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Written By: - Date published: 12:40 pm, November 19th, 2008 - 96 comments
Categories: helen clark, labour - Tags:

A crowd several hundred strong turned out this morning to farewell Helen Clark as she left Parliament as Prime Minister for the last time to present her Government’s official resignation to the Governor-General.

Even though I’m a Greenie, I always find Labour events amazingly heart-warming – such a huge variety of people young and old from all walks of life. And whether they’re officials, members, or supporters, they’re all just ordinary warm, good-hearted Kiwis who believe in a fairer, better New Zealand. It’s always a wonderful atmosphere amongst them. Although this was a sad occasion, there was still a strong sense of camaraderie, and of pride in a job well done.

After Clark’s car pulled away, the out-going ministers were surrounded by supporters. I was standing just beside the cameraman as this pic of Michael Cullen was taken. The woman must have asked him if he was feeling OK and, with that quick good-humoured wit that I’ve always found him to have in person, he smiled ‘well, I’ve had better months’ before bounding up the steps back to work.

So, we farewell the best government of my lifetime and one of our best ever. They and every one of their supporters can be enormously proud that their hard work has made New Zealand a better place for all.

96 comments on “Farewell ”

  1. Ianmac 1

    In my long lifetime I can’t remember such a sad sense of loss for any politician. I think we have seen an end to the long Golden Years of the 21 Century. Thanks Helen and Team.

  2. Kerry 2

    Very sad.

    But i will look forward to seeing John Key leave the Beehive in 3 years time

  3. Shes still my Prime Minister

  4. Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 4

    Good riddance – golden years were wasted when they had the best economic conditions for a gereration. Now we are all going to suffer finicially soon and you lot will blame National no doubt.

  5. higherstandard 5


    How about Norman Kirk.

    “….. I think we have seen an end to the long Golden Years of the 21 Century.”

    I think you are being a trifle bombastic when it’s only 2008.

  6. Janet 6

    [I’ve reposted this from an earlier thread. Thanks for writing it up Steve. Was such a significant and warm and sad occasion. I looked around for you there, but as I don’t know what you look like, you just merged into the crowd. Helen was so classy. And thanks for showing Michael Cullen’s softer side. I hope we now see a series of memoirs, historical analyses and lecture series showcasing the vision and legacy of the 1999-2008 govt.]

    A large number of Wellingtonians of the Labour left turned up this morning in the sunshine to cheer Helen Clark as she went off to resign as Prime Minister. The parliamentary steps and forecourt were crowded. National Radio reported it as MPs and staff but it was a huge diversity of activists, all ages, all backgrounds. I spotted MPs past such as David Caygill and Prime Ministers of the future such as Grant Robertson and Jacinda Adern. It really felt like a passing of the torch. Ken, who had brought his young grandson to witness this historic event, summed it up with his banner – Thank you Helen. Then Michael Cullen said ‘Right, back to work’ and sprinted up the parliamentary steps, setting the pace for the fight back.

    [lprent: It is the beard that gives him away. For future reference have a look at this old post from before Clinton became Steve the standardista]

    [Tane: Looks like Whale’s taken the video down, while leaving the others in the series up. Don’t blame him, his born-to-rule crowd (if you can call a few dozen tories a crowd) got a smack-down by some young joker with a beard.]

  7. the sprout 7

    Clark and Cullen were great Leaders.

  8. We say goodbye to one of the most corrupt PM’s this country has ever had. We say goodbye to a party that used emotion on the public and not science.

    The golden years of the 21st century? There is still 92 years left.

    You guys sound like Bush supporters.

    The only New Zealanders who need to worry, are those who think there are others to blame for their lot in life and criminals, Labours base.

    There is no more no more free ride for them.

    I think I will celebrate by buying shares in overseas mining companies, and I wont consult the union or consult with the local tribe before I do it.

  9. Tane 9

    and I wont consult the union or consult with the local tribe before I do it.

    You might want to check with John’s new mates in the Maori Party before you do that Brett.

  10. lynn. Beard’s off for summer. Now, you have to look for the guy who looks about 18 with greying hair… i, i miss my beard.

    damn whale taking down that vid. should have copied it for posterity.

    [lprent: 😈 Well it was better then Whales Mo that he was promoting the other day – that looked outright ugly.]

  11. Actually, as I private shareholder, I don’t have to consult with the good doctor and now that labour is out, the new interfere with my private business.

    Imagine having a government that let people make their own choices.

    A great time for New Zealand.

    A better time for investors, iron ore is the way to go!

  12. Tane 12

    You could always challenge him to put it back up… you know, to prove he’s a man or something. That’s usually the best way to deal with him.

  13. Tane 14

    Brett, you’ve got serious delusions about your situation in the class hierarchy. Hate to break it to you bro, but from what you’ve told me you sound lower working class.

    You can own a few shares if it makes you feel better, but don’t pretend for a second they’d invite you into their club other than to serve them drinks and wash up afterwards.

    If I were you I’d drop the boss class rhetoric and have a think about your situation.

  14. Actually, as a private shareholder, I don’t have to consult with the good doctor and now that labour is out, the new government wont interfere with my private business.

    Imagine having a government that let people make their own choices.

    A great time for New Zealand.

    A better time for investors, iron ore is the way to go!

  15. I dont want to be invited to any club, or hang out with a bunch of right wingers.

    I just want the right to invest my money, how I see fit without any government interference, and without being told I have to get permission from anyone else.

    Thankfully National, unlike Labour wont stop me from buying and selling what I like.

  16. Tane you said, If I were you I’d drop the boss class rhetoric and have a think about my situation.

    Why I should care about your suitation, when it comes to myself investing?????

  17. Ianmac 18

    Higherstandard: Bombastic??? I will rephrase that just for you. I believe that in a few short years we, even you, will look back on the first 8 years of the 21 Century as Golden Years of Fairness, Prosperity, and Hope. Thanks Helen Michael and Team Labour. That do?

  18. paul 19

    Brett – ‘most corrupt PM’s this country has ever had’….interesting take. Political corruption, to my mind would consist of passing policy to profit one’s self, or small interest groups who would in turn pass some profit back to the ‘corrupt’ politician. I don’t recall any instances of this in the past 9 years? (Well Winston, maybe).

    I suppose passing laws that benefit poor people might be considered corrupt to some. Why don’t they just work harder, lazy buggers.

    I’m sure your ‘nice boys’ with the blue ties would never pass policy to profit their mates, no never. This gutting of the RMA within 100 days, giving millions of profit from ACC to the aussies, public/private partnerships – this is just ‘good policy’ – it has nothing to do with ‘seeing your mates right’. It’s all about rewarding endeavour.

    So why don’t you endeavour to be a bit more gracious, even you may find some reward in it.

  19. Wil 20

    We will miss such an intelligent, inspiring and international leader that we have had in Helen Clark.

    I also appreciated having a prime minister who shares my interests in skiing, tramping and the arts.

    alas this nact government will only be interested in trampling – over our interests and already it’s sucking up to the farmers. Bye bye clean green forested nz. hellooo more polluted runoff into our waterways.

    While on the subject of polluted runoff… why doesn’t rodney rawhide stick to wearing yellow, he looks stupid in pinstripes. That’s probably what bugged him most about winston… fashion crimes already and that’s even before he’s been sworn in. sheesh.

    I fear for the future…

  20. Evidence-Based Practice 21

    There was a handsome young man with a video camera near where I was standing at the bottom of the steps near the CTU people. Was that you, Steve?

    As well as the young and restless it was heartening to see there were also a lot of respectable but stroppy middle aged women activistas. For example Annette is looking very nice for 60.

    We are all so grateful to Helen for her superb feminist leadership.

  21. Why don’t I be a bit more gracious?

    I’m just trying to fit in with the standard’s posters.

  22. good idea Tane.

    So how about it Whale?
    Are you man enough to put the video back up?
    Because I hear you’re not. In fact, I hear that you’re such a wimp that when you saw Sonny Thomas in person and he asked you to repeat to his face the vile things you say about him on your blog you didn’t have the balls for it and ran away.

  23. Brett, how about you invest in some humility.

  24. the sprout 25

    slaterwhale is too vain to put that video back – which is miraculous when you consider how little he has to be vain about. i guess he needs to protect his frail self.

    but yes agreed SP, it was a job well done. one that won’t easily be matched.

  25. leftrightout:

    There’s no money in it.

  26. r0b 27

    I’ve said it before, but this is the thread to say it again. Thank you Helen. Thank you Michael. Thank you Labour. And while we’re at it, thank you greenies, lefties, and all those who are motivated not by personal gain but by the common good.

  27. Joe Blogger 28

    [Deleted. Take it to Kiwiblog.]

  28. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

    Think about it.

  29. Dan 30

    Brett, I am not an investor or shareholder in anything, nor have I had much interest in it, however, I’ve never heard any accusations that the Labour Govt prevented people from investing private money in any company, anywhere, doing anything. Feel free to correct me, I am always wiling to change my mind if that is where the facts lie.

  30. Ianmac 31

    Brett Dale: Well at last you have seen exactly what Labour/Green/Progressives are all about. They could have, for example, avoided the tough social decisions knowing that the Child Protection Act S59, would harm them in some eyes but for the sake of children (who don’t vote) they went ahead showing Principle. What Helen has done is as you say, for the good of our country. Hear. Hear.

  31. Dave 32

    uh brett, telling people they sound like bush supporters when you quote JFK is perhaps not the best policy… lets see you flip flop out of that one hahaha

    and that aside, regardless of your personal political leanings, it is good to pay respect to a leader that was democratically elected three times in a row. Not to disrespect her and accuse her of political corruption, that is a very serious accusation, do you have proof? I’d like to see this proof, cough it up mate 🙂

  32. Brklyn08 33

    Brett, you’re just very confused. Your last two posts are at odds with each other and point to someone with deep-seated internal conflicts. You seem to write from a position of emasculation. I’m sorry that you feel this way. The last nine years must have been a living hell for you. I’m a die-hard Labour supporter, but discuss politics with right-leaning friends. These conservative friends of mine would be shocked at your money-hungry selfish tone. In fact, I doubt there’s a political party that represents your views at all. Unless you move to Austria, of course.

  33. Daveski 34

    I’ve come back to this a number of times as I don’t want to look like a negative prick.

    I did get riled by the decent, god-fearing, honest, fair and principled people of the left. Because our politics different doesn’t make you better or more noble than me. It’s a digression but a point that gets up my nose and I’ll happily get into a decent scrap if anyone tries to continue with such unfounded gross generalisations.

    Which brings me back to the issue.

    Undoubtedly, Helen was a successful prime minister but she’s is certainly not universally worshipped the way she is here.

    That’s not to say I can’t appreciate here strengths and achievements and her passion for what she believed in.

    I suspect that the reaction here from the converted is due to the fact that she did what no-one thought was possibly – she united Labour and delivered three straight Labour victories. Strangely, I think particularly in recent years she was a more divisive figure outside of her supporters.

    I’m not trying to belittle her achievements etc at all. What I am trying to do is work out why she can elicit such strong emotions from her core supporters.

    I would however be happy to see her representing NZ internationally as I think she is a passionate NZer.

  34. I suspect Brett is still coming to terms with women having the vote.

  35. Evidence-Based Practice 36

    I see the lovely photo tribute to Helen is still on the stuff website . Tried to link to it but my internet hasn’t been working so well since the change of government.


  36. gingercrush 37

    Let the left have their last moment of joy at a Helen Clark led government. You gotta give them time, its hard for them to be now seeing a John Key led government. We’ll feel this way sometime. I’ve said National will last two terms. So I suggest 2014 we’ll see this happening again.

  37. randal 38

    farewll to quiet streets
    now that the irrational and the anti intellectual have installed their government the number of boy racer cars on the road has suddenly shot back up again
    there is a guy doing laps in my street at night
    has keys told the cops to lay off his supporters?
    this the really ugley face of new zealand

  38. lprent 39

    Daveski: I’ve been around Helen one way or another since 1981 when she first stood in my electorate (and I helped the Nat’s). The current crop of whisper campaign stuff started in that campaign. I heard them from the Nat’s making the bloody things up.

    I have long suspected that the hidden assumption behind the vitriol from the right is simply the redirected insecurity of all of those jerk-offs males who haven’t realized yet that the world keeps changing. Frankly a lot of males have a habit of locking in their world view when they’re in their 20’s and absolutely refusing to deviate from it.

    IMO: Helen is simply too a good target for these wankers because she has always been a feminist, a politician, and just too damn intelligent for them to cope with in their world view.

    Helen has faults. If anyone should know then I would, I’ve been helping with her local campaigns since 1990. They just don’t happen to be the ones that the low-head (figure it out..) males talk about. Almost all of those are reflections of their own fears.

  39. leftrightout:

    The election is over, you can stop making false accusations.

    Where in what i said, makes you think, that Im against woman having the vote????


    The Government STOPPED private shareholders selling their shares in AIA. I could understand the Government NOT selling their shares, but they had no right to tell a private citizen.


    I dont think Im money hungry, I just think I should have the right to invest without government interference.


    The reason I quoted JFK was because, he was all about personal responsibility.


    I actually agree with the anti smacking law.

    I would suggest those on the left to stop name calling, this is the reason why this Bush hating, Obama loving, labour voter, voted for national for the first time.

  40. Billy 41

    the anti intellectual have installed their government

    Are you pro-intellectual randal? If so, I suggest you learn how to spell “ugly” and our Prime Minister’s name. You might also want to investigate how to punctuate.

  41. Daveski 42


    Thanks – I appreciate your reply and insights. I also think I should acknowledge than my perspectives (along with most of those here) are framed by the media. I did pass by her at Ellerslie and she smiled 🙂

    I’d be interested in the comment I made about her achievements for the Labour party – is her reverent state a reflection of her broader achievements as PM or what she did in turning around Labour and rebuilding it? There was famously a time when she was unpopular within the Party but that was some thing ago.

  42. Billy – randal is quite a clever cat. You just fail to recognise his peculiar genius…

  43. higherstandard 44

    I s’pose paws would explain the spelling.

  44. Santi 45

    Good bye and good riddance!

  45. Felix 46

    Bye Santi. I’ll miss you too.

  46. Billy 47

    Yes. I do.

  47. Billy 48

    Anyone missing Ev?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  48. higherstandard 49

    Don’t jinx it Billy.

  49. Since you challenged me Steve I guess I have a right of reply.

    However I have no idea what video you are talking about. I have never taken anything down except when asked to politely and reasonably.

    Also re your comments re: Sonny Thomas. I have never spoken to him. ever so once again you are caught making shit up. I certainly wouldn’t run from him, you or anyone else.

    In fact in the past Sonny threatened to beat the crap out of me but strangley never fronted when I asked him to name a date and time. I don’t run from anyone let alone lefty sooks like you guys.

    So unless you can enlighten me about some video that I supposedly took down but never have STFU.

  50. Janet 51


    I’ve noticed the traffic has definitely got heavier and the drivers worse behaved since the election. I wonder if it is all that male bully-right arrogance unleashed. And fewer people using public transport now that Rodney says climate change and global warming are no longer problems.

  51. gingercrush 52

    ^ LOL

    I think the price in oil explains the drop in public transport. Though I also think traffic seems almost awful coming up to December. Wait till December then its just horrible.

  52. higherstandard 53

    Janet I’d be staggered if the vast majority of people utilise public transport because of concerns about climate change more I would have thought convenience, not having to be stuck in traffic and not worrying about parking were more important to most.

    Although I wonder if the lowering price of fuel is having an effect as well ?

  53. Kerry 54

    seeing the right wing shit comments posted here makes me realise just how much shit the country is it with those people in power!!!

    As for corrupt alligations…..WHATEVER…thats the sort of comments that come from ignorant self serving ingrates!

  54. Jum 55

    Helen Clark is the 37th Prime Minister
    In numerology 3 + 7 = 1 + 0 = No 1.

    Key will try to be the 38th Prime Minister
    In numerology 3 + 8 = 1 + 1 = No 2.

    On any level Key will always be a No 2.

    Daveski cannot understand the core support for Helen Clark because he cannot understand that power was not her thing. It was always about delivering a future that each one of us had an empowered place in. Yes it was going to take a longer time but it was actually working.

    Brett Dale only understands his rights, not anyone else’s in an equal New Zealand.

    Maybe the people who are whining most about Helen Clark will realise one day that in a new century after the 80s and the 90s, she brought back their spirit, their strength, their freedom to do just that. She brought back truth.

    Lange/Douglas in the 80s promised social support in the 2nd term. They lied.
    Bolger/Richardson in the 90s promised social support in the last term – Lied.

    Unless we get Key and his cronies out within the next 3 years, and that is only providing they stick to their pretend centre policies for this term as promised, this progress will be ruined.

    With Michael Cullen racing back into Parliament with ‘it’s back to work’ the fight back is on.

    The best is yet to happen for Helen Clark. I wish her and Peter Davis well.

  55. Felix 56

    Truly unpleasant, that Slater guy. You can almost smell him as you read.

  56. Leftie 57

    Thanks Helen and Michael. Many Kiwis live a better life because of your forward thinking (some of us haven’t forgotten that). Thanks also for ending the dark 1990s era (some of us haven’t forgotten that either).

  57. Billy 58

    There we have it, folks. The numerology is in and Clark is a better PM than Key. Maybe we should just do away with the electoral process and wave crystals over people to decide who will lead us.

    What I do not understand, Felix, is that it is now over half an hour since Slater posted and there’s been no comment from ‘sod. Usually it’s kinda instantaneous. Hope the little guy’s OK.

  58. Nick 59

    I’m no Labour supporter, but you should compare this to when Don Brash left parliament and the sending off the Gnats gave him. Or should I say, the sending off they didn’t give him.

    The Gnats didn’t even organise a thank you dinner. It was left to some supporters to do that. The left are far more united than the right. That is the only thing that scares me for the next three years.

  59. lprent 60


    I’d be interested in the comment I made about her achievements for the Labour party – is her reverent state a reflection of her broader achievements as PM or what she did in turning around Labour and rebuilding it? There was famously a time when she was unpopular within the Party but that was some thing ago.

    Actually neither really. People treat Helen with a great deal of respect because she is unbelievably competent. They may not particularly like her both inside and outside of the party, but they do respect her abilities

    That shows both in the party and in more general politics. Just consider that she has managed to pull the NZLP together to the point where there are few factional arguments. That is because she has managed to project a vision of the way that the country and society should head.

    It was so compelling that Labour managed to do something that they haven’t done since the 1940’s – win 3 elections in a row (would have been 4 (1996) except for NZF). It was so compelling that the only real way that National could win was to adopt the same basic vision as their stated position, and to deploy the National Smear Unit (Cameron and DPF) + ACT to dog whistle for years.

    In the end NACT only just scraped through, not because they won votes on their own, but because they convinced left supporters not to vote.

  60. Daveski 61


    You haven’t read my comments carefully enough. You also appear to mix among a narrower range of people than I do which was my point.

    The level of reverence displayed here is not core NZ but core Labour – there is a bid difference. Even if Goff proved to be Elvis reincarnate, he wouldn’t be revered the same way Helen is.

    And if you really think that power wasn’t her thing, then you obviously don’t know Helen or don’t want to recognise her true strengths. She was a consumate polical operator on a par with Muldoon but not the same league in terms of vindictiveness.

  61. Jum:

    When in my posts, do I say I only care abut my rights and not anyone else??

  62. Daveski 63


    I’ll leave it there – not trying to rark anyone up by my comments and I think I need to reiterate that I don’t have any personal experience of having met her directly.

    While I don’t share the reverence, I would be most enthusiastic about her representing NZ overseas or in a UN type role. It iwll be interesting to see what eventuates and whether Key and Clark develop along the lines of Clark and Bolger.

    I will add as a final comment that both Goff and Key will have different challenges living under Helen’s shadow.

  63. Simon 64

    It’s poetic that on the same day Labour’s MPs are ejected from their offices, five members of the Labour electorate are ejected from society for murdering a three year old.

    It’s a shame that only the latter are going to pay their debt to society.

    [Tane: You’re banned. Take your filth to Kiwiblog.]

  64. Billy 65

    I’ve just realised Brett Dale and Daveski are different people.

  65. randal 66

    simon and there is always one creep to make time over someone elses misery
    begone you foul thing

  66. Billy:

    Thanks for sharing.

    Coming to this site, I realise how much in common the New Zealand left has with the American right.

  67. gingercrush 68

    Iprent shows a clear ignorance in saying National won only because Labour voters didn’t turn up. If they don’t vote that is Labour’s problems. And I don’t think the turnout makes a difference to whether National was going to govern or not. And as for 1996, had Labour signed with New Zealand First I would suggest you wouldn’t have got those other nine successful years you had.

    That you accuse Kiwiblog of having such importance I would suggest is wrong. The people that blog and comment on blogs online have little to do with the majority of voters either on the left or on the right.

    People also forget that Labour just narrowly won the 2005 election. Instead they seem to be blinded by their accusations towards National winning this 2008 election somehow unfairly.

    The writing was on the wall in 2005. That showed and pointed to a National-led government in 2008. All National had to do was increase their votes in seats where they won the party vote. Most of the provinces and North Shore and Hamilton. Increase their vote in all the cities and retake Nelson and Invercargill and move westwards.

  68. lprent 69

    gc: My actual point was that it shows the fragility of the NACT ‘victory’.

    In the end they only really managed to convince people to stay home. That provides the limiting factor on how far they can go with what appears to be (from national MP’s remarks) their underlying programme. If they piss off the people who didn’t vote this election, then they encourage them to vote.

    I’d advise people to watch the budget for the electoral commission very closely. The standard National tactic for winning is to make sure that people are disenfranchised. Typically they like to gerrymander electorates (but that is now useless under MMP), or to starve the electoral commission of funds. Over time this steadily reduces the number of people on the roll.

    Looks like a perfect target for a razor gang doesn’t it?

    captcha: trophy cheering
    silly righties who can’t count 😈

  69. Tim Ellis 70

    LP, I don’t think the electoral commission is a good target for a razor gang, especially since under Labour the electoral commission consisted of a chief executive, a communications manager, and a receptionist. Hardly a whole lot of resources, especially when the EC had to deal with so many complaints and regulatory issues relating to the new EFA. Annette King said multiple times that she was quite happy with the level of resourcing that the EC had. Personally I think it was woefully, and probably quite deliberately under-resourced.

  70. gingercrush 71

    They didn’t only convince people to stay home. National increased their votes in a number of electorates. Largely, the ones they already won in 2005. But they did increase the swing in parts of Auckland, West Auckland, Christchurch. Not sure about Dunedin and Wellington haven’t looked at the data more carefully. But they certainly increased it in Invercargill and Nelson.

    This saturday will see what National managed to do in terms of specials. I expect from 2005 there will be an increase to them and I’m not sure the Greens will pick up a seat. I do think Labour will.

  71. Janet 72

    Also watch out for ways to limit enrolments, eg making it harder to enrol, closing the rolls earlier, limiting the rules for special votes. And bringing in electronic voting on machines purchased cheaply from friends of the Republican Party..

  72. lprent 73

    TE: Yep thats the legal part. But not the whole of the effort funded.

    You forgot the people who actively go out and chase people who aren’t on the roll in the malls and shopping centres. The contracts with NZ Post to assist with people changing address. The large mailouts to identify people on the roll that have moved, etc.

    All of those keep the percent of voters up and slowly increasing. It is always noticeable that when the Nat’s get in control of the budget, then all of those wind down, and so does the percentage of people on the roll.

    gc: Yes but I’m only really interested in party votes. The main indicator is the lower voter turnout. It looks to me like the NAct increased their vote, but not by a whole lot over 2005. Certainly less than 100k, probably more like 50K. Whereas it looks like the drop in total vote was in the order of 200k+. The total roll is about 2900k people.

    The effect of the blogs is magnified by the paucity of time in the MSM. As they slowly cut back, they are over working their people more to fill the content. One of the ways that journo’s cope is to read blogs looking for issues and stories. So the question isn’t how many people read the political blogs, it is who reads them. I’m always surprised at the awareness of this blog amongst people I met in the chattering classes (politicians, academics, and journo’s). You have to remember that there are probably less then 20k people in NZ (more like 10k) who are actually interested enough in politics to actually be active in some form.

    Janet: I’m planning on taking a particular interest in highlighting changes to things that affect disenfranchisement… In fact I suspect I’ll try to do it to the level of obsessional – just like the anti-EFA crazies. I think it could be a fruitful way to get people interested in their vote – and who is trying to deprive them of it.

  73. Tim Ellis 74

    LP, is Phil Goff now an anti-EFA crazy, having announced the day after being elected leader of the Labour Party that the legislation was poorly drafted and that the process was flawed, and that he wants to be part of a multi-partisan rewrite of the legislation?

    I agree that it is important that continued efforts should be put in place to ensure voters are enrolled and encourage participation. I would like to see specific examples of when National cut back funding. In which years, specifically, did National do this LP?

    I think that far more should be done to encourage overseas voters to enrol and vote as well. Surely with technology and communications we can do far better than getting participation from 5% of overseas voters.

  74. gingercrush 75

    Yes but we don’t always know where that voter turnout has dropped. Arguably because each of the South Auckland seats and to a degree West Auckland saw lower turnout. You would argue that it was far likely that whoever did not vote would have normally favoured a left party. But equally surely some people who favoured the right parties also chose not to vote.

    Until special votes are included its only then we can see where there were shifts to National on the party vote side and what the increase is nationwide.

  75. Felix 76

    Hands up who thinks it’s a good idea to spend the next 90 days talking about the election?

    Ok keep them up please…

  76. Thank you Helen! You showed us all what a real leader looks like. You’re an inspiration and will always be my Prime Minister!

  77. Akldnut 78

    Simon You’re just a wanker, nothing more need be said!!!

  78. Caroline 79

    I think helen and Michael will be remembered as the leaders who brought back a fair bit of the decency that was taken away by previous governments, and ran the government surpluses that will make it easier to run deficits in the hard times ahead. And if they had lost in 2005, they would also be remembered as the ones who brought honesty back into politics.

    But they will also be remembered as the government that let our greenhouse gas emissions rise so dramatically, did nothing to stop most of our lowland rivers becoming polluted, and poured hugely more money into road building just as peak oil was starting to hit.

  79. Jum 80

    Do the voting paper counters count the votes and are the voting boxes then taken to the electoral office and recounted?

    A scrutineer told me that there were several occasions that he had to request the counters to put a vote paper on the correct pile and he told me that was the only count that was taken. There wasn’t a recount.

    Which is correct?

    [lprent: No they are recounted and often recounted again. The on-the-night is just the provisional job.]

  80. Ianmac 81

    Each booth is responsible for accurate counting of votes.
    Over the next few weeks every ballot paper is checked against each person’s name on the crossed off roll. The sticker is taken off each ballot of course and every roll is checked for each electorate to make sure that there are no multiple voters using the same name. I am sure that if there were any discrepancy they would be so discovered.
    The NZ Electoral system has been so far remarkably clean, compared with the USA or Zimbarbwe.

  81. mike 82

    “They just don’t happen to be the ones that the low-head (figure it out..) males talk about. Almost all of those are reflections of their own fears.”

    And you wonder why labour got such a hiding Imprent? Did you get bullied by any chance at school? The arrogance of the left is breathtaking.

  82. Jum 83

    Thanks Ianmac

  83. Mr Shankly 84

    It is honestly hard to see the last nine years being that memorable at all.
    They were not that bad, but they were not fantastic either. We got Kiwisaver which was a move in the right direction and a trainset a move in the wrong direction – but most policies were just a gentle continuation from the previous govenrments of the 80’s and 90’s – as the major reforms from this period were not reversed.

    Most of the issues that got media attentin under this labour government were really overblown ie the smacking debate.

    Hopefully we will have a government that might show some definitive actions – but that will probably take several years until politicians feel game enough!

  84. randal 85

    you are a bore
    go away and bore osomeonee;lspliz

  85. Mr Shankly 86

    Thank you Randal – your feedback is noted and appreciated!

  86. NX 87

    So, we farewell the best government of my lifetime and one of our best ever.

    The current one looks to be off to a good start.

    I pleased they gave Helen a good send off. I may disagree with her style of politics, but on a human level I wish her well.

  87. Dave 88

    Brett… WTH?

    the left wing of NZ has a lot in common with the american right? well i suppose we all breathe air and eat food. The similarities end there though buddy! I don’t see Helen Clark as a warmonger who organised planes to crash into the NZX building so we could blame it on Cmdr Bananarama or whatever his name is in Fiji, and invade to prove we have bigger balls (and wallets) than the rest of the world.

    You need to wake up and smell the coffee you chump

  88. Paddy 89

    This is hilarious! Why does every article discussion devolve into petty egotistical squabbling? Let me rephrase an example of the best one yet: “Mehhhh you should learn to spell, punctuate and grammaticize”. To me, this represents the epitomy of finely researched blog rhetoric… It is poignant, insightful, eloquent and renders the target speechless.

    Unfortunately even such a fine argument as this is still based on one fundamental error in reasoning. That is, the assumption that a person’s ability or desire to articulate punctuation, spelling and grammar through a computer is in some way a measure of their ability to think and reason freely. In fact, it could be argued that such education can, in some cases, cause the reverse.

    Hats off to those who have been humble enough to discuss opposing points of view in a sociable manner without cheap jibes aimed at inflating tempers. To the rest, I say drop your ego please. It’s really getting in everyone’s way. Nobody has the right answer, but everybody has a voice… How do you want your voice to sound?

  89. Dave:

    What have you been smoking?

    Its comments like that, that makes the left look bad. You really think 9/11 was organized by Bush? Get a grip, I don’t like the guy myself, he couldn’t even arrange for water to be delivered to a New Orleans football stadium.

    Thankfully, Obama is the President now, and now the extreme left will have a harder time with all their antiamerican BS.

    The NZ left is like the extreme right in the USA, they work on fear, a different type of fear, but its still fear.

  90. Billy 91


    Are you Ev?

  91. Dave 92

    Bush is a moron… he couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery, I’m suspecting that someone else rigged that shamozzle up, it is true that the buildings collapsed, of that we are all certain, but why has no security footage from the pentagon been released?

    I won’t get started, and just for the record, I’m not anti-america I’m anti-fear… I could go on, but thats not the scope of this post 🙂

    And no, im not Ev… I’m Dave, although Ev sounds like an intelligent woman, I miss her view on this site already

    Shameless plug for this site too, it is far more informative than any other ‘news’ site we have in NZ, keep up the good work 🙂

  92. Billy 93


    You’re new here, aren’t you?

  93. Dave:

    I suppose in your world, the earth is flat, and we didnt land on the moon and Bin Laden is a figement of the CIA’s imagination.

    This anti US BS doesnt help the left.

  94. Ianmac 95

    Dave: I don’t think for a moment that George Bush would personally organize a building knock down, Nor would he personally have indulged in water-boarding. As always the President is the front-man but the folk standing in the shadows are the one’s to watch and suspect.
    The PM’s role is somewhat different but just the same the effect of “back-room” planning has yet to be exposed. Just the same I knew a schoolteacher who had the oft used happy round-face smile. She smiled and smiled but then I noticed that her smile seldom reached her eyes. She was a mean person behind her smile. At a Garage Sale I saw her pay an elderly couple a pittance for some jewelry, but with her nice smile in place. Today I tried covering John Key’s smile in a photo and looked to his eyes and I found……

  95. Dave 96

    well, the earth is round, we possibly landed on the moon… bin laden is real, the CIA trained him. we could argue about this all day, and again, i’m not anti US, im anti war mongering for the sake of profits. and thats not false mate, you try and tell me that the war in Iraq was for the ‘good of the Iraqi people’ it was for oil and to produce weapons.

    yes Ianmac, thats what I was getting at, the men in the shadows 🙂 eureka, someone knows what I’m on about, cheers

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