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Communication upgrade needed

Written By: - Date published: 9:24 am, June 9th, 2014 - 49 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, labour - Tags:

David Cunliffe badly needs a new stump speech. On Thursday in Whanganui I heard him depress a large and sympathetic audience for ten minutes with tales of national woe, then promise a positive campaign but give no details. It is good to know that a positive campaign is proposed. Labour has promised an economic upgrade; it also needs a communications upgrade, and besides being positive it must be relevant. That could shift the polls.

The policy bones are all there – they’re just not connected in a narrative that relates to voters. Because they are not connected they can’t be repeated, so too much communication is undisciplined and unfocussed, as we saw last week from several players. Focussed and disciplined communications are necessary for voters to have a clear idea of what is on offer, how it relates to them, and why Labour’s alternative is best for them and for the country.

It’s not that people don’t care, more that they don’t know, as Verity Johnson outlined in the Herald on Saturday.

Message relevance is critical; this was key to Labour’s late communication in 2005, described to some extent by Mike Williams in today’s Herald. Relevant communication to non-voters was critical to Labour coming from behind to lead on election day. Don Brash is still crying in the beer about it. And while I’m on 2005, getting Labour’s numbers up is also critical to post-election decisions. The lead party will have first crack at forming a government, and much will depend on the numbers on the day.

Too much of Labour’s communication has been relentlessly negative, coming from what appears to be a pervasive view that “the purpose of opposition is opposition.” That’s fine if your purpose is to stay in opposition; my view is that the purpose of opposition is to get into government as soon as possible. To do that people have to know what is on offer, have a sense of hope and purpose, and that can’t be done with a negative approach.

Finally if Labour is going to run a positive campaign, the its media unit needs to get with the programme. We’ve been getting their feed for several years, and endless series of negative or critical straplines is very off-putting. They also all follow a similar pattern; gripe followed (sometimes) by alternative. I suspect many of them by now don’t even get opened.

Hopefully David Cunliffe will kick-start Labour’s positive campaign tomorrow today in Christchurch. I can’t wait.

49 comments on “Communication upgrade needed”

  1. Ad 1

    The Christchurch speech has landed well.

    The Auckland list conference was excellent.

    Your post lacks any focus or even example to be meaningful.

    Labour doesn’t even yet have a manifesto to turn media content to.

    Take a breath inwards and hold it Mike.

    • nadis 1.1

      “Labour doesn’t even yet have a manifesto to turn media content to.”

      I’ve heard on the grapevine there is actually a general election quite soon.

      • Ad 1.1.1

        Manifesto is going to caucus in a week or so.
        Months earlier than usual.

        • blue leopard

          I share similar views to you Ad, that Labour is doing well (minus the dreadful comments MPs made last week, something seriously wrong with that; seriously wrong).

          However as I mention in a comment below, it appears not everyone is holding such a view – even here on the Standard – which indicates to me that Mike Smith is making a fair and constructive criticism. If Labour take on board the message to be disciplined and clear in their communications – it will only help them become more effective; reach more people.

    • Anchovy 1.2

      Denial isn’t going to get us anywhere Ad. Mike is right, we lack message discipline and it is taking us too long to get it together – voters will punish us for that. We have some great policy (even without a full manifesto), but we haven’t stuck to our core positive messages. Ee’ve been all over the place. I think Mike’s advice is good and I hope it is taken on board.

      Auckland list conference was characterised by bullying and underhanded deals. It was a shambles. I wouldn’t cite that as an example of things going well.

    • Mighty Kites 1.3

      Yeah those speeches worked great, that’s why Labour is languishing in the twenties across all opinion polls…

  2. Enough is Enough 2

    Yeah Agreed.

    At present the Labour campaign sounds a wee bit like a “New Zealand Sucks” campaign. A phrase from Clint in 2008.

    The problem with that is it runs counter to the MSM narrative that things are humming along quite nicely at the moment.

    Although there are aspects of the country sucking big time under the leadership of Key, it is better to focus on how good New Zealand is and how much better it will be under a progressive government.

    Calling everything a crisis, during a relative economic boon, begins to lack credibility.

    • lprent 2.1

      However, there isn’t a “relative economic boom”. There is a boom in dairying whilst everything else is either flat or declining like manufacturing outside of dairy. The dairy money isn’t really making its way into the economy – which is why the tax revenues are always way below Treasury forecasts.

      Looks to me like the money is being sucked into interest and debt repayments and not circulating in either the urban or provincial economies. It certainly isn’t going into taxable jobs. I can see the economists in treasury slowly wrapping their minds around that concept.

      Basically the journos seem to have problems reading numbers….

      • Enough is Enough 2.1.1

        I agree entirely.

        My comment is in relation to the message we are giving. Not the underlying reality.

        The message (for the purposes of winning the election) has to somehow leverage off the positive message that the country is in reasonable shape.

        I don’t believe Cunliffe has the skills, ability or support to counter that narrative.

        For whatever reason a lot people like Key and believe what he says. We have to accept that. Therefore when Key says the economy is in good shape, has English and the bald tubby man pull some numbers from left field to back it up, a lot of people will agree and get on with their lives.

        I think a better campaign is to say we will use this dairy and Christchurch boom to benefit you and your families by doing a, b and c.

      • Bob 2.1.2

        “There is a boom in dairying whilst everything else is either flat or declining like manufacturing outside of dairy” This is exactly what Mike is talking about with the ‘tales of national woe’, please see the latest stats below and tell me how a 1.1% increase in Manufacturing values outside of Meat and Dairy is “flat or declining”? Also, Meat and dairy product manufacturing rose 18 percent, which in an economy that has a huge meat and dairy industry, this IS a “relative economic boom”. http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/manufacturing_and_production/EconomicSurveyofManufacturing_HOTPDec13qtr.aspx
        Perhaps it is you that is having problems reading numbers….

        • lprent

          Oh FFS. Don’t you credulous right-wing fools ever actually read the links that you post before you mindlessly dribble out someone elses words?

          Dig down one layer to more of the detail talking about non-dairy manufacturing.

          In current prices, the sales value rose 1.1 percent ($172 million) in the December 2013 quarter. Eight of the 12 industries had rises.

          Sure – what you said. Now read the next paragraph.

          The trend for the sales volume has been relatively flat for the last four years, but has risen in recent quarters.

          Then look at the graph that explains what they are talking about

          Now look at the relative rises…

          Teeny for everything except the largely no new jobs dairy processing industry.

          I suspect that if I looked further down like I did in the previous quarters, I’d see the same thing as usual. The only manufacturing increases outside of dairy are to do with supplying dairy or the rebuild in ChCh. Transport in particular.

          Neither dairy nor the rebuild are a sustainable source of sales over the next decade. Virtually none of the export manufacturing or exports outside of shipping barely processed commodities rose, and most are slowly falling. The actual rise in non-commodity manufacturing (even with these latest blips) isn’t as much as our population increase.

          It’d be nice if you could learn to do some of your own thinking and learnt to read down through the numbers rather than shambling around like a zombie grunting out the last thing that someone else said.

          I’d also suggest that trying to implicitly saying that I’m the Labour party is a very bad idea. As well as increasing my sarcasm level, I often suddenly find I have an aversion to mindless corpses whenever someone tries that old chestnut.

          • Bob

            “The trend for the sales volume has been relatively flat for the last four years, but has risen in recent quarters.” did you miss the ‘Risen in recent quaters part’?

            By the breakdown you have just provided the areas that have slowed down are predominately Mining related, are you saying you would prefer National increase Mining and Drilling to increase the overall manufacturing numbers?
            Even with the slow down in commodity prices for Petrol, Coal, Silver and Gold, manufacturing still rose 1.1% outside of meat and dairy, of course this was all from Fruit, cereal, non-metallic minerals and printing that as you state ‘are to do with supplying dairy or the rebuild in ChCh’. I have an aversion to mindless corpses whenever someone tries that old ‘ChCh rebuild is the reason for growth’ chestnut, it’d be nice if you could learn to do some of your own thinking and learnt to read down through the numbers rather than shambling around like a zombie grunting out the last thing that someone else said.

            I’d also suggest that my trying to implicitly say that you are the Labour party is entirely in your head. Please point out where I even remotely pointed to you being the Labour party, I simply pointed out you are falling into exactly the same trap of ‘tales of national woe’ mentioned in the post above.

            • lprent

              did you miss the ‘Risen in recent quaters part’?

              Yes two (possibly three) quarters. Did you miss where i pointed out where I’d seen that rise going on previously. Not percentages, but in dollar value. Most is going into transport and basic machinery. In fact exactly what was required for construction.

              Much of your comment appears to be horribly confused with some strange obsession about mineral processing. If you ever look closely at that, you will find that most of that is in fact processing of bauxite from aussie. The volume of processed oil and gas has been falling dramatically over recent years – it certainly isn’t increasing.

              Look at the stats on where new jobs are appearing in the stats (mostly construction). Apart from SH20 in Auckland and a slight upturn in housing construction up here – most of them are in ChCh.

              In the absence of a corresponding increase in either non-farming exports (which I am sure you can find the figures for), or a big increase in internal retail (no GST growth). Where exactly do you think the increases in manufactured goods are going?

              Scotch mist?

              Getting back to your original question, you don’t seem to have read the numbers or attempted to understand them. Understanding macroeconomics retrospectively is surprisingly easy if you try and if you have a reasonably adequate stats department like we do..

              Perhaps you’d try reading the numbers as an approach next time? It will probably beat having me to get me to explain exactly how dumb you looked pointing to a link you hadn’t read and a mindless slogan.

              And of course you tried to say that what I said was what Labour said when you refered to my comment as being
              “This is exactly what Mike is talking about with the ‘tales of national woe’”.

              Yeah so Mike wasn’t talking about the Labour party messaging?

              Don’t be such a dickhead. That was clearly mixing my comment in with what Mike was saying about the NZLP. If I was drawing that from the NZLP I’d have said so. But generally I always do my own research.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      “during a relative economic boon”

      Don’t fall for the trap of the two NZ’s

      Yes the top 20% and especially the top 5% are doing fairly nicely

      But the worker on the median wage $41K pa and the pensioner on half that is getting smashed by rising costs of living, mortgage rates creeping up and their kids not being able to find work.

      Labour needs a positive message of change, but the background is a realistic message of how tough it is for 2M people out there.

      This is all happening 3 months too late however…

      • Bearded Git 2.2.1

        Agreed CV. This needs to be Cunliffe’s narrative. But he is smart and will run a good campaign.

        • fisiani

          The Cunliffe is very very smart and he knows it. He is running a cunning plan to win in September by lulling John Key into a false sense of security. When polls indicate 29% that is not a reason to worry. No, The Cunliffe wants the polls low so that the only way is up. A massive 5% rise in the polls would take Labour to 34%. That is however actually a 17.24% rise in the polls. Hurrah! (5/29×100). He knows that if support falls to 25% then a massive 5% rise is indeed a whopping 20% rise in the polls. He could then claim to have the fastest growing support in NZ. The Cunliffe is a genius.
          He knows that people want to work another 1000 days to earn a pension.
          He knows that people are happy to pay tax on their bach, boat, business, farm and kiwisaver funds.
          He knows that people are clamouring for free Morrocan cookery classes and line dancing.
          He knows that getting trucks off the fast lane of a few kms of motorway will win hearts and minds.
          He knows that Winston First and Labour could form a government and the Greens would have no option but to give them confidence and supply yet again.
          He knows that he can outsmart John Key in the debates.
          He knows that 64% of New Zealanders are deluded when they claim the country is going in the right direction. He has the charisma and the eloquence to convince them to abandon National. He has a GOTV strategy written on the back of a KFC voucher.
          The Cunliffe will come from behind and win in 103 days.

          • Bluey

            I wouldn’t agree with all of that, but I guess overall you are correct.
            Nice summary.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Hi Mike. Just checking that you had a chat to DC first to give him your useful feedback on improving his stump speech before posting this up.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      “Depress”? Feedback on Facebook from Whanganui suggests that Mike might be projecting a teensy bit.

    • Mike Smith 3.2

      No – tried that last election (and the one before that as it happens). Politicians’ habits die very hard so I decided the best thing to do was to give the feedback openly. I absolutely agree with what you say about the need for disciplined and strategic communication.

  4. Will@Welly 4

    The ‘key’ to winning the election is strategy, strategy, strategy.
    Nothing suggests those running the campaign have ‘woken up’ and recognized this fact.
    I don’t blame David Cunliffe as such, but boy, does that ‘team’ need galvanizing.
    I heard Joyce on the Radio yesterday – National’s campaign manager – and was he spinning it over Banks.
    Waiting till the last week of the election is too late to get the team into full swing.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      “strategy, strategy, strategy”

      Yes and part of that has to be the NARRATIVE of why a Labour led government will be different from one formed by National and its toady extremist parties.

      Labour’s announcement today of a Christchurch Earthquake Court is the perfect example – Labour should not be afraid of using the powers and leverage of the Crown to help the citizens of this nation.

  5. Jimmie 5

    So why was this post pulled last night? Seemed a little odd but the general thrust of the post is correct.

    By any credible measure Labour isn’t doing too well heading into this election.

    For my 5 cents worth I reckon it is to do with the Green/Labour combination more than anything.

    Committed lefties will vote for Labour/Mana/Greens no matter what depending on their preferences.

    Unfortunately (for Labour) soft floating voters looking for an alternative look at Labour and all they see is a strong green shadow in the background and it scares them, especially when Norman starts talking about new taxes and how many ministers the greens are expecting in a LG government.

    Labour is not seen as a credible brand in and of itself – they are like a 3 legged race where they are conjoined at the hip with the Green party – this scares a lot of middle soft voters who are choosing to opt for National instead.

    The only real alternative is for Labour to shun the Greens and to push an NZF alternative instead however this isn’t easy as Winnie is getting a little long in the tooth and has a lot of baggage that makes him less attractive than 2005 (Not to mention the Horan phenomenon.)

    • lprent 5.1

      Looked to me like Mike pulled it last night. Could have been a mistaken release.

      Could also been because of the Banks resignation. Normally there isn’t much news on Sunday evening, and he would have wanted it discussed.

      When he released it this morning, I fixed the date time to go in the right place.

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    While I wouldnt usally agree with Mike on such matters I think in part he is right. However one of the reason’s Cunliffe has struggled has been partly due to the damage caused by the ABC group. The whole line about him not being liked was said over and over again and Key enabled by the media has continued to ues it. You say something enough times and sooner or latter most people believe it especially when they have no counter narrative to make them form a different view.
    Sadly Cunliffe needs a whole lot of soft media and despite what many in the party think good policy is not what gets many out to vote. Key is a millionaire who has made his money speculating and trading currency and shares yet many Kiwis think he is just like them Ive heard people say this who are on the dole. Cunliffe is a really good guy but unless Labour start using soft media they are going to struggle big time over the” awe shucks New Zulandand, Im a funny bloke having a BBQ with the Prince PM”
    Cunliffe needs good media advice and who ever is advising him does not have a clue..

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Soft media ramp up is crucial – it’s not too late now though it should have occurred Pre-Christmas last year…however staffing in the Leaders Office was ‘in flux’ and it was hard work to co-ordinate.

      • Craig Glen Eden 6.1.1

        I accept that staffing was a mess in the Leaders office however with such limited time from Cunliffes election as leader till the general election he needs to reverse the perception. Thats why the Nats have called an election early I sat with three Labour voters having dinner out last Friday and they want to vote Labour but this is what was said “Cunliffe isnt liked though is he”. Its not even that they like Key they hate him and what he is doing to our education system but humans being humans they want to believe that somone is nice in order to get them out to cast that vote. Goff actually started to get that cut through in the last election campaign Cunliffe needs to get that cut through and what is currently happening is not working.

  7. Bill 7

    so too much communication is undisciplined and unfocussed, as we saw last week from several players

    See that? I’m reckoning that’s just about the entire problem. From (a-hem) certain elements in caucus who appear to want to stir it up in order to preserve some kind of a future for themselves in parliament within, I’d guess, a Labour Party that has replaced Cunliffe with a (for them) far more sympathetic Robertson.

    I found it ‘odd’ that at the same time we had (among other shit) idiotic tweets from MPs, we had some blog posts from peeps I’d associate with more conservative elements within Labour swinging blunt and rusty axes in strange directions while urging unity…Mr Salmond most obviously coming to mind.

    Anyway. I’d simply urge people to get in touch with their local Labour MP and (if appropriate) instruct said MPs to pull their heads in. You might call it a stirring down in them thar grass roots, and an absolute necessity if members really want the Party to be a vehicle for peoples’ concerns as opposed to a vehicle for career minded beasties.

  8. blue leopard 8

    Yeah, it is odd because I do see what Labour (Cunliffe) is offering as positive i.e. ‘we are going to ensure all New Zealanders get a share of the country’s wealth’ and the policies they have released sound like they are heading toward that aim and I hear a clear narrative, however it doesn’t appear others are hearing these things and therefore I think Mike Smith’s criticism is reasonable and (therefore) constructive.

    My view that they have got a very clear narrative is based on Cunliffe’s state of the nation speech and things said with their large policy releases – it is very clear what they are aiming for to me. I have not heard Cunliffe talk at meetings, though, and Mike Smith appears to be basing his criticism on this type of speech.

    I am certainly extremely unimpressed with the statements made by MPs the other weekend – it seemed disharmonious and came across as undisciplined, though

    In regards to negativity I think that Labour do have to be a wee bit negative at times in order to appeal to those really struggling – in order to allow them to see that Labour acknowledges their struggle. However I can certainly see that for those in the middle class+ who are still comfortable this would seem overly negative – so somehow he has to work out a way to appeal to those who really have hit hard times without putting off those how haven’t – and vice versa. ( Good luck with that! :geek: )

    However, all these things said the amount of left-wing comments I have read on this site saying ‘Labour is doing nothing’, ‘they don’t have a clear narrative’, ‘they are not addressing the real issues’ including the comment in the above post indicates to me that Mike Smith has to be correct – the message is not getting across clearly.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      indicates to me that Mike Smith has to be correct – the message is not getting across clearly.

      It’s also a little more than that – and that is the excessive white noise from Labour which is drowning out their message signal. You have acknowledged an element of it i.e. the MPs speaking out of turn the other weekend. Other things include raising the retirement age, keeping the same $15/hr minimum wage target as 2011, supporting the government’s mean social welfare reforms.

      • blue leopard 8.1.1

        +1 Yes, it continually strikes me as seriously odd that Labour are so unskilled in this area. Odd that the largest party on the left fails to grasp the simplest techniques of making their message clear and easy to understand for those whose sole focus is far from politics.

        One would think that they could attract the best advisers??

        The Greens are so much more skilled at this than Labour, and look at their polling trend – it is upwards. No surprises there.

        • Colonial Viper

          Towards the end of last year we were promised a proud ‘Real Red’ Labour. One which would differentiate itself from National by doing much more than just being a bit nicer, softer and fluffier around the edges. But its not happened in the slightest. Even when you squint and look really hard.

          It’s not hard to imagine why we haven’t seen it played out in the campaign this year – the Thorndon Bubble set inevitably decided to play it safe and quietly strangled it as being to risky, from their viewpoint.

          The ironic thing is that by playing to the biases of the media, they have not realised that finding some real backbone is what NZers have been waiting for from Labour for bloody years now. Hence the polling jump to the mid 30’s and higher when that “real red” languaging was being used. In contrast the more anodyne and pointlessly Thorndon Bubble Labour acts the worse it will perform in the public, even if the media gives Labour less shit for being communist.

          Finally, a Labour Party which does not understand the historical purpose NZ requires of it at this juncture is a Labour Party which is not part of the solution.

          • Tracey

            Plus lots.

            IF labour is being fluffy around the edges national lite to get the govt benches then shifts significantly to the left thereafter it has deceived the electorate…

  9. felix 9

    I agree the communication can improve.

    The question is, Mike, do you think improved communication will get Labour support to 51% by September?

    Of course the answer is no. So the next question is when will Labour stop attacking and start co-operating with the other parties of the left?

    Because these are the options:

    1. concede the election
    2. reach 51% alone
    3. figure out who Labour’s friends are and work with them

    Mike, if you know of a fourth option I’d love to hear it.

    • blue leopard 9.1

      +1 Felix

    • swordfish 9.2
      • 1

      And, I’d also ask: Mike, do you think improved communication will get Labour to “lead party” status ? (given that you’ve argued:“……getting Labour’s numbers up is also critical…The lead party will have first crack at forming a government…”). I think we all know that this just aint gonna happen. Indeed, I’d be very surprised if Labour managed to top 34%. Regardless of how well we do, the Nats will be the largest single party in parliament and, therefore, presuming NZ First remains true to its broad post-election-negotiations policy, will have the first crack at government.

      Otherwise, I don’t have too much problem with Mike’s thesis. A good, constructive wake-up call. But Labour would do well to remember Felix’s point 3. Cunliffe, his strategy team and, of course, the dear old ABCs need such realism drummed into them.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        Indeed, I’d be very surprised if Labour managed to top 34%.


        34% to 35% would be at the high end, excellent performance.
        32% to 33% would be solid, good performance.

        Less than 32% and the best case scenario with a friendly Winston etc. results in nothing stable enough for more than a one term Labour government anyway.

        • swordfish

          Yeah, I think 30-32% is looking fairly likely. Labour tends to receive pretty much what it’s been averaging in the polls, at most a percentage point higher.

          But, but, but……if the MSM do their relentless “Labour is Dog Tucker” FPP routine as they did in 2011 (the implication, of course, being that the Left Bloc as a whole has no chance either), then I could see a similar scenario to last time: a whole swathe of erstwhile Labour voters swinging to either the Greens or into non-voting. Which could, once again, see Labour finish down in the late 20s, with the only compensation being that the Greens end up doing better than expected – perhaps as high as 14, 14.5%.

          So, I’m thinking 31.5% Labour, 12.5% Greens. But in the (pretty likely) advent of a loud All over bar the shouting meme from the MSM, could become *28.5% Labour, 14.5% Green. (Lab down 3, Greens up 2, remainder due to Labour supporters moving into non-voting).

          • Only slightly above 2011 result
          • Colonial Viper

            Hmmm actually that sounds like a solid win. For the ABCs that is.

      • greywarbler 9.2.2

        Radionz this a.m. said National thinking of standing down in favour of Colin Craig. Will Labour help Mana and its likely partner the Greens now? Or is it still stiff-necked po-faced ‘Ooh we can’t do anything till we get a clear picture of what the voters want’?

        What is needed actually is to give voters something to get their teeth into, like a nice pie, with a smooth fusion of left-wing parties and a fresh taste.

        Or is it a case as some have said, that Labour isn’t sure it wants to win. Isn’t sure it can cope with the present debacle and wants the country on its knees so it can stride forward with Excalibur and save the day. Trouble is the bloody peasants don’t believe in leaders who draw their power from some watery, moist fairy. (Peasant Collective from Monty Python – very apt.)

        This one never fails.

        Make your opinions felt in a symbolic way I suggest. If Labour regards the election as a mere joust, a sporting contest that they can take a fall at, then let’s use some of the symbols of the old medieval joust to good effect.

        Knights begged “tokens” from ladies. And were presented with “favours” such as a veil, ribbon, or the detachable sleeve of a ladies dress I suggest giving hankies, men’s or women’s – clean and folded and in a clear plastic bag, so they can be seen clearly and the message understood. Send our ‘favours and tokens’ to our chosen representatives to encourage them in their endeavours, and if they lose, they will have a handkerchief for their tears! A silent message from this symbolic piece of cloth which would be like a small flag encouraging that political fighter for the left.

        Or we could change the name election to the old name of hastilude so it is more aligned with the present day reality of a traditional stylised performance of what was once an honest match for gaining the right to run the country.

  10. BM 10

    David speaks like he’s giving a sermon, which is hardly surprising given his upbringing.
    It’s all fire and brimstone and getting red hot pokers inserted up your nether regions.

    The flock obviously like that sort of stuff but it can be a bit hard going for the non believers.

  11. Populuxe1 11

    Less cheesy and obviously posed photo ops please

  12. Chooky 12

    Bomber Bradbury again makes a lot of sense !

    ‘How David Cunliffe becomes the next Prime Minister of NZ’

    By Martyn Bradbury / June 9, 2014

    “The biggest problem with political journalism in NZ is that we have MMP politics and a First Past the Post press gallery.

    At some point, someone is going to have to break it to them that despite their flawed landline opinion polls, David Cunliffe has a very good chance of becoming the next Prime Minister of NZ.

    The lack of working knowledge many voters have of MMP paints a grim picture of an overwhelming victory to John Key.Nothing could be further from the truth.

    National won only a few thousand votes more in 2011 than they did in 2008, the reason their percentage soared was because of the lowest voter turn out in a century. If the opposition party’s can reach out and mobilise this time around they will lower that percentage considerably. This is one of the reasons why National are only polling 44% on iPredict.

    With that context, there are a number of MMP challenges that seriously challenge a return to power for John Key.”..
    – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/06/09/how-david-cunliffe-becomes-the-next-prime-minister-of-nz/#sthash.z77aspZ3.dpuf

  13. Harry Holland 13

    I’m thinking maybe this year has a bit of a 1996 feel to it…

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    17 hours ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
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    20 hours ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
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    22 hours ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
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    1 day ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
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    1 day ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
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    2 days ago
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
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    2 days ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
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    2 days ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
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    3 days ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
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    3 days ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
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    3 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
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    4 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
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    5 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
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    6 days ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
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    6 days ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
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    6 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
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    1 week ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
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    1 week ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
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    1 week ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
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    1 week ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
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    1 week ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
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    1 week ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
    Budget 2020 provides a major investment in New Zealand’s documentary heritage sector, with a commitment to leasing a new Archives Wellington facility and an increase in funding for Archives and National Library work. “Last year I released plans for a new Archives Wellington building – a purpose-built facility physically connected ...
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    1 week ago