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Cunliffe wins – now what?

Written By: - Date published: 12:26 pm, September 16th, 2013 - 91 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, john key, labour, same old national - Tags: ,

Cunliffe leadership announcement-2

So David Cunliffe is now leader.

The scale of the win is somewhat overwhelming.  He had significantly greater support from members and affiliates than his competitors.  And the vote in caucus was closer than some had predicted.  Winning on the first ballot was not expected even by his most ardent supporters.

His call for caucus unity is important and appropriate.  I suspect that any MP thinking of rocking the boat will be intimidated by the size of the party’s support for David and they would be well advised to behave.

All eyes will be on the reshuffling of the seats in Parliament.  David’s stated intent to reward on merit and to make appointments across the three caucus groupings will be an important early change to what has occurred previously.

On Morning Report this morning David gave an excellent interview with Kathryn Ryan.  He also gave a stunning interview on Firstline and made it clear that his intention is to enthuse the 800,000 kiwis who did not vote last time to vote this time.  If he keeps this standard of interview up then he will do well.

He has also settled onto a theme.  John Key is a funny popular person but his actions in favouring the rich corporates such as Sky City, Rio Tinto, Chorus, and the various merchant bankers gorging themselves on our assets cannot and should not be tolerated.

The first Parliamentary question time will be eagerly awaited and I am sure that the topic of the question is having some thought put into it.

I would suggest that the first question to the Prime Minister should be about the Axe the Copper Tax campaign.  This ticks all the boxes.  A wealthy corporate is increasing its wealth to the expense of the rest of us and the Government is overturning a decision of the Commerce Decision which it does not like, even though the decision benefits ordinary kiwis.

Key has made come bizarre claims about the issue, suggesting that Chorus may go broke if the Commerce Commission Decision is allowed to stand.  It seems that he has not received a briefing from Chorus but presumably has performed the calculation himself.

The estimated saving to Chorus of the proposed change is in the vicinity of $100 million per year.  Given that it made a profit of $171 million last year this possibility is difficult to comprehend.  As I noted earlier Chorus’s problems appear to be that it underestimated the cost of the roll out.  A faulty tender is not normally grounds for not reducing charges as far as they should be.

What is really interesting about this issue is the signs of a split in National’s ranks.  Prominent National Party blogger David Farrar has joined the ranks of the Axe the Copper Tax campaign.  It seems there may be elements of a power play in this move.  The responsible Minister Amy Adams is a strong supporter of Judith Collins whereas Farrar has links to the English/Ryall faction of the National Party.  A question on this topic will have the dual benefits of highlighting National’s crony capitalism and at the same time drilling in on an issue that is causing internal dissent in National’s ranks.

And  there seems to be the whiff of change in the air.  A Te Karere commissioned Digipoll of a thousand Maori voters showed a 5% gain by Labour on the party vote over a previous poll taken in January.  The Greens did even better and picked up 7% points.  The Maori Party will be concerned as it lost 15% points.  A movement of support to the progressive parties by Maoridom is welcome news.

Time will tell but dare I say that there is now hope amongst progressives that the next election will see a change in Government?

91 comments on “Cunliffe wins – now what? ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    What’s next? Radio NZ were reporting on the midday news that Chris Hipkins has stood down as chief whip and that tomorrow the caucus will be electing new whips.

  2. chris73 2


    – Is it true Hipkins has been removed as whip?

    [lprent: No. He has stood down as whip. I don’t expect that you will understand the distinction. ]

    • Olwyn 2.1

      from what I have heard, I think that both the whip and the deputy leader need to be voted in by caucus rather than appointed by the leader.

    • chris73 2.2

      Ah yes…stood down voluntarily 🙂

      Well I’d suggest that maybe someone talks to Curran and Mallard and tells them to “voluntarily” fall on their swords as well

    • Tim 2.3

      Much to your disappointment Chris73 – and despite the cnut he is – he did something honourable.
      Hard for you to understand I know, but there it is.
      A stiff G & T maybe?

      Btw – do you have an adequate supply of incontinence pas?
      If not – hey!!!! have I got a deal for you!

    • Core_Labour_Voter 2.4

      Stood down – Removed = He is gone. Let us move on.

  3. Waffler 3

    That was an awesome interview on Firstline! Great to see he’s pitching his voice down as well.

  4. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4

    @ Mickey Savage,
    Just wish to extend congratulations to you, Jennie Mitchie and the rest of Mr Cunliffe’s campaign team for a job well done.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Cheers BL. Yesterday was a good day but last night David said in his speech that we were all going to be very busy until the next election …

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        The busiest year of our lives, he said 😯

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4.1.2

        Yep, saw that comment by a very serious looking Mr Cunliffe on the News “what I’ve got now is a big job to do” (words to that effect).

        I’ll say

        I had to laugh, due to my sense of humour being a wee bit dark at times.

        Gonna have to have a hard-working and effective team to undo the mess Nats have made to when he [hopefully] wins the election too…..

  5. Rich the other 6

    Good riddance to hipkins , cunliffe needs to recognise the threats around him and demote Robertson and a few others.

    What interests me more is the dynamics between the greens and labour , will cunliffe stomp on this group of extremists who will ensure defeat for labour at the next election.

    A real blow to the greens must be the unfolding events in Britain , their flagship stance on global warming / climate change is in tatters with the ippc in panic mode and are currently being exposed as fraudsters.

    Any one with doubts about this should read the daily mail, 15sept also 8 sept.

    The bottom line is the greens are being left with a huge gap in policy and their destructive attitudes towards employment , farming , and business in general will be easy picking for the nats.

    • Hayden 6.1

      their destructive attitudes towards employment , farming , and business in general

      Citation needed.

      (edit – remove formatting like moderator’s comments)

      [lprent: good idea. 😈 ]

      • weka 6.1.1

        “Citation needed.”

        For that and every other lie Rich told.

        As if the Daily Mail is the bastion of left wing political understanding 🙄

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 6.2

      @ Rich the Other
      Greens took a very proactive stance toward employment in the last election and continue to do so, to say otherwise is simply untrue; Rich, it is very unwise to simply absorb the spin that Nats place on things. The only interests they support are those who are taking a very monopolistic attitude toward work and finance.

      Monopolistic attitudes are what is leading to job shortages and low wages. These attitudes need to be addressed for us to get healthy employment statistics and conditions. An improvement in this area will lead to a much healthier society and economy for us all. Nat spin will only progress us toward worsening these factors.

    • weka 6.3

      “What interests me more is the dynamics between the greens and labour”

      Ae, me too.

      Keith Locke this morning, signalling that the Greens are stepping forward too:

      Much of the success of a Labour/Green government will depend on how well the policies of the two parties are merged post-election, hopefully taking in the best of each. On some matters the coalition policy will be easy to determine. As both parties support a capital gains tax, there will be a capital gains tax. On other issues, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Labour supports and the Greens oppose, it will be more difficult. Because of this it would be stupid for Labour to promise now, in areas where the Greens and Labour have a different policy, that a Labour/Green government will adopt the Labour policy. That is something to be worked out post-election, so a little bit of MMP caution is required from parties before the election.

      David Cunliffe could also help the public better understand the nature of MMP by rejecting the mantle of “Leader of the Opposition”, which is offensive to our multi-party system, where parties vote for and against legislation in different alignments. David Cunliffe is the leader of the Labour Party, and only the Labour Party.


      • bad12 6.3.1

        Yes i agree with Keith Locke, but, always both Labour and the Greens should be highlighting the areas they do agree upon,

        It’s going to be a shame that Government policy for a Labour/Green Government looks like it will have to be thrashed out in the compressed period between the 2014 and the Government’s formation,

        Perhaps what is needed is a weekly meeting between these two party’s where at least an initial policy discussion across all areas can be laid out for discussion,

        Counting the chickens befor they hatch this may be but both party’s really need to know at which point in both party’s policy either are going to say NO!!!,

        ‘The Left’ sooner or later has to become more co-operative in how it views the electorates and elections and deliberately look for areas where co-operation rather than competition will deliver the best overall result,(a Government of the left),

        There are a number of electorates where Labour/Green/Mana would be far better rewarded for co-operating and hopefully David Cunliffe who has grasped MMP politcs with far greater knowledge than many,(not living in the electorate He represents), can begin at some stage to openly plan for bolstering where possible the election chances of other left leaning party’s,

        For far too long now under the auspices of MMP we have political party’s behaving in a quasi MMP/FFP manner when the left especially should be ‘building’ future coalition partners…

        • ak

          Not bad, bad. Not bad at all. Indeed a very passable comment old boy. Learn from the old Alliance/Labour example eh what I say, united we stand and all thet…..Mr Joseph Public esquire is quite the fan it seems….(and if I may just say, bad old chap, parties, dear boy, parties. Let’s leave the grocers’ apostrophes to the petit bourgeoisie eh old man?)

    • Craig 6.4

      No, they are not. The Daily Mail is a British tabloid and prone to Tory bias as such. And if you think we’re not aware of the successful SPD/Green coalition in Germany back in the early noughties, dream on, matey. Moreover, what’s the alternative…Winston?! Good old prehensile, lets-have-a-bob-each-way Winston?! Just because the Nats have no viable coalition partner in sight…

    • Murray Olsen 6.5

      Bugger, I’ve been wasting my time for years getting my scientific information from Nature, Science, Physical Review Letters and other recognised journals. I should have just looked at the Daily Mail.

      • Rich the other 6.5.1

        Murry O,
        I suggest you start collecting these journals , in time they will be collectables, monuments to deceit and gross stupidity.
        The change global warming /climate change fanatics are in trouble and are being exposed, the truth is on it’s way.

        global warming and religion have one thing in common , both require huge amounts of faith

        • Macro

          “global warming and religion have one thing in common , both require huge amounts of faith”


        • srylands

          “global warming and religion have one thing in common , both require huge amounts of faith.”

          what? the scientific evidence for climate change and its causes is profoundly convincing. It is nothing like religion (aka as witchcraft) Of course, the appropriate policy responses to climate change are open to debate.

      • lprent 6.5.2

        Obviously. Mind you it is just as clear to me that each of us should be served a dollop of brains from child born so that they too can become Daily Mail readers…

        On the other hand I could read a online paper that isn’t written by lazy illiterates.

        • Rich the other

          The point is those online papers are changing , some of those writers are already running for cover.
          Reputations are seriously under threat.
          The truth is on the way.

        • andyS

          The latest Mail article on climate change by David Rose was endorsed by Judith Curry, who said he was basically right.

          Mind you, Curry is a “denier” and should be ignored.
          She has spoken badly of the great Mann

          • Macro

            You poor deluded fool…..

            Curry is an academic embarrassment – it’s a wonder she continues to hold her position.. One can drive a bus through the gaps in her logic.. But for those, like yourself, grasping at any straw in the debate, her word is the ultimate TRUTH.

            Never mind andy i’m sure you lot will all be left out in the cold, and you can continue to mutter your inanities to your hearts content amongst yourselves – in the meantime – for those of us in the real world – we have work to do

  6. tracey 7

    If chris has any self respect he wld not have forced his own sacking. The leader will propose his choices for 2 whips and deputy and then caucus vote as they choose.

    The work begins today. If people found this leadership contest tiring they need to step aside now. Its a marathon not a sprint.

  7. Ancient Ruin 8

    Mallard will be looking forward to that Speakers role a bit more too…

  8. Not A PS Staffer 9

    David Cunliffe should give a regular pitch on his strategic initiatives on The Standard.

    He should tap into the energy (and intelligence!) of the beauts on this site.

    Many of us are willing foot soldiers in the battle to make Godzone a better place for everone and not just the select few.

    Go on David…

  9. Sable 10

    If he gives Keys the swift kick up the ass the little twit deserves then good job.

  10. Craig 11

    What I’d like to know is when we can expect elaboration and increased attention to the Capital Gains Tax, given that Cunliffe and Robertson both agree on its importance to the centre-left.

  11. captain hook 12

    forget the crap from the mealy mouth gnats and the poormouthing from the Dompost.
    Its time for all good men to come to the aid of the party and fight for social justice and equality.

  12. Congratulations to all three candidates for a civilised, intelligent primary campaign. All three would have made fine Labour leaders. But, as a certain Highlander said, “there can only be one”…

    Now the hard work starts to rid ourselves of this nasty, self-serving government and it’s despicable leader.

    And if any Labour MP has any bright ideas about “white anting” Cunliffe – Shane Jones and Stuart Nash put it quite nicely: find another job. We have no time to waste on further internal squabbles.

    There’s a Tory government to destroy.

    • andyS 13.1

      There’s a Tory government to destroy.

      and then, a country

      • bad12 13.1.1

        Your free to leave, the sooner the better…

        • andyS

          I certainly intend to leave to Australia if there is any indication that the Greens get a share of power, as will a large part of the productive part of NZ

          Then the feral underclass will be left to cannibalise what’s left of NZ.

          • bad12

            Better book your tickets then as there is every indication that the Green Party will have a major role in the next Government,

            Here was i thinking that the ‘feral underclass’ were already busily cannibalizing the place via the sell off of Mighty River Power and Genesis Energy,

            i suppose you are going to tell us all that they have an entitlement,

            Please leave sooner rather than later, the less of your ilk there is polluting our air the better…

            • andyS

              More than happy to leave bad12. Having been reminded that I am a “guest” in this country, and a White MotherF**fcker who has been raping your land, I am more than happy to leave you to your own fate

              I might pop back now and then to take a holiday and the poor people can amuse me with their juggling and unicycle tricks

              • bad12

                All good then AndyS, your admission of wanting to scarper resonates through your comment akin to an admission of guilt,

                You seem with the ‘your land’ bit to be directing something here personally at me, or is that simply a whine about ‘the Maaris’ in general,

                As far as you being a guest goes i think it is more a self perception and how you feel, the WMF tho from your initial comments seems to fit…

              • can i suggest far north rural queensland as a destination for you there..andy s..?

                ..there i am sure…you will find many more of your own kind…

                ..and no worries about any p.c.-bullshit there..eh..?..

                ..you can call a spade a boong..as it were..

                ..and no-one will turn a hair..

                ..that’s you..eh…?


                phillip ure..

          • Murray Olsen

            As opposed to the feral overclass who’ve been cannibalising Aotearoa since Lord Roger blessed them with his slavish devotion to Chicago?
            I might pass you half way across the Tasman anyway – I’m more optimistic about coming back than I have been for years.

          • Macro

            give my regards to bill 🙂

          • srylands

            Sadly it may require the implementation of Green policies to demonstrate their capacity to destroy wealth. It is easy to be a cheer leader for these policies if you live in a State house on welfare. You get a short term sweetener but it won’t last.

            If the Greens win, I hope it will be full on with their economic policies. That way it will be a one term government. It will also be a great demonstration effect. We can watch from offshore and pass the popcorn.

            • bad12

              Snuck back for a snivel have you SSLands, you havn’t got a clue what Green policy entails so why pretend you have,

              i suppose tho the pretense dovetails in nicely about your comical pretense of being an economist and the further fantasy that you regularly live in both Australia and New Zealand,

              Your a laughable charade SSLands…

            • Rogue Trooper

              could be an all-decade sucker punch.

            • framu

              “It is easy to be a cheer leader for these policies if you live in a State house on welfare”

              thanks for proving you know jack shit about who votes green

              any other rank ignorance you want to put out in front of people?

          • srylands

            Wow.. at last another rational contributor to The Standard.

            • lprent

              Actually AndyS is a rather well known nut with a persistent delusion that they understand science. Unfortunately this rather falls down under its own weight because he doesn’t have any maths and appears to be incapable of reading scientific papers.

              One of the more entertaining delusions is that the Daily Mail trumps Nature every time. He does amuse those of us with science degrees and a fetish for dissection as a person on whom to exercise our talents – especially me when I have time. But praise his perceptive insights, and I’m sure this will enhance the general awareness of your own intellect. 😈

              However I’m sure that Andy will feel more comfortable in Aussie. After all he looks more rational than your new PM

              • Macro

                andy also claims to hold a Masters in Maths from Cambridge – forgetting to add that 3 years undetected crime following a Bachelors = a Masters at said uni… on one occasion I had to point out to him that the use of the word “likely” had a specific meaning in statistics and did not refer to events with a less than 50% chance of occurring.

                • lprent

                  Crikey. He will do well in Aussie. I can just see him now propping up a bar somewhere with his bushmans hat… Yaknow like in Croc Dundee spinning that and other ‘true’ tales

                • Rogue Trooper

                  Thank God for Aristotlean Logos then, but what do I know, although, if I’m bored enough next year I might try out for one of them new-fangled Masters thingys; they say you can become a Doctor by entering the Box. 😀 (already been accepted twice, yet, the timing was a little out; not ‘pinking’ enough).

          • Draco T Bastard

            Once the feral overclass, John Key and his ilk, have left everyone else will be free to make NZ a better place. Unfortunately, as they’re liars and don’t keep their word, we can’t expect them to keep their promise to leave.

      • Daveosaurus 13.1.2

        If he wants to destroy a country, all he needs to do is leave its Tory government in place. Destruction of countries is all the Tories can do – cf. Thatcher.

        • srylands

          “Tories” = “A Tory holds a political philosophy (Toryism) based on the traditionalism and conservatism originating with the Cavalier faction during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. This ideology is prominent in the politics of the United Kingdom, and also appears in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada. ”


          Which country are we in?

          • ZET

            That’s called cherry picking. If you’d bothered reading to the bottom of the linked page you would have found the last paragraph entitled “Current Usage”. Of course there aren’t any pictures to give you a clue and some of the words run to three or more syllables..

            • McFlock

              yet another tory who thinks that they’re the only ones with access to teh interwebz. In Australia, “Tory” is used as a pejorative term by members of the Australian Labor Party to refer to members of the conservative coalition Liberal and National parties.[15]. Are you not familiar with the parlance of your homeland, spylands?

              But a much clearer outline of the term is actually expressed when describing “tories” of the Texas Revolution. It doesn’t scan perfectly given the particular political issues of the time, but the essence is the same: The Tories generally were long-term property holders whose roots were outside of the lower South. They typically had little interest in politics and sought conciliation rather than war or they withheld judgment from both sides. The Tories preferred to preserve the economic, political, and social gains that they enjoyed as citizens of Mexico, and the revolution threatened to jeopardize the security of their world. Tories were, and are, people who grew rich at the expense of the majority and generally by some mechanism of massive injustice, and who will use every tool and weapon of power that their privilege grants in order to continue to oppression of their fellow citizens.

              But to be fair, many of them (like spylands) are so disconnected from the reality that faces most people that they might really have no idea about the real harm their policies cause.

  13. jaymam 16

    Now what? A deputy, that’s what!
    Sure Grant Robertson has talents and deserves to be deputy rather than Jacinda Ardern. However Labour would get more party votes with Linda’s unretouched portraits beaming out from the billboards. She would also get much more of the female vote, and the anti-gay vote. So what does Labour want, votes or fairness? Grant will still be competent and effective in the House, given important portfolios.

  14. Tim 17

    Chorus DOES tick all the boxes … it’s a natural monopoly which is being funded by tax payer (public) money, and there to serve the public (aka tex payers/consumers/end users – call ’em whatever your flavour dictates).
    In that sense, and like any other natural monoploy (usually there for ‘reticulation’ purposes – it should/must either be PUBLICLY owned, or heavily regulated.
    Whether its water, gas, roading, railway lines, electricity ‘grids’, or telecommunications ‘grids’, it is the mechanism by which other operators (private or public) deliver.

    I was hoping Key’s threat that it could go broke wasn’t as idle as it was. GOOD stuff I would have said – and the sooner the better.
    I still hope it will. It’ll be the fastest way for a return to public ownership that there could be.

    Let’s see just how far the next gubbamint will go.

    As Cunliffe says – if ensuring a quarter of a million children are fed, educated and watered is ‘left wing’ …. so be it.
    I’d go further. If ensuring 4 million plus are equally reticulated with the services most of them (or their ancestors) paid for anyway is ‘left wing’, so be it!

  15. pollywog 18

    What next?…now I have to make good on my pledge to join the Labour party.

    That’s what…give it a month or so though 🙂

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Need you onboard to help hold Labour to account, and to set expectations that Labour must deliver on its promises.

  16. burt 19

    What now … All existing staff from the old leader need to be given jobs by the new leader …. Or is it different for Labour and their policies are not to be applied to themselves ?

  17. Tim 20

    “Cunliffe wins – now what?”

    It’s only just gone 24hours.

    I’d suggest we give the guy a break, and not subscribe to the 24hr news cycle or the 24hr party people syndrome – lest we repeat the sins of the MSM on alternative platforms.
    A good time to just have a lay down (even a cup of tea)
    A couple of days maybe …
    Let the bubblists sweat a little!

  18. Tanz 21

    Key on Breakfast this morning, honestly, lame.
    Cunliffe is already much different from Shearer, much more in-charge and decisisive.
    This can only be good, I suppose.
    Key is far too self confident.

  19. vto 22

    what now?

    well push towards a greater spread of the wealth

    for one thing

  20. xtasy 23

    Now what? A decisive, early START of the election 2014 campaign, from the very early hours on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 onwards, until Key and Natzies are beaten and chased off the treasury benches!

    And make sure you have lots of garlic chains around your necks, to keep those nasty blood sucking vampires at bay (MSM and the likes).

  21. trickledrown 24

    99% of all scientific researchers agree global warming is happening.

    The 1% ters disagree!
    the very same people who are destroying our caring sharing society!

  22. Rodel 25

    Now What?
    Heard from an MP’s spouse that with Cunliffe/Parker and a real team, the Nats can see the writing on the wall and are going for broke.

    Their time for sneaky little adjustments that people don’t notice has gone.

    Watch for a big increase in hasty right wing action as they try to mould New Zealand to suit their friends before the risk of 9 years out of power after the next election. i.e Meridian this month, Air NZ before Xmas.etc.etc.Kiwi bank?…

    I’m glad that parliament is sovereign and can undo legislation and repair the damage.
    I hope Cunliffe makes it clear that this could happen with a Labour government.

  23. Wayne (a different one) 26

    Whats next?

    Well, firstly I’m going to sack all my staff (so much for the “workers” party).

    Then I’m going to kick all the “ABC’s” in the slats.

    Then I’m going to present a united & happy Labour Party to the country (Yeah Right)!

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 26.1

      Nonsense Wayne,

      Representing ‘workers’ doesn’t mean ‘anything goes’

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  • Speech to Infrastructure NZ Symposium
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  • New Zealand signs Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
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