David Cunliffe announces his retirement from politics

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, November 1st, 2016 - 335 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, john key, labour, Politics - Tags:

LEC CUnliffe January 27 2014 speech-4

New Lynn Member of Parliament David Cunliffe will resign from Parliament next year and will leave politics entirely at the 2017 election. It will be timed to ensure there is no by-election.

In the official history of the Labour Party written this year, he got barely more than a sentence.

But this is not an accurate record. His task will be familiar to those who have observed other reformers like Julia Gillard of Australian Labor and Jeremy Corbyn of the United Kingdom’s Labour parties.

What they all sought to do was to re-unify and re-energise Labour governments that had a generation before been responsible for massive structural reforms that had devastated whole industry sectors, labour markets, and indeed the entire role and strength of the state.

Those Members of Parliament that had been associated with those reforms were, and remain, loyal to the long term value of those reforms. In New Zealand, it took Helen Clark to form a new kind of credible reforming politics.

Under the Clark government, David Cunliffe was responsible for significant reforms to telecommunications by preparing the split of the monopoly Telecom. In immigration he made major reforms to the immigration system. In health he memorably brokered a major disagreement between doctors and health boards by actually locking them all in his office without a break until they came out with a signed agreement. In New Lynn he persuaded the Minister of Finance to triple the amount of funding available for redeveloping transport. This became the start of the highly interventionist cooperation between central and local government we see across Auckland’s transport and urban development, particularly Auckland’s City Rail Link.

David Cunliffe fought successfully to change the Labour constitution to ensure that the membership would have a democratic say in who was to be the next leader. For proposing these reforms, he was routinely vilified by his own Members of Parliament both in public to the media, at Labour conferences, in caucus meetings, and in regular media leaks. As with the Jeremy Corbyn leadership contest, the result was a huge rise in membership and a revival of grassroots interest in what a new Labour party could become for New Zealand.

Once he had become leader of the Labour Party through the first open leadership election he made possible, the relentless attacks from within his own party caucus continued. He was fully the equal of John Key during the 2014 election debates. But Labour lost the election, and a key cause of that loss by the resulting report was found to be sustained undermining by his own MPs leading to a clear public impression that Labour were not stable enough to form an alternative government.

David also leaves behind some of the most coherent and challenging speeches from a recent New Zealand politician. One of those is the Dolphin and the Dole Queue.

David Cunliffe made a difference, and outside of some of his caucus, he will be missed.

335 comments on “David Cunliffe announces his retirement from politics ”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    This is not good news.

    Although he had very limited leadership qualities and ability, he is an outstanding and capable operator. He was one of the stand out Ministers in the latter part of the last Labour led government.

    David is really needed in the next government. So I am bitterly disappointed by this.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      I have nothing but good wishes for David Cunliffe. His Cabinet experience is something that a new Labour Govt desperately needs, especially with the loss of long timer Goff.

      Having said that I think that the GRACINDA faction of caucus will not be unhappy to see the back of Cunliffe.

      • Just the Struth 1.1.1


      • billmurray 1.1.2

        CV, I am also sad that David Cunliffe is stepping down, I hope Greg Presland steps up as it would be a travesty if the Gracinda faction were to carpetbag this seat.

        All the very best David Cunliffe.

        • Ad

          Won’t be any shortage of contenders.
          But they need a candidate who can bring both seat and party vote both back to Labour.

          • Colonial Viper

            If Micheal Joseph Savage put his hand up for the seat, he’d be laughed out of the modern NZ Labour party.

        • Westiechick

          This makes me sad. Gracinda not welcome in New Lynn. We tried to win the last election, not sabotage it.

      • Chooky 1.1.3

        +100 Enough is Enough and CV…the way he was treated by Labour is a good reason to NOT vote Labour imo

        …this and the way Hone Harawira and Mana/Internet was treated

    • save nz 1.2

      +100 Totally agree Enough is Enough.

    • aerobubble 1.3

      Dont you mean that a small parliament should have better depth of politicians?
      How else do we have such a neolib economy. How did Mike Moore get on TV again and sustain the impression that the huge wealth impulse from middle eastern oil in the 80s was translated into growth by neolibs like him, that there was no alternatives but to grow wealth by growing finance, real estate, etc. yeah no. We have a world of pollution, inequality, climate change, lost privacy, due to our rent seekers dominating us and not valuing individual freedom, citizens, ecology, or the future.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1

        How did Mike Moore get on TV again

        He’s favoured by the capitalists that actually run our country.

  2. pat 3


  3. Armada 4

    King/Robertson 1
    Labour Nil

    • Leftie 4.1

      Not really. David Cunliffe hinted that he may leave politics to John Campbell on Campbell live after the last election and the leadership fiasco. Bet he discussed this with Andrew Little and that’s why he is no longer ranked. Good that there will be no by election. Personally, I am sad he is leaving, but I am not surprised, the Key and msm dirty politics of 2014 cost him a lot. Credit to the man’s utter strength of character that he remained standing and continued to work hard for the party, despite the back stabbing disloyalty by some in the party’s caucus.

      • Sam C 4.1.1

        It wasn’t Key and the MSM that sunk him. It was his own arrogance, lack of political nous and being knifed by his “colleagues”.

        • Leftie

          So you are completely ignoring John key’s dirty politics, orchestrated smear campaigns, and the most viscous, vile and nasty attacks by msm ever witnessed?

          • Sam C

            links and examples, please.

            • Leftie

              Oh for Christs sakes, where were you in 2014?

              • Sam C

                Oh for Christ’s sake. If you want to blame Key and the MSM for Cunliffe’s demise, then go ahead. Read the rest of the comments on here. He was knifed, the poor bastard.

                • Leftie

                  Oh for Christ’s sakes, so you are indeed completely ignoring John key’s dirty politics, orchestrated smear campaigns, and the most viscous, vile and nasty attacks by msm ever witnessed.

                  • Sam C

                    “Viscous”?! You’ve said that twice now. It also means thick, Leftie.

                    • Leftie

                      The spelling error only means thick and sticky. I meant vicious which means “deliberately cruel or violent’ as the msm were, as you well know Sam C.

                • Stuart Munro

                  The Donghwa Liu affair stands out – even veteran far-right journalist Armstrong was ashamed of it.

                  It serves your purposes as an agent provocateur to sow dissent in leftwing ranks – but the criminal diversion of public resources to preserve this vile and ineffectual Key government peaked with its attacks on Cunliffe.

                  Trying to foment mischief among the survivors does you no credit.

                • billmurray

                  Sam C, I agree with you, he was knifed by the Gracinda faction, Little then humiliated him by leaving him with nothing to do.
                  Come on Greg, put your name forward before you are beaten to it by the Gracinda mob.

                  • Sam C

                    Spot on billmurray – if there was a viable path of redemption, he might have stuck around. But that simply isn’t possible with Little at the helm and Robbo and Jacinda lurking in the background.

                    • Leftie

                      Oh look two shitstirring trolls patting each other on the back, how novel… not.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Nailed them Leftie.

                      They’re only here to speak ill of the survivors. Honi soit qui mal y pense.

  4. Saarbo 5

    That’s a shame. He’s clever, he’ll do well outside of parliament.

    I hope he writes a book…it would be a bloody good read.

  5. Garibaldi 6

    As a concerned Leftie this is most disturbing news and, as an instant response, demonstrates just how tied to Rogernomics the Labour caucus is. Actually ,it is more than disturbing, it is tragic for those of us who hoped Labour could reform its errant ways.

  6. Saarbo 7

    That’s a shame. But he’s clever, he’ll do well outside of parliament.

    I hope he writes a book, it would be a great read.

    • Roflcopter 7.1

      Katie Bradford could be his Editor!

    • Ann Elborn 7.2

      Cunliffe was done over by the msm and possibly members of his caucus who undermined him. I remember when Key had a go at him for living in Herne Bay, Robertson was quick to move in and stress he lived in an ordinary house in Wilton.
      Noticed how once he was no longer leader, the leaks from Labour to the media stopped??????

      He was set up over the Dong Liu affair and as someone already mentioned, John Armstrong actually acknowledged that and apologized to him. That was dirty politics.

      We now have a PM who is/was a serial puller of young women’s pony tails, even when they asked him not to do so. This as opposed to DC who said at a Woman’s Refuge event, right now I am really sorry for being a man. I wish more men would apologize.

      Very bright guy, competent Minister under Helen Clark.

      Wishing David all the best for his new life. He deserves better than what he got in parliament.

      • Leftie 7.2.1

        “Noticed how once he was no longer leader, the leaks from Labour to the media stopped??????:

        I have always attributed that to Shane Jones leaving and Andrew Little’s leadership.

        • Joyce

          Actually I don’t think the leaks have ever stopped – let alone the “lifting ones skirts” to National for personal advancement – Shane Jones (appointment), Phil Goff (mayoralty), David Shearer (still trying to find a job in the UN)…

  7. Tarquin 8

    That’s a shame, I never particularly liked him but always respected him. Given more support I believe he would have made a good leader in time to come.

  8. BM 9

    I had a look at what David Cunliffe is currently doing,


    For a guy of his experience, all I see is nothing roles.

    Spokesperson for Disarmament, Research and Development, Science and Innovation, and Land Information

    Undersecretary to the Leader on Superannuation Issues

    Associate Education (Tertiary) Spokesperson

    Andrew Little has rather made the message clear, he hasn’t got a future in the Labour party.

    Bit of a disappointing end for the guy.

    • Peroxide Blonde 9.1

      Ranked lower that Mallard and marginally above Cosgrave! Andrew Little showed weakness rather than strength doing that.

      • Leftie 9.1.1

        Bollocks PB and BM. And maybe David Cunliffe had already told Andrew Little he was intending to leave and that’s why he was no longer ranked. That itself should have been a big hint to everyone.

        • BM

          I don’t think so.

          More likely Little doesn’t trust Cunliffe which is why he gave him roles that kept him hidden and out of the public eye.

          • Peroxide Blonde

            More likely that the ABC’s threatened Little that they would undermine him in the same way they undermined Cunliffe. Little had no reason not to trust Cunliffe but the Wellington/Hutt Valley mob made their ongoing support conditional on Cunliffe being kept out of the leadership team.

            • Leftie

              Lol that’s quite an imagination BMPB. McFlock is right, you both are shitstirring.

          • McFlock

            lol – stir, stir, stir.

            It’s like putting a tinfoil hat on fish in a barrel, eh…

          • Shona

            uh ha BM. Well as a former Labour voter I sure as hell don’t trust a mediocre corporate bootlicker like Andrew Little to do anything worthwhile as a Labour leader and so won’t be voting Labour anytime soon!

            • red-blooded

              Little was a bloody good union leader (hardly “corporate bootlicking”) and he’s done a bloody good job as leader since inheriting the mess that was the 2014 Labour Party. You don’t have to put down the current leader in order to honour a former one.

              • Colonial Viper

                Alternatively maybe you can honour a former Labour Leader by demoting him into the unranked back benches.

                Then giving him a bunch of shitty third rate go-nowhere portfolios while promoting inexperienced newbies ahead of him, just to make sure the point is clear.

          • Draco T Bastard

            That would be a load of bollocks. Little trusts Cunliffe – that was obvious when I saw them together at the meeting in New Lynn.

          • Johan

            A genius you are not, a Tory Troll shit disturber you do well at.

    • James 9.2

      Interesting thing is though that he has managed to get a good job back in private sector – unlike some we could mention, who are either still looking or should be looking!

      Good on him for taking the initiative – and all this BS about him not seeing the writing on the wall earlier- he’s obviously timed it so no byelection…

  9. The Labour Party leadership has lost a talented and loyal son. He was a great electorate winner: he took Titirangi from the Nats. He was an excellent minister in a number of portfolios and made a mark in Telecommunications, Immigration and in Health. He was hounded out by a clique of mediocrities. Labour does not have talent to burn. Andrew Little scores a fail for playing a role in the ABC disaster.

  10. cohesion 11

    Chalk up another victory for Grant Robertson and his faction.

    • Anne 11.1

      Oh rubbish. Its got nothing to do with Robertson and co.

      • Leftie 11.1.1

        Agreed Anne, hasn’t it occurred to anyone that David Cunliffe himself may feel there is nothing left for him to achieve by remaining in politics and that after seeing the term through, it’s time to move on with other goals?

        • Crashcart

          Has it occurred to you that there is nothing left to achieve in politics for him because he has been side lined and marginalised to the point where he can achieve nothing. I mean lets keep it basic here. The guy was leader of the party and wanted to remain leader of the party. He loses and when replaced is demoted to where he can do very little. You want to make the argument that he was demoted there because he wanted to be? That is plainly bollox.

          Little may well have liked DC and trusted him. In the end though he has had to knock him out of the party to maintain control on it by appeasing those who can’t work with DC. It is probably the right choice over all but it is a sad reflection on the state of the MP’s that they put their own personal politics and personality clashes above the good of the party.

          • Anne

            In the end though he has had to knock him out of the party to maintain control on it by appeasing those who can’t work with DC.

            Yep. Have to agree with that.

            A reasonable resumé by RNZ’s Jane Patterson:


            He can leave with the ability to say he chose the opportunity for a career outside of Parliament, with his leader publicly wishing him well, even though many of caucus have been looking forward to the day he chose to depart.

            After the way a some of his caucus members treated him, it isn’t surprising they sigh with relief at his pending departure. I would be embarrassed in his presence too if I were one of them.

            • BM

              That pretty much sums up David Cunliffe.

              I could imagine paralysis by analysis would have been a constant issue with David Cunliffe.

              • Anne

                From the link;

                … the wounds of past years run deep and many of colleagues still see him, as described by one, as “narcissistic and messianic”, …

                I had the opportunity to get to know him a little, and I don’t believe he was narcissitistic or messianic. In my view, his gregarious style of oratory and management was badly misunderstood by many people. I hope he does exceedingly well in the private sector and ultimately proves all his detractors wrong about him.

                But I agree, his approach to problems was probably too analytical for the political setting.

                • BM

                  He was obviously very heavily influenced by his Father.

                  The preaching to the flock,messenger of god style of oratory doesn’t really cut it, in what is now quite a secular country.

                  Unfortunately for David, instead of inspiring, he just put peoples backs up.

                  • Anne

                    Yes. It would have been a normal setting for him having grown up with that style of oratory. 50/60 years ago, when churches were still well attended, people would have been far more accepting of it than they are today.

                  • AB

                    BM prefers people who say things like:
                    “Ekshully there’s a whole range of factors, and we might look into that or kick the tyres a bit solution-wise, or not though at the end of the day most Kiwis would agree with me on not overall, generally-speaking wanting to makes heaps of changes when ekshully it’s not totally clear aah, umm and probably that’s a good way of at least thinking so I’m comfortable with the situashun ongoing though you always keep an eye on stuff and so on”
                    This and variants thereof can be used anytime you want to do nothing about something that advantages your supporters and hurts other people.

          • Leftie

            “Has it occurred to you that there is nothing left to achieve in politics for him because he has been side lined and marginalised to the point where he can achieve nothing”

            Isn’t that what I meant?

            I never said he wanted to be demoted.
            What I said was that I think David Cunliffe and Andrew Little had a discussion. Cunliffe himself did allude that he may not stay in politics back in 2014. David Cunliffe knew he could never be leader again, he had gone as far as he was allowed to go, there was nothing left for him, and it is not hard to understand, given the feeling of some within caucus, him remaining in the long term was untenable for both him and the party.

            I thought it was good for the party that another by election has been averted and I do not this was done by sheer happenstance.

  11. Siobhan 12

    Cunliffe going going gone…I am very sorry to hear that.
    Though I have to admit I failed to appreciate his strengths till round three of the pre-election debates with Key.
    Now I’m stuck in the Hawkes Bay with Stuart -coming-second-but-maintaining-our-principles-is-a-ludicrous-proposition-Nash and Anna-the RSE scheme has also become a very effective tool to gain greater leverage with helping improving employment conditions-Lorke.
    Its going to be a big call voting Labour next time round.

    • rhinocrates 12.1

      Robertson is my electorate MP. I won’t even consider voting Labour with either vote.

    • billmurray 12.2

      Siobhan, here’s a cost effective tip:
      if its going to be a big call to vote Labour, try yodelling, the noise travels further and it not so hard on the vocals.

    • Colonial Viper 12.3

      Here’s an easy call to make: Cunliffe leaving will measurably hurt Labour’s party vote in 2017.

      • Leftie 12.3.1

        I know you really want that with all your heart, but maybe it won’t hurt Labour as much as you hope.

    • Gabby 12.4

      They don’t get your party vote you know.

  12. Bill 13

    NZ Labour just back shuffled another little bit into a past that’s currently rank with the stench of decay all across the English speaking world imo.

  13. Peroxide Blonde 14

    Cunliffe’s has a resume of solid ministerial success: not to be compared to Corbyn.
    Cunliffe is a loyal member of his caucus (or as loyal an any of the others!) : not to be compared to Corbyn.
    Cunliffe has a heavy duty intellectual workhorse brain that is capable of nutting out any issue: not Corbyn’s strong point.

    If a comparison needs to be made (why?) Cunliffe is to be compared with Clark. He matches her in intellectual skill, he is a bit better than her communicating with membership and making speeches.
    Clark had a bit more luck than Cunliffe in terms of the make up of the Parliamentary Party. Clark had a more thoughtful and less selfish set of peers.

    • Siobhan 14.1

      Making comparisons isn’t just an idle hobby, its a valid way to work out where our politicians stand.
      Clark is strictly a centrist neo Liberal.
      Cunliffe and Corbyn represent a desire to clean out the third way scoundrels and start a return to traditional Labour Principles that put Workers, Families, The People, and the Nations interests and sovereignty first (rather than the Corporates, the investors and their Free Trade swindles)

      • billmurray 14.1.1

        Siobhan, yes,
        buts what’s your valid opinion of Andrew Little, my own is that he is a National lite leader who sells BS for a living.

        • Siobhan

          Andrew Little is a source of great disappointment to me. Every now and then I think he’s about to throw aside his National Lite cloak and reveal himself to be a Labour leader of note.
          But he won’t..because he isn’t.

      • red-blooded 14.1.2

        Cunliffe was a solid minister in the Clark government. He was by no means more of a “leftie” than her; it was a good fit. He didn’t do so well as leader, partly because he doesn’t have to people-management skills that Clark did and partly because he was trying to present himself as more left than he was; it left him seeming insincere and indecisive at times.

    • AmaKiwi 14.2

      Peroxide Blonde

      Helen had dedicated, committed supporters: women MPs. They knew this was their time to shine and they stuck together like glue. Helen’s women held that caucus together

      By comparison, I have no idea what holds the present caucus together except the desperate hope each individual has of hanging onto her/his seat.

      When Goff and Shearer can “get permission” to cross the aisle on something as unpopular as TPPA, you know this tribe is doomed. They represent no one except themselves.

  14. Ian 15

    Well now he can rejoin the lucrative consulting business

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Yep – he is one of the few Labour MPs who has private sector options to look forward to.

    • Sam C 15.2

      When was the last time you were in the private sector? I’m picking not too many employers will be keen on Cunliffe’s intellectually superior attitude – he’s cut from the same cloth as Mark Weldon.

      • Leftie 15.2.1

        That is a load of horse shit Sam C.

        • Sam C

          You need to do better than that, Leftie. You accuse me of being a troll. Unfortunately for Cunliffe, he is tainted in the private sector. Unless he offers his services from his kitchen table for $120 an hour, but he certainly doesn’t have a future with the big boys.

      • Gabby 15.2.2

        Lawyers love that shit. They’ll sneer and patronise each other all day.

        • James

          Rick Boven has an outstanding reputation slams he’s an astute businessman. He wouldn’t be going near Cunliffe unless he knew he was good.

  15. Just the Struth 16

    Political obituaries ought to be more connected with reality, than [deleted. No-one of that name has commented on this thread and … pseudonyms etc. They are valid and protected. If a person of that name had commented, it would have been under their pseudonym. Respect that ] sycophancy up the top.

    In truth, David Cunliffe was a controversial, complicated – and towards the end, tragic,figure.

    He is a person with great intellect, who can very quickly master a brief. He could crunch numbers, see through complexity and explain very easily large ideas.

    However, he lacked the emotional intelligence to convey sincerity and integrity to a great number of colleagues and members of the public.

    His politics weren’t always left wing within the NZLP – he was against a CGT, and was on the right of cabinet under Clark.

    He shifted his politics (without much reason) post-2011, to become a born again socialist, and champion of democratisation of the party. You are wrong to say he proposed member election of the leader – he did not. He supported it alongside Robertson and Shearer.

    He cleverly build a coalition with those disaffected by the Right-Robertson Left regime, uniting Maori, Pacific, left union and disaffected Pakeha MPs into a winning block that dominated 2012 conference, and swept him to the leadership in 2013.

    However, as leader, he was paralysed by indecision – unable to take action, or control his caucus (including allies). He performed poorly with the electorate, and then approached resounding defeat by launching a short-lived leadership campaign (announcing outside a brothel??). When it became clear he needed to turn to personal matters in his life, he abruptly quit and lent his coalition’s support to Andrew Little.

    Sadly for David, he was not rewarded for crowning Andrew and received not one but two demotions since the 2014 election. His coalition has fractured as Andrew united the party, and his role either as a leader within the parliamentary or extra parliamentary party became very diminished.

    David Cunliffe was always the smartest guy in the room. Unfortunately he knew it, and let others know he knew it.

    • Peroxide Blonde 16.1

      NONSENSE. There is little truth in Struth.

      Cunliffe was 100% in support of CGT and every reader here know that. Inaccurate or groundless comments like this are par for all of your posting

      Here is one piece of evidence of David’s involvement in the Labour CGT policy.

      • Just the Struth 16.1.1

        Sure, he supported it when caucus agreed to it. But he was against it in the economic policy committee, and within shadow cabinet.

        My point is that he was a late convert to more socialist policies – and I think the private/public nature of his position on CGT is a good example.

  16. Observer (Tokoroa) 17

    . Having got rid of David Cunliffe the Labour Party looks silly.

    Childlike, childish and endlessly boring..

    . Oh well ….Cunliffe was too good for the current lazy layabouts. Except for Phil Twyford.

  17. Barfly 18

    I joined the Labour Party so I could vote for Cunliffe . I’m, for the first time in my life, voting Green in the next election

  18. Stuart Munro 19

    Good luck in your future endeavours DC.

  19. rhinocrates 20

    A real loss to the party, while that smug and lazy leech Robertson continues with his sinecure and the spineless Little does… little.

  20. Ovid 21

    At least he can always be proud of his policy achievements in government. Unbundling the local loop was a big deal.

    • Sacha 21.1

      Yes, it was a remarkable success given how well Telecom had outmanoeuvred previous Ministers for two decades.

  21. Pasupial 22

    I am glad that Phil Goff has fucked off from parliament. But if Cunliffe was leaving so soon himself, then why could he not have been the one to stand for Mayor of Auckland?

  22. As a resident of the NL electorate, I can only now prepare to cringe and watch my neighbourhood turn into a blue seat when the party deploys a time serving paratrooper with a resume long on public sector and/or union employment to replace him. Please let me be wrong.

    • billmurray 23.1

      Cementary Jones, not to sure who you are referring to?, I believe Greg Presland should step up to the nomination, not Jacinda Ardern or any other carpetbagger.

      Whats your thoughts?.

      • I’ve never met Greg Presland, but I believe he owns a local legal practice. ‘Local small business owner’ is the kind of vibe which would go over well. The area has changed a lot over the years, and it’s not the kind of safe seat where you can just elect a dead donkey with the right party rosette on its chest.

        This electorate is going to be totally in play, lots of tradies who are self employed, contractors, more and more professionals etc. living there. Working class tory vibez are strong, and there’s the blue-greens of Titirangi of course. The local bakery might have an anti-TPPA message on the blackboard, but send someone out there whose resume is entirely union/public sector, and you may as well lend them Custer’s hat. I know that sounds pessimistic, but it’s the truth.

    • Anne 23.2

      The chances are high it will be a woman Cemetery Jones.

      I am totally opposed to the new gender qualification that has been adopted by Labour and always have been. Yes, I’ve been ostracised in the distant past and generally ‘done over’ by some Labour women who chose to regard me as a traitor to their cause.

      In the event there proved to be sufficient women who were demonstrably the best candidates on electoral offer and this enabled a 50/50 gender gap within the Party, then no-one would be more pleased than me. But to choose female candidates simply because they’re female is, imo, stupid and ultimately unhelpful to the Labour cause.

      I submit the Greens as a good example of how it should be done. They have been able to attract some highly intelligent and capable women to their caucus without arbitrary rulings – at least as far as I know. Labour was moving steadily towards attaining a similar goal when the sisters (my expression) decided that progress wasn’t good enough for them and forced the Party’s hand. I suspect many conference delegates were too afraid to stand up to them and their supporters.

      Edit: I don’t regard Jacinda Ardern as a carpetbagger. She is an intelligent and articulate woman who deserves her place on the parliamentary team. Whether she is suitable for the New Lynn electorate I have no idea.

      • But to choose female candidates simply because they’re female is, imo, stupid

        It’s a good thing literally no one has ever suggested this, then.

        This is the point of gender quotas: qualified women are routinely passed over because of ingrained sexism in our society and institutions. The best way to redress this unfairness is to take deliberate steps towards increasing the number of women, whether that’s blind recruitment practices (a bit difficult in party politics) or quotas.

        For every woman I have encountered in the Labour Party, there are far less-qualified men holding higher positions, safer seats, or greater power. And every time someone pretends that a quota means “appointing someone just because they’re a woman” it entrenches that sexist bullshit further.

        • Anne

          Don’t agree with you Stephanie Rodgers and I’m not trying to start a flame war:

          The best way to redress this unfairness is to take deliberate steps towards increasing the number of women,…

          Which is exactly what was happening before the ‘enforcement’ measures were introduced in… 2012 was it? It was unnecessary to draw MSM attention to the matter and give them the opportunity to misrepresent what Labour was already successfully working towards implementing.

          • Ad

            Load of arse.
            You stand for something. You take the hit.

            Better known as a spine.

            • Anne

              If that’s a reply to me Ad. It bears no relevance to what I said @ 22.2 – or witnessed a few years ago. Are you doing a Trump and calling me a liar? Wouldn’t surprise me.

              I’ll respect your opinions even if I disagree with them as long as you respect mine. It’s about having a spine.

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            It wasn’t the women of the Labour Party who drew media attention to the entirely optional, up-for-democratic-debate remit on all-women shortlists.

            And if David Shearer had shrugged and said “Look, that’s a conference remit. We discuss a lot of things at conference because we’re a democratic party” it would have been no story at all.

            • Anne

              It wasn’t the short lists I was referring to. That is a positive step. My concern is the desire to ensure the right person is selected for a particular electorate (and they all have different characteristics requiring candidates with different skills and experiences) regardless of gender or for that matter ethnicity.

              I know of a few high profile women in the Party who would fit the criteria required easily without the need to be specifically chosen because of their gender. And there are no doubt other women I don’t know of who would fall into the same category.

              • No one. Is chosen. “Specifically”. Because of. Their Gender. You should really stop misrepresenting what the quota does and stop undermining every woman who *does* manage to get selected by implying they’re not qualified.

                • Anne

                  You should really stop misrepresenting what the quota does and stop undermining every woman who *does* manage to get selected by implying they’re not qualified.

                  I’ve done nothing of the sort. No, the remits as discussed were not overtly clear, but the intention was there for all to see. Women were to to be favoured over men in order to fulfill a 50/50 quota system. The wrong way to go about it imo. Let it occur naturally which is what was happening. If my memory serves me correctly the caucus at that time was already 40% female and that had happened without any form of compunction.

                  And I take deep offence at your misinterpretation of my comments. To suggest I was implying that women are not qualified to serve in parliament is deserving of contempt. My original comment was fair and reasonable. It is you who introduced uncalled for hostility. Ponder on the possibility Stephanie Rodgers that attitudes akin to yours could have a bearing on why a lot of people won’t vote Labour.

                  Edit: yeah, you can have the last word. I won’t be pursuing this ‘conversation’ any further. Byeee…

        • Sam C

          Great comment Stephanie and a very succinct explanation of what plenty of other organisations (including the Labour Party) are grappling with.

          I don’t see it as the “enforcement” Anne refers to. Women in governance positions where appointments are merit based can only be a good thing.

        • Venezia

          I agree Stephanie,

      • I think what really matters in this instance is that they select someone with a similar story to David Cunliffe – Labour values are vital, but they need to come with some business experience, if not self employed then at least a career outside of the government/union sphere. I know that’s probably upsetting to lots of union organisers and public sector workers who fancy themselves future Labour MPs, but IMO those days are over when you’re up against the National party spin machine and very compliant media.

    • AmaKiwi 23.3

      Greg Presland will get the nod. In the recent local body election he wall papered the electorate with his hoardings. He is in tight with numerous local bodies and The Greens.

  23. Scott 24

    The “democratization” of the selection of Labour Party leader has been an unmitigated disaster. It is central to their current woes, and their apparent destiny to be a minor party – an equal for the Greens to stand alongside instead of following. Cunliffe seemed like a nice bloke, and quite bright, but he overestimated the nous of the unions and underestimated that of his colleagues (or maybe ambition blinded him to both). Don’t make that error out to be his badge of honour.

    • Barfly 24.1

      Sychophantic hate monger much?

      • Scott 24.1.1

        That is completely unfair to him Barf. He was quite good, but just got derailed by introspective interest groups.

        • Barfly

          Haha…. deliberate misinterpretation again on your part you vile hateful twisted pathetic excuse of a human being.

          • Scott

            Look Barf, I feel like you’re bottling up something you really want to say.

            Don’t hold back because you think you need to be polite to someone you don’t really know at all, or even just remotely civil in order to discuss things rationally and not appear deranged. I can take it. Say what you really think Barf.

            • Barfly

              well you do try to be a “funny” guy…pity it is not the ha ha kind I’ve used all the descriptives I feel are appropriate…..so maybe you should try to excoriate yourself further…..as you seem to feel you warrant it

    • Stuart Munro 24.2

      Your hatred of democracy says more about you than anything else.

      • Bob 24.2.1

        Please explain this democracy you speak of? Because from where I sit the Labour Party Leadership vote is far from it.

        • Stuart Munro

          It would be easier to explain colours to the blind.

          • Bob

            Exactly, as you point out, the complexity of the voting shows it is far from democracy, in fact it is just a backdoor way for the Unions to decide the leader (as shown with Andrew Little)

            • Stuart Munro

              As opposed to the corporatism you favour?

              “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power.” – Benito Mussolini

              • Bob

                “As opposed to the corporatism you favour?”
                Please, do tell me what I prefer, I would love to hear it from you (although you clearly have no idea).

                But getting back to the discussion we have actually been having, please explain to me how the Labour Leadership vote can be described as “Democracy” as you infer?
                I would love to know when the fact one set of peoples votes are worth 55 times as much as another, and a third set of peoples vote is worth twice as much again, could this be described as ‘Democracy’? Sounds more like an Oligarchy to be.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Michel’s Iron Law.


                  But by all means bitch about Labour selection, while the Gnats make not even a pretense of democratic process.

                  • Bob

                    Good to see you agree with me, strange to see you seem to be proud of the fact…

                    Why is National’s process undemocratic? The members choose the regional representative (one person, one vote system), if they are voted into parliament, they decide the leader on a one person, one vote system…seems pretty democratic from where I sit.

    • Anne 24.3

      Cunliffe seemed like a nice bloke, and quite bright,…

      Dammed with faint praise. One thing’s for sure, he towers over you Scott and indeed most of us – particularly in the second category.

      As for the “democratisation” of the Labour Party? Isn’t democracy supposed to be the corner-stone of out political system? The parliamentary Labour Party still has the largest percentage advantage when it comes to selecting its leader – as it should be given their responsibilities.

      Might help if you do a little more reading and listening before launching into uninformed tirades.

      • Leftie 24.3.1

        +1 Anne.

      • Scott 24.3.2

        If he is that good, and their organisational structure that admirable, why then was he sidelined? Demoted as far as that is possible, essentially driven from the caucus?

        I’d agree he was one of the better Labour MPs. I’m sure they will be quick to say how much he is going to be missed, but ought to be asking themselves why he is leaving at all.

      • billmurray 24.3.3

        Anne, the Parliamentary Labour does NOT have the largest percentage advantage when selecting a leader, David Cunliffe was selected by the unions and the rank and file membership, so was Andrew Little, the Labour caucus was sidelined and lost in both elections.
        David Cunliffe easily won his election whereby Andrew Little just scrapped in by one or two votes.

        • red-blooded

          Having said that, Little has been a more effective leader. While Cunliffe is more articulate, Little has created a much more unified party and comes across as more authentic.

          • Ad

            Little has generated more caucus unity simply by taking the easy way out: rather than seek to balance both Clark-generation and Lange-generation factions, Little has simply acceded to the latter and used them to splinter and downgrade the former.

            Just check his front bench to figure that out.

            • Anne

              Little worked damm hard to pull together the disparate strands in the Labour Party caucus. It took him around two years to fully achieve it and he is to be congratulated for his efforts. Of course it was not without some compromise – that’s the nature of politics – but he has never reneged on the basic principles of fairness and justice that underline Labour’s values and policies. Nor do I believe he has acceded to any faction, and it shows in the unified nature of the current caucus – unity we haven’t seen since 2008.

            • Olwyn

              I fear you are right Ad while hoping you are not. We desperately need to change the government. At the same time, it looks, prima facie, as if the coalition of Labour’s media-courting liberal left and donation-chasing right have taken a long road round the wishes of the membership and finally got their own way. It is up to Labour now to show it isn’t so, and quickly.

  24. save nz 25

    Very sad news. Another ethical and smart person lost from Politics. It’s like an exodus of moral politicians leaving parliament in the last few years. Forced out by smears and stupidity. I just hope it’t not more careerist politicians on their way.

    Good luck to David. And good luck to the Labour party too, I doubt they can fill his shoes with someone of the same caliber, intelligence and moral stamina. It’s a loss for them.

    • David C 25.1

      Cunliffe is ethical?

      That would be David “blind trust and anonymous donors” Cunliffe?

      • Colonial Viper 25.1.1

        That’s a bullshit smear. I’d trust Cunliffe ahead of about 115-120 other MPs in Parliament.

        • David C

          You deny he had a blind trust or anonymous donors?

          • adam

            Every leader had a blind trust David C, even creepy Key. Oh and Key takes anonymous donations as well.

            Is this anti democratic rhetoric, or are you unaware how the system works David C?

            • David C

              Correct me if I am wrong but Cunliffe had his trust operating in 2014? Which would be 3 or 4 years after the rules changed?

              You think it is democratic to accept sizable secret pots of cash in return for undisclosed favour?

              • Leftie

                Load of shit. I think you are wrong on many levels David C. It was a trust that was set up for his leadership campaign, troll.

                • David C

                  I will run off and have words with my Father for having a surname starting with C shall i?

                  I think if a mod cared to look I have been using David C for a few years.

                • Leftie

                  And if memory serves, a trust that was set up for his leadership campaign was not against the rules.

                  • David C

                    The rules dont cover internal elections but it was an incredibly stupid move for DC which is why he binned it ASAP after he got caught.

                    • Leftie

                      You make it sound like it was illegal, it was not, as stated, the trust was within the rules.

                • David C

                  I agree absolutely.
                  It was a blind trust to manage funds that were intended on purchasing a leader.

              • Ad

                I reply to you on this below.

              • adam

                Yeap what I guessed, anti-democratic. Go live in North Korea, I think they hate democracy as well.

      • Leftie 25.1.2

        Are you referring to the trust that was set up for David Cunliffe’s leadership campaign, that was designed to protect the identities of donors, (5 in total), and prevent a conflict of interest, but due to the hooha, three donors were named, but two others didn’t want to be identified and their donations were returned….. that one?

        • David C

          I am referring to the blind trust that he tried to use to hide the identity of donors so that and decisions made later that would favor those donors would not come under scrutiny.
          the same kind of trust that is now illegal across politics.
          the same kind of trust that Len Brown quite wisely but unethically used, the same kind of trust that John Banks ethically but very unwisely did not use.

          To be fair John Banks would have been saved an awful lot of bother if he had just lowered his standards to the level of Brown and Cunliffe.

          • Colonial Viper

            I am referring to the blind trust that he tried to use to hide the identity of donors so that and decisions made later that would favor those donors would not come under scrutiny.

            Please demonstrate how you know that was the intent of Cunliffe’s blind trust, and that it was actually used in that way.

            If not, you are FULL OF SHIT.

            the same kind of trust that is now illegal across politics.

            Prove it. Links or references please.

            What I’m amazed about is that Cunliffe’s political enemies are so scared of him, that even after he announces he is leaving they still feel the need to fire bullets at his back.

            • David C


              Very obviously his blind trust was not used to hand out favors to donors because when it became public Cunliffe shut the trust and refunded the money to the people that refused to be publicly named in an effort to stop his public support tanking. He failed dismally.

              Any idea why someone who made a sizable secret donation to a political figure wouldnt want sunlight on that process other than it was a brown paper bag bribe?

              I have to give Cunliffe credit tho, he led Labour to a record defeat. Angry Andy will have to work to beat that record but looks on track to do it.

              • Stuart Munro

                You are a captive of the cynicism that characterises the despicable Key kleptocracy. Altuism is not yet extinct on the Left – only on your side of the fence. Likewise modesty.

              • Ad

                There are a couple of very simple reasons for wanting to keep donations secret to the Labour Party:

                1. Within the legal reporting limits they are entitled to their privacy.

                2. There is massive stigma attached to donating to the Labour Party, because it is seen to be working against the interests of capitalism. You will only understand that if you’ve done it yourself.

                3. Those people who are not major capitalists and can afford to donate large sums to Labour, are from the public sector. If you have ever been in the public service under a National government, and even considered being politically active, let alone donating at scale, you will understand the risks to you and your career that you are taking. They willl hound you out through the media, and then you will be fired.

                Trust me, if you had had any experience of the above you would understand the need to have blind trusts.

                Look forward to your knowledgeable reply.

            • Leftie

              Coincidence that that troll is using the name David C? He is full of shit, Colonial Viper.

            • red-blooded

              CV, the “so scared of him” line is getting pretty old and looking pretty threadbare. DC wasn’t a good leader. Full stop. Move on.

    • Bearded Git 25.2

      @save NZ Agreed +100.

      So-called journalists like the nasty John Armstrong, who wrote lies about Cunliffe (and admitted that he did so when it was too late) should be ashamed today. Cunliffe would have been PM but for the wave of media bollocks he faced.

      18 years is probably enough for anyone in that poisonous atmosphere.

      • Leftie 25.2.1

        IMO Bearded Git, that so called “apology” from John Armstrong was pathetic to say the least after all the damage he had done.

  25. GreenMan 26

    I really don’t see any merit in this petty talk about how David Cunliffe was the messiah, and he was undermined by his caucus blah blah blah. Labour and the Left (incl the Greens) need to move forward as a united force under Andrew Little, Metiria Turei, and James Shaw. We need to present New Zealanders a real progressive alternative, all this sniping the folk on the standard continuosly indulge will lead to another defeat. This focus on being “pure left” is misguided, if we aren’t in Government we cannot help anyone.

    The reality is that Labour lost the election in 2014, and David Cunliffe has just as much hand in that as his “disloyal caucus”. I know for a fact that the possibility of a joint campaign was shafted by self serving members of his front bench. However it was David who made the “I’m sorry for being a man” gaffe, and it was David who fatally undermined David Shearer.

    I believe under David Shearer Labour would have had a real fighting chance in 2014, but that did not come to pass. Labour is now united under the leadership of Andrew Little and stalwart Annette King. Labour can win in 2014, but we have to put in the hard yards. Sniping about David Cunliffe won’t get us there.

    David made a great contribution to New Zealand political life, and for that he should be congratulated. But as they say all political careers ultimately end in failure, and the writing has been on the wall for David for a long time. I thing leaving politics is the right decision for him at this time, I wish him all the best for the future.

    • Anne 26.1

      Think I’ll leave it to others to untangle comment 25 :mrgreen:

    • Leftie 26.2

      You had me interested for a few lines there Greenman, but then it got crazy, David Shearer belongs in the National party.

      • Stuart Munro 26.2.1

        He’s not that bad Leftie – he just belongs in the UN in some godsforsaken pesthole, digging wells or building schools or the like.

        • North

          Stuart Munro @ 25.2.1 – not himself “digging wells or building schools or the like.” No. Directing the locals to do so and for that earning $US12,000-$US16,000 per month. Month after month after month for years and years and years.

    • Richard Rawshark 26.3

      How can you unite with no direction moving forward, nothing to stand for, nothing to fight for, but a bunch of reactionary policies to the media beat of the day.

      You and many just don’t get it, or what I saw out amongst my kind of folks, DC was the first Labour leader any of us had in this country for many years who was totally outspoken against National and it’s ideologies and back on the side of the working man, his working conditions and remuneration.

      But many of us on the streets doing hard yards felt that he was scuttled by people who listened to polls, and the media and everyone who had motive to have him removed. The very wrong people to have listened too, as IMHO we don’t get polled. We don’t get media interviews, we don’t get to express our opinions in the main stream news.

      We were his silent support and it had a chance of growing just like Trumps if only people had listened.

      But I may be wrong who knows.

    • Barfly 26.4

      Shearer is my local MP saw him once when he was parachuted in …voted for him! shame on me, if he ever comes here canvassing again…it will be “piss off you are trespassing”

  26. Richard Rawshark 27

    Timings shocking to me, year out from an election.

    I joined labour because of DC, I support him in all he does going forward he’s extremely underestimated, he has immense talent for politics(theory, policy) and this is a devastating blow.

    He cannot however, and he knows it, get rid of the hatred by the public from those who were sucked in by MSM’s negativity strategy, which really is a blow for the nation and why I hate the media with every fibre of my soul.

  27. Richard Rawshark 28

    Lastly wish DC well, if he turns this private enterprise into a raging success which with his university education and abilities be quite likely, will the public then, see what they lost out on.

    Perhaps this is how to repair MSN’s damage, show the public first hand.

    On ya DC, luv ya good luck.

  28. Richard Rawshark 29

    If little doesn’t start standing up for the working man, focusing on the issues the party should, instead of getting cleverly side tracked into the issues National wants him to, he can piss off too, and take the rest of the neo lib fuckers with him. IMHO.

    It’s almost like we have to form another workers party because the one we had fucked off on HOLIDAY, hint hint.

    PS I’m having a bad day, you try being bi-polar. argghhh sometimes I wonder what is the real point of even carrying on.

    • Scott 29.1

      Dude, it is never as bad as it seems at the time. It is common to feel like that sometimes (well I have anyway), but tomorrow is a new day. Do you have someone to talk about it with? Friends sometimes need the door opened, but are more understanding and helpful than you’d guess.

      I have a relative that is bi-polar, so have an outsiders insight in to how hard it is (depression is my demon). But loads of people are there ready to, wanting to, and able to help you. You just have to let them.

    • Even more challenging, Richard, try being a bi-polar bear!

      • seeker 29.2.1

        @Robert G.@3.55pm
        How is that comment even wise, helpful or respectful to any living creature.
        As others have said before ‘if you can’t say anything helpful , don’t say anything at all’.

      • In Vino 29.2.2

        Sorry, guys – I see that as kind, supportive humour that Richard may well have smiled at.

      • Robert Guyton 29.2.3

        I also felt that Richard would have smiled and was bemused by the comments that followed. However, such things happen with stand-alone text. Should have used an emoticon 🙂

    • Richard Rawshark 29.3

      Thanks guys, just another day in John Keys nightmare I suppose.

    • red-blooded 29.4

      Richard, has it ever occurred to you that women work too? Enough of the “working man” mantra…

      • Richard Rawshark 29.4.1

        It had occurred to me of course, but don’t be sarcastic, it’s rude said like that. Perhaps “working person” was more fitting my apologies for my imperfections.

    • Ann Elborn 29.5

      Richard R……………agree with most of what you say.

      Having bi-polar must be really tough. Hope you are getting some good help.

    • Jerko 29.6

      To much exposure to the small screen! And possibly the big screen as well. I know how it is. Some fresh air and “The Relaxed Mind” by Dza Kilung Rinpoche. Its a really useful book in this case.

  29. Brian 30

    Sad news. Labour needs him – they probably don’t deserve him though.

  30. Draco T Bastard 31

    New Lynn Member of Parliament David Cunliffe will resign from Parliament next year and will leave politics entirely at the 2017 election. It will be timed to ensure there is no by-election.

    Well, that will be New Lyn lost to Labour. Going on Party votes National will win it.

    Under the Clark government, David Cunliffe was responsible for significant reforms to telecommunications by preparing the split of the monopoly Telecom.

    And thus failing spectacularly at it as what he, and the 5th Labour government, should have been doing is renationalising it as well as the power network.

    • Bearded Git 31.1

      It’s MMP Draco….Party Vote Labour/Green bloc.

      The odd thing is that the Lab/Gr bloc won’t lose a single vote over Cunliffe going, shame though it is, because people to the left of the party will simply shift to the Greens if they shift at all.

    • Ad 31.2

      Not sure if you remember how hard it was even to get the reforms he did with Telecom. Telecom had active spies within the public service, who were paid, and who leaked the entire proposal to Telecom straight after Cabinet agreed to it. Eventually they were disgraced, but the damage was done. All of that just for structural reform, not denationalization.

      Also, David Cunliffe wasn’t ever responsible for the electricity network or its generators. So your criticism is misplaced entirely there.

      • Draco T Bastard 31.2.1

        Also, David Cunliffe wasn’t ever responsible for the electricity network or its generators. So your criticism is misplaced entirely there.

        Yes and no. No in that he wasn’t responsible for the power network but yes in that the 5th Labour government should have been renationalising as a matter of course. After the 1990s we already knew that privatisation doesn’t work.

        • Ad

          There was zero, zip Cabinet support for renationalising electricity.
          Cunliffe had no chance at even proposing it to Cabinet, even if electricity was his ministry. Which it wasn’t.

          Fine though if you just want to lump that responsibility on him for simply being part of a government that didn’t renationalize the entire electricity industry. That’s fair. But, then, there’s a bunch of stuff the entire Clark government didn’t do, which you could lump Cunliffe responsible for that way as well.

          • Draco T Bastard

            But, then, there’s a bunch of stuff the entire Clark government didn’t do, which you could lump Cunliffe responsible for that way as well.

            There is always stuff that can’t be done in the first term or even the second. It’s a question of priorities after all and getting the more important stuff done first.

            That said, it was obvious when the 5th Labour government started that privatisation had failed. This is why what he did needed to be done and that was done in the first term. By the third term it was obvious that that had failed as well and full renationalisation should have been the go but Labour were too afraid to upset the corporate thieves.

            Still are really.

    • I live in the area man, and you’re 90% correct about it going blue. Labour can hold it if they select someone less typical than the usually would (like how it was with Cunliffe himself). They’ll need an unorthodox choice to hold it.

      • Draco T Bastard 31.3.1

        Labour might be able to pull it off if they put Jacinda in there. But she’s not a Westie while DC is.

        • Cemetery Jones

          It’s possible she’d wedge in ok with the blue-green element up the hill, but I don’t think she’d work for the substantial working class tory element out here. There’s got to be either a local female entrepreneur or left leaning tradie bloke out here who can step up. I don’t think they need to be an ‘authentic’ westie – but they need the kind of authenticity people here would relate to in some way. It’s never been the kind of ‘working class’ area of the industrial stereotype – locals here are heavily in skilled trades and services, lots of contractors and self employed. They need a candidate which speaks to that local tradition. Cunliffe did well out here because he did will out there before he went into politics.

          Besides, it would surely be optically terrible for Jacinda Ardern to withdraw from AK central after all the work which has gone into winning that seat for her. She’s pushed it a long way, and there is some uncertainty around National’s candidacy in central right now, what with the incumbent currently on leave with a rather serious health scare. If Nikki Kaye withdraws, Ardern would be facing a new candidate.

  31. tc 32

    DC will be alot more use not being an MP to whoever wins. A proven ability to get a job done is required and DC fits that bill.

    Good for him, hes had shonkys dirty politics serfs hounding him, internal backstabbing and a marriage breakup along with all the other beltway crap to deal with.

    Life goes on, thanks David.

  32. james 33

    I know a some in labour will miss him. As will left leaning people who follow politics.

    But to most of the voting public – he’s just another failed labour leader, dispatched by Mr Key.

    They just wont care.

    So I think CV is wrong – it wont impact the labour vote much at all.

    • Colonial Viper 33.1

      I’m not saying that the impact will be huge. I’m saying 2% to 3% negative impact.

      There is ZERO chance that Labour is getting over 30% next year.

      • newsense 33.1.1

        That’s not the metric for success. Leading a new government is.

      • BM 33.1.2

        The chardonnay socialist labour party demographic is definitely on the move to the greens.

      • Scott 33.1.3

        To CV:

        In a strange way Labour might be better off without him.

        I suspect that even many of those that didn’t like him as Labour leader thought he was actually pretty capable otherwise (me included). Having him there, but demoted beyond sight, might have merely served as a reminded of what the current leadership values and what they don’t.

        At least his retirement removes that for them. No longer could someone quip “Well if you don’t understand it Mr Little / Mr Robertson / Ms Ardern… maybe you could ask Mr Cunliffe to explain it to you, he’s the one sitting at the back doing nothing.”

    • Yabby 33.2

      “Dispatched by Mr Key” ?

      Don’t think so. Cunliffe had far more opposition from his own caucus than he ever had from Teflon John.

  33. newsense 34

    Well, it’s hard to comment on the current state of the NZLP.

    Cunliffe well and truly won first the ‘unofficial’ leadership hustings and the official leadership hustings. Grant Robertson was a weak campaigner in both of these.

    Cunliffe tried to secure the base and then move right, while other candidates tried insulting the base and then moving to National party sinecure and being speculated about as NZ First candidates. Strange times.

    Politics isn’t all stump speeches and plenty of Cunliffe’s failings were his own.

    It is true that like Corbyn and Titikowaru, the establishment is afraid to talk about what happened (or is happening with Corbyn) as it represents an awakening of a movement beyond their control.

    Yet, he lost people who were loyal to his cause, and in the end wasn’t able to form a Clark/Cullen/Goff partnership at the top. We all talk about Clark. It’s fair enough that she’s at the U.N., but she was part of a powerful team.

    The leaderships of Shearer and Cunliffe were marked by horrid infighting, and a failure to present a government in waiting. Anderton/Clark was respected by the left.

    The current leadership with Little has seen a cessation of leaks, at least in the same manner, and an understanding with the Greens. This simply had to happen.

    It’s a pity to lose someone like Cunliffe- the National Party still has English, Smith and McCully and hung on to Tony Ryall as long as they could. Experience on the front bench counts. Experience of government is useful.

    It will depend on who replaces him in New Lynn. They will need to be part of a strong and fierce campaign to win back the gentrifying West and shake out Bennett and others. A tough ask, but a damn important task. It wouldn’t hurt to have a bit of firebrand oratory or stinging speech either- Labour has drawn heavily on intellectuals, unionists and teachers- but also on those of the pulpit. A strong moral voice on the side of those struggling would be welcomed. Little has lead well- but it is not his stump speeches which are his notable achievements. There’s nothing wrong with some front bench attack dogs being delegated that task and using emotional rhetoric.

    There’s no point being bitter and recriminating about the D.C. shaped holes in our national and electorate politics- who fills them and how are now crucial questions for any Labour-Green coalition watcher.

    The answers need to be strong and decisive, rather than tame, apologetic and second guessed.

    • red-blooded 34.1

      Good comment, newsense.

    • Anne 34.2

      It will depend on who replaces him in New Lynn. They will need to be part of a strong and fierce campaign to win back the gentrifying West and shake out Bennett and others. A tough ask, but a damn important task. It wouldn’t hurt to have a bit of firebrand oratory or stinging speech either- Labour has drawn heavily on intellectuals, unionists and teachers- but also on those of the pulpit. A strong moral voice on the side of those struggling would be welcomed. Little has lead well- but it is not his stump speeches which are his notable achievements. There’s nothing wrong with some front bench attack dogs being delegated that task and using emotional rhetoric.

      You’re on the button there newsense. In fact your entire contribution is worthy of a post on it’s own.

      A younger version of Robert Reid would be the perfect answer for Waitakere Man – many of whom reside in the New Lynn electorate.

      Labour does not need any more intellectuals and reflective types. They certainly have their place but some good old fashioned tub-thumpers are what is currently needed. Or better still someone who is both – intellectual and tub-thumper. Eg. Norman Kirk.

  34. emergency mike 35

    The integrity and intelligence averages if the Labour party just dropped sharply. I guess in the end he just couldn’t fit in with corporate climbers jockeying for position around him. To me DC stands out from the bubbling blob of careerist antisocials slouching in their parliamentary seats.

    Personally his supposed failings – inability to overcome several knives in his back, election speeches that got too cringeably peachery (I wish he had just been himself instead of feeling like he had to speak with holy thunder), choosing a phrase in a speech to raise awareness about domestic violence that would be turned against him, and that slightly distainful look he could pull out when asked a stupid question – all made him look human. But no, the electorate preferred a forgetful dead-eyed money changer who pulls waitresses ponytails, participates in public rape jokes, and has a T-shirt that says he’s definitely not sorry (two bottles of JK pinot noir aside).

    He’s no ‘messaiah’, but he was the only Labour party MP that held any interest at all for me.

  35. Peter Swift 36

    Like many I feel it’s a shame DC won’t be PM as he would have made a good job of it.
    A couple of own goals aside, his major problem and ultimate barrier to success was not moderning the party and purging the ABC when he had the chance.
    If he’d won in ’14, all well and good, and if the loss result were destiny, he’d still be sitting pretty as leader with the numbers to move forward with his plans.
    Should have listened and acted when I wrote you, David. 🙂

  36. Venezia 37

    I am sad to see Cunliffe leaving and Labour will be the worse for it. I just watched the TV3 announcement on the news. It was the most disgraceful piece of journalism I have seen in a very long time. A belittling, disrespectful piece about Cunliffe highlighting the insults thrown by Judith Collins, the taken out of context apology for being male etc etc. The degree to which Dirty Politics targeted Cunliffe is a measure of the threat he was as Labour leader to the fortunes of the National government. The undermining of his own caucus is what I will remember from that election period. I have voted Labour solidly my entire adult life. It is no longer a difficult decision to choose which party to give both my votes to in 2017 – The Greens.

    • newsense 37.1

      Paddy Gower has not reflected with any contrition on his active participation in deceptive politics.

    • Richard Rawshark 37.2

      Just don’t watch.. it’s not worth your ire.

    • Paul 37.3

      Pity we don’t have a few more politicians apologizing for the behaviour of men.

      John Key.
      Max Key.
      Paul Henry
      Tony Veitch.
      Steve Tew.
      The Chiefs.
      Unmentionable from Northland.

      • James 37.3.1

        Ignoring you obvious bias.

        You know that the northland gentleman was found innocent right.

        With the obvious exception of Vietch – you really are grabbing at straws.

        • mauī

          He said, she said cases are very hard to prove guilt. Then throw a high profile figure into the mix and you often see which side the law comes down on. There’s a reason why sports stars regularly get off significant violence and sexual violence cases if you’ve been paying any attention. The fact that young victims went all the way through the court process should be telling you something. Obviuously not.

        • Barfly

          found innocent?…..rofl….

    • mauī 37.4

      I dunno over on the state tv channel they did a pretty good job too, saying along the lines of: “David Cunliffe, the former Labour leader who took them to a massive election defeat in 2014 is retiring..”

    • Colonial Viper 37.5

      The Right Wing and corporate media are still damn afraid of Cunliffe. Even as he exits the stage they have to stab him over and over and over again to try and make sure that he does not resurrect.

  37. Red 38

    I think little Angry Andy siad it all, we will miss his intellect, hardly a ringing endorsement, cunliff was not a leader, terrible public persona beyond his stargazing groupies, little political instinct re the average voter, nor is he a socialist he jumped on that wagon as it supported his political self interest. He fooled a fair few people including a lot here . I don’t see many socialist becoming management consultants, living in 2n probably now 3m Herne bay do up Saying all of that good luck to him but let’s not make out he was something that he was not

    • Ad 38.1

      I’m just guessing: Do you want a socialist for Prime Minister?

      And from the Labour Party?

    • Just the Struth 38.2

      +1 Red.

      I want a socialist leader – sadly D.C. was a fair-weather leftie. sad that so many good people in the nzlp and affiliates got sucked in. Ask those on the left he worked with in govt and they’ll tell you his true colours.

  38. Jenny 39

    Greg Presland would be a good replacement.

    As a community board member he has taken climate change seriously and opposed deep sea oil drilling off the coast of West Auckland.

    Maybe if given some influence in the Labour Party Presland can shift the Labour caucus from their current support for fossil fuels and especially, caucus support for unconventional oil extraction, like deep sea oil drilling and fracking.

    Here’s hoping anyway.

    If he did he would have succeeded at something that broke David Cunliffe’s challenge to the fossil fuel lobby.

    “I feel incredibly lucky and grateful that I have the good fortune to live in one of the few remaining places on earth that has a stable democracy, food, education, healthcare and, above all, a healthy environment.
    How much longer will this paradise last? I’m not sure. I’m very sad to say there’s a very good chance that by the time my two young sons reach adulthood, the safe and healthy world that we all took for granted will be gone. Finished.
    When we look back on it, the worst crisis of the 21st century won’t be the ‘Great Recession’ since the global financial crash of 2008 – it will be the ‘Great Compression’ that is coming at us because of energy shocks, climate change, population growth and resource shortage.”
    David Cunliffe

    It was after he gave this speech that David Cunliffe was exiled to the back benches, by the Labour caucus.

  39. Jo 40

    I have said it before, Andrew little is a political retard. he should have made DC Minister of Finance. DC knows his stuff Grant has no idea and too lazy to learn. If Little thinks he is a leader then he has to trust his ability not shaft the talent in his caucus.

    • Jo 40.1

      I have changed my mind, DC should have been Health. King is just embarrassing and you feel that the speaker and NP are just amused by the silly old lady with her interjections and her questions have lost their edge

      • Stuart Munro 40.1.1

        You are clearly not up with the play.

        On the day it is publicly announced the whoever the fuck is pretending to be minister of health has let thirty southern people go blind you’re attacking Annette King?

        She’s a better health minister in her sleep than this muppet.

    • red-blooded 40.2

      Actually, I think David Parker made a good job of Finance. He had to front some pretty complex policies, and I can understand why Little has pulled back from a few of them (CGT etc are probably not first-term policies; although they are sensible and ethical they’re not exactly vote-winners), but he’s got a fine mind and he knows his stuff. He also showed admirable loyalty to Cunliffe, while it was still feasible to do so.

      As for your “political retard” comment – I think that’s bullshit. Little has done a very good job of uniting that caucus, and that was the main challenge. The decision to have a MOU with the Greens also shows more political nous than you’re giving him credit for.

      Robertson may not have been my first choice for Finance, but he’s doing some interesting thinking and Little has to make sure that he brings along the next generation of leaders. Robertson also succeeds better than most in communicating with Young Labour; they seem to rate him highly.

  40. Josie 41

    The question is who will the Gracinda and King factions bitch about now?

    Prediction – now they don’t have a common enemy, their ego-centric virtriol will take over and they will just turn on each other. The irony is that David’s popularity at his worst was still better than Little has managed to achieve.

    The tragedy of today’s announcement is the complete lack of real-world experience in that Caucus now – good on him for leaving but it’s going to leave a huge gap – which even our esteemed leader has admitted. But the political wing wouldn’t have a clue how to work to its strengths. And it is shameful that his colleagues have not even bothered to try to wish him well publicly either. Bad form.

    David was a hard working MP with a ton of brains. He is one of the few Labour MPs with real-world experience and it shows by the very fact that he can walk out and get a job. There’s a number in there we know are desperately trying but failing .

    Greg Presland would be a fantastic candidate – but he won’t get it – for the same reason that Campbell Barry didn’t get chosen. Says it all really.

    • red-blooded 41.1

      What counts as the “real world”in your eyes, Josie? Not unions, not teaching, not public service… all of these involve struggling with the outcomes of decisions made by politicians and working to advance the rights of citizens, but it seems you regard only private business as “real”.

    • Puckish Rogue 41.2

      Hi Josie

      I’d also like to point out that neither Cunliffe or Little have managed to top Shearers popularity


  41. Marcus Morris 42

    I am very disappointed but not surprised that David Cunliffe has decided to “call it a day”. He was an outstanding Minister in Helen Clark’s last Cabinet. I recall quite vividly how he took Tony Ryall apart in a short radio debate on Morning Report regarding Health issues. I have long held the opinion that Helen Clark did the Labour Party no favours with her immediate resignation in November 2008 and the consequent installation of Phil Goff, yesterday’s man, as the leader. There was no way he was ever going to head off John Key. I suspect that part of the reason was to prevent a normal process that could well have seen David Cunliffe at the helm although, at that time, I was unaware of the Grant Robertson faction. It is my opinion that, had David Cunliffe been the leader in 2011, the party would have put up a much better performance in the election and, with that experience, gone on to beat the Nats in 2014. Andrew Little is a thoroughly decent guy but I really can’t see him defeating Key next year and we will be consigned to another three years of this current regime where the current problems of housing, transportation and the inequality gap (a far from exhaustive list) are only going to worsen. One sentence in a history of the Labour party is an appalling insult.

  42. thechangeling 43

    I’m sad to see David go but he was the victim of National Party spin which means he was a serious threat to the Tories. Imagine how good a Labour Government could have been with Helen Kelly as PM and David Cunliffe as deputy.

    • Red 43.1

      So he was defeated by the other side and the people decided, that’s politics and democracy is it not. The decisions he made and how he went about his work also played a big part in his downfall To deny this is head in the sand and hero worship stuff

  43. Exile 44

    This perceived organisational brilliance is a narrative I struggle with. The telco unbundling, well it was hardly “best practice”” we saw, instead a hogwash of halfhearted efforts. That means we still have very high telco prices and awful bandwidth. Id go as far as saying that we still don’t have anything that resembles decent IT infrastructure. He might have broken Telecoms back, but that would have happened when cdma (their stupid choice of technique – I wonder how much someone was bribed to choose it) saw its net in Australia shut down anyway.

    However when he was our leader he didn’t get the full support. When we were approaching election, too many labour members were fighting other labour members and not National. That loss is as much on us as it is on him. We deserve this Key government because we didn’t support our leader. We needed to support him but we kept arguing among ourselves. Sure DC didn’t help with policy choices that were staggeringly naive and comments such as appologising for being a man that ensured we lost half the blue collar support we had. But he was our leader and before elections we need to close ranks and put party before ego. Always.

    I think DC does the right thing by leaving parliament. His time is over. He tried hard, but well, the results speaks for themselves. Id wish him all the best as a management consultant and I am sure he will do well in the corporate world.

    I don’t get this narrative that he was so bright and sometimes didn’t hide this. The man has always struck me as more of a decent progressive uncle that read a few newspapers and can put 1+1 together than some cocky know it all. The head tilted to one side, smiling a bit wryly, wearing jeans and not really to interested in small talk kind of uncle.
    Intellectual giant, well if I compare with some MPs, my own buddy MP for example, yes then I agree. However if I compare with the general population then I disagree. We don’t choose the brightest NZ has to offer as MP always…

  44. mauī 45

    Oh what a man, what a guy, what a charm. I may well cry myself to sleep tonight, almost. What could have been with Cunliffe at the helm. May the phoenix rise some day.

    As an aside to the video, bringing a whole bunch of Labour MPs onto your reno project may be appropriate if you’re after a DIY disaster. Walls painted black, a lot of gassing, not much watching what they’re doing or looking like they’ve spent any time on the tools before.

  45. halfcrown 46

    It is sad Cunliffe is going, as VP said the right are STILL shit scared of him.
    He put Prat Henry well and truly in his place this morning when he tried to be smart.
    But as usual when Cunliffe was off camera with no chance of reply, the prat had to say to that other gormless female in the thing called the bunker (where do they drag these cretins from) can’t remember exact words but it sounded like “you have to admire him for the greatest defeat Labour had”, and of course the usual read out of email shit from another rightwing retard.

    I hope to see in the future as an independent he comes on the TV and debates with some of the shit the right feed us every day. But I am not holding my breath as the media will not have someone that will rock the cozy fuck you Jack rightwing world they like to show all the time.

    • Puckish Rogue 46.1

      Seriously? The Right are/were scared of Cunliffe?

      No, Cunliffe happened to be the leader of the Labour party so he had to be defeated and so National soundly defeated him and Labour

      Are you going to say the Right were also scared of Shearer and Goff as well?

      • Doogs 46.1.1

        Yeah, maybe they were scared. He has more intellect in his little finger than the combined brains of Nactzi, Nact, Blighted Future and Uncle Tom.

        Yeah – I’d be scared of that too!

        • Red

          What’s with this huge intellect thing, siad who, cunliff himself, on what measure is this genius of our time measured This huge intellect failed badly at its prime objective , doesn’t make him a bad guy but come on end the BS

          • BM

            Intellect is only part of the equation.

            Cunliffe was never leadership material.

            • Stuart Munro

              The weak intellects and flaccid members of the right need strong alpha leadership to identify with, to distract them from their many shortcomings.
              Actual leaders wouldn’t be seen dead with such an incestuous rabble.

          • mauī

            Harvard, Masters, First class honours, multiple degrees. His formal education shits over 99.9% of the rest of kiwis. How’s that for a measure?

            • I Feel Love

              LOL Maui, well said! & the right were TERRIFIED of Cunliffe, they still have to come & comment how ‘not bovvered’ they are/were of him. Wish him well in his new endeavors & it would be great if he became a regular commentator for the left on telly or wireless.

            • Puckish Rogue

              “His formal education shits over 99.9% of the rest of kiwis. How’s that for a measure?”

              How about 25% as a measure? The % of voters that voted for Labour in 2014

              • mauī

                Nothing but a profitatrole.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  So you don’t think that leading a party to its worst defeat in 80-90 years is maybe slightly indicative of his leadership qualities and what the voting public thought of him (and Labour)

                  • mauī

                    Yes trolling for profit – profitatrole.

                    Easily crushed between the teeth, nothing much of substance on the inside. Dark sticky smear on the surface. Profitatrole.

                  • Your despicable crew, Pucky, kneecapped him. All else is pointless conjecture.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Its true National did knee cap him, being the leader of the opposition and all, but it would also be fair (more then fair actually) to say that National got a lot of help from Cunliffes own Caucus

            • Scott

              If that is the measure you adopt you must be a massive fan of Nick Smith: 1st Class Honours in Civil Engineering, AFS Scholar, PhD.

              There is more to being a good politician than tertiary education.

            • Chuck

              “His formal education shits over 99.9% of the rest of kiwis. How’s that for a measure?”

              Great for his CV…and will add many hundreds of $ per hour to his charge out rate.

              But you need to come back down to earth…his last job was a disaster in leading Labour to 25% of the vote.

        • Puckish Rogue

          You might be scared of that but considering he lead Labour to 25% of the vote no one else would be

        • Richard McGrath

          As Peter Cresswell opined on his NotPC blog, Cunliffe also had an ego so big it generated it’s own gravitational field.

      • halfcrown 46.1.2

        Hi Puckiish me, ole mate, how are you? As usual, you could be right but why all the put down now the guy has gone. He was a very good debater and he certainly fixed Henry this morning.

        • Puckish Rogue

          I haven’t put Cunliffe down but to say the Right were scared of Cunliffe is simply not correct

          He was quite similar to Bill English in that they’re both very good ministers but not leaders and there’s no shame in that

          But was an opponent to be defeated

          • Ad

            Tend to agree.
            Would have been better at Finance.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Indeed and one could argue that the Finance minister has more of an effect on the day to day lives of people then the PM

          • newsense

            He wasn’t a leader of whatever Labour was in 2014- Pagani and Quinn popping up everywhere, Shane Jones suddenly accepting a sweet heart deal from Murray McCully…

            He certainly inspired people- a quality Bill English doesn’t have. But then they’ve said of late it’s Bill holding it all together- certainly a quality Cunliffe didn’t seem to have.

            there is without doubt that he was a leader.

            We desperately need a CGT and measures on housing. We need to address the way we think about sexual assault- witness the absolute BS surrounding consensual adults with Aaron Smith and it being somehow made equivalent with sexual assault by someone from the Chiefs outfit.

            He lead with his ideas. Of course they were frightened of him.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Look if it makes you and the others here fell better to think that the only reason Cunliffe didn’t become leader is because the Right “feared” him and so targeted him then good on you

              He lost because (amongst many reasons) he didn’t inspire people to vote for him and a large part of that was because the public knew the Caucus was against him

              • Stuart Munro

                No – he failed because of the sustained efforts of the vile and the corrupt. People like you Pucky – professional liars and derailers, are the reason we can’t have nice things.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  If that makes you feel better then by all mean go ahead and believe it


                  Because as stellar as his IQ was, his emotional quotient was low. His colleagues – and not just those who became known as the ABCs, “the Anyone but Cunliffe” brigade – came to see him as divisive, ambitious, self-absorbed and self-confident to a messianic level – all the time not picking up on how that was playing with those he had to work with mostly closely.

                  The famously waspish Sir Michael Cullen quipped at the NZ Post Book Awards he expected future entries to include Cunliffe’s “The Dummies Guide to Walking on Water: How I learned from Jesus’ Mistakes”.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Yes, yes, – but you would say that Pucky – you represent the forces of entropy. If DC died and rose again you’d be saying it showed weakness.

      • halfcrown 46.1.3

        “Are you going to say the Right were also scared of Shearer and Goff as well?”

        No, They are a captive audience of the right.

        • In Vino

          Exactly. Cunliffe is real, eloquent Left. So even when he retires, the Right continue to pour scorn, denigrate as much as possible.

          They really do not want someone like him in a position to influence our country.

          Why else are they so active here after he has retired?

    • Red 46.2

      Smart guy cunliff not a genius or any smarter than a lot of other good politicians here and gone, but unfortunately no personality for politics, not his fault simply who he is

  46. Doogs 47

    Haven’t bothered to read all the comments here. Apart from the usual personal sniping there has been a solid thread of opinion based around personal aspirations, politicising, jealousies, undermining, bad-mouthing – all of which does nothing for the progressing of concepts, policies and ideas based on the “Labour” ethos. It never ceases to amaze me how self-focused a lot of people are (not the commenters, but the ones they comment on). They cannot look beyond the personal to the importance of an idea who’s time has come. (Syntax?)

    David Cunliffe is a man who has great potential. He was well used in the last Labour government, accomplishing many much-needed reforms. Knowing this has not stopped the mealy-mouthed caucus members from undermining him mercilessly during the last 8 years. If anyone was needed to forward the genuine Labour base-line precepts of the party, then it was DC. He had the intellect, the ability to explain the essence of complex ideas, the amazing ability to grasp big ideas and the commitment to see things through. I am immeasurably sad at his leaving.

    Which brings me to the essence of why. Why do people behave in this way? Well, I believe I am qualified to comment on this. Being a teacher places me in a good position to take note of human behaviour close up. A class of students is the microcosm of groups, organisations, parties and governments. There are the bright ones, the strugglers, the ‘helpful’ ones, the stirrers, the underminers, the grafters – all there, and all participating for their own agendas. Except the glorious few – those who, even at 8, 9 or 10 years of age are selfless, concerned and delightful. Even at that tender age they have seen the common good, and work for it. Sadly, they are in the minority, and most have leadership potential. Again unfortunately, they are often ground down by the selfishnesses of others. Here is where the teacher, as guide, mentor and leader, works to ameliorate the negative and seek to instate positive and harmonious working relations within the room.

    I’m also part of a service organisation in my spare time. Here again is the classroom of ‘types’. Few are focused solely on the goals of the organisation. Pettiness and criticism abound. Leaders who do things people don’t approve of get cut down. Back-biting and locker room sniping are rife. If only people would lift themselves out of the narrow self-serving mire which holds them back from being effective members of the group.

    Classrooms, staff rooms, board rooms, meetings, policy groups, parties – and, God help us, governments – are rife with small minded agendas for their own benefit. Until people lift themselves above the melee and see the panorama of hope laid out before them to the horizon, then we will have, as Einstein said, more of the same.

    David Cunliffe, I salute your achievements and efforts for the good of all. You have been a victim of the great Kiwi clobbering machine, a casualty of the tall poppy syndrome and I am saddened by your departure. Kia kaha my friend.

    • Puckish Rogue 47.1

      A good minister but not a good leader which is not a put down just a personal opinion borne out by getting only 25% of the vote and failing to unite the Labour caucus (which should have been his main focus, as leader)

      • Stuart Munro 47.1.1

        An infinitely better leader than NZ has had for the last 8 years without a doubt.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Shame that the Labour Caucus and the voters of NZ didn’t agree with you

          • Stuart Munro

            Voters are persuadable PR – that is why our taxes pay for your vile services corrupting a site that should be concentrating on improving the outcomes for our country. It threatens this worthless government and so you, an intellectual prostitute in the mould of Farrar, are wheeled out to pollute and subvert it.

            • Puckish Rogue

              “an intellectual prostitute in the mould of Farrar, are wheeled out to pollute and subvert it.”

              Much as my ego would like to agree with you (and it does want to) I’m going to have to say you give me far too much credit

              You really should vent your spleen at those that’ve done far more damage to Labours election chances (and to Cunliffe) then I could ever do in a lifetime of lifetimes

              I’ll give you a hint…ABC

      • KJT 47.1.2

        Anyone who could re-unite the Labour caucus as a left wing party would have to be a magician.
        The bunch of National lite establishment apologists in Labours caucus only tolerate Little because he has not swung towards the left. Note the real clobbering of Cunliffe started up when he made noises about returning Labour to being a real social Democratic Party.

    • I Feel Love 47.2

      Doogs: Nice & insightful comment, thank you.

      PR: Not scared yeah right, that’s why gotta repeat the mantra over & over.

      • Puckish Rogue 47.2.1

        Were the Right scared of Shearer and Goff as well or was it just Cunliffe? Because they went after them as well.

        When National go after Little in the upcoming election is it because the Right are scared of Little?

        Can you tell me if you

        A. genuinely think the Right were scared of Cunliffe or if B. you’re just trying to hold onto a skerrick of…something for Cunliffe

        Because if its A I’ll continue to tell you why Cunliffe was no good as a leader but if its B I’ll stop

        • Olwyn

          Arguably, the right are unnerved by people who are able to galvanise others, and who think for themselves rather than submitting to political class cross-party group-think. Cunliffe fits that description – Goff and Shearer do not. The last two will never be game-changers – the former just might, if not kept in check.

          • Puckish Rogue

            If National are that smart, competent, sneaky, corrupt (use whatever adjective seems appropriate) then surely it would follow that every leader of Labour will now be nobbled and National will remain in power forever because if National can take out Cunliffe then surely any Labour leader is ripe for the picking

        • Puckish Rogue

          Well then considering the performance of the left over the last eight years then the left would be neutered little yappy dogs that everyone ignores?

        • halfcrown

          Hey Puckish, a bit late but I will answer some of your questions

          “Were the Right scared of Shearer and Goff as well or was it just Cunliffe? Because they went after them as well.”

          No, Goff was a has been and they knew that Shearer was a push over. That’s why commentators like O Sullivan and Hooten were in favour of Shearer as leader of the Labour party.

          “When National go after Little in the upcoming election is it because the Right are scared of Little?

          They won’t be scared of Little but no doubt the dirty politics will be engaged if necessary if there is any sign of Little gaining support. Stand by for the “Little Angry Andy” slogans
          Little may be a nice guy I just don’t know, but he is not leadership material as far as I am concerned. I hope I am wrong, but he has not got a strong commanding voice for starters. Another Bill Rowling and we all remember how Jones and the right destroyed that guy.

          “Can you tell me if you
          A. genuinely think the Right were scared of Cunliffe or if B. you’re just trying to hold onto a skerrick of…something for Cunliffe
          Because if its A I’ll continue to tell you why Cunliffe was no good as a leader but if its B I’ll “

          I got a better idea, can you tell us the policies National told us about at the last election. I will tell you, zero. I could be wrong so please inform me if I am but I don’t recall any. They were more interested in dirty politics aided and abetted by the likes of Armstrong of the Herald just to name one who was asking for Cunliffe’s resignation in nearly every copy of that pathetic excuse for shit house paper called the Herald, sorry that is an insult to shithouse paper.
          They definitely saw Cunliffe as a threat he was a bit more articulate than Shearer. So at all costs, he had to be destroyed quickly. Becuase of this all we heard from National and their supporters was lies about letters written ages ago, bottles of wine, dodgy trusts and apologies for being a man taken our of context.
          Now Cunliffe says he is going they still can’t leave it alone. We must be reminded by the MSM of Labours defeat. Must have that last twist of the knife, or is it electioneering for the next election. It was very refreshing to see that obnoxious prat Henry taken to task yesterday morning. I cannot think of anyone else in the Labour party who can think on their feet like that and are up to the task.
          It is not the first and definitely will not be the last time National have used dirty politics. The stench of the Colin Moyle affair with Muldoom is still fresh in my nostrils, but hey, that’s politics, kitchen, heat, stay out of, and all that shit. Cunliffe did not have time to build some defences for the expected incoming, was sniped and knifed by his own side when their first priority to the membership was to win the election by supporting Cunliffe against the shit that was bound to come and was given. One of the first things they could have done to support Cunliffe was to refuse to let him debate with Key when that rabid right wing prat Hoskins was going to host the debate, Should have demanded someone more neutral, and also taking to task that ugly dick Gower when he called Cunliffe a liar on television. I blame the whole Labour party for their massive defeat at the last election. Don’t put the blame on Cunliffe alone, also blame the team that knifed him in the back which is still there with the likes of Hipkins the fucking duck and now that Jacinda Ardern female, who when she arrived on the scene first time list MP was put higher on the party list than Martin Gallagher who worked his guts out for Hamilton West. Not surprised though she was female and that would have gone down well in Clarks government. I would not be at all surprised if that is why Martin Gallagher retired losing yet another very capable person to the Labour party.
          National is going to win the next election if Labour lead by Little a coalition with the Greens do not have a good chief of staff to give back what they get and more. No sign of that yet.
          As one with a social conscience, I find that very sad as we definitely need a drastic change in direction before the change of direction comes screaming out at us armed with the modern version of a pitch fork.

    • save nz 47.3

      +100 Doogs!!

      I totally agree with your assessment of people in general and those types in organisations. Social media is a great way to harness people who can not cope with personally interacting with the people with “small minded agendas for their own benefits’ that seem to love hanging out in organisations.

      In my view face to face and group political activities have become encapsulated by lobbyist voices. Sadly in today’s world only the old seem to have time for this and lobbyists. Social media is the way to engage voters now. I’m not talking about this old fashioned idea that only the young use social media, everyone uses it now.

      I saw a mother trying to engage with Clare Curran about TPP on her Facebook, but was ignored and Clare Curran was the communications minister!! Labour needs to get busy replying to people and encouraging individual dialogue over social media.

      I hope people keep backing Andrew Little. He’s not perfect but he done some very good things for Labour so far such as the Greens tie up, helping NZ First get Northland off the Natz and having the support of the unions as well as trying to cut a middle path to middle NZ voters. There are many parties on the left and a big cheater on the right to navigate, so that is where Labour should be, not splitting votes with allies.

  47. Armada 48

    Cunliffe has a proper Labour Machine in New Lynn. There is depth in the organisation. They are strong at grassroots and in leadership. They have won control at Whau LB and Waitakere LB as well as getting Ross Clow onto Auckland Council.
    Whoever put their hand up for a selection convention needs to be deserving.
    A parachutist will be shot in the air!

  48. Roger M 49

    Cuncliffe was a man’s man. He will be sorely missed.

  49. red-blooded 50

    And again, I’m just going to point out that we’re not all men! Not really relevant to the main thread (DC’s retirement), but a reminder to commenters that women are also political beings and (in this case) being “a man’s man” is not necessarily a great quality, given that 51% of us are female.

  50. mosa 51

    Had things been different David Cunliffe would have been a great Labour leader.

    National knew he was a threat and made sure they took him out.

    They didnt have to bother as his colleagues were doing the dirty work for them.

    For such an intelligent man i could not understand why he chose to be leader after Shearer and not bide his time, perhaps ambition and caucus desperation had an effect.

    2014 and its ramifications hit him hard and i can see why he has given it away as he was treated appallingly , and for Gower calling him a liar live on tv over Don Wah Leiu was an outrage when Gower has turned his head and looked the other way at the many lies and deceptions of the current PM.
    There seems to be no justice.

    Thanks for serving David and your contribution to the last Labour government.

    All the best.

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