling the wagons has failed. I don’t quite know what that is – something along the lines of:- “Abandon the wagons! We have this tea chest we can fit into and cover all angles from. And we still have some ammo left!” ?

    • CV - Real Labour 8.1

      Hmmmm in western movies if circling the wagons fail, a defence standing back by back is the last option and usually the next step is the slaughter of any remaining pilgrims by angry red indians….

  9. fenderviper 9

    Shearer wont be using any broom by his own initiative. His masters will give him instructions, thats why he got the leaders job that he’s under-qualified for. His task will be to try and read what the masters have prepared for him (in his unique and painful way).

  10. vto 10

    a new broom broom, sheesh, ….

    too much diddle daddle around, not enough meat and mongrel. Example – Key’s state of nation speech sholud have been ankle-tapped with a labour release on some decent issue at the same time. Instead, nothing and Key got un-harassed media time. Then, to make matters worse, National did exactly that to Shearer, issuing press releases on wof and post at same time as Shearers speech. You got ankle-tapped.

    Come on fullas and fullesses, get stuck in. Mewonders if there is too much hand-ringing and care taken which means the momentum and impetus is lost. Over-analysis leads to paralysis.

  11. just saying 11

    If Shearer does reshuffle, and in the way you have suggested it would be truly puerile.
    So I expect he will.

    Labour leaders have been ineptly aping Key’s every significant move for four long years now. And looking like dickheads every time.

  12. Matthew Hooton 12

    What is your threshold for starting a column with “word is”?

    For me (and I have a low threshold as a opinion writer compared with a day-to-day reporter), it has to be something I have heard quite regularly for a number of weeks at a variety of functions. For example, I went to a party last night at Premier House and heard a lot of “word is”s. But I won’t be writing about them in the NBR, or talking about them on RNZ or RadioLIVE, until I hear the same stories a few more times. Because people in politics have a massive incentive to make shit up in order to smear their rivals.

    So, how many times did you hear the story you have reported here (accepting of course that this is a blog and you don’t have quite the same threshold for fact checking that I have, let alone, say, Vernon Small etc.)

    • No you are much more subtle Matthew. You will state a couple of facts in parallel and then let the reader or listener draw a link between the two and form a conclusion even though you have no proof of the link.

      But there again there are occasions where you have said things that can be shown to be, um, not correct.

      So how does it feel occupying the moral high ground. Do you think you should actually be there?

      • King Kong 12.1.1

        It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that lately, Eddies “rumours” have had the appearance of being pushing a very anti Shearer agenda.

        I think Matthew asks a reasonable question.

    • ak 12.2

      Word is, Hooton’s slowly but surely being left out of the loop……

    • geoff 12.3

      They heard it from Duncan Garner’s keyboard.

    • Lightly 12.4

      probably higher than the threshold you had when you said a 4th term Clark government would ban private media and cancel elections.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.4.1

        That was fucking hilarious.

        his basis for that was a Cullen quip that he didn’t undertsand, and some other trifling shit.

        God knows what he thinks of Key’s antics, but he claimed at the time not to know anything about Key getting that paper up north to print a ‘clarification’ of the ‘wages drop’ quote by talking to head office bigwigs in Sydney.

      • geoff 12.4.2

        there a link for that? that one would be great to have saved in bookmarks.

    • bad12 12.5

      While your here Mathew perhaps you could answer a little question i have,

      It seems that every time you and Mike whats his face get to having your little conversations on RadioNZ National my radio begins to emit some very weird noises,

      This emanation forms the sound i am reliably informed that is akin to a facial protuberance being pressed forcibly against an anatomical orifice followed by a loud suctioning,

      Can you please tell me what the cause of this strange emanation from my radio might be???…

    • fatty 12.6

      But I won’t be writing about them in the NBR, or talking about them on RNZ or RadioLIVE, until I hear the same stories a few more times.

      Not everyone mingles with snakes and liars hooter. You know that inherent desire to be selfish…also, just your friends.

      • bad12 12.6.1

        Hooten’s whole comment is really all about ‘Him’, how it was He, and by insinuation not ‘Us’ that received an invite to Premier House and how it was ‘He’ that picked up all the good ‘gossip’ but ‘we’, being such unfortunate peasants that we are not to have received such an invite to ‘teet a teet’ with the high and mighty will have to go to ‘His’ website to read about these pearls of wisdom,

        Translation, Hooten’s web-site is a boring sewer without a modicum of comments containing a shred of intellectual rigor and ‘He’ is losing ground as the Organ Grinders Monkee when it comes to being a mouth piece for the Neo-Liberal agenda,

        Translation, the Slippery lead National Government has had the rug pulled out from under it’s feet by both Labour and the Green Party having announced affordable housing plans that both complement each other while providing for affordable housing in all areas of economy,

        Solution, invite the Organ Grinder’s Monkee’s to a little whine and cheese evening thus blowing their severely dented ego’s up to their former size so as to re-energize the monkee’s in their endeavors to spread the severely discredited message contained in the Neo-Liberal agenda…

    • quartz 12.7

      Well, we’ll find out today if Mallard is being put up for speaker.

      Also: http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/columnists/matthew-hooton/179135/i-MATTHEW-HOOTON-Tearing-down-the-fourth-estate-i

      You’re a liar, Matty.

    • Tim 12.8

      What is your threshold for starting a column with “word is”?
      Pretty much the same as yours (the threshold), every time you open your mouth on n2n or any other venues you’ve managed to nestle your way into.
      Hark at yee!
      You’re not going to start trying to be a de-spinner are you Mathew? It’s only my dint of msm and other uncritical media that provides you with a space that lets you be where you are today.

      I’m sure even the Kethlok Guurl sometimes wonders Why Oh Why! Good thing they gave up on the confessional aye.

      Best thing you can console yourself with is that you share the same sense of entitlement that the current “powerbrokers” in the Labour Party seem to hold.
      If you did, you could probably explain (at least to yourself) most of the anomalies that occur in the polls

  13. onsos 13

    Phil Goff would be big loss in opposition. The guy has made good headway since he stopped being leader. Annette King is similar. Making way for new talent may be important, but these two are properly effective. Trevor Mallard has been underwhelming since going into opposition.

    Cunliffe is not the second coming, but when he stops being a loose cannon, he’ll be a real asset.

    • Lightly 13.1

      when was he a loose cannon? When he spoke for Labour’s values?

      As he did yesterday?

    • Anne 13.2

      …when he stops being a loose cannon, he’ll be a real asset.

      Are you talking about the Clayton’s coup that a few MPs manufactured out of thin air and with a lot of help from Patrick Gower?

    • Olwyn 13.3

      Loose cannon? At least his sights are set on the actual enemy rather than Labour’s supporters.

    • CV - Real Labour 13.4

      Phil Goff would be big loss in opposition. The guy has made good headway since he stopped being leader. Annette King is similar. Making way for new talent may be important,

      At this stage its not merely a question of “new talent may be important” because for Labour it’s now come to “a crisis of renewal” and no one inside the party seems to realise it.

      • Fortran 13.4.1

        Is there any new talent in Labour ?
        The younger ones have not the age and political experience and knowledge yet.
        They cannot stand up against tried and experienced performers.
        They need more time to mature.

        • CV - Real Labour

          Maybe start picking from a wider gene pool than their own Wellington-based office staff?

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          It’s hard to get new talent when you are so electorally unpopular.

  14. fatty 14

    I think Labour has to put its best MPs in housing, economy, and social development.

    Kiwibuild is Labour’s best weapon and will be attacked at every opportunity, so housing requires the best communicator…I’d prefer either Cunliffe or Richie Cunningham. Housing will require coherent and effective soundbites, naturally that means Shearer has to avoid any media contact on the subject. I would go with Richie so that Cunliffe can do the economy.

    Social development is a worry because Paula Bennett has been so effective (how the hell did that happen). As the Nats stumble along, their response will be more bene-bashing. Social Development is used as a pressure valve when National’s policies inevitably fail, so expect to see Bennett firing on all cylinders. I would put either Lianne Dalziel here, or Arnold Schwarzenegger if he is available.
    Losing Lianne Dalziel would be a blow for Christchurch, because apart from her, Labour appear to not give a shit about the broken flat city. Its also a risk because Labour assume for some reason that Christchurch will vote red in 2014. Taking away the only effective Chch MP is a risk…but internal face-stabbing has left Labour thin on talent.
    The other option is to continue with Campbell Live as Labour’s spokesperson for social development…but with Campbell Live also the spokesperson for Education, this could be a stretch. Campbell Live needs some support here.
    In saying that, I don’t think Labour should worry too much about education. Campbell Live is getting already getting good support from the teachers. Any options Labour currently offer cannot offer more than a TV3 infotainment show.
    Ideally, someone from Mana or the Greens could switch teams and put on a red cap for a few years. Or Campbell Live could extend to an hour.
    I would also keep Robertson as interpreter for mumble-pants. Its a full time job and nobody else would have the patience to do it.

    • Rogue Trooper 14.1

      comical batman

    • xtasy 14.2

      “Social development is a worry because Paula Bennett has been so effective (how the hell did that happen). As the Nats stumble along, their response will be more bene-bashing. Social Development is used as a pressure valve when National’s policies inevitably fail, so expect to see Bennett firing on all cylinders. I would put either Lianne Dalziel here, or Arnold Schwarzenegger if he is available.”

      Yes, Ardern has been a disappointment as spokeswoman for social development. But often I get the impression, she is only performing the way she does, and saying the things she says, because she is kind of kept on a lead or leash, like a dog. Maybe the seniors like Mallard tell her, don’t go too far, don’t enter that debate, just do what the media may lick up for a headline?

      Another reason is that Labour may to a fair degree actually approve a lot of the welfare reforms, and they are happy the Nats are doing it, so if anything goes wrong, they won’t be the ones to blame. Any “opposition” to the reforms that is verbally uttered is often very selected, and it seems to just be said to appease the traditional Labour voting base. Forget also not the “sickness bene roof-painter tale” by Shearer, to which he never gave more info, and for which he never apologised.

      It was Labour that introduced a Principal Health Advisor and key positions like Regional Health Advisors, Regional Disability Advisors (in 2007), instructed to tell WINZ case managers what they and the selected and preferred “designated doctors” have decided is right and must be done re sickness and invalid’s beneficiaries.

      It was Dr David Bratt, Dr David Rankin, and the likes who trained these doctors to make decisions MSD expects. And all that was planned under a Labour led government (the last one)! I have documentary evidence re all that.

      Add together the dots, and the picture of “welfare” does not look that nice, when it comes to Labour. They have some things to answer, but they never answer to points I raised here and elsewhere. Strange that, is it not???

  15. KhandallaViper 15

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Used when a change does not result in an improvement in a situation

    What’s the point in voting? Plus ça change…

    • King Kong 15.1

      Tu es un connard

      You are an arsehole. Used when someone acts like a know it all nob head.

      Wow you must be really smart! Tu es un connard

      • bad12 15.1.1

        F off you piece of s**t…

      • mac1 15.1.3

        There’s a satirical sporting blog on Facebook called “Le Connard Dechaine” (where the title says “plus pres des terrains, plus pres des cretins.” Trans. ‘The closer you get to footy fields, the nearer you get to yobs.’)

        Now that is a funny use of the word ‘connard’. And a great pun on the French magazine’s title.

        All this about as ‘a propos’ as KK’s offerings………….

        • McFlock

          I reckon he’s on good form today. He’s had me chuckling once or twice.

          Seems to be happy as un cochon dans la merde

  16. I think it would be great to see Street Mahuta and Sio axed from frontbench and put Chris Hipkins in there Shane Jones and maybe Louisa Wall and put Cunliffe in at number 9 and Health my top would be Shearer Robertson Parker Ardern Cosgrove Jones Hipkins Wall with Cunliffe at 9 and Twyford 10 11 Moroney 12 Mackey 13 Little 14 Clark 15 Woods 16 Goff 17 Mallard 18 King 19 Curran 20 O Connor drop that Chauvel Fenton and Dalziel as well.

  17. ad 17

    Labour doesn’t yet have the talent to match National head to head – otherwise we would have had different poll results over the last 4 years. Be honest.

    Part of that goes back to sad sacks who choose Party ranked lists from the same tired old faces. But the same old faces are in Parliament because … very few people voted for Labour last time so we got a piss poor results and very very few MPs when it comes time to hand out portfolios.

    And the primary reason people didn’t get out to vote for Labour and give us more MPs in parliament, and hence more talent for shadow portfolios is … an uninspiring leader.

    In 2008 it was Goff. Don’t tell me he improved late on, don’t tell me it was the campaign. Elections – whether we like it nor not – are presidential, and the loss hangs around his neck and his alone.

    So on current poll tracking we will get about the same result as last time. Yet another Goff, yet another Rowling. If Labour wants better spokespeople to choose from, it needs a better electoral result, so honestly it needs a better leader. Not one that is going to deliver the same result as last time.

    We leed a leader who will electrify the caucus, the members, the supporters, and all the hundreds of thousands who just stayed at home.

    And we sure won’t get that without a leadership vote that functions to unify all of Labour together.

  18. gobsmacked 18

    Most people couldn’t give a toss about a token candidate for Speaker, but it is just one more example of Shearer wearing his T-shirt saying “What do I think? Ask Trevor”.

  19. Fortran 19

    One of the greatest disappointments is Arden – from very high hopes to non event.
    Much more was expected of her, but she does not resonate – hearing her is same, same, same.

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    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    4 days ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    4 days ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    4 days ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    4 days ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    5 days ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    5 days ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    6 days ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    6 days ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    6 days ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    7 days ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    1 week ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    1 week ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    1 week ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    1 week ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    1 week ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    2 weeks ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago