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David Cunliffe’s speech to the Labour Party congress

Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, July 6th, 2014 - 109 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, labour - Tags:

David Cunliffe Congress

The text of David Cunliffe’s speech to the 2014 Labour Party congress.

Tena tatou e te whanau o te Roopu Reipa i tenei ra.

Tenei te mihi kia koutou katoa.

It’s 2014. It’s election year. And we are going to win.

President Moira Coatsworth, ALP Leader Bill Shorten, Deputy Leader David Parker and colleagues, delegates, invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, New Zealanders.

I’m standing in front of you today and I’m asking New Zealanders to make us the next government of New Zealand because we believe in the Kiwi dream.

I believe that New Zealand can be the fairest, most decent society in the world.

I believe that New Zealand can be a country where everyone who wants to work can find a job with decent pay and fair conditions.

I believe all our families can live in homes that are warm, safe, and affordable.

I believe New Zealand can be a country where child poverty is a story about the bad old days, not a daily scourge on too many of our families.

I’m a great believer in hard work, and making the most of the opportunities available to us.

These are the values the Labour Party was founded on.

These are the values that ordinary Kiwis like me grew up with.

They are the values I want to pass on to my own children. They speak to the opportunities that all our children should have.

Over the past months, I have been around the country, talking with people about their lives – their concerns, their successes, and their hopes for the future.

Two weeks ago I was in Northland. I was talking to an exporter who was in danger of losing his business.

His job, and the jobs of all the people who work with him, are under threat because the high dollar is making it too difficult for Kiwi businesses to compete, no matter how hard they work.

We are seeing New Zealanders lose their jobs and factories shut their gates all the time, with a devastating impact on families and communities.

The point is there are still too many New Zealanders who are doing everything right – they work hard and they make sacrifices – but they just can’t seem to get ahead.

The odds are stacked against them.

Challenging the Status Quo

On September 20th we will change that. Because New Zealanders deserve more. They deserve better.

The current government has no plan for a better future for hard working New Zealanders.

This year alone, they’ve said no to raising the minimum wage to $15. No to fair pay. Instead they tried to steal your smoko breaks and your lunch breaks, the protections you deserve for the fair day’s work you put in every single day.

An economy can’t succeed for all if it is run just to benefit the wealthy few.

As Kiwis know, an economy doesn’t grow from the top-down – it grows from the hard work of the middle and from the grassroots up.

We all do better when we put people first. When there is a fair go for all.

That’s the New Zealand way.

That’s what I believe in.

That’s what Labour believes in.

That’s what we’re all fighting for.

And that’s why on September 20 we will win.

This election campaign should not be about dirty tricks or dodgy deals; smear campaigns or a personality cult.

Let me be clear what it is about.

It is about you. It’s about your families. It’s about your friends and your communities.

These are the kinds of things your Labour team fight for every day in Parliament.

It’s what all politicians should be working together for, because these are the things that matter.

Election 2014 is about challenging politics as usual.

It’s about restoring New Zealand to being the fairest, most decent society in the world.

Today too many of our kids are living in poverty.

Too few of our families have decent housing.

And too many of our people can’t find secure work.

Let’s look at the facts:

  • 285,000 children in poverty,
  • 42,000 more Kiwis out of a job since National took office,
  • 46% of Kiwis haven’t had a pay rise in a year – and I’ve met some who haven’t had a pay rise since the last time Labour was in government.
  • Median incomes are going backwards after inflation in 13 out of 16 regions since 2008, because regional New Zealand is ignored.
  • One in three women will suffer domestic violence, and 20,000 mums and kids needed refuge shelters last year. It’s disgraceful and it has to stop.

New Zealand was founded on the idea that everyone – no matter where they came from, poor or rich, city or country, older or younger, new New Zealander or Kiwi of many generations – that each and every one of us would have the opportunities to get ahead and make the most of our lives.

But today our society is more unequal than it has ever been.

The top 10% own more than the other 90%.

Between 1984 and 2011 the incomes of the top 1% rose nearly 10 times as fast as the bottom 10%.

I have said it before and I say it again: trickle-down economics – neoliberalism – does not work.

It has failed around the world. It has failed New Zealanders. And the government I lead will close that chapter for good.

Investing in our future

What we must do is build a better, fairer and more prosperous future.

One where every New Zealander matters, not just the privileged few.

The Sixth Labour Government will be true to New Zealand’s core values.

We will build a fair and just society.

We will transform our economy to create better jobs with higher wages.

We will protect and preserve our beautiful environment.

We will nurture a diverse, creative, exciting culture.

We will not tolerate tax dodgers or greedy monopolies or racism or unsafe streets.

And it is possible to do all of this and to balance the books… David Parker.

A positive vision, smart policies, driven by decent values will mean the public – including business – will have confidence in our shared success.

Investing in work

Only Labour has a powerful strategic plan to forge a path for New Zealand’s future econmy.

We will build new partnerships with our regions, businesses and communities to deliver.

You know the last Labour Government paid down net debt to zero, increased savings, and rejected the short-sighted clamour for unaffordable tax cuts.

We saved for a rainy day. It came, and we were ready.

And we ran nine fiscal surpluses out of nine.

National won’t tell you that all that is propping up the so-called recovery is Canterbury rebuild insurance cheques and dairy exports from the deal Labour cut with China.

Exports that have been falling in price for nearly six months now.

That’s their plan right there – milk and disaster.

But just ask most New Zealanders: Where is your recovery?

Are you really feeling better off?

Or are rising housing costs, power bills and school donations making it harder for your family to get ahead?

Labour will make sure our economy works for all New Zealanders.


We know that secure, skilled, well-paid jobs are at the core of a decent society. Without jobs our progressive vision remains just that – a vision.

Labour has a long term plan to upgrade this economy from low value commodities to focus on high value goods and services.

Labour will create an economy where the best way to make money is to innovate and invest for productive growth, rather than speculating on houses and locking young families out of owning a home.

We will boost investment through universal Kiwisaver, pro-growth tax reform, and channelling foreign investment into productive business where it can do the most good.

We will lift Innovation through R&D tax credits, centres of research excellence, and boosting small business growth.

We will drive Industry development in all of our regions, and support businesses’ journey from volume to value.

We will support this Economic Upgrade with modern monetary policy that uses saving rates as well as interest rates to stabilise prices with lower mortgages.

And we’ll do it on firm fiscal foundations that deliver budget surpluses – and pay off National’s record debt by the end of our second term.

We will make taxation fair by cracking down on avoidance, and asking trusts and those earning over $150,000 to pay an extra 3%.

And will crack down on multinationals and others that have been avoiding tax.

If we want a fair society we need to make sure that everyone pays their fair share.

The result of these transformational changes will be better jobs and higher wages.

In our first 100 days we’ll raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and we will lift it again in April 2015.

And it’s why we’ll also be changing employment law to make sure that the Kiwi workers who generate the wealth get their fair share of it.

The next Labour Government won’t just work for New Zealanders. We’ll work with them, because we’re not going to change our nation for the better unless we do it together.

Investing in housing

Our homes are the foundation of our lives: and not just the buildings, but the earth they stand on, and the communities they’re part of.

Housing is a huge issue for New Zealand. Indeed, for many young Kiwis the idea of owning a home has become an impossible dream.

That’s not good enough.

Home ownership is a cornerstone of strong communities, strong families, and for making sure all our kids can get ahead.

But it has fallen to its lowest level in over 50 years. And as that’s happened we’ve seen communities fragment, we’ve seen kids’ education suffer.

How are kids supposed to learn when they shift from school to school or live in cold, damp rentals?

Since 2008, more than 40,000 children have been hospitalised due to poverty related illnesses. That is not acceptable.

That’s why we’ll build 100,000 affordable homes with our KiwiBuild policy.

Our Capital Gains Tax will reduce speculation on homes.

We won’t let offshore speculators drive up prices.

And for those that still rent, we’ll introduce the healthy homes guarantee so that rental properties must be warm and dry.

We want Kiwi families to have a healthy and secure home to grow up in.

Investing in learning

Nelson Mandela wasn’t speaking lightly when he described education as “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

I know the power of education in my own life. I am only here because of the opportunities created by great state schools and high quality teaching.

That’s not just my story. It’s the story of my colleagues and many other New Zealanders who have succeeded because of the opportunities given to them by our education system.

I passionately believe that the same opportunities must be available now for every Kiwi kid.

I commit to you today that the Labour Government I lead will restore strong, first class state education to maximise the opportunities for every Kiwi kid.

Labour will reinvigorate education by:

Throwing out national standards – that are neither national nor standardised – and we’ll replace them with flexible, reliable, appropriate information for parents.

We will end the nonsense of charter schools and ensure that all schools using public money teach the curriculum with fully qualified teachers.

We will resist the drive for league tables and performance pay that is set to rip the heart out of the state education system.

Instead of these internationally discredited ideas, Labour will ensure schools are able to equip our kids for the future.

That every child, no matter what their background, can benefit from a 21st century education.

That’s why part of our plan to balance the budget includes putting aside a billion dollars a year, every year, to ensure that the real value of education and health services is maintained.

That’s why Labour will make it a strategic priority to upgrade our schools over the next 15 years so that they are all modern, healthy and warm places to learn.

And that’s why yesterday I announced that we will ensure every child from Year 5 upwards has access to a portable digital device in the form of a laptop, tablet, or similar.

And Labour will make sure that these tools will be affordable for all.

We will end the digital divide in our schools.

Alongside this, we will provide professional training for all teachers so that they can do the very best for our kids.

Labour will not only fix the digital divide, we will fix the other major divide in schools, the one between haves and have nots.

Too many of our schools are having to put pressure on parents for donations that they cannot afford to make.

No public school should have to ask parents for help to keep the lights on and no child should be stigmatised because their parents can’t afford to pay. It’s wrong and were going to stop it.

So this week we’ve announced we will offer $100 per student per year to schools that drop donation demands to parents.

And today, I’m making a further firm to commitment to our children’s education.

The current government’s policy of taking good teachers out of their schools and creating a competitive, part-time bonus-driven teaching environment will not help New Zealand’s children.

We are going to put that money to better use.

Today, I am proud to announce that Labour will reduce class sizes by employing 2,000 more teachers. This will help all our kids get a world-class education.

This policy will reduce secondary school class sizes from 26 students or more per class to just 23. Year 4-8 classes will shrink from 29 students down to 26.

It is a far better use of our education resource to increase the number of educators we have and make sure they receive the best training possible, that more money for performance pay and part-time principals.

That’s backed up by a wealth of academic evidence and it’s something parents know instinctively. One of the best things we can give our kids is more one to one time with their teachers.

A Labour government will mean smaller classes, up to date equipment, modern schools, and a better education for all our children.

Our promise to all New Zealanders

In a couple of years, our Labour Party reaches its centenary.

It was formed with a single, united purpose: To fight for and realise the dreams and aspirations of New Zealanders. Labour was formed by ordinary Kiwis and it remains the party dedicated to the values that all New Zealanders share.

The theme of this Congress is that people matter most. That’s the reason we are all here today.

As I look out across this auditorium I am immensely heartened by the strength, the dedication, the common purpose and the raw talent of the whole Labour movement.

We’ve got the best ground game the Labour Party has ever had. Our voter outreach has massively increased over 2011, and our party is the biggest it’s been in decades.

We often say that National campaigns with money and Labour campaigns with people – well this year our campaigning power has doubled.

And I back our thousands of people against their millions of dollars any time.

We reckon we can increase our result by two to three percent just through the work of ordinary Labour members on the ground.

In a tight campaign, that’s the difference between being able to make the changes that our country needs or watching the New Zealand we love slip away.

It will be a tight campaign. That’s something both sides agree on. In the last two elections National has shed six percent in the three months running into the election.

National are nervous. And they should be.

They are tired, they lack vision and ideas.

Labour is fresh and growing in membership.

We have strong and focused affiliates.

We have support from decent, progressively-minded New Zealanders across the country, and of course, our staunch and immensely capable caucus and candidates.

We are ready to win. We are ready to govern.

I am so privileged to lead this team of brilliant, innovative, passionate New Zealanders.

And even though our opponents will fight to divide and distract us with ads and attacks from now till September, I truly believe that we have the power to win and to change this country for the better.

We’re going to run a positive campaign because people matter most. We will campaign on decent work and better wages. On a strong, smart economy.

We will campaign on warm, dry homes for all.

And a country we can once again be proud to live in.

We will campaign for our families, lifted today by progressive education policies that will restore our world-class public education system.

Let’s make this election about what matters. This election is about people. This election is about New Zealanders’ hopes and dreams, and their right to live in a society where they are valued and respected. This election is about our children and your future.

This is what we are fighting for in these next 76 days.

For New Zealand to be the fairest, most decent society in the world.

To dare to dream the Kiwi dream.

That’s why this election we will be asking New Zealanders to vote positive; to vote Labour.

Let’s do this for a better New Zealand.

And let’s do it together.

lprent updated: This is the final delivered version of the speech.

109 comments on “David Cunliffe’s speech to the Labour Party congress ”

  1. anker 1

    It was fantastic to be there. It was an inspiring speech. Great policies. We have to win!

    • Rosie 1.1

      “We have to win!”

      Just quietly, I think we will. I feel it in my waters……….

      And this time, unlike 2011 I’m not suffering pre election depression.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Watched it online. A couple of minutes into the speech DC started enjoying himself and then it was a little ripper.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Yep he really enjoyed the speech. Good to see and he is at his best when he is enjoying things.

  3. Rosie 3

    “People matter most”, is the theme of the congress says DC. This could be a slogan for the campaign!

    The other side to that coin of course is National’s slogan “Multi nationals matter most”

  4. JanM 4

    Wow – I think it’s safe to go back to the Labour fold!

    • Chooky 4.1

      +100 Wow yes great speech! …yes agreed…safe to go back to Labour !…or at least support a Labour /Green/Left coalition

      …am still hoping for more on tertiary education and more financial relief for tertiary students however..maybe closer to the Election?…this would clinch it for me

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      DC is the right Leader for Labour. But the members and the Left in general have to put continuous pressure upon Labour and its caucus to keep left, to do the right thing by the most disadvantaged in society and push back hard against neoliberalism.

  5. Karen 5

    I listened to the speech online and was very impressed and have just listened to the interview that appeared on Q & A (I can’t bear to watch the programme itself) and was again, very impressed. Well done David.

    This is the Q & A interview


    • Mike the Savage One 5.1

      I watched Q+A, which was before the speech was held. What a hopeless panel, except that dark haired woman from the university (I am not sure whether she is from Victoria Uni or AUT).

      This was a rather poor standard kind of edition of Q+A.

      The media really stir up so much about Cunliffe’s comments on the other day, saying he felt sorry to be a man (taken out of context).

      The media are the biggest challenge for Labour and the left of centre parties in this election, a a bigger one than National and their ridiculous small allies.

  6. Blue 6

    Awesome. I have been waiting to hear something like this from a Labour leader for some time now. David Cunliffe demonstrates here that he truly gets what it’s all about and he will fight for it. If this message gets through to the people then we will win.

    • kenny 6.1

      Lets hope the MSM don’t starve it of oxygen, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they do.

  7. Belladonna 7

    A positively Prime Ministerial speech from David, well done.

  8. JanM 8

    Do you know, for the first time in a long time I am really, really angry about what those sorry excuses for humans who are now cooling their heels in the Act Party while they await their fate in the hereafter did to us. How dare they!!!!1 If they’d had a shred of decency they would have left Labour to do their dirty work not hijacked us all without any scruples whatsoever.
    It’s been along journey back

  9. Jrobin 9

    Spot on in education policy. Well done Labour.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    As Kiwis know, an economy doesn’t grow from the top-down – it grows from the hard work of the middle and from the grassroots up.

    I listened to the speech and on that sentence the last part about the grassroots sounded like an afterthought. It’s disturbing hearing a political party famous for its classlessness dividing the workers into classes.

    And I still haven’t heard anything about what they’re going to do with the changes that National did to tertiary education. Seems like they’re going to leave them in place.

    • Nordy 10.1

      Well DTB – here’s hoping you are aren’t asked to write anything important if that is how you interpret a very straightforward statement.

      It wasn’t actually dividing up anything….but then again you seem to be looking for an opportunity to criticise or complain.

      You are doing exactly what the various RWNJs do when responding to statements from the left…..picking out some words, twisting them out of context, and then basing some self-serving criticism on the result.

      When you read a book do you determine whether you like it on just one part?

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        It wasn’t actually dividing up anything…

        But it did – it excluded those at the bottom. That’s generally what happens when someone only talks about the middle.

    • mickysavage 10.2

      What about this part of the speech?

      “I have said it before and I say it again: trickle-down economics – neoliberalism – does not work.

      It has failed around the world. It has failed New Zealanders. And the government I lead will close that chapter for good.”

      • KJT 10.2.1

        With a $6 rise in taxes for the rich?

      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.2

        Sounds nice – where’s the 80% tax bracket and the dropping of GST?

        • KJT

          Or, at least the same as Australia.

          Can hardly claim that people are leaving for lower taxes, then.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.3

        Well, it’s certainly up to us to get the 6th Labour govt into power, and then hold them to account when they are in there.

  11. hoom 11

    Is there a video of it? I really can’t be assed reading but would happily watch/listen.
    Also I like to hear Cunliffes’ delivery.

  12. Craig Glen Eden 12

    Thats a good speech, great to see education featuring so highly.

  13. fisiani 13

    There are 2,000 excellent trained teachers currently unemployed ready to start on September 21st. Yeah Right. Totally unbelievable.
    The evidence clearly shows that better teachers are far more important than more teachers. The difference is clear. National wants quality in education. Labour wants quantity at the expense of quality. The speech certainly revved up the true believers but let’s see what the next poll shows. Given the confidence alleged above then the Labour figure will surely start with a 3. My pick would be 25%. This is the flagship speech. The turning point. The rallying call. BUT what lingers in the public perception is the man ban, the tree ban, the moa hunt and the shame of being a man. If I am wrong then surely the polls will show support for Labour growing sharply. I am , as always, not wrong.

    • JanM 13.1

      If National really wanted quality there is no way they would have introduced national standards – hard to know whether you are cynical or duped, fisiani

      • Tiger Mountain 13.1.1

        fizzyanus is a liar to boot according to what Labour is actually saying about increasing the number of teachers. The implementation date is staggered over several years, not to be achieved the day after National loses the election.

    • Colonial Viper 13.2

      Plenty of highly capable Kiwi teachers from within NZ and overseas would gladly take up full time permanent positions around the country when they open up.

    • mickysavage 13.3

      What a weird argument even for you Fisi? Where did Labour promise that the positions would be immediately filled? Something like this takes time.

      • Colonial Viper 13.3.1

        I think the TV3 graphic suggested staggered drops in class sizes through to 2018.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.4

      Your lies and spin are totally unbelievable.

    • Chooky 13.5

      @fisciani….National doesnt want trained teachers…what are you talking about? National has done everything possible to undermine teachers as professionals in their own right and as educators

    • Tom Jackson 13.6

      There are probably close to that. Teacher unemployment is quite high. Many would like full time positions, and can’t get them. An old friend of mine was doing relief work for ages.

      Part of it is that the saggy old boomers won’t retire.

      National wants quality in education

      The National Party doesn’t understand education, just like it doesn’t understand economics, social policy or basic human decency. Conservatives are like the weird uncle you have to accommodate every Xmas who can’t stop going on about the gay agenda and fractional reserve banking.

    • Lloyd 13.7

      The way to ensure you have better teachers is to keep training all teachers. To enable continuing education of teachers you have to have lower pupil-teacher ratios to allow a school to juggle class-time and teacher training time. Just paying the “better” teachers more money won’t raise the level of training throughout the education system. In my view the Nats also seem to have designed a programme that will remove those ‘better’ teachers from in front of pupils and leave the rest of the teachers with even less time in which to be trained. It does not seem to have any logic.

  14. karol 14

    David has improved his delivery. It’s less shouty, high octane throughout, and more nuanced.

    It was a very measured speech that sounded from the heart – about values of a fair and decent society.

    It certainly seemed to rally the troops. Strikes a great note going into the election.

    hope there will be follow through to maintain the momentum, and live up to those values.

    • Tom Jackson 14.1

      His wife probably had a word in his ear.

    • Colonial Viper 14.2

      Yes it was generally toned down and less 98 octane the whole way through. He does the US style from the pulpit damn well when he needs to though.

  15. Saarbo 15

    Certainly a comprehensive set of policies being presented this year by Labour, including increasing the minimum wage to $16, according to TV3. Exciting times to be a Labour member, I cant see how any lefty can say that these policies don’t strongly underpin Labour principles. Hoardings going up this week, if the MSM are fair and these policies are communicated widely then there is no reason why Labour wont get well into the 30’s percentage wise in September.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      It’s pretty good now…the single fly in the appointment is the Super age…a technical fly in the appointment is this damn insistence to get back to surplus (which typically drains money and services from poorer households).

      I’ve got my fingers crossed that Labour will have 2 or 3 more killer policies to bring out: I would love to see some solid detail on ASAP transitioning to a low carbon economy (because that is as much time as we have).

      • Jenny 15.1.1


      • Lanthanide 15.1.2

        On one of the TV news shows on Sunday, the reported asked Cunliffe about asset sale buy-backs and he said that they’d do it as the opportunities arose, but that we’d definitely hear more about it between now and the election.

  16. dave 16

    neolibralism dead thank god !
    polls fuck the polls i door knocked a lady yesterday i had her information from 2011 election with one differance the land line had gone she was off the grid these polls are fiction very few people we talk to have land lines, we finding plenty unregiserted voters so to any green or labouer nz first
    we must talk to people to a green, nz first if there no activity in area join the labour volenteers and vice versa boots on the ground we need to dig out every vote every street ,bus stops, laudry matts ,taxi stands ,outside super markets in the homes

  17. fisiani 17

    Ipredict uses real money. It is really accurate. More accurate than the polls and it reacts instantly to new information and insider trading. If The Cunliffes speech was a game changer then the price would change substantially. It is stuck at 18.5%

    • McFlock 17.1


      What rich idiots with money to waste waste their money on is irrelevant.

      • fisiani 17.1.1

        Spending real money on Cunliffe is indeed wasting money, I agree but Ipredict is not for the rich. Twenty dollars is sufficient. You just have to be knowledgeable. That’s why the Left are jealous.

        • McFlock

          burning money is still for the rich idiots, no matter what the denomination.

          Mugs like you are fodder for the bookmakers.

          • fisiani

            I gather you clearly do not understand the difference between a prediction market and a bookmaker. A prediction market makes you put your money where your mouth/laptop is. You obviously have no courage to invest actual money so just pontificate here.

            PS Why does the picture show Te Cunliffe trying to thumb a lift?

            • McFlock


              fucking semantics. A thousand folks like you, convinced they have the necessary knowledge to make a “prediction”, walk into the TAB offices every day.

              See, the funny thing is that you seem to think that money is the only measure of commitment. Which makes me speculate as to why you bother coming here every day just to tell outlandish, demonstrably false lies. Or are you so stupid you think people actually believe your shit?

              • Blackcap

                Im sorry but Ipredict (and bookmakers) are emperically proven to be the best predictor of election outcomes. Much better so than the polls and as such fisiani is correct.

                • You_Fool

                  any actual evidence of that? Or are you just making stuff up?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Prediction markets are insanely bad at predicting election outcomes. Why? Because players in a prediction market suffer from all the same biases that affect the general punditry but are actually worse because market/herd mentality also applies.

                  Nassim Taleb cuts through all the crap around prediction markets very well. You should read his stuff.

                  Also your statement that iPredict and Bookmakers are similar is BS. Bookmakers are NOT prediction markets and operate completely differently.

                • Ant

                  Bollocks, Ipredict decisions are largely based on polling data, comparing it to a single data-point of a poll and and saying it’s somehow ‘more accurate’ is disingenuous because it essentially averages out the data provided by multiple polls.

                  There’s nothing ‘more accurate’ about Ipredict because it’s a false equivalence… Without the polls for data Ipredict wouldn’t be able to function because people wouldn’t have enough information about ‘the market’ to base decisions, it would just be random guessing.

                  Compare it to a ‘poll of polls’ or bias corrected poll and see how it goes for accuracy…

                  • Lanthanide

                    IMO iPredict is actually very bad at predicting elections because of the very right-wing bias on the site.

                    Labour to win the 2011 election was around 10%, despite the fact that the current government only just scraped in by 1 seat for their right-wing agenda. The ‘true’ prediction for NZFirst was around 3%, ignoring the last-minute market manipulation that occurred.

                    Of course it’s possible that MP would have sided with National anyway, but I suspect they would rather have gone with Labour (and they’ll be paying the price at this election).

                • blue leopard

                  An example of how a market-based poll like iPredict is open to self-interested manipulation:

                  “I was also right saying that Cunliffe has a 10c chance of winning on ipredict. Some optimists have ploughed in and the price is now 17c. Mugs , I can now short for 83c rather than have to fork out 90c.” – Fisiani

                  This is a good example of why the ‘signals’ iPredict sends out are stuffed for predicting this year’s election.

                  Ipredict is best used as a measure of the right-wing’s irrational and manipulative exuberance – which appears to be running pretty high-as-a-kite currently.

                • Lanthanide

                  Compare FiveThirtyEight 2012 US election prediction to bookmakers and prediction markets and I think you’ll find that FiveThirtyEight was more accurate.

                • McFlock

                  I seem to recall that when hoots was wanking about ipredict’s so-call accuracy a while back, QoT pointed out that the result he’d cherry-picked from six months out of the 2011 election was more accurate than the bets placed just prior to the election.

                  i.e. as it got closer to the event, the predictions became more inaccurate – indicating random bullshit rather than anything but the most tenuous connection to reality (if at all).

  18. Jenny 18

    All great stuff but what about the climate?

    Not a single mention.

    Even a utopia without a climate is a hell.

    Maybe he is reserving this topic for a speech of its own.

    Perhaps, later in the campaign we will get to hear David Cunliffe’s speech on the climate.

    Let us hope so.

    On the other hand could we be seeing a repeat of THIS?

    You know what really strikes me about climate change in the election? It’s the absence. It is as if climate change is nearly completely absent from the campaign.

    Hot Topic 2011

  19. Lefty 19

    Mr Cunliffe is making good and sure those at the bottom of the heap are absolutely clear Labour does not want their vote.

    • Te Reo Putake 19.1

      Devastating critique, lefty. I’m convinced.

      • Lefty 19.1.1

        What else can you say when he misses the reality of the lives of the poor by so much.

        They have heard the soaring rhetoric combined with austerity economics before.

        Nothing about how those who are struggling most are going to be better off right away, like setting benefits at a reasonable rate and pulling Work and Income into line.

        We have heard all that bullshit about jobs through regional development at some time in the distant future over and over again. All that eventuates is more handouts to the rich to build businesses they sell off to overseas owners.

        A detailed critique is a waste of time because it would be recycled just like Cunliffe’s speech. I have heard it dozens of times from different parties over the last thirty years.

        No wonder people are turning to the dotcom cargo cult in desperation.

        • Harry Holland

          Lefty, I think you are misreading TIP if you think it’s a KDC ‘cargo cult’. For many on the left, the attraction of TIP is Laila’s record and the team she can build, and the party’s position on spying and independence.

        • Mike the Savage One

          “Nothing about how those who are struggling most are going to be better off right away, like setting benefits at a reasonable rate and pulling Work and Income into line.”

          You certainly have a valid point made re that!

          Labour have 75 days to prove they also care for the ones at the very bottom, not just those “deserving” a pay rise as workers on the minimum wage. Their silence in welfare is very worrying indeed.

          • poem

            On 29th June 2014 David Cunliffe did a Q & A here on The Standard in which he said…

            “I’m not going to announce our welfare policy here. But what I can tell you is that the systematic victimisation and demonisation of beneficiaries we’ve seen under National has absolutely no place in Labour’s values or a Labour Government.”

            From the policies that Labour have put out thus far, feel extremely confident that they have that one covered very well too, and will no doubt announce it when the time is right.

        • Lanthanide

          “Nothing about how those who are struggling most are going to be better off right away, like setting benefits at a reasonable rate and pulling Work and Income into line.”

          Because with the MSM and National’s popularity as it is, such policies are anathema to the electorate and would ensure Labour wouldn’t win the election. Why bother promising a policy, no matter how valid it is, if you wouldn’t be able to implement it?

          Much better to focus on something like a UBI.

    • mickysavage 19.2

      Um Lefty did you read the speech? And did you understand it?

      • poem 19.2.1

        I dont think lefty did either, and I don’t think lefty is a real lefty at all.

      • Lefty 19.2.2

        Yep, I read it. I have read all the other speeches from the other Labour leaders over the years saying the same things too.

        Fine words and an austerity programme only fool those who want to be fooled.

        • Lanthanide

          Please describe what parts of Labour policies so far amount to an “austerity programme”, because at the moment I must “want to be fooled”.

  20. Jenny 20

    We will campaign on decent work and better wages. On a strong, smart economy.

    We will campaign on warm, dry homes for all.

    We will campaign for our families, lifted today by progressive education policies that will restore our world-class public education system.

    David Cunliffe

    David Cunliffe outlines the three specific things that Labour will be fighting this electoral campaign over.
    All very worthy, but this list leaves out one thing, and it is a glaring omission, being only the biggest challenge that humanity, and the most dire and pressing problem that humanity has ever had to face.

    Bigger than war, bigger even than famine, or global pandemic, though it will trigger and be a cause for all three of those dread horsemen to stride the world stage in its wake.

    It’s climate change and for any leader who seeks high office not to directly address this threat is a dereliction of duty.

    • poem 20.1

      Patience Jenny.

      • Jenny 20.1.1


      • Jenny 20.1.2

        Yes Poem there is always hope.

        In the unfunny comedy movie “Clockwise” 1986, John Cleese character is desperately late but sees that his mental agony is caused by the fact that he still has an outside chance of being on time:

        “It’s not the despair Laura. I can handle the despair. It’s the hope!”

        Sorry for my impatience Poem. I agree, there is still time for Labour and Mr Cunliffe personally to face up to this issue. It is this hope that is killing me.

    • evnz 20.2

      You are quite right and climate change could emerge as an issue at the elcction. A plus in this speech is that he only mentions economic growth, the main threat to the environment, twice. labour at last are clearly focused on REDISTRIBUTION, the answer to all this inequality and unfairness which Cunliffe is quite good on. However, the most heartening thing David says is “Trickle-down economics – neoliberalism – does not work. It has failed round the world. It has failed New Zealanders. And the government I lead will close that chapter for good.” Since it was introduced by Labour and never rolled back by Clark “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Labour needed to state fair and square where it now stands. Cunliffe is the right man to say it.

      • Colonial Viper 20.2.1

        There is still a need to go from “redistribution” to “pre-distribution.” That is, to recognise that “redistribution” in our current political economy is needed because of how unfairly wealth gets generated and distributed in the first instance – primarily to shareholders and owners, and not to those who do the bulk of the productive work.

  21. Jenny 21

    While David Cunliffe delivers his inaugural electoral campaign speech carefully and deliberately not letting the two words “climate change” escape his lips. HOT TOPIC NZ issues a “call to arms”

    The tepid and ambiguous climate concern which characterises governments such as our own in New Zealand is no more reassuring. Being hell-bent on further fossil fuel discovery and exploitation is hardly compatible with action to rein in climate change….

    Bryan Walker Hot Topic, JULY 3, 2014

    Case in point:

    Labour’s finance spokesman, David Parker, says his party’s policies on oil, gas and mineral extraction are close to those of the Government.

    “I don’t think we are much different from National,” Parker said. “They’ve continued on with the programme that we started in respect to oil and gas,”


    It must be our spur to insistently demand that our governments throw off the shackles of ideology and take the pragmatic steps which can yet avoid the worst that climate change will bring…..

    Bryan Walker Hot Topic, JULY 3, 2014

    • poem 21.1

      That was 2 years ago.

      • Jenny 21.1.1

        Yes that was two years ago. And Labour have been deliberately avoiding the issue ever since. Just as David Cunliffe is doing now with this speech.

        • Jenny, there has been no “deliberate avoiding” of the issue. Look at David Parker’s speech to Congress from Saturday. Maybe you’re the one deliberately avoiding any information which clashes with your “Labour denies climate change” worldview.


          • poem


          • Jenny

            Jenny, there has been no “deliberate avoiding” of the issue. Look at David Parker’s speech to Congress from Saturday.

            Stephanie Rodgers

            You are right Stephanie, in guessing that I couldn’t bring myself to read David Parker’s speech. I imagined that it would be full of generalities, vague platitudes and none of the bluntness that characterised the talk he gave at the breakfast for the Mood of the Boardroom chief executives.

            Am I wrong?

            Is there something in this speech to indicate that David Parker has reversed his previously expressed support for the government’s fossil fuel extraction policies?

            Is there a reverse of his position that Labour’s “policies on oil, gas and mineral extraction are close to those of the Government”?

            Is there any acceptance by David Parker, of HOT TOPIC’s assertion that, “being hell-bent on further fossil fuel discovery and exploitation is hardly compatible with action to rein in climate change….?

            So what is it Stephanie, what exactly do you want me to look at in David Parker’s speech which indicates that he has turned a new leaf and is now honestly concerned about climate change and intends to something concrete about it?

            What part of David Parker’s speech do you want me to look at that tells us that “The tepid and ambiguous climate concern which characterises governments such as our own in New Zealand” will be over under his watch?

            • Te Reo Putake

              Christ, you’re as irrational as the average climate change denialist. And this faux martyr shit is really tiring. Just read the speech and if you don’t like it, tell us why.

            • lprent

              You could have read the speech in less time than it took to write that!

              • Jenny

                So Lynn, tell me what I should be looking for in this speech by David Parker?

                Does he utter the phrase “climate change” once but not twice just to get it out of the way?

                Is there even one single concrete pragmatic policy to cut back on our Green House Gas emissions?

                Is there an honest acknowledgement that his previous support for unconventional oil exploration and new coal mines, is in the words of HOT TOPIC, hardly compatible with action to rein in climate change?

  22. Jenny 22

    The shocking thing is that this is the government’s weakest performing portfolio. It is where the opposition could garner many votes. It could be the issue that clearly demarcates between the two political blocks. Labour/Greens and National/ACT

    What is going wrong?

    • poem 22.1

      David Cunliffe did say in his speech…

      “We will protect and preserve our beautiful environment.”

      Hopefully more details will be released on labour’s stance on climate change when the election proper is under way.

      • Jenny 22.1.1

        David Cunliffe did say in his speech…

        “We will protect and preserve our beautiful environment.”

        This is a deliberate evasion of the issue, as Naomi Klein and other leading activists have pointed out, climate change is not an environmental issue. Sure just like nuclear war, climate change will impact the environment. But you wouldn’t call nuclear war an environmental issue, that would be deliberately understating the case.


        Hopefully more details will be released on labour’s stance on climate change when the election proper is under way.

        This is my hope too. Maybe David Cunliffe deliberately left mentioning climate change out of his speech because he intends to fully address this issue at a later time. and give climate change tthe full attention it deserves in a dedicated address.

        • Jenny

          Put another way.

          Ask your self just for argument’s sake:

          “What if climate change is not an environmental issue?”

        • Lanthanide

          “This is a deliberate evasion of the issue, as Naomi Klein and other leading activists have pointed out, climate change is not an environmental issue. ”

          This is the first time I’ve come across this framing, and actually it makes a hell of a lot of sense to me, Jenny. It’s all very easy to ‘other’ climate change and dump it under the environmental banner, but it really isn’t an environmental issue and shouldn’t be treated as such.

          I think the sooner climate change is divorced from environmental discussion, and thereby no longer seen as an issue only for the greens, but for everyone to engage with, the better.

  23. Papa Tuanuku 23

    If Cunliffe saved a baby who had crawled on the road, Corrinn Dan would probably attack him for disrupting traffic.

    • McFlock 23.1

      Reminds me of an oooollllllddd joke I shall update for our current environment:

      John Key and David Cunliffe are on the Interislander.
      John Key falls overboard and starts to drown.
      David Cunliffe immediately jumps over the side, walks on the water over to John Key, picks him up and carries him back to the ferry.

      Herald headline the next day: “David Cunliffe Can’t Swim”.

      • poem 23.1.1

        Well thats it in a nutshell isn’t it Papa Tuanuku and McFlock, to the likes of nats/msm etc, David Cunliffe is damned if he does, and damned if he doesnt.

  24. Whatever next? 24

    He has found his stride, and it was a joy to be there.
    I had wondered how he could possibly manage the intense negative publicity, and still inspire, galvanise and set the movement on a forward roll, but he did.

    • poem 24.1

      +100000000 Wondered that myself, just shows what a truely strong leader David Cunliffe is.

  25. Brian 25

    Great speech David. Great vision and the team to implement it. Come September we shall have a Labour led govt and DC as PM! I feel sure of it and I welcome it.

  26. Sable 26

    Is it any wonder people don’t trust politicians. I’m hearing a lot of generalities but where is the “how” in all of this. Given how bad things are “blue sky speeches” have little impact and I’m a New Zealand voter so I’ll wager I’m not the only one with this perspective.

    What I’d like to hear and see is a lot more about how all these wonderful things are going to be achieved by Labour. I’d like to see concrete policy, I’d like Labour to stop being complacent and make more of a “conspicuous” effort to stay in touch with their voter base.

    No doubt I’ll be criticized for these comments but that’s the feeling of at least one left leaning voter. I’d also like to know why Labour seems so adverse to enter into alliance with other political parties. This is MMP after all….

    My prediction and I’m loathe to admit it, because I believe the current National government are a disloyal disgrace, is they will be back in office after September.

  27. philj 27

    Has Labour ever apologized to the public of NZ for its betrayal by its Neolabs from within? Once bitten!

  28. Once was Tim 28

    Good speach. My electorate vote for the Labour candidate is now a definite. That’s based on Cunliffe’s education announcement and neo-liberalism.
    Now to earn the party vote, there’ll need to be:
    – a commitment to SUBSTANTIAL investment in public service broadcasting as today’s public sphere (I’ve just heard the latest RNZ news bulletin in which Labour Party policy is framed from the perspective of John Key, rather than Labour is going to do this – #TeamJonky disagrees)
    – A shakeup of the public service senior and middle management fiefdoms
    – A more sympathetic/empathetic attitude to the plight of the ‘unpeople’ (aka beneficiaries not playing the system – of which there are VERY few)
    – Cleanup of the environment, and charging costs to those responsible
    – Ceasing any and all corporate welfare except where it clearly has benefit to a public rather than a corporation
    – Reform of banking systems, unregulated privately owned monopolies and duopolies

    That should be enough for a first term (given the manner in which urgency has been abused over the past 6 years).

    Oh, and to progress things mid to longer term:

    • Entrenchment of the Bill of Rights and other legislation that forms that casual approach to a Constitution we suffer from
    • Some sort of mechanism put in place for the long term protection of publicly owned assets, and a mechanism that prevents further tampering and destruction of the electronic public sphere.

    Aside from the requirement for referenda and 2/3rds, 3/4s majorities – I think there is a way (I’m not a constitutional lawyer – but it would involve Madge or a President’s mandate should we ever decide to give the Trough of Windsor the flick)

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