I have the form – but none to vote for

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 pm, October 21st, 2014 - 233 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Marvelously efficient. Look what turned up in my email today. I mainly put this up so people who don’t receive one of these in the next week or so will have a reverence to phone numbers and email links.

labour partyGreetings Lynn Prentice

This is your electronic voting paper for the Labour Leadership Election. You are receiving this email as a financial member of the New Zealand Labour Party, which means that you have a vote in the Leadership Election.

Selecting a leader is a critically important task and is one of the most important decisions that Labour Party members have a voice in. Please exercise your democratic right by voting in this Leadership Election.

This election, we have decided to use online voting as the primary form of voting for members. As you have received this email, you will not be receiving voting papers in the post. Profiles and photos of the candidates can be viewed here.

Voting is now open and you can vote online now and until 12 noon on November 18th using your PIN and password details listed below.



You can login and vote by clicking here.

Voting closes at 12 noon on Tuesday 18 November 2014 (NZ time) and results will be announced at 2pm that day.

Over the course of the next few weeks, the Labour Party is holding 14 hustings meetings and one online meeting. They are great opportunities to meet and hear the four candidates, giving you more information to help you make that important decision about who to vote for. To find out where and when the meetings are, please click here.

For more details on the Leadership Election, click here.
As in 2013, the Labour Party has contracted electionz.com, an independent election management company, to manage the voting for this leadership election.

If you have any queries regarding the voting process, please contact us during office hours on 0800 452 2687 (from NZ) or +64 4 384 7649 (from overseas) or email [email protected]. Email is the best and most efficient way of contacting us.

Best wishes,

Tim Barnett
Returning Officer
NZ Labour Party

Of course, all this efficiency leaves me with a more basic problem.

Unlike every other occasion where a leadership change has happened inside Labour I have absolutely no idea who in the hell I want to vote for. On the other hand, I also don’t have anyone who I’d vote against (which is usually my starting point).

veggies-in-blenderWhat I want is some kind of person blender. There are aspects of each of the candidates that I’d like to see in my ideal candidate, plus a large and long dose of senior ministerial experience that is so clearly lacking.

Of course it is almost certainly a forlorn hope that this caucus could actually learn to work together for their (and our) common good rather than quietly crapping on each other as “a senior Labour figure” to journos.

Any advice? And that is a serious question…

But please do remember that this is my post and you’re talking to me as well as the others. I’ve had decades to become a veteran of both the nets and being a volunteer for politicians. If you are lucky, I’ll merely get sarcastic about blathering on the charm of particular politicians or people sounding like they actually believe their trite slogans. I’m interested in what you actually think…  😈


233 comments on “I have the form – but none to vote for ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    I voted Little 1 Mahuta 2.

    Of the three parts of the party the membership are bloody good, damned determined and the contribution is way beyond the call of duty. The only problem is we need more of them.

    The affiliates are doing their best as continuous attacks on collectivism takes its toll.

    The caucus needs to be be reformed. I will leave it at that …

    Little is the best chance of achieving those changes.

    • Olwyn 1.1

      Did you number the other two? I ask because it has come up in discussion here, and this was said in an email from Tim Barnett, leading me to think that they all need to be numbered for your vote to count:

      Since we have four candidates, the preferential system of voting will be used. That means that voters will need to put 1 by their favourite candidate, 2 by their next favourite candidate, 3 by the next favourite and 4 by their least favourite candidate. Every candidate will have a number by their name, and each voter will use each of “1”, “2”, “3” and “4” only once. The votes are then counted – remember that the votes of MPs, Party members and affiliate delegates have different weighting – if no-one gets over 50% support the person with the lowest level of support will be removed from the count, and the people who put them at number 1 will have their support transferred to the people they put at number 2. That is repeated until someone gets more than 50%.

  2. Tracey 2

    I am not a voter in this.

    my 2 cents

    look at the deeds of the candidates. what do you know of things they have actually done in their lives. actions rather than words.

    if you look at their actions, assess them, you may have more or less faith in the words they are speaking now.

    • lprent 2.1

      That is how I usually assess politicians. After decades of dealing with them, I pretty much ignore charm. And words are cheap. They are useful for gulling voters as John Key proves frequently. However I usually look at actions.

      In this case we have three with less than 6 years in the house, and one who has been in for longer but who I never managed to notice before 3 years ago. My usual baseline of observation about what they do compared to what they say is rather constrained.

      • Tracey 2.1.1

        if you think labour need someone to foot it afainst key in verbal stoushes and on camera, my sense is that candidate is robertson. he is a political beast from what i can tell. unlike some i dont mean that as an insult. student politics… clarks office and now mp…

        if the leader is the talking head and the policy is set from beneath for them to lead forth then appeal, thinking on feet, and confidence in media and debating chamber count.

        if he cant command caucus then he will need to be able to front leaks from within.

        key might appeal to the everyman but his policy is not benefitting the everyman. cos of the former they dont seem to notice the later…

        as is obvious from my posts since little announced i worry about the commie extreme left unionist memexwhich will take hold in weeks. i have even before he announced suggested lp work on the ground with union infrastructure to build union membership and awareness… one way to improve working conditions for ordinary peolle without being on the treasury benches. dont just focus on south auckland and the existing voters, but dont ignore them…

        its the casual, contracted workforce being scalped by this government. …. get into their ears, dont need media, choose carefully, education campaigns carefully…

        tge duped dont currently know they are being duped. dont tell them they are cos they feel foolish, show them and let them conclude for themselves.

        use real people with real case histories… and send story after story to the media, to the suburban newspapers and create your own meme.

        a young man whois very dear to me, is 19. he has secured 40 hours week. his family has no money so he needs to work and save before going to tertiary study.

        he has two casual jobs. each day at the end of his shift his job is uncertain til they ask him to work again. he has to pay his rent, bills etc and try to save.

        this is NOT good management by the govt. this is NOT a rockstar economy. he is not scared of hard work, he has a fabulous work ethic. one job is minimum wage the other is $18 per hour after tax.

        this is being passed off by this govt as a good thing while telling peolle to upskill

    • JanM 2.2

      I’m not a voter either, but if I was I would vote the same way that mickrysavage has for the same reasons

  3. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 3

    “Serious advice” – you ask. But I had to laugh hard at the imagery of “person blender” and the picture posted.

    What will be in that blender? Fruit? Nuts? A lemon or a real peach? Or a pumpkin? Persistent vegetative states?

    I am thinking of who to rank from bottom up. Quite a tough choice between two nominees I have in mind.

    Can someone provide an intelligent appraisal of the preferential voting system, especially what strategies could be utilised or should be taken into account?

    Is there any tactical advantage to rank someone third rather than last, or vice versa, to throw out a particular candidate first?

    • Colonial Rawshark 3.1

      Can someone provide an intelligent appraisal of the preferential voting system, especially what strategies could be utilised or should be taken into account?

      You want peoples second preferences to start flowing to your first preference candidate. In order for that to happen, their first preference needs to be knocked out in an early round.

      Figure out who that person is – and rank them as your last. For 1 & 2 put down who you honestly would like as your first and second preferences.

      • Clemgeopin 3.1.1

        That seems complicated to me! I don’t get that.
        Why not just rank the four in the order of one’s own preferences instead of second guessing? What is the problem with that?

  4. left for deadshark 4

    It’s a shame their isn’t five,that blender would make a great five headed monster.hehe

  5. BLiP 5

    Any advice?

    Well, given your dilemma, the option which is most indicative of your position is to print out the voting paper and then spoiling by writing “NO CONFIDENCE” across it before posting it back. Alternatively, just don’t vote. I mean, if there’s nothing to vote for, whats the point?

    • lprent 5.1

      I can’t even do that. It is an online voting paper.

      I will bet that through some incredible oversight, that there isn’t a “none of the above” on the electronic form.

      • left for deadshark 5.1.1

        To right,also me thinks,all four have to be ranked or it’s invalid.

        • boldsirbrian

          @ left for deadshark (5.1.1)

          Reading the method for working out preferences by the company given the responsibility for the election, it appears that more than one candidate is not required. If your first preference is discarded as a candidate, and a second preference is not indicated, your vote stops there. The software recalculates percentages of remaining votes.

          However, what I say here conflicts with unofficial advice previously given by a comment on the Standard, which said that all preferences must be made. This issue needs to be clarified.

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            Nope, you have to rank all four – on the electronic ballot it won’t accept your vote until you do, and I believe the paper ballot last time wasn’t counted unless all three candidates were ranked (I have anecdotally heard there were a large number of spoiled votes for this reason.)

            Like you say, technically it isn’t necessary for all candidates to be ranked by each voter for the count to happen, but that is the rules for this election.

          • left for deadshark


        • Olwyn

          Yes I just added a note to Mickey’s – the email from Tim Barnett seemed to suggest that all four needed to be listed.

  6. Dont worry. Be happy 6

    In the same position LPrent.

    Was waiting to hear something from NM. Arrived today. Unimpressive with the run on sentences and general blather.

    No passion. Nothing.

    Feel like voting for Whitlam….

    • leftie 6.1

      @Dont worry. Be happy.
      I thought Mahuta’s email was very impressive, far better than the others.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 6.1.1

        Nanaia does not even figure anywhere in Cullen’s estimation:

        “All three of the candidates with a real chance of winning (not to be unkind to Nanaia Mahuta) are within the broad centre left ground of the party.”


        And, yes, he is being unkind. Most unkind.

        I would hate to say it to Cullen but he is a [insert: say what I wanted to say and hated saying anyway].

        And so, today, I have had two “seriously, wtf?” moments.

  7. Te Reo Putake 7

    Andrew, David, Grant, Nanaia. In that order.

    Andrew because he’s got more ticker and more street smarts. David because he seems to actually want left friendly outcomes (ie his heart’s in the right place), Grant just because he and Jacinda might actually be electable. Nanaia last because, with the greatest of respect, if you’ve been there 18 years you aren’t the solution, you’re part of the problem.

    • BLiP 7.1

      Nothing to do with gaming the system by putting your actual preferred candidate second, then?

      EDIT: Ooops . . . I’ve just been given an offline lesson in how preferential voting works. Apologies for any invalid aspersion upon your fine self.

      • Te Reo Putake 7.1.1

        Nope, because that makes no sense. I think it will actually come down to Andrew and Grant. Grant to have the biggest percentage of first pref’s, Andrew to get most people’s 2nd. It night actually come down to the third’s.

    • Tracey 7.2

      how do you think he will counter the obvious commie hard left union stuff that will come his way? hoots gave us an insight to this the other day?

      my hope is he will work from the ground up…. feet on the ground talking to people…. explaining how unions give better conditions better wages all without the need to strike often as is the perception….

      tell the blue collars who are currently contracting why they are being duped… o holiday pay, no sick leave, all their accounting costs, fragility of long term work…. cost of insurance to cover all of the above…

      all of the guys repairing my house were contracted. all prefer national. the youngest from west auckland with a young family was very likeable but hates beneficiaries, hates the left but constantly bemoaned all the things i said above. he said he works much longer hours as a contractor, sees his family less but “knows that one day it will pay off”. that quote is the lie that the right has hooked these guys with.

      its our equivalent of the mythical american dream. that is one place the left need to work hard to dispel the myth to have a hope of a breakthrough… i dont know the how given the media will undout edly repeat the commie hard left unionist line ad infinitum….

      • nadis 7.2.1

        Don’t also forget the benefits of contracting. Tax deductibility of many expenses, gst registration. I have been both an employee and a contractor – personally
        I prefer contracting. Without looking up the exact numbers, and for arguments sake lets say I earn 100k. As a contractor – after deducting all legitimate expenses (transport, home office, telephone, clothing, entertainment of clients, net gst etc) my pre-tax income might only be 50k. Significantly better off than earning 100k as a salary.

        I pay around 3k a year in accounting fees to ensure that everything I do is within the tax boundaries.

        • Tracey

          I understand that but I am talking about contractors down at the 50k a year end of the scale not the 100K end.

  8. Ad 8

    i would propose the opposite to voting according to their record. This time.

    I’d suggest, if it were possible to vote Little 1, Ardern 2.

    Labour usually chooses policy wonks who either look crap to camera, or who are crap to the camera (everyone in the last 20 years except Clark). With Ardern you get looks, charm, popularity, DJ’ing capacity, media appeal, and the ability to write policy. She’s Labour’s equivalent of Maggie Barrie. Has never and will never lay a manicured point on any National MP, but who gives a shit if she can court the media better than the last 5.

    Little because he’s played the most skillful hand through the caucus factions, and has kept the EPMU from sinking faster than the rest of the union movement. Someone just need to attach electrodes to his toenails before he goes on camera so he can show a bit of life.

    If that’s not possible, I’d go Parker 1, Ardern 2.

    Parker will bring back the donors, many of the regional votes in the south island, many of the professional services class bourgeoisie, and white males. But FFS someone call Wardrobe and Makeup, please. New glasses, some jokes, writes and burns policy before the cock crows three times, give him some better suits, and no threat to anyone.

    Same as above for Ardern.

    Vote media. The media will reward you back.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 8.1

      “Ardern”? You are joking right? Ardern is not on the ballot paper.
      You mean Gracinda?

      Parker has self-inflicted damage. Don’t think that good, fair-thinking people have not noticed how he turned against and ditched the leader to which he had been deputy and ought to have integrity in shouldering leadership responsibility.

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1

        Parker has self-inflicted damage. Don’t think that good, fair-thinking people have not noticed how he turned against and ditched the leader to which he had been deputy

        If nothing else, that was a significant political mis-judgement on his part. Knowing how much support Cunliffe has (had) in the membership and unions, he should have made more of a show of loyalty and empathy with DC.

        But maybe he’s not the political showman type which is also not a bad thing in of itself.

        • BLiP

          Yep, a significant political misjudgement, indeed. Parker has hardly done himself, or Labour, a favour by publicly voicing his lack of confidence in Cunliffe. In some respects, if that really is his position, then he has carried out a deceit on New Zealanders with his his pre-election pretence and, as he admited, contrived “bookish” persona. This has helped the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key Dirty Politics manufactured “reality” no end by affirming that Labour, due to its internal divisions, was not in any state to govern.

          When it comes to political misjudgements, what about Robinson? Mike Williams on National Radio suggested that Robinson, by teaming up with Adern, pre-empts any decision by Caucus to appoint an alternative deputy it might feel is better suited. If that’s valid, then Robinson must also be be guilty of political misjudgement in that his move is hardly likely to provide impetus to a perceived unification of the caucus.

          In some respects, the sooner Labour ditches its “Beltway Babies” (which kinda includes Mahuta who has been there 18 years) who have, as a result of too many years sploshing about in the Beehive Bubble, have become altogether too tricksy for their own good. This leaves Mahuta and Little, neither of whom appear to be electable . . . . . . I’m beginning more and more to understand lprent’s quandary.

          • David H

            Whoever wins needs to have a bunch of pre-signed and dated resignation letters. And to the Caucus you back me, or sign on the dotted line. This is what Cunliffe needed to do to the ABC club just after he got the leadership. Then Maybe labour would have won the election. Instead of being backstabbed by Robertson, Parker and co. So really there’s 2 down. And who’s to say that the losers won’t just carry on the ‘leaking’ to the Media? Me I figured that one leader a term was more than enough. But one a year that’s a disgrace. Just as well I voted for Internet Mana.

      • Ad 8.1.2

        You are essentially voting for Ardern with Robertson because she is using his very temporary updraft, getting ready for the loss of Sept 2017 to launch hard as The One.
        she’s no slug – she understands patronage is critical to this.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          Has the NZ General Election now been reduced to NZ Idle?

          • BLiP

            Yes. That’s how Mr and Mrs (and Ms) Maintstream New Zealander likes it. There’s no reason for them to actually think because politics is just a game, a reach for power. So long as they remain employed, healthy, not charged with a crime which they did not commit, above the poverty line, and/or do not have to consider what’s best for all of us, “its all good”. Welcome to New Zealand’s brighter future.

    • lprent 8.2

      Labour usually chooses policy wonks who either look crap to camera, or who are crap to the camera (everyone in the last 20 years except Clark).

      You were out of the country in the mid-90s right?

      When I think of how much effort was expended on getting Helen to not treat the cameras as either being an offensive weapon aimed at her or something distasteful that should be ignored.

    • Tracey 8.3

      clark was not camera friendly she was made camera friendly. that is also what they were doing with key before he knifed brash, and every 24 hours after something big happens.

      if lp had identified a number of people in the six months after the loss in 2008, and many werent self serving a bunch would be put through such training… all would become good speakers to camera, think on their feet and all coukd be used in shadow portfolios to land punches whether leader or not. succession planning appears beyond most political parties….

      remember how the greens were supposed to suffer the losses of donal and fitzsimmons….

  9. Rodel 9

    I want to scrawl Cunliffe to make a point. Can I?

    • Not on an electronic ballot, and my reading of the email is that you don’t get a paper ballot unless the party has no valid email address for you.

    • anker 9.2

      Rodel 1000+

      • Colonial Rawshark 9.2.1


        Very very frustrating to have a pick of MPs who while decent, are going to take a full 3 years to get close to the mark DC was in September.

        • Ad

          He’s gone.

        • left for deadshark

          Look..,it’s been steering us in the face,they factored in not winning :14.They will aiming for 2020,the ABC’s I mean.Those branchs with any money,keep it in your pocket. they will only spend it wantonly.

          • Sabine

            in 2020 this country will be wholesale owned by various corporations and all parties will become obsolete.
            That will fix everything.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              as in the US, the political parties need to keep going as a democratic looking front for pushing through corporate based laws and regulations.

        • leftie

          @Rodel, Anker, Colonial Rawshark.

    • BLiP 9.3

      Yes – but it would only be symbolic. Simply print off a screen shot of the voting paper, scrawl “Cunliffe” on it, along with your credentials for being able to vote (name and pin #), and post that in to the crew running the election. But bear in mind, if Labour is employing some company to run the process, the party may not even be told of your protest vote.

      • Colonial Rawshark 9.3.1

        There would be some way of sending the message though…

        • BLiP

          Sure. But that that would require collective action – something your average Labour Party member has forgotten how to achieve.

  10. les 10

    just be very shallow and pragmatic and vote for the candidate who has the most broad voter appeal.

    • Ad 10.1

      More successful than voting for 130 pages of policy last time!

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 10.1.1

        I should confess you are quite successfully persuading me to vote for plastic funtastic.

        No need to have much policy for 2017. Labour should put together a series of trashy Eurovision music videos. And some nice cutesy launches to go with them.

  11. Keir 11

    Putting aside the high flown stuff, and getting down to nuts and bolts:

    Grant and Jacinda might be able to win in 2017. None of the others would – they’d be looking for a six year programme. The launch on Sunday was a good example – best media Labour’s had in five years. Robertson also gets campaigning, and he gets we need to start campaigning Right Now – the idea of employing regional campaign organisers would make a huge difference to the party’s performance, especially party vote. He’s got a very good broad policy knowledge, and has strong Labour values. And if there’s anyone that can scare caucus back into line, it’s H3, who learnt at the feet of H2.

    Little is dull as dishwater and will get crucified in the media – he’s boring, doesn’t have good relationships with the press, and won’t connect with the public. He had one chance to really put the party machinery into gear when he was president, and he didn’t make a difference then, so I doubt he’ll make a difference now. He’s temperamentally conservative, and seems to shy away from left-wing policy. On the other hand, he’ll do better than either Shearer or Cunliffe did – but he’s still a Goff figure.

    Parker’s a very bright guy and Mahuta has been there since 1996. Neither will win.

    • mickysavage 11.1

      Sorry Grant and Jacinda suck at party vote campaigning. They are really bad at it.

      We have an MMP system. Nothing else matters.

      To improve things we need to get more party vote.

      If we use this as the acid test then Nanaia and the Maori caucus and Carmel Sepuloni should be considered and DC did way better than some other MPs I can mention.

      • Keir 11.1.1

        Well no, because if we look at how DC did nation-wide (which is what I care about here) he drove the party vote into the mid-twenties. He might have got good numbers in New Lynn – I’m sure he did well there, he’s hard working and impressive – but overall, the NZ wide campaign did poorly. There’s a big difference between turning out strong votes in safe Labour seats and appealing to voters across the country, and speaking as someone who’s never had the luxury of campaigning in a safe seat, it’s pretty frustrating when this gets forgotten.

        Grant’s proposing a specific action – regional organisers – which, if carried through, would make a huge difference to the party’s organisational strength, and make it much easier to run strong party vote campaigns across the country, especially in seats that don’t have a sitting Labour MP. None of the other candidates have done this.

        It would also have the benefit of improving party governance by splitting the operational role off, which would leave NZ Councillors to focus more on governance not operations.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          This is what gets me about people like you. How can you say DC drove the election result to the mid 20’s? While not even asking what was Grant’s role in this? How does Grant, and Parker as Dep, get off scott free in your calculations of two shit house election results in a row? They were both front bench. And they are now both pretending to have been far away from the bridge of the Titanic. But of course, that is not true.

          And lets not even go to Grant getting 3rd in the party vote for the second election in a row. You think a 25% party vote was piss poor for David Cunliffe? Grant scored LESS than that in Wellington Central.

          • Keir

            Robertson, Little, and Parker have all been involved in the poor results that Labour’s got over the past three elections, in various senior roles. That’s completely true, although none of them were ever the leader, where the buck does stop.

            But Robertson seems to have learnt something from that experience, and has concrete proposals about how to campaign better. I like that, and I expect that as the review grinds on Grant – who was involved in keeping caucus on board with the last review – will be one of the best people to follow through with its recommendations

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Well, I’d like to hear both Grant and Parker take their share of the blame for the last two election results, instead of washing their hands of it like they weren’t around at the time.

              As for Grant’s new campaign proposals to increase the party vote. He can start with his own electorate.

          • leftie

            @Colonial Rawshark

      • Sirenia 11.1.2

        What evidence do you have for this accusation? Did you see all the Party Vote Labour ribbons across all of Grant’s banners, on his newspaper ads and on the leaflets? Maybe too many people just didn’t want to party vote Labour this time. I predict that a Robertson Ardern leadership team would raise the party vote pretty quickly.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          See my comment above. Under Grant’s “leadership” the party vote in Wellington Central dropped to a clear THIRD for the second time running. Labour has always been first or second in the party vote in that electorate.

          But third? Piss poor from Grant Robertson’s electorate sorry.

          • Sirenia

            It’s a very wealthy electorate with lots of inner city apartment blocks. High income area. Naturally Nat or Act electorate except for some small areas like Aro Valley. Instead strong Green and Labour candidates get high votes. Nats trust Grant as their local MP.

            • Ad

              Hardly an excuse. Ardern nearly won Auckland Central this time, and it contains some of the richest people in New Zealand. Robertson seems not even capable of getting the pubic service to vote for Labour.

              [lprent: I’m unsure if that was a typo or deliberate. However if I have the pubic service association contacting me, I will be sure to point them in your direction as the probable syphilitic sam… 😈 ]

              • Keir

                Grant wins the seat, so people are definitely willing to vote for him (unlike Andrew Little, who can’t win New Plymouth…)

                In party vote terms, he’s in a reasonably affluent electorate & is up against the strongest Green machine in the country, who put forward a reasonably clean cut, centrist candidate that appeals to Wellington’s well-off liberals. Remember, Wellington Central elected Richard Prebble! He fights hard and gets a strong result, given the difficult situation he’s in.

                The Labour brand these days is incredibly hard to sell outside South Auckland and the Maori seats. Grant experiences that first hand, and gets that change needs to happen.

                • Ad

                  not sure anyone needs reminding that winning their seat means shit.

                  there’s 100 hard working, knowledgeable, competent electorates MPs in Parliament. And not a decent politician in them if you joined them all together.

                • quartz

                  I like Grant but the bitchy little shits who spriuk for him all over social media while also taking snide and frequently false shots at other candidates put me off him. Is this the culture he engenders in his supporters? Because if it is I don’t see how we’re gonna get any unity.

                  • Ad

                    As a Recovering Bitchy Little Spruiker For Someone Else, I take offence!

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Is this the culture he engenders in his supporters? Because if it is I don’t see how we’re gonna get any unity.

                    5 to 10 MPs drive most of the shite in caucus. You can figure out what kind of culture has been engendered there…

            • Colonial Rawshark

              It was a very wealthy electorate in 2002, 2005 and 2008 as well. There are other wealthy electorates in Wellington and Auckland where Labour come 2nd to National in the party vote. But not third.

            • GregJ

              [Off Topic – sorry Lynn]

              I think your analysis is flawed. The combined Green-Labour Party vote in Wellington Central was nearly 21,000 versus 14,689 for National. Even throwing in the ACT & Conservative vote still makes it a healthy left vote margin of about 4000.

              National’s Party vote has stayed quite consistently around 14,500 from a low of 13,513 in 2005, peaking in 2011 at 15,127 and dropping to 14,689 this time (100 ahead of the 2008 result).

              Labour’s vote has dropped from 17,936 in 2005 to 9,306 this election and falling in each of the elections since 2005 (this time dropping just over 1000 votes). In the same period the Green vote has increased from 6,530 (2005) to 11,545 (2014), increasing each year.

              As an aside perhaps next election someone should convince Annette to retire – Grant could move to Rongotai (where Labour is still just the leading Left Party) and allow Labour voters in Wellington Central to tactically vote for a Green candidate (as the leading Left party there). That way the Left strategically anchors the Green’s vote in Parliament with an electorate seat.

              (Sorry – back to Lynn’s dilemma)

              [lprent: No problem. It was raised as part of…. ]

              • Keir

                The Green vote in Wellington Central isn’t all left though – James Shaw is on the right of the Greens, and picks up the votes of Kelburn professionals with a conscience.

                But at the same time, yes, it’s frustrating for Labour in Wellington Central that the Greens are doing so well there, especially given the Central campaigns works hard to try and grow the party vote. But it’s not a bad thing for the overall left, and I’d be very worried if Grant started to obsess over driving down the Green vote – if Wellington Central shows anything, it shows Grant can work with the Greens!

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Yeah? Why didn’t Grant Robertson push for a combined Labour/Greens election campaign when there was a chance to do so.

                  [lprent: Ok, I suspect that you are drifting off my topic. ]

                • BLiP

                  . . . if Wellington Central shows anything, it shows Grant can work with the Greens! that it will not be played as made up of fools who can be duped by Labour Party platitudes of concern for the environment . . .


            • RedBaronCV

              I don’t know that I agree with the ‘trust Grant as the local MP” scenario. More like a determination from the left not to let the Nact candidate thr’ and the smarts of the voters to all head one way. Green’s didn’t ask for candidate vote and a lot of the green candidate vote came from the specials.

            • left for deadshark

              Look,they just realized they could get to sucks of the sav,thats not uncommon with MMP.

    • Ad 11.2

      None of them have a shit show until 2020.
      Robertson because the majority of members and affiliates don’t buy him.
      Parker because he sucks oxygen out of the room.
      Mahuta because she obviously doesn’t really want it.
      And Little because he’s the uncharismatic union guy.

      This is a choice about the best available night-watchman in the batting lineup.

      Who Ardern goes with is more important.
      The media have set their story about her and will not undo it. V important.

    • lprent 11.3

      Frankly none of that from 11 downwards convinces me of squat.

      Like the H3 comment. That is severely stupid. Robertson was damn near still in diapers when the work that caused the 5th Labour government consensus in caucus to be be forged. That was in that period from 1993-1997. By the time that “H3” got to it, it had already been in place for most of a decade.

      He was using an existing political tool rather than forging it. There is a hell of a difference between what is required for the two phases of tool building.

      Similarly as Ad said above, DC isn’t in the frame this time either immediately or in the future. Nor really is Arden for this round. As someone else said, As much as I am coming to appreciate Arden because she didn’t screw up this time in the ways that she didn’t in 2011. Sorry mickey, she did surprisingly well this election. That Auckland Central electorate was a brute this time. I gave her absolutely no chance at the electorate vote.

      I’m simply not sure how useful that association will be anyway in caucus anyway. In fact I’d count it as something against my voting for Robertson.

      • Keir 11.3.1

        Agree that Grant wasn’t there in 93-97 – but none of them were (mind you, for the younger among us, that sort of prehistory all blurs into one…) Robertson/Ardern looks like a combination that can put together a unified caucus, especially given they have the backing of the younger, ambitious and competent MPs like Chris Hipkins and Megan Woods [and Phil Twyford].

        [And, of course, while using a tool is quite different from making it, none of the other contenders have even used that sort of tool!]

        • lprent

          none of the other contenders have even used that sort of tool

          Nope, but a lot of the utility with any tool is seeing it as it is being built, failing and eventually wielded effectively. I build software and the systems that they drive all of the time, the procedure is quite clear after you have seen it a few times.

          You are incorrect. Nanaia Mahuta entered parliament in 1996.

          David Parker was active in Labour party in the mid-1990s, and I’m pretty sure that I vaguely remember him through my partner who was doing law and at the law centre at the time when I was doing a MBA in Dunedin in the mid-80s. But that wouldn’t have been the best observation point from Otago.

          I think Andrew Little was in Wellington in the mid-90s at the EPMU. Wellington being the incestuous gossip hole that it is, I suspect that it’d have been a pretty good observation point.

          I was looking at it from Auckland as a volunteer in Mt Albert and the person that HelenC least wanted to talk to. But hey, when I have my hands in their computer fixing it, then people will talk about almost anything.

          • Keir

            Robertson would have been in Wellington, and with just as much chance at observing as any of those mentioned (other than Mahuta, who would have been closer to the action, of course) – firstly at NZUSA at that point in the early 90s, and then at MFAT, I think. Other than Mahuta, none of them were directly involved, and Mahuta would have been very peripheral at that point, as a first term list MP.

            And of course both he and Jacinda spent time in the Leader’s Office, although much later on, as you say. He was the guy Clark parachuted into Hobbs’ office to keep her out of trouble. I have a lot of confidence in his steady and careful approach to political management – even his critics agree that’s something he’s good at.

            • lprent

              He was still in Otago as student pres when Lyn was doing her masters. (Hey this is NZ – everyone knows a lot of the population). That would have been mid-90s.

              I think that he didn’t leave Dunedin until 1997 or 1998. From memory of his CV, he was in MFAT somewhere offshore. I didn’t notice him until he was in Hobbs office which would have been 2001 or 2?

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant_Robertson Shit – that wasn’t a bad timeline…

              I’m sure that he saw some of the tail end depending on how long he was in Wellington while at MFAT.

              • Keir

                Ah, I knew he was OUSA ’93 and I thought he went straight on to be NZUSA in ’94 like most do these days, but I see it wasn’t until ’96.

  12. Halcyon 12

    A real conundrum. The future of Labour rests with the members, MP’s and Unions. Make the wrong choice and you will hand Key another term in office.

    I would suggest that the biggest problem is making a decision about a suitable leader without sitting down first and working out what went wrong last election.

    I see at least one candidate putting thought into what went wrong (and in my opinion calling it correct.) yet another candidate is still trying to drive in the direction that caused the poor polling.

    Do not insult the intelligence of those who did not support you last election. It was not a case of “not explaining our policies clearly”. It was a case of presenting policies that were understood and then rejected.

    • Tracey 12.1

      it is somewhat absurd to elect a leader and then review the election… the abcs forced cunliffes hand while denying it. like goff they jumped to quick…. leave tge leader who lost til after a review. decide who and what you stand for then choose the leader best able to do that… this comes across as caucus, again, forcing its views on those they represent.

      • Clemgeopin 12.1.1

        Yep, the caucus has come across as too rash, too vengeful and too stupid. At least I would have expected the senior members such as Goff, Shearer, King, Cosgrove, Parker and Grant to show wisdom and they should have helped prevent such chaos, heartache and stupidity by counseling the caucus members to tread slowly with respect, care, caution and fairness to Cunliffe. That obviously and unfortunately did not happen.

        That is one reason why I am a little lukewarm towards Parker and Grant.

  13. Chooky 13

    Looked really easy and inviting to vote ( nice easily accessible biogs of each contestant) …so having already made up my mind i voted

    1) mahuta 2) little 3) robertson 4) parker ( not that anyone is interested)

    ….and then after i was ticked off as having voted ….and I was looking to leave the site…up came another invitation to vote again…..?!

    ….I thought “No i have already voted once i am not going there again ! “…so i got out

    … but I wonder has anyone else been invited to vote twice?…what would happen if you did try to vote twice?…maybe it wouldn’t work?…or maybe it was supposed to be for another member in your household? ( but no one else in my household enrolled to vote)…anyway weird!…and I hope it is not a glitch in the voting system! )

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.1

      SNAP – well, almost.

    • Chooky 13.2

      on reflection( as a computer retard)..i dont think you can vote twice because it would reject the pin/password …but still a bit disconcerting

      otherwise an impressive internet voting site! ( not that i trust the security /validity of internet voting for a General Election)

      (and btw…if Mahuta doesnt become Leader i will resign Labour Party membership and am off to join the Greens ( not that this is a threat or anything and not that anyone cares …lol)

  14. AmaKiwi 14

    “Robertson is regarded as the effective head of the ABC (Anyone But Cunliffe) faction” (Claire Trevett, today’s Herald) which is why he is firmly anchored at #4 on my ballot.

    The election of Robertson would convince me to quit Labour.

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.1

      You know what, I think most Labour Party members are pretty smart people. And I think the voting results last time and this time will bear that out.

    • Ed 14.2

      Yes I always believe everything printed in newspapers too . . . especially when they discover conflict, divisions and personal animosity when there has been no other evidence for those assertions . . .

      • Colonial Rawshark 14.2.1

        In this case Trevett is only reporting what is fast becoming general knowledge amongst the wider party (although a fairly significant and more well connected chunk of the party has known variations on this theme for some time).

  15. Zolan 15

    An additional angle is to consider the timeframe.
    What is essential in the short term? What is acheivable in 3 years?
    Get the essential steps for Labour in the right order and decide who’s best for the the first step … Oh wait, that’s Unix 😉

  16. Anne 16

    Question one – What do we need?
    Answer – someone who has the ability to appeal across the widest possible range of people.

    Question two – How do we want them to express that appeal?
    Answer – By being straight with the public. Show a real fighting spirit with a bit of mongrel when needed. And don’t be afraid to throw the punches back at the political enemy at every opportunity.

    Question three – What attribute is most important for the caucus?
    Answer – the ability to turn the caucus into a tight-knit fighting force and introduce a level of “consequences” for anyone who steps out of line. A little bit of fear is not always a bad thing.

    Question four – what attribute is most important for the party?
    Answer – the ability to encourage and enthuse them to the point where they feel their contribution is worthwhile and appreciated.

    Question five – what attribute is most important for the voting public?
    Answer – someone who speaks their language and who they can relate to. I mean really relate to them… and not just manipulate them in the way Key and his minions do.

    In short, they need to be a very smart thinker, proven organising ability, have excellent management skills and who – with a bit of a do-over – can look the part. Oratory and good TV interviewing skills can be learned on the job especially with a good trainer in the wings.

    Does anyone have all these attributes? Probably not. But there’s one I’m watching closely because I think that person is more than half way there. The next few weeks will hopefully tell.

    • AmaKiwi 16.1

      @ Anne (16)

      I agree with most of your list. I strongly disagree with item two: “By being straight with the public.”

      A lot of people voted AGAINST Labour because we bluntly told them things they did NOT want to hear: capital gains tax, raising taxes on the rich, and raising the age of superannuation. Key is successful because he doesn’t scare people by telling them the whole truth.

      If Key were personally in favor of those things he would say something like “It doesn’t seem fair that Google and Apple pay virtually no taxes. We’ll look at the tax code and see if it can be made fairer.” Surprise! After the election we learn the fairer tax code means capital gains tax and higher taxes on the rich.

      Key just did it with his promise not to sell any more assets. Surprise! We now discover he didn’t consider $18 billion of state houses to be an asset.

      Labour needs to learn when to STFU.

      • Anne 16.1.1

        Yes AmaKiwi, not the wisest choice of words. I’m on record here expressing the same sentiments about the CGT and the Super etc. and in very strong terms. Ask CV. 🙂
        I really meant “item two” in a more general sense. Don’t put on airs and graces… let people see you for what you are… treat people with respect and don’t try to manipulate them. The Tory media allow the Nats to get away with dirty manipulative games, but if we try it all hell would break loose.

      • KJS0ne 16.1.2

        This is the point I have been yapping on about at every available opportunity. Some of these things may need to be done at some point, or at least a conversation, but for f&**s sake, don’t campaign on it. Key has been very successful at pushing through incredibly unpalatable policies and his election returns have just increased. Why? He doesn’t f***king campaign on them.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Labour has developed very bad political instincts.

          • blue leopard

            It would seem that they are too busy competing with themselves to develop anything at all other than a counterproductive atmosphere, CR.

    • Ad 16.2

      Following on your list I’d frame it differently:

      – Appears happy and fun to camera

      – Is successful in life and wants to be so

      – Follows standard political caucus laws by punishing the weak, splitting factions into further factions, and rewarding courtiers

      – To make supporters feel part of something glamourous and successful

      – To make them feel that they will have a successful life if they buy this product

      who fit those criteria?

  17. Blue 17

    Can’t help you there, lprent. The truth that dare not speak its name is that none of the four have what it takes.

    Any one of them could win and in my opinion there’d be little difference.

    Andrew Little says some good stuff and has good organisational experience, but his electoral performance is lackluster and his speaking skills remind me of David Shearer.

    David Parker is intelligent, well spoken and experienced and has a lot of support within the caucus but he has a nerd image he can’t shake and was the architect of some electorally troubling policies.

    Grant Robertson wants the job more desperately than anyone and the ABCs will finally STFU if he wins, which is probably reason enough to vote for him. But he’s very beltway, very student politics and has limited electoral appeal. I’m tempted to hope he wins just so Mr 25% can see just how easy it really is to be the leader of the Labour Party.

  18. Skinny 18

    Looking at the contenders it appears to me that there are 2 clear factions. Robertson/Adern & Little/Mahuta. However Parker seems a tad touchy with Grant and had a crack at him over Ardern as a running mate which makes me wonder if he is on the opposite division to Robertson.

    I saw Grant on Q & A yesterday where he was quite adamant that he would take a hard line against undermining MP’s and oust them. Geez I hope his team are prepared to receive as good as get if they lose?

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 18.1

      I saw Grant on Q & A yesterday where he was quite adamant that he would take a hard line against undermining MP’s and oust them. Geez I hope his team are prepared to receive as good as get if they lose?

      That and his less than candid but word-playing interview with Willie Jackson last week made him drop in my choice of ranking.

      The Gracinda launch seemed more like a PR exercise that would potentially close off an avenue, rather than unify caucus in a more inclusive process. Coming out to recommend a deputy gave rise a few conflicting signals that raise questions that did not need to be raised.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 18.1.1


        … conflicting signals that raise questions which do not need to be raised.

      • Skinny 18.1.2

        The cycle of undermining will continue if Grant wins. Make no mistake Ardern will continue the trend should Robertson win. Luckily for Labour others won’t sit idle and rely on Labour to bring about Nationals downfall and are starting plans to bring about their downfall in 20017.

        Count me in on that one!

      • Ad 18.1.3

        Hey Standardistas – wait for your clean out.
        The new team will go through Council and office holders like salts.

        • lprent

          The new team will go through Council and office holders like salts.

          That is the amusing thing about it. Most of us aren’t office holders that I am aware of. I’ve never managed to hold more than a chair in a branch as an “office”. That was because I wasn’t there one AGM.

          But I suspect that have no real idea how damn hard it is to move anyone inside the party. They can in caucus for position, and they can probably in HQ. Certainly there is an influence in office selection.

          But effectively the caucus has no real say over the party and never really has.

          Volunteers just do their thing, and there are at least 3x as many outside the party willing to do work for it if asked as there who are current members. Labour ulterior is really really enormous.

          We asked, explained why, and the party membership damn near tripled.

    • AmaKiwi 18.2

      Robertson sure as hell didn’t prevent the undermining when he was deputy leader. Chris Hipkins to the TV camera’s: “Cunliffe is a liar.”

      No, that wasn’t undermining which is why Hipkins was not demoted but Cunliffe was sent from the front bench to the back benches.

      It couldn’t the ABC undermining was being done by Grant and his mates to further Grant’s career?

      You might think that. I couldn’t possibly comment.

    • wekarawshark 18.3

      “he would take a hard line against undermining MP’s and oust them”

      How would he do that? (as in, what mechanism)

      • Colonial Rawshark 18.3.1

        simply demoralise, demote and disrespect them are the only mechanisms Grant would have, and then wait for them to quit eg Charles Chauvel.

  19. Dialey 19

    My tuppence worth, but since I can’t vote, it’s not worth much.
    Of the 4 printed blurbs, David Parker’s has the most passion and actual content, he also impressed with his Q&A responses – he has the most convincing smile (does that matter?).
    Andrew Little gave me pause for thought when I first heard he was standing and he has the advantage of not being associated with all the rubbish that has gone on over the last several months – he has the sexiest husky voice (does that matter?)
    Nanaia Mahuta sounds genuine and solid good ground roots sense – a potential first for NZ to have an ‘native people’s’ PM (that really would be something).
    Grant Robertson perhaps the most polished and slick, but not so much with content – another potential first for NZ to have a gay PM (that would also be something).
    I don’t envy you guys with your decision making – but please choose wisely for the sake of New Zealand.

  20. Bill 20

    No names being offered, but how’s about eliminating those who you reckon connived and positioned within caucus (put themselves first)?

    Then, how about considering that the most effective leaders are those who aren’t merely powerful, but who also lead somewhat quietly and unobtrusively – in a way that allows those around to build a sense of self and commitment that is satisfactorily empowering for them? (The obvious alpha types tend to be a bit up themselves and wind up in strife, by and by.)

    • Colonial Rawshark 20.1

      No names being offered, but how’s about eliminating those who you reckon connived and positioned within caucus (put themselves first)?


    • KJT 20.2

      Well. When I am assessing people I look at how well all those around them are doing.

      Some one who may not be obvious but their support, capability and knowledge makes everyone around them look better.

      Just as in Marae, look for the “Aunties”.

      In some Polynesian societies, in the past, they had a talking Chief and a doing Chief.
      Oratory was a recognised skill, but it was accepted that a good orator may not be a good Warrior, Navigator or Farmer.

      We choose our leaders by how well they talk in soundbites.

      Or their skills in backstabbing.

  21. Sirenia 21

    Robertson 1. Lots of reasons. I’ve known him for a few years as he was my local MP. He made a real effort to meet local left people and find out what was important to them. He’s taken up lots of issues on behalf of constituents I know. He’s the most left wing of the candidates – I’ve listened to lots of speeches and seen him at work, whether one to one with a homeless person, on a street corner talking to local residents, supporting a local start up company, or taking on Judith Collins or Key in the House.

    He’s staunch, and he remembers where he has come from. He had to cope with a father in jail. He is now involved with a group that supports the children of people in jail. He’s funny and witty and energetic and hardworking. People want to work with him, and he always has a big team of workers, including lots of young people who are just starting out with Labour. Given the chance, he could unify the party and help transform it into multi term government.

    All the candidates have good qualities. But what is different about Grant is that (with his good friend Jacinda) he has that X factor. I remember the newly elected Norman Kirk. There is a lot about Kirk in Grant (although not the social conservatism). There is that appeal to social justice and hope that will appeal to today’s NZ voters.

    If Labour wants to get elected at the next election it has to look outward and win in the shopping malls and on television and on social media. They need a leadership team that normally non political people will be drawn to and want selfies with. Who can also unsettle the Paul Henrys of the world as Grant did last night. (Comparative) youth helps, as well as the combination of cheerful extraversion and determination to win. And loyalty to the Labour values of housing, employment, family, belonging, the environment and hope. Grant and Jacinda could win well for Labour in 2017 and beyond, even if Key is still around. With them Labour would articulate that vision thing that the Nats and Key lack.

    So I hope a majority of members put Grant at the top of the list. Those young Labour people I know would be so pleased.

    • Colonial Rawshark 21.1

      Grant’s been hungry for the leadership for years. He has been a key player in moving the last few leaders on, while positioning himself closer and closer to the throne with each throw of the dice. Grant has also been a leading and long time player in the ABCs. These are MPs who have, from my point of view, utterly disrespected the message they were sent in last years leadership selection when both the membership and the unions voted overwhelmingly for DC.

      That’s my interpretation. In a couple of weeks we’ll know how the general members and the unions see it.

      • dave brown 21.1.1

        I reckon the membership and affiliates will see it that way too.
        The first thing a leader should do is accept that s/he leads a party of members and affiliates and not a faction of MPs.
        I put Mahuta first as she was a staunch backer rather than backstabber of Cunliffe.
        I think she is closest to ‘Labour values’ in practice not mere rhetoric.
        She comes from the working class and still calls it that and not the underclass.
        She will also rub the noses of middle NZ in their racist, chauvinist shit.
        Little, second, with his experience of organising workers in the post ECA era.
        I think solid, loyal, and tough, are Labour values. Not glib, hype and bluster.
        I don’t rate Robertson, but I would put him 3 ahead of the book balancer.

      • leftie 21.1.2

        @Colonial Rawshark

        +1000 Spot on.

    • BLiP 21.2

      . . . I remember the newly elected Norman Kirk. There is a lot about Kirk in Grant . . .

      Wash your mouth out!

  22. les 22

    none of the 4 are compelling…3 of the 4 are ‘electicide’ if they win the leadership.

  23. Matthew Hooton 23

    If you really can’t decide but still want to vote, then what about voting for the one you think is most likely to win in order to assist in getting “X gets strong mandate” headlines?

    • Colonial Rawshark 23.1

      you are sharing second hand with us the advice you gave about John Key 🙂

    • Te Reo Putake 23.2

      Getting a strong mandate didn’t help Cunliffe, Matthew.

      btw, seeing as you are here, when you spoke incorrectly on Nat Radio the other day about the EPMU’s internal voting arrangements, were you wrong because of ignorance or were you, perhaps, just lying for effect?

      • Paul 23.2.1

        He won’t answer.

      • Matthew Hooton 23.2.2

        In what way was I wrong? Is the EPMU having a vote of all affiliated members?

        • Te Reo Putake

          You claimed it was a “handful of union bosses” who vote on behalf of the members. That is not the case. It is actually the elected delegates to national conference who decide. They are workers elected by their fellow workers. No “union bosses” amongst their number. The executive who endorsed Little are a smaller group of workers elected to their positions by fellow workers and they are effectively the board that governs the union. No “union bosses” amongst that group either. They have endorsed Little, but the members’ reps are free to vote any way they individually choose.

          It is a process of independent, representative democracy, not a million miles away from electing MP’s to go to parliament. I appreciate you’re not someone who gives a shit about democracy in any of its forms, but try and stick to the facts in future.

          • Tracey

            yes but that wouldnt have sounded like tony soprano was behind it all….

            • Te Reo Putake

              Or Soprano wannabe Matthew Hooton …

              • Tracey

                and this is what little has to contend with. hoots is the advance guard trying out the different lines… eagerly waiting the media to start repeating them and all that is unanswered is did he come up with them, or have they come from higher up… either way they will end up in the same place, john keys mouth.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  yeah, we really shouldn’t respond to Hooton, its giving him free advice that he will on-charge for essentially.

          • Matthew Hooton

            That’s who I meant. The delegates to the conference are the union bosses and there are only a handful compared with the 46k members. Why not let the members vote like the SFWU?

            • Tracey

              so why change it. .. because you are disingenuous. like telling radio listeners that dotcom was paying people to vote…

              its exactly what you meant, to achieve the smear you wanted despite the facts being he was paying for buses to get them to booths… and by union bosses you didnt mean democratically elected representatives of the membership as per their written constitution… you meant to evoke jimmy hoffa and tony soprano imagery.

              do you think employers give alot of paid time off for individual members to debate the constitution?

            • Te Reo Putake

              They’re not “union bosses”, they’re workers from the job. When you said “union bosses” on the radio you were trying to give the impression there was nothing democratic about the process. And when you wrote here “that’s what I meant”, you lied.

              The EPMU has it’s own rules and culture. They decide, democratically, how they want to run their own union. They aren’t going to be taking advice on ‘real’ democracy from a weasel like you, Matthew.

              • Chooky

                +100 TRP…it was a clear attack on the democracy of the unions ….broadcast on National Radio all over New Zealand ….and it did not meet with any real challenge from Williams or Ryan..

                Hooton is a lot more circumspect, moderate and conciliatory on this blog site than he is on Ryan’s Nine-to- Noon where he has open slather

        • Skinny

          Hooton I heard you spinning snake oil on ‘Unions’ the other week. We met the contenders, critqued them and voted on our prefered choice. It was a very close thing between Little & Robertson. The winning factor was who answered and gave a satisfactory explanation of refreshing the line up of MP’s. Both Parker & Robertson skirted the question. Parker is so far out of touch, look no further than where he is holding his campaign launch. The Stamford Plaza, at least Robertson had the sense to choose the King Arms on a Sunday afternoon. However Grant giving the ‘answer’ of the party vote is where the new blood comes from was plain stupid as we know the gamble is banking on lifting the party vote, which obviously they didn’t. Not to mention the likes of Davis and other quality candidates were put that far down the list in preference to deadwood MP’s that in many cases they had to chase the electorate vote at the party vote expense.

          My point being it’s not a given Little gets the Union vote and Robertson will pull plenty of the second preference vote, enough to say he is the hot favourite to win.

    • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 23.3


    • Chooky 23.4

      @ Hooton

      …well we know you support Robertson and Adern because you said they were best leaders for the Labour Party on Kathryn Ryan’s political ‘Hooton’s Right Wing Spin ‘ programme

      …and least we forget ….we know you have been attacking David Cunliffe ( the overwhelming Labour membership choice ) at every opportunity ever since he became Leader of the Labour Party !…and you said his 5,000 supporters on the Facebook Support Cunliffe page was a sham because you and your friends had put your names there as well …and thought he was best to defeat Labour …in fact YOU did your level best to undermine and defeat Cunliffe !( incidentally Cunliffe resigned from the leadership race on the very day you attacked his support on Facebook!)

      ….so why the hell would anyone listen to you ?

      …and least we forget …..we know you and Kathryn Ryan have a very low opinion of the Standard ….so why do you come here?…to do some more spin for your right wing clients?

      • Matthew Hooton 23.4.1

        I wouldn’t say I support them, but I think they are most likely to present a fresh Labour Party and beat John Key. The other two serious candidates will struggle in retail politics. Nanaia did better than I thought on Q&A but has been around for 18 years and would have shown more potential by now if she were a serious future PM.

        • DoublePlus Good

          ‘Retail politics’ – you mean politics where everything, including integrity, is for sale, and image is all that counts with the public? That’s a recipe for Labour to lose as they cannot possibly display less integrity or a faker, shinier glamour than the National party
          What Labour actually needs is principles, values, integrity, honesty. They need to be everything that National is *not* to win an election.

          • Clemgeopin

            Good point! …and the leader needs fire in the belly in his/her policies, statements, writings and speeches. Cunliffe did have it to a good extent, but showed some minor flaws (due to the fog of rushed time, constant attacks etc) which were magnified by enemies and media. But he most certainly did not deserve to be put in a position to resign in such a great hurry as happened.

            Above all, a leader should be inspiring, honest, sincere, have a clear message, clear direction, be easily understood, liked by many people and should mean what he or she says. Roosevelt, Kennedy, Kirk, Savage, Whitlam, Chavez, Lange, Hawke come to mind…..Labour NEEDS one such courageous inspiring leader. Who among our four candidates may be that person or can grow into that person even to a small extent is the important question. I will therefore watch the hustings and decide for sure, even though I have sort of made up my mind. It would be good if the hustings meetings will be on line for all members to watch.

    • Tracey 23.5

      wouldnt you just cross out the names you didnt like, write in the ones you wanted and then sue if they didnt count it…

      or would you be more subtle, hijack the software and jimmy the result. its in your DNA, right?

  24. Gotta Change 24

    If Labour actually want to win the next election then they should vote Robertson.

    None the of the others have a shred of electoral appeal.

    [lprent: Banned 8 weeks for sloganeering on my post. I was actually enjoying my read until I saw this stupidly flatulent fuckwit who clearly hadn’t read the post ]

    • quartz 24.1

      And again. A Robertson fan comes on. Orders people to vote for Grant and then badmouths the other candidates.

      Do you people realise you’re hurting your man’s chances with this divisive shit?

    • Gotta Change 24.2

      Sorry you get banned cause you might be off topic in the opinion of the author. Over reaction much?

      [lprent: Read the last paragraph of the post. Read the last two sentences of the front-page excerpt. Read the about which explains why that policy is in place.

      I gave you fair warning. The problem was that you are so clearly spending all of your effort being a arrogant dumb shit on someone elses site that you failed to read.

      Doubling it to 16 weeks because you appear to be incapable of reading before you whine. It was noted in the ban that you obviously had failed to read the whole of the post, which was why you received the ban.

      Keep wanking your way through life and find out how sympathetic others are to your lazy whining. I suspect that they will have similar reactions to mine. ]

    • Sirenia 24.3

      Can I politely ask why you are so hard on this person but allow a lot of other commentators to insult candidates?

      • lprent 24.3.1

        We really don’t write posts with idiots to use the blog equivalent of a spraycan on. This jerkoff thought that because the site is free then it is his space to piss over. It isn’t and no public comment site is. There are always rules, in our case quite explicit ones, in other cases simple politeness for the person doing the work of providing and maintaining the space.

        There was a very explicit prohibition given in this post both at the front of the site and in the post itself about sloganeering. What I was interested in were the reasons people thought things rather than the ability of a fool to be a parrot.

        That was followed by essentially all top level comments except for this clown. When people go into the conversations more, then I expect drift. You can see me responding to those in various ways from warnings to dissatisfied responses.

        But someone who so clearly hadn’t bothered to read the post deserved to get a severe rap over the knuckles – if only so they don’t repeat such crass and impolite behaviour here or on other peoples posts.

        I always attempt to make such occasions memorable for the idiot.

        But as usual, if this troll doesn’t like it, then they have the complete freedom to go off, build their own site, and attract their own audience.

  25. adam 25

    Well Lprent you know my first reaction is – I don’t wanna comment on this as I think labour are a dead weight to the left in NZ. However, as you pays yours monies fine sir, so spin that wheel.

    1. Can any candidate make a difference to fundamentally change the problems you see that labour has? I know it is what you asked and I just reframing the question – I suppose what I’m saying – reframe the questions you asked, see what you get.

    2. Will this vote be a beginning of something new, or will it be more of the same? Who fits into those camps?

    I’ve stayed away from much of this debate as I’ve found it disquieting at best, and down right a waste of time, energy, and goodwill amongst the left.

    My only request is you pick the one, who won’t start another red wedding in 6 months time – working people have a real enemy and that enemy is using the full power of the state to destroy lives.

    • lprent 25.1

      That is what I agree with as well.

      The real problem with the campaign this time around in my view was the blindingly stupid idea that caucus came up with of having a complete political novice take the leadership, and then do essentially nothing with it over two long years. There wasn’t any attempt at running the type of campaign that is required to get rid of a government.

      Campaigns are a focused 3 years long in opposition and about 18 months long in government.

      Basically I’ll be having a close look at what happens when whoever wins. One of their first decisions is to how to launch that campaign, so I will make my decisions then b>immediately after the post-mortem comes out. Either I’ll stay working with Labour or I’ll find something more productive to do.

      I’m sure as hell not going to sit around for another 3 years watching politicians and their parasites fritter valuable time away for a third time.

      But that is rather off the immediate topic…

    • wekarawshark 25.2

      “My only request is you pick the one, who won’t start another red wedding in 6 months time – working people have a real enemy and that enemy is using the full power of the state to destroy lives.”

      Isn’t it the ones that don’t get picked that will start a red wedding in 6 months time?

    • BLiP 25.3

      . . . My only request is you pick the one, who won’t start another red wedding in 6 months time – working people have a real enemy and that enemy is using the full power of the state to destroy lives.


      As a Greenie, I respectfully request that Labour Party members bear this in mind when they vote,

    • Chooky 25.4

      +100% ! Adam

  26. irascible 26

    Attend the Meet the Candidates meeting in your area. Ask them questions for which you want answers that will tilt your vote one way or other.
    Then re read their electioneering letters to you as a voter.
    Decide which fits the bill as dynamic in the House, has the caucus support and carries a similar socialist policy belief as yourself.
    Then make the choice !

  27. AmaKiwi 27

    @ Gotta Change (24)

    “It’s the economy stupid.”

    By a 3 to 1 margin the public thinks the economy is on the right track. It doesn’t matter the country or the political party, that consensus guarantees the incumbent will be re-elected.

    Cunliffe and ALL the experienced Labour politicians did an excellent job of fighting hard right up to the end. Remember, “It’s on a knife edge.” DC knew we couldn’t win. But we did well with our core constituency, the people who knew first hand how bad things were for them.

    Elections are ALWAYS decided by the economy. If it’s really bad, we could put up Jack the Ripper and win.

    • Ad 27.1

      so which candidate does this point to of the four?

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 27.1.1

        I’d go for Ken since Barbie is not explicitly leading the ticket. And if I vote Ken, I also get Barbie!

      • AmaKiwi 27.1.2

        @ Ad (27.1)

        “So which candidate does this point to of the four?”

        None. That’s the point. We are fish in the sea of humanity. Often the best we can do is swim within the tides of change. Passionate activists don’t like to hear that but you can save yourself some sleepless nights if you step back and recognize it.

  28. Zolan 28

    I think there’s been too much emphasis on personal media charisma as being the last word on electability. Sure, the MSM is bad at substance, but the people who must be won over will accept a wide range of personalities if they identify with their mission.

    • Olwyn 28.1

      I would go even further and say that Labour, under the current circumstances, needs to be able to put up a fight if it is to be taken seriously – sort of like Peters and Hone Harawira are able to do. And even further, that a significant reason for the recent election loss was because Cunliffe’s stance demanded a fighting attitude, while the majority of the caucus were more comfortable with a media-patronage seeking attitude. One countered the other – you cannot put up a fight while the people who are meant to have your back are more-or-less siding with the media, and you do not get the kind of patronage you are seeking if your leader is trying to put up a fight.

      I favour the fighting stance because the cost of media patronage is increasingly the abandonment of Labour principles. This, along with what the candidates have to say, is something I will be taking into consideration when I cast my vote.

      • Chooky 28.1.1

        Olwyn +100….very well said! …Labour “needs to be able to put up a fight if it is to be taken seriously – sort of like Peters and Hone Harawira are able to do.”

        ….and a fighting stance can be done quietly and efficiently but with the force of a tank by someone like Nanaia Mahuta

        …what is needed is gut understanding of and commitment to the working class, reliability, a steady hand , stolid determination, clear focus and the ability to turn Labour into a fighting Party

        ( this means getting rid of deadwood efficiently and bringing in new blood…and uniting the Left Parties for a coalition win)

  29. Gotta Change 29

    Ama – whats the point of a “rock star economy” if 50% of your income goes on the mortgage!? National were incredibly weak on the issue of house prices and yet they got re-elected. Suggests NZers understanding of the economy is shallow at best.

    • AmaKiwi 29.1

      @ Gotta Change (29)

      “Suggests NZers understanding of the economy is shallow at best.”

      Absolutely. Under Key you and I borrowed $60 billion. That’s $15,000 for every man, woman, and child in NZ. “I’m comfortable with it” says smiling Key and people accept it because the thought of repaying it is too frightening to contemplate.

      Relax as we cruise with National down the historic river of failed nations . . . de Nile.

  30. Sirenia 30

    Look to the young people. I was once a young person in the Labour Party. The new exciting leaders were former student politicians like Phil Goff and Helen Clark. The old guard was on the way out. It was fun and the best party in town.
    Labour needs to reconnect with the energy and vision of youth.

    • Ad 30.1

      why? the fuckers don’t vote.
      Go for those who vote; 35-85.

      • lprent 30.1.1

        Sure the student politicians and the university Labour youth are generally much better known for their ineffectual campaigning gestures and their ability to make everything into a incestuous mating ritual. However the most many of the most quietly effective local organisers were part of the 5-10% who persisted after the rabbiting subsided.

        They’re like union organisers. They produce persistent and effective backbones to the parties that they absolutely have to have.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          University students vote National these days. Just check out the university booths.

          • blue leopard

            What Universities are you talking about CR?

            TERTIARY POLLS

            University of Auckland/AUT

            Nat 36.8, Lab 26, Green 24.2, NZF 3.6, Int-Mana 2.8.

            University of Otago

            Nat 35.3, Lab 27.8, Green 25.2, NZF 3.2, Int-Mana 2.


            • Colonial Rawshark

              Sorry I meant in terms of NAT vs LAB, but good point: ‘left block’ is ahead.

              • blue leopard

                I would be much happier if I lived in a country that produced the results of these two Universities 🙁

                I wonder what the others’ results were…

                • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                  Gosh, from those two varsities, Lab and Greens are almost level-pegging, and NZF is about the same level as IMP.

          • Chris

            What gets me is hearing university students say how tertiary education should not be free because they’re the ones who benefit from the education and that they’re the ones who’re going to be in a position later to repay the loans. What a difference a generation can make to values that underpin an entire culture and national identity.

        • Matthew Hooton

          Student politics is a good leadership training school. Latest former student president to make parliament is Todd Muller, new Nat MP for Bay of Plenty. Former Waikato student boss.

      • BLiP 30.1.2

        “The fuckers” ?? Really? Is that your argument – ad hominen? Why should the youth vote for Labour when it has enforced the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key student loan thing? And you have the balls to extend the age limit to 85? Surely you mean 55, you know, before a public health system becomes a priority and the sins of the employer can be visited upon the public purse.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          One other point. Labour continually insists on viewing young voters as uni fucking students. This is partly the fault of Young Labour, which as a sector appears to be at least 50% pol sci undergrads gunning for a Parliamentary Services job.

          Labour even has a more total disconnect with other youth outside of the university setting. Unemployed, underemployed, school leavers, tradies, those at polytech etc.

          • BLiP

            . . . appears to be at least 50% pol sci undergrads gunning for a Parliamentary Services job . . .

            The ultimate is bamboozling an LEC with their wonderfulness and become a parliamentarian – À la Fa’foi – but, yeah, a job within the government machine is what universities teach now. Its a career option within the management dynamic. After all, those who care about others is just another market segment worthy of exploitation.

  31. quartz 31

    I’m going to wait until I go to the hustings but I’m probably going to give my top two votes to Little and Parker as they’re the only two who have done us the courtesy of coming to the Standard and talking to people.

    • lprent 31.1

      I’m pretty sure that we will see others.

      But we really don’t have time or the inclination to chase.

      If you are helping out on the other candidates teams, then talk them into it and drop us a line. We will put any candidates posts up…

    • wekarawshark 31.2

      Didn’t Robertson post here last time?

      I’d love to see Mahuta do a Q and A.

    • miravox 31.3

      I think I agree with you quartz, but Parker then Little for the clarity of answers from Parker.

      There wasn’t much I disagreed with from Parker (although I was pretty biased against his candidacy due to my preference for Cunliffe and my belief that he was poorly served by his deputy). I was surprised and pleased Parker was upfront about his views on abortion law reform and he detailed some of his concerns about state housing, rather than a generic ‘we build more’, but with no specifics about for who.

      Having said that, I’d like to see a bit more on state housing from all the candidates though and I think I’ll leave it a little while before deciding – just in case there’s another bad case of painter on the roof or an ‘I care about the environment, but deep-sea drilling will bring in lots of money’ etc, etc.

  32. RedLogixFormes 32


    I’ve thought about this for a few hours now. This is not about winning 2017. It may not even be about 2020.

    It’s about who can shepherd Labour into a new form that stands a chance in 2023. When Key finally gets utterly bored witless and resigns.

    This transformation requires four ingredients; good heart, good ideas, good people and good funding. Labour is in big trouble on all these fronts, a recovery will be both difficult and uncertain.

    Labour needs a uniting custodian, not a rampaging leader. Labour needs time to regroup and allow a new generation to throw up it’s inspirational leader and vision.

    Who is most likely to gain the loyalty of the Party for such a project? Who could sustain two more election loses and still command? My gut feeling is that Parker and Robertson are the only ones who could sustain such a role.

    Little would try and be Prime Minister and fail. I just don’t know enough about Mahuta to rate her.

    1. Robertson
    2. Parker
    3. Little
    4. Mahuta

    • Colonial Rawshark 32.1

      Your reasoning is sound. Winning in 2017 as a goal will probably end with three distinct outcomes: a loss, a party which has not reconditioned and repurposed itself, and yet another leadership primary.

      But none of these people listed can lead the Labour Party to success, because the NZ Labour Party has no idea of what it is meant to be doing in the 21st century. Or what needs to be done, urgently, while there is still some time. Other than administering a mildly kinder form of capitalism month to month.

      • Halcyon 32.1.1

        Right on the button bro. Before Labour can win it needs to develop an idea of what being in the 21st Century is all about. Leadership is meaningless unless Labour knows where its support base is and what policies are needed to attract votes from that group.

  33. les 33

    there seems to be a consensus among the party faithfull that Labour have no show of winning in 2017….not exactly inspiring is it?

    • RedLogixFormes 33.1


      On the other hand being delusionally optimistic about Labour’s chances is not a bright strategy either.

      There’s always the chance of the unexpected in politics, but frankly Labour are struggling with their unity, their funding, their branding and a non-stop headwind in the media.

      And none of these candidates look like having a prayer against Key. So plan accordingly.

    • Sirenia 33.2

      I think it is very possible. But depends a lot on who the party picks now. They have to be able engage with the public.

  34. Tiger Mountain 34

    I see red… David Parker’s true colours?

    Look I am not voting in this not being a Labour member, my partner is and will vote.
    Not voting is “demanding to be ignored” as John Lydon puts it.

    But, I would say…
    1.–Little–dependable, experienced, can have a makeover before 2017 if he gets those “not intending to stand next time” letters coming in
    2.–Mahuta–of the working class, big votes, represents a constituency that does vote Labour, why should they be ignored again?
    3.–Robertson–attractive on the surface, more ‘blokey’ than Key, but not left enough
    4.–Parker–backstabber (not that that is a rare quality), out of touch e.g. super at 67

    But whoever leads Labour has to play with others better, putting resources into sinking Harawira was a nadir, when other electorates had weak campaigns. FPP is decades gone.

    • Halcyon 34.1

      Correct Tiger, Labour members need to understand that FPP is long gone. These days a good number of voters exercise strategic voting. We will vote “against” a party rather than vote “for” a party. This places importance on policies. Put forward a policy that is rejected and the party loses votes.

      And don’t think better explanation of the policy will help. No matter how well the explanation is, if the policy is not acceptable it will result in lost votes.

    • Jenny Kirk 34.2

      Yes – Tiger Mountain – I was astounded to read Parker’s comments in the Herald this morning. He comes across as wanting to “package” the “message” better – its all about presentation. And nothing, according to him, that the message was crap.

      He also doesn’t seem to have picked up that the message (whether crap or not) was over-shadowed by all the back-stabbing and white-anting that went on in caucus, behind the scenes, over Cunliffe. People didn’t vote Labour because they saw all the in-fighting continuing.

      So – back to LPrent’s dilemma. Personally I want someone in charge who can deal to the ABCs. Who can insist the NZ Council (in hopefully a much revised form) will deal to any of the ABCs who continue their underhand sneaky ways. Until Labour sorts out its internal house, and is firm with the naysayers, then we are doomed to stay in opposition.

      It seems to me that Andrew Little could well have the skills, experiences in union organisation and background to do handle this problem best. He’s not the smoothest of talkers, nor does he present the best – but his “image” and TV presentation can be worked on later. Right now we need a Leader who can sort out that damned caucus!

      • Karen 34.2.1

        To be fair, I don’t think Parker was saying the only problem was the packaging and I suspect there has been some selective quoting from Trevett. However, I also think there were some big problems with the design of billboards, pamphlets and the advertising campaign as a whole.

        I do agree that the disunity in caucus was a major turn off for voters and needs to be dealt with. Little is the only one I can see being tough enough to deal to those within caucus who put their own self interest before that of the party.

        • Clemgeopin

          While little may be acceptable to the caucus and members, will he be warm enough to be able to attract the vast general population to vote for him and the Labour party? That is a crucial question because it is the country elects the party to govern, not just the labour members who elect the leader.

    • SHG 34.3

      Mahuta–of the working class

      Errrr what

  35. Forrest 35

    I listened to Mike Williams on National radio on Monday morning. His opinion was he could not see why Labour are rushing to appoint a new leader now.
    They have just appointed a team to analyse what went wrong, who will not be reporting back until after the new leader is chosen.
    He argued why not wait for their findings, and continue with an ‘acting’ leader in the interim.
    He also commented that the fact that the review team will be headed by Brian Gould and not Michael Cullen sends a message.

  36. Jenny Kirk 36

    And then there is this, LPrent. The question I’m asking myself is : Could Nanaia be the person who could bang heads together in that caucus ? The choice between 1 and 2 is difficult to make. Maybe I’ll wait until after the hustings meeting.

    Nanaia Mahuta: In it to win, not just to be Labour deputy leader


    As far as I’m concerned, both Parker and Robertson have shown themselves to be back-stabbers as well as being egoists – its just a matter of which one goes last, and Parker’s comments in this morning’s Herald about Labour being too red have nailed it !

    Our voting papers haven’t been arrived yet …… I wonder if they’re being sent out in batches, or in regions, or whatever. Will wait and see.

    • lprent 36.1

      She has been in caucus for 18 years.

      One of my real criteria is an ability to run that damn caucus. I got really really tired of trying to explain each thicko off-message stupidity popping out from caucus members over the last 7 years. Sure I understand the pressure cooker nature of the place. That is why I avoid it.

      But when you start running a blog you become acutely aware of how these appear to people outside the beltway. They might only notice 1 in 5 screwup, gaffe or “senior anonymous figure”, but they make a damn judgement on just that one.

      I’d really prefer to be able to return to simply ignoring the occasional error of judgement. But for the moment, I prefer the hellfire toast route. I think it is about the only way that they will learn.

    • Olwyn 36.2

      I am having similar problems Jenny. I have my voting papers but I will not vote until after the hustings meeting. I think one of the main problems lying behind Labour’s current tensions is the fact that bargaining power of the entire Labour constituency has been systematically weakened, with projected changes to the labour laws set to weaken it further.

      This leaves Labour MP’s with no one to put real pressure on them apart from the right wing media and potential funding sources. The inability of the membership to give them pause has been shown by their treatment of Cunliffe, and some of them no doubt think they need to attract a new kind of member whose needs are more consistent with those of the big donors, as well as the media’s bias.

      Bearing this in mind, both Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta stand out insofar as they have backing from, and so are answerable to, important fixed parts of Labour’s core constituency. Hence they are far less likely to be seduced into treating the party like their own little fund-raising, influence-garnering project.

      • lprent 36.2.1

        It is a problem for myself as well. If the politicians don’t listen to the whole of their party, then why would I bother to work for them? Or even bother supporting them. Quite frankly that is my current view of how the caucus is at present and why I have been steadily been pulling away from decades of work for the party.

        Of course the converse is also true. You could argue about capture by interest groups and not having enough focus on simply winning votes. That basis would be that it is of little use to be ideologically pure and unable to take the treasury benches – effectively the position that the Greens used to have.

        The problem with that idea is that I haven’t exactly seen Labour MPs shifting off their arses a lot chasing vote either. Trying to get them to focus on winning the election by starting at the right time (ie right now) has been one of those things that we hear words and no real work. That got hugely irritating to me after 2008.

        Instead like all charmers, they seem to think that it’ll all be right on the night and if they smile and kiss a few babies that people will vote for them. It really doesn’t work that way. You need to start early and keep pushing hard for years for even that approach to work. Or you have to have a party organisation in place to help do it for you.

        Basically the Labour caucus looks like amateur hour for anyone like myself who has spent their career pushing projects – most of which worked.

        It is a hard question, and one that I really don’t have an answer to.

        • Olwyn

          Ideally of course I would like to see Labour politicians listening to the whole of their party, and I agree that special interest groups can involve capture. But I said what I did about Little and Mahuta because Labour MP’s seem never to be confronted with a force they can’t ignore except when it comes from the right. Their failure to listen to the membership shows this – they do not think they have to listen to them. The unions and the Maori section of Labour may have a better show of leading the charge in exerting that force than the membership as whole, who can be spoken of in ‘broad church’ terms and then ignored.

  37. Dorothy 37

    Think about the observations of dave brown L PRENT they are wise.

  38. Dorothy 38

    Nanaia and her voters are solid loyal and tough. they do not participate in denigration and back stabbing.
    what qualities.
    I have always been impressed by how Nanaia deals with racism and chauvinism tough but with dignity.
    For me that is leadership. I think that she had great teachers and was brought up for this role.

  39. boyonlaptop 39

    Yes and who did they come third to? The Greens.

    Little/Cunliffe supporters can’t have it both ways you can’t simultaneously claim the party vote is all candidates should be judged on in an MMP environment and simultaneously ignore the greens party vote. A party vote lost to the Greens is not the same as a party vote lost to National when forming a coalition government. However, if you still want to push the party vote line we could look at the absolutely dismal results Labour has achieved in New Plymouth under Little’s leadership.

    Furthermore, I think voters were much more likely reflecting on the leadership nationally then on a local level when making a decision. When I party voted Green in 2011 a few years back it had nothing to do with my local Labour candidate who is a great local MP but due to the leadership of Phil Goff which I thought was lacking. By this same bizzare logic, National in government has very little to do with Key but with electoral MPs like Coleman, Bridges, McCully, Tolley and Wagner. All who did well with the party vote in their electorates but are hardly fantastic electoral MPs.

  40. Karen 40

    Is anybody going to the first of the candidates meetings in Wellington tonight who could provide a report?

    I live in Auckland where the last 3 meetings will be held, but am interested in how the candidates respond to audience questions at the beginning of this campaign, and how they change their positions (if they do).

    I thought Parker did better on the Standard Q & A than Little, but he really fucked up with his interview with the Herald. Even though I think what he said was to some degree taken out of context, he really should have known that it would be. Mahuta managed to come across as both strong and charming, but I don’t think she will win the leadership contest. Hopefully she will become deputy.

    I don’t trust Robertson – his ambition to be leader seems all encompassing, and I also cannot forgive him in his post election interview going along with the criticism of Cunliffe saying “sorry for being a man.”

    • Sirenia 40.1

      It was a crowded meeting – probably about 800 people there. Well organised. Much better than the last time we were in the same hall – was it only a year ago? That time Shane Jones treated it like a big joke. All the candidates spoke extremely well and basically agreed with each other. Only real disagreement was on Capital Gains Tax with Little against it and Parker for. All referred to the horror of the anti-worker legislation going through Parliament tonight. Grant referred to the underpinning collective principles of Labour and how important they were for the Party generally.

      Several union members I talked to were voting tonight as union members and again as members later – seemed a little unfair.

      Best speaker/orator and with a better grasp of all the issues in the Q and A was Grant. Nanaia was impressive, haven’t heard her speak before. Talked about rebuilding trust following the Foreshore and seabed issue and how tough that had been. David Parker talked a lot about economic fairness and Andrew Little reminded me of some of the old union leaders – hints of Jim Knox even.

      David Parker asked people to be kinder to each other in the party. Perhaps we could start on this blog.

      • Colonial Rawshark 40.1.1

        I wish Caucus would lead by example.

      • quartz 40.1.2

        I went there with an open mind and was immensely impressed by Andrew Little. He was easily the most charismatic of the four and the most authentic and funny. I was predisposed to him because I like his politics but I was surprised to see him shine like that.

        Grant was very careful and polished but didn’t show a lot of passion. His speech was more like a really good speech to a wedding reception or a rugby club wind-up than a leader speech.

        Nanaia was solid but a bit low-key. She said a lot of good things but need to speak in less of a monotone.

        David Parker was a disappointment. He got caught up in details and was a bit shouty. I thought his speech to congress was much better.

  41. Jules 41

    I’m not voting till after the hustings either. I too see considerable qualities in all the candidates, and issues with each too.

    Judging by the comments here, Little and Mahuta seem to be the members favourites. I hope for the party this proves to be wrong where Little is concerned. Much as I like certain of his qualities, none of them can overcome the fact that he will be a disaster in camera. He’s vague, muddled, and the media – and national will make mincemeat of him.

  42. Chris 42

    Get Little in to fix the party by getting it back to its traditional left values while at the same time look for a proper leader for the next election who can be PM to take over once Little’s fixed things up. Easy.

    • Colonial Rawshark 42.1

      Not saying that I agree with you exactly, but THANK FRAK someone here is thinking strategically. Well done.

  43. geoff 43

    Ok Lynn, here’s my argument to you for why you should vote for Andrew Little.

    Without trying to create a flame war….I think Little is the only candidate that has both the courage of his convictions AND the political instinct to make sure those convictions are the correct ones to get Labour into government.

    I don’t know enough about Mahuta to comment but Robertson strikes me as more of a politician of convenience rather than conviction. Parker I suspect does have firm principles but his instincts have proven to be off.

    You say you are looking for the right blend of candidates and I would argue that Little is that right blend. He has the political instinct of Robertson and the firm principles of Parker.

    Sold? ;P

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