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David Parker live Q&A

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, October 19th, 2014 - 161 comments
Categories: david parker, The Standard - Tags:

David Parker will be joining us here live on Sunday at around 3pm. As usual all comments / questions will be strictly moderated. David writes…


Thanks for the opportunity to join a Standard Q&A. Really looking forward to hearing from you.

I’m happy to chat about any questions and I’m really keen to hear from you about my belief that the way back for Labour is to focus on economic fairness for working New Zealanders. When working New Zealanders succeed they are proud to look after the vulnerable. It’s about working to ensure everyone’s getting a fair go.

And this is about us agreeing a central purpose to unite us all. My experience is that unity between members, Caucus and the Party is the cornerstone to re-engaging working New Zealand. That’s what’s needed to get confidence, trust and votes back.

161 comments on “David Parker live Q&A ”

  1. r0b 1

    Hi David, thanks for joining us.

    Why did Labour do so badly at the last election, and how do we win the next one?

    Cheers
    r0b

    • David Parker 1.1

      We’ve lost our connection with too many NZ’ers. Elections are win or lost on a combination of people, policy & presentation. We have to be willing to address all aspects of what we do.

      We will not restore confidence until we are united in pursuit of a common purpose that we can rally around, and NZ’ers believe in. That purpose has to reflect our values, which have not changed. That purpose has to be relevant to NZ’ers, who have to see us as an extension of themselves. We have to share their hopes & aspirations. Be someone who’s looking out for them. Someone they can rely upon in the good times & when time are tough. We must become someone they’re proud to introduce their friends & neighbours to.

      Labour was formed by and for labour.

      We must concentrate on giving NZ’ers a fair go. This starts with recognising the aspirations of working NZ’ers to get ahead. Secure work, good pay, a decent stake in society, including home ownership, and a decent education.

      To look after vulnerable NZ’ers, we need to be in government. To be in government, we need to be relevant to more than the vulnerable.

      A fair go and a fair share!

      • karol 1.1.1

        Secure work, good pay and a decent education available for all, are all very important.

        What would you do for us life time renters?

        Why do so many in the Labour Party put so much stress on home ownership, rather than focusing more on enabling affordable private and state owned rentals?

        • David Parker 1.1.1.1

          Increase supply, and regulate for a minimum standard of energy efficiency for starters.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        To be in government, we need to be relevant to more than the vulnerable.

        The problem you seem to be overlooking is that Labour are not relevant to the vulnerable.

        • just saying 1.1.2.1

          Exactly Draco.

          I must say I’ve been surprised, I think this was a slick performance – playing to the audience and all that. But that lie, that ingrained soundbite, even as adroitly slipped in as it was, says everything I need to know.

          It just gives the knife in my back the little twist I needed. I wasn’t going to bother, but I will vote.

        • lurgee 1.1.2.2

          You’re being silly. The full quote is “To look after vulnerable NZ’ers, we need to be in government. To be in government, we need to be relevant to more than the vulnerable.” That is surely clear enough?

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.2.1

            Yes, I did read, and understand, the whole thing. I’m now left wondering how you could misunderstand what I wrote.

          • wekarawshark 1.1.2.2.2

            You’ve taken Parker’s quote out of context and ignored Draco’s point.

  2. could you please detail/specify for us what you would do in your first one hundred days as prime minister..

    ..to address the open sores of poverty and inequality…

    ..what will you do for the poorest..?

    • David Parker 2.1

      Issues that I believe we urgently need to address include affordable housing. We’d kick off with building more homes, and enforcing a healthy homes warrant of fitness.

      We need to lift incomes. By the time of the next election, I want people when they hear “Labour” to think higher wages. Wages lifted immediately for the lower paid via minimum wage. Wage increases for others via better labour laws and a strongr economy investing in productive jobs rather than speculation.

      Incomes for the poorest families need the likes of the Best Start package. Shamefully, the Nats equivalent deliberately excludes kids in beneficiary’s homes.

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    Hi David,
    You spoke yesterday about unity. Were you, as the deputy, fully loyal to Cunliffe before and after the election? If not, you deserves no support in my opinion. If yes, why did you lose confidence in Cunliffe as you articulated in public on TV in such a great hurry straight after the election considering that Cunliffe had worked EXTREMELY hard for the party under VERY DIFFICULT circumstances for eleven harrowing months with constant attacks, lies, spins, nastiness and continuous pressure from the media and the other enemies as well as from ‘friends’ within? I don’t believe any other leader of the opposition was ever subjected to that level of constant attacks, most of which were completely unfair, where minor mistakes were blown out of proportion. Other leaders such as Key, Helen, Kirk took much more than eleven months to turn their party’s fortune around. They did not resign after losing the election. Why did the caucus (and possibly you?) insist on this in the case of Cunliffe who was duly and democratically elected by all the members? Weren’t you all a little hasty and very unfair to him? Would you have been happy if such a treachery was perpetrated to you in similar circumstances? Hope you will answer these questions with integrity. Cheers.

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.1

      Hi David I would like to know from you why you thought it was in the interest of the Labour Party to publicly say you had no confidence in its leader David Cunliffe a leader we the members had elected.

      Secondly could you please tell us all what responsibility you take personally for Labour’s poor election result.

      Thirdly can you please tell us how come you did nothing publicly to support David Cunliffe when David Shearer went against the agreement of caucus and started attacking David Cunliffe in the media.

      Lastly what action are you going to take to find out who in the caucus has been leaking the damaging material to the media of caucus disunity. Disunity I believe is the single biggest reason Labour lost the last election given Labour polled as high as 37% after David Cunliffe was elected as Leader.

      [r0b: We’re getting overlap in some questions now. I may in future not post questions that have already been – more or less – asked by someone else.]

    • David Parker 3.2

      Caucus members, including me, were loyal to David Cunliffe.

      • Clemgeopin 3.2.1

        [r0b: Part of this deleted – stricter moderation in this thread than usual.] You did not even care to answer my questions honestly with any integrity. I thought you were better than that. I am disappointed.
        Why was Cunliffe put in a position to resign?
        Why did he need to go?
        Why were the whips changed by caucus even before Cunliffe resigned?

        • Chooky 3.2.1.1

          +100 Clemeopin

        • leftie 3.2.1.2

          @ Clemgeopin.
          +10000

          Parker didn’t answer the question.

          Good on you, what Parker said was [r0b: deleted – I’m applying a stricter level of moderation to this post than usual].

          Ok.

          What David Parker said was a lie.

      • Cave Johnson 3.2.2

        Can you explain why you think your public statement that DC’s leadership was “untenable” is compatible with your statement above that you were loyal?

      • Craig Glen Eden 3.2.3

        You call publicly saying you have no confidence in a Leader loyal. Well bugger me you do have low standards it appears David Parker.

      • Saarbo 3.2.4

        As Labour members we deserve a better answer than this, will be requiring one on the Hustings?

        • Craig Glen Eden 3.2.4.1

          Exactly Saarbo.

        • Clemgeopin 3.2.4.2

          He answered standard questions but did not answer the tough straight up questions about personal loyalty, betrayal, caucus crookedness etc with straight up answers. Not impressed about that. A leader should be able to handle difficult uncomfortable questions too, especially as he had plenty of time to think about the answers.

        • leftie 3.2.4.3

          @Sarrbo.

          Agreed.

  4. Atiawa 4

    Hi david. What would you support to strengthened the role of organised labour in our economy?

    • David Parker 4.1

      Under my leadership, Labour would support the rights of workers. We always will. Collectivism is needed to counter the power of the employer and ensure fair outcomes.

      We need to go further than traditional employment relationships and draw in tied contractors, by giving them rights (eg to give them statutory minimum wage, sick pay, holidays and the right to organise currently sometimes banned under the terms of their contracts).

  5. odysseus 5

    Hi David, thanks for your time here.
    On raising the age of entitlement to supernnuation – I can see where you are coming from on this, the greater proportion of the aging population being supported by a decreasing proportion of working people .
    On the other hand NZ does not, and is not, projected to spend a greater proportion of its GDP on super compared to other western nations in the upcoming years.
    So do you still think it a necessity to raise the age of entitlement to superannuation ? And if yes, how are you going to “sell” that ( turkeys voting for Xmas and all that )?
    Cheers and all the best.

  6. Hi David,

    The single biggest policy problem I had was the complusory Kiwisaver VSR. The reasoning behind this is that I felt it unfairly impacted on low to middle income families (and therefore not exempted) who would have a retirement fund but would have lived without nice things, holidays, and so until the age of 67.

    People, say, like a solo mother with several kids who earns $50,000 and rents. She’d be able to survive, but maybe wouldn’t be able to take her children on holiday or buy them monthly books because she’s losing 3-4.5% of her income without giving her a choice.

    Do you think the policy crossed the line of asking people to be austere in their prime to have a wealthier retirement? In effect, asking them to be worker drones till 67.

    • David Parker 6.1

      The underlying issue remains, but we’ve got to reflect on whether this is the right solution or the right process.

      By the end of next year the NZ govt spends more on super than education. Its already more than all benefits combined plus the accommodation supplement and WFF tax credits.

      But we’ve been rejected twice on this, and our promise to protect those who can’t work past 65 in their normal job did not cut through.

      Maybe we should leave it to the people via a referendum.

      My overriding objective is to protect super because I know the people we represent need it.

      • KJT 6.1.1

        I am a bit puzzled by your stance on this. I understand you were the architect of the policy to use variable Kiwisaver as another tool for the reserve bank.

        I am pleased that someone has acknowledged the failure of the RBA.

        Killing industry, mortgage holders outside Auckland and the internal economy in a useless attempt to curb land prices in Auckland.

        How is super from 65 unaffordable, but giving an extra amount from everyone’s pay packet, for the finance industry to lose in the next GFC, affordable?

    • David Parker 6.2

      I think NZers should not be on the breadline. They should be paid enough to save a bit. They key lies in wage increase. At the bottom end, that means increase in the minimum wage (which also flow to other wage rates). In the end, wages are in part related to productivity, and savings help lift the sophistication and value of what we sell, and therefor the wages that can be paid.

      The Aussie experience is that the contributions in part pay for themselves bc productivity increases flow to higher wages.

  7. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 7

    What weaknesses do you think that others perceive in you? And how will you address those weaknesses?

    • David Parker 7.1

      I have cultivated a bookish image in order to restore confidence in our fiscal credibility. Its time to cast that aside and show my passions.

      I am driven.

      I want Labour to win in 2017.

      I am a builder.

      I have experienced the joys and sorrows of success and failure in business.

      I am a protector of civil liberties and the rule of law.

      I am an environmentalist, and have a record of decades of advocacy for clean rivers, and clean energy.

      I love the outdoors. I love the arts.

      But most of all I stand for an egalitarian society.

      The challenge for me is to display this to New Zealand.

  8. Hello David, if you win the leadership contest, how will you address the disunity in the caucus which, in my opinion, was a major factor in Labour’s poor election result and on-going low polling;; and, how would you go about building a stronger membership base?

    • David Parker 8.1

      We will unify around a clear purpose – see above.

      • leftie 8.1.1

        Would have thought Labour had a very clear purpose in the lead up to the last election.

        So in other words there will only be unity if you are leading it.

  9. JanM 9

    And in relation to your plan to raise the age of superannuation entitlement, would you not concede that this impacts most unfairly on our Maori and Pasifika citizens who at this point have a lower life expectancy?

    • David Parker 9.1

      Absolutely acknowledge the need to be fair. And its about more than impacts upon manual labour (covered briefly above)

      The most important thing is to continue to reduce that unfairness through the right health and work policies. My fear is that under the current government, with increasing inequality the life expectancy gap will again widen.

  10. Colonial Rawshark 10

    Hi David, thanks for popping by The Standard and engaging. Q: How is it possible to justify keeping more people in the work force for longer, when we are already short of roughly a quarter million full time jobs?

    • David Parker 10.1

      You touch on one of the biggest challenges facing social democracy world wide.

      How do you fairly share work and income in the face of technological and demographic change?

      Yes, part of the answer lies in economic development, but that will not be enough.

      Unless we in social democracy get this right, we will see increasing gaps.

      I just about wrote a book on this very issue about 20 years ago. Sharing available work through encouraging penal rates for overtime, sharing of jobs, care re immigration etc – its a complex picture that I am very interesting.

      But spending ever more on super than education is not a solution.

      • Saarbo 10.1.1

        “I just about wrote a book on this very issue about 20 years ago. Sharing available work through encouraging penal rates for overtime…”

        Great idea but need more than mere “encouraging” I think…penal rates for farm workers needs to be looked at.

  11. Colonial Rawshark 11

    Second question – over and over the Labour caucus seems to have minimal patience for providing the support needed to keep Party Leaders around and enable them to hit their best. How would you seek to change this dynamic?

    • David Parker 11.1

      Leadership engenders trust. Success breeds success.

      I think the key lies in agreeing our purpose and focus. That is not to deny the relevance of other issues, but you can’t emphasise everything.

      Caucus will rally around whoever is selected as leader. The will too.

      • leftie 11.1.1

        “Caucus will rally around whoever is selected as leader. ”

        I find that statement highly hypocritical.
        Caucus refused to do that when the membership, the affiliates and even 11 mps chose David Cunliffe last year.
        Certain members in caucus have done nothing but undermine Cunliffe’s leadership ever since.
        Comments straight after the election from Shearer, Robertson and even Parker himself demonstrated that. They couldn’t put the boot in fast enough.

  12. r0b 12

    Folks please read the questions already asked.

    We’re getting overlap in some questions now. I may in future not post questions that have already been – more or less – asked by someone else.

    • Pat O'Dea 12.1

      Good policy, but maybe you could have a small window with a tally of the number of people who have asked this question and (presumably) want it answered.

      • Seriously 12.1.1

        Except most of them aren’t really questions, instead rhetorical indignation about Cunliffe’s martyrdom.

  13. huffnpuff 13

    Hi David. Have you ever been a union member and where do you stand on awards or industry bargaining?

    • David Parker 13.1

      Yes, but in recent decades I’ve been self employed.

      I want employers to invest in productivity and reward workers rather than competing down wage rates.

      I agree with our policy to encourage industry bargaining.

      As the UN declaration of human rights records, this is one of the most important human rights.

      I

  14. odysseus 14

    Left field question – do you support NZ parliamentary recognition of a Palestinian state? If so, how will you go about facilitating this?

    • David Parker 14.1

      Yes. I certainly think Palestine has a right to exist and to stop encroachments by Israel.

  15. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 15

    Hi David

    Do you support party members having greater say and participation with caucus? If no, why not? If yes, what more and what new initiatives would you promote?

    • David Parker 15.1

      In terms of day to day decisions, the platform already binds caucus. The party also controls who is in caucus. Caucus has the mandate and duty to take day to day decisions within these parameters, and I would not change that.

  16. left for deadshark 16

    Hello David,
    What affect is the democratization of our party having on the parliamentary wing.

  17. Where do you stand on the subject of abortion and any potential reforms?

    • David Parker 17.1

      My mother was active in ALRANZ during my youth. I believe in the fundamental right of women to choose. The criminal code is out of date.

  18. Treetop 18

    How urgent do you consider it to be to fix housing?

    Would you start with a single parent/s in a boarding house with a young child/ren, (not at school) or with a family purchasing their first home or else where first?

    • David Parker 18.1

      There are two main part to solving this crisis.

      Kiwibuild addresses one part.

      The other is social housing. Boarding houses are part of it.

      The thing that vexes me most is the plight of the mentally unwell, who need forms of secure and afford housing, with allied health services to help them and those around them. We have not got this mix right since deintitutionalisation, and its overdue.

  19. Manuka - Ancient Order of Rawsharks 19

    HOW, to quote the great Sir Ed, to “knock the bastard off” and reclaim the govt, for not only Labour, but the wider ‘left’?

    • David Parker 19.1

      see answer to number 1.

      Hard work, focus, unity.

      We have the opportunity to leverage off the 100th anniversary on the founding of the Labour Party.

      Lets make it a milestone not a tombstone.

      So many great achievements to celebrate and build upon.

      If we can’t leverage off this, we should be sacked.

  20. Tautoko Mangō Mata 20

    David, thanks for aloowing us to ask questions.
    Using this disastrous election as a learning experience, how do you think the relationships between possible progressive coalition parties and Labour should be addressed by the Labour Party in next election period?

    • David Parker 20.1

      We have to give confidence in the left. That’s why DotCom was a disaster because that was an impossible task.

      Respect and mature behaviour are important.

      But we must never stop competing for votes, especially the party vote.

      We cannot succeed (or maybe even survive) as a subset of a subset of a subset..

      We must be the main party of the left.

      • blue leopard 20.1.1

        This doesn’t acknowledge the nature of MMP.

        Obviously Labour wish to remain strong, (large) however please consider the advantages of cooperation and not solely competition.

        Dotcom was never going to be in parliament – that really should have been pointed out ad infinitum to the New Zealand public by members of the left.

        New Zealanders are fed so much rubbish, it needs to be countered strongly, again and again – not responded to as though the propaganda has some truth, because it doesn’t

        Please Mr Parker, and Labour, please look into stronger counter propaganda.

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata 20.1.1.1

          Good point, Blue Leopard. Ignoring less important misinformation might be justified if it is not worth crowding out the prominent issues, but I strongly believe that not countering major misinformation attacks gives the public the view that either that is the truth of the matter or that the party is incapable or even too weak to mount a defence; both damaging.
          Labour needs a small think tank who can not only help counter misinformation/smear attacks by rapidly providing the correct information in a clear, concise manner, but also to anticipate areas of vulnerability and possibly mitigate some of these attacks by preparing responses to perceived problems. I do not trust the current Govt not to employ the option of misusing the GCSB to obtain prior knowledge on opposition parties as it is in the interests of the US to have a compliant leader such as John Key in power. This means that a more secure means of important communication has to be considered. (Loose mouthed caucus members are probably the worst problem.)

          • blue leopard 20.1.1.1.1

            +100 Tautoko Mangō Mata

            I am more than a little surprised that such a ‘think tank’ doesn’t exist already, although it is clear that it doesn’t (if it does it must be entirely dysfunctional!)

            I think this is an excellent idea and consider it the answer to mostly all of the left’s woes.

        • David Parker 20.1.1.2

          Fair point.

          Maybe we would have fared better if Nicky Hager’s book had been titled “Abuse of Power”, or if it had been released earlier (perhaps impossible).

          It is ironic that DotCom donated to John Banks, not Labour and that it was Labour that kept Internet Mana out of Parliament. And that the deals in Epsom and Ohariu Belmont were unprincipled.

          • lprent 20.1.1.2.1

            … or if it had been released earlier (perhaps impossible).

            It was unfortunately. I was aware of the book coming out and its rough topic. It was a choice of being when it was released or after the election when it is likely it’d have been largely meaningless.

          • blue leopard 20.1.1.2.2

            @ David Parker,

            I agree with your sentiment re the title. It sounds like such a small detail, yet could have made it easier for the public (media) to grasp the gist of the problem being detailed within the book.

            I am starting to dislike the complaint over timing, though, simply because I would rather see left-wing politicians deal with events better, roll with them – quickly and skilfully- get fast at countering spin, rather than complaining about having to.

            i.e. Complaining about the timing bypasses all these other skills that could have been applied and its well past the time that these skills stopped being ignored, and started being cultivated, by the left-wing.

        • lurgee 20.1.1.3

          I’d have thought “But we must never stop competing for votes, especially the party vote” gave you a bit of a hint there.

          • blue leopard 20.1.1.3.1

            @Lurgee

            Misunderstanding another’s comment and/or trying to blur their point doesn’t achieve anything productive at all in a discussion.

      • KJT 20.1.2

        I have a problem with the deliberate shutting out of the Mana party. It reeks too much of entitled and arrogant people in parliament opposing the election of someone who will upset their cartel of comfortable and smug people already in Parliament.

        I think we needed the challenge of Hone, Annette and John Minto, and even Laila Harre, Sue Bradford come to that. I don’t always agree with them but they challenge the comfortable groupthinking which is our Government.

        What do you think of Labour joining with National to shut Mana out?

      • Chooky 20.1.3

        “We must be the main party of the left.”….this is the attitude of the Labour Party as it is at present….competition and NOT cooperation with all other Left parties …why Labour is now a dinosaur party…and why its only hope is Nanaia Mahuta

  21. The proposed sale of 20,000 state houses is a disaster. What action do you suggest the activists take to stop it?

    • Chooky 21.1

      +100 Bill Drees

    • David Parker 21.2

      The biggest action anyone can take is to help change the government. I want us all to rally to the cause. Activism is to be celebrated, and is what causes the media to keep interested. This will reinforce the concerns of many fair minded kiwi voters.

      • sabine 21.2.1

        and that is an question not answered – spoken like a true politician.

        we are still fudged.

  22. BLiP 22

    The economy is a subset of the environment. Discuss.

  23. blue leopard 23

    Hi Mr Parker,

    Thanks very much for doing a Q&A here.

    Are you aware that there is a conflict with centrist narratives being created by National, (propaganda based on people’s lesser natures and ignorance of wider issues) and left wing principles?

    If so, how do you intend to address this problem?

    • Chooky 23.1

      +100 blue leopard

    • David Parker 23.2

      Helen Clark took the centre and moved it. John Key has taken and moved it back.

      My job is to reshape New Zealand’s political consensus, by reframing these narratives in a way that is consistent with Labour values, which are at their heart Kiwi values.

      This means pushing economic fairness, which is not to deny the importance of other values. I set out my vision in my speech to congress earlier this year.

      I am clear and resolute about this. I want us to stand for more than equality of opportunity (a term narrowed by the Nats). I want more equal outcomes.

      If you do too, then vote for me to be your leader because I am confident I can carry the party and the country to this end.

      Read more here:

      https://www.labour.org.nz/media/speech-david-parkers-speech-new-zealand-labour-party-congress-2014

      • blue leopard 23.2.1

        Thank you for the response Mr Parker.

        I am not a Labour member, though, so can’t vote, sorry. [Not that sorry, glad i don’t have to make the decision, actually, erhem ]

        You have impressed me, with your answers, though…well, apart from the one at 20.1 but I forgive you because no-one is perfect 🙂

      • karol 23.2.2

        I don’t think Clark moved politics very far to the left. It was more a holding pattern with some very small incremental changes. Then the Nats came back in and have moved the centre even further rightwards. Ultimately the centre of politics continues to shift rightwards since the 1980s.

  24. Anne 24

    Good afternoon David,

    How do you propose to bring into line the tiny handful of caucus leakers who, in my view, have done more to bring Labour into disrepute than anything or anyone else?

    I am not referring to the intemperate claims and counter claims made since the election. In an atmosphere of shock and grief they are understandable, and all of us have been guilty to one degree or another. What really concerns me is the constant, under-the-radar, mischievous whispering to media sources which has caused immeasurable damage to individuals and the party as whole.

    Thank-you in anticipation of a response. 🙂

    • David Parker 24.1

      I maintain a high standard myself, and expect the same of others.

      Integrity and discipline are fundamental. Unless we show unity, NZers will not trust us to unify the country.

      I also believe that a high trust model more often succeeds than threats.

      Where trust is broken, there should be consequences.

      • Anne 24.1.1

        Thanks for the answer David. There certainly should be severe consequences where trust and confidentiality is broken… as has happened many times in recent years. I hope the culprits have already been told in no uncertain terms that trust works both ways.

        If the MPs show their trust in us – the members – we will return that trust.

  25. You failed to hold onto an electorate seat. Do you believe young politicians should have to fight in local govt and electorate seats before being given a good place on the List?

    • David Parker 25.1

      I arrived in parliament after the biggest upset win in the 2002 election. I am proud I took the Otago seat from the National. Knocked off their ag spokesperson!

      I worked bloody hard to hold it. I increased my personal and party votes at the next election, but still lost in the face of the swing to National.

      I think a range of life experience is important. We are weaker if we are all the same. Competence must always be the primary criteria. That includes organisational experience.

  26. Paul 26

    What is your stance on the TPPA?

    • Chooky 26.1

      +100 Paul

    • David Parker 26.2

      Cautious. Acting in New Zealand’s best interest must be the fundamental duty.

      Its the investment protocols that we must take care about.

      Well aware of the many hooks. Investor- State dispute resolution, possible curbs on SOEs, improper extensions to scope and term of patents and copyright, rights to regulate.

      ie we must protect our sovereignty.

      If NZ cannot get good outcomes as per above, then maybe the best outcome would be a deadlock.

  27. Atiawa 27

    Hello (again) David. one million voters never voted (again) in 2014. What single issue/policy would you believe could get those “unknowns” to the polling booth in 2017 to cast a vote for Labour?

  28. Hi David, would you consider working strategically with the Greens in the next election to win electorates? What about Mana?

    In my opinion Kiwis do not understand MMP and the primacy of the Party vote. Can we change that?

    Which parties would you rule out of joining in a Coalition government?

    Cheers,
    Rob

    • David Parker 28.1

      Absolutely agree the lack of understanding re the Party vote. Fed also by the actions of our competitors.

      We must communicate BETWEEN elections. Too many people hear nothing from us.

      Our comms must include info about how the Party vote elects the government.

      See above for my perspective on building our share of party vote and working with potential coalition parties.

  29. Policy Parrot 29

    Hi David,

    What do you think of the solutions to inequality as proposed by Prof. Thomas Piketty, in his recent publication, “Capital in the 21st Century”?

    • David Parker 29.1

      Unless we tax all income (including capital income) the gaps will grow ever larger. A modern form of fuedalism, where concentrations of assets will substitute for large land estates, and wage earners and beneficiaries will become modern day serfs.

      • Draco T Bastard 29.1.1

        That’s already happening and no amount of taxing income will change that without taxing capital itself (i.e. Morgan’s Comprehensive capital Tax). We have to stop and reverse the excessive accumulation that has been happening over the last thirty years.

  30. Hi David, do you like beer and rugby? Beaches and BBQs?
    I hope the next Labour leader can show that s/he’s “one of us”

    Cheers,
    Rob

    • David Parker 30.1

      Bob Hawke would still scull a jug faster, but I have been King of the Table many a night at the rugby club.

      I played rugby for many years, then soccer socially until I was elected. My tennis is OK. I tramp and I ski (downhill and back country).

      I love a hot day watching the cricket with friends.

      My surfing is pretty appalling, but I still try. I fish a bit, cut the grass and am a decent builder. I hate gib stopping, and don’t like painting much more than that.

      I have a heavy traffic licence, and have had a wide variety of jobs.

      I love art.

      I love life and look forward to voters getting to know me better.

  31. blue leopard 31

    Has anyone ever referred to you as a quick thinker?

    I must say I am impressed by the speed of your answers, yet they have some depth

  32. PictishMonster 32

    [r0b: Please read above, question asked and answered.]

  33. Cave Johnson 33

    Some openness about the problems you faced as deputy to DC would be appreciated. People can be pretty understanding if you’re open with them.

  34. Hi David,

    I’m interested in the balance between environmental imperatives (which require a long-term approach) and finance/employment/regional development agendas (which tend to be more short to medium term). What would a Labour Party you led do about things like strengthening our emissions trading scheme or introducing a carbon tax? How about pulling back the ongoing drive into more and more dairying? Giving more support to public transport…? You get the picture. What would be your overall approach and do you have any particular priorities in this area?

    PLUS – I live in Dunedin. We feel like our services and high-value jobs are slowly being pulled away (e.g., the funding formula for health services does not work for spread out areas like the Southern District Health Board). I’m sure there are other small cities and regional centres that feel the same. Any comments?

    I’ll understand if you can only focus on one of these queries. Thanks for your time.

    • David Parker 34.1

      See the link in 22.1 above. The ETS can be easily fixed, by making the price real (by excluding or restricting overseas emission rights, leaving the NZ emission rights short),

      Both an ETS and a carbon tax can work. Indeed, they are very similar. The ETS is better then the Green’s version of a carbon tax bc of how it works in forestry (and therefor the balance between dairy and forestry).

      Re services in the provinces, I agree. Efficiencies from IT do not mean that all the centralisation that follows should be to wellington.

  35. r0b 35

    David has been here for about an hour and half, and there are still many questions ahead of him. I will leave the post open, but I doubt if he will get through all the questions above, and I think it is very unlikely that he’d get on to questions posted after this point….

  36. Clemgeopin 36

    If Nanaia Mahuta wins the leadership vote, will you be happy to work under her as her deputy?

    • Chooky 36.1

      +100 Clemgeopin

      • Clemgeopin 36.1.1

        May be my question was not succinct enough for D Parker.

        Here is the clearer version:
        ‘If Nanaia Mahuta wins the leadership vote, will you be willing, happy and humble enough to work loyally under her as her trustworthy deputy if she offers the position to you?’

        Hope he will come back sometime and respond to this question. Would be interesting to hear what he says.

  37. KJT 37

    In places like New Zealand we have seen the results of the absolute power of a few people in Parliament and they are not pretty.

    A question for you, David, the same one I asked Andrew. Does the lack of support for David Cunliffe, who was fairly and democratically elected as Leader by the party show a contempt for democracy from the Labour caucus?

    (A contempt for ordinary people and their right to decide their own destiny which extends through far too many politicians, in all parties).

  38. fisiani 38

    Will Labour stll persist with the policy that people charged with a sexual offence are deemed guilty unless they can prove there was consent? This policy turned may people off voting Labour.

    [r0b: (1) it was not a policy it was a proposal, (2) it applied to rape not “a sexual offence”, (3) this question probably better directed to Andrew Little:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11289979 ]

    • Tracey 38.1

      you should read the actual policy rather that other blogs to understand it better and save yourself from looking foolish repeating myths

  39. Not a PS Shark Sashimi 39

    Changing the policy settings & targets for the Reserve Bank has been pledged before by the Labour Party.
    What exacly would you do and would you start it on the first week in office as PM?

  40. r0b 40

    David seems to have finished up, after an epic 2 hours answering questions – thanks!

    I’m off now to deal to some of the chaos that I call a garden, so “live” moderation is over. Any remaining questions and answers posted here will appear at various points as I check back in the evening, or other moderators pass by.

    • David Parker 40.1

      Hi everyone, I had a brief amount of today, so wanted to pop back and thank you all for yesterday (Sunday). Great questions & thanks for listening. It took some doing to get through the questions in time available.. And just quickly here’s a quick response to supplementary points raised & the questions I didn’t have time to answer then:

      @ Tracey 2.1.1 – under my leadership social and economic policy will emphasise not just equality of opportunity but equality of outcome.
      @Clemgeopin 36.1.1 – I’m standing for leader, that’s what this contest is about. So I’m not picking a deputy at this time. We have to make this about leadership that unites. Factionalism doesn’t work, it divides. I believe we’ve got to choose a leader first and then get the best team together to unite behind him or her around a common goal.
      @ KJT 37 – see 15.1. I have a fundamental belief in democracy. What we have works in day to day decisions the platform already binds caucus. The party also controls who is in caucus. And there’s a direct vote for leader. We’re the most democratic party in NZ. I love that.
      @ Not a PS Shark Sashimi 39 – As far as the RB is concerned, most importantly, broaden the RB mandate beyond inflation to achieve a external surplus. That flows through a more competitive dollar, which aids full employment and more NZ content.
      @Manuka – Ancient Order of Rawsharks 43. If I could run a marathon in that time I’d be happy. And some of you would do very well in question time in the House!
      @ankerawshark 44. Its not appropriate for me to comment on this. See 33.1
      @ leftie 47. Labour people share strong values, and so there’s a lot of us through the party that say similar things. We have a lot in common. We’ve got to focus on what unites us. That’s about us all focussing our passions on a common goal.
      @felix 50 See 1. Elections are won or lost on a combination of people, policy & presentation. My job was to take on English as part of the Labour team contesting the election, I needed to emphasise that side of me. In winning this leadership race, that job must be about Labour winning in 2017, that needs a changed emphasis. I will do that.
      @Tautoko Mangō Mata, blue leopard, Atiawa, ropata mako shark and others re coalition building and political theory. My objective is to maximise Labour’s party voter. That said, I will maintain good personal relationships with potential coalition partners and will treat all with respect.

      Thanks again, I enjoyed the debate. Come and chat to me at the hustings meetings. Would love to see you.

      • r0b 40.1.1

        Thanks David – that’s the most engagement we’ve ever had from an MP – much appreciated!

      • Tracey 40.1.2

        I asked

        “what about better than subsistence for those unable to work due to disability or illness… with no prospect of ever working why should they be relegated to hand to mouth until 65?”

        @ Tracey 2.1.1 – under my leadership social and economic policy will emphasise not just equality of opportunity but equality of outcome.

        I know what I think that means… but that may not be the same as David and his caucus colleagues. Thanks for taking the time David

      • wekarawshark 40.1.3

        “@ KJT 37 – see 15.1. I have a fundamental belief in democracy. What we have works in day to day decisions the platform already binds caucus. The party also controls who is in caucus. And there’s a direct vote for leader. We’re the most democratic party in NZ. I love that.”

        Apart from the Greens (and I’d guess Mana and the Mp).

  41. Cave Johnson 41

    Well that is just difficult. Much more substance than Andrew Little’s contribution. More than I expected. But how we move past the trust/disloyalty question without constructive discussion I don’t know.
    .
    I’m reduced to trying to analyse his reply to CV’s excellent question about giving a leader time.
    .
    DP replied: (my comments)
    .
    “Leadership engenders trust.” (DC was not a leader? Lack of people skills? A bit aspy? Yeah me too).
    .
    “Success breeds success.” (self-explanatory – might explain the ‘untenable’ comment also).
    .
    “I think the key lies in agreeing our purpose and focus. That is not to deny the relevance of other issues, but you can’t emphasise everything.” (DC tried to do too much? Confused the voters?).
    .
    Not much to go on.

    • bearded rawshark 41.1

      Same here Cave. I was much more impressed with Parker’s answers than I expected. Little/Parker or Parker/Little as leader/deputy would both work for me at this point in time though 14 meetings may change this.

  42. Chooky 42

    +100 Cave Johnson…”how we move past the trust/disloyalty question without constructive discussion I don’t know”

    …this is the crucial question for the Labour membership when they vote for a new leader after David Cunliffe .

  43. Manuka - Ancient Order of Rawsharks 43

    Thanks to David for a marathon effort.
    (Question Time in parliament might seem like a breeze after our onslaught 🙂 )

  44. ankerawshark 44

    I am afraid I will find it difficult to get over this mans extreme public disloyalty to DC and of course he didn’t answer questions about this, because this is no answer that is o.k.
    But well done all of you who put this question to him

  45. les 45

    Impressed with Davids answers…he is the only man for the job imo.

  46. odysseus 46

    Very impressed, has breadth and depth…

  47. leftie 47

    Anything new or different here from David Parker?

    Just like Little, both seemed to reiterated, and echo much of what David Cunliffe has already said.

  48. Message to all those people still trying to die in a ditch for David Cunliffe:

    It’s time to let go.

    Labour is more than Cunliffe, and NZ needs Labour strong, stable and with broad appeal.

    • Craig Glen Eden 48.1

      Its not a matter of dying in the ditch its a matter of cleaning house. Do you really think the behavior of these people is going to change if they dont get their own way.
      You may want to believe the likes of Parker and Shearer are good blokes but I no longer do. The likes of Parker and Shearer are self servers they have both not acted in the best interest of the Party or its members. Parker was deputy leader who wasnt going to stand as leader so was made interim leader, now he decides he could do a better job than his old boss who he publicly said he had no confidence in. He needs to be held accountable for his actions and by Christ Im not going away.
      So rmk dont even try and tell me or others what to do because some of us have spent a shit load of time and money on the Labour Party.

    • sabine 48.2

      Both Mr. Little and Mr. Parker answered any and all question in corporate non-speak. Boring to the hilt and neither of them inspire me with trust and confidence. Mr. Robinson…ack ack ack and Nanaia Mahuta?..I actually know nothing about.

      for what it is worth, Cunliffe was not bad. And currently New Zealand does not have a Labour Party, it has a bunch of white middle class uninspiring middle management type of dudes, none of whom will see 2017 as leader, that want to be leader at the place of the leader.

      so my choice

      NONE OF THE ABOVE! Better candidates needed.

      • Chooky 48.2.1

        +100 Sabine…although personally I think Mahuta is the one with integrity and broad working class and female and Maori and Polynesian appeal

        …and I think she would grow into the job and become a great leader ( she has more parliamentary and flaxroots experience than the others and she is well qualified with an MA Hons in Social Anthropology…plus she comes from a line of very esteemed Maori with great MANA )

        …if she is not elected as leader …i think a break away Labour Party should be formed with Mana/Int and the Greens

        ….and it will be RIP old NZ Labour Party

      • les 48.2.2

        ask Richie MaCaw if hes available…no policy needed…then some might just ‘get it’!

    • bearded rawshark 48.3

      Agreed ropata-the king is dead, long live the king.

      I just hope Cunliffe has a senior role on the front bench.

    • Mark 48.4

      They should rename it the “Disunity Party” Would be the only time they have been honest for 30 years.

  49. odysseus 49

    Agree rms…

  50. felix 50

    Some thoughtful answers from David, but this

    I have cultivated a bookish image in order to restore confidence in our fiscal credibility. Its time to cast that aside and show my passions.

    I find deeply troubling.

    Has it all been an act?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 50.1

      Do you think he practices in front of the mirror?

      “Hi, I’m David, I’ll be your Finance Minister…no, that’s not working…Good morning, my name is Mr. Parker, and no no no that’s no good either…”

      Yeah, I suspect Parker’s Passions may prove problematic, image-wise.

    • les 50.2

      the right will not be required to attack the new Labour leader whoever it is.There are enough willing assassins embedded in the so called party faithful to handle the task.

  51. r0b 51

    Note that David has dropped back in for some final comments at 40.1

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