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David Parker – my choice for Leader

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 am, October 15th, 2014 - 199 comments
Categories: david parker, labour, uncategorized - Tags:

Selections are never easy, but choices have to be made. I have worked closely with all four candidates over many years, and the reasons why my choice for Leader is David Parker are laid out below.

  1. Heavyweight Cabinet experience. As Minister of Transport, Climate Change and Energy, David Parker handled some of the most complex and testing issues in the fifth Labour government. He proved himself to be both open-minded, and when it came to the point decisive. He is the only one of two candidates with Cabinet experience; if Labour is to present itself in 2017 as a credible government-in-waiting it will be much harder to do so without a Leader who has this experience.
  2. Strong egalitarian values. I listened to David Parker’s speech at the Congress earlier this year and was blown away. I wrote a post about it at the time, “Parker’s egalitarian passion”, saying that the standing ovation he was given was one of the most deserved in my long experience in the Party. No third-way talk of equal opportunity; his commitment was to equality of outcomes. As I wrote at the time – “You felt he meant it. You knew he would do it. You thought he could do it.”
  3. A cool debater. I thought the most interesting debate in the campaign was the TV3 one one between David Parker and Bill English. Everyone thought Parker won hands-down and I did too. But it was his cool style – concise, firm, with a touch of humour that I thought was brilliant. He’s not easily fazed.
  4. A passion for manufacturing. In August 2012 I attended a meeting at the EPMU National Office with the union’s officials and organisers where David Parker outlined his vision and his passion for manufacturing. At the time he was spokesperson for Economic Development; David Cunliffe was there as well. David Parker took that passion through to the launch of the Manufacturing Inquiry in 2013. You can trust David Parker to follow through on what he says. He has also been a strong advocate for a high-value economy. Nobody was listening while we are still riding up the wave – but I am sure of one thing, whether we are riding a dumper or gently surfing onto the beach, the policies he has fought for will be needed and will have their day.
  5. A good deal of steel and an open mind.David Parker is an original thinker who soaks up information, seeks out advice, but is not afraid to take har and sometimes bold decisions. You need that steel in a Leader. Quietly spoken he may be, but he commands respect.
  6. With a twinkle in his eye. Personable and approachable, David is very good company. I like him.

With four very good candidates, the choice is not easy. I’ve made my choice, and those are my reasons. Happy to discuss.


199 comments on “David Parker – my choice for Leader ”

  1. Cave Johnson 1

    Concerned that he is still clinging to the idea of superannuation at 67 however. Talking about a referendum rather than a firm policy, but I’d have thought it would have been wise to walk away from that one rather than keeping on trying to defend it.
    So that worries me in terms of his political instincts.
    He clearly believes it is needed to balance the books, and it was pitched to kick-in slowly in future (if you check the detail which almost no-one does) but it’s not in sync with workers and it will also be used to brand him as the guy whose policies lost the 2014 election.
    Also concerned at how 67 came to be a ‘policy’ at all, since it does not appear to be official policy, simply a ‘policy’ made up by caucus members to help balance the books?
    How could it happen that caucus members create a significant policy like this one without it being voted on at conference?
    p.s. CGT is an interesting but complex idea, with a lot of implications. It’s something that needed widespread discussion and conditioning before being thrown at a public who only ever read the headlines. Another cause for me to worry a bit about his political instincts.

    • b waghorn 1.1

      Labour s meant to for the blue collar workers so raising the age is saying to some that labour believes it’s acceptable that after years of hard work some are going to have to go begging for a sick benefit or pump gas on night shift when there bones start to fail them.

      • JanM 1.1.1

        Yes, I find this a real problem, especially if you think in terms of Maori and Pasifika citizens who at present have lower life expectancies

      • Lan 1.1.2

        Same argument with ACC entitlements which greatly favour salaried desk workers. By the time a manual worker’s body is “stuffed” ACC calls it “wear and tear” and “age” and “a pre-existing condition” and all those years of paying their own premium means nothing ..and then if compensation is awarded it is based on earnings after expenses which, for a home-based tradesperson etc is much less than a salaried professional with a soft job. Raising the pension age really needs more thought and empathy.

    • Colonial Rawshark 1.2

      There is absolutely no fiscal need to take billions of dollars out of the NZ economy like raising the Super age will do.

      NZ can ALWAYS afford Super because we can ALWAYS fund it. Raising the super age is a political decision, not a financial one. Either that or Labour still badly misunderstands how money and the economy works.

      • Lanthanide 1.2.1

        And yet, if we printed money with wilful abandon, our dollar would drop like a stone and we’d have great difficulty trading with other countries.

        That proves that spending decisions have consequences, where here you are arguing that the government can “ALWAYS” fund it, without any qualification.

      • barry 1.2.2

        The way the economy works is that the productively employed members of society choose to (or are persuaded to) support others that can’t earn enough money to support themselves.

        As most of us don’t expect to be unemployed, invalid or sick for a long time we fund social welfare at a bare minimum level. However we all expect to be old and so we are happy to fund super at a comfortable level (plus most of us have relatives who are receiving super).

        If it gets to the point where there are a lot of superannuitants living comfortable lives in their own homes while the majority of taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet and consider thmselves lucky to be able to even rent a home then super will be eyed differently.

        In reality this applies even with private saving. The economy only produces so much and the output is rationed by money. Whether that money comes out of taxes or the bank is irrelevant. If one sector is taking more than their fair share then the others will stop co-operating. If the ones who don’t co-operate are the producers then nothing gets done and nobody gets anything.

        This applies to kiwisaver too, and the government super fund will not help much because they will be wanting to spend the money at the same time as the rest of the world gets old. It might be softened by China and India aging somewhat later than us.

        At the moment there is enough so that super can be paid to all over 65s even those with other income. There is even enough to pay benefiaries better. However it won’t take much to tip the balance.

        Raising the age by 2 years after the baby boomers are all past 65 is not going to make any difference.

    • Mike Smith 1.3

      This was the 2013 Labour conference resolution which David Parker accepted:
      “Labour is committed to a system of universal superannuation. Labour will ensure the future sustainability of the system and will consider options to achieve this, including raising the age of eligibility. If this occurs, we will ensure that those who cannot work past 65 in their normal work and need the cover of superannuation will receive the equivalent of the superannuation payment from the age of 65.” That went into the Policy Platform.

      • Jenny Kirk 1.3.1

        You are forgetting, Mike Smith, that although that’s what the policy remit said, David Parker made no effort to consider any other options other than raising the age of super. In other words, he totally ignored that compromise resolution accepted by the majority of the members present at that conference workshop.

        • wekarawshark

          what was the compromise resolution Jenny?

        • Seriously

          Doesn’t the resolution above allow for the consideration of all options?

          • Jenny Kirk

            The point I’m making Seriously ( is that David Parker did NOT consider any other options. He just helped bulldoze HIS policy through the Party ranks.
            And altho he has now said maybe that was not a good policy given that people have rejected it twice, he has not said he resiles from it one little bit.

        • Cave Johnson

          Thanks Mike and Jenny for the info about the conference resolution. It explains why I couldn’t find any reference to 67 in the policy documents and it explains how a resolution to consider options was interpreted as a green light for the fans of 67. I’m much clearer now on what happened.

      • BLiP 1.3.2

        Yeah, poor David, his arm was twisted so hard, he had to carry the resolution forward . . . oh, hang on:

        Labour finance spokesman David Parker is delighted that the Labour conference has given him options in terms of the age of superannuation instead of constraining him. There have been moves to get rid of Labour’s policy from last election to raise the age from 65 to 67 over time . . . Asked if he would have resigned as finance spokesman had the result bound him to stay with the age of 65, he said “I’m glad I didn’t have to answer that question.”

        “It would have undermined me and Labour.”

        • Saarbo

          Clearly, David Parker does have weaknesses in the “political instinct” area. So he insists on the need to raise the age of eligibility for Super, this was a major vote loser, talk to anyone. If people within Labour were to be honest, this was a much greater reason that we didn’t get over 30% than David Cunliffe’s leadership.
          But also if Parker was planning on applying for the leadership of the Labour Party, he must know that Cunliffe has major support from the party membership base, it was politically naïve to then say that David Cunliffe’s leadership was “untenable”…because he has now alienated a big part of the membership base. Personally I think he is another loose cannon/disaster within the caucus, just a much more discrete one. Lacks political instinct and John Key will make mince meat of him. Its only a matter of time before he provides the media with an angle to kill himself off.

          My choice: 1) Little 2) Mahuta

          • Seriously

            But he doesn’t insist on the need to raise the age of eligibility. In his announcement speech he clearly backed away from that as a policy plank (as did Little).

          • Chooky Shark Smile

            +100 “Clearly, David Parker does have weaknesses in the “political instinct” area”…and this is very BIG NEGATIVE

            My choice: 1) Mahuta 2) Cunliffe 3) Little

      • wekarawshark 1.3.3

        “If this occurs, we will ensure that those who cannot work past 65 in their normal work and need the cover of superannuation will receive the equivalent of the superannuation payment from the age of 65.”

        65 yr old painter on the roof anyone?

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          The message I got from my drinking circles (even before we have had a few) was a dismissive why-bother-with-Labour? Winston says it best and the present policy stays as John Key promised (while he is PM).

      • b waghorn 1.3.4

        Its still making proud workers go asking for a benefit as I’m sure there will be doctors and bureaucrats to deal with.

      • greywarshark 1.3.5

        @ Mike Smith
        So that’s the broad policy. The macro look from above. How does it look from underneath to the elderly being harrassed and tested to see if a drop more work can be got out of them by a cruel and ‘steely’ efficiency expert bossing WINZ staff to keep numbers on super down? And then they go home and get attacked by young men and women who can’t get a job and get started on their lives, and can’t call their soul their own. And why, because they are on call for all the hours they can get at piddling wages.

        Fine words from you people, the confident and well fed suits with a future and the lifestyle the rest of us hope to achieve. Many of you are at the level where you get enough to start arguing that you’re not wealthy. That’s always a good one for sorting out the smug, comfortable and uninvolved. I’m not convinced that Labour leadership is able to step off the salary and social mobility escalator down near the ground floor, where the flax root pickers are. Top down management is not enough.
        It’s too likely to be economic theory dispassionately implemented rather than progressive, helpful steps for business and enterprise enabling better living standards passionately developed.

    • Rory 1.4

      Maybe what would make raising the retirement age to 67 would be more palatable with a corresponding reduction in the working week. This should be the direction that advanced economies are heading, with the increase in technological development, as it has been stable at 40 hours a week since the mid 20th century.
      E.g. reducing it to 35 hours a week as is the case in some European countries such as France.

      • blue leopard 1.4.1

        +1 Rory excellent point. Don’t know why this hasn’t been raised already by NZ politicians.

        • greywarshark

          The French official decrease in hours to 35 was not done without difficulties according to article I read. Not as simple as I thought. But what is easy anyway. It should be attempted.

          For purposes of deciding when to stop paying benefits, I believe in NZ you are regarded as full time employed when you do 30 hours. If minimum wage of $13.50 an hour would give gross of $405 per week.

          • blue leopard

            +1 That business about what is full-time work with WINZ is pretty bizarre – considering their definition isn’t really full-time.

            I still wonder why the government taxes WINZ benefits. It is a double-up; taxing the spending that is drawn from taxes. I wonder if this is some type of way of manipulating what appears on the books? It certainly seems that it would fudge the costs of welfare. I wonder how many people know that they do this?

            I thought the whole idea of removing secondary tax was an excellent one. Quick, simple and would make a difference.

            They talk about needing to make a gap between welfare and work to ensure the incentives are healthy (which I actually do agree with) yet there are some simple and un-costly measures they can achieve improvement in that area, that every government – both left and right – keep ignoring.

            • Bob

              “I still wonder why the government taxes WINZ benefits. It is a double-up; taxing the spending that is drawn from taxes. I wonder if this is some type of way of manipulating what appears on the books?”
              My understanding, if you are only on welfare for a short period of time then these payments still make up a chunk of your annual income. It effectively means if you got a job that would have paid into the 30% (or top) tax rate you may not be paying you “fair share” if you had tax free welfare income for part of the year. The bigger question is why do we pay GST on Rates, that is a tax on a tax.

              “I thought the whole idea of removing secondary tax was an excellent one. Quick, simple and would make a difference”
              Agree, at least drop it down to the top tax rate! Why the hell is it 40%? No-one else pays that much and if you require a second job I am guessing you aren’t exactly rich.

              • Craig H

                The Secondary tax rates currently are:

                SB – 10.5% – used where total income is expected to be 0-$14K
                S – 17.5% – used where total income is expected to be $14K – $48K
                SH – 30% – used where total income is expected to be $48K – $70K
                ST – 33% – used where total income is expected to be $70K+

                http://www.ird.govt.nz/how-to/taxrates-codes/earning-income-secondary-special-codes.html has more info on that (the rates in the tables on that link include the ACC earner premium of 1.45%) including a brief explanation on why Secondary Tax exists, and also the option to request a special tax code (STC) for people who would otherwise be over-taxed using a standard secondary rate. I think people under-use this option from the complaints about the rates.

                Having a student loan means adding SL to the code and would add 12% to the deductions.

                The tax rates above are the same as the normal marginal rates i.e. they aren’t higher or lower than the usual rates.

        • Lan

          Obviously not running a business! Wrt above comments also, the salary/”wage” structure these days works against older folk wanting to change direction, unless they can afford to buy a motel (or luxury “lodge” to spoil the wilderness) and make their own pay. Relativity pay structures now make age and “qualifications” a disincentive for businesses to hire older workers – especially those who expect their superior “skills” and “knowhow” to be recognised.

          • blue leopard

            I understand enough about business to know that businesses do better if there are plenty of people with disposable income.

            I know I have personally been involved in businesses that have been very popular and successful because I know what people want and how they like to be treated.

            The decision on how much to pay people shouldn’t be driven solely by how much profit can I make – considerations such as happy, healthy work environments. This doesn’t simply create pleasant working conditions for the owner and workers, which is advantageous in itself, a good atmosphere in a business also attracts custom and less worker loss and retraining etc.

  2. les 2

    Stands head and shoulders above the other contenders if Labour are serious about winning in 2017.

    • odysseus 2.1

      Absolutely agree; the other candidates, worthy people though they are, are second tier . Mike also forgot to mention that DP looks a little like M J Savage:)

      • karol 2.1.1

        Looks like MJ Savage? Not to my eye. One looks like a slick, desk man who deals with paper work; the other like a considered and caring man of the people.

        • Mike Smith

          David Parker is anything but a “slick desk man who deals with paper work.” Appearances can be deceptive as they say – but he does have a twinkle in his eye.

          • phillip ure

            heh..!..what’s with you and the ‘twinkle’..?

            ..(is that all he’s got..?..that was all you cd find..?..)

            ..parker..!..the twinkle-candidate..!

            ..vote for parker..!..he twinkles..!

            • Chooky Shark Smile

              Don Brash also had a twinkle in his eye…( say no more)

              • i understand richard worth was also twinkly..

                ..(but more in other peoples’ eyes..?..)

                • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                  To Mike Smith and to David Parker if he is reading this – please consider being proactive and having a plan to deal with any personal stuff that might come up. Some of that are already in the public domain (although the awareness may not be up there with the wider public and hence may not be ‘old’ news) and can be googled. But there are some that are not. I don’t know what the exact strategy would be but Parker’s campaign must be clear as to how/what to front-foot and what to be left for wait-and-see, while still being prepared to deal with that stuff if/when they arise.

            • greywarshark

              yek is very twinkly. Tony Blair had an ‘engaging’ personality. The proles love a good joker eh.

      • mikesh 2.1.2

        He may look like Savage, but he’s really the 21st century’s Walter Nash.

  3. Dont worry. Be happy 3

    For a glimpse at how the MSM /Slater/Key and his maggots will attack Parker put on your PPEs and go and have a look at Whaleoils post “Not given lightly”

  4. ankerawshark 4

    Thanks Mike for your comments. Always good to read the views of posters on the Standard.

    There are some things that trouble me about Parker. The central one is how he has conducted himself since the election. IMO I think it was unforgivable that he said publicly that he had lost confidence in DC. He could have told caucus or DC in person, but to play Labour’s issues out in the media is a no-no and for this reason he would never get my vote.

    He is currently interim leader and promised neutrality, then puts his hat in the ring, having said he wouldn’t. I guess he is allowed to change his mind, but that didn’t look good to me.

    What has he done to discipline David S given all his media appearances of late?? Maybe he has, but Shearer was on radio NZ the day after the election and should have been told then in no uncertain terms to STFU>

    I heard his speech. It was a good speech, but I think it was more that no one expected too much from him.

    He might have won the debate with Bill English, but that is just Bill English. I am a little over this idea of “winning” debates anyway.
    At the moment, I am favouring NM! Time for a Maori woman.

    • boldsirbrian 4.1

      @ ankerrawshark (4)

      First I am very happy with your voting intention …. but first

      I am happy with how Parker has conducted himself after the election. I do understand you saying that he should only have said privately that he had lost confidence in Cunliffe … but that was unrealistic considering that there was always going to be a vote about the Leadership. Perhaps he already had told Cunliffe that Cunliffe no longer had his support?

      He was then put in the position of becoming the interim leader at a time that he had not made up his mind about entering the race. He had no other alternative really. At the time he did not think that he would stand. Perhaps seeing Little enter the race made him sit up and think that he could do the job better.

      Given your third criticism (about disciplining David Shearer), I am of the view that perhaps Parker should have stood down as interim Leader. Hard for a candidate to carry out such discipline. Perhaps Parker feels the same as me, that there is no need to discipline Shearer at all.

      Issues I agree with you:

      I am also well over this idea of “winning debates”

      I still have an open mind over all candidates, until I have to vote. If I had to vote today, I would vote for Nanaia Mahuta (well out in front); Parker at first preference ( the other two close on the heels). But the election has only just begun

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1

        You really are a slimy apologist.

        1) Parker showed zero loyalty to Cunliffe immediately after the election loss.

        2) Parker took zero responsibility for the election loss, immediately afterwards and right now. And that’s the kind of Leader you can expect Parker to be.

        3) He took up the position of interim Leader after he told caucus he was NOT standing. Not that he “hadn’t made up his mind yet.” Then he went back on what he said. And that’s the kind of Leader you can expect Parker to be.

        4) Your view that Shearer gets a pass for his behaviour in the media over the last couple of days demonstrates how warped your judgement is.

        • Jenny Kirk

          + 100% agree with you Colonial Rawshark

        • ankerawshark

          Colonel Rawshark 100000000+ Thanks for saving me from having to reply to Mr BB. No offence meant Mr BB. We all are entitled to our views.

        • Seriously

          Very selective on Cunliffe/Parker. Difficult for anyone in the Caucus to take responsibility for the election result when the Leader was refusing to and seeking to manipulate the process. Reading Parker’s launch statement, he seems to be taking responsibility to a greater extent than Cunliffe has.

          Agree on Shearer. His political naivety & lack of discipline entitle him to a public reprimand & any sanctions available.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Difficult for anyone in the Caucus to take responsibility for the election result when the Leader was refusing to and seeking to manipulate the process.

            Oh fuck off. David Cunliffe resigned from the leadership and said in multiple interviews that as leader it was right that he take the biggest hit from the appalling election night result.

            What did Parker do as deputy to take responsibility?

            What did Robertson do as a front bencher, to take responsibility?

            • Treetop

              Both fell short as deputy and somehow think that they are leadership material.

              Where Robertson and Parker fell short the most was to support the leader. Unless the leader and the deputy are able to cover one another’s back and be LOYAL, the deputy will try and push the leader out if they want the leaders job.

        • Tracey


        • leftie

          @Colonial Rawshark.


    • Chooky Shark Smile 4.2

      +100 ankerawshark….to me Parker appears calculated and without charisma ( like Don Brash)…he must also take responsibility for the Election loss, because his policies ill- conceived were a big turn off at the flaxroots level …I also have reservations about his lack of loyalty to David Cunliffe (..and why has the Review of the Election NOT been conducted before the selection process?…another slick manoeuvre to blame Cunliffe for the result)

      ….this horse is not an Electoral winner imo

      If the Labour Party wants to win New Zealanders hearts ( like Norman Kirk) …and actually WIN the next Election!…. Mania Mahuta is the candidate to vote for

    • Mike Smith 4.3

      I would have much preferred that the issue of Labour’s leadership was conducted after a review so that it could have been more considered. That has not been possible so it is not altogether surprising that people have changed their minds or been asked for comment.

      I thought his conference speech was utterly heartfelt – I agree it was a revelation and all the more welcome for that.

      The point about the debate with English is that it shows he can best the government heavyweights in the media and gain the respect of the media as well. I agree the “winning” of debates was overplayed in the last election although it was important in 2008 and 2011. But media ability is essential for a Leader.

      • ankerawshark 4.3.1

        Mike Smith, any comment on the loyalty issue? Do you condon Parker publically stating he has no confidence in DC? Especially in light of the fact that DC was throwing his leadership up for a democratic election? One that Parker may not have ruled himself out of running in?

        Interested to hear your thoughts

      • Tracey 4.3.2

        do you know why it was not possible? because cunliffe resigned? was it ever offered to him to stay until after the review and then resign?

  5. vto 5

    You forgot the other reason – new glasses. The old style he used to always wear would place the black line of the rims right through his eyes from the camera view.

  6. Dorothy 6

    I do not need your advice thanks.
    I will vote for a dignified, experienced, intelligent woman with mana Nanaia Mahuta.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      It’s transferable voting, so you get to rank all 4 candidates (if you want).

      So you could consider giving Parker your 2nd preference.

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1

        If there is any candidate you truly do not want in, do not put them down on your ballot paper.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          do not put them down on your ballot paper

          Please explain. Their names are already printed, no? You mean to not rank them? Like put a big, fat zero next to their names, after ranking the first and second selected candidates 1 and 2?

          • wekarawshark

            he means don’t put anything beside their name.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              thanks for translating weka. Although now I think about it, there might have been an instruction on the form that it was a *requirement* to rank every candidate.

              Can’t remember. But wouldn’t want people to cast invalid votes if that was the case.

              • Lanthanide

                If you *must* rank all of them, then put whoever you absolutely do not want as leader as #4. That way your vote will never count for them (because in the worst case, it’ll go to #3 on your list instead).

        • Keir

          Absolutely do not do this. It will put your vote at risk of being ruled informal and discarded.

          Rank whoever you least want to win last, and it will not help them win.

          • greywarshark

            Isn’t that what Lanth said, in different words?
            Is this right –
            If ranking all 4, you could decide No.4 for the worst and then work up to the favourite at No.1.
            Or rank from favourite as No. 1 downwards.

            Note careful and cautious Kiwiri and Olwyn.

            • Keir

              Am disagreeing with CV — I think it’s really irresponsible to give out voting advice which is inaccurate and likely to lead to discarded ballots.

        • Anne

          Excellent advice. A voter does not have to rank all four of them. Two is sufficient.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          To be on the very safe side, I will still rank all: 1, 2 , 3, 4.

          • Olwyn

            Yup. I thought the same thing. Given that there really were people incorrectly turned away from voting booths in the general election for not having their easy vote cards on them, I am going to take the “better safe than sorry” approach and rank them all.

            • Jenny Kirk

              It is absolutely essential that all voters put a ranking beside each candidate’s name. Otherwise your vote will be invalid, and NOT be counted.

              Put the person whom you definitely do not want as Leader in the 4th (bottom) ranking.

              And your preferred Leader choice as first. You never know your first ranking might get through on the first ballot.

  7. BLiP 7

    Sitting back and bilking New Zealand’s domestic electricity consumers for nine long years as Minister of Energy is hardly a recommendation for David Parker. Making the problem worse was his refusal in 2006 to consider a single-wholesaler for the electricity market which – surprise surprise – became one of Labour’s major policies during the last election. As for his work as Minister for Climate Change – puhleeze!! While the failure to properly address the issue with a carbon tax is an indictment on the entire Labour Party, Parker’s work-around has done nothing other than provide another scam for big business.

    The fact that the Labour Party broke its 2005 promise to introduce a carbon tax in favour of the ETS scam indicates it cannot be taken at its word, and nor can David Parker based on his excuses at the time. This doesn’t bode well for the claim that he can be trusted to carry through with any recommendations which came about as a result of the Manufacturing Inquiry. Sure, the recommendations are all sound but it must be remembered that they were derived through working with the opposition parties, most notably the Greens.

    Shall we talk the Electoral Finance Act . . . . . . no, perhaps not. Labour is getting enough of a hammering at the moment without going right through its last term in Government. But that its, isn’t it? The same reasons Labour lost in 2008 are the same reasons it lost in 2011 and 2014. Nothing’s really changed about it and I doubt David Parker has changed much either. I’m sure he’s a lovely chap and has his heart in the right place but what can he offer other than more of the same?

    • wot blip said..

      ..plus he displayed the strategic-nous of a rock..with his pushing of that vote-killing dog of a policy…raising the retirement age/telling workers they will have to work longer/older..

      (and all of it futile/an own-hit..as coalition partners wouldn’t have gone along with it..

      ,,so all of those votes were pissed away..to absolutely no avail..fucken braindead..really..)

      ..he was also the person controlling the purse-strings of the election-campaign promises/policies..

      ..so it has to be down to him that we had the somewhat surreal situation of the far-right conservative party offering more help to the poorest…(first twenty grand tax-free..an instant lift..)..than did labour..

      ..parker dictated that the poorest wd only be offered what national gave them..raises in benefit-rates matched to inflation…that was it..!..w.t.f..!

      ..and you match that with parkers repeated claim that labour lost the 2011 election..’cos of..get this..!..their policy of bring beneficiary families into the w.f.f…

      ..by 2018..(!)..(what a pile of stinking/steaming/poor-bashing horseshit that claim is..eh..?..)

      ..just those two irrefutable facts show than parker wd do s.f.a. for the poorest..

      ..for just that reason i rank him last..

      ..he is a fucken neo-lib trout/apologist/enacter..

      ..how the fuck is he going to help labour..?

      ..albeit with ‘a twinkle in his eye’..?

      (..shall we change his nickname from ‘posy’ to ‘twinkles’..?..)

      • phillip ure 7.1.1

        you also cite his ‘debating-skills’..?..(!)

        ..and claim that beating english in a debate proves this..?

        ..you do realise that beating english in a debate is like australia beating new zealand in a game of aussie rules..?

        ..no victory really..?

        (tho..at the time i did acknowlwdge it was parkers’ best performance to date..

        http://whoar.co.nz/2014/comment-whoar-there-are-two-reasons-to-watch-the-replay-of-the-nation-this-morn-or-online/ )

        ..but i will counter yr claim of parkers debating-prowess with my experiences of doing commentaries on q-time..for a very very long time..

        ..where i have been decidedly unimpressed..

        ..you claim his debating style is ‘cool’..?

        ..i see it as more the petulant-child pissed off at someone daring to question them..

        ..maybe it’s all in the eye of the beholder..eh..?

    • Mike Smith 7.2

      David Parker changed his mind on the single-wholesaler for the electricity market after listening to others in the community – I think that’s a point in his favour. I can’t remember who it was who said “when the facts change I change my mind – what do you do sir” but I have always thought it was great advice. That’s why I said he has an open mind – and it is still open.

      I would be absolutely rock-solid certain he will carry through with his recommendations on the manufacturing sector given the chance. He drove the policy in Labour.

      • phillip ure 7.2.1

        that’s funny..!

        ..i’ve heard his rep is as one who is pig-headed/finds it hard to take countering-advice..

        ..once he has made his mind up..

        (however wrong that may be..c.f…raising retirement-age..)

      • lurgee 7.2.2

        I can’t remember who it was who said “when the facts change I change my mind – what do you do sir” but I have always thought it was great advice.

        Attributed to JM Keynes, appropriately enough.

        Though there is some doubt if he ever did say it.

        Like the quote often attributed to Burke, about how the triumph of evil only requires that good men do nothing, or the Orwell ‘quote’ about soft liberals sleeping easy because rough men are ready to do violence on their behalf, it may be one of those things we just wish they’d said.

    • Bunji 7.3

      He hardly had 9 long years as Minister of Energy – he only came in in 2002 after winning the incredibly blue seat of Otago in 2002, and was only a minister from 2005 – with time out when he admirably stood down while facing trumped up allegations of filing a false company return.

      He joined Labour and came into parliament to fight the Bradford reforms on Electricity – the fact that he didn’t succeed in getting that on the agenda of the busy 2005 government when he became a minister doesn’t mean that he won’t take the opportunity should he get the chance, especially if he’s further up the tree.

      He fought and won on climate change, introducing an ETS that would include agriculture, after a Carbon Tax failed to get the numbers to proceed (thanks mainly to NZ First).
      He’s been appalled as National have gutted the ETS, turning it into a polluters subsidy. He (along with Russel Norman) destroyed Tim Groser in the only climate change debate in the last election, but that got hardly any publicity.

      The manufacturing inquiry – surely that’s a point of praise that he can work well with the other opposition parties?

      I don’t know what you’re going to say about the EFA, but that wasn’t his baby…

      • BLiP 7.3.1

        . . . He joined Labour and came into parliament to fight the Bradford reforms on Electricity . . .

        ^^^ DOX PLOX

        Fair enuff – Parker only had three years as Minister to do the right thing for New Zealand because the previous Labour Ministers had done nothing. Any claim as to him having had a climate change “win” is bollocks. The promise to introduce the carbon tax was a Labour Party ploy in case it needed the Greens, then, when it didn’t, Labour chose instead to shit all over the promise to New Zealand and also lock the Greens out of any participation in government. Labour’s decision to spurn the offer of a cooperative stance to the 2014 election is evidence enough that while Labour will schmooze when it suits it, any preceeding policy developed with the Greens is equally dismissable unless Labour has its feet held to the fire, or can steal it so as to claim credit. The ETS was always prone to machinations by The National Ltd™ Cult of John Key because of the way it was structured. Given Labour’s performance in the environmental portfolio generally there’s no guarantee it wouldn’t also have given the farmers the same concession.

        Now, as to Labour being unable to pass legislation for a carbon tax because it didn’t have the numbers, are you lying now or was David Parker lying at the time . . .

        . . . Climate Change Minister David Parker denied that the backdown was a result of the difficulty the Government would have faced mustering the numbers in Parliament to pass a carbon tax . . .

    • Seriously 7.4

      How do you sustain an analysis that the reasons for defeat in 2011 & 2014 were the same as 2008?

      In 2008 there was a stale but fairly well disciplined Caucus with at least a veneer of competence and unity. Result, a narrow loss. Since then Labour has descended into chaotic factionalism, driven more by personalities than ideas. A lot of the polemic and ad hominem comments on this page (not yours) reflect this.

      Dwelling on past real or imagined slights by one contender on another is unproductive. Leaders don’t necessarily determine policy detail, the Party can and does, especially when unified on an issue. Surely the key question is which candidate can best present Labour as unified and credible to a winning proportion of the electorate?

      • BLiP 7.4.1

        The reason can be sustained in that the public saw no difference between The National Ltd™ Cult of John Key and Labour, only that Labour were starting to make a mess of things. While I accept that the “making a mess of it” perception was generated by John Key’s “Dirty Politics” machine, there remains to this day little difference between the two parties and, so far, the perception is that The National Ltd™ cult of John Key is not making a mess of things. Also, I’m not entirely convinced the caucus was all that together even in 2008.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.5

      Greens voted for ETS too !
      As Labour and Greens didnt have a majority back then what would suggest that would have got a Carbon Tax passed?

      • BLiP 7.5.1

        Greens voted for ETS too !

        Better something than nothing. The Greens will always support legislation which forwards its agenda, however weakly. That’s the reason why the Greens didn’t vote to do away with the Electoral Finance Act – the principles it contained were worthy and needed development rather than scrapping and forgetting about. What did David Parker say about his attempt to deal with the problems? “ . . . mea culpa, mea culpa . . . ” almost as if he was ashamed of trying to make political parties more accountable to the public they, ostensibly, seek to serve.

    • Murray Rawshark 7.6

      The policy of grabbing revenue across the board via high electricity prices rather than taxing speculators or the rich via more progressive taxation and capital gains tax is as bad as anything Douglas ever did. High power prices really hit the poor badly.

      David Parker – no way. FDP. Which is filho da puta in Portuguese, son of a whore, but here is similar to FJK.

  8. Bill 8

    You’d have no problem at the prospect of Goff, King, Cosgrove, Mallard, Shearer et al, tiredly hitching their wagons to his leadership then? If he isn’t the old guards’ man, I’d really like to be corrected on the point.

    Meanwhile, affably ‘talking left’ while the Labour Party has an appetite for it, is a kind of meaningless no brainer, but no guarantee that ‘less than left’ policy simply gets wrapped around in ‘left’ rhetoric and then delivered on the basis of so-called ‘pragmatic politics’….while numbers in caucus are used to keep the left leaning mps on the fringes.

    Anyway, maybe he is good on finance, so…serving under Cunliffe as deputy finance would be perfect for him, no?

    • Mike Smith 8.1

      David Parker came from Dunedin and was supported by Michael Cullen from memory. And he is definitely his own man.

      • swordfish 8.1.1

        Widely regarded as a key member of Labour’s Right faction, though.




        (Note: Admittedly these factions have a certain degree of fluidity about them. But I doubt that Parker’s core views have changed much since these lists were compiled).

      • left for deadshark 8.1.2

        Just wondering,wasn’t he one of Howard Patersons lawyers.and he was slippery as they come.Of coarse,Patersons.no longer with us. Amen
        back stories an all.

      • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 8.1.3

        “David Parker ……And he is definitely his own man.”
        Nonsense of the highest order, and you should better than to say it, Mike Smith.

        When Goff stood down after the 2008 election Parker put his hat in the ring along with Cunliffe and Shearer. When Parker performed lukewarmly against Cunliffe on the Mark Sainsbury Closeup show his backers told him to stand down so that they could put their weight behind Shearer.
        Anyone who stands down that meekly is not their own man.

        There is enough evidence that Robertson was the lead of the group initially behind Parker, and then Shearer, with the sole purpose of blocking Cunliffe until Robertson had enough public recognition to make his own bid.
        Anyone who allows themseleve to be used like that is not their own man.

        When the lastest stoush commenced Parker took the acting leadership role on the basis that he was above the play. He then puts his hat in the ring. Worse still he holds onto the acting leadership role while muzled from commenting on issues!
        Anyone who is so dithering and weak like that is not their own man.

        • Tracey

          so robertson is involved in a kind of two track politics, with others doing his dirty work but on his own colleagues?

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Correct. Two tracking against his own side, supported by some both senior and junior people in caucus (and certain staff). Mostly careerists, others who ideologically want to see Labour stay “centre” and “global”.

      • Hamish 8.1.4

        Gordon Campbell says Parker is the ABC’s man…


        “For starters, Shearer needs to be taken aside and reminded that
        (a) He was parachuted into the top job by his mates in the Labour parliamentary caucus, only after their first choice, David Parker, had pulled out.”

        Mike, are you saying Gordon Campbell is full of shit?

  9. Jenny Kirk 9

    Cannot agree with you, one little bit, Mike Smith. Parker is a neo-lib, and Labour has had enough of the neo-libs trying to run things. He also doesn’t listen to people – he certainly didn’t listen to anyone who tried to counter his super-age-raising policy !

    And he should have kept his mouth closed when asked about Cunliffe standing for the Leadership – what he said was just spiteful. Although not as spiteful and nasty as what Mr Shearer (bitter old man that he is) said.

    Labour now has a real contest, and I hope that we finally get it right. Nanaia at the top, followed by Andrew Little as deputy – the two of them will be able to pull all the neo-libs and ABCs and egoists into line – and get rid of policies that are not people-friendly.

    Forgot to mention – they are both bright and smart, and they’ve both got the political experiences needed to lead the Party together.
    AND – perhaps most importantly – they have big groupings outside of caucus who will be supporting them – unions, Maori, presumably Pacific Islanders too.

    • Craig Glen Eden 9.1

      Totally agree with you Jenny Kirk and Ankerawshark. David Parker’s statement re no confidence was totally inappropriate. David Cunliffe covered this guy for twelve months building him up as the deputy leader and before the election night was over he is distancing himself . I wouldnt trust him with feeding the neighbors cat. Nania and Little for me to. Nania will give a fresh start and I think a lot of people who couldnt be bothered voting would get out to support her and Labour.

      • Anne 9.1.1

        David Parker’s statement re no confidence was totally inappropriate.

        Indeed it was. In fact, I suspect it was that statement which started the unseemly anti-Cunliffe vitriol from the likes of Shearer/Cosgrove and more recently Mallard. They just couldn’t wait to jump in and blame DC for everything when they themselves have done far more over time to assist Labour’s poor showing in the result.

        Add the revelation by AD a few days ago that Parker spent the entire election night as far from Cunliffe’s side as possible. Remember, Cunliffe hadn’t opened his mouth at that stage so it was a clear indication the line had already been drawn in the sand as far as the former ABCers were concerned.

        Those two incidents have ensured Parker will not feature prominently on my ballot paper.

    • Mike Smith 9.2

      When I have more time I am going to do a post about “neo-labellism” – I am not in favour of hanging labels around people’s necks to condemn them.

      • Colonial Rawshark 9.2.1

        Parker isn’t a true neoliberal. He does believe in social democracy. But his internal intellectual economic framework remains highly orthodox. And he has limited sense of the severe fossil fuel energy and resource depletion scenarios that we will be working within in 20 years time. So if the shoe fits.

      • phillip ure 9.2.2

        it’s more an evaluating of their record/own words..actually..

        ..and that is what condemns parker..

        ..they earn their ‘labels’..

        ..and ‘labels’ are just shorthand for more complex explanations/definitions..

        ..are you trying to claim parker isn’t broadly the neo-lib he is automatically tagged..?..


        ..is he really a leftie/friend of/to the poor..?

        ..whoar..?..who knew..?

      • adam 9.2.3

        Oh come on, everyone labels Mike Smith. Are you just miffed that people understand that the economic views of a person gives a very clear view of their politics. But, are you miffed, that working folk can see through the smoke screen of the corporate elects? Or are you miffed some actually called him out for his economic views?

      • boldsirbrian 9.2.4


        I’ve been concerned about that ever since I’ve arrived here. I’d love more people to talk far more about the specific policies that they like or dislike. In my experience people do not fit under labels … the person you may label far right, might just support what you consider far left on a specific issue. Labels are very useful when discussing concepts, but when they are attached to people, it makes it hard to escape, or change from. People come in shades of grey, not black and white, and they also come with surprising exceptions. Being human.

        With regard to the leader, I’m more looking for a person that can unify the factions, than I care about the particular label that they belong to. At this stage I’ve got no reason to believe that any of them cannot do that. But it is a major factor in my current support for Nanaia.

        I’ll look forward to your post.

        Mr. Botany (B.)

        • Descendant Of Sssmith

          Been down the articulate policy route for several years now.

          Unfortunately Labour doesn’t believe in Labour policies any more.

          Nats’ pollster reveals asset sale plan

          Open mike 01/01/2014

          Open mike 11/06/2010

          1. The principle of an egalitarian society with all citizens being looked after and supported
          2. A clear statement that an increasing gap between the top and the bottom is not to be desired due to the negative social impacts. That the country should move forward as a whole.
          3, A fair days work for a fair days pay. The 8 hour working day and the 40 hour wroking week should be re-instated. Anyone working more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week should be paid time and a half. Salaries – by which some employers currently use to get around the minumum wage rules – should be set a a minimum equivalent of 40 hours per week X 120% of the minumum wage.
          4. Benefit rates should be increased immeadiately by the $20-00 per week cut made years ago. Labour should be deeply embarrassed by reinstating this for NZS but not for benefits.
          5. Government should undertake as part of their social committment to provide jobs for young people and people with disabilites – particularly in times of recession. Government Departments should be funded specifically for this. The private sector should be supported to provide jobs for people with significant disabilities by having their health / productivty assessed on a 3 yearly basis and having the difference between the productivity assessment and the Invalids Benefit paid to the employer – until the person turns 65 and qualifies for NZS if need be. Workers must be paid at least the minimum wage.
          6. All shop trading should cease on Sundays from 12:00 pm so workers all have half a day a week to spend with their families. This includes bars. This will also be positive for people running small businesses who have currently little choice but to open because their big competitors are.
          7. Alcohol should not be able to be sold in dairies and similar outlets.
          8. Gambling machines except in the casinos should be banned – this includes pubs and RSA’s.
          9. A clear progressive tax system should be implemented with the proviso each year that 20% of any surplus should be returned to all tax payers in equal shares as a lump sum payment.
          10. Depreciation should be clearly removed as a tax deduction. The basic principle should be to claim your costs when you actually incur them.
          11. All employers can claim a flat $500-00 per year per employee for costs associated with keeping employees motivated – social clubs, Christmas and staff functions etc. No other costs beyond this can be claimed as a taxable expense. This puts all workers and all employers on an even footing.
          12. Families with non-working or part-time working partners ( less than say $15,000 per annum) should be able to split their income for tax purposes.
          13. Family Benefit should be re-introduced so all people with children get this assistance regardless of income. Raising children should be valued.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 9.3

      Just quickly and straight up here – several in my work and social networks know Parker since he was a young lawyer. Some of us were involved professionally with contributing to policies when he was minister for Energy circa 2005/2006 and then Environment circa 2007. He was poor at listening and his obduracy, which often conveyed he had already made up his mind, drove us to despair. Polite though he was when speaking with us, any observer who knew him less well would think he was arrogant. It didn’t help that he would proceed to “tell” us what should be the case, coming across like he was lecturing at us (and not in a positive pedagogical or pastoral way!). We took our advice and policy work to the Greens. They were receptive, engaging and consultative, and we gave them our ideas unreservedly. They adapted our work as they saw fit and we were happy.

      • Colonial Rawshark 9.3.1

        yep a common story. Greens easier and more rewarding to work with in these policy development processes.

        • Lanthanide

          You running as a Greens candidate in 2017?

          • Chooky Shark Smile

            imo…CR would be a good Greenie , except for his views on abortion…the Greens are very smart people generally…and they are also feminists

            • Colonial Rawshark

              The preservation, protection and nurturing of both animal and plant life that are not destructive or unwanted pests, wherever and whenever possible? I think that is a valuable ethos to consider.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 9.3.2

        Um , the Greens voted for the ETS when Labour was in government, but now they are opposed to it.

        The Greens are just like those Harvey Norman buyers:
        this looks shiny and everyone else has one plus we wont have to pay for it for 5 years. What could go wrong!

        • newsense

          The Greens would love a workable ETS, but this is so broke a carbon tax seems easier…

    • Seriously 9.4

      Jenny, as a real neo-liberal famously once said, there you go again…

      Disgreeing with you or criticising Cunliffe does not automatically make someone a neo-liberal. Doubtless, NZ’s politics are operating within a neo-liberal framework and there are a only couple of Caucus members who both share some responsibility for that and advocate for it. There is no evidence that Parker is one of them.

      However, no-one in Caucus has mounted a credible public challenge to the situation, while in Government or Opposition. They seem to be too busy tearing each other to pieces. Surely a measure of unity and discipline would help.

  10. ankerawshark 10

    Iam hoping NM at the top and DC as her Deputy. Bring it on!

    • Chooky Shark Smile 10.1

      +100 …I too would be very happy with this!…certainly would give Labour a new modern young popular look!

      …at the moment it looks like the clash of the dinosaurs

    • boldsirbrian 10.2

      @ ankerawshark (10)

      I am hoping NM at the top and DC as her Deputy. Bring it on!

      That would work really well. Very well indeed.

  11. Colonial Rawshark 11

    As for Parker having won an electorate seat previously; firstly literally 90% of that was the swing on the year. Secondly, the members i that LEC in that electorate would never ever want Parker back, and Parker would never ever want to go back to the members on that LEC.

    So that should tell you something.

    • Chooky Shark Smile 11.1

      surely should.!..a very bad omen!

      ( compare this with the electorates of Nania Mahuta and David Cunliffe)

  12. les 12

    The problem with partisan political opinion…personal preferences for whatever subjective reasons are not the priority.All the candidates have positives and negatives.Which candidate has the broad appeal necessary to win voters hearts and minds and is a viable leader that can WIN!Theres only one of the 4 that has that appeal imo.Pragmatism is required or else its years and years in the political wilderness.

  13. Clemgeopin 13

    I feel Parker’s leadership ambition is untenable for many reasons. (Some posters have already alluded to them above)

    Twinkle in his eye, you say. Sure, that is good.

  14. les 14

    My prediction…Little will win with Mahuta as deputy…result=6 more years in opposition.

  15. mikesh 15

    He seems to badly want the finance job. I think perhaps he fears he may not get that job if Little wins.

  16. Unfortunately I disagree. He seems lacking in substance, perhaps because he appears diffident (timid, lacking in confidence). Also displayed public lack of loyalty to the Labour leader immediately after election loss, a disloyal move against the guy who appointed him deputy. Hope not to offend but I imagine his salary increased after becoming interim leader and this is his main motivation to stay as leader. My vote has to go to Nanaia.

  17. Clemgeopin 17

    Also displayed public lack of loyalty to the Labour leader immediately after election loss, a disloyal move against the guy who appointed him deputy

    Critical point.

  18. RedLogix 18


    I appreciate your reasons for backing Parker. I’ve never met him, nor have much sense of who the man is.

    However at this point in time my impression is that he is rather the Labour analog of National’s Bill English – a solid party man, experienced and a safe pair of hands in an important Ministry. All fine attributes.

    But always in Key’s shadow.

  19. Skinny 19

    Mike, I was every supportive of David Parker before the election going as far as having him as a guest speaker at a forum locally. I have to say very disappointed in some of his conduct after the election. Will be seeing him today where he is in for a torrid time where I’ll be fiving it to him over his stupid notion of still pumping for the raising of the retirement age. A fucking idiotic policy I opposed strongly.

    For these reasons Parker is going to get a flat rejection of mine and others support. I personally will be ranking 3 or 4.

  20. finbar 20

    Three collar and ties and one Lady.The collar and ties all claim to have the heart and understanding of the Labour Party,all who!s only claim to the blue collar worker is when they worked as students in their term break.The Lady, grass roots understanding of what it is to brought up disenfranchised.For that i will give her my vote.

    That said,by the looks of things one of the collar and ties will be leader,and all three don!t in truth look like they are going to stir the nation.

    • Lan 20.1

      If I may be permitted to make a quick comment here, I rather thought Mahuta was part of the Maori “aristocracy” in Ngaruawahia etc

      • Tracey 20.1.1

        do you mean she has lineage and wealth or something else?

        • Lan

          Status yes (heaps of, in some quarters) but not necessarily understanding of the problems of the poor and disposessed of which the Waikato towns have plenty..Huntly, Ngaruawahia, Raglan etc

          • boldsirbrian

            @ Lan (

            Status yes (heaps of, in some quarters) but not necessarily understanding of the problems of the poor and disposessed of which the Waikato towns have plenty..Huntly, Ngaruawahia, Raglan etc

            So you can name a few Waikato towns. Great for you. It’s “not necessarily” obvious that you know nothing else about the Waikato, and even less about Nanaia Mahuta. Your unsubstantiated and absolutely wrong sledge discovered from interviewing your “not necessarily” keyboard has nothing to do with reality. I suggest you crawl back to “not necessarily” Remuera. And take your keyboard with you.

  21. Adrian 21

    Unfortunately NM is the one that will get the worst ripping into of all of the candidates by the MSM arseholes for a whole lot of reasons that we don’t see as problematical.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 21.1

      “[W]orst ripping … that we don’t see as problematical”? About what? Please expand.

    • boldsirbrian 21.2

      @ Adrian (21)

      Nanaia is more than capable of being “ripped into”

  22. GregJ 22

    Thanks for your post Mike – it’s important that the contenders have advocates within the party to speak up on why they support them. I hope David will follow Andrew’s lead and post here in a Q&A.

    It seems to me that you are advocating DP as Labour’s “steady as she goes candidate” to fight National & Key. Someone who can be viewed as almost a Technocrat who won’t frighten the rather vague “middle New Zealand” we’ve heard so much about and draw them to vote for Labour.

    David certainly at times gives off the air of the gradual incrementalist rather than the radical economic reformer. While I have no doubt that he holds strong egalitarian values I wonder how this holds with what seems to be the almost inevitable economic orthodoxy he seems to embody. How does that orthodoxy realistically expect to address and reverse the growing economic disparities within NZ (ones that you could argue have been growing over the last 30 years and are now accelerating), to curb the excesses of corporatisation, to firmly regulate and redistribute economic power throughout the economy?

    Obviously David has a real interest in finance and economic matters. Do you think it is his intention to continue holding that portfolio as leader?

    And finally how is David going to handle & face up to the modernizing, refreshing and arguably restructuring of the Party and its finances (I appreciate that is not just the Leader’s job) and how do you think he would address the need to heal the increasing rift between the parliamentary wing and the membership (which certainly is the Leader’s job)

    • greywarshark 22.1

      @ GregJ 22
      Good thoughtful and relevant questions. Will no doubt get the same, in the answers.

    • Lan 22.2

      He is not up with the “play” wrt current economics and associated issues eg see “Expulsions. Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy” by Saskia Sassen which I bought and read after hearing the argument on Kim Hill’s recent programme .. poor Auckland! We are part of the Global Economy (however minor we assert) and doing all the wrong things for the poor and disposessed here.

    • Mike Smith 22.3

      I understand David will post in a Q&A on the Standard. I think the issue for voters, certainly ones I have talked to, is who they can trust to govern the country in everyone’s interest. Nobody I listen to is interested in left right centre up down sideways – just will their politicians do a good job in a big job.

      As I said David Parker is prepared to take bold decisions and has demonstrated that. Again I look at what people do not what they say. I have no idea what portfolios he would take as Leader; but Labour will have a smaller caucus.

      AS for the egalitarian values I would say what he would say – read the speech. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be on YouTube otherwise I would post it so you could judge for yourself.

      Re the links with the Party, I think much of the so-called rift is overstated and due to squeaky wheels. My experience of Party members is that they are wise, sensible and committed. I also don’t think David Parker will have any problem facing up to the modernizing and refreshing of the Party – and indeed ensuring that its finances are improved.

      • Clemgeopin 22.3.1

        So, why didn’t he as the deputy, stick with Cunliffe and back him, instead of stabbing him, along with some other caucus cabal in such a great hurry, straight after the election, like within 24 hours or so, as if there was no time to lose and as if it deserved no explanation to the members for the secret stabbing!
        That I say, makes him ‘untenable’ as far as I am concerned.

        …And another thing. Why did they need to stab the whips too? Just twisting the knives to cause more pain? We deserve better!

      • GregJ 22.3.2

        Thanks Mike. I look forward to the Q&A.

        I know it’s not the speech you were hoping to find but some of what is in the speech is covered again in his address to Congress.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 22.3.3

        “Nobody I listen to is interested in left …..”

        I think that’s been quite obvious for the last several years.

        It’s as true of you as it is as true of the Labour Party.

        And yeah I still think you should take any mention of an 8 hour working day, 40 hour working week, the right to strike and state housing for life off your website.

        Left policies the current Labour Party have no belief in and no desire to put back.

        You haven’t lost many of the older white, males votes to National you’ve lost them to Mana, the Greens or those who no longer vote.

        We were the union delegates who fought hard for and to keep these things, went without wages, marched in the streets when the Labour Party sent us down the road of losing them and frankly you no longer care about any of those things.

        And we may be dying off as we age but we know what the Labour Party used to stand for and we know how venal and self-serving it has become.

        You seek power over principle and stand for whatever you think will get you back in power rather that stand for what is right.

        Frankly shit like you just said is as embarrassing as the beneficiary painting his roof.

        And look lovely CEO speak included:

        “will have any problem facing up to the modernizing and refreshing of the Party”

        I’ll stick that with my “year of the manifesto” poster.

        • Clemgeopin

          While I agree with many of the points you have made, I think to state that the “left policies the current Labour Party have no belief in and no desire to put back” is a little too harsh as can be seen in many policies that the party advanced while going into the recent election. True, possibly not all the policies, but many were excellent socialistic left policies we have all missed out on. Policies such as….

          *100,000 new, affordable homes
          *Free healthcare to under 13s, pregnant women and over 65s
          *Raising the minimum wage to $16.25, moving on to living wage.
          *Ensure every rental is warm and dry
          *Everything paid for, plus in surplus
          *Ensure all Kiwis under 20 are in work, education or training
          *Best Start for Kiwi kids
          *Reduce unemployment to 4% in the first term
          *Lower class sizes
          *Extend paid paternal leave to 26 weeks
          *Ensure that all our rivers and lakes are clean
          *Lowering power bills
          *Convert the dole to apprenticeships
          *Protecting our land from speculators
          *Christchurch recovery policy
          *Capital gains tax excluding family home
          *Increase tax to 36c/$ for incomes above $150,000
          * investments to upgrade regional economies and create jobs
          *Auckland and Christchurch city Rail Link
          *Public Service Television Station
          *Ban shark finning , animal testing of cosmetics, synthetic highs.
          *New ministry for children
          *Restore Adult and community education
          *Kiwi assure insurance
          *Marine reserves
          *Abolition of secondary tax
          *Inquiry into wages and collective bargaining
          *Review of spy laws.
          * Control of loan sharks.
          * Establish NZ Inc, Sovereign wealth fund for sustainable growth, transition from fossil fuels to clean technology and enshrine NZ ownership of strategic assets.

          Heaps more policies in this link below to show that you were a little too harsh on Labour.


          • Descendant Of Sssmith

            Actually many of those aren’t policies they are goals and aspirations without any policy attached.

            Get rid of secondary tax – like WTF does that even mean. Secondary tax is simply a default PAYE rate for when you have two incomes.

            See it works like this:

            The PAYE tables that IRD produce are intended to try and ensure you pay the right amount of tax. Not too little and not too much.

            So if you have one job the tables build in the lower tax rates that you would pay on say $14,000 per year.

            Now if you had a second job of $14,000 per year this if it stayed on a primary tax rate would also have PAYE paid as if it was income from $0-$14,000 per year.

            In actual fact it is from $14,001 – $28,000 per year.

            The tax payable on $28,000 does not equal the PAYE on 2 X $0 – $14,000 so by default you would go on a secondary tax rate – or go and see IRD and get a special tax rate.

            You still end up paying the same amount of tax on your 2 x $14,000 = $28,000 as someone who has one job earning $28,000.

            So getting rid of secondary tax would mean:
            1. People with multiple incomes will pay less tax than someone earning the same amount from one income
            2. You will be forced to tell your second employer how much you earn from your other job so he can calculate the correct PAYE
            3. You will pay PAYE as if it is two $0 – $14,000 incomes and get a tax bill at the end of the year
            4. You will have to go to IRD every year and get the to calculate a special tax rate for one or all of your employers and hope your estimate is pretty good.
            5. Something else that escapes me – a flat tax rate for everyone instead of a progressive tax system. Yep that would be right up the right-wing pale blue Labour Party alley.

            100,00 affordable homes ($400,00 each) is hardly state housing for life. Indebting people to a bank is so right wing it’s not funny.

            Nothing about giving us workers back the right to withdraw our labour, nothing about actually building state houses.

            If that’s list is left wing it’s the most insipid left wing that I can imagine.

            A few crumbs does not change my view that we are so far right-wing in Labour now we don’t have a clue what left is.

  23. Barfly 23

    As Phil said

    “..plus he displayed the strategic-nous of a rock..with his pushing of that vote-killing dog of a policy…raising the retirement age/telling workers they will have to work longer/older..

    (and all of it futile/an own-hit..as coalition partners wouldn’t have gone along with it..

    ,,so all of those votes were pissed away..to absolutely no avail..fucken brain dead really..)”

    Except Phil you were probably a little to gentle in your criticism …..When I voted for Labour I felt like a bloody duck voting for a longer duck hunting season.

    You want the single biggest reason for Labour’s low % don’t bother looking any further . The policy was supremely ass wiping bad.

    It was beyond fucking stupid. It was soo fiscally responsible the ACT party praised it ffs. It was never fucking achievable….seriously Winston rolling over on that?

    Fucking with superannuation is a guaranteed election loser ….Only way to effect change safely is by a cross party commission where all major parties agree….After your in bloody government

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 23.1

      Only way to effect change safely is by a cross party commission where all major parties agree

      And that does not mean the change effected will still be acceptable by the public and voters, or that it is regarded as the right thing to do for the economy and NZ society.

      After your [sic] in bloody government

      And that will involve burning up political capital, as well as expect to be ‘punished’ for it at the next election. People aren’t that stupid or forgiving of political parties.

  24. Achtung 24

    All things being equal, Parker is the best candidate: solid and capable of taking on National. Go for it, David.

  25. Barfly 25

    @ Kiwiri

    “And that does not mean the change effected will still be acceptable by the public and voters, or that it is regarded as the right thing to do for the economy and NZ society”

    Yes but a cross party agreement would mean that the fallout is shared far more equally.

    “And that will involve burning up political capital, as well as expect to be ‘punished’ for it at the next election. People aren’t that stupid or forgiving of political parties”

    Yes the initiator of the process will cop some extra but I reiterate a cross party agreement would mean that the fallout is shared far more equally.

    By the way I’m 55, my health is fucked and I don’t want the age lifted.

  26. greywarshark 26

    All the time we are thinking about this leadership business – there are two positions that can separate widely on it.

    One is looking for someone that can handle yek and and Nactoids. Short term, we must get back into power and do what/ for NZ and NZs. Bring back the weekend? Introduce sweat equity housing for people under-employed, so they can help themselves, while they work for themselves and learn new skills? Something now and definite and hands-on and not waiting for some magic level of education and investment to come about and fire our rockets, (yet to be assembled.)

    The other is someone that can debate their paltry policies with them, and also be working for the large number of people shafted by governments since the great era of 1984. And bring inspired professionalism and forward thinking to working with others to solve our problems as a nation, and quickly bring in policies that start acting perhaps just as pilots, then finesse them to more mature ones as soon as possible. And explain to people who don’t want to know, how these will help them in the long term, and provide helpful policies in the short term also.

    You need more than an acceptable face and twinkle to meet all the needs we have for our Labour leader.

  27. Tracey 27

    he reminds me of cullen. safe and a good lieutenant but no one would go unto the breach for them…

  28. ankerawshark 28

    Tracey @ 27…………..good Lieutenant, who might stab you in the back……….problems with loyalty.

    • Tracey 28.1

      number two always tries the knife, its like the burden of their role… cullen was no sweet prince

  29. coaster 29

    David parker is the only one standing ive met, but he came across as easy to get on with, honest and a nice guy. These are the things that count in the eyes of the public. The policys that labour took to the election were promoted by the candidates, irrelevant who was behind them, the problem was labour had 2 policys that were universaly disliked, were they should have only tried to get by with one. I personally think 67 is a fair age to retire in this age.

    I liked cunnliffe and voted for him, but I know lots of people who disliked him for reasons they couldnt specify, and so the voted national and the labour candidate.

  30. Antony Cotton 30

    Parker yes could be Leader with Robertson as Deputy Mahuta and Little top 4
    5 Ardern
    6 Davis
    7 Clark
    8 Sio
    9 Lees Galloway
    10 Twyford
    11 Cunliffe
    12 Hipkins
    13 Sepuloni
    14 Faafoi
    15 Goff
    16 Shearer
    17 O Connor
    18 Nash
    19 Wall
    20 Woods
    How about that Government in waiting give Little Finance

  31. Hamish 31

    Parker is a nice guy but he’s also a pointy headed, borderline aspie in the same vein as Cunliffe.
    Give either of those two a big decision to make and they’ll dither about for months trying to work out the ‘optimal’ solution.

    Not leadership material.

    • Chooky Shark Smile 31.1

      Nanaia Mahuta is the one for leader….she has the instincts to make decisions and they are Labour grassroots …no dithering!

      • Hamish 31.1.1

        You might be right Chooky, all I know is we don’t need another poindexter and that’s what Parker is

      • les 31.1.2

        yes she will cannabalise a few party votes from the other left parties and increase the Natz majority.

    • Mike Smith 31.2

      Chalk and cheese

  32. red blooded 32

    I’m still evaluating (I’ve seen very little of Nania Mahuta, for example). Parker impresses me on a number of levels, though. I think he’s smart, articulate, personable and practical. People who are blaming him for the (Party-endorsed) policies re superannuation and CGT need to remember that these were also key policies in 2011, during Cunliffe’s Finance stint. Those who say he’s too incrementalist need to consider how the electorate has just reacted to a policy platform that seemed to seek to change a lot within a single term. Politics is the art of the achievable, and the first step is achieving the chance to implement your policies. Yes, it’s important to have passion and vision, but I don see any reason to doubt Parker’s commitment.

    • @ redblooed..

      “..Those who say he’s too incrementalist need to consider how the electorate has just reacted to a policy platform that seemed to seek to change a lot within a single term..”

      i’m calling bullshit on that..

      one of the major criticisms of labour policy is how little real differences there are between them and national..

      ..and labour 2014 policy certainly had nothing for the poorest..

      ..and i mean ‘nothing’…

      ..and certainly no policies to inspire/motivate to vote for that missing/disenfranchised one million…

      ..(the rightwing conservatives had better policies than labour for the poor..f.f.s..!

      ..how does that not tell/show you how far off the mark labour currently are..)

      ..and cunliffe noted on the campaign trail the tight control parker had over any economic-policies…

      ..so of course that incrementalist/nothing most certainly is down to parker..

  33. RRM 33

    Old people who haven’t planned for their retirement get looked after *well enough* in this country.

    People who could be working but aren’t get looked after *well enough* in this country.

    Judging by comments in this thread, Parker might be the best candidate for making Labour a party about workers again.

  34. Leftie 34

    Nope, David Parker is not my choice, and never will be and that goes for Grant Robertson too, that one will never have my support. I am looking at Mahuta and Little.

  35. Halcyon 35

    Robertson has been in at the kill for three leaders now. If Labour do not give him the Leadership there will be unrest. And another Leadership challenge before election day 2017 is something Labour does not need.

  36. Atiawa 36

    Little is my man. He can be a bit of a loner and stand-offish but given the leadership reigns he will absolutely excel. Don’t take anything from the two hidings he received in New Plymouth – nobody was listening -.Per head of population New Plymouth had the highest number of workers who had “manager” as their occupation (17%) in recently released statistic’s. Go figure. None of them would have had the ability to hire & fire, thank whoever, but these are the new National voters. They believe they are “looking after # one” but most wouldn’t know who number 1 actually is and that number 1 is taking advantage of them.
    Working people are hanging out for a Labour leader to listen to and follow.
    If Little wins the opportunity to attract their attention, we have a show in 2017.
    Parker won’t.

  37. RedbaronCV 37

    Nor did he need to support making kiwisaver compulsory without any discussion about how to shore up retirement incomes of those who do unpaid work or lowly paid work over a lifetime. The minute it is compulsory then Nat super will erode and downgrade.

    Like it or lump it he was the finance spokesperson at the last election and therefore a public face for the measures proposed and by inference he cannot have disagreed with them.
    Signaling a discussion on retirement KS etc might have been a better strategy.
    An even better one still would have been a xmas box for beneficiaries ( a double pay at xmas) and a tax rebate through the PAYE system for those in work to the same value roughly. Then at the year end tax square up the high paid get to pay it back. It would haver bridged a gap at a known cost until higher minimum wages could click in enabling benefit rises.

  38. venezia 38

    My picks:
    1. Nanaia Mahuta.
    2. Andrew Little
    3. David Parker
    4. Grant Robertson

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