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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 1.1.2.1

          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 1.1.2.1.1

            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 1.1.2.1.1.1

              “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

      nope.

      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 6.1.1.1

          😯

          • Anne 6.1.1.1.1

            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 6.1.1.1.1.1

              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 6.2.1.1

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

          • fatty 6.2.1.1.1

            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 6.2.1.1.1.1

              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 6.3.1.1

          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 6.3.1.1.1

            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 6.3.1.1.2

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

          • McFlock 6.3.1.1.3

            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) 6.3.1.1.4

            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 13.4.1.1

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

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 13.4.1.2

          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

    Definition
    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

      Definition
      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 15.1.3.1

          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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    Apartment builder Ockham Residential has become the latest voice to call for the government to build affordable homes for Kiwi families to buy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Helen O'Sullivan of Ockham has now joined prominent businesspeople like EMA ...
    2 days ago
  • Cuba Si Yankee No – Fidel Castro and the Revolution
    The death of Fidel Castro is a huge historical moment for the older generation who grew up with the toppling of Batista, the Bay of Pigs debacle, the death of Che Guevara and the US blockade against Cuba. For younger ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Government slashes observer coverage, fails snapper fishery
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has more than halved the number of fisheries observers in the East Coast North Island snapper trawl fishery (SNA1). This reduction in observer days, combined with major failures in an unproven and controversial video ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 days ago
  • ‘Exemplar’ Māori Land Court under siege
    TheMāori Land Court, hailed as an “exemplar” by the Ministry of Justice chief executive and Secretary, Andrew Bridgman is under siege by the Government through Māori land reforms and a Ministry restructure, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 days ago
  • He Poroporoaki ki a Te Awanuiārangi Black
    Kua hinga he whatukura o Tauranga Moana. Kua hinga rangatira o te iwi Māori. Ka tangi tonu ana te ngākau nā tāna wehe kei tua o te ārai. E rere haere ana ngā mihi aroha o mātou o Te Rōpū ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • CYF reforms ignoring whānau based solution
    When approximately 60 per cent of children in state care are Māori processes need to change in favour of whānau, hapū and iwi solutions, said Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “Widespread concern about Government reforms of Child Youth and ...
    3 days ago
  • Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble
    The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this ...
    3 days ago
  • Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education
    No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received ...
    3 days ago
  • Nats will jump at chance to vote for KiwiBuild Bill
    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    3 days ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    3 days ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    3 days ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    4 days ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    4 days ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    4 days ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    4 days ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    4 days ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    4 days ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    4 days ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    4 days ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    4 days ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    4 days ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    5 days ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    5 days ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    5 days ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • Swimmable Rivers tour – Ōkahukura/Lucas Creek
    When Environment Minister Nick Smith said in Parliament that some waterways – like Auckland’s Lucas Creek – are not worth saving because no-one wants to swim in them, he forgot to ask the locals we met last week who have put ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Wellington business relief package needs flexibility
    The Government’s Wellington business support package is welcome news but needs to be implemented so that all affected businesses get the help they need, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. “Wellington businesses will be pleased that the Government ...
    6 days ago
  • EQC’s staff cuts show disregard for quake victims
    The Earthquake Commission’s stubborn insistence on slashing its workforce and its operational funding by nearly half shows callous disregard for victims of the Kaikoura earthquake and the thousands of Cantabrians still waiting to resolve claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan ...
    6 days ago
  • Maori Land Court job losses must be delayed
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must request that pending job losses at the Māori Land Court are put on hold until the Māori land reform process is resolved and the risk of losing centuries of collective institutional knowledge is ...
    6 days ago
  • Financial support needed for urgent earthquake strengthening
    The Government must provide urgent support to residents for important earthquake strengthening work so that it happens quickly, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  "I support the call from Wellington Mayor Justin Lester to bring forward work to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour welcomes equal pay
    Labour has long appreciated the value of women’s work and welcomes the Government’s decision to address pay equity for women, say’s Labour’s associate Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Sue Moroney. ...
    1 week ago
  • Surgeons’ letter a damning indictment
    A letter from Waikato Hospital’s orthopaedic surgeons claiming that hospital managers are stopping them from making follow-up checks on patients is a damning indictment of the health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s terrifying that one woman’s elective ...
    1 week ago
  • Out of touch Nats continue state house sell-off
    The Government should be focused on building houses for families to buy and more state houses for families in need, not flogging them off, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National’s state house sell-off does nothing to help people ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce drags feet while Capital businesses suffer
     Wellington businesses affected by the earthquake are continuing to struggle while the Government drags its feet on getting a business assistance package up and running, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  “Steven Joyce needs to front up with an assistance ...
    1 week ago
  • Health and Safety Act fails to reduce work fatalities
    After the Pike River tragedy, New Zealanders realised that workplace health and safety culture needed to change. Last Saturday marked the 6th anniversary of the tragedy that killed 29 miners at the Pike River mine on the West Coast of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • What is the point of education?
    The proposed Education (Update) Bill is the Government’s statement about what the point of education is, and what it means to people. This week we had a day of Select Committee hearings in Auckland on the Bill. It’s a huge ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Earthquake exposes training shortfall
    Kaikoura’s earthquakes have exposed the Government’s under investment in critical building and construction skills training, says Labour’s Building and Construction spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Government needs to urgently ramp up the training of Kiwis in construction and engineering in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More cops needed to get P off our streets
    National’s cuts to Police funding and drug enforcement officers has seen a surge in cheap P on our streets, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s calling the shots? Bye bye surplus
    I would love to know who is calling the shots in the National government’s cabinet when it comes to deciding how best to spend taxpayers’ money.  On the evidence of the last few weeks, it definitely isn’t Finance Minister Bill ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent rethink needed on workplace safety
      An urgent rethink is needed on the Government’s new workplace safety laws with the number of deaths this year already at the same level as at the same time in the 2015 calendar year, says Labour’s Associate Workplace Safety ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rubble and rubbish: spending time in post-quake Kaikōura
    I visited Kaikoura over the weekend – basically to see how the community was coping with all the rubbish and rubble created by last week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake, and to see my brother Rob. I may have mentioned before that ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to pull the plug on state house sell-off
    The collapse of the planned sell-off of state houses in Horowhenua is an opportunity for the Government to call time on its troubled state house sell off policy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury sounds warning bell – but National’s not listening
    Today's long term fiscal outlook issued by The Treasury is a welcome wake-up call on the need to dramatically improve and diversify our economy and properly plan for the future, Grant Robertson, Labour’s Finance Spokesperson says. “Through our Future of Work ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Don’t believe the hype – debt has skyrocketed under National
    The reckless dangling of tax cuts by the National Government is all the more irresponsible when it is put alongside the failure to pay down debt or put money aside for future superannuation costs, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our kids deserve better
    We don’t know how many children are affected by having learning support needs. I do know that far too many children are not getting the support they deserve for conditions like autism, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. When these conditions are not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Talk of tax cuts is plain crazy
      John Key’s talk of tax cuts when the Government has $63 billion of debt, superannuation costs are rising by $1 billion a year and the cost of meeting another natural disaster, is just plain crazy, says Labour Leader Andrew ...
    2 weeks ago