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Grant Robertson announces leadership position

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 pm, December 5th, 2011 - 135 comments
Categories: leadership - Tags: ,

One term Labour MP Grant Robertson has announced he will be standing for the deputy leadership and supporting fellow newbie MP David Shearer as leader of the Labour Party. The Herald reports “Mr Robertson said although Mr Shearer did not consider it a ticket, ‘I’m certainly supportive of him and when you talk to him, you’ll find he’s supportive of me'”

The Labour leadership has become a very interesting race.

A) An experienced pair of hands bringing forward fresh faces

B) New faces with the backing of the previous leadership

Which way around should it go? Did anyone see the debate in Hamilton, and what were your impressions?

135 comments on “Grant Robertson announces leadership position ”

  1. Steve M 1

    And how long before Robertson would try to roll Shearer?

  2. Blue 2

    A one-term MP as leader with a one-term MP as deputy. Even in these times when experience is the kiss of death in politics, this seems like overkill.

    • one-term MP as leader with a one-term MP as deputy

      stark raving bonkers

    • dancerwaitakere 2.2

      It is all very bizarre isn’t it?

      But of course this is just a case of new faces representing the establishment. Appearance is not everything, all someone needs to do is listen to what each camp is saying to understand the different directions we can take as a party.

      Either we move forward in a progressive environment, with a clearing out of the old guard, a new generation party that is able to propose some quite radical policy that can still reach out to the centre ground.

      Or have those who are backed by the likes of Goff, Pagani and Mallard who clearly represent the Labour Right.

  3. Gruntie 3

    Of course it’s quite possible that the caucus will elect a leader from one team and the deputy from another

    • Very unlikely.  I have not seen any reaching out by one side and trying to reach accommodations with the other so that the split in the caucus can be repaired.  It is all or nothing for them.

      • Anne 3.1.1

        Usual old internal power games mickeysavage? No looking at the big picture. Just a bunch of self serving pollies looking to save or improve their individual careers at the expense of the Party as a whole.

        And Labour wonders why it spends more time in opposition than in government!

        • mickysavage

          Yep Anne.  The promised constitutional review is starting to really appeal to me.  I think we need to have a good rethink about how things happen.

    • i’d be happy to see robertson as cunliffe’s deputy, if cunliffe would still have him

    • David 3.3

      Looks possible and smart to me, but what would I know? You have to hope for better things from your pollies (better than blind factionalism), you really do. I understand the numbers are close: lobby your mp for the best result for the party? At this stage, to me, from here, that looks like Cunliffe Robertson.

  4. Redbaron77 4

    Grant Robertson is definitely a proven performer. Like David Shearer, Grant Robertson needs to be weathered more politically. In particular as two first termers heading up the Labour leadership National would rush to anoint this ticket with the “lack of experience” moniker putting Labour forever on the backfoot fighting against what would appear to be plausible line of attack.

    • Ari 4.1

      Which would be super hilarious coming from John Key- not that I don’t expect his friends in the media world to do their level-best to field that criticism for him.

    • fisiani 4.2

      Robertson is anything but a proven performer. He has managed to collapse the Labour Party Vote share lower than any other electorate MP. After the specials he will probably have the ignominy of Labour coming 3rd. Yes 3rd.

      • Ari 4.2.1

        That’s probably not Robertson’s fault so much as the Greens’ ascendance in his electorate, to be fair, and the general perception among potential Labour voters that showing up for this election wasn’t worthwhile.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.2

        After the specials he will probably have the ignominy of Labour coming 3rd. Yes 3rd.

        Meh will still be way better than English.

  5. Gruntie 5

    Yeah right Pollywog – sounds like the Nact bunch – Key front man and Joyce English McCully and co running the show

  6. gingercrush 6

    I have a lot of respect for Robertson but I don’t believe him to be a proven contender. Not yet at least. Neither is Shearer I guess.

    Cunliffe is proven I just don’t see him as a good leader. Besides Labour need to produce a leader that transcends John Key. Wherever Labour goes it has to present a campaign that isn’t based on attacks on John Key. I wouldn’t even mention John Key whatsoever.

    • Trowlie 6.1

      I don’t know if Robertson is proven or not but I did overhear Tony Ryall telling a guy in the koru club that his Health portfolio had become easier to manage since Grant Robertson had become the labour health spokesperson. He said Robertson was just too lazy compared to other Labour opponents who had done alot of work.

      This was probably a private conversation but who gives a fuck right?

      • Hilary 6.1.1

        Trowlie – good example of troll-ie comment (and from the elite Koru club no less). The beginning of the ‘knock Grant Robertson because he is real leadership material’ reaction from the right.
        Grant is one of the most hardworking, intelligent, diplomatic and authentic politicians I have ever observed. He has extensive networks and knows his stuff. That is one reason he increased his personal majority in Wellington Central.

        • Chris

          I’d like to believe that about Robertson but he has a problem with listening, therefore come across as insincere. And, importantly, Shearer’s a right-winger. It’ll be a mistake to make him leader. Cunliffe might be on the right (left) side of the track but he isn’t leadership material. Cunliffe could be a caretaker leader, but for these reasons there’s a lot of work to do yet.

      • Ben Clark 6.1.2

        I can’t let that slide.

        There is no way Grant can be described as lazy. When he came to my electorate four months after getting the health portfolio he knew it in and out already. We visited various PHOs / groups of health professionals and he wasn’t just listening well, he had the incisive questions to make those who do the job day-in day-out think afresh. He was full of ideas to take NZ’s health system forward with far better direction than Ryall.

        Ryall is a very effective operator who is good at defining targets and meeting them. Grant is more focussed on actually improving the health of all New Zealanders. Far better anti-obesity projects for the hundreds of thousands than stomach-stapling for the dozens…

        Grant’s a very effective operator who belies his mere one term as an MP. I haven’t decided on my opinion of the best ticket for Labour yet (I await the Auckland debate on Sunday), but I’m keen for Grant to be a very important part of any new Labour team.

        • pollywog

          Far better anti-obesity projects for the hundreds of thousands than stomach-stapling for the dozens…

          How come he’s still a chubbster then ?

          • Ari

            Sigh. This is a big part of what’s wrong with our approach to obesity-driven illness. It doesn’t matter as much if you’re large, so long as you (objectively!) eat well, excercise well, and good health indicators.

            The problem isn’t just people being fat, (especially as some people will have illness-driven obesity rather than the other way around) it’s WHY we’re becoming fatter in general- bad food, too much meat and dairy, and not enough substantial exercise.

    • NickS 6.2

      Besides Labour need to produce a leader that transcends John Key.

      Both the current options can more then manage that, what they need to overcome is the media’s willingness to give him a relatively free ride. Though with the backlash from mining, asset sales and any other pratfalls that may not be a problem.

      • seeker 6.2.1

        Very well said Nick S.

        “transcend John Key” Key? Huh, now there’s lazy and not on top of anything, except spin and misinformation. Hide even said publicly that Key was lazy.

        He is certainly not a good leader but is only ‘celebrated’ because of the unprofessional and sychophantic media we have here, polishing his veneer. Do they get bonuses if they ignore Key’s huge shortcomings and hype any small or imagined mistake his perceived opposition may make?

        I see Rebecca Wright has gone to the dark side of bias now she is in the gallery. That ‘bias and spin’ virus doesn’t take long to get a grip, then previously professional reporters bite the dust, lose their souls and professionalism and spin for all their worth.

        The only creatures I have seen spin as fast as our media were millions of black and yellow caterpillars I saw on a hedge when I was young. I thought they were the silkworms we had been learning about at school. ‘No,’ said grandad when I showed him, ‘that’s just blight’. The same could be said for most of our media, who have given Key a reputation he does not deserve.

        I wonder who the blighters will spin best for out of DS or DC. Looks like DS is getting the silkroad treatment at the moment. However I think DC will transcend the blight – asc well as jo key.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    If the Labour caucus votes for this “the ticket when you’re not running on a ticket” ticket, I will have the bastards shot. There is a point when incompetence becomes criminal.
    Get a few more years in Parliament under your belt and learn some friggin’ teamwork!

    • Aye.  The only phrase that springs to mind in addressing the subtlety is “mind numbingly stupid”.

      • Ari 7.1.1

        I was thinking head-shatteringly egotistical, myself. I can’t speak for Shearer, but Grant Robertson clearly has the chops and is already *a* leader in the Party, but it’s blind arrogance to think that you’re ready to take the top job after a single term. An Opposition or Government leader should be considered borderline-dangerously inexperienced at even two terms.

        • the sprout

          it’s blind arrogance to think that you’re ready to take the top job after a single term

          indeed it is. that, or ambition delirium  

          • Ari

            Right. I mean, clearly Robertson is up there in the caucus heirarchy and should be part of the leadership team, but I just don’t feel good about a one-term MP running for deputy leader. Hell, I didn’t think Norman had the practical experience to be Green Party co-leader, either, although he was probably one of the better choices.

  8. Carol 8

    Did anyone see the debate in Hamilton, and what were your impressions?

    When was this?

    I had been wondering what had happened in the last 24 hours or so, that prompted Robertson to step up and try to give a boost to Shearer.

  9. i think shearer’s performance alone this last week has been ample cause for calling in reinforcements.
    have you ever known someone to screw their chances so thoroughly so quickly? it’s like he has no experience at all.

    • Culchie Kev 9.1

      You’re very good at suggesting lack of experience but I’ll bet you’ve got none yourself except some theoretical nonsense. Put yourself forward and get selected and once you’ve shown how good you are then point the experience finger. Both candidates have ample experience in their fields, both have integrity and both would make good leaders. Insofar as Grant Robertson is concerned I haven’t seen him endorsed by Shearer who has said the deputy role is for the caucus to decide and not for him to bring forward. I agree.

      • mickysavage 9.1.1


        Are you blind?

        Robertson was Parker’s loyal deputy.

        Parker then heard that Robertson did not support him and stood down.

        Parker stood down and endorsed Shearer. 

        Robertson then stood and said he would support Shearer.

        And then we get this “lets spin on the head of a pin and work out if Shearer actually supports Robertson” crap.

        Sometimes pollies are too cute by far. 

        • Culchie Kev

          Micky, I was refering to Cunliffe and Shearer as “both candidates” with the experience as it’s becoming tiresome the slagging off from the factions in this debate. Enough already! let’s hear what they have to say as they go around the country and then the caucus can have its say. Nothing new has emerged in the last 24hours so now the debate is degenerating into stupid bitchy comments from the Pollywog and her erstwhile partner in crap, Sprout.
          As for Robertson, he appears to have put himself out there as you say, to see what might happen, but Shearer hasn’t taken him up on the offer yet…or at least I’ve not heard any recent reports to that effect. He said he was leaving that to caucus as I understood it.

          • the sprout

            do you understand the meaning of erstwhile Kev?

            • Culchie Kev

              This is what I mean by the bitchy crap that’s coming from you Miss Sprout…I take you and Polly to be one and the same. Why don’t you go ahead and check out duplicitous while you’re at it. You do the arguement no good with the slagging off of Shearer. At least I am able to see positives from both sides of the candidate debate but you appear to have a separate agenda where no positives can be credited to Shearer which renders your arguement stunted.

              • i have said many times if you care to look, that Shearer is a nice guy and a great candidate on paper.

                my consistent problem i have with him, which i’ve said in many ways some of which may seem bitchy to sensitive flowers like yourself, is that Shearer simply doesn’t have the necessary skills to lead the NZLP. and considering he thinks he’s up to leading the NZLP after 2.5 years in Parliament, he patently lacks the requisite judgement too. and let’s not mention the naivite implicit in not understanding his backers’ longer-term motives.

                and those who are trying to push him as a candidate have either never seen Shearer in action (in which case his serious deficits would be immediately apparent), or alternatively they have their own interests at heart but certainly not the interests of the NZLP or those it’s supposed to represent. those people i’ll attack ad infinitum.

        • Cactus Kate

          Yes it’s something right out of the ACT playbook

          • Colonial Viper

            The ACT playbook? The one which says replace all your MPs in one foul swoop with a retread from the National Party? I don’t get it either, frankly.

            • felix

              Does ACT even have a playbook anymore?

              Aren’t they just the embarrassing wing of National that even National doesn’t want to own?

              • Ari

                I like to think of them as the Republican Party exported to New Zealand, which really explains everything you need to know about them, including why they only have one MP despite the Right being pretty powerful right now.

      • pollywog 9.1.2

        Put yourself forward and get selected and once you’ve shown how good you are then point the experience finger.

        I bloody well intend to. Just not yet…

        …but that whole pointing the finger from experience thing is crap, just like the old ‘using your real name carries more weight on the internet’ crap.

        Just cos i can’t direct a movie doesn’t mean i don’t know a shit one from a good one.

        And theres things people the likes of John Pagani wouldn’t say on line but would in the comfort and safety of a Mathew Hooton barbecue.

        Theres a word for that but i’m struggling to think what it is. Perhaps you know what it is ?

        As for Shearer, he hasn’t proven anything in the political arena apart from showing he’s…

        mallardeable :

        able to be manipulated and shaped to fit a pre concieved image of what an electable Labour prime ministerial candidate should look and sound like.

        Make no mistake, this contest is about more than deciding who gets to lead the Labour party into the next election and beyond.

        It’s also about whether the Labour party still want the likes of Mallard et al to have as much of a say in it’s internal running as they have for the past 20 odd years.

        An endorsement for Shearer is exactly that. An acknowledgement that it was Goff alone who was responsible for the shellacking Labour got in this election and that the strategists around him bear no responsibilility.

        I’m reminded of the definition of stupidity. Doing the same things and expecting different results. As is, theres nothing to suggest the old dogs in the Labour party can learn new tricks.

        I say slaughter the mutton dressers before they lead the lamb that is Shearer to the abbatoir.

        Cunliffe FTW !!!

    • Vicks 9.2

      Oh dear Sprout. Do you understand the definition of leader? Of course he is going to have reinforcements and a team behind him. Such a pathological dislike of the man just smells of a bitter past history. Tell us your story Sprout – we are all friends here.

      • Culchie Kev 9.2.1

        That’s the same feeling I’ve had. Come on Sprout, let’s hear your real story

      • lprent 9.2.2

        Umm. I appear to be rather more cynical about that support than you are.

        Competent support isn’t something that I noticed washing around Goff over the last 3 years. Mostly what I have seen was succession of screwups from back benchers to shadow MP’s in everything from expenses to not being particularly good at following up on political story lines (often felt like we were doing better here) to the lack of a decent drive for party vote by anyone other than Goff in the campaign.

        I am glad you are sanguine about the support my favorite electorate’s MP would get – because I certainly am not. Perhaps you can explain who these paragons of political virtue are to me? I get the impression that many of them wouldn’t know how to fight the multi-sided campaign that is going to be required

        And this isn’t just with David Shearer. David Cunliffe has exactly the same issues. He just has less of a learning curve.

        • Vicks

          Well articulated LPrent. However what you seem to miss is that in order to create the strength in the collective you need a leader that can pull the team together. Clark did it, Goff did not do it well enough and given the experience and time that Cunliffe has under his belt he has failed to do this on any level at all. He has missed his chance.

          Shearer on the other hand has these skills in abundance and while he may not have a tonne of experience in the house he does have the ability to get people working together. Cunliffe plays a vital role in the success of Labour going forward – he is without doubt highly skilled but these skills do not lie in leadership. The strength of Labour will be in the collective – they just need to be working together.

          • Carol

            However what you seem to miss is that in order to create the strength in the collective you need a leader that can pull the team together.

            This does nothing to dispel my feeling that the caucus support for Shearer is largely based on them being inward looking about what they want for their immediate selves, and not on looking more widely at the bigger picture.

            Shearer doesn’t seem to have that much going for him as leader, IMO, other than his likeability amongst those nearest to him.

            For the first time in my voting life, I’m starting to wonder if there’s going to be a left party that I will want to support over the next 3 years, and going into the 2014 election.

            The Greens are moving to far to the right. The Labour Party, in its leadership preference, seems to have lost it’s way as a party to tackle the crucial issues for the benefit of the wider electorate.

            I’m hoping that Mana will show some positive development over the next 3 years.

            • Colonial Viper

              This does nothing to dispel my feeling that the caucus support for Shearer is largely based on them being inward looking about what they want for their immediate selves, and not on looking more widely at the bigger picture.


              Shearer and Robertson have been generating a tonne of good press in the last 2 weeks. There is an optimism that this will continue to happen over the next 3 years.


      • the sprout 9.2.3

        so after all the arguments and all the evidence pointing to why someone who hasn’t been in parliament for even one full term yet might not be suitable to lead the NZLP, that’s the best you’ve got – trying an ad hominem on me?
        pathetic 😆 
        speak volumes about the defensibility of your position though 

        • Vicks

          Well Sprout your argument against Shearer seems to be quite venomous. Given that you seem to be a moderator on this site I have to assume you are a Labour sympathiser so it can’t be that. I am trying to figure out why someone supposedly on the same team overall feels the need to vent these strong feelings against one of their own using a public forum.

          Shearer is a leader – it was evident in the selection process, it has been evident in his past and despite the flack he is copping from this site about his media training you can see the man is made of steel. Did you not see him put Guyon The Spinner in his place. This was a taste of things to come. That steel will see him face off against those on the opposite side of the house and he will take no prisoners.

          Cunliffe as I have said on countless occasions is also a highly skilled politician in his area of expertise. However he polarises people – this is obviously not a desireable skill for a leader.But he is still an essential member of the front bench. He is one of the old guard that needs to stay beyond 2014.

          What about Shearer as leader, Cunliffe Deputy Leader and Mahuta Deputy Leader?

          • LynW

            Now that would be an interesting combo and working collaboratively. Is it possible?

            • Vicks

              I know at least two of them are in politics for the wider good – the other one I’m not so sure. I hope they can because Labour has a wealth of talent.

          • pollywog

            However he polarises people – this is obviously not a desireable skill for a leader

            I’m inclined to disagree. Leaders need the ability to polarise people in certain situations.

            Polarising people means you don’t get the soft option of sitting on the fence humming and hahing. It forces you to take a stance and defend it.

            As a leader you sometimes have to do things others don’t like and make the hard decisions others would prefer not to deal with.

            Theres an unequivocality about Cunliffe that he says what he means and means what he says.

            It beats trying to be all things to all people. Sure you can fool some people some time but…

            • Vicks

              If he polarises the core 27% of the party he could send the possible Labour voters into the stratosphere.

  10. chris73 10

    Good on him for having the balls to declare his allegiance

  11. Damos 11

    Well, this just got stupid. And I see cunliffe wouldn’t get a place on Shearer’s bench, so much for unification.  I’m not likely to rejoin Labour if your MPs are that stupid as to vote for something popular and not for something that will help them win. 

    Still, another leadership battle in 12 months aye kids?  

    • Anne 11.1

      Didn’t Cunliffe say last week that Shearer would be on the front bench and would play a senior role under his leadership? Words to that effect anyway.

      • dancerwaitakere 11.1.2

        Seems like the good will isn’t extended both ways!

        • Damos

          Yeah, went back and looked it up… Cunliffe said on TVNZ he’d want to ask Shearer on to his front bench, shearer has gone for Robertson and Parker.  This factional rubbish is why Labour is rubbish. I have a friend in Labour’s staff, she’s told me they were slagging Cunliffe off for years and that Mallard, Cosgrove, King, Dyson are all supporting Shearer. 

          Tell me again what’s new about Shearer Robertson? I dunno, the shine has kinda come off Robertson now, it’s all too obvious what’s up – Keep Cunliffe out at all costs. That’s why they will lose again if successful.  It doesn’t seem to me that Journalists care and that’s important because that’s all people are basing this process on.

          I am willing to bet this team of MPs will think they have a winner in Shearer ’cause he is just like Key. I wonder if they will go through all this again when Key steps down and look for a substance candidate then… I’m told that MPs are respond, “we have to do what’s best for the party”, err, no, you need to do what’s best for New Zealand actually. And by the way, the Greens? Yeah, they’re just next door and have increased their party to over a third of the number of MPs you have, just keep edging right and we’ll be perfectly happy.  

          • Colonial Viper

            I am willing to bet this team of MPs will think they have a winner in Shearer ’cause he is just like Key.

            Can someone please point them to Wayne Gretzky? Skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has already been!!!

    • Anthony 11.2

      Seriously idiotic to not have him on the front bench.

      • Ari 11.2.1

        You would think it would be a good indication as to who would be fit to be leader whether they feel confident enough and have enough of the team spirit to work together closely with their opponents after the leadership contest.

    • Bunji 11.3

      Just a point of clarification – where has he said Cunliffe wouldn’t get on his bench? Everywhere I’ve seen (The Nation, Q&A etc) has Shearer recognising Cunliffe’s talent, but absolutely refusing to comment on anyone’s being on the front bench or even deputy. Hence Robertson announcing himself as Shearer’s deputy candidate without Shearer’s explicit backing.

      Shearer would be stupid not to have Cunliffe on his front bench and vice versa (Cunliffe has said he would have Shearer there). Linky goodness or it didn’t happen and you’re just stirring.

      • Colonial Viper 11.3.1

        A definitive and positive statement from Shearer on this would be good – not just the lack of a negative statement.

        • Vicks

          Welcome to the steel that is Shearer. He refused to be bullied into betraying a confidence by Guyon The Spinner or anyone else. Whether he is successful in his bid for leadership or not the man has ethics and a solid core. I hope he is successful he is what Labour needs right now.

          • Colonial Viper

            Being evasive answering questions is now considered ‘steel’? Seriously?

    • swordfish 11.4

      Yep, Damos. I’ve been thinking of re-joining the Party, maybe even getting active. But I’m not so sure I will if Shearer wins. Wasted effort – particularly if he positions Labour as Centrist National-Lite. Not just a Blairite but an inept Blairite at that.

  12. Tigger 12

    Don’t understand the negativity. Grant is new in Parliament but he’s one of the most canny political operators I’ve ever seen. And he’s affable with it (compare and contrast to that lump of wood that calls itself Bill English).

    I know enough about all four in the race to know they are all capable, likeable, smart and hard-working. That’s four more of that ilk than National has in their whole list! I’m proud that Labour has such a embarrassment of great candidates.

    Personally, I’m leaning more towards David C, but look forward to seeing them all on Wednesday here in Wellington.

    And factions are good, people. Debates are good. Better to get it into the open than have it festering for another three years.

    Also, Key will be gone before 2014. Whoever wins will be facing…well god knows who. National have no one but Key and he has already indicated to the party leaders that he wants to step down. Once the economy goes belly up (February next year I’m picking) he will last no more than six months.

  13. PS 14

    Just come up on FB – The David Cunliffe Support Page. Good work. Send a message now and share!


  14. Hilary 15

    And for those wanting a generational shift Grant has just turned 40.

    • Craig Glen Eden 15.1

      Robertson is a one termer as well I don’t care who they are no one has the ability to go into Parliament learn what’s needed to be able to run Parliament and the Labour Party this is just bloody ridiculous these people must have egos the size of a house.
      For people to even contemplate this Leadership ticket thats not a ticket/ team they have to have rocks in their heads.Its been bad enough watching Goff for the last three years while being a decent guy he was never going to cut it.
      No wonder the right have been working so hard to oppose Cunliffe and Mahuta.

    • Colonial Viper 15.2

      A young person who is part of the old mindset is of zero help in achieving generational change.

      • js 15.2.1

        Have you ever heard Grant talk, had anything to do with him, or more importantly, needed his help? Great brain, very inclusive, good natured, extremely hard working and also very visionary. Hardly of the right. Extremely well respected. He will be an eventual Labour Party leader and will take the party to new popularity. Just depends whether that is sooner or later.

    • rosy 15.3

      I could care less about a ‘generational’ shift, I care about a paradigm change based on looking toward a future of depleted resources. Remember the hippies? They’re now the baby-boomers that so-called ‘generation-X’ is complaining about. It’s nonsense speaking of mindsets in terms of generations.

      • Colonial Viper 15.3.1

        I know what you are saying since each human being is unique and can learn and grow uniquely no matter what age they are.

        So when I say ‘generational’ I intend more “industrial revolution to internet age” or “valve radios to transistor radios” kind of change, as opposed to son taking over from dad. Which often times, you correctly imply, may result in no actual change whatsoever.

    • pollywog 16.1

      let me guess…

      you next post is gonna have 3 words ?

      • the sprout 16.1.1

        clearly doesn’t value communication skills 😆

          • Vicks

            To all the Cunliffe supporters who contribute to this forum, how prepared are you to get in behind Shearer if he is successful in his bid for leadership?

            Just an admin query – how can someone answer a post that is put on at 9.57pm at 9.59pm by someone else when there is an 8 minute lag time before appearing on the site? Does this mean that Pollywog and The Sprout are the same person or are they both Moderators?

            • The Voice of Reason

              Well, we got behind Goff, didn’t we?

            • felix

              The first comment you make on the site is auto-moderated, subsequent ones are generally not. I’m guessing that’s the time lag you experienced.

              Normally comments appear as soon as you post ’em.

              Also yes, sprout is a mod. Yeah yeah yeah yeah ♪

  15. Leary 17

    Frankly if there is such debate, hesitations and angst amongst the followers now and pare that all down to honest assessment; Cunnliffe, Shearer, Robertson..none of them cut the mustard. They are not the new look nor today’s fresh savvy for Labour to front its greatest battle next election. Sorry, wish they could but I don’t believe any of the line-up are inspirational nor will they draw back the lost confidence of voters.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Are you sure you’re on the right channel? The ‘new look’ is for New Zealand’s Next Top Model; here at The Std we’re discussing who is going to be the next PM.

  16. IrishBill 18

    It seems to me that all of the candidates are good people but trying to have a ticket while claiming there’s no ticket because you don’t want to talk about the other people in your camp is just ridiculous.

    I’ve a lot of respect for Grant but he needs to pull his head in on this. He’s damaging his chances of ever being leader.

  17. ak 19

    So: experience in govt, wide knowledge of portfolios, high intelligence, command of material, quick-wittedness, very articulate, excellent in debates.

    Versus: no experience in govt, scanty knowledge, no obvious high intelligence, not particularly articulate, poor in debates.

    No contest really. So why did Scoff & Shrug beat Hels?

    Answer that correctly, and you’ll see why a Double-Dave co-leadership for the next twelve months has merit. Front-foot the opinion makers or perish.

  18. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 20

    Shearer fluffed it in Hamilton tonight: he was even worse than on Q&A. Grant was funny. Grant made the announcement to Press outside AFTER the meeting. During the meeting Shearer repeated the line that the caucus will select his deputy. They then drove back to Auckland in the same car. Grant is Annette’s and Trevor’s poodle.

    Cunliffe and Mahuta were excellent. Ask any Waikato Labour person what the night was like. There was 150? 200? there.

  19. Trevor Mallard 21

    Any comment from Waikato rather than people from Auckland.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      How about a comment from neither? I’ll support whoever gets elected. Will you?

    • Craig Glen Eden 21.2

      ‘Any comment from Waikato rather than people from Auckland.’

      This from the Puppet master from Wellington! What’s wrong with someone from Auckland isn’t that where Shearer resides? Oh wait shit yup thats right he does live in Auckland!

    • pollywog 21.3

      What difference does it make Trev ?

    • I dreamed a dream 21.4

      Because on this site commenters can easily impersonate others, I am not even sure if it is actually Trevor Mallard who posted.

      • lprent 21.4.1

        You’re forgetting the moderators. The mods check for impersonations. It is the fastest way to get a ban. Since I hate evil little weevils that do that, then I enforce it with some severity – ie it is permanent and if I see the perpetrator around they will get fed to the anti-spam bot.

        But if you go to the search on the right side type in
        @author “Trevor Mallard”
        In Advanced set to comments and freshness then search

        It will show comments by Trevor in the past. Look at his identicon if it is the same (that lowres silver fern thing) then you can assume he is the same. It means that his hidden e-mail is the one we know about.

        But we also check for e-mails, IP’s and the like if there is an issue.

  20. redvoter 22

    Yes, well, if Labour selected Cunliffe as leader they would probably get my vote back in 2014. If the old guard is still running the show via Shearer then I doubt I will ever vote Labour again. Labour are very close to be relegated to history- they seem to be irrevocably broken.

    • LynW 22.1

      I agree the ‘old guard’ need to let go…as hard as it is to allow new leadership to emerge. Just what is their real problem with Cunliffe? I’m going to the Auckland meeting to see them in person and form my own opinion. At the end of the day we have to trust Caucus make the right choice.

    • Colonial Viper 22.2

      Labour are very close to be relegated to history- they seem to be irrevocably broken.

      And this is the thing. The New Zealand Labour Party was formed in the aftermath of the collapse of the Liberal Party, on the leading edge of progressive thought from around the world, and after some horrific industrial struggles on the NZ waterfront and elsewhere.

      Labour was the political embodiment of a broad societal movement, and mass understanding of the deep economic and social problems of the NZ of that day.

      Today that broad societal movement, socialist understanding and feeling of solidarity is all but gone, collapsed by 30 years of neo-liberalism and globalised crony cartel capitalism. But the political embodiment from that time – the NZLP – remains.

      This is a very difficult crossroads indeed.

      • Galeandra 22.2.1

        ‘The New Zealand Labour Party was formed in the aftermath of the collapse of the Liberal Party, on the leading edge of progressive thought from around the world, and after some horrific industrial struggles on the NZ waterfront and elsewhere.’

        Exactly, and as more than a few commentators have pointed out, we’re fast approaching the next watershed where a number dreadful currents come together.

        If the Labour party doesn’t cut the mustard, then the people will act to create a new entity, probably in the face of enlarged police powers, tear-gas and bullets and detention laws. 2014 isn’t so important as the 10 or 20 years that lie beyond it.

        I expect unstable populism over the next few cycles before the situation congeals into a necessarily socialistic low-expectation making-do scenario or the alternative, which seems to be the kind of dictatorship of the corporate elites such as has been played out in the various colonies of the world.

        The best we can hope for is a party that democratically and transparently tries to address the future which is fast approaching, and is willing to resile from some of the contractual obligations and restrictions that the neo-liberal ‘globalisation of interests’ has imposed upon us. At moment, and given the kind of debate projected on this site, I’m not yet convinced that Labour is going to be a solution.

    • lprent 22.3

      We have been there before – several times over my 30 years volunteering work for the party. It isn’t a new feeling. But parties just reinvent themselves. If they get it right, they survive. If they don’t, then they often survive as zombie shells.

      Like the united future, act, alliance, and social credit – all parties that have or have had MP’s that stood as parties in the last election but are mere leftovers of their former selves.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 22.4

      Concern troll- you give yourself away too easily Redvoter

      • redvoter 22.4.1

        Ghostwhowalksnz- I assure you I am not a troll. My voting history is Values,Labour,Labour,Labour,Labour,Labour,Labour,Labour,Labour,NZFirst (finally gave up on Labour+a tactical vote. I never,ever,ever thought I would end up voting for Winston).

        The truth may be unpalatable, but the truth is that Labour is a moribund mess and another bad leadership decision will be the end.It’s not just me giving this message- the electorate gave Labour the message loud and clear on polling day that Labour doesn’t really represent them anymore. The people who have been at the top of Labour for the last 25 years need to let go of power. The longer they hold on the more selfish and unelectable they look. It’s time for new people and new ideas.

        Thankfully we retained MMP in the referendum. If Labour can’t pull together for the good of the nation it may be possible to build a new major party of the left from one of the smaller left leaning parties.

  21. smokeskreen 23

    Is this the same Grant Robertson who managed the Labour Party’s disasterous 2011 election campaign?

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Grant was extremely careful to underline in all his media interviews that he was campaign spokesperson.

      • King Kong 23.1.1

        On a similar note to Robertson trying to remove his fingerprints from the crime.

        Cunliffe was the third most important Labour party candidate with presumably a fair bit of influence but it now seems the whole disaster was entirely Goff and Kings fault.
        When I heard him trying to tar Shearer with the “too close to the losers” brush on Q+A it really had me wondering whether the rumours of him sabotaging his party’s own campaign were true.

        If that is the case then it seems that Cunliffe is only in this for the glory of Cunliffe and certainly not for the benefit of the country or his party.

        • Fieldwest

          I learn that Cunliffe was not part of the Labour campaign committee. So it’s fair enough he should not be required to share the ‘glory’ of the mallarnised campaign failure.

    • Puddleglum 23.2

      My own recollection (and it’s not that long ago) was that the election campaign was not too bad in and of itself. The result, of course, was another thing.

      Certainly, the media ‘pundits’ thought it went well enough and I think the public probably went along with that evaluation, in general. 

      I wouldn’t have called it a disaster. 

      • King Kong 23.2.1

        Surely the only way to judge a campaign is by the result.

        • Galeandra

          Well, that’s the only way the modern populocracy knows how to judge one.
          Just like the way the same kind of people judge political debate, I think, if you look at the dismal offerings of the average right wing troll on this site.

          • King Kong

            Way to make up a word.

            Perhaps you might like to tell me how todays nobocracy judge it.

            How many rainbows gifted by Gaia perhaps or the intensity of the drum circles?

      • Vicks 23.2.2

        Labour won the campaign the voters just weren’t persuaded by it!

  22. deemac 24

    gotta love the way some people think “experience” only means “years in parliament”! Plenty of MPs seem to spend decades there without developing any noticeable skills. There is life in the real world, you know.

    • Vicks 24.1

      Agree deemac. It’s like teachers who think if they stay still long enough they will get a promotion. That’s not how to lead a political party.

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