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Grant Robertson live Q&A

Written By: - Date published: 5:59 pm, November 2nd, 2014 - 135 comments
Categories: grant robertson, The Standard - Tags:

Grant Robertson will be joining us live here tonight at around 7:30pm. As usual all comments / questions will be strictly moderated. Like the last time I moderated, I will give preference to new questions, rather than repeats of questions already asked and answered. — r0b.

135 comments on “Grant Robertson live Q&A ”

  1. r0b 1

    Hi Grant, thanks for joining us.

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


    • Grant Robertson 1.1

      Thanks Rob. It was a combination of factors of course. A ruthlessly pragmatic, media savvy government with a celebrity PM did not help obviously, but in terms of our own performance I think we lost our connection with a lot of New Zealanders. Many I spoke with struggled to get a handle on who we were and whether we stood alongside them. The impression was also created that we were divided and then we created some of our problems and frankly for some people we do not look ready to be a government. These problems were in place before the campaign in large part, but there were also problems and slip ups then too.

      To change we have to reconnect, starting with being an active presence in our communities. We must be consistent about our core messages that we stick to over a three year period. We have to inspire in New Zealanders confidence that we both have our own house in order, and that we have bold clear policies that will make a difference to their lives.

      • Ted Stephen Greensmith-West 1.1.1

        Grant is absolutely right – there needs to be an active engagement within communities by Labour over the next three years. That way we can come up with the best policy that truly reflects the needs of New Zealanders. This can cover local communities, pacifika communities, and part of New Zealand life where Labour can interact with people and make them feel like they have a party that cares about their needs. Ka pai Grant

  2. Gin 2

    Hi Grant! You’ve mentioned a few times now that as leader, you would want to hire paid regional organisers. What would those people actually be doing?

    • Grant Robertson 2.1

      Their job would be to build capacity in the Party. They would work with LECs, sectors etc to develop campaign teams and the infrastructure that will build membership and systems to win. We used to have these positions and they are critical to ensuring we are active on the ground throughout the electoral cycle, not just at election time.

  3. After being convincingly beaten by DC in the last leadership contest, what have you done since that makes you think you now have a chance to get the union and member votes, other than David not running this time?

    • Grant Robertson 3.1

      I’ve worked hard over the last year in the various roles that I have held- in the House leading our team there, as Employment and Economic Development Spokesperson and in the election campaign. I have always had strong and constructive relationships with the union movement, and they have continued.

      • Ted Stephen Greensmith-West 3.1.1

        Grant has also done a fantastic job at engaging with our youth branches, more than any other MP. Young Labour is always really grateful for the engagement and support that we get from Grant and his interest to see us grow as a sector of the membership is inspiring.

  4. Kereru 4

    Am so excited by your campaign, your website is excellent and I love that the endorsements you have show such wide support.

    It really shows that you a Te e taking this seriously. Do you think you will be able to keep up a strong campaign approach throughout the term if you win? What will be the challenges to doing this and how will you overcome them?

    • Grant Robertson 4.1

      Thanks! It is vital that our campaign starts right now. I have proposed setting up the 2017 Campaign Committee right now (including reps elected from the membership) to ensure we are working consistently towards the election. One of the issues I want to avoid is being attracted down every rabbit hole that comes up for an Opposition. We must hold the government to account, but we have to pick our battles and make sure we are not diverted from the core issues that we want to present to New Zealanders.

      • Pieixoto 4.1.1

        This is such a great plan! The campaign for 2017 should definitely start right now. And you’re so right, as the opposition party Labour must pick their battles, as National has a long and relatively successful history of clusterbombing their opponents with appalling stuff to divert attention from where it should be.

  5. james w 5

    I’ve been really impressed by what I’ve seen from your campaign so far Grant – clearly you have a developed vision for how Labour needs to change and the changes that the next Labour Govt should deliver for the country.

    I have one question: Andrew Little has talked about ditching CGT and I think you’re in favour of keeping it. Is this a sign that you’re happy to be guided by the Policy Platform and won’t trammel member driven and democratically decided policy?

    • Grant Robertson 5.1

      I am committed to our democratic, member driven policy process. Along with Jordan Carter I was one of the architects of the binding policy platform and it is important that keep faith with that. All our policies will be reviewed as part of that process, and I support that.

      In terms of my personal view on CGT, I continue to believe it is the most progressive change we can make to our tax system. It is simply not fair that someone who works at a supermarket on minimum wage pays tax on every dollar they earn, but someone selling their second rental property does not. That goes along with the benefits of shifting investment from speculative to productive areas.

      I would add that one of the things we need to do with policy is to move our communications to being about the ends (a tax system where everyone pays their fair share) rather than the means (the detail of a particular tax). This applies across the board- consistent messages about what our policies are designed to achieve is vital.

      • b waghorn 5.1.1

        I would of thought that making sure the big corporate s that strip the profits from this country pay the appropriate tax would be better than whipping the dead horse of CGT

        • Tracey

          go look at the polling on cgt from 2013. its not a dead horse. nact is terrified of this picy

  6. Roztoz 6

    Hi Grant,

    What do you think differentiates you from the other candidates?

    • Grant Robertson 6.1

      All the candidates are good and decent people who are strong advocates of Labour values. I represent a new generation and a fresh start for Labour. I believe I have the ability to connect our values with New Zealanders lives and inspire in them confidence that Labour is there for them. The Leader must be able to consistently do that. I know that I can foot it with John Key in Parliament and put him under pressure. I have done it before and I can do it again.

  7. Melody 7

    I live in the Waimakariri District and noticed that National had a very visible presence throughout the electorate during the run up to the election. They had a multitude of roadside signs, they had meetings in my town, as well as advertising information about national and a phone call pre-election.

    The National Party candidate had several mail outs, was available for visits and spoke in public locally. I heard nothing from the Labour candidate, Clayton Cosgrove.

    Also, I went to the leader’s debate in Chch and National bused in a bus load of supporters for the meeting. The National Party supporters outnumbered those from other parties on that night. I would have loved to see a large Labour contingent to support David Cunliffe who had a fabulous debate despite most of the crowd being National supporters.

    Overall, I didn’t see much info nor presence from Labour during the pre-election phase and was wondering what the reason was?

    • Grant Robertson 7.1

      I made a number of visits to Christchurch during the campaign and saw a lot of activity from some very committed campaign teams, so I do not completely agree with your comments. Nevertheless, we do need to lift our profile and be more organised over a longer period. See my earlier comments about some of the ways I think we can do that.

      • bruhaha 7.1.1

        [r0b: Sorry – in this thread I’m going to leave out comments that make accusations / assumptions about about other MPs – they aren’t here to defend themselves and Grant wasn’t responsible for them.]

        • bruhaha

          Okay Let me rephrase it. Grant would you allow any of your MPs to campaign for an electorate with no party vote component in their campaign?

    • Brendon Harre 7.2

      I can back up Meoldy’s report of little campaigning activity in Waimakariri district my neighbouring electorate and one I travel through on most days. I have a particular interest in housing and transport issues. Labour by far had the better policies on these issues but there was virtually no local promotion of these policies.

  8. Roztoz 8

    Where do you see the environment under your leadership? Do you agree with David Parker that the environment and climate change should not be a priority for Labour? (Ref: His stump speech where he says it should be secondary to the economy)

    • Grant Robertson 8.1

      I have stated clearly that climate change is one of the future challenges that we must take the lead on and respond with bold and clear policy, such as setting a clear target of 100% renewable energy generation. Overall I subscribe to the view that the economy and environment can not be considered separately. They are two sides of the same coin. Our economic future needs to acknowledge this, and our investment must be in sustainable, job rich industries.

      • bruhaha 8.1.1

        David Parker has not said the environment should come second to the economy. He’s been very clear that the economy is a subset of the environment. Grant should know this. Why hasn’t he corrected Roztoz’s smear? [r0b: I would guess that Grant is far too busy answering questions to correct the statements made by others!]

  9. Matt 9

    Hi Grant

    What will you do to ensure that the party improves its financial position over the long term, and what are your priorities in respect to policing/justice? Especially given the funding cuts to courts and the frozen police budget.


    • Grant Robertson 9.1

      Two quite different issues there. The Party needs to use the talents of those in its ranks who have a background in fundraising. We need to build long term relationships with businesses who support our values and the democratic process overall. We need to fundraise on a project by project basis. And we do, at some point in the future, need to have a proper discussion with the public about state funding of parties.

      On police and justice issues, like a lot of public sector agencies they are under huge pressure. We will need to lift funding over time, but also ensure resources are being used to best effect. I am firm believer that we will save money and improve our society by a focus on the causes of crime, e.g poverty, addiction etc. rather than so much focus on incarceration. If you want a good idea of where I am coming from on criminal justice issues, check out my speech to the Howard League a couple of years ago. http://blog.labour.org.nz/2012/04/04/launch-of-wellington-branch-of-howard-league/

  10. Jack 10

    Hi grant.

    What are your views on Wellington amalgamation?

    Additionally, since your have backed gen zero’s Auckland plan, do you expect to endorse their Wellington plan?

    Would you look at cheap fares on public transport for students?


    • Grant Robertson 10.1

      I have come to the view that some form of reorganisation of local government structures in our region is needed. We do not seem to be able to have the region wide approach to economic development, transport etc that is needed without it. Whatever proposals are made I remain committed to the final decisions being made by referendum of all affected voters.

      Happy to work with Gen Zero on their Wellington plan, and we have had several discussions in the past.

      I have also supported the Fair Fares campaign.

  11. Jack 11

    Hi Grant
    Just wondering what is your thoughts on the legalisation of cannabis.

    • Grant Robertson 11.1

      I’m on the record as saying I think the current law should be changed, perhaps to a partial decriminalization model, and the Law Commission report is a good basis for taking that forward. Cannabis is a drug and the health impacts and issues need to be at the forefront of any discussion.

      But, this is not a priority issue for me. We have more than enough to deal with in terms of poverty, housing, unemployment, education etc etc….

  12. Apples 12

    One of my concerns is that it is not clear to many members of the public what Labour really stands for. What do they get when they vote for us?

    What do you think the answer to that question should be? How does Labour communicate that?

    • Grant Robertson 12.1

      We stand for fairness, opportunity for all to succeed and a shared sense of responsibility to each other. We communicate that through our actions in the community, and in direct, consistent and clear messages that are about the issues facing New Zealanders in their every day lives.

  13. Melody 13

    A further question,

    Do you agree with the raise in the Retirement Age promoted by Labour as a key policy last election? If so, Why? If not, what alternative would you propose?

    • Grant Robertson 13.1

      As with other policy issues this will ultimately be subject to our democratic policy making process. From my point of view when we talked about this issue we didn’t sound like Labour. We needed to start from the point of view of cast iron commitment to keep universal superannuation (i.e. no means testing). Universal super is one of the great anti poverty measures in our society. We can not run away from the fact we are living longer as a society and the costs for future generations that will entail, but this is an issue where I think we need to go back to first principles and search for alternatives that uphold universality.

  14. Peppermint Patti 14

    The Labour Party policy platform says ‘Labour recognises all women have the right to make their own choices
    about their own bodies, and should have access to abortion services.’

    Are you going to campaign on this as leader?

    [lprent: see answer here. ]

  15. Prize Pony 15

    Our abortion laws are archaic. Will you make properly legalising abortion and extending access to it a policy priority?

    • Grant Robertson 15.1

      Conscious of time, this answer also covers Peppermint Patti at 14 as well. I strongly support the Platform on this and I do believe that abortion law is archaic. It should be treated as a health issue not a criminal one. We need to support women to exercise control over their own bodies and ensure services are accessible and affordable.

      • Peppermint Patti 15.1.1

        That’s what the policy platform says so its good you support it. Up above you said drug laws aren’t a priority. Is abortion law a priority?

  16. Keir 16

    Labour has a problem where lots of voters seem to be willing to vote for Labour electorate candidates but won’t vote for the party – seats all over the country, including your own seat of Wellington Central have this going on. What do you think drives this, and what will you do increase Labour’s party vote?

    • The Al1en 16.1

      What will you do increase Labour’s party vote when you’ve personally failed in your electorate, falling to third place.

      • Pieixoto 16.1.1

        Dear The Al1en, I reckon the way you have used ‘third place’ when discussing an MMP context is totally flawed. The left won overwhelmingly in Wellington Central. Left wing voters in Wellington Central are politically astute enough to realise that Labour and the Greens will be able to work together just fine if given the chance to form a government. Grant and James Shaw were on the same page and left voting folks understood what to do – vote for Grant as their MP and either Labour or the Greens with their party votes. If the rest of the country had voted the way Wellington Central did, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now!

        • The Al1en

          I know how mmp works, thanks, but that’s okay, I think the way you dismiss the aim of improving the party vote from a bloke who hasn’t in his own electorate, twice in a row, is a bit blinkered and almost topic schilling, given the context is raising the labour party vote.

          “If the rest of the country had voted the way Wellington Central did, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now!”

          We’d have a more green mps than labour, so maybe you’re on to something, but I doubt it will be endorsed in this thread.

          • Roztoz

            The PV in Wellington Central has declined at about the same rate as that nationally. As it did in New Lynn and New Plymouth.

            I would suggest the gap between the PV and the electorate vote in WC shows that people liked Grant, but they didn’t like the Labour Party or the brand at the election.

            • The Al1en

              You’ve only been here since the leadership contest was announced and very pro Grant, so like four post pieixoto above, all I’m seeing are patsy questions and pro active defense.

              Undercover mission from beltway going live?
              Pity as much effort wasn’t on show during the election campaign in support of Cunliffe as is being given to electing Grant, but I guess you have your priorities.

              • Roztoz

                I used to comment a bit before TS turned septic in the last few years.

                I knocked on hundreds of doors for DC to be PM, called hundreds of potential voters too, across 6 electorates. You’re right, I didn’t feel the need to comment on the TS to win the general election for Labour, who would?

                Comments on TS don’t win votes, campaigning does. So what did you do?

                • The Al1en

                  “So what did you do?”

                  Party voted for the greens, and feel justified in giving that first non red vote, given the free falling mess labour are clearly in.

                  “I didn’t feel the need to comment on the TS to win the general election for Labour,”

                  And yet here you are trying to win it for Grant. I think you’ve sort of made my point about priorities for me.

                • Peppermint Patti

                  I think its a bit mean to call a website septic and then be mean to it’s commenters.

      • Grant Robertson 16.1.2

        A lot of things affected the reduced party vote in Wellington Central, but I can guarantee you that the effort of our team was not one of those. We delivered 48,000 pieces of party vote mail, knocked on 12,000 doors with a Party Vote message, made tens of thousands of phone calls (many for other electorates) all on the Party Vote. Individual candidates have only so much influence on the party vote. We have to address the wider issues of unity, confidence, consistency, clarity and electability to improve the Party Vote right across New Zealand.

        • Keir

          Yeah, I don’t think that the party’s problem is people not trying hard enough! Thanks for the answer, I think it’s really positive all four leadership contenders have engaged with party members here!

  17. Ecosse_Maidy 17

    ( A) Are you a socialist?

    ( b) Do you think there should be a dedicated green Labour wing within Labour to avoid any confusion at next election in respect of votes going from Labour to green and vice versa?

    (C) Will u abide by the recommendations of Bryan Goulds enquiry findings?

    (D) Do you think we need a new flag or a new prime minister?

    [r0b: Will let this through, but prefer one question per comment please.]

    • Roztoz 17.1

      Good first question.

      Re the second, there is an Environment Sector within Labour. Albeit small.

    • Grant Robertson 17.2

      1. I am a social democrat, in a social democratic party.
      2. ALready have one.
      3. Yes.
      4. A new PM. We can get to a new flag when every kid in New Zealand grows up in a warm, dry house with three good meals each day.

  18. Prize Pony 18

    Hi Grant. I’m really please to see young people like you and Jacinta moving into leadership roles.

    As someone that actually knows what it’s like for New Zealand’s youth will you stand up for us and make change like legalising marijuana, getting rid of fossil fuels, and making tertiary education free again?

  19. Pieixoto 19

    Kia ora Grant,

    Under your leadership, what will a Labour-led government achieve in its first 6 months? What will your team prioritise?

    Nga mihi,

  20. Peppermint Patti 20

    How will you get Labour to 50% females in the 2017 election? Do some of the old guys have to ratire?

  21. bruhaha 21

    Hi Grant. You’ve made a lot of how you worked in a supermarket when you were younger. Were you a union member?

  22. Katherine 22

    Hi Grant,
    How will you approach taking the fight to JK and the Nats in the House? How will you encourage more thoughtful questions to each minister that absolutely HAVE TO BE ANSWERED? (sick of the speaker not requiring ministers to answer questions).

    • Grant Robertson 22.1

      Our questions need to be very focused and avoid giving John Key ways out. This is something I have done with success with Ministers and Key in the past.

  23. Lanthanide 23

    Hi Grant,

    The review from the election loss in 2011 identified one of the mistakes of the campaign was a lack of party vote focus for the campaign billboards. It looks like this mistake was repeated in the 2014 election with the party vote again not being emphasised enough, especially in comparison to National’s billboards. So, two questions:

    1. What will be done to ensure that the recommendations from the this review will actually be actioned for the 2017 campaign?
    2. As campaign manager for the 2014 campaign, why did you choose the billboard strategy that you did?

    • Gin 23.1

      Grant wasn’t campaign manager in 2014. He was campaign spokesperson in 2011.

    • Grant Robertson 23.2

      I have said at the hustings meetings that my sixth commitment to the Party will be that the words PARTY VOTE LABOUR will be the largest on any billboard when I am Leader. To cut a long story short, two successive campaign committees have gone with the advice of communications professionals brought in fairly late in the piece. This is why I want the campaign committee to get going right now so we can set in place a plan now that we stick to for three years, and include members from the grass roots in the Committee.

      (PS I have never been the Campaign Manager. I was the Campaign Spokesperson in 2011 (essentially the person who had to front to media when something went wrong) and was a member of the Committee in 2014 along with a dozen or so others)

  24. r0b 24

    OK – that’s a lot of questions already for Grant! If you’ve asked more than one already, please hold back and let others post their questions…

  25. could you plse detail what you wd do in yr first 100 days as prime minister..

    ..to address the weeping-sores that are poverty/inequality..

    ..the poverty of children..and also/not forgetting the poverty of adults..

    ..specific-policies/ideas/promises plse..

    ..not aspirational…

    ..and please not just arbeit macht frei…

  26. Aotearoean 26

    Dear Grant

    A lot of the members are fed up with the antics of the ABC group. What do you propose to do about them.

  27. Bill 27

    You have stated (on the hustings) that divisions in caucus were non-existent – just a media creation – and that there was no such thing as an ABC faction and so on. Do you seriously think anyone believes you when you say such things?

    [r0b: “ABC” and Cunliffe questions have been asked several times in various forms, this is the last one I’m letting through.]

    • Pieixoto 27.1

      Hi Bill. I believe him. The very premise is ridiculous. I think David Cunliffe’s a good guy with his heart in the right place, and I’m sure Grant does too. Grant is incredibly inclusive and warm, the loveliest guy. You only have to read what the diverse group of supporters on his website say about him, or look at the faces of the Young Labour folks he inspires, or chat with members of his electorate, to get a sense of that. Any suggestion that he’s catty or scheming is completely unfounded, and seems to be coming from some weirdly homophobic/misogynistic place that makes me very uneasy – i.e. “gay men are catty and scheming like women”. The MSM have had a field day with this angle, which I’m guessing they made up (as they do), but you only have to skim a few articles on stuff etc to get a sense of their agenda.

      • leftie 27.1.1


        You sound like a member of his fan club, but I don’t believe him, just like many others don’t on this issue either. [r0b: In this thread I’m going to leave out comments that make accusations / assumptions about about other MPs – they aren’t here to defend themselves and Grant wasn’t responsible for them.]

        • leftie


          [r0b: You and I are just going to have to differ on that, sorry.]

          • leftie

            Why be disingenuous by saying sorry, when you are refusing to allow freedom of speech?
            It is not as if my comment was derogatory and laden with swear words, because it wasn’t. It was an opinion based on actions and words of the MPs themselves.

            I don’t see politicians, that we the people pay to represent us, as unaccountable gods who should be protected from opinions over their behaviour, like you seem to think.

    • Grant Robertson 27.2

      Replying to 26 and 27 here. The ‘ABC’ thing is a creation of the media. Obviously we have had leadership contests and MPs have supported different people, but that does not mean there is some organised grouping. Like any group of people who work together there will be friendships and allegiances, but my job as Leader will be to ensure we use the talents of all Caucus members, involve everyone in making decisions and focus on what unites us.

      • leftie 27.2.1

        @Grant Robertson

        Please don’t take this as being disrespectful, as it is not meant to be, I am just saying what is on my mind, but to be frank, I don’t believe that. If the ABC’s are a creation of the media, (a thought I once believed, but no longer), there are a number of MPs who have played on that.

      • ankerawshark 27.2.2

        [r0b: Sorry, we’re closed for new questions now.]

  28. Michael 28

    Hi Grant!

    As someone who is planning to begin tertiary education next yr, what is your policy on tertiary education fees? Do you see a long term goal of returning to free education, or atleast fee reduction?


    • Grant Robertson 28.1

      My view is that we should start by setting a clear timeline to getting every student a living allowance. This is the major cause of debt and students remain the only group in society who we ask to borrow money to eat. In terms of fees I would like to see a situation where they are heavily discounted for those from low income backgrounds and more scholarships are available, some linked to working in NZ after graduation.

  29. weka 29

    Hi Grant,

    Do you intend for Labour to develop policy specific to Work and Income beneficiaries, esp those who are not in a position to enter the workforce? (as opposed to policy directed towards low income people in general).

    Will you support Labour rolling back the worst of the Paula Bennett welfare reforms?

    How do you intend for Labour to address the cultural and structural problems within Work and Income?

    How do you intend for Labour to address the wider society cultural issues regarding welfare eg the bludger memes?


    [r0b: These are related questions, will let them through, but in general prefer one question per comment please.]

    • weka 29.1

      Thanks r0b. Sorry, it was hard to reduce them down to one without risking prompting a generic answer rather than getting to the nitty gritty.

      btw, thanks for your work on this tonight, looks like it’s going to be busy.

      [r0b: No problem – and yup!]

  30. Jess 30

    Hi Grant!
    Young people make up a large proportion of volunteers for the party, but often don’t get their voices heard when it comes to making policy. How will you make sure that young people have an opportunity to contribute that reflects the hard work that they do?

  31. Pat O'Dea 31

    James Hansen former director of the NASA Goddard Institute has identified coal as the greatest driver of climate change.

    “Coal is the single greatest threat to civilization and all life on our planet.”

    JAMES HANSEN former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute

    Just days out from the election the Government announced that they were giving an additional bail to Solid Energy of $103million, this is on top of the $150million the Government gave to bail out Solid Energy last year.

    This is more than a quarter of a billion dollars of taxpayer’s money.

    What is your view on the repeated bail out of the “Technically Insolvent” Solid Energy?

    Candidate Quiz

  32. Peppermint Patti 32

    Do you think the aim of welfare should be getting people into paid work?

  33. Karen 33

    if you win and caucus agree to your wish to have Jacinda as deputy, how will you deal with media pointing out that neither of you have had much work experience outside politics and neither of you have had ministerial experience?

  34. coaster 34

    Hi grant, what are your general interests and can you connect with ordinary kiwis?

  35. adam 35

    Nau mai Grant,

    Do you like the Mint Chicks? Do you think liberalism as an economic theory is working for Maori, Pasifika and the bottom 20%? Your Tane is awesome, is he stuck with all the housework? Did you enjoy John Olivers rip on Steven Joyce? How do you propose to deal with nationals lack of aroha?

    Please note the first 4 can be answered yes or no for times sake, if you like – the last one deserves at least one sentence.

  36. bruhaha 36

    Will you increase the unemployment benefit to allow people without work to live with some dignity?

  37. Yossarian 37

    Hi Grant,

    If you were to become New Zealands next Prime Minister, which one of these would you repeal/legislate for?

    A) Draconian Tea Break Law to be repealed?
    B) Encouraging more employment, work based apprenticeships amongst our young, whom dont have the luxary of being concerned about a Tea or Latte Break?

    Which is a Labour Adminstration priority policy

    Thank you.

  38. r0b 38

    A lot of questions here tonight! Not sure that Grant will get through them all, so apologies if you miss out…

    • Grant Robertson 38.1

      Sorry folks, I am out of time for tonight. I will try to come back in the morning and answer the rest of the questions. Thanks!

      • r0b 38.1.1

        Thanks Grant, your time here much appreciated…

        • weka

          Thanks Grant.

          R0b I wonder if in future we could put up the questions in advance and then vote on them to prioritise as short list of say ten? Does wordpress allow up/down voting on specific threads? (I like that we don’t have it in general).

          At some point it might be good to have MPs spend more time here talking more in depth rather than the hit and run answer thing. I realise that’s a big commitment timewise and strategy wise too.

          • r0b

            Good suggestions weka, thanks. With our growing numbers these things have grown a bit unwieldily for the current format.

      • Pat O'Dea 38.1.2

        “I will try to come back in the morning and answer the rest of the questions. Thanks!”


        Thank you Grant, for so graciously volunteering to return in the morning to answer the rest of the questions you were not able to get to tonight.

      • Chris 38.1.3

        [lprent: This post has long been closed for questions. ]

  39. Skinny 39

    How do Grant, During the Hustings can you please inform the members that inorder to win elections ‘all members’ need to do more than turn up to choose Leaders and Candidates. It ready annoyed me not many were active. Why aren’t most of them getting active out in the community? Obama runs community based campaigns and the result is a winner. Whoever wins I will support, good luck matey!

  40. Sirenia 40

    Hi Grant

    [r0b: First part covered by other questions]

    But my real question is, is there anything you can do from Opposition about the precarious state of public broadcasting?

  41. Lanthanide 41

    What are your thoughts on Universal Basic Income? Fundamentally good idea but hard to actually get the political capital to implement?

  42. Dont worry. Be happy 42

    If you lose this Leadership election will you resign?

  43. Paul 43

    What is your view on the TPPA?

  44. [r0b: I think we have the gist of your questions Al1en – I’d prefer to let others have their go too…]

    • The Al1en 44.1

      I did try my best to ensure it was crystal 😉
      But yes, let someone else have a go. I can’t wait to find out if Grant likes beer and rugby 🙄

  45. Clean_power 45

    Hello Grant, what is your position on Capital Gains Tax?
    Would a Labour government lead by you implement it?

  46. fisiani 46

    [r0b: Already asked – why don’t you read the thread first?]

  47. r0b 47

    Please note that Grant has commented at 38.1: “Sorry folks, I am out of time for tonight. I will try to come back in the morning and answer the rest of the questions. Thanks!”

    To avoid going on forever, we’re now closed for new questions, sorry!

  48. newsense 48

    [r0b: Sorry, we’re closed for new questions now.]

  49. Ron 49

    After reading the entire thread I am now totally sure who I will not vote for as leader

  50. Cave Johnson 50

    Robertson has an easier and more direct way with words than Parker or Little. Similar in a way to Mahuta in that respect. He clearly has a team of cheerleaders and I will give him the benefit of the doubt that they were not bused in by him to do the cheering but did it out of natural enthusiasm. Mahuta had a bit of that kind of response as well.
    So, Robertson scores well on presentation, but he still wouldn’t get my vote.

    • Pieixoto 50.1

      Thanks Cave. As one of those cheerleaders I’d like to say that I do know and support Grant, but no, he didn’t ‘bus me in’. A friend gave me a heads up on FB that he’d be doing this chat and I was pretty excited. I never normally comment here, just read the articles that interest me. I agree with you about Grant and Nanaia sharing a similar easy manner – I really noticed it at the hustings. I was impressed by the way she spoke, thoughtfully and succinctly, and have happily given her my number 2 vote. It’s good knowing there are some really great folks in the Labour caucus.

    • lurgee 50.2

      I thought he was direct and open. Mahuta talked in near incomprehensible political jargonese that could mean pretty much anything. Robertson was very straightforward and specific in his answers.

      I don’t think he’ll have changed anyone’s minds here (as I suspect many are immune to it) but I think it was a very strong performance. I think most neutral readers would a) understand clearly what he was talking about, and b) respond positively to what he was saying.

      I don’t have a dog in the leadership race, by the way.

  51. leftie 51

    This is not a question, just a comment.

    [r0b: Enough already – leave it be or you can have a week off.]

    • leftie 51.1

      So now I can’t even say that I sent emails to Shearer and Robertson. There appears to be no such thing as freedom of speech, when it comes up against the personal views of the moderator.
      I will ban myself, rather than give you the satisfaction of doing it, I will take that week off.

  52. Murray Rawshark 52

    The organised cheerleading would be enough to convince me not to vote for this guy, in the unlikely event that I took a huge deviation to the right and joined Labour. It made me think of US senators and their happy clappers.

    • Sirenia 52.1

      Don’t all the candidates have ‘organised cheerleaders’, and wouldn’t you expect them to? Hopefully this comes from enthusiasm not from coercion.

      It is good to see young people and new commentators supporting Grant on this site and elsewhere.

      • Murray Rawshark 52.1.1

        If they do, I’d expect them to do it in a less scripted and artificial manner. This looks as contrived as NAct backbenchers asking Paula Benefat questions about how humble she felt when she scored 103 on a scientology IQ test, more than 97.3% of all NAct politicians.

        It’d be good to see these people if they contributed to the debate. They don’t. They drop their sycophantic messages and leave.

  53. Rosie 53

    A big thank you to The Standard for hosting the Q&A’s for the Labour leadership election candidates, and to those candidates for giving their time. It’s been a valuable exercise, and helpful with my decision making process.

    Grant, if you’re back here this morning I’d like to say keep up the good work with Radio Active. It’s my main station but I make extra sure I listen out every Thursday morning for the Scoop report and your interview with Redbird Jnr. (I still miss Liam though when it comes to politics). Don’t quit this gig – I think you reach a lot of people who may be other wise disengaged with politics, and it’s a welcome change from Paddy Gower’s fantasy Island buzz.

    Kia Ora

  54. So Parker’s afraid to say “class” and blithers about “middle New Zealand” and Beltway is afraid to say “Socialist”. Why not cut out the middle man and vote for a focus group instead?

    • Murray Rawshark 54.1

      Funny thing is that the right is quite happy to use the term socialist to describe anyone who sees a bigger role for the state than Ron Paul.

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