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And the decision is…

Written By: - Date published: 11:11 am, December 13th, 2011 - 340 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour - Tags:

Labour’s Caucus are coming out and they’ve picked their new Leader. It’s David Shearer, with Grant Robertson as Deputy.

Shearer has proved to be more popular among the general public, and the caucus evidently felt the need for the fresh face.  He brings with him a wealth of experience of leadership in the world’s trouble spots, so the Labour caucus room should hold no fears for him.

While a few here may be disappointed, it is important Labour unite behind the new leadership team.  Shearer and David Cunliffe both set out similar stalls for Labour policy and the need for structural change in the party.  There is a lot of talent that now needs to come together and work for the benefit of New Zealand, making sure that the changes suggested come through and we get a better Labour that is in top shape to run a better New Zealand.

The new leadership team has a tough task ahead, with 34 MPs to hold the government to account.  The first job is to work out the roles to put the likes of Cunliffe and Parker, Jones and Mahuta into.  Where does Ardern fit?  What balance experience vs new blood?  They must make sure the losing group don’t feel punished and isolated, but also the priority must be to have the best person for each portfolio to hold National to task.

But for now: congratulations to David Shearer and Grant Robertson.  Good luck – New Zealand needs you to succeed.

(Press conference is now – 11.30 am)

(Chris Hipkins and Darien Fenton have been elected whips and Clare Curran is the Caucus Secretary and rep to NZ Council: congratulations to them too)

[Update: portfolios will be decided before Parliament sits next week]

[Further Update: Shearer announces David Cunliffe will get a “very senior” position.]

340 comments on “And the decision is…”

  1. sthnjeff 1

    It may be fun watching the blood letting happen!!! Gentlemen, choose your weapons

  2. vto 2

    You pays your money and you takes your chance ………………….

  3. fisiani 3

    What a great choice for leader. Let us all rejoice. A decent and honourable man.

    • lprent 3.1

      It figures that a right wing troll is the first to compliment the victor.

      • interesting 3.1.1

        lprent…. are you not happy with the appointment of shearer? Genuine question as i have not been watching who people here at the standard have been hoping for etc.

        • Colonial Viper

          What’s genuine about your question?

        • lprent

          Nope. I think that putting in a inexperienced leadership team is far more likely to looked back as being a mistake than a stroke of brilliance.

          • seeker

            So agree with you lprent. I did write an immediate comment to back up my agreement, especially as I had just seen the ‘parallel universe’ news and was cast into complete despair (not just ‘disappointment’ as Bunji understatedly describes it). However, it was not to be, as the screen suddenly collapsed and the site disappeared and although it came back pretty quick, my comment-which contained an accurate and of the moment ‘mindset’ of mine,-completely disappeared too.

            Talk about double frustration at the inability to wage war on: the standard of education going down, youth unemployment continuing to rise, wages going down, poverty going up, state housing disappearing and the main thing I wanted to disappear-the plight of our precious 200.000 children living in poverty and degradation, is likely to be ignored yet again.

            Anyway now that I am exhausted from venting I have had time to think. And I think that this might be what Labour is up to, silly though it may seem and I don’t think it will work. I think it is based on the nat’2007/8plan and I am going to post my comment in a window below, as I am fed up losing it in more ways than one today.

          • Anne

            I think that putting in an inexperienced leadership team is far more likely to be looked back as being a mistake than a stroke of brilliance.

            100% correct!

  4. Pete 4

    He wouldn’t have been my choice, but I have faith that the caucus knows what they are doing.

    • Anne 4.1

      Sorry Pete but your faith is misplaced. I’ve been on the inside of the tent——-, or on the outside —— for nigh on 40 years now. During that time I’ve acquired a lot of knowledge about how political parties including the Labour Party really work and it’s not all nice.

  5. The Voice of Reason 5

    Stuff says Shearer has got the nod …

  6. Tim 6

    Good news. Well done David and Grant. Now let’s unite to win in 2014.

  7. Hami Shearlie 7

    Parliament is going to be a slaughterhouse with Labour on the block – Shearer will be eviscerated! Don’t know if I can bear to look!

    • Hanswurst 7.1

      I also strongly suspect that this will be the case. I don’t see either how they could look past Cunliffe, or how they can be sure that Shearer has got anything like what it takes in the debating chamber or in interviews.

      • Ari 7.1.1

        I imagine they compared him with Key and thought he’d come off the better of it. We’ll have to see if that’s the case.

        • Hanswurst

          I don’t think they were necessarily too far wrong in that respect. Lots of people, on both sides of the house, could (and do) go into interviews or into parliamment and do an obviously and considerably better job than Key. Key is careful, as far as possible, only to appear in situations where his affability comes to the fore, and his lack of eloquence or substance is given little scrutiny. What he lacks in eloquence, substance or (puke) “gravitas” is then applied after the fact by the papers the following morning. Even if Shearer does “come of the better of it” when compared with Key, there is the danger that Shearer will be accorded only the minimum, perfunctory attention by the media. Starved of that oxygen, I fear that he would struggle to progress beyond the periphery of the public consciousness, just as Goff did for precisely that reason.

          Cunliffe, on the other hand, even given no more than cursory attention by the media, would be very hard to ignore.

          • Ari

            Honestly, the media could and probably would have ignored Cunliffe as much as they could afford to, too, given that individual commentators and editors seem to think National serves their interests right now.

            Give Shearer his go now that caucus has voted for him and see how he performs before rushing to judgement.

  8. s y d 8

    i guess in a land of sheeple, we need shearing

  9. King Kong 9

    [Deleted …blatant trolling again. Banned for one month. RL]

    Did I say that Shearer was completely inexperienced and had done nothing during his time as an MP? Of course not, what I meant was he was inexperienced at “losing” and he had done nothing “wrong” in his time as an MP.

    [lprent: That will be under all of your names. Now to find them. ]

  10. millsy 10

    Congratulations David Shearer and Grant Robertson.

    Now, time to focus on winning in 2014.

  11. Santi 11

    Excellent choice of Labour leader.

  12. RedLogix 12

    Congratulations… not my pick but the Party will unite and work together.

  13. dancerwaitakere 13

    Three more years of holding our breath during interviews. Lets hope that grant is used a lot more. He will be the substance in that team.

    • Mark 13.1

      Oh don’t be bitter [deleted].

      [lprent: Trying to out people is just about the fastest way to get banned from here. Read the policy before you do something that makes me or the other moderators notice you. ]

  14. Santi 14

    I look forward to Shearer’s full-length television interview. It will be compelling to watch.

    • Dv 14.1

      OH you mean like key does!

      • ianmac 14.1.1

        Yes. That thought jumped straight into my mind too Dv. Wonder if the MSM will howl if Mr Shearer doesn’t front?

    • James N 14.2

      This would have to be on the BBC. Under NZ’s commercial broadcasting model there is no place for “full-length television intervews” especially with a politician. We might get the odd sound bite followed by vox populi reaction in a supermarket and even somebody of real national importance like Sonny Boy W can cope with that.

  15. The ‘lets swing into line’ position is all well and good, but when an oligarchy votes in a manner that looks to me to be at odds with the views of the broader constituency, there needs, at least, to be some plausible explanation.

    • The Voice of Reason 15.1

      I’m guessing you don’t know what an oligarchy is, Robert. The rest of your sentence isn’t much cop either.

    • Craig Glen Eden 15.2

      Thats the problem the Labour MPs many who are inexperienced have ignored their members views.
      These are the people they will rely on come the next candidate selection, some Mps think once they are in they have a job for life they are about to find out it don’t quite work like that

      We have just lost an election with our biggest defeat because the leader couldn’t communicate so what do they do put in a Bumbling administrator.

      • Hami Shearlie 15.2.1

        Agreed! Haven’t heard Shearer speak with authority once. God help Labour in Parliament in February. The Greens and Winston will overshadow Shearer for sure! And, what if Key calls a snap-election, which, given the financial situation abroad, is quite likely? The Shearer will become the shorn! This choice is a huge mistake!

  16. Anthony 16

    Not very impressed but will wait and see how things go. If the vision is a move to the center for populism then laters.

    If DC isn’t finance spokesman then I will be pretty disappointed…

  17. gorj 17

    disappointed… see ya later labour

  18. Let’s not waste the other David’s talents and good luck to them all

  19. tc 19

    mmmm and nice guys finish where ?…..let’s see shall we.

    IMO labour caucus is still living in the past thinking it’s just a case of wiating for it’s turn at the wheel again…..a win for the old guard and having ‘balance’ on the ticket rather than getting on with the job of taking on the Nats at their own game.

    Congrats to all the trolls and nat’s MSM elves and sprites you got your wish and as for labour, opportunity gone for good welcome to the minority party pile.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      it’s just a case of wiating for it’s turn at the wheel again…..

      “Waiting for the tide to come back in” is the phrase I have been hearing.

      No one seems particularly concerned whether or not the electorate vote for Labour or whether it simply votes against National. To my mind, there is a world of difference.

  20. Enough is Enough 20

    Excellent choice.

    Shearer will be granted a honeymoon that Cunliffe would have never got. He as to take advantage of the media ‘liking’ him and the rest of Labour and the left need to get in behind him to build momentum towards 2014.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      Shearer will be granted a honeymoon that Cunliffe would have never got.

      Will the honeymoon last until 2014? And if not, then what?

      • Jim Nald 20.1.1

        My staunchly National-voting brother yelled hurray and said, “Enjoy the honeymoon that will soon sour and iPredict will soon take bets for Shearer being rolled by Robertson. ‘Fresh’ was the catchcry of National which will campaign on ‘experienced’. Labour is not left but left behind.”

        Well, iHope not.

  21. rain33 21

    Very pleased with the choice of David Shearer. Clearly two competent men to choose from, but in my opinion the right man at the right time got the nod. I am certain the Labour Party will unite behind the new leader and I am very much looking forward to a reinvigorated Labour Party.

    May I extend my best wishes to outgoing leader Phil Goff. He ran an excellent campaign during a very difficult election cycle.

  22. Frida 22

    Let’s all get in behind him now. The future of New Zealand’s children depends upon it.

    And I really hope he gives Finance to David Cunliffe.

    • Rob 22.1

      What, you think I am going to put my childrens future in his hands, you have to joking right.

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.1

        Millions of children around the world did, and were better of for it.

        You’d prefer the gentle ministrations of Anne Tolley perhaps?

        • Rob

          No, my wife and I are capable of raising our own children.

          • RWNJ

            Well Said Rob.

          • felix

            Then take them to the gulch with you and don’t trouble us again.

          • The Voice of Reason

            Excellent news that you feel that way, Rob. I assume you don’t use public education, public hospitals, public parks, libraries, museums and you have, of course, turned down the WFF payments as a matter of principle. Because, otherwise, you’d be just a tad hypocritical, mmmkay?

            • Tiger Mountain

              Silence so far from Rob the knob. I support reforms on a qualified case by case basis, but not the in work tax credit, because it lets mid level earners off the hook from organising to get their own bloody wage rises from employers rather than other taxpayers.

              WFF must have something going for it though if “communism by stealth” as ShonKey called it a few years back is a bridge too far for the nats to expunge.

  23. Jude Marshall 23

    Excellent news about Grant R. Such a good politician and all round bloke!

    • Half Crown Millionare 23.1

      Is he? He was heavily involved in the election campaign and in my eyes he lost us the election.

      Key, the National party and the everybody from the right will be all over these guys like rats up a drain pipes and they will chew them up and spit them out in very small pieces. A very sad day for Labour.

      • David 23.1.1

        No, no, no. Grant was campaign spokesman, not manager, and as such was close enough to see upfront what went wrong. And he will not let anyone make the same mistakes again.

      • seeker 23.1.2

        @Half crown millionaire

        “He was heavily involved in the election campaign and in my eyes he lost us the election.”
        Don’t know about losing us the election-but I think he’s given us, or himself, Shearer and will takeover if /when David S.fails. Bit worried about Grant.

  24. Hami Shearlie 24

    But what happens when the honeymoon is over, which will be February, in Parliament, when he opens his mouth! Dithering won’t cut it there! Won’t blame David Cunliffe if he leaves the party in disgust! He may feel he’s wasting his time there now!

  25. David H 25

    Thats it for me….. Shearer is a babe in arms and will take the labour party even lower than it has been before. John Key and co will have him for breakfast, and Labour will be the laughing stock of NZ. My votes will now go to the Greens. I really thought that the Labour party wanted a change away from Helen, and here we have The old guard Trevor Phil and Annette backing Shearer.


    • mikesh 25.1

      “and here we have The old guard Trevor Phil and Annette backing Shearer.”

      Not to mention David Farrar, Matthew Hooton, Deborah Coddington and Michelle Boag.

      ps: And John Key

  26. james 111 26

    Well the party has spoken and they want to move away from the Hard left and towards the centre.They want to try and get some votes back from the Greens, and snaffle some off Winston ,and National in 2014. No doubt the Fabians, and the Unions will not be to happy with this decision.

    However I believe they had to make a significant change Cunnlife would not have been a significant change he did not appeal to alot of people the people you need to attract.

    The problem I see is the presence that Shearer can create on the Front bench. I cant see him threatening Key in the house. Key will cut him to bits on numbers just as Cunnlife did on Q&A very interesting times ahead for the New Labour party. I think National will be quietly smiling

    • Pete 26.1

      The media very rarely shows House proceedings – usually only if there’s a ,ajor gaffe, prefering to report on press releases, press briefings and hallway-interviews. It’s only poli-sci geeks (like me) who watch inthehouse.co.nz on a regular basis who really get a good idea of what goes on there and who are good debaters.

      • Hami Shearlie 26.1.1

        No it’s not – you might be surprised how many members of the public watch Parliament! And if, as you say, only major gaffes in Parliament are reported, well, watch out for plenty of those from Shearer!

    • RobM 26.2

      The centre they can not hold.

      Labour will happily give the working/underclass a helping hand but have given up on them as a democratic force.

      Not to mention the pink elephant in the room – is any Waitakere asshole or NZ First Nana going to support an openly gay Deputy PM.


      • Lanthanide 26.2.1

        Helen was widely thought to be a lesbian by those who didn’t like her. Still didn’t stop her from winning.

        A gay leader may have been a bridge too far, but I don’t think deputy is.

        • Matthew Hooton

          Everyone in the Auckland Labour Party, union movement, media, business community and intelligensia knew (or believed, who really knows?) that Michael Joseph Savage was gay. It didn’t hurt him 80 years ago. It would be strange if it hurt Grant Robertson in the 2010s.

          • felix

            And Helen, Matthew?

            Your lot worked bloody hard to convince NZ that Helen was secretly gay. What’s changed?

            • Matthew Hooton

              Don’t know who you mean by “your lot” but insofar there might have been suggestions that Helen Clark was gay then either (a) it didn’t work or (b) it did work but no one cared anyway. I suspect (b) which would prove my point re Grant Robertson.

              • RedLogix

                Weaseling out of any moral responsibility for the torrent of innuendo, sniggering and smut poured over Helen Clark Matthew?

                The fact is that the right saw it as a chink in the armour and worked it to the max….

                • Anthony

                  The “it wasn’t me” defense might have worked for Shaggy, but I don’t think it will cut it for Hooton.

                  • Anne

                    Ok, lets get the origin of that story sorted once and for all. In 1980, after Helen was selected to be the Mt.Albert candidate for the 1981 election (which she won) a handful of party members who were pipped their candidate didn’t win (some would be interested to know who it was but won’t mention it here) tried to undermine her bid for the seat by spreading rumours about her. She was, btw, newly married to Peter Davis and I saw the deep affection etc. they had for each other on several occasions. Somewhere along the track the rumour grew legs, and became a right wing meme once she took over the leadership of the Labour Party.

                    • lprent

                      Yep, and it is still the same affection 30 years later. I’ve been around often having to put up with the bloody operas and banter while I’ve been upgrading or fixing their computers on Sundays.

                      In 1981, it was also picked up by the Moyle (National) team in Mt Albert and spread by them as well. Heard it a number of times after I moved back home after uni in Kingsland.

            • Ari

              Straight people by far prefer their gays out in the open nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, bigots both obvious and in denial will still attack Robertson, but he’s got enough fight to deal with any of them, and enough smarts to ignore them when that’s the right call. I don’t think it will hurt Labour with swing voters and may actually help given that there’s no question to be answered and thus the power of rumour will be greatly reduced.

              The problem for Helen was that “No, I’m not gay” is not an answer that will help you in that situation, and when people can hide in relative anonymity, the challenge “so what if I was?” doesn’t really help.

              Savage isn’t a good metaphor though- back in his day, because being gay could ruin your reputation, people were a lot more charitable about attacking you for it because it was a scandalous allegation that needed proof. Robertson will have no such charity extended to him by homophobes.

            • felix

              “Don’t know who you mean by “your lot””

              Oh sorry Matthew, I forgot you’re just an uninterested observer in all of this.

              “then either (a) it didn’t work or (b) it did work but no one cared anyway”

              Except that it played a part in unseating her and Labour in 2008. It took a few years but it really did get in with a certain strand of NZer, and you were part of making that happen.

              Just following orders though I suppose…

              • Lanthanide

                When I was working at the Warehouse on election day in 2005, a customer (late 40’s early 50’s male) asked me who I voted for. I said Labour.

                He said “are you mad? she’s a bent sister mate, bent!” I just glared at him in silence for a few seconds until he meekly said “oh well, your choice I guess”.

                • felix

                  Yeah I’ve heard the same sort of comments. Most of us probably have.

                  I know a woman who voted for Key in 2008 because Helen was a “childless lesbian”.

                  Apparently Helen became childless and gay quite abruptly because on further questioning it turned out that this woman had voted for Labour in 1999, 2002, and 2005.

                  But of course that effect had nothing at all to do with the whispering campaign by Hooten and others and you’d be a commun1st and a traitor to suggest otherwise.

    • Colonial Viper 26.3

      Labour has not been a “Hard Left” party for decades, what are you going on about.

      Well the party has spoken and they want to move away from the Hard left and towards the centre.

      No, the caucus has spoken, not the wider party. Get that straight for starters, the party did not have a vote in the matter today.

      • Ari 26.3.1

        Indeed, Labour hasn’t been left since Douglas, it is a centrist party that leans towards the middle class and workers slightly, but not only refuses to reform things leftward, it often doesn’t undo the damage that National governments do when Labour is in opposition. If they don’t want to be overtaken by the Greens, Labour needs to do some soul-searching.

        edit: To be clear, I’m not saying Labour needs to swing left to succeed, in fact I think doing that too dramatically would hurt them. What they do need however, is to articulate an alternative philosophy of government, not just alternative policies that are slightly nicer to Mum and Dad than National’s.

  27. red blooded 27

    I think it’s sad to live in a country where being obviously intelligent, knowledgeable, experienced and articulate counts against you. I fully understand the thinking behind the Shearer choice, but it’s a big gamble and it had better pay off or the Party will slump further into irrelevancy and the Greens will surge ahead (and good on them).

    Presumably the caucus was trying to placate the media and second guess the thinking of the broader public. Let’s remember that the novelty factor will have worn off in 3 years, though – by then, David will need to be a lot more in touch with policy and while he doesn’t have to become slick he does need to be more confident and to express himself more effectively in interviews.

    I also hope that this really will be the opportunity for renewal that was promised in the meetings.

    There were two good candidates up in front of the caucus. I really hope that they gave David Cunliffe the respect that he deserves, though, and that they won’t be wasting his talents. A strong team needs a meaningful role for all, and David Cunliffe is definitely one of the strongest members of the team. Ditto for Nanaia Mahuta – we’ve missed an opportunity here, and I hope that she is able to serve at a high level and keep leadership aspirations alive.

    • Hanswurst 27.1

      I think it’s sad to live in a country where being obviously intelligent, knowledgeable, experienced and articulate counts against you.

      I disagree. It’s not sad, it’s a bloody disgrace.

    • seeker 27.2

      Unfortunately I have to agree with every thing you say here red blooded. Sad it is. We have certainly “missed an opportunity here” and I too hope leadership aspirations are kept alive by two of the most talented candidates I have seen in years- David C and Nanaia.

  28. Pete 28

    Superb choice.



  29. Fieldwest 29

    dissapointed by the short-sighted result.

  30. coolas 30

    A sign from Shearer he’e true to his word about uniting Labour would be asking Cunliffe to be deputy and retain finance portfolio. Powerful signal. Otherwise the risk is factionalised Labour who don’t get their shit together to fight the next election which could be sooner than 2014.

    • Bored 30.1

      See below, you are so correct.

    • DavidW 30.2

      I might have it wrong but the Caucus has elected Robertson as Deputy already. LP protocol does not allow the Leader to appoint his deputy just as when in Government the PM (if Labour) allocates portfolios in Cabinet but membership of Cabinet is the result of a Caucus vote (popularity contest).

  31. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 31

    Congratulations to David Shearer and Grant Robertson. Commiserations to David Cunliffe and Nanaia Mahuta.
    Thank you to the MPs. Now that that bit is done let us get on with looking after the people and resources of New Zealand.
    I pray that David and Grant are strong and quickly bring about the changes inside the party that are badly required. I pray that the undoubted skills of Cunliffe and Mahuta are recognised and that they are given proper roles.

  32. Brett 32

    Great choice, move the party towards the middle not out on the fringes with the other lunatics.
    The only issue I see if with the nut bar activists deserting the party and not renewing their memberships or donating to the party.

  33. Olwyn 33

    This is mad: cheers from the right wing, resignation and “let’s make the best of it” noises from members and supporters, alongside of “I’m outa here” noises from within the same group. Widespread consultation with members that seems to have stopped short of actual engagement with them. It is going to take me a moment or two to digest this – I just have to step back.

    • Lew 33.1

      Alienating the obsessive activist rump who still don’t understand why Labour has been doing badly since 2006 isn’t mad. Embracing them would be.


      • Anthony 33.1.1

        I’m sure a lot of activists understand pretty well what Labour is doing wrong, but have little to no power to change anything.

      • lprent 33.1.2

        Perhaps you don’t understand practical politics as well as you think you do.

        Try this link (just happened to be in my clipboard from answering a comment from Rongatai). Lets hear your ‘wisdom’ on that. Why are these 7 seats able to retain Labour party vote majorities?

        • Lew

          My criticism is not of activists who *do* get it, Lynn. It’s of activists who don’t.


          • lprent

            I feel the same way as Olwyn and I’ve been around the traps a few times with leadership changes. 

            Oh well Lyn has been urging me to cut back. She succeeded with smoking. It may be time to try politics. I only did work for 5 electorates this year for a total of only couple of weeks work. Perhaps I can go down to just The Standard sustaining the addiction (instead of those nicotine lozenges). 

            I’ll have to think it through. But I have been getting less and less happy with dealing with the sclerotic party structure for quite some time. The parliamentary side looks increasingly believing their own PR. It isn’t good.

            • higherstandard

              I thought the MI was the major factor in you cutting back on the cancer sticks – don’t tell me you were still smoking post event.

              • lprent

                Oh it was, but Lyn kind of enforced it.

                I woke up quite confused (as you are), and the first words that I remember (getting past the short-term memory issues into long-term memory) were Lyn telling me I’d already smoked my last cigarette. I think that I had the impression effect because it was.

                Getting off the nicotine took somewhat longer.

                • higherstandard

                  Good on her – I suspected that if she could put up with you that she would have put her foot down in no uncertain fashion.

        • Akldnut

          The map of Aucks in the sea of blue is inaccurate as it dosn’t include the New Lynn electorate, the Te Atatu area is incomplete and Waitakere is now on board. (I know I know the map was created befoe finalisation of specials)

      • newsense 33.1.3

        More patronising from Lew? Who would have thunk it?

        Yes you worked really hard the last election, but the guy from Kiwipolitico thinks you are the problem and you all should be sent to Siberia.

        • seeker

          He’s a pain – Lew I mean. Almost worse than the right wingers who have every right to dance their little socks of at today’s announcement.

  34. queenstfarmer 34

    Most of what I know about Shearer comes from this site, which I presume can be considered a good source of information and comment on left wing politics and the Labour leadership. Therefore, from actual comments on this site, here is what I am told about the Labour Party’s new leader (excusing grammar to make the comments fit).

    David Shearer:
    – is flawed
    – is being set up to fail
    – will invariably lose touch
    – won’t be able to get off the blocks quick enough
    – is not in the best interests of the country or the Party
    – is not ready
    – is shit scared and out of his depth
    – is easier to roll than Cunliffe
    – is cringe making listening to [him]
    – is far too easy to swift boat
    – won’t last long with their knives around
    – will be crucified by the media and National
    – has proven resistant to media training
    – is lacking in essential skills
    – is plain out of his depth
    – could be easily manipulated by those supporting him
    – seems very unsure of himself, and prevaricates
    – would be overpowered by Winston in the debating chamber
    – lacks experience
    – his supporters are indeed a ‘lighter shade of blue’
    – is too soft and inept to be an effective leader

    etc, etc, etc.

    I wonder why Labour has appointed Shearer, given the above?

    • Rob 34.1

      Because deep down they dont like each other and do not trust each other. Why did they not vote in someone that could actually be successful here.

    • lprent 34.2

      Because Labour people commenting here are the mostly active members. Those who vote the parliamentary leadership are MP’s.

      The separation between the two has been steadily widening over the years. Doing the mundane work of building their local electorate organisations, delivering leaflets and running election days systems has steadily become less and less of a priority to sitting MP’s and even many candidates. I have felt for a number of years that the whole party structure has become something that the MP’s and their staffers treat as being something to give lip service to.

      Why do you think that The Standard is independent?

      • BeeDee 34.2.1

        Not so – Annette King is deeply involved in the work of the members in the branches and all year long as well. There’s been no separation in Rongotai.

        • lprent

          I know – you can literally see it in the results.

          But seats that have party votes that are a majority for Labour are down to 7 countrywide. Three (the 3 M’s) have natural advantages for Labour.

          What happens in Mt Albert, Mt Roskill, Rongatai, and Dunedin North appears to be more of generational oddity than anything else. These are or were seats that are held by MP’s who knew the importance and practiced maintaining effective local organisations. They all went through the hell that was the demise of the 4th Labour government.

          Looking at the demographics of those 4 seats, they aren’t ‘natural labour’ anymore (I know that Mt Albert certainly isn’t – the demographics are quite different to when I was a kid there). But they are held by local organisation using smart use of their scarce resources.

          • Claire

            I would argue that Dunedin North is still overwhelmingly ‘natural labour’ in the sense that despite Maori Hill and its environs (which are traditionally ‘blue’ booths), and the extension of the electorate into rural Otago (which doesn’t add that many votes, really), a large chunk of the electorate is made up of suburban booths featuring voters who are predominantly working-class, elderly, students and workers in the education and health sectors- they just haven’t necessarily given their party votes to Labour this time. It looks to me as if a chunk of the party vote has gone the way of the Greens and also to a much lesser extent, to NZ First. National have benefited from a nationwide swing, and both National and the Greens had the benefit of candidates who also happen to be incumbent MPs with high local and national profiles. If there is a swing to Labour in the next election, I would expect to see that mirrored in the party vote.

            Of course, Dunedin North did vote for the National candidate in 1975 (Richard Walls) so its not your average safe Labour seat…

            • lprent

              It probably is. I’m more noting the statistical trend from what it was like when I was down there in 1985-1988 (not that I spent that much time looking at demography stats then).

              Of course since then the seat has increased in size as well with the MMP shift and any subsequent boundary changes.

              Of course, Dunedin North did vote for the National candidate in 1975 (Richard Walls) so its not your average safe Labour seat…

              And that is what I really mean. When you start looking at all of the boundary changes and demographic shifts, you’ll find that an electorate that has a long serving MP concerned with a active membership team can and will buck a lot of changes in the demographics and boundary shifts. When the tide is out for Labour, they tend to lose less party vote. When it is in, they tend to increase above the odds.

      • seeker 34.2.2

        Thank God it is, judging from where I’m sitting at the moment. And I can see from the rest of your comment lprent a possible reason why I am in this no-where land position. I’m with Olwyn -taking a step back.

    • rain33 34.3

      How pointless. I could troll the internet and find any amount of criticism of David Cunliffe to make the same case as you. Alternatively I could find lavish praise of Shearer. You spent a lot of time wasting your time.

      • queenstfarmer 34.3.1

        None of those are my criticisms, they are simply the comments made by people on this site. I have not offered any “lavish praise” nor criticism of either Shearer or Cunliffe (apart from observing that Shearer’s recent TV performances were not good).

        And it only took a few minutes – I just looked at the last few posts about Shearer. I certainly don’t consider finding out about Shearer a waste of time, given the importance of the role he now occupies and the serious flaws many people (notably on the left) claim he has.

        • Lanthanide

          I think after 9-12 months we should have a good idea if he’s going to shake out or not.

          At the moment it just seems like too much of a risk to take on Shearer when Cunliffe has demonstrated he had the talent to do a good job.

          I also think Cunliffe’s choice of running a double-ticket with Nania didn’t really help him in the end. It was too much of a “who’s she?” moment for the general pubic.

          • Colonial Viper

            Agree with everything you wrote, accept perhaps the “who’s she” comment on Nanaia as that applied equally to David Shearer.

      • felix 34.3.2

        The saddest part is that queenstframer has been really, really looking forward to this for a while now. I’d link to the his comments where he laid out his devastating masterplan to copy-paste criticism of whichever candidate was elected, but I’m just not a sad enough individual to bookmark them.

        Did it go as well as you hoped it would, q?

  35. Bored 35

    First up, congratulations to the new leadership pairing. So far so good BUT I think Labour have missed the opportunity to pair a smooth talker with an economic attack dog, good guy bad guy team. Cunliffe should have been deputy.

    Second, we are going to hear from all parties that Labour is still the party of factions who need appeasing. Mahuta for the Maoris, Robertson for the gays….somebody else for Unions etc etc. It may NOT BE TRUE but that’s what they can expect to be accused of by the media, Shonkeys mob and Joe Average voter. It cannot be denied that recent history defined Labour as a coalition of decidedly sectoral interest groups. That negative perception just went up again.

    Thats the downside, now the up side. Both of these gents are genuine decent people who demonstrably care for people. Time for a human face to be shown as the hard as flint edges to Nact begin to be evident.

  36. red blooded 36

    So, anyone who supported Cunliffe is a left-wing fringe nut bar lunatic? And Labour has to be move closer to National, by moving over to ‘the middle’ (which has moved significantly to the right in recent times). Golly… so much for “renewal”. Are you sure that you’re in the right party?

    Note, I am not insulting anyone who supported Shearer. I understand their thinking; I accept that a choice has been made – we now have to get on with making the best of the outcome of that choice. That doesn’t include insulting each other with dismissive labels like ‘nut bar activist’. Grow up.

    [lprent: How about using the “reply” link. Then we can figure out who you are talking to. ]

    • Bunji 36.1

      Brett’s one of our regular right-wingers. I wouldn’t take his comments too seriously…

      [lprent: Ah so that is who it was. ]

      • Brett 36.1.1

        The funny thing is, I am probably the only guy here that doesn’t have a degree, is trade qualified, yet has always voted National.
        IN all honesty having a guy like David Shearer in charge would make me consider voting Labour.I get the feeling he’s not an extremist and could probably represent  the views of the majority New Zealanders, both left and right quite well.

      • Craig Glen Eden 36.1.2

        No one takes Brett seriously!

        • In Vino Veritas

          Perhaps you should Craig. Someone on this site in the last few days mentioned that John Key had said the most NZ’rs were left leaning. This may well be true. But guess what? They are not extreme left leaning, and Cunliffe getting into bed with rabid Unionists and other fringe parties would have driven more away from Labour. Shearer will at least retain “centre left” rather than just “left”.

          • McFlock

            thanks for your concern, ivv.
            Of course, this relies on Shearer et al being “moderate left” in your eyes. Key talking about most people being “left wing” is a bit like Caesar saying that most people are wussy pacifists because they travel with swords rather than a legion of heavy infantry. 

          • Craig Glen Eden

            “Cunliffe in bed with Rabid unionist” what does a rabid unionist look like? Fringe Party like ……… Who. “Shearer will at least retain centre left” I guess you missed that he just promoted Darian Fenton to junior whip ? you have no idea IVV do you?

            • In Vino Veritas

              So the fact that Darien Fenton has been made a junior whip (essentially because her organisational skills must be good, either that or she’s a good messenger) means that I have no idea? As the Tui ad says – yeah right. Also, dare I suggest it, Shearer is being pragmatic at present regarding unions since it would seem that Labour is short of funds.

              Rabid unionist. Let me see. Fenton, Moroney and the chap thats about to lose a few wharfies their jobs, Parsloe for beginners. Fringe parties, that’d be Mana to start with.

              • The Voice of Reason

                “Rabid unionist. Let me see. Fenton, Moroney and the chap thats about to lose a few wharfies their jobs, Parsloe for beginners.”
                Yep, Craig’s right. You have no idea. Parsloe is a unionist, not the CEO of the port. He has no influence on the Port’s business failures and no responsibility for their cock ups (or more likely, jack ups). And his union is not affiliated to the Labour Party anyway, IVV.
                If you’d managed to move your brain out of first gear, you might have come up with a much more topical union bogey man to bolster your thin argument. C’mon, you can do it …

                • In Vino Veritas

                  Voice, if you think that Maersk’s decision to shift container traffic to Tauranga had nothing to do with Parsloe, his union and strike action, then the sky must be a funny colour in your world. The fact that my brain move into first gear is good, since it impies I have one, since I can’t say the same about you if you believe what you wrote. Suggest you take a refresher course in Business 101.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Sorry mate we no longer accept frakin corporates playing one set of workers off another.

                    The Government used to do coastal freight shipping around this country and can again.

                  • KJT

                    The decision, by Mearsk, was made several months before the strike was even on the agenda. It had nothing to do with the strike.

                    Ask what effect the excess of overpaid managers have on the performance of Auckland.
                    They cut two recently and nobody noticed the difference.

  37. Campbell Larsen 37

    As much as I dislike superficiality in politics I have to wonder at choosing someone who looks old and who lacks at present the necessary debating/media skills to flourish in a tv driven sound bite world. David S had better lift his game or else Labour is not going to reinvigorate it’s support base. As for the optimistic commentators predicting a honeymoon for labour in the MSM as a result of this appointment by so called popular decree (supported by national party pollsters and bloggers FFS!) forget about it – cue talk tomorrow about a divided party blah blah blah and about how people like Shearer because he/ his policies are like Shonky/ the Nats.

    • seeker 37.1

      ‘looks old” but in a Sean Connery sort of way, and he surfs.

      • Campbell Larsen 37.1.1

        ‘old’ was a bit harsh. Thank the lord that we havent yet resorted to baby faced puppets like David Cameron – it is one way to get young people to vote but having watched Camerons disgraceful self congratulatory performance as he and his finance minister intoduced more austerity in the UK it is clear that a youthful appearance does not guarantee new policy or a new approach.
        I look forward to learning more about David Shearer, he is going to need those surfing skills – the sweet ride the MSM has been giving him has just turned into chop and he will need to find a clean break and get some good sets to make this leadership his own.

  38. Uturn 38

    A Labour coalition will win 2014, or sooner, because National have no way of stopping either their own idiocy or the effects of a wider global financial meltdown. So cheer up chaps. Nothing unites like victory.

    The next thing to note is that the UN and some of it’s affiliated organisations are among some of the most unplesant (to put it politely) and distrusted by people on the ground, so to say Shearer is a babe this or that is simply wrong. When any of the nay-sayers, or even John Key, can wander into a Somalian or Iraqi anything and win control, then maybe I’ll believe it.

    Cunliffe was going right, slowly, and not making a big secret of it. Shearer wasn’t saying, but if his support is anything to go by, he’ll go right too, though slower still and via some of Helen’s unfinished plans. This is unavoidable rather than secret strategy. Labour looks after it’s own interests while continuing to straddle the classes. Attempts to reconcile the needs of an underclass with the aspirations of the middle class, has to date been impossible. So cheer up, middle classes, your illusions are safe for another 3 years at least!

    Overall it looks to me like business as usual, with the added vote take and increased positive media interest of a new interesting face. Either option was going to be short term. The long term winners are The Greens and Mana.

  39. ianmac 39

    Time will tell and our optimism will be rewarded.

  40. Spratwax 40

    If you can’t beat’em, join’em.

  41. Jenny Michie 41

    Well it’s done. Congratulations Team Shearer and commiserations Team Cunliffe. Let’s get in behind all our MPs now and make the most of the next three years…..there’s no shortage of work to do.

    • mac1 41.1

      Amen, Jennie, that work is too damn important to allow ourselves to be distracted. Foremost in my mind is why we do what we do and who for……………. the rest is, as they say, commentary.

      • Anthony 41.1.1

        It really depends on which direction the party goes, so I’m not jumping in behind anything until I know for sure what that direction is. For me Labour is currently near the limits of what I can ideologically and morally support, if it goes past that, then that is when we part ways.

        • mac1

          Anthony, that is why I put in that bit about what we do and why…….. What is preferable, and what is not negotiable, inside our party and outside. What we prefer is not at stake now- that decision has been made under the rules. What is not negotiable in terms of basic Labour philosophy has not shown itself up in the debate, unless there is sub-text in the beltways of which I am not aware. 🙂

          • Colonial Viper

            Well let’s see that basic ‘Labour philosophy’ in action then, there were scratchings of it in the last couple of months of the campaign, but that was just a start, we need much more.

          • Anthony

            “What is not negotiable in terms of basic Labour philosophy has not shown itself up in the debate”

            This is what has me worried.

            • mac1

              Anthony, OK. I meant “not negotiable” for me in terms of what I believe. For other people there will be different, as you put it, moral or ideological positions which are not negotiable.

              What I read from the candidates did not frighten my horses. What for you, and CV too, would be non-negotiable in terms of basic Labour philosophy?

        • seeker

          Exactly +1 comment.Only I think I’ve parted.

    • rosy 41.2

      David Cunliffe

      I am pledging complete and total support to the new leader of the Labour Party.


      • Anne 41.2.1

        The problem is rosy: will Shearer return the sentiment to Cunliffe ? We’ll know when he allocates his portfolios and gives – or doesn’t as the case may be – Cunliffe a significant role in keeping with his extraordinary intellectual prowess and knowledge of the national and international financial kingdoms.


        will he go for rewarding those who voted for him, as opposed to those who voted for Cunliffe.

        Cynical I know, but it’s invariably the name of the game.

  42. fatty 42

    so now its a battle between personality blue and personality red.
    labour should have chosen ritchie mccaw

  43. Shona 43

    The Greens can now safely target 20% of the vote in 2014 NZ First now guaranteed 10%.
    Labour around 20 % if they’re lucky.

  44. Kevin 44

    Congradulations to David Shearer and Grant Robertson on their promotions to leader and deputy leader.
    Now that Labour have sorted this issue it is time to move on to the issues that will confront them in this term.
    Of those issues, undoubtedly the increasing rate of poverty in New Zealand is a major concern especially in a country as resource rich as New Zealand.
    Also of worthy consideration is the National Party agenda of:
    1. privatising state assets,
    2. introducing elitist state funded charter schools and
    3.the attack on beneficiaries, in particular solo mothers whom are already marginalised.

    Lets see some action on those issues.

  45. Galeandra 45

    Well, I guess if enough of those members who attended the contender meetings feel that caucus has done a number on them, there’ll be a dearth of willing workers from now forward.

    2.9 years of bumbling ineptitude from Goff & Co better not be repeated.

    I worked but don’t belong, and this result puts me back to waiting mode. I want to see a shift hard left, and it seems from what’s been said that it won’t happen anytime soon.

  46. newsense 46

    Respect to Shearer to say that Cunliffe will get a senior position. Good start to the uniting.

  47. XChequer 47

    Hey guys,

    Just take a look at yourselves for a mo and your comments. Can you truly tell me that you are going to UNITE behind DS? Is that after you get over the fact that you are disappointed your man didn’t get the nod, that you’ll unite behind him? Or perhaps you’ll wait a wee while to “see how it goes” before throwing your full weight behind him?

    Cause you’re sure not united right now.

    [lprent: Been a while since I have seen you. Please refresh your knowledge of the policy and remember that this isn’t 2008. ]

  48. belladonna 48

    All David Cunliffe needs to do is wait.

    • Hami Shearlie 48.1

      Till February in Parliament should be long enough! Cunliffe has a right to feel extremely aggrieved!

      • Craig Glen Eden 48.1.1

        Play the long game people Shearer wont last three years look who is behind him the same people who delivered us the worse defeat Labour’s had for many a year.

  49. An excellent decision by Labour. And a brilliant first speech. I particularly liked his line about the “party of ideas”.

    • ianmac 49.1

      Oh oh. Matthew approves. Must be a catch in there somewhere.

      • In Vino Veritas 49.1.1

        Oh oh ian, must be the “Manchurian Candidate” conspiracy, no?

        • felix

          The only person I’ve noticed claiming a Manchurian conspiracy (and I do use the word “person” rather loosely) is the Slater child.

          As usual he’s embarrassing himself by using language he doesn’t understand; he’s trying to liken Shearer to a character who was planted by the commun1sts to overthrow the government.

          No wonder he cries himself to sleep shouting “stupid, stupid, stupid!”

      • mickysavage 49.1.2

        That decides it for me …

    • Pundit X 49.2

      That would be the Greens Matthew..

    • mik e 49.3

      Nact the party of “borrowing” others ideas turning them into band aids [publicity stunts] !

  50. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 50

    Fellow Labour people,

    Let us retire from these sites, and the so so very clever intruders from the right, for a short holiday.
    We have to re-group under the new leader. Engaging with wind-up merchants only encourages them.
    See you in late January.

    • seeker 50.1

      Know where you’re coming from ALP, but even tho’ I no longer feel connected to Labour (as is), this site is still kindred to my views and need for sanity. I can just gloss over the righties who, unfortunately, I feel have every right to kick up their heels and sing at the mo.

      Happy Christmas Annalp.
      For some of us, at least, Christmas has brought us some well needed consistent backup and security and a very powerful way of continuing to combat the insidious hostility of right wing neoliberalism against humanity. I will be concentrating my efforts using this form of combat, while breathing deeply and wiating for the return of a credible Labour Party. I will also be familiarising my self more with the Green party. See you in January.

  51. deemac 51

    even if it turns out that Shearer is not as sharp in Parliament as Key – so what?
    Goff frequently outsmarted Key in the House but what good did it do him?
    The fact that Shearer is a decent human being with a world of experience (at helping humanity, not helping himself) is what will resonate with the public, 99% of whom never watch Parliament.

    • felix 51.1

      Too right, deemac.

      Winston can have the tired carcass of Key to play with and we can all get on with getting on.


  52. Anne 52

    I hope no MPs are really in an ‘anyone but Cunliffe’ mindset. That’s childish bullshit. The people you have the privilege to represent deserve better. Choose the best leader for us, not your best mate.

    Well at least you tried Zetetic.

    I can hear the champagne corks popping at National Party HQ.

    • seeker 52.1

      Like wise Anne . I am so beside myself with the stupidity of the now, national lookalike Labour Party, that I feel worse than at any time since Helen Clark lost, and posibly worse still as I feel there is no hope now. Have just tried to post an even longer more detailed rant above, but the screen went down and I lost it.

      (Is there anyway I can find it again Lprent?)

      • Anne 52.1.1

        The situation can be summed up in three words anyway seeker.

        Tall Poppy Syndrome.

        Shearer and Robertson will get a honeymoon that may last as long as a year. Labour’s poll ratings will soar. The MPs will be happy. The Party will be happy. And so will National be happy because they know it’s not going to last. With only five and a half years of parliamentary experience between them… that is a disaster waiting to happen. Don’t know if I can to stick around that long.

        • seeker

          I think you may have hit the nail Anne . Am looking towards what the Greens are doing for the many children in poverty.

  53. Gregor W 53

    Oddly, Clare Curran got a bit shirty on RA with me for pointing out that a win for Shearer is a good result for (and well managed by) the likes of Mallard.

    Her response:

    Gregor, go and comment on someone else’s blog with your innuendo. Warned. Clare

    My response which is currently in moderation but will I suspect, garner the predictable censorship:

    Hardly innuendo, Clare.

    It’s a statement of fact.
    The old guard has been openly supportive of Mr. Shearer, vocal proponents of ‘ABC’ and their positions are now secure for the next parliamentary cycle. A game well played.

    Congrats are also in order on your new appointment.

    [lprent: If it was here and directed at one of my authors then you’d be getting a self-martyrdom ban for being a stupid wanker. Read our policy. Somehow I think that you got off lightly. Instead of Clare you could have had my less constrained descriptions as you went away for a long holiday. ]

    • drongo 53.1

      They’re unbelievably sensitive over there. I find it pretty painful most of the time. They’re not really into having real discussions. If you show the slightest bit of disagreement you’re threatened or told to email them directly: “If you’ve got a problem then…” Discussion and debate to them doesn’t include “having a problem”. I’ve just decided to leave them alone, bloody waste of time.

      • Gregor W 53.1.1

        Good to see you have a sense of proportion there, Lynn.

        [lprent: I do indeed.

        Authors are worth more to me and the site than any commentator. Attacking them at a personal level (even using your smartarse ‘compliment’ style) and making them less likely to write is by definition an attack on the site. I’d happily lose anyone stupid enough do it. What part of this don’t you understand?

        Incidentally when in moderator mode, I also regard wasting my time explaining the bleeding obvious as an attack on my time and therefore the site. So if you answer then it’d better be good because I tend to dispose of timewasters as well. ]

        • felix

          Says the guy who thinks “go and comment on someone else’s blog with your innuendo” is a literal instruction.


          • Gregor W

            Felix – not really.
            I just thought C. Curran’s response was interesting.

            Lynn – I hardly think that Mallard is less likely by my response to stop opining on RA.
            It’s his baby after all and he’s got a pretty think skin. Note that I didn’t ask you to “explain the obvious” – you volunteered your time, but thanks anyway.

            [lprent: You don’t have to ask. All you have to do say anything directed at me, the site, authors, or related to site management – there is a good bet I will see it and respond. But I guess you haven’t read the policy. Banned 1 month because I find it helps reduce the stupidity levels here by giving you time to read it and because it stops wasting my valuable time teaching you why you don’t argue with moderators. ]

  54. drongo 54

    It’s obvious that Slater’s empty and manufactured attacks on Labour are part of a nasty campaign (and interesting how he and Odgers have hijacked the use of the word “nasty” to try to use it in a way that can only refer to Labour – and other joint project attacks between the two that they try to hide but stick out like sore thumbs, just evidence how thick they really are), but one of today’s from Slater is extra obvious:


    “Silly me thinking that David Shearer was going to be a fresh face. Instead what we have is re-hashed talking points from old Labour, the ALP, Simon Power and the ACT party.”

    He’s getting pretty desperate, and if the united showing today from Shearer and Cunliffe and others is an indication of things to come, then I have a feeling his desperation can only increase.

    • Anthony 54.1

      Repetition and reperformance are the building blocks of material-semoitic relationships, they do it because it works.

    • higherstandard 54.2

      They’re using ‘nasty’ to create a google bomb – I thought this was common knowledge.

      • drongo 54.2.1

        Yes, just a bit slow. Just haven’t seen any attempts to call them over it. Those two are unbelievably hypocritical. Try saying that to them and you get abused. Slater’s threat of “don’t mess with the Whale or Cactus Kate” is pretty telling.

        • Anthony

          It’s not intended as just a google bomb, but a search engine forms a pretty good visualisation as to how recall and relation work in the human mind.

          A google bomb is meant to reinforce that relation. It’s the reason why we’ll be hearing a lot of Shearer and inexperience in the same sentence.

    • Cactus Kate 54.3

      I resent such allegations drongo. I rarely use the word nasty, once this year I have used the c-bomb but only against Deborah Coddington and I was completely within the bounds of decency to. And I embrace and admire such attacks anyway. I have actively pushed for Sepuloni to be moved to the frontbench of Labour in front of all the other female candidates so we can see what she’s made of against Bennett. There is nothing nastier in Labour currently than Carmel. Even Charles Chauvel isn’t giving her a run for her money.

      • yesno 54.3.1

        Did Mallard approve this Cactus??

        • Cactus Kate

          We take our orders from Hooton.
          Everyone knows hes the puppet master of the Labour Party now.

          • mik e

            CK8 Looks like Roger Douglas is looking for a new vehickle now that hact is worn out its welcome with voters taking over Labour through Hootten Good option.
            As their is no place on any list for you!

            • Cactus Kate

              I heard Roger was looking for a come back under Shearer.
              As for your kind offer, I narrowly escaped being on a Party list last time due to foresight. Glad to leave politics to the amateur and needy,

              • felix

                Read: Everyone knows I’m poison, even the party who found room on their list for the dead-baby guy and that barking mad woman from Dunedin.

                *I’m not needy I’m a strong independent woman I’m not needy I’m a strong independent woman I’m not needy I’m a strong independent woman glug glug glug glug

      • drongo 54.3.2

        Cactus Kate: Yes, I particularly enjoy anything that deals to Coddington, and I think the c-word is misunderstood and for that reason under-used. A bit rich though about Sepuloni. Why do you say this? Bennett was caught red-handed removing Sepuloni’s hoardings. And surely even you have to admit that Bennett is pretty thick. All you have to do is check out one or two of her youtube posts to see that, or better still, these are pretty funny – a few people have been talking about them now:



  55. gingercrush 55

    Some of the comments here are hilarious. I thought Labour could win 2014 whoever they chose and I still do but likewise despite some writing National off already I think they can govern in 2014.

    Frankly I hope Labour loses 😉

    • felix 55.1

      Of course you do!

      Agree though that Labour can win 2014 regardless of who leads, the crucial thing is that they get on with it together and and get on with it now.

      And if they can’t or won’t do that, then frankly they don’t deserve to win.

      Also congrats to David and Grant, go hard or go home.

    • Jeremy 55.2

      Why? You have a crush on John Key?

      • red blooded 55.2.1

        Come on! Surely JK is exciting enough to arouse that loving feeling without a little chemical assistance. With that smile, and twinkle in his eye?

  56. Blue 56

    Looks like three terms for National. Goddammit.

    I suppose I will have to try to make the best of it though. The only alternative would be to vote Green, but that would involve learning to like Russel Norman, and I just don’t think I can do it 😀

    If I’m going to expend that much energy, I may as well try to support Shearer…

    • Anne 56.1

      The only alternative would be to vote Green, but that would involve learning to like Russel Norman, and I just don’t think I can do it.

      My problem too.

      • drongo 56.1.1

        And they’re too susceptible to deals with the nasties.

      • newsense 56.1.2

        glad to see I’m not the only one.

      • seeker 56.1.3

        et moi aussi. So fed up and confused today I’m typing french.

      • Carol 56.1.4

        I’m really not keen on Russel and where he’s taking the Greens, but, at the monment it’s looking preferable to Labour for me. I am getting the feeling that there’s currently some kind of backlash against the small gains in recent years for women having some political power in NZ.

  57. tsmithfield 57

    Well done, Labour.

    Glad to see you have followed the advice from the right and elected Shearer. Now you have a dynamic and charismatic leader who will be a major challenge to JK. All of us righties are cowering in our corners now. 🙂

    • felix 57.1

      And had Cunliffe won you comment would’ve read “Glad to see you’ve fallen for our cunning plan and disregarded Shearer who could’ve blah blah blah”


  58. JC 58

    Speaking as someone who generally votes National I suspect this will make Labour more electable in 2014. Cunliffe should get finance.

  59. Well, that was a short honeymoon:

    Shearer will be on a very steep learning curve as opposition leader. The media will not spare him any mercies and are bound to drill hard for the inevitable embarrassing gaffes.

    Worse than the baying press pack, Shearer’s own sharply divided caucus will be a struggle to handle. Loyalty has been immediately pledged by all and sundry, but with the caucus meeting room door still swinging, the rush is on for portfolio posts and seats on the front bench. There will be wounded egos and barely veiled bitterness.

    Shearer is also utterly untested in the cut and thrust of Parliament, and could yet be savaged in the bear-pit of Question Time.

    And with so far for Labour to climb back up again, Shearer will be on a short leash for results.

    Anywhere the new party leader looks, there is pressure, pressure, pressure. It’s either upward or outwards from here. Which way should we expect him to go?

    Narratives unfold and evolve (they’re ‘plots’, after all, and have to ‘twist and turn’). The media narrative on Shearer is now set to change radically, having attained the leadership. Notice that last question: It’s a story and they’re looking at how to tell it.

    I predict that Shearer will be soon cast as the ‘ordinary bloke’ who just couldn’t do what is needed in the toxic environment of politics, blah, blah, blah … His ‘fresh face’ and ‘ordinariness’ will, of course, be used against him. Notice that he is not taking over a party on the verge of becoming government, as John Key did after Brash came close, but a party that “slumped to its worst ever party vote result under MMP, its seats in Parliament slashed by eight to 34″.
    I hope Shearer and his backers saw this coming – and prepared appropriately.

    If there isn’t an Orewa-like surge in Labour’s polling, the media will know which ‘plot turn’ has happened – and they will push it for all it’s worth.

    • Anthony 59.1

      You’ve got it in one, the Labour caucus has stumbled into thinking that narratives are static, that “fresh” will be interpreted the same in 2014 as it was in 2008.

    • felix 59.2

      Short honeymoon indeed. So much for foreplay.

      • dancerwaitakere 59.2.1

        I dont know why the party couldn’t see this coming.

      • red blooded 59.2.2

        To be fair, a lot of that report represents the level of anger that’s showing through a number of these postings. If Labour doesn’t want to be represented as factional, then people need to be a bit more respectful of each other. Note; that doesn’t mean that we all need to agree, just that we need to discuss our opinions thoughtfully and be open to considering others’. Not as exciting, I know, but a lot wiser when the press and others are looking for factions.

    • RedLogix 59.3

      I see John Armstrong is backing Shearer. Why doesn’t that give me any confidence whatsoever?

      • Blue 59.3.1

        Because JK fanboy Armstrong’s endorsement is the one you really, really DON’T want.

        Kiss of death, right there.

      • Puddleglum 59.3.2

        Yes, interesting to see some of the angles Armstrong was using:

        Comparison to Brash’s failed ‘coup’ (and comparison to Brash’s lack of political experience)
        Comparison to Key but by way of noting how Key had front bench experience first
        Noting that Cunliffe can ‘wait in the wings’ for Shearer’s downfall.

        With friends like these … 

        Then there’s the word ‘brave’ (as in the decision is ‘brave’). The question of the risk being taken is, quite naturally, going to be a question that the media will want to answer and to answer while everyone still remembers the question.

        Shearer needs some high and positive public impact before about March/April next year or he’ll be running after a bus that’s left the station.

        Goff tried the ‘long game’ over three years and it only gained some traction a few weeks out from the election. Shearer will need a lot more (positive) momentum going into 2014.

        If Shearer’s quest to go out and ‘listen to New Zealanders’ goes under the media radar (a good chance given the summer ‘break’) and, beyond that, if he’s buried in backrooms implementing whatever plans he has to ‘spring clean’ Labour internally, then the media will have already filled the vacuum with their own commentary.

        That’s the ‘game’ part of the equation.

        There’s another bit that matters to me far more – what political, social and economic analysis Shearer will be working from. That will determine my vote next time.

    • Lanthanide 59.4

      Bringing up Orewa is a good point, really.

      That’s what Labour needs to achieve, or even something one third or one half as good. If they can’t, the media are going to write them off.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 59.5

      How absurd.
      the disaster has all ready happened on the 26th November.

      If you are looking for narratives gone wrong, look no further than ACTs ride of the Valkyries over the last 6 months.

    • Anne 59.6

      Well, that was a short honeymoon

      Damm it. Anne @ 52. 1.1 was out by 11 months, 3 weeks, 6 days and 23hours.

      • deuto 59.6.1

        Lol – understand exactly what you mean/where you are at. Was quite pleased to have had a power blackout today. It meant that I had to take time out and (try to ) assimilate what happened this am.

        Really wish Shearer and Robertson all the best but my older age (yes – I am a boomer and a female one at that) and instincts suggest that this ‘solution’ will be very short lived. A ‘fresh face’ yes but backed by the old guard pretecting their patch. The jury is out in my mind/patch; altho Shearer did not do badly dealing with Mary on Checkpoint tonight. But was much more impressed with Nanaia later in the programme.

  60. bob 60

    It’s a sad state of affairs in politics when we see a candidate’s inexperience as a positive for the job.

  61. Best of luck to Shearer and Robertson.

    Meantime the onslaught on Shearer by the right has started.


    • queenstfarmer 61.1

      Hardly an onslaught. I’d have thought that a Labour stalwart saying he was gutted that Shearer has been appointed leader, and publicly hinting at joining another party, was more damaging.

      • mickysavage 61.1.1

        Humour and irony are lost on you aren’t they qsf.

        • queenstfarmer

          Well, if when you said you were “gutted” that Shearer was now the leader, what you actually meant was you are elated that Shearer was the leader (instead of Cunliffe, presumably), then yes it was lost on me. And given Labour’s towelling largely at the expense of losing votes to the Greens, I wouldn’t have thought there was much irony in a party member unsubtley hinting at joining the Greens.

        • higherstandard

          Truely you are a comic genius, perhaps a change in occupation to stand-up comedian is in order.

    • Colonial Viper 61.2

      Are we in the MSM honeymoon period yet? An hour ago on National Radio they remarked that Shearer wasn’t that new a face as he has been tight with Goff for years.

      Then they said that his comment about NZ being Clean Green and Smart wasn’t really worth turning up to hear about – it was the right of every New Zealander and it was just trying to blur the line with the Greens they said.

      Finally they spent a minute on who in caucus might roll Shearer if he hasn’t performed in the next 6 to 12 months.

      • just saying 61.2.1

        “..he has been tight with Goff for years. ”

        They were at High School together.

        • Anne

          Wrong. My understanding is they attended the same high school but at different times. There’s 8 to 10 years difference in age.

    • jabba 61.3

      BULLSHIT .. the attacks on Shearer are coming from within .. well done Mr Shearer for your fine win and let us all hope that he brings an end to nasty politics

      [lprent: Looks like stupid trolling and more of those shouting. Better pray you didn’t leave another faux concern troll. ]

  62. Jester 62

    Congratulations to DS and GR. A astute decision from the Labour caucus members.

    Party over at Whale Oil and you’re all invited.

    • jabba 62.1

      Jester .. I assume you are unhappy, oh well YOUR MP’s have spoken, move on

      [lprent: Perhaps you should learn more about right wing humor. Jester was trying to make a joke. You are a right joke. And lose the shouting – it hurts my eyes. ]

  63. swordfish 63

    If I had a diary, today’s entry would simply say “Bugger !”.

    The worry now is that the activist base (like 1prent and others) become de-motivated. Bad decision by the caucus. I’ll probably still re-join the Party, but with rather less enthusiasm than I’d have with a Cunliffe leadership.

  64. randal 64

    matheww hooton is known to do despicable things to sausage rolls and that hasn’t hurt him.

  65. higherstandard 65

    What a bunch of sad sacks.

    Politics is very much a popularity contest both within the party and among the population in general.

    Shearer has won the internal popularity contest and over the next months and years perhaps he can make some impact on the polls as preferred PM and for Labour in general. If he is indeed successful I expect the moaning here will quickly turn into praise, support and protestations that everyone knew he was always the right man for the job.

    • lprent 65.1

      I’d say that you don’t know much about Labour members. They might work for you, but they are some of the most skeptical people I have ever run across. They also remember a long way back.

      David Shearer won a popularity contest amongst Labour MP’s. It takes somewhat longer to convince Labour members. But he will be aware of that.

      • higherstandard 65.1.1

        Despite their best intentions I suspect a party’s members don’t really mean much come election day.

        • mickysavage

          Tell that to Carmel Sepuloni dickhead

        • lprent

          Just have a look at the different party votes in different electorates. It is the work leading up to election day that makes the difference and it really needs to start pretty well immediately.

          The public campaign does a lot and shifts things considerably in the final month of so – but only if you have a base of support in place. But what really makes the difference is having members systematically contacting and talking to people 2 and 3 years out. To do that you need to systematic, methodical, and have a message to push that your members know. That means you retain when the current is against you (rather than having the worst result in 50 odd years), and you can capitalize when the current is for you.

          • higherstandard

            I think you are incorrect.

            NZers tend to vote on the basis of two main factors including tribal (political affiliations) and who they like/don’t like in terms of PM everything else is pretty much a few small percentage points around the margins.

            • mickysavage

              Um again dickhead tell that to Carmel Sepuloni.  labour shed 6.5 percentage points but she had a swing to her.

              I am not sure why I am bothering to point this out to you.  You are just here to troll.

              • higherstandard

                I suspect that’s got more to do with the Green and Mana candidates campaigning for her and against Bennet than the rantings of flea lawyers, but feel free to live in your world of delusion.

                • Colonial Viper

                  your comment about why the swing occurred is purely speculative but you then accuse of other people of living in delusion???

                • dancerwaitakere

                  The Green and MANA candidates did NOT campaign for Carmel. All they did was say they were targeting the Party Vote.

                  Carmel had been working hard in the electorate with a great team for over a year, Green and MANA candidates turned up in the last 4 weeks of the campaign. If you are going to try and talk bullshit at least be able to be convincing.

                  It was members and activists on the ground that made the difference. The difference between winners and losers is that Carmel recognises this. You however would not. I suspect that is why you are not an MP, you are some idiot troll on a blog.

    • Jackal 65.2

      The right winger’s want politics to be a contest of personalities, with a showbiz US presidential like campaign full nonsense. However that’s not going to save them over the next three years.

      I think National relies too heavily on the population remaining naive and unaware of the many falsehoods perpetuated by people like John Key and Peter Dunne… and this will be their downfall.

      Shearer doesn’t need to do all that much really… National and their cohorts will be hoist by their own petard because they’re dishonest. New Zealand is too small to hide corruption indefinitely.

      Personally I would have liked Phil Goff to have stayed on. I thought he excelled during the campaign and performed way in excess of many peoples expectations.

      • higherstandard 65.2.1

        Politics has been a contest of personalities since well before any of us were born.

      • Lew 65.2.2

        Personally I would have liked Phil Goff to have stayed on.

        And that’s why the Labour party is better rid of you, and the rest of the activists who think like you. If you haven’t seen it yet, you probably never will.


        • lprent

          So as a person who is not a member, you’re saying that the party should lose all its activists and what? Dead party.

          • IrishBill

            I think Lew may just be a young man with very little first-hand experience in politics. Don’t be too hard on him – I’m sure that given a few years he’ll come right.

          • Lew

            No, not all its activists. Only those who still don’t see where the party went astray.


            • IrishBill

              And you know this from what experience, Lew?

              • Lew

                Yeah, the old “not 50 and haven’t been a Labour party member since numbers were five digits long” argument. I’ve got nothing to prove to you lot; ignore me or call bullshit if you like. We’ll see.


                • OK Lew what do you say to Carmel Sepuloni’s activists who despite a nationwide swing and against a senior Minister won the seat?

                  Can you give a detailed response or do you only reason in slogans? 

                  • Lew

                    Again: I’m not talking about the activists that are getting results and doing the business. Every time I make this critique one or more of you senior activist types expands the definition out to include all party members. What, do you think they’re all useless?


                    • No but you seem to think they are. You have no idea what an effective LEC looks like but you lecture us on what we are doing wrong.  You really don’t, with the greatest of respect, have a clue, do you.

                    • Lew

                      I’m a bit over arguing this toss. See my response to Bill, above.


                    • Well what do you know about the Labour Party activists?  You see we get a bit tired of academics making grand sweeping statements when it is clear to us they do not know what actually happens on the ground.

                    • newsense

                      Lew I thought that being arrogant was why people weren’t supposed to like Cunliffe.

                      So far I haven’t seen any put up from you. You cherry-pick the comments here you don’t like, then you ignore challenges dismissively or you change definitions from not the activist-activists or the young sexy activists, just the activists who don’t know why they lost.

                      We still don’t know (apart from blame gaming) what you have contributed to election campaigns or how you are positioned or qualified to give this advice.

                      Finally you give us my-argument-is-too-powerful defence. You haven’t argued it yet, just avoided arguing it.

                      Hang on a thought: Why not some National standards for party activists? That way we would have activist league tables so we would have better data on activist successes and failures.

                      As my name suggests I’m a LWNJ, opinionated and unqualified, but at least I’m aware of that.

            • Pete George

              Labour have refreshed their leader, hopefully he will refresh his front bench, and it looks like a few jaded activists could do with being refreshed as well. Maybe a good break for Christmas will be timely.

        • newsense

          Sorry Lew I have to ask- could you tell me about your involvement with political parties in campaigning and in membership?

          Or perhaps a link to this picture of the beautiful new world so the rest of us can have our Miranda moment (the tempest version, not the serenity version)?

  66. Chris Oden 66

    And so the dance begins! I have just heard David Shearer being told by Mary somebody on National Radio that he has to learn to speak properly, be articulate and he should be worried about his lack of experience lalalalalal.And he should have included Ms Mahuta more llalalalala.Why are all these people in the media not in Parliament as they obviously know EXACTLY what to do. The man has just been elected and they are saying he will not be a match for key. I hope not! That will mean he will have to model shirts(with limp wrist) dance at Big Gay Out AND sing with trannies, sign large pregnant bellies,mime slitting throat in Parliament and all sorts of other intelligent, incisive , decorous, moments as shown in his media as the sort of person NZ needs as their PM person. Also key has never been articulate and “charismatic” without the support of the Herald and his PR people.He is abysmal when he goes off script.

  67. Molly Polly 67

    Dear Labour Party

    Thank you for bringing the leadership challenge to the members. I really loved being part of the Labour Party whanau at the meetings and sit beside likeminded people. It was also great to be involved as a non-voter, and that my opinion and that of my fellow members, may have counted for something when we wrote to our respective MPs.

    Sadly, this did not happen. The opinions of the membership did not seem to make a tad of difference. Whatever was/is going on in caucus we were/are not privy to it. It is obvious that Cunliffe is not all liked by the majority of the caucus – but for us members that did not show in Parliament, in media interviews, in his written statements or at the meetings. He was the polished communicator – savvy, smart, inspiring, quick on his feet…and inclusive. And Nanaia was a treat! I was so looking forward to those two leading the Party. A Maori up there at long last…and a good woman at that. A great combination.

    Surely personal vendettas of some MPs would triumph for the good of the Party and the Country? Or so I thought.

    But it is not to be. I don’t know about you, but I feel worn out. My energy has been sapped. From the highs and lows of the election…gunning for Phil, hoping against hope…and then the inevitable result. And then, wham, boom – straight into an exciting leadership battle. Realising the talent we have in David Cunliffe, the calm authority shown by Nanaia Mahuta – it brought such hope!

    And now another dissapointment.

    You can bet I will put on a brave face and soldier on as an LP member, giving my all for the next 3 years, like many others up and down the country.

    But if David Shearer and Grant Robertson do not pass muster in this time, there will be no more excuses to my family, friends and work colleagues about why I support Labour, because I’ll be hanging up my red hat…and putting on a green one.

    Kind regards

    • dancerwaitakere 67.1


    • Tom Gould 67.2

      What a sad and sorry tale this is, Molly. You have failed your own test, by your own admission. My advice is to go Green now, and let the true believers get on with it.

    • hush minx 67.3

      I have to agree Molly Polly – I will do my best to support and build. But the new leadership need to live up to their side of the bargin and perform. And what’s the line about waiting until February to prove themselves in the House? It’s back next week and they have to be seen to make their mark!

    • Pundit X 67.4

      Excellent post MP

      • Craig Glen Eden 67.4.1

        Agreed PA, Molly Polly has summed it up and after giving Goff three bloody long years I am sick of waiting for Labour’s message to be communicated concisely and easily.

        If Shearer does not cut the mustard he will have to go and so would his deputy.

        • Redbaron77

          Echo MP and your comments also CGE. The Shearer Team have 18 months to prove themselves in winning over the Party and also with the Public. If they cannot gain any real traction both ways then this would be a politically appropriate time for the Party to either “adjust” or completely change the leadership. The Party cannot allow a failing experiment in political leadership to run its inevitable, morale-crunching course.

          • Molly Polly

            Right on Redbaron

            • possum

              I could never understand why Labour didn’t get rid off Goff when it was obvious he couldn’t win.
              It is now clear that they were grooming Shearer for the job. They couldn’t have cunliffe come through eh. BTW i have no idea who “they” are HC involved maybe?

          • seeker

            Well said RedB.

    • deuto 67.5

      Exactly, Molly Polly. Although not a paid up member of the LP I have voted for them for many decades. As my life circumstances have changed, was seriously thinking of getting actively involved with the LP but that is now on hold until I see what happens in the next few weeks/months. Next week in Parliament (and in the media etc) should be interesting. But the turnaround even in the last few hours ( Armstrong, Kiwiblog etc) is not unexpected IMHO.

    • dancerwaitakere 67.6

      Another indicator will be whether Cunliffe gets Finance or not.

      We all know that there would have been a golden handshake for DP, he stood aside very easily.

      The future of Labour’s economic credibility will be having Cunliffe in Finance and number 3. If not, I think there will be members who will walk, and then those who will have little patience for the new leaders.

  68. randal 68

    higher standard is not a sadsack. he is a noo noo head.

  69. Molly Polly – I’m not willing to wait any longer to see an improvement from the Labour caucus. What an appalling decision. Having always voted Labour because they stood for the poor, women, minorities and children, I doubt I’ll ever vote for them again after today.

    And what a false process to set up – membership meetings around the country – just “show pony” entertainment or a membership drive in disguise? Sure, we always understood we didn’t get a vote, but why pretend the Labour membership was being consulted when MPs like Jacinda Ardern, Ross Robertson, and Phil Twyford can thumbs their noses by ignoring their LECs and vote in their own self interest. All three deserve not to be reselected in their electorates, let them deliver pamphlets on their own.

    The meetings had a clear winning team, a clearly representative and diverse team, advocating change from the old guard……..but the caucus has elected the wrong team. I have nothing against David Shearer, but he’s just not ready. Grant Robertson is a real ‘beltway’ player who will quickly control Shearer or worse – but he’s just not brilliant enough to be NZ’s first gay Prime Minister.

    But you are all dreaming if you think Cunliffe will get anything except a backbench slot – he’d show the new leaders up too much. Grant Robertson and Mallard will be making those decisions already for Team Shearer – they’re not going to let Cunliffe have any place to shine. And Mahuta had been hidden for too long – what a gem I only discovered this past fortnight! I wish Cunliffe well in whatever he chooses to do next.

    I’m gutted, but I’m over Labour – echoed by most of the Labour voters in my workplace – we’re voting Green from now on. RIP Labour Party – Your caucus’ decision today was completely insane and you deserve at least another 6 years in oblivion!!

    • Half Crown Millionare 69.1

      Well said and I agree 100%, but I will continue to vote Labour,I will be voting to try and keep out who I don’t want in, So as much as I may not agree with labour over the leadership, I certainly will not be voting for anybody else. Remember in the future a vote against labour will be a vote for a continuation of the Neo- Liberal shit we are all suffering under now. The others are not going to be able to form a government against National.

      • rosy 69.1.1

        I’ll be voting for a government that can do something about the miserable, short lives of so many NZ kids at the bottom of the socio-ec heap. That cares more about how we use money than who makes it, and that thinks NZ as a clean, green country is better than NZ as a factory farm. David Shearer is the person leading that party that I expect to do something! So David Shearer has my support.

        Oh – if he picks up a bit of Gareth Morgan’s ‘the Big Kahuna’ that’ll be great too.

        • queenstfarmer

          I would vote for a party that promised to implement Morgan’s Big Kahuna policies.

    • Molly Polly 69.2

      I feel your pain…I guess I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel in case I’m proved wrong. But I do understand.

      I’ve been disturbed by the way Robertson has been advising Shearer, and on stage no less! Telling him how to answer questions, giving him pointers. Imagine what he has been doing out of the limelight.

      Which tells me that Shearer is being held up as the old guard’s poster boy…and I suspect Mallard is masterminding it all backstage.

      I don’t know exactly why this has happened. The old guard seems to have maintained its stranglehold. And I don’t know what the plan was or what the plan will be.

      Only time will tell…and who knows, Shearer may pull it out of the bag.

      • seeker 69.2.1

        I think you are right MP and it saddens me greatly.

      • oftenpuzzled 69.2.2

        what utter tripe MP your comments are speculative, David Shearer has a mind of his own; he doesn’t need anyone to tell him what to say. He’s managed to live a very fulfiling life without the Deputy till now and will continue to do so I am sure. The next three years must be a team effort; an effort from all of caucus to get Labour up again. Come down to earth and accept a decision has been made and as labour members we must get behind the whole caucus team and support them. In fact I find 90% of the comments currently being expressed disappointingly negative. Neither of the candiates and their Deputies are ‘God’ ; they come from the lower level of angels. The 2 David’s and their Deputies hold similar beliefs in Labours values, they all want to reconnect with the party, and voters, they all want the party to be revitalised. The meeting I attended with a good number of members were revitalised and enthused and left with considerable hope so let’s stop the sour grapes and move forward.

        • Colonial Viper

          In fact I find 90% of the comments currently being expressed disappointingly negative.

          Come now, the comments from The Standard’s usual right wing commentators have been almost wholly positive.

          You shouldn’t discount them in your stats!

      • dancerwaitakere 69.2.3

        You dont need to suspect that it is Mallard. It is very clear that he has been the leader of the ABC group, leaking to the media any chance possible.

      • Anne 69.2.4

        …and I suspect Mallard is masterminding it all backstage.

        Correct. And that includes scuttlebutting to the panting MSM…

    • Hami Shearlie 69.3

      I feel exactly the same way Benghazi! Voted Labour since the age of 18 -what a terrible decision – it just smacks of self-interest and concern for future job prospects. David Cunliffe just has to sit and wait this disaster out – or leave, and do something in the private sector which recognises and applauds his many talents! Won’t blame him if he ups sticks and leaves!

    • Brokenback 69.4

      Spot on.

      Its been a rough couple of weeks dealing with the realisation of how shallow and self serving New Zealanders have become .

  70. neoleftie 70

    well the labour caucus have spoken and chosen a team – so i say good luck in delivering the promise, in bringing in much needed change and direction, i say well done to the winners and hopefully they prove the right choice and are strong enough for the task ahead.
    Go team labour for a victory in 2014 cause we need to ease the suffering and whats expected to come next from the tories.

  71. Blue 71

    I guess now is the time we find out what a Shearer-led Labour Party actually means. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it before the leadership contest, so it will be interesting to find out if there’s any substance behind the waffle.

    First test – the portfolio allocations. DC was going to clean house, and I was looking forward to that. Let’s see if Shearer is serious about ‘change’ or whether he is just the puppet of the old guard.

    Given that he couldn’t even name Labour’s climate change spokesman last time he was asked, I’m not entirely confident.

    This is a really demoralising day to be Labour, and we’ve had a few over the past few years.

    For me it shows that Labour still don’t get it. And until they do, there is not much hope. Putting a new face on an old party is not what’s needed here.

    Congratulations to David C and Nanaia for running a brilliant campaign. I’m sorry that vested interests prevailed.

    Anyone who has a spare rabbit’s foot or four-leaf clover, please send it to David Shearer. He’s going to need it more than you.

  72. max 72

    The reality is, and some people here might find this painful, but Labour needs to reclaim middle New Zealand. That means focusing on the main issue these people care about, which is, put simply, gaining a better life for themselves. Some people might go on about social legislation, but at this present time, thats not the focus, people who are worried about getting a job or retaining their job simply don’t care about these things.

    As Shearer said this evening, they need to find out why labour supporters have deserted them. My father works at a hotel with a lot of young people who work split shifts and horrendous hours for minimum wage. They don’t vote. If it wasn’t for my father (bless him) they wouldn’t know that people used to get overtime and extra allowances for working split shifts. They don’t realise that there is an another way. Labour needs to reach these people and show them that other way

    • Colonial Viper 72.1

      but Labour needs to reclaim middle New Zealand.

      50% of NZers earn less than $30,000 pa

      What is this mythical ‘middle NZ’ you speak of?

      • gingercrush 72.1.1

        Those who think they’re middle class and looking at the urban electorates and what areas voted National there are rather a lot of them. These people might actually be low income people but they don’t see themselves as that and they aren’t voting Labour at the moment. Look at Waitakere, Christchurch Central or Maungakiekie. Hell look at Mt. Albert. The splits are there and right now they’re voting overwhelmingly for National with the rest going Labour or Greens.

        • lprent

          There aren’t that many low income areas in Mt Albert any more. Have a look at the deprivation index. In the electorate they are in Waterview, a smallish chunk of Avondale, and some small pockets elsewhere.

          The entire electorate has been steadily moving up in income levels since the large scale infill housing happened in the early to mid-90’s. There are substantive areas where particular age and gender groups are actively hostile towards Labour.

          That is what I have been saying – it hasn’t been an easy electorate to keep solidly Labour.

          • mickysavage

            Agreed Lynn and New Lynn and Waitakere are the same.  The average DPI for the electorates have been heading up but there is a core of workers in each that have a significant effect on the result.

            • lprent

              If it follows the same pattern out west as it did for us, then you’ll find you can pick up significant votes in places across the whole electorate as it gentrifies. For instance Kingsland and other counter-intuitive areas yield surprisingly good votes. You have to use micro-segmentation market analysis techniques that chew a bit of CPU, but give really accurate results if you have enough canvassing data.

              Damn what is stupid is that organizers in different electorates don’t have a place to talk about this type of stuff across the country. It’d be trivial to set up because it is all standard open source software. I could do it with wordpress on SSL in an instant. But there is nowhere accessible to even raise the idea.

      • felix 72.1.2

        I think max spells that out pretty well, CV.

        There are a couple of generations of “middle NZers” earning less than $30,000 who’ve grown up in the post-Douglas era being treated like shit by multinationals for minimum wage and they simply don’t know any other way.

      • mik e 72.1.3

        Thats why we need a CGT that figure would change quite markedly.
        Labour needs to rebuild its organization get those voters out electorate by electorate.
        A full time organizer going from electorate to electorate making sure of numbers on the ground.

  73. starboard 73

    goodbye 2014

    goodbye 2017

  74. possum 74

    Well its a good result for the Green Party.
    The Green Caucus has a very very left wing feel to it now. The new MP’s
    Jan Logie
    Mojo Matthers
    Denise Roche
    Holly Walker
    All lefties!

    The labour Party can fight the centre where it obviously feels at home
    And the Greens can have the left . Welcome aboard all you disaffected Labour supporters.
    Green is the new Red

    and BTW The Greens came 2nd in Wellington Central and Labour makes Grant deputy leader.. WTF?

  75. gingercrush 75

    Clare Curran is the Caucus Secretary and rep to NZ Council

    – Sorry but wtf does that mean? I was not aware there were such positions and NZ Council refers to the Labour party itself??

    • Bunji 75.1

      Yes, Labour’s NZ Council – she will be the caucus representative on the Party Council.

      And I guess someone trusted needs to take the notes on confidential caucus meetings.

  76. How does Duncan Garner profess to know on tonight’s news the number of votes cast for either side? It was a secret ballot. What that means for the uninitiated is that only the two most senior party officials who did the counting should know the result. Yet Garner cites an inside Labour source. This is yet another example of the old guard leaking their lies – whether it is nasty family stuff on poor Parker, or the filth flung at Cunliffe (sick leave – none – disloyal – not – unprepared – never). Moira you need to sort this out and fast – Shearer can’t do it as he is now beholden to the old guard. But unless there is tight caucus control as per National’s caucus discipline, Labour will bleed and bleed and bleed.

    • seeker 76.1

      Disgraceful. How right you are about Moira’s need to do something.

      • gingercrush 76.1.1

        Espiner had the same thing. To be honest, I don’t think it would have been hard to find who voted for who. Especially if you’re a political journalist.

        Anyway if it was 22-12

        At least ten of the twelve that voted for Cunliffe are:


        The other two were possibly Shane Jones and Sio? It rather looks like the undecideds all went to Shearer as they saw him being most likely to win. Of course I’m no insider, political journalists are and its not like Mallard or others haven’t been constantly speaking to journalists. So wouldn’t be that hard to find out who voted for whom nor what the numbers were.

    • Benghazi one word, Mallard.  And a warning, do not believe him.

  77. seeker 77

    Having had a very upsetting and confusing day I am now pretty exhausted by it all. But before I take the step back from I had time to think about what the Labour caucus was really up to, silly though it may seem .I think it is based on the nats 2006/8 plan

    Labour has Shearer, who, like Key, appeals to the public not with ‘pots of money’ like Key, which appeals to nats of both genders, but with a background of humanitarian daring do which appeals to both genders of Labour plus surfing skills which appeals to the ‘youth'(key has the required business ‘skill’ of golf as well as squash). Both have sex appeal apparently ( can’t for the life of me see where it is in Key, must be the money and power that turns the nat gals into loonies over him).

    Key had business and heaven knows who else in the corporatesphere, Boag and Shipley’s recruitment agency, Crosby Textor, the MSM and underhand bloggers backing him.Plus Joyce.

    Shearer has the old Labour guard and a few youngies which include Jacinda ,or led by Jacinda plus Robinson’s PR plan carried on from the election using string theory and surprise items to back him; plus lefties John Pagani, Matt McCarten and a media analyst Lew Stoddart of Kiwipolitico a further plus is the MSM now, for a short while, probably a very short while.

    Key had Hide to show him the political leader ropes and provide him with policy plans especially the ACT economy plan which appears to be the only plan he had.
    Shearer has Grant Robinson to guide him politically and of course they have all the policy plans in place from election2011. Shearer just needs ‘advising’ on all that he has to do within the party as
    the policies are done.
    It will be as though Grant Robinson is running every day to day thing-channeling through David S.. This will be just like Hide did through Key: while Philo’Reilly and BNZ, and all Key et al’s corporate and foreign insurance investment buddies carried on their plans and planning
    to take over NZenergy,water,ACC,,it&comunications, tv and radio media, prisons, schools and land and sea for mining and deep sea drilling
    Shearer has the Labour old guard and the in young in crowd like Jacinda(who I shall come back to later) running their policies and ideas through Grant Robinson and then Shearer so he knows what to do.

    I think the old guard and Robinson believe that by using this strategy it will allow Labour to fight for the policies they put forward before whilst updating them or adding new , which is not a bad thing as they were good policies for the most part and it will mean all Phil’s efforts and those of the policy writer’s will not have been wasted.

    They think that they will still have control over them but instead of having Phil, who the public did not have time to respond to, they will channel them through David S. who will be a face the public will immediately respond to and they will be able to push through policy and message through David S. as the nats do through John Key.
    I also think if he fails they have lined up Robinson to takeover when he (Robinson)hasacquired more experience. And what better way to get more experience at the top than to help a new, less knowledgeable than yourself guinea pig through the ‘top’ business and multipy if they can, if not learn from their mistakes and take over.

    I don’t like this strategy (not even sure if this is the strategy) and I don’t think it will work. But I will wait and see outside the Labour Party, and possibly look to supporting the Greens.

    If Labour are successful and healed, I may vote for them again in 3 years.

    I hope their strategy does work because the people who are struggling in this country especially our impoverished children have hardly got time to see if Shearer works out. We should have hit the ground running. Principle and strength, well communicated, often garners more worthy, reliable and positive uplifting recognition than pop appeal.

    If I was going to live outside the matrix (thnx William Joyce for idea)when the nats got in, I am now really going to have to live outside the political matrix for a while as well thanks to the Labour caucus 2011. Hope they have good fortune being an ‘actual shadow’ government of national, coloured lite blue. At least they can play ‘snap’ with the leaders now.

  78. ak 78

    Benghazi: Having always voted Labour because they stood for the poor, women, minorities and children, I doubt I’ll ever vote for them again after today

    Sorry Ben, and to all of similar sentiment, but at least one of those statements must be false. Because Labour still stands for all that, no matter who’s leader.

    Which leaves the question of our own motivation. Is winning every battle more important than what we are fighting for? Or are we fighting for ourselves, not the aforementioned.

    Three years is an age in politics. Poor old Phil should’ve gone after a year. And if Dave is the same, then ditto.

    But he won’t be. Because he’s not. This one’s even better than Hels.

    It’s motivation. And ability. Branded with a white-hot iron in his history and screaming optimism to every cynical polly-shy swing voter in the land. The keenest diviners of truth.

    The money changer masters the dark art of sincerity in all but the eyes: the true shepherd simply gathers his flock with kindness.

    • Colonial Viper 78.1

      But he won’t be. Because he’s not. This one’s even better than Hels.

      I hope you’re right and that the correct comparison in 3 years time is with Helen Clark.

  79. Richard 79

    Great news. Great leader. A reason to feel proud to be a Kiwi again. At age 73 I will seek to be a member of the Labour party.

    • Colonial Viper 79.1

      What? Why?

      Why are you choosing to help Labour now, instead of 3 months ago when it would have done real good for the election campaign? Do you know Shearer personally that you are that impressed with him already after a maiden speech?

  80. Hi Micky – spot on – if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck then it is….

    I’m sure there is a very active Garner/Mallard axis, I just can’t prove it yet. But I’m digging and finding all kinds of interesting things about ducks. Not well feathered to say the least….

    And gingercrush I think your list is promising but how about adding:

    – Jones
    – Sio

    as highly likely on the basis of declarations from Te Kunihera Maori and the PI Sector Council.

    – Prasad probably too as Cunliffe/Mahuta embody his values

    So that is already over the Garner numbers without even considering potentials like Lees-Galloway, Little, Robertson and unknowns like Woods and Clark. Is it credible that not one of them would have voted for that impressive Cunliffe/Mahuta team?

    Yep definitely smells like old pond water sprayed liberally Garner’s way. And as for Espiner having similar vote counts – that’s just another example of the quality of our very small pool of journalist in NZ, they copy each other’s stories….

    PS. I did love Whaleoil’s mallard duck quacking out its own vote count…..

  81. Congratulations to David Shearer and Grant Robertson. An effective Opposition is an important part of a healthy democracy. The leadership election has also brought the matter of more meaningful member participation into party decision-making into the public arena. This is something political parties generally could usefully reflect on – given the poor voter turnout. Perhaps its not just MMP that should be reviewed over the next couple of years?

  82. vto 82

    Shearer’s opening line in his maiden speech was terrible “thank you for all coming today”


  83. As a left-wing Green Party member it doesn’t behove me to comment on the new leadership but I do hope that those who have criticised the new line up will support it: I am scared of all these self-fulfilling prophecies, which do get quoted in the main press, which is why I’m here. I’m encouraged by Shearer’s vision of a “clean, green, clever New Zealand” and hope it can come to pass. Add to that “healthy” of course.

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  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
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  • Further measures to support businesses
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  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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  • State of National Emergency extended
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