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Labour has a leadership contest

Written By: - Date published: 3:58 pm, September 27th, 2014 - 196 comments
Categories: labour, leadership - Tags:

Labour national campaign launch-17

David Cunliffe will not go quietly.  Although he has resigned as Labour’s leader he intends to stand again for the position.

He has made the following statement:

I have today decided to resign the leadership of the Labour Party, effective from the end of caucus on Tuesday.

The party has suffered an historic election loss and in resigning as leader I take responsibility for that.

The party will review all the contributing factors. That process has begun and I give it my full support.

Labour’s values are New Zealand’s values. But the election result has reinforced that the Labour Party must change in order to uphold and communicate those values.

I was elected one year ago with a mandate to lead change.

In that time I have worked to pull the party and caucus together and put every resource available to the service of the campaign.

Clearly there is much more to do, and the party’s direction must be respected. There is no room for division or airing differences through the media despite agreement to the contrary.

The recent election confirms that Labour needs a more comprehensive overhaul.

We need to renew and rebuild our culture, accountabilities, how we do things and present to the world.

Achieving that in time for the 2017 election will require experienced and determined leadership with a broad mandate.

Whatever decisions are made must be in the best interests of New Zealand to have a strong and vital Labour Party.

The Party’s interests must come before any personal interests. I have thought carefully before responding to the calls to re-offer myself for the leadership of the party.

Consultation with colleagues, members and affiliates has affirmed that the whole party must participate in this choice, and not just one part of it.

Therefore I am announcing today that I will nominate for a primary contest, which will be held across the caucus, the party membership and the affiliates as the party constitution requires.

The process is a matter for the party Council, but the work we have begun towards creating a better country with opportunities for all New Zealanders must be fast tracked.

I would like to take this moment once again to thank my family and friends, my parliamentary colleagues, my office staff, my electorate committee, staff and volunteers, and the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who voted Labour and who believe that Labour is a vital part of New Zealand’s future.

It is a privilege to lead the Labour Party. It is a great and proud party. It has the best interests of all New Zealanders at heart.

It has the values needed to create a fairer and more progressive society. I intend with the endorsement of the Party, to lead Labour to victory in 2017 so we can implement them.

I am now going to resume a long-booked family holiday until Monday evening and won’t be available for further media comment.

Thank-you. Kia kaha.

Interesting times …

If you wish to become a member of the Labour Party and be eligible to vote then you can join online here but will need to before next Tuesday to be sure.

196 comments on “Labour has a leadership contest ”

  1. Rodel 1

    Good decision. I will stay also. Forget the Watkins, Garners, and all the other media anti-Cunliffe trolls with their pseudo predictions.. Hang in there David.

    • jeff 1.1


      I would also like to add, David Cunliffe should walk into the next caucus meetting with a copy of the oxford dictionary in hand, with the word SOLIDARITY highlighted in florescent Orange. Also a copy of Hiawatha so his so called friends(the scabby ones) can read the words from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
      ( Just a reminder for those members of the Labour Party that cant read.)

      “All your strength in is your union. All your danger is in discord.
      Therefore be at peace henceforward, And as brothers live together.”

      jeff 1152903

    • Granted 1.2

      As a potential leader of the party for the next three years (or more) Cunliffe has been through so much more than any other MP in terms of what a leader will be faced with.

      He should keep the leadership for that reason (his steep learning curve just endured), plus the fact there are no credible alternatives.

      If Key was hit by a bus tomorrow (I do not wish this on anyone), there might be 1 or 2 credible contenders to replace him.

      There are few people who have the ability to successfully lead a political party.

      However….the ability to win a TV debate should not be a reason to be considered as a leader. Debating is for parliament (a joke most times), year 12, and TV shows and does not reflect leadership ability.

      NZ needs urgently a credible opposition with credible policy.

    • Chris 1.3

      Just because he’s the best Labour can muster at the moment doesn’t mean he’s the best man for the job. Blame for this sits with the caucus of course, but is there really a possibility that the ABCs can change their spots? I don’t think so, which means a Cunliffe led Labour will always be divided.

  2. Rosie 2

    Man. David Cunliffe has continued to endure so much crap from the media and the ABCer’s and he’s handled it all with such dignity, patience and grace. It’s a sign of what a great leader he would be. He is also determined, intelligent and compassionate. He needs to be running our country.

    Am seriously considering signing up as a Labour member so I can vote for him, despite forever shying away from aligning myself from a party. My reluctance is around the chance of him not winning and then being associated with a party I could not support without him as leader, let alone vote for. It was David Cunliffe as leader and this year’s policy announcements that brought me back to being an enthusiastic Labour voter. Last time I voted Labour it was out of desperation. The time before that I voted Green.

    “Are you the right man for me?” You sure are Dave! (Cocteau Twins, Bluebeard)

    “Or are you toxic for me?”

    You sure are media and ABCer’s!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Cocteau Twins 🙂

      Normally I hate jangly guitar music. Perhaps it’s the chord progressions in the vocals 🙂

      • Rosie 2.1.1

        Liz Faser’s vocals are angelic combined with Robin Guthrie’s spangle guitar. I had forgotten about the Cocteau Twins but Bluebeard popped into my mind as I have been thinking for quite some now, how right DC is for the leader’s position.

        Going to get all my old CD’s out now go on a Cocteau Twins bender.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Treasure is still on my playlist after all these years 🙂

          Sincere apologies to moderators for the completely off-topic diversion.

    • lurgee 2.2

      Not sure Bluebeard is really a helpful reference, in politics or romance.

  3. Hamish 3

    Well there goes any chance of unity…

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      A few by-elections will fix that.

      • Not a PS Staffer 3.1.1

        Last time around Cunliffe did the decent Kiwi thing, offered an olive branch and included Shearer Robertson et al in top roles. And they did not play ball.

        This time around the Party has to expel those who bring the party into disrepute. Robertson and Shearer have already done so oin the way they was spoken in the media.

        • lurgee

          You appreciate you are talking about electorate MPs? Put there by the will of their constituents? You can’t just fling them out and not expect to be utterly destroyed by forcing by-elections on the electorates. THEY have chosen who they want to reperesent them. A centralised party defying that decision because of factional squabbling would utterly deserve to be obliterated.

          I think a few people have gone a bit mad here.

          • Lanthanide

            They could be expelled from the party, reducing Labour’s seats in Parliament…

          • In Vino

            How many of these electorates were closely contested – or are the ABC’s occupying safe Labour seats for the large part?

            It was once said that a lobotomized donkey could be put up in the Raglan electorate, and, provided it was the National candidate, it would be elected.

            If most of the ABC’s are in safe Labour seats, might not many of those voters be Cunliffe-supporters anyway, and a number of the rest similar to the Raglan voters?

            Not sure you have much of a point there, Lurgee.

          • adam

            Really you going to harp on some right wing line there lurgee? What a load of codswallop – there will be no by-elections. What you buying into is fear mongering – do you!?

            If kicked out of the labour party they will remain their seat in parliament – think John A Lee or Chris Charter. And bugger me, both still held onto their electorates.

            But please lurgee what madness? Please explain I’m quite interested it’s a pretty inflammatory comment to make with no substance.

            • lurgee

              I was responding to a comment made further up the thread, by Colonial Viper (who should know better, as he aspires to be an MP):

              A few by-elections will fix that.

              If anyone is being inflammatory, it is he, not I.

        • Hami Shearlie

          Yes, Robertson and TF-TF (two-faced two-fish) have not shown that they have any respect for the party members or their choice of leader – Shearer made two unforgiveable errors when leader – he slated beneficiaries AND he had secret meetings with John Key – as far as I am concerned. once the meetings with Key were revealed he should have been out on his ear!

          • JAMESMAXTON

            Not only that but Shearer could not string three words together without a emm or a ahh.
            The day the Labour party elects Grant Robertson as leader will bed a sad day for the left.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      The fact of a leadership election isn’t evidence of disunity – the Greens have them every year.

      The problem is the disunity, not the general.

      Sun Tzu’s way was to execute those who wouldn’t or couldn’t follow the generals’ orders. Perhaps a few by-elections are the way to go.

      • Tom Gould 3.2.1

        Stalin would be proud of you. CV and OAB. Kill those who fail to follow your orders. And folks wonder why Cunliffe struggles to get 5 votes in his caucus.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Ask Don Brash about ‘ staying behind to join the new team’

          He got the message quick. FU Don Brash. So he joined ACT ….

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          😆 Tom, can you not spot a metaphor when you see one?

          Sun Tzu’s phenomenal achievement is a work of great subtlety; it was Lao Tzu who said that one who cannot laugh cannot learn.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    All the power to you David Cunliffe. Many of us including myself, will back you 100% on the road back to the Labour leadership, but you have to do it better, stronger and more decisively for NZ this time. There will be no other chances given either for you or for ourselves to avoid a Tory 2017.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      Election loss Helen 2008 – 7% party vote

      Election loss David 2014 – 2.8%

      Down is not good but it has to be seen in perspective

  5. DC for PM 5

    DC supporters – PLEASE JOIN THE PARTY TODAY TO ENSURE YOU GET A VOTE IN THE LEADERSHIP CONTEST! The Labour Caucus needs to be purged of the destructive ABC Caucus, which does not represent the interests or social democratic left-wing values of the ordinary Kiwis who voted for Labour, nor the 900,000 non-voters. We have an incredible opportunity now to get the public to get to know David better over the next three years. If we don’t get DC reinstated, Labour is destined to fail spectacularly in 2017, and Greens will become the biggest opposition party.
    Everyone can say what they like about Jacinda Adern, but she’s not ready yet.
    David Shearer and Grant Robertson are too right-wing and come across as Wellington bureaucrats, and they don’t have the firepower,grassroots support base, social vision for NZ or debating skills to take on FJK.

    • Bill 5.1

      We have an incredible opportunity now to get the public to get to know David better…

      No. The perceptions of the general public aren’t shaped by you or by me, but by the ooze coming out of their TV set every night; the slime crawling out from the radio and by the muck raking headlines smeared across major newspapers.

      If DC is re-elected as leader he has to hard serve every last one of the bastards who operate in those spheres. He also has to (to continue with the vague FZ references) floppy boot stomp every single last ABC wannabe within caucus.

      And see, I’m just not so sure he has it in him. I suspect he has led a life whereby merit, decency and honesty have sufficed and prevailed in the end. To be clear, I’m not for a moment suggesting he should ditch any of those attributes, but he needs to add steel to his armoury.

      If he doesn’t or can’t, we’ll just get a re-run of the past year, stretched out over three.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1


        First the Cocteau twins and now FZ. Happy place 🙂

      • DC for PM 5.1.2

        Totally agree Bill – I think he does have the steel in him though. A lesser man would have given up already.
        He tried to be reasonable and reunify the Caucus last August, thinking they were adults who were capable of showing loyalty and to put the interests of the country first, and to respect the wishes of the party members and unions.
        Now he has seen their true colours, and he’ll be ready to kick them into touch. A good clean-out of the Caucus has been well overdue since 1984.
        Those bastards are the ones who should have resigned, not DC.
        This leadership contest just became a case of double-or-quits.

        • Bill

          I think he does have the steel in him though. A lesser man would have given up already.He tried to be reasonable and reunify the Caucus last August…

          Well, as I said at the time, that was a massive tactical faux pas in my book – and not indicative of having anything in the way of steel. (I think my comment at the time ran along the lines of if he gave them enough rope they’d garrotte him. Anyway.)

          So my question is why did he try to accommodate them? I remember him suggesting that (paraphrasing) anyone not ‘on the bus’ at that time, should ‘do the honourable thing’… like that was ever going to happen in the case of people variously clipping tickets, troughing and paying off debts.

          I absently wonder whether he asked Helen Clark for advice and then reran her tactic from a different time and a different set of circumstances. When the (later to become) ABCs were still powerful, it made sense to keep them close and contained. So, for example, promote Cullen to deputy. But when they were in terminal decline, as was the case when David Cunliffe took over, the last thing anyone with half an ounce of savvy between their ears would have done is precisely what David Cunliffe did.

          They should have been backbenched. All of them. They (as far as possible) should have been plummeted down the list for this election just past. They should have been publicly hauled across the coals each and every time whoever within caucus leaked.

          And so on.

          Instead DC accommodated, apologised, back footed (himself), listened – or so it seems – to whatever wormtongue had his ear from the ABC faction and…fucked up.

          edit – doggedly determined…simply not giving up… is not the same as having steel. The former requires no great guile, fortitude or intelligence and can even be aided and abetted by possessing a fair degree of innate stupidity.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.3

        Yep, he’s been nice long enough, now he has to bear the steel fist within the silk glove.

        But even that comes down to one thing: Does the Labour party have the procedures to remove those who are white-anting it?

        • Bill

          I don’t think the mechanisms exist. So, until internal mechanisms are developed or structural changes made, the best that can be done is to pursue a process of marginalisation. Backbench the lot of them, and publicly ‘horsewhip’ the wee ABC fckers whenever anyone (ABC or not) steps out of line in some anonymous fashion (ie – unfavourable reports that begin, “a caucus member told me…”my contacts within caucus inform me…”a senior member of caucus has disclosed…).

      • word 5.1.4

        @Bill. David Cunliffe has shown without doubt, that he has steel alright. Never seen anyone withstand the vicious and ferocious assaults dished out by the media and the national party on a daily basis like Cunliffe has endured and continues to do so, and yet here he is, still standing, always ready to continue the fight, always calm, confident and resolute. Im so impressed with David Cunliffe, given a chance he will make a very good and strong leader, not just for the labour party but for this country too. I would like to see David Cunliffe win the leadership again, he deserves a second chance.

        How long do you think shallow John key and his inflated ego would have lasted if he had of been on the receiving end by the pitbull media tearing him apart like they have done to David Cunliffe? key would have been reduced to a snivelling heap in 2 mins flat.

        • Bill

          Endurance is no more than doggedness through adversity. Steel is about dominating or controlling a situation – essentially facing shit down if need be.

          So here’s a thing. Do you think Cunliffe has it in him to call it as it is?

          Will he, can he, call the ABCers for what they are and broadcast it as ‘a spade is a spade’? Can he, will he, call the media on their bullshit in such a way that they won’t try their bullshit on him?

          It’s a big ask.

          But if he doesn’t have that in him, then there is no point in putting any store in him.

          edit – the curse of Cunliffe is that he suffers from essential middle class sensibilities, not that he’s wrong per se.

          • word

            @Bill, I dont think it had anything to do with “endurance” as you put it, in fact, that’s a put down. Its more to do with having an incredible strength of character, and beliefs. I think David Cunliffe has got what it takes and is worth backing, and if he gets that mandate he’s looking for, he will have 3 years ahead of him to make some good much needed changes, which time couldn’t afford him the first time round.

        • Chooky

          +100 word

        • Absolutly correct Word . To come out fighting after all the vicious attacks David has had to endure proves he is a real leader/. Let’s hurry up and get this leadership election going .Then down to the real job off attacking this strong but dangerous government.
          A few questions to ask each other,Is it time to have some positive amalgamation with the Green’s ? I tend to think so because we will not beat this lot with a divided Left.
          We also have to find a way to explain our policies and to counter -attack the powerfull Right-Wing press. The Herald and its friends gave the Nats so much publicity ,it must have been worth a mint . However for the time being lest get this very important leadership election over ,

    • Chooky 5.2

      how do you join up?….just wondering…can you do it on line?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.3

      Thats silly , Robertson is not right wing. You are just a silly national sock puppet

    • lurgee 5.4

      Cunliffe comes across as no different to Robertson or Shearer – he’s a professional politician, just like them, and part of the monied, highly educated elite, just like them. He doesn’t speak to the ‘missing million’ – you may have noticed they didn’t show up last week.

      ‘Purging’ people because they don’t agree with your choice of leader is either infantile or evil. Take your pick.

      Most of these people you want to ‘purge’ were selected by their electorates as their M.P. If you defy the will of the people like that, expect t be punished. You’ve already had a demonstration that they like their M.P. more than the party he / she represents.

      You really don’t get this democracy thing, do you?

      • Bill 5.4.1

        I don’t think Cunliffe is a professional/careerist politician like either Robertson or Shearer is.

        No parliamentary party that is bound and gagged by the received notion of what is ‘acceptable’ within our current neo-classical context will ever ‘speak to’ the missing million. And that number will only rise.

        I don’t know what you mean by ‘purging’. But marginalising careerists, if that’s in line with the wishes of the wider party, and deselecting them via democratic, party led mechanisms, if they refuse to ‘move on’, is a process I wouldn’t associate with the term.

        • Vaughan Little

          I’d call the blatanly venal Dunne a careerist. Others may be career politicians but there’s nothing wrong with that of itself.

          • Bill

            With all due respect, I think you need to read Hager and his definition of the ‘professional’ politician to see where I’m coming from when I refer to a ‘careerist’.

      • In Vino 5.4.2


        As I remember, Trevor Mallard did not only lose a lot of party votes for Labour – he damned near lost a formerly safe Labour electorate.

        I still don’t follow your reasoning, Lurgee.

        • lurgee

          That’s one possible narrative. And if you’re going to look at it that way, Cunliffe has managed to more than halve his majority since 2005 (8000 to less than 40000).

          Alternately, it could be argued Mallard (and Cunliffe) managed to retain their seats seat due to their personal appeal to the local electorate; while the party they represent was being rejected.

          For what it is worth, both Cunliffe and Mallard lost the party vote to National in 2014 and 2011. So if that’s your measure of a candidates viability …

      • Vaughan Little 5.4.3

        Robertson, Shearer and Cunliffe got to where they are today by having huge intelligence, talent for leadership and compassion. None of them are monied in the sense of being born with silver spoons in their mouths.

        They’re professional politicians cos they get paid to do their jobs. I can’t see how anyone could reasonably expect them to do what they do as volunteers.

        Cunliffe speaks directly to the missing million, if they don’t want to listen, it really is their loss. All of us on the left need to think about how to get non-voters engaged, because our ethos builds nations while tories are happy to wreck the precious things we have inherited. But don’t blame Cunliffe for failing to engage non-voters unless you have a track record for engaging them.

        It seems to me that you’re simply bitching about our leaders being wealthy and being unable to do what you yourself can’t do, let alone anyone else. Please be a bit more generous to these guys. If nothing else, they honestly do care about their country.

        • lurgee

          Have you not read the comments being directed at Robertson, Shearer?

          If you’re calling for generosity towards ‘these guys’ then you’re going to be very, very busy, because there are plenty of comments hereabouts that make mine pale into insignificance.

  6. Michael 6

    Meanwhile, the National Party are enjoying this. Why can’t the caucus realise that voters will not consider voting for Labour while they spend their entire time fighting each other, instead of for the country.

    Goff, King, Cunliffe and Mallard should all resign from Parliament. Labour should be shifting its electable candidates to Mt Roskill, New Lynn, Wainuiomata and Newtown now!

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      havent you heard of Judith Collins?

      or Maurice Williamson?

      Plus in his new cabinet bound be a few ‘dead wood’ sawed off.

    • George Hendry 6.2

      “Attack in the dark, land one blow and walk away while your enemies go on fighting each other.” Good tactic. National used it but substituted the one blow with an attack by a platoon of mercenaries. And here we are ‘fighting’ each other on this site.

      “To be freedom of speech it must include the right to say something silly”.

      That this blogsite is full of disagreement is essentially healthy – a place we can learn how to disagree agreeably. Trolls assist in this by showing us how low we might fall without their bad examples to remind us. And we have vigilant moderators – the game’s rules will be enforced.

      Mr Cunliffe’s strategy : gain leadership with huge endorsement from members and unions. Contest election – seem to fail big time. By resigning cause ‘snap election’ to see if member and union support is still there. If it isn’t, means members attribute loss to factors outside party. If it is, members attribute loss to wayward caucus and he has stronger mandate to deal with them.

      Continue to be kicked while apparently down, counting on the perceptive to see the abuse as the provocateur-egged mob overplaying its hand.

    • Michael 6.3

      This is the best possible time for Labour to clean house and get rid of its National-lite members. By the time the next election comes around, everyone will have forgotten about it. Hopefully, a Labour caucus committed to the Party’s values and principles will then be in place to present an alternative government to the people.

    • lurgee 6.4

      Meanwhile, the National Party are enjoying this. Why can’t the caucus realise that voters will not consider voting for Labour while they spend their entire time fighting each other, instead of for the country.

      Goff, King, Cunliffe and Mallard should all resign from Parliament. Labour should be shifting its electable candidates to Mt Roskill, New Lynn, Wainuiomata and Newtown now!

      This is a joke, yeah?

      You call for an end to fighting and then demand that people you disagree with resign (never mind they have just been re-elected!). That’s not really saying you want to end the fighting. It’s just saying you want your side to win.

      And what is the point in shuffling candidates around electorates? The problem is the failure to win PARTY VOTE.

      • The Al1en 6.4.1

        Goff king and mallard should all have been moved on in 2008.
        Never mind the results, the pension plans and reduced price family air travel will compensate.

  7. Mahatma Gandhi said:

    First, they ignore you;
    Then, they laugh at you;
    Then, they fight you;
    Then, you win.

  8. swordfish 8

    Things are going to be pretty tight. I get the impression the new post-Election caucus has fewer Cunliffe supporters (proportionately) than last year. He’s gonna need the membership and affiliate vote to stay absolutely rock solid, if not actually increase a little.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Nope – whoever gets elected the best strategy is that the whole team – caucus, members, affiliates – has to support them, no matter how narrow the margin.

      Culture beats strategy every time – does Labour have a shared culture or not?

      • swordfish 8.1.1

        No, I’m talking about the vote in the Primary (in order for Cunliffe to remain leader in the first place).

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Sure, and the goal is to win the 2017 election, and the one after that, not the leadership of the Labour Party. You and I evidently agree that Cunliffe is a good choice, or at least the worst possible choice apart from all the other ones.

          We might just have to take supporting roles, eh. Hope not.

    • Karen 8.2

      I think you are right re caucus having fewer Cunliffe supporters than last time, though I think Mallard will be gone once the specials are counted.

    • lurgee 8.3

      I think he’ll lose ground, and quite a lot of it, in all three areas. You can’t lead your party to less than 25% in the polls and not cop some blame for it, fairly or unfairly. He should realise this, but perhaps ego or wounded pride or an inaccurate estimation of his campaigning ability is blinding him to the obvious.

      Shearer went with a bit of grace and without further damaging the party. Cunliffe should study his example.

      • Hanswurst 8.3.1

        It depends whom the unions and the membership blame. If the sentiment of “This man is the leader you chose, and [other candidate] has been undermining him” is stronger than the blame you suggest, then he may even increase his share of the vote. I’m not saying that will happen, but your blissful certainty as a soft-Labour rightie is somewhat unwarranted in the face of a party base that showed a clear preference for the left less than one year ago.

        • lurgee

          I’m a realist who understands his desires do not match with the desires of the electorate. So I accept the necessity of compromise, as I’d sooner Labour was in power and implementing some policy I agree with, than out of power and implementing nothing.

          • The Al1en

            ” his desires do not match with the desires of the electorate.”

            What do you say about 20=1 in caucus not matching the desires of the membership and affiliates?

            If it’s the people in the party with a problem, just say so.
            If it’s the disloyal abc old guard who’s out of touch, join the chorus.

            • lurgee

              I was talking about the difference between my personal social / political opinions and the social / political opinions of New Zealanders, and the necessity of reaching a compromise to win power.

              (Or resorting to violent revolution and a revolutionary vanguard imposing a dictatorship of the lurgeetariat on New Zealand, but we know how these things tend to end …)

              Not the Byzantine electoral system by which Labour produces its leaders.

  9. ianmac 9

    I just signed up as a member of the LP. I donated small amounts during the election to Greens and Labour but not sure if that included membership. Anyway Go David! (Not the Shearer one though.)

    • Chooky 9.1

      +100..i am thinking of joining the Greens again…but know people who vote Labour and were once activists…trying to get them to rejoin Labour

  10. Marksman33 10

    So I just rejoined the Labour Party , I have been screwed over once this month, I’m fucked if I am going to be screwed over again. To the ABCers, begone you mealymouth weasels, I would rather go down fighting the good fight than let you rightwing arseholes distort the memory of what the Labour Party has stood for since MJS. Right behind you D Cunliffe.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      Fighting the 1984 battles all over again ? You should be a part of Slaters crew, paying back double

    • Chooky 10.2


    • lurgee 10.3

      I’m sure the people whose lives will be blighted because of your unbending ideological purity will be very happy. You I hope you like the view from the opposition benches, because it is remarkably similar to the view from the moral high ground.

      Bloody Hell, why is the idea of compromise so abhorrent to some people? Are none of you married? if you were driving from Wellington to Auckland would you insist on doing it all yourself rather than sharing the chore with a because he likes Fords more than Holdens?

      • adam 10.3.1

        You’re the ideology purist here lurgee and I’m not sure you see it. You are heavily tethered to a liberal perspective, and expect everyone to follow your set of ideas.

        You don’t see that indeed a lot of compromise has been done already – especially by Mr Cunliffe. Actually I think the man does not need to ask the right wing cabal if they want to do sex with him – they have been since last august.

        Do you get that the battle lines between left and right are inside the labour party? Do you get when you talk like you do, you disrespect and denigrate the poor and underprivileged in this country? Do you get war already broke out and the right wing started it – with dirty politics, backstabbing and losing an election so they could hold onto their little fiefdom? And most of all, do you understand that the supporter of cupidity are the enemy?

        • Hanswurst

          +1. It is always quite amusing when those who preach a softly-softly approach, and who advocate following all the people who follow the leader, can’t see that that in itself is a rigid ideology.

    • Colonial Viper 10.4

      Good on ya Marksman33. Time for the careerists and closet neoliberals to go find more suitable political parties to inhabit.

  11. anker 11


    In case anybody missed this on open mike!

  12. Jesse 12

    +1 Marksman, I just joined too.

  13. Ron 13

    Anyone know why Phil Twyford has never thrown hat into leadership contest?
    From what I have seen of him he is a hard working electorate MP and speaks well.
    So why no sign of anyone backing him?

    • lprent 13.1

      Same reason that Jacinda hasn’t to date. They’re really a bit inexperienced. So is Robertson and Shearer for that matter.

      Unlike Key they don’t have a solid well financed party machine behind them and they know it.

      I am expecting one or more of the up and coming MPs to do it this time. It is 3 years out from an election which makes it less of an issue than last time. It also means that they can get experience in primaries.

  14. anker 14

    Phil T is great, although didn’t do so well in a debate with Nick Smith on The Nation. But I have a lot of time for him.

  15. AmaKiwi 15

    That pretty young man, Grant Robertson, is about to be publicly humiliated twice in one year. I feel so sorry for him.

    Yeah right.

    • Chooky 15.1

      Grant Robertson like Shearer has a thick skin….and is way more ambitious than his talents and nation- wide appeal

      both would be eaten alive by Nact and its PR machine..or hugged to death

      • lurgee 15.1.1

        Where as David Cunliffe showed them what for, eh?

        • Colonial Viper

          Grant Robertson’s electorate scored 3rd in the party vote. Behind the National Party and behind the Green Party. For the second election in a row.

          • lurgee

            Yet Robertson’s majority has gone up. Perhaps suggesting he’s well liked but his party is not.

            • mickysavage

              MMP Lurgee. Every time an electorate candidate increases his vote but the party vote goes down Labour’s situation worsens. Other campaigns (e.g. Maori seats and Christchurch East) show that it can be done.

              • lurgee

                I understand that. My response was to CV’s comment about Robertson’s ‘failure’ to win the party vote. But if his personal vote goes up, it suggests the problem isn’t the candidate, but the party.

                Which also applies to Cunliffe – he won the electorate vote and lost the party vote, in 2011 and 2014. So there is something about the Labour that is repelling voters, even when they quite like the candidates. If you’re savvy enough to split your votes, it is sending a message.

                • Clemgeopin

                  ” So there is something about the Labour that is repelling voters, even when they quite like the candidates”

                  My guess is:
                  * People are weary of higher taxes, even though Labour proposed a very modest 3 c increase for incomes over $150,000.
                  * People scared of the possible excesses in various taxes and policies from Labour’s coalition partners, the Greens.
                  * Weary of CGT and the proposed Retirement Age raise.
                  * Falsely assuming that the left coalition will be unstable with a myriad of parties and policies.
                  *Key and National are strangely portrayed by the media and perceived by the politically apathetic public as being honest,capable and good.
                  * People have not understood the implications of the huge debt that National of the Rock Star Economy has managed to increase in six years from less than 10B in 2008 to over $80 B now. [Only a small part of that, about 15B or so, was for Christchurch]

  16. Mark 16

    Cunliffe is like the black knight in Monty Python and the Holy grail. “It’s just a flesh wound”

    • Chooky 16.1

      nah…he will be forged steel after the battle he has been through…looks like the leader of the next Left coalition ….and winner of the 2017 Election ( if the Nacts dont self -destruct in a horrendous scandal beforehand)

  17. Ffloyd 17

    I joined before election, husband now going to join up.

  18. Clemgeopin 18

    Under the circumstances, I think Cunliffe has made the correct move by letting the party process decide who it wants as their leader. Some members of the caucus have been less than loyal to the party in their behaviour this last week.

    If Cunliffe wins, this time, unlike last time, he should shuffle the main selfish trouble makers, no matter how senior they are, to the back benches and marginalise them completely. Run the show with a smaller, more loyal and wiser united group and usher in a freshly renewed Labour party from within.
    Labour should review their policies. Discard some, fine tune others and bring out new ones.

    In my opinion, Labour needs to move to the centre and centre left in economic matters, but left in social justice matters and pragmatic in environmental policies.

    Capital Gains Tax and Retirement Age Change : Rethinking, debate and public input (through online submissions or indicative referendum) is very necessary for these two policies before the public can feel comfortable to accept the required changes, if any.

    Another imperative is renewal of MPs and election of good candidates of value in both the electorates and the list. That process should start now for 2017.

    There also needs to be a serous drive to increase membership and funds. the party should be a champion of small business, family, workers, the less wealthy and the poor.

    Whoever is chosen as the leader should get absolute loyalty. The party should be united in private and public. Not easy to win the apathetic selfish public and the unfair low calibre media.

  19. tranquil 19

    “Labour’s values are New Zealand’s values.”

    Uh….. not for 75% of those who voted.

    As usual, Labour will learn absolutely nothing from this loss. All the talk will be of how “we didn’t get our message across” – not of the fact that 75% of voters didn’t like what the message was.

    “…the election result has reinforced that the Labour Party must change…”

    They’ve now had 3 defeats in a row. How has the Labour Party changed in that time? Very little except going more to the left (and we’ve now all seen how that went….. ).

    I’m looking forward to cracking open the bubbly for another crushing National win in 2017.

    • MrSmith 19.1

      I’m sorry to disagree tranquil, but if the economy takes a down turn, which inevitably it will, then a bunch of monkeys with a Laughing Hyena as a leader could win the next election.

  20. oarSum 20

    WTF is ABC in the context of this discussion?

  21. red blooded 21

    Wow! Is there anybody here who’s going to question whether Cunliffe can come back? Whether he can unite his caucus? Whether he can communicate a more effective message?

    Cunliffe is smart and articulate but the campaign was a mess. Plenty of great policies, but too many to discuss, and most of them either abstract economic strategies or not inclusive enough to make the middle classes feel like Labour had their wellbeing at heart. Vote Positive was vague and had no Party link, the postings all seemed to either focus on that or electorates – where were the 2 tick messages? Cunliffe may have worked hard, but he has to take some responsibility for this.

    People on this site were braying for Shearer’s blood last year and saying Cunliffe was the only one capable of leading Labour to victory. Shearer wasn allowed to be human, but Cunliffe is untouchable? And no, I don’t want Shearer in front of the cameras again, but a leader has to do more than talk to the cameras. I’m not sure how I’m going to vote, but im not just hunkering down and telling myself everybody else is to blame.

    • Blue 21.1

      I think it is effectively impossible that DC will lead the Labour Party again. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish he could.

      But realistically he needs the support of the caucus to lead. Having them continue to backstab him at every opportunity is not going to work, we’ve seen that.

      DC tried to be the peacemaker and get everyone to work together, rather than being harsh with the troublemakers. It didn’t work.

      The only thing that will work is to either get rid of the troublemakers or let them win. I don’t know if DC can be the hard taskmaster.

      My impression is that he didn’t do what he wanted to because he didn’t have the support in caucus and he needed to tread too carefully to avoid the whole thing blowing up in his face. He made too many compromises and didn’t stand his ground when he should have.

      A leader trying to hold on in an uncertain situation will make mistakes, and he’s made many. That is his responsibility, but it’s not his alone.

      • blue leopard 21.1.1

        I had assumed that Cunliffe didn’t go hard-line because it was too close to an election, and that he would go hard-line if re-elected (I thought this was indicated in his statement today). This is simply my opinion.

  22. Stuart Munro 22

    I really like the decision – it’s good democratic process, and speaks well of DC’s instincts. The precedent is healthy for the party in the long term too – very Kantian: so act that you could will that the maxim of your action becomes a constitutional norm.

    • Olwyn 22.1

      Nice point, Stuart. David Cunliffe was given his mandate to lead the party by the membership and it is right that his continuing to lead is confirmed or denied by the membership. If he was to simply resign and let someone else take over he would be overriding the judgement of those who voted for him in the first place.

  23. Cantabrian 23

    CGT policy and raising retirement age are unelectable policies and should be dropped. I don’t deny that they are good policies but the voters that bother to turn out will not support them.
    Eligible voters not on the electoral roll must be chased and fined. They are breaking the law and undermining our democracy. Better still propose compulsory voting like Australia.

    • Chooky 23.1

      agreed Cantabrian…….this is why the Labour Party needs a lot more grassroots focus groups….and professional help in branding….and input into policy

      …it is one thing to have a nice neat policy that works very well budget-wise …but if it is un-electable then why bother? …you are kneecapping yourself or shooting yourself in the foot

      good rule of thumb…look after your own….dont hurt your constituency family …..ply the very wealthy with the burden of taxes….follow Scandanavian countries…for gentle socialism

  24. bornleft 24

    The campaign was a mess. Cunliffe has to bear responsibility for what happened. He had some momentum in the debates until the capital gains question; it opened up Key to such a devastating rebuttal and instead DC bottled it. At that we all knew it was lost. But what hung him was his bone headed concession speech, which was a moment for him to stand tall in front of NZ. After such a mess he is wrong to run against his caucus and out Labour’s future at risk. Labour’s past deserves better than that

    • quartz 24.1

      I find it odd that someone with the handle “bornleft” would only appear on the pre-eminent left wing blog in New Zealand on the day the leadership is announced and then start concern trolling David Cunliffe.

      • bornleft 24.1.1

        It is no coincidence. I have followed the one sided debates here for years, but we believe that we now need more reasoned balance – hence have joined tbe fray. The Labour Party is facing its greatest crisis in many decades – worse than the 1980’s for those of us who were there. Going to war with the caucas right now – which is the sentiment here – will destroy the party as a political force.

        • quartz

          You sound like you’re repeating lines. Worse than the 80’s? Whatever.

        • Colonial Viper

          Going to war with the caucas right now – which is the sentiment here – will destroy the party as a political force.

          Don’t be silly, there’s only 32 Labour Party members in caucus. And over 10,000 outside of caucus. I think we’ll be OK but thanks for your concern.

        • Clemgeopin

          No one is going to war with the caucus.
          It is the members of caucus that should not go to war with the elected leader, whoever it may be!

          In the present situation, some in the the caucus were not happy, but did not have the courage (or numbers) to replace Cunliffe. In my opinion, Cunliffe has now done taken the correct decision to seek fresh mandate. It is up to the party to decide if he should get that or not.

        • Jenny Kirk

          Going to war with the caucus as you put it might just do the opposite – be the cataclysm which might just turn the Party around – having the Party in control of its destiny rather than self-interested, self-opinionated MPs.

  25. Observer (Tokoroa) 25

    Hi Clemgeopin

    Your words are spot on.

    His policies of Capital Gains Tax and delayed Retirement were wrong at this time. Voters don’t need additional pain and burden during the fallout from a World wide recession.

    David Cunliffe if elected as Leader, will have the opportunity of leading a wonderful MMP opposition composed of Greens, NZ First, and Labour.

    This could become one of the greatest Oppositions ever. It could easily, one would think, lift its 56 members of Parliament well past Nats 61 in three years time.

    Particularly in view of the stink that is floor, walls and ceiling of the current prime ministerial office. Not to mention the sickening scribbling of main stream journalists.

    He should offload the funny lil fellow who wears a silly fringe. Often in TV shots, he looks like a lil boy scout without a toggle.

    He should insist that the scruffy Shearer wears a tidy suit and tie. Tidiness might help Shearer to speak tidily and clearly too.

    • Anne 25.1

      His policies of Capital Gains Tax and delayed Retirement were wrong at this time. Voters don’t need additional pain and burden during the fallout from a World wide recession.

      I think there needs to be a bit of accuracy about this matter. As I understand it, these policies were pretty much set in concrete before Cunliffe became the leader. In other words he inherited both policies and had no choice but to run with them. I well recall them being discussed by my local LEC about two years ago. There was disquiet expressed at the time too.

      • Colonial Viper 25.1.1

        Parker is too great a fan of raising the retirement age, you know, because we can’t afford super long term as it stands.

        But we might be able to look at tax cuts post 2017.

        Seriously WTF>

        • Chooky

          +100 CV….Parker needs to be moderated by the grassroots of the Labour Party…if it wont work for them …then Labour is unelectable

  26. Karen 26

    Cunliffe has made mistakes but he will learn from them IMO. He is smart and he really wants this – he needs to be given more time.

    Changing the leadership again is just dumb . Mistakes were made by Cunliffe, various MPs and the campaign team, Hopefully the review will be such that the problems can be remedied.

  27. Steve 27

    If Cunliffe wins the leadership contest, what sanctions would be most effective for for dealing with disloyal caucus members?

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      The worst behaving 2 or 3 MPs in caucus esp in terms of leaks etc. need to be sanctioned by NZ Council. It needs to be made clear that any similar performances will result in their being barred from being re-selected as Labour Party candidates ahead of 2017.

      Every single MP needs to undergo a contested selection in 2016 to help develop a new generation of talent up through the party.

      • weka 27.1.1

        “The worst behaving 2 or 3 MPs in caucus esp in terms of leaks etc. need to be sanctioned by NZ Council.”

        What would make that happen?

      • Hami Shearlie 27.1.2

        Errant and leaking caucus members who are only list MPs are much easier to expel for disloyalty – Clayton Cosgrove for example – It would only take one and I’m sure the message would get through – MPs in less than safe seats could also be moved to the very bottom of the Party List as a warning – and some senior ABC MPs could be told this is their last term and deselected for the next election. The LECs should have more direction from the Leader as to who is showing loyalty to the Party and who is operating purely for self-interest. MPs should not assume they are safely chosen as the candidate just because they’ve been there for decades. Time to put the hammer down. This Party is NOT going to be dictated to by a small group of petty individuals who have a sense of entitlement and thumb their noses at Party members.

      • Chooky 27.1.3

        +100 CV and Hami Shearlie

      • Hanswurst 27.1.4

        Is it actually known for certain who is leaking what? If it’s difficult to prove, wouldn’t it be difficult to expel suspects and also be seen to be observing due process?

        • lurgee

          Some here are very fond of trial by rumour, guilt by suspicion and Stalinist solutions to disagreement.

          To read the comments on this thread without feeling slightly queasy, you need a strong stomach. Purge this, expel that.

          • The Al1en

            If you’re happy to gloss over the serious disloyalty and attack plans of the abc in caucus, you don’t need purging, more pitying.

          • Hanswurst

            No, it’s not purge “this” and expel “that”. It’s about how best to ensure that those purporting to be the face of Labour in parliament actually represent that party. If those people are instead insisting on implementing their own programme, relying on their personal support in single electorates to keep themselves from being removed, and undermining anybody who intends to implement the party’s programme, then that isn’t working, and those people have no business being there. That isn’t “this and that”, it’s a fairly quantifiable charge (although whether it has been proven against any particular individuals is another matter).

            I’ll bet you sit in court and diss judges for “purging” and “expelling” fraudsters and thieves from society, “appropriating” their funds etc.. Your reasoning doesn’t come across so much as the straight-talking pragmatism that you seem to be advocating, but more as a populism (wherever the electorate is, let’s just head over there) hiding behind sophistry (people won’t vote Left or Cunliffe because they didn’t vote Left or Cunliffe; attempting to bring caucus in line with the party is repression of the caucus, rather than democracy for the membership).

            • lurgee

              “Expel” was the word used by Not a PS Staffer earlier in the thread – “the Party has to expel those who bring the party into disrepute …”

              I have also seen similar from Colonial Viper: “A few by-elections will fix that.” And from DC for PM: “The Labour Caucus needs to be purged of the destructive ABC Caucus …”

              And so on. Plenty more examples, if you care to scroll through the thread.

              So, yes, it is very much purge “this” and expel “that” – their words, not mine.

              The MPs in line for purging” and “expelling” being the duly elected representatives of their constituents. That’s going to lead to a massive loss of support. Labour will be polling in the teens after that.

              Still, at least you’ll be ideologically correct. Irrelevant, laughed out of town, and penniless, but pure. I’m sure the ‘missing million’ will come flocking back then!

              • Hanswurst

                My issue was with your implication that people were suggesting simply removing any and everybody who disagreed with them, when in fact they were talking about how to halt certain fairly clearly defined forms of behaviour. As such, it was “this” and “that” that I put in quotation marks, not “purge” and “expel”. I’m aware of the language being used. Perhaps you should read the post you’re replying to before lecturing me on reading the thread.

                • lurgee

                  You asked if the identity of leakers was actually known; I said that it it didn’t need to be, for some, as they were perfectly happy to assume and call for purging and expulsions. That provoked a rather random rant on your part, which achieved nothing other than blustering distraction. My point stands. For the likes of NAPSS, CV and DC4PM, proof isn’t necessary. They’ve already made up their minds about the crime and the sentence. That’s nothing to do with “talking about how to halt certain fairly clearly defined forms of behaviour.”

                  You’ll note I put the same words as you in quotation marks. That suggests at least a passing familiarity with your posting.

                  • Hanswurst

                    You asked if the identity of leakers was actually known

                    Yes, at least someone is being sensible.

                    My point stands.

                    What point would that be?

                    They’ve already made up their minds about the crime

                    Yeah, that was actually my point. There is a “fairly clearly defined form of behaviour”, a specific crime that is being alleged – not just “this” and “that” as it suits any given poster. Undermining the leader installed by the party without using the mechanisms foreseen by the party constitution is against the rules, as is formulating policy based on the ideology of the caucus, rather than the policy intentions of the party.

                    and the sentence.

                    Actually, the sentence for the former predates their comments, and has a recent precedent in the treatment of Chris Carter.

                    You’ll note I put the same words as you in quotation marks. That suggests at least a passing familiarity with your posting.

                    I did note that. I also noted that you went on to post as though I had been talking about something else, so you can make your own judgement as to whether it was careless reading or failure of comprehension on your part, I suppose. Me, I was just being charitable.

                    • lurgee

                      What point would that be?

                      That some here are very fond of trial by rumour, guilt by suspicion and Stalinist solutions to disagreement. As demonstrated by the comments I quoted.

                      Yeah, that was actually my point. There is a “fairly clearly defined form of behaviour”. Undermining the leader installed by the party without using the mechanisms foreseen by the party constitution is against the rules.

                      For that accusation, you need evidence, not just rumour-mongering and finger pointing, which is all we have here.

                      I also noted that you went on to post as though I had been talking about something else, so you can make your own judgement as to whether it was careless reading and failure of comprehension on your part, I suppose. Me, I was just being charitable.

                      If you are going to interpret my posts in an idiosyncratic manner you can’t really blame me for your failures of comprehension. I make them as clear and relevant as I can, though it is difficult when you post rambling ad hominem waffle in place of argument, as demonstrated by the second paragraph of, the relevance of which still escapes me.

                    • Hanswurst

                      That some here are very fond of trial by rumour, guilt by suspicion

                      Either someone has been leaking to undermine the leader for some time, or the media are making it up. None of that is rumour. It’s on record. If the first is true, then that is a very specific transgression, for which expulsion from the party is an established punishment. If the media are just making it up, then your constant suggestion crumbles that the responsibility for Labour’s fortunes lies with Cunliffe, and that we shouldn’t blame the media.

                      In terms of “guilt by suspicion”, I broadly agree with you, but I’ve covered that above.

                      and Stalinist solutions to disagreement. As demonstrated by the comments I quoted.

                      I believe that the “Stalinist” aspect would consist in the meting out of punishment for “this and that”, i. e. anything that displeases those in power, rather than actions against the constitution and interests of the organisation. The comments you quoted don’t demonstrate that, as I have already shown. Yawn.

                      For that accusation, you need evidence, not just rumour-mongering

                      So does it constitute evidence when leaks are described in print in national newspapers about caucus unpopularity, displeasure at the leader’s three-day break and the contents of confidential caucus discussions? Does the membership’s alteration of the constitution and instalment of a leader over the caucus’ heads on a mandate of bringing the caucus more in line with its own views constitute evidence that some in caucus are not representing the membership as it would wish? It certainly looks like evidence to me.

        • lprent

          Yes. It really can’t be done.

          I’m pretty sure that the caucus knows who they are likely to be. It really is something that the caucus needs to sort out internally.

  28. Observer (Tokoroa) 28

    Hello Anne

    Did Goff take Capital Gains Tax to the previous election? Delayed Retirement too?

    David Cunliffe should have told Caucus that at best both these proposals would be a very unlikely second or third term possibilty.

    Instead of which, his caucus guffawed and fell about like happy useless drunks, as the voters tore flesh off the keen Cunliffe. Everyone in that pit of snakes – Labour Caucus – should resign for destroying a noble Party. Despicable.

    • Colonial Viper 28.1

      Re: Goff and CGT/retirement age.

      Yes they were both part of the party’s manifesto in 2011. Yes they were both hated policies – but particularly the retirement age one.

      Labour has this dread fascination about being seen as “fiscally responsible” however, so stuck with it as a sea anchor into 2014.

      • greywarbler 28.1.1

        @ Colonial viper
        Why do Labour do this fiscally responsible thing? Has it cropped up in focus groups?
        Do Labour do focus groups? Nats are going to find holes in Labour’s fiscal policie anyway so why bother. Why not just assert they are going to be good, and have examples of how they will work at close hand.

        • Scott1

          Yes people care about fiscal responsibility.
          Yes it shows up in focus groups. Even National and the greens were trying to sell how their budgets added up – labour would be crazy to abandon that.
          It is a simple strategy to tax more and use that money to pay for the programmes you want AND repay debt faster. Anything else makes you look like an unsafe pair of hands compared to the ‘safe’ one of national.

          • greywarbler

            Scott1 10.33 – your version of what fiscal responsibility is about is not what I was asking.
            CGT and an advance on retirement age at a time of structural unemployment in the real sense, not the NZ statistical one, is what we were looking at.

            Your summary of fiscal responsibility sounds eminently sensible but doesn’t relate to the aspect I was querying and what had been discussed previously.

            Scott +1 It is a simple strategy to tax more and use that money to pay for the programmes you want AND repay debt faster. Anything else makes you look like an unsafe pair of hands compared to the ‘safe’ one of national.

            • Colonial Viper

              It’s the Professional Political Left buying into right wing neoclassical framing of how the economy and monetary system works. It creates the fundamental misunderstanding that we are ‘short of money’ to have the things that are best for society, even though as a country we have an asset base worth trillions upon trillions of dollars. For instance, can’t find another $10M for a rape crisis centre. Can’t find another $10M for school breakfasts. Can’t find another $10M for emergency beneficiary grants.

      • You may well be correct Viper regarding the Super .Where the hell did the raising the age eligibility come from we lost thousands of vote from the 6o pluses ,Labours vision in tghe past was to pay super at the age of 60years.Less money spent on war games and more on enjoying life.

  29. Kiwisaver 29

    Does anyone know the origin of the oft repeated mantra that no-one likes D Cunliffe? he seems perfectly normal and human to me, but maybe I’ve missed something?

    • AmaKiwi 29.1

      @ Kiwisaver

      “Does anyone know the origin of the oft repeated mantra that no-one likes D Cunliffe?”

      That was the ABC propaganda BEFORE the election. Unfortunately for Robertson the campaign allowed many people to meet Cunliffe and discover he is a very competent, likeable person, not the devil incarnate.

    • Clemgeopin 29.2

      My guess is it is the framing from the RW bloggers, RW commentators, RW Cosby-Textor propaganda outfit, RW Nats, may be some caucus leakers and above all, our prejudiced, lazy, incompetent media, the so called fourth pillar of democracy!

      If no one likes Cunliffe, then surely, he will have a resounding defeat in the coming leadership election. Let us wait and see.

  30. Ovid 30

    Invictus – William Ernest Henley

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul.

  31. Cantabrian 31

    I don’t think the campaign was a mess at all. Some policies were wrong but I think DC delivered them quite well. A CGT in NZ is an indefensible policy at the moment and I hope David Parker realises that now. Shearer would be a disaster (again) but perhaps Robertson could be given a chance? I would have no preference for DC or GR but definitely not Shearer!

    • Colonial Viper 31.1

      This is a great time for a CGT: when house prices in most of the country are stagnant.

      • Cantabrian 31.1.1

        It may be a great policy CV but the voters will not buy it and the vote going public are not educated enough to realise the advantages. I feel sorry for Tony Milne who I voted for in my electorate and I am very annoyed that I have to put up with a National MP for 3 more years – particularly one associated with simon lusk!

        • Scott1

          Voters didn’t net abandon labour due to the CGT. The devil is in the detail a bit, but in general there is broard support in swing voters (that I know) for CGT.

          • Cantabrian

            Rubbish! ‘Broard support’ indeed! Tory troll perhaps? Tories can’t spell!

            • Hanswurst

              What is “tory” about a CGT?

            • lurgee

              It seems there is support for a CGT on the sale of rental properties:


              I remember the first leaders’ debate had a series of txt polls and CGT won the support of most respondents.

              There isn’t much wrong with Labour’s policy platform. Most people support the policies when they are presented with them without the party proposing them being identified. But the Labour brand seems to switch some people off, and the National brand attracts them to vote against their own inclinations.

              We were up against incumbency, economic growth and a large party that projects stability. The alternative government looked shabby and insecure, with all sorts of questions about how it could form a majority … it isn’t really all that surprising people didn’t want to vote for it.

  32. Observer (Tokoroa) 32



    How well the ancient poets and tutors know us …

  33. AmaKiwi 33

    No one seems to be discussing Jim Anderton’s message: When he was party president paid membership rose to 100,000. It is now estimated at 10,000 and urgently needs to be re-built so we have feet on the ground in every electorate.

    My LEC gets about a dozen people per meeting. I asked a life long party activist if our LEC is an average size. She said, “No. We are one of the largest.” Having been active in politics overseas, I was shocked. In Chicago, a group this small would be responsible for a few city blocks, NOT an electorate population of 65,000.

    Anderton is proposing Labour have an average of 1,500 to 2,000 members per electorate. We have one-tenth that number now.

    I agree with Anderton 100%. We need to dramatically increase our membership. Labour should also learn from the Greens about having membership social events, picnics, etc., so belonging is fun.

    • Scott1 33.1

      No offense to labour party members – but isn’t the problem that the ‘fun’ people have defected to the greens and brought the party with them?

    • lprent 33.2

      Labour should also learn from the Greens about having membership social events, picnics, etc., so belonging is fun.

      More importantly, they need to learn about how a party gains a virtual presence via the net. They need non-public meeting places.

      I have never had time to go along to much – especially not tiresome *LONG* LEC meetings. I did it because that was the only way to get things done. These days people use email and net tools.

      Then you’ll find people coming along to meet up with the people in meat that they have already been talking to for some time.

    • Colonial Viper 33.3

      NB it suits some MPs to have small, weaker electorate organisations and a limited overall local membership base. No one to organise and stand against them at selection time, you see. Not saying this about where you are of course.

  34. Clemgeopin 34

    The candidates for this leadership contest and the leader that wins need to read this article carefully. There are many wise ideas in there for the Labour party.


  35. Observer (Tokoroa) 35

    to YOU:
    The tawdry ungifted mob that calls itself the Labour Caucus, you should profoundly apologise to the New Zealand Public for the quarreling unruly pestilence that you are.

    The apology should be led by Grant Robertson, David Shearer, David Parker.

    None of you can point a single finger against David Cunliffe who worked his mind and body so hard for New Zealanders – while you, his unloyal white ants, drew your undeserved lazy wage from the NZ proletariat.

    Own up to your disgusting destructive behaviour you little foul men. Do it now !

  36. Gruntie 36

    I’m sick of reading opinions of people who are not Labour Party members who they think should lead the Lsbour Party – the old adage – if you don’t vote, don’t complain comes to mind …

    • weka 36.1

      I’d love to not care who Labour chooses as leader, but we live in an MMP age, and all left wing voters are affected by Labour’s woes.

  37. Drakula 37

    I do not feel sorry for David Cunliffe. I heard him on the national radio a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t believe my ears. He was extolling the virtues of Fonterra and their relationship with certain Chinese companies who want a piece of NZ.
    He didn’t have a problem with that. Actually he came across as being quite arrogant.
    And notice his body language in the picture above, isn’t that the open arm gesture of a holy roller fundamentalist? A sociopath?
    This is just an observation from an outsider.

    • blue leopard 37.1

      Yes, but I don’t imagine you like garlic, crucifixes or mirrors either

    • Mark 37.2

      It is a wonder you could hear him with your head stuck that far up your arse. But then again wingnuts have always been very flexible

  38. Ergo Robertina 38

    In the stand-up after his resignation, David Cunliffe denied his rhetoric in the 2013 race promised to take the party to the left.
    No. That talk about higher taxes and a true red Labour party was merely an attempt to ”communicate clearly with our base”. What disingenuous nonsense.
    He correctly stated that the party had not moved leftward in policy.
    The party’s problems will not be answered by a ”big debate about left and right”, is the line today.
    The emphasis now is ”modernisation” of the party, code for getting rid of ABCs.
    As someone naive enough to believe Cunliffe when he was elected leader, it now sounds pretty hollow.

    • Colonial Viper 38.1

      Well, its all a bit shit.

    • Chris 38.2

      Yes, Nash is talking about more right-wing policies and a rejection of the “hard left”. He was talking as if Labour was already hard left and that the election result showed this was unsuccessful so back to right-wing policies we go. Completely disingenuous reamrks from Nash. Aimed totally to justify his right-wing beliefs. He’s in the wrong party. He should be in ACT. No wonder he’s good mates with Cathy Odgers. Lying wanker.

  39. weka 39

    Sue Moroney,

    David Cunliffe has just announced he will run to continue as Labour Leader, after resigning to allow a competition to take place.

    I am delighted. It has long been my view that the caucus is there to represent the Labour Party, it’s membership and supporters – not the other way around.

    It saddens me to see posts on Facebook saying DC is the best person for the job, but shouldn’t do it because some in caucus don’t want him.

    For the record: I do want him to continue to lead our Caucus for all the right reasons. If he has lost the confidence of the Party and someone else wins then I will fully support that leader.

    If I find I cant do that 100% then it would be time for me to go.


    • The Al1en 39.1

      “It has long been my view that the caucus is there to represent the Labour Party, it’s membership and supporters – not the other way around.”

      I agree, good shot before being gagged by Buttkiss the whip.

      “It saddens me to see posts on Facebook saying DC is the best person for the job, but shouldn’t do it because some in caucus don’t want him.”

      I’m sure you’re not the only one.

      “I do want him to continue to lead our Caucus for all the right reasons. If he has lost the confidence of the Party and someone else wins then I will fully support that leader.”

      Given that he’s best person for the job, and that whoever wins isn’t, I couldn’t do it. My own years of tradition and historical party ties wouldn’t force me to accept second best to run the party let alone advocate for them to then try and win a race to run the country, common sense and personal responsibility would see to that.

      “If I find I cant do that 100% then it would be time for me to go.”

      If you can’t, the night after you resign, I’ll buy a pint of cider and shake your hand.

  40. venezia 40

    I have just renewed my membership. And I am 100% with you Cantabrian – about Tony Milne and that Lusk protege.

  41. Mark 41

    This is unbelievable from Cunliffe. His personal ambition seems more important to him than the good of the Party.

    He cannot possibly hope to unify a Caucus where what looks like over 2/3rds want him gone.

    This ridiculous leadership process is going to further embarrass labour and split the party. It astounds me that the Labour party expects the electorate to vote for politicians who they don’t trust enough to elect their own leader. Doesn’t anyone in the labour party see the irony in that!!

    This party has been lost to left wing academic liberals and the average kiwi worker is no longer of any concern. As someone who has always sat on the Centre left this party is now so far from representing what they once stood for it has no chance in 3 years.

    • Clemgeopin 41.1

      You are so wrong on so many points in your post, it is not even worth responding to them and your concern for the party! I suspect you are not a Labour party member and I don’t think you voted Labour in the election either.

      • Mark 41.1.1

        Wrong in what way. That the party no longer repents the ideals on which it was founded is a given. That the party no longer has the support of average kiwis – look at the result. Who did I vote for. I voted for my local labour candidate but like so many others who can’t believe how far from its core values labour has moved I did not give labour my party vote. What you need to ask you self is why so many traditionally labour voters voted for our labour electorate MP and could not vote for the party.

        • Clemgeopin

          ” like so many others who can’t believe how far from its core values labour has moved I did not give labour my party vote’

          Which of the following Labour policies do you believe are ‘far from the core Labour values’?

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

    • Mark 41.2

      You must live on Planet Key for fucks sake. Left wing academic liberals run the Labour Party. You can’t be serious. The faction that controls the Labour Party is to the right of Atilla The Hun. How the fuck could anyone think that Nash, Hipkins, Goff, Shearer, Mallard, King, Cosgrove are left wing is beyond me.

      • Mark 41.2.1

        What crap. Is the Hipkins shearer king brigade controlled labour Cunliffe would not have been forced on a Caucus that had no confidence in his ability. Look at the facts before running of at the mouth.

        [lprent: Please reread this. I suspect that you may be dribbling your own conspiracy theories. Your paragraph simply doesn’t make sense. And you haven’t managed to say where these ‘facts’ could be found. The constitution changes in 2012 make it quite clear what the balance of voting power is. A leadership candidate can be imposed on the majority of the caucus by the party and was. Many of us in the party didn’t feel that the caucus did a full-hearted support, so we will now try it again until the obdurate MPs get the idea that the world has changed on them. ]

    • Tanz 41.3

      Agreed Mark.

      What arrogance from Cunliffe, no wonder the ABC’s are against him.

      They will be defeated in 2017 if lead by Cunliffe, the country just rejected his proposed rule with wholesale abandon.

      Himself before the party, for sure. The ABC’s are right.

  42. Cantabrian 42

    + 100 Venezia!

  43. katz 43

    Can someone please confirm the cut-off date for new members wanting to vote for the Labour party leader? Facebook page Keep Cunliffe as Labour Leader is saying it was 11.30pm last night. Thanks.

  44. SeanExile 44

    Wow, that meant we lost the first year of our opposition. 2 more to go.

    Anyone think Labour as a brand will do better with the voters after this squabble?
    I doubt it.

    I also see DC loosing support and being elected with less numbers that last time which all political opponents will remind us of ad nauseum the coming two years.

    Well, while this day is a tragic one, we are destroying ourselves instead of learning from our failure. One more year of a refusal to accept the fact that we had our worst election since 1922. One more year or blaming bloggers and media.
    Anyone who thinks this makes us more likely to win next election raise your hands.

    DC has the biggest ego I have come across. The worst result since 1922 and he wants to waste a year of rebuilding for the good of his own ego.
    The people of New Zealand has spoken, clearer than ever before. We have been crushed and the leader then thinks he is the best person to lead us. talk about putting the ego ahead of electorate success.

    • Hanswurst 44.1

      Surely, if the election result were as all-defining as you seem to be claiming, the only sensible course of action would be to disband every party except National and start a new party for 50% of New Zealand. In the real world, however, where the above analysis is bullshit designed to back up your own preconceptions, there are a lot of factors over a period of time that contribute to electoral success, and nobody has really come up with a good argument as to why Cunliffe’s leadership was to blame.

    • lprent 44.2

      Not really. The leadership process is to go through a party vote. That some people thought they could sidestep that is the weird part.

  45. Loz 45

    Labour’s constitution requires parliamentarians to represent their party, not to undertake a covert attack on the elected leader through a whisper campaign in the media. Labour’s politics is supposed to be deeper than a cynical display of brand manipulation.

  46. Richard Cook 46

    ABCs are what is tearing Labour apart NZ does not want Grant Robertson sorry or another round of stuttering Shearer.

  47. Richard Cook 47

    Never been a member of the Labour party just joined so I can vote for David Cunliffe feels great I highly recommend it.Fuck all those back stabbers iin the abc&media who desperately want Grant Robertson leading Labour so that john key will have smoother ride.

  48. DiffPerspective 48

    NZ public shouts “This is madness!!”

    Cunliffe replies with a feral grin “This…. is….. LABOUR!!!”

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