Labour leadership candidates meetings this weekend

Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, August 30th, 2013 - 249 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Labour Auckland Campaign meeting

If you are looking for something exciting to do this weekend there will be three Labour Leaders candidates meetings to go to.

The first will be at the Horowhenua Events Centre, A&P Show Grounds in Levin on Saturday August 31 from 1 pm to 3 pm.

The other meeting are being held in Auckland on Sunday September 1.  The second will be at the Otahuhu Event Centre, 31C Atkinson Avenue, Otahuhu at 3 pm and the third will be at Western Springs College Hall, Motions Road, Western Springs at 7 pm.

People entitled to attend include members, former members as long as they sign up again and new members who sign up at the door.

Media can attend but for the preliminaries and the speeches only.

UPDATE:  The General Secretary has suggested that people should get to the meeting early as there will be a vetting process and this could take some time.  People should bring their membership cards or ortherwise photo ID so that they can be identified.  Photos and social media can be taken and used during the open part of the meeting.

249 comments on “Labour leadership candidates meetings this weekend”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    Get there and get involved.

    The future of this country depends on the decision that is made over the next few weeks.

    New Zealand can not afford yet another “Labour” leader, who refuses to fight against the wealthy elite.

    We need someone who is going to take fight, not to National, but to those rich pricks, who will swarm over this leader once he becomes Prime Minister.

    • Roflcopter 1.1

      New Zealand can not afford yet another “Labour” leader, who refuses to fight against the wealthy elite.

      What makes you think Cunliffe will? He’s one of them!

  2. karol 2

    Hope the meetings go well. Look forward to the public reports.

    Go Team Cunliffe!

    I noticed reports of the Union event in Manukau a few days ago indicated much support there for Cunliffe.

    • “..Look forward to the public reports…”

      there won’t be any..the media are blocked from attending..

      ..i was looking forward to doing a report on the event..

      ..but no..

      ..i won’t be allowed to/in..

      ..phillip ure..

      • Bunji 2.1.1

        The media are allowed in Phillip – for the introduction / main speeches. They are only blocked from the members’ q&a.

      • Comrade Coba 2.1.2

        Are you a member of the party or any other party Phil? If your media you can attend sections like all other media & like them get some one on one time. You want one on one time I think I can swing that but you may have to travel if in Auckland?

        • phillip ure 2.1.2.1

          coba..my party/voting arc is lab-grn-mana..(lab turned right – grns starting lifting their skirts and batting eyelids @ key – mana (‘cos of strongest social-policies..)

          ..i am based in inner-west ak..(and contact details @ whoar..)..(and will/can travel within ak/environs..)

          (..and thank you very much for the offer..)

          ..yes..i do have some questions i wd like to put to the candidates…

          ..and would welcome the opportunity for a one on one with them..

          ..and of course..will publish the reports of those encounters..

          ..chrs..

          ..phillip ure..

    • Red Blooded 2.2

      Yeah, sad to see so many of those Labour supporters basing their decision on bigotry though. They sure weren’t the best role models for the Labour Party I wish to belong to. I hope it’s a clean competion and that we all get behind whoever wins.

      • karol 2.2.1

        Ah, yes. Agreed Red Blooded. The media isn’t helping by making sexuality an issue. I hope with the road show, they settle down and start focusing on policies and capabilities of each candidate.

        • Comrade Coba 2.2.1.1

          They gave them a fair crack today, however the angles will change along the way. Some of the Southern meeting will test Robertson (O’Connor quote land) and Jones & the evil to workers Tally’s. One of them will implode I’m picking Jones & he will pack a wobbly it’s in his eastern euro blood. Hope he holds it together seen him on the verge of loosing the rag today ‘twice.’

          • phillip ure 2.2.1.1.1

            re ‘losing rag’…if you watch the replay of the nation this morn you will see a brief screenshot of jones shortly after plunket has had a go at him..

            ..and the bovver-boy expression on his face (directed @ his inquisitor plunket..) is bordering on road-runner-cartoon material..

            ..face dark as…steam/smoke almost coming out the ears..

            ..seeming on the verge of losing it..

            ..(making everyone grateful/relieved it was a link..and not in-studio..)

            ..phillip ure..

  3. Bunji 3

    Is anyone able to give us a report from Levin?

    I’m sure we’ll get reports from Auckland on Sunday, but it’s be exciting to hear how the first one goes…

    • David H 3.1

      I’d love to go, but for two reasons. 1: After growing disillusioned with Labour I am not about to join their financial ranks again just to listen to speeches, 2: I can’t afford it after getting a $92.00 cut in my benefit 2 weeks ago.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        And that’s how both Labour and National hold back beneficiaries from participating in the civil and political life of this country.

      • Mary 3.1.2

        Last week Labour supported a bill to the select committee that’s one of the nastiest and unprincipled attacks on the poor Nact’s been responsible for this year. Things aren’t looking good. Labour and its stance towards beneficiaries that are at the moment indistinguishable from Nact’s. If this behaviour continues under the new leader then the left needs to organise a highly focused and take no prisoners attack on Labour’s approach to social security. After what Labour did last week watching Robertson and Cunliffe talk about fixing things for the poor makes me want to be sick.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1

          +1

        • karol 3.1.2.2

          Yep. While I think Cunliffe will be the best of the 3 to lead, he does focus on jobs for all, living wage etc, and says nothing about reconstructing social security. It’s here in his review of the Mind the Gap doco on The Daily Blog.

          He does criticise Nats for bennie bashing, but his solutions are all jobs focused

          And that’s why I will continue to party vote Green (especially for Metiria Turei and her focus on ending poverty), with a possible party vote to Mana as second option.

          I recall how Helen Clark initially campaigned on “closing the gap”, but that, in government she pulled back from that under pressure from the MSM, talk-back etc.

          • Mary 3.1.2.2.1

            “I recall how Helen Clark initially campaigned on “closing the gap”, but that, in government she pulled back from that under pressure from the MSM, talk-back etc.”

            I remember Shearer saying when questioned about Labour’s social security policy that “Labour’s a party for workers.” Totally twisted logic but very telling. Traditionally, of course, Labour has been the party for workers. It’s just that when unemployment was so low it went without saying that Labour was also a party for the poor. The long title to the 1938 Social Security Act was pretty clear:

            “An Act to provide for the payment of superannuation benefits and other benefits designed to safeguard the people of New Zealand from disabilities arising from age, sickness, widowhood, orphanhood, unemployment, or other exceptional conditions; to provide a system whereby medical and hospital treatment will be made available to persons requiring such treatment; and, further, to provide such other benefits as may be necessary to maintain and promote the health and general welfare of the community.”

            In 1996 the Court of Appeal held that the long title had relevance to the way the current legislation should be administered. But it’s now not fashionable to look after the poor – it just ain’t a vote puller. So much so Labour legislated the relevance of the 1938 Act’s long title away in 2007. So when we ask Labour about beneficiaries and those without jobs Labour sits back and reminds us that they’re “the party for workers”! Well, you can’t argue with that, eh old boy?

            • weka 3.1.2.2.1.1

              Wow, thanks Mary. What was the 2007 legislation?

              • Mary

                It was the Social Security Amendment Act 2007. The Court of Appeal said in Ruka v Department of Social Welfare in 2006 that the long title to the 1938 legislation was applicable to the current 1964 legislation because it “amended” the 1938 legislation rather than wholly replacing it. The new 1964 Act didn’t itself have a long title therefore the 1938 long title was applicable. In 2007 Labour decided it didn’t like this so it added a purpose section and a principles section (sections 1A and 1B) which had the effect of getting rid of the significance of the 1938 long title. It was Labour’s Social Security Amendment Act 2007 that did this. That same amendment Act was full of other horrendous attacks on the poor as well. Here is a link to a report that church-based group Caritas published in 2008 that sets all of this out:

                http://www.caritas.org.nz/resources/publications/unravelling-welfare-safety-net

                Labour has given no indication since what it did in 2007 that its attitude towards beneficiaries and social security will be any different. We can only assume that it’s still precisely the same.

                • karol

                  Thanks, Mary. Very useful and enlightening.

                  • Mary

                    I think it is important we look at the detail particularly closely when it comes to social security because it’s an area that mightn’t affect us directly therefore we tend to trust the broad opinions of others more readily. Labour’s been good on the rhetoric but behind the scenes was responsible for some really destructive anti-beneficiary law changes when in government. Removing the special benefit was one of them and needs to be part of any discussion about fixing things. I was also blown away reading about what Labour’s single core benefit would really do, for example. This is in fact very close to what Nact’s just done by collapsing many of the benefits into just three main types, all work-focused and backed up by Labour’s sections 1A and 1B which takes the main focus of the Act away from meeting need: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/whole.html#DLM1001030 and http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/whole.html#DLM1001031

                    On the current front, the bill Labour has just supported to the select committee, the Social Security (Fraud Measures and Debt Recovery) Amendment Bill removes Work and Income’s ability to decide not to recover debt other than that which is caused by Work and Income’s error: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2013/0098/latest/versions.aspx This is very serious, but again will be overlooked because it’s “only beneficiaries”. The work of Dr Lisa Marriott from Victoria University is relevant here where she exposed the difference between the likelihood of debt relief for taxpayers versus debt relief for beneficiaries: http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2013/08/14/gordon-campbell-on-putting-profit-potential-ahead-of-human-potential/

                    The need for debt relief for beneficiaries ought to be greater given that social security is about meeting basic needs, but this government is removing the ability to do this on hardship grounds, making it a statutory requirement for all beneficiary debt to be recovered unless it falls within the very narrow ambit of debt caused by Work and Income error (and which is fact another area which was tightened up by Labour in 2002!).

                    Regardless of all the rhetoric we hear from Labour about hardship and poverty and the need for a “fair and just society”, history over the past 22 years has shown us that Labour is no friend of beneficiaries.

                    • bad12

                      True Mary, and lest we forget it was Labour that launched the first direct financial attack on beneficiaries by adding income tax to benefits,

                      National then followed that attack with one of it’s own with the 1991 benefit cuts,

                      Labour again under the Clark Government, refused to make Working for Families a universal child allowance,

                      The monies needed to achieve this approx 500 million, did Labour have enough coin in the budget at the time, my opinion says yes,

                      Labour at around the same time gave ‘business’ a tax cut, the cost, 400 and something million dollars…

                    • srylands

                      bad bad bad Bas12 as usual 🙂

                      “True Mary, and lest we forget it was Labour that launched the first direct financial attack on beneficiaries by adding income tax to benefits,

                      National then followed that attack with one of it’s own with the 1991 benefit cuts,

                      Labour again under the Clark Government, refused to make Working for Families a universal child allowance,

                      The monies needed to achieve this approx 500 million, did Labour have enough coin in the budget at the time, my opinion says yes,

                      Labour at around the same time gave ‘business’ a tax cut, the cost, 400 and something million dollars…”

                      If you don’t have a big wedge between the reward for work and welfare income a large proportion of them will never get off their backsides ever. To her credit even Helen realised that. The design of WFF and getting rid of the Skyhawks – two of the few good decisions of the 5th Labour Government.

                      At the end of the day welfare is charity – it is SUPPOSED to be hard – just designed to keep people ticking over.

                    • Mary

                      Srylands: “If you don’t have a big wedge between the reward for work and welfare income a large proportion of them will never get off their backsides ever. To her credit even Helen realised that.” – You do need to have this kind of gap but previous governments have driven wages down which means keeping social security even lower. Benefit ceased to be pegged to the cost of living some time in the 1970s. Thirty years on they’re baseless and inadequate.

                      “At the end of the day welfare is charity – it is SUPPOSED to be hard – just designed to keep people ticking over.” – Welfare isn’t charity. It became a statutory right largely in 1938 because charity didn’t work and made people poorer. I agree with you that welfare should be designed to “keep people ticking over” but it no longer does even that (and in many instances it’s used to roll people over). Welfare isn’t meant to allow people to live in luxury, but it shouldn’t mean that people cannot afford even the basics, that families live in an ongoing state of financial unsustainability and suffer all of the consequences that come with this, whether bad health, relationship breakdown, crime etc. It’s no coincidence that in 1992 Jenny Shipley removed words to the effect of “allowing citizens to fully participate in the community” from the Department of Social Welfare’s official mission statement.

                • thanks for that mary..

                  (and i share those concerns around restoring welfare from labour..the silences are deafening..)

                  ..further up the thread i have been offered one on one interviews with the candidates..

                  ..and should this come to pass..this is one of the areas i will dig down in..

                  ..i can promise you that..

                  ..that and another couple of ignored (by candidates/media) issues..

                  ..and i will publish the results..

                  ..phillip ure..

            • RedBaron CV 3.1.2.2.1.2

              Thank you Mary, Thank you. Just what I need – I’ll read Ruka.

              • Mary

                Hi RBCV. While Ruka’s an interesting read I’m sure you’ll enjoy, the part that refers to the long title of the 1938 Act is really just a small part of the Ruka case overall (which is about the legal test for what constitutes a relationship in the nature of marriage for benefit purposes). Like I say feel free to read it because it’s good, but if you’re just looking for what the court said about the purpose of the legislation here it is here:

                “The Social Security Act 1964 does not have a statement of purpose as is often found in more modern legislation. Its long title says only that it is an Act to consolidate and amend the Social Security Act 1938 and its amendments. But the
                1938 Act’s long title does provide some guidance:

                ‘An Act to provide for the Payment of Superannuation Benefits and of other Benefits designed to safeguard the People of New Zealand from Disabilities arising from Age, Sickness, Widowhood, Orphanhood, Unemployment, or other Exceptional Conditions; to provide a System whereby Medical and Hospital Treatment will be made available to Persons requiring such Treatment; and, further, to provide such other Benefits as may be necessary to maintain and promote the Health and General Welfare of the Community.’

                The concern of the legislation was with the provision of financial help for people who for one reason or another could not adequately support themselves. An Act dating from that time could not have been expected to deal with de facto
                relationships, but there is a provision enabling a deserted wife to be granted a benefit as if she were a “widow”, one of the categories referred to in the long title.”

                What’s important now is that the significance of the long title today has been lessened considerably, if not removed completely, by the purpose and principles sections 1A and 1B that Labour introduced in 2007: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/whole.html#DLM1001030 and http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/whole.html#DLM1001031

                • RedBaronCV

                  Thanks Mary and if COA has stated that the long title guides the Courts then that will apply to all Acts. I can think of at least one that interests me where the leading decisions go directly against the long title of the Act and owe more to judicial prejudice..

                  • Mary

                    I’m really not sure if what the CA said would mean that it applies to other Acts – I’m not a lawyer – but instinct would tell me that it wouldn’t do this at all because we’re talking about whether the long title of a specific piece of legislation applies to another piece of legislation that “amends” the former rather than replacing it. That’s my guess. Please don’t think that I’ve said anything more than this.

                    In any case, the important point is that what the CA said in Ruka in relation to the long title of the (now repealed) 1938 Act is likely to no longer have any effect because of Labour introducing sections 1A and 1B which are specific provisions relating to the current 1964 legislation.

                    Of course, all of this detail will be lost on your average garden variety Labour MP. All they wanted was legislation that screwed beneficiaries over so that’s what they asked the officials to provide and this is what they got. Easy. Don’t expect anything different any time soon. It’s going to be business as usual pretty shortly.

  4. any spoken rationales for blocking the media from what the british labour party live-streams..?

    ..f.f.s..!

    ..labour want the excitement/drama of this run-off..and the media attention from it..?

    ..and the example of open-democracy the labour party self-praises for..as opposed to the stitched-up/mutual-backscratching in say..the national party..

    ..and then..in an epic example of brainfade/w.t.f..!..

    ..when push comes to shove in the process..

    ..labour close the doors/block the media from the actual event..?

    ..save for the bullshit prepared-speeches..?

    ..and retreat into their back-room..

    ..with the media only allowed in for the scripted-bit..?

    ..once again..f.f.s..!

    ..what is the difference..?…from national..?

    ..and what is the/any rationale for that (seemingly) braindead-decision..?

    ..phillip ure..

    • Bunji 4.1

      I believe the rationale for blocking media from the q&a after the introductions / speeches is so that members feel free to ask whatever questions they wish, without fear of how the media will slant them.
      Members are not paid professional politicians, and aren’t necessarily in the media game, so can feel uncomfortable asking some pointed questions of their possible leader who they will then be rallying behind (for the greater good, even if not their personal choice).

      ..what is the difference..?…from national..?
      There’s a massive difference from National of course phillip – those members will be asking those questions and getting a vote on the leader on the answers they’ll be getting.

      • phillip ure 4.1.1

        i can understand asking media to turn off cameras/recording-devices during questiontime..(for the sake/privacy/openess of members..)

        ..but why block reporting of the tone/timbre of the event..?

        ..and what the questions are..(not identifying questioners..)..?

        ..and why i asked ‘what is the difference..?’..is because the party president has been pushing this as the chance to get labour ideas/policies aired/debated/paid any basic fucken attention to..

        ..then when those questions/candidate-debates will be held..

        ..there will be no reporting of that..?

        ..this is both bullshit and madness..

        ..kinda like imagining the democrat party in america blocking the media from primary-debates..?

        ..(which is what this contest is..)

        ..and i repeat..the british labour party live-stream this stuff..why aren’t labour here..?

        ..phillip ure..

        • phillip ure 4.1.1.1

          the labour party still seems not to have learnt/heard that in the openness vs. control debate..

          ..openness won..(this is the age of the internet..aside from any philosophical-considerations..)

          ..what are they afraid of..?

          ..embarrassing questions like just what do they plan to do (concrete-plans) to end poverty..?

          ..phillip ure..

          • Saarbo 4.1.1.1.1

            Fair point Phillip.

            But I wonder if Labour are taking more care because of what happened at the November conference. The media reporting did not reflect the events of the conference at all. I suspect its a case of once bitten, twice shy. Thats my guess.

        • Clement Pinto 4.1.1.2

          This is primarily a party forum for its MEMBERS to evaluate and vote for their potential leader. Everything that transpires there is not for public exhibition or for misinterpretation and hijacking by the opposition or the sensation/controversy seeking mischief making media.
          Nevertheless the media is allowed in for the preliminaries and the speeches by the candidates.
          If you are really keen to know every teeny weeny little thing that takes place in the meeting, just go to the meeting in person and enroll at the door.

  5. bad12 5

    i want to go but am not dishonest enough to as a former member sign up just to get in as i am now a Green Party paid up member,

    Its a good look for Labour, and i wish the candidates good luck with more of it accruing to David Cunliffe…

  6. if anyone out there believes in open democracy..and somehow manages to get some record of what actually happens/ed in any/all of those ‘closed-meetings’..anywhere in the country..

    ..contact me @ site…i will publish/post it/them @ whoar..

    (any audio unedited plse..)

    ..this as an exercise in that ‘open democracy’ we are told labour believes in/celebrates..

    ..the people/voters want/need to know..

    ..so..?

    ..phillip ure..

    • karol 6.1

      Seeing how much the NZ MSM corrupted coverage of last year’s Labour Party conference, I can understand their caution.

      I think there is an argument for excluding media from the qu & a sessions this time round.

    • Anne 6.2

      phillip ure you’re being unfair. It is the members who are the important people at this event. They have a right to be able to ask questions without the Patrick Gowers of this world misrepresenting and embarrassing them. Some of them could end up being targets of malice should their questioning be seen on TV by workmates/colleagues or even management. That is not an over the top response because it was done to me 20 years ago, and there have been other commenters here who have had similar experiences in the past because of their political affiliation either to the Labour Party or the Greens.

      I expect some of the meetings will be videoed and if so, we will see them posted on this site.

      • phillip ure 6.2.1

        anne.. i understand discomfort @ possibly being gowered…

        ..that is why i see a suitable comprimise as cameras being turned off..for those sessions..

        ..but like i said..the tone timbre still being recorded..

        ..as for me..i just sit and watch..

        ..and then go and write..

        plus..like i noted..the british labour party livestream these for members who can’t get there..

        ..yet need this information to decide their vote..

        ..why isn’t labour doing that here..?

        ..as there will be radically different questions/topics in different parts of the country..

        ..so..forget the media for a mo’..and think of how best to inform labour party member..and perhaps even more importantly..any possible voters..just what this new labour party is..

        ..how it rides..

        ..this is publicity attention to die for..

        ..can nobody in any authority in labour see this..?

        ..livestream the bloody things..eh..?

        ..phillip ure..

        • Waffler 6.2.1.1

          I think there’s a difference between livestreaming everything and informing possible voters about what the labour party will stand for. A Labour Party lead by Jones will be different to a Labour Party lead by Cunliffe.

          If media are there I won’t ask questions. If media aren’t there I probably will.

          • millsy 6.2.1.1.1

            Suggest you ask questions anyway. The outcome of the leadership election is very much crucial for the future of New Zealand.

            • Waffler 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Agreed. However it’s more likely we’ll get the better questions if Ratboy has been ushered outside.

    • Clement Pinto 6.3

      You are coming across as an enemy combatant rather than a reasonable fair brother fellow.

    • Comrade Coba 6.4

      It’s no big secret what goes on in these meetings, the 3 of them pitch the right noise for the group on types Tell em what they want to hear. The ban on the media is for nut cases etc going off. Media jackpot time, “angry members go ballistic”… all in a 6 second video clip with a 45 second stitch up by Pat Gower. I’ve seen implosions before, a LEC member no less, outrageous attack out of left field. It fucked the meeting till some dude got the focus back and straighten the whole rooms backs. I knew Shearer & Cunliffe were weak after having to intervene like that. Sounds blowy but it’s a fact! Isn’t it GR & DC. p.s the same questions coming dc & I know when it’s not your script. Ok so the whole meeting be a bit of a bore mate, hmm your not intending to do some editing to cause mischief are you Phil?

  7. Sable 7

    If I want to see monkey’s throwing shit at each other I’ll visit the Wellington zoo…..

  8. Boadicea 8

    It is unfair to start this process outside of Wellington. Grant will be like a fish out of water. I hope some of the Thorndon set will be there to reassure him

    • does grant know where levin is..?

      ..i hope he has g.p.s..

      (does he get breathless/have panic attacks..?

      ..when forced outside the beltway..?..)

      ..phillip ure..

      • Stephen 8.1.1

        I’ve seen him down here in Christchurch several times in the last year and he is often out of Wellington. This “beltway”* crap is mostly smear.

        *ffs, the actual beltway is the Washington ring road around DC. In NZ, can’t we do better than this? I favour either “Bowen Triangle” or “Thorndon Bubble.”

        • phillip ure 8.1.1.1

          ’tis only a travelling-metaphor..

          ..and here’s some more:..

          ‘mt victoria miasma’..?

          ‘oriental bay sinkhole’..?

          ..’ tax money crematorium’..?

          ‘..’the golden trough’..?

          ‘..where idealism goes to die’…?

          phillip ure..

        • millsy 8.1.1.2

          I suppose you can get a decent panini in CHC.

          Not too sure about Otara, Lower Hutt, or Wainuiomata.

        • Rhinocrates 8.1.1.3

          And I live in Wellington Central, allegedly his electorate. That homunculus is fucking useless. “Beltway” is absolutely appropriate when you measure him by the yardstick of an electorate MP. I’ll add “parachute MP” as well. He’s an insult to us here.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.4

          Thorndon Bubble is good. Might start using that one.

      • millsy 8.1.2

        No decent lattes in Levin. He may have to take a flask.

        • phillip ure 8.1.2.1

          i’m also told that for the life of them..

          ..they can’t make a passable brioche..

          ..does grant include a personal baker in his retinue..?

          ..he’ll need one in levin..

          (..i understand grant reacts badly to budget-wheatmeal/wholemeals..?..

          ..lies on the floor and drums his heels..?..and makes whimpering noises..?..so i’ve heard..?)

          phillip ure..

  9. the central scutinizer 9

    what the fuck?
    “People entitled to attend include members, former members as long as they sign up again and new members who sign up at the door.”

    Well that has just cost Labour a candidate vote and a party vote .

    • Anne 9.1

      They are entitled to attend as paid up members no matter if they pay up at the door but:

      they don’t have an actual vote.

      • FINBAR 9.1.1

        Thats my understanding also ,that the close of date for membership voting rights was the Friday of the week of Shearers departure.That should be made clear to those attending the meetings who are renewing their membership,or a new joiner.

        • mickysavage 9.1.1.1

          If they were members at the right time and renew their membership soon they can still vote.

          This is from a recent letter from the General Secretary …

          … the Rules only allow new memberships up until midnight of the day when the election is triggered; people who have been financial members of the Party sometime between January 1 2011 and August 22 2013 but have not yet paid their membership for 2013 can renew their membership and vote, so long as they do so before 12.00am on Friday 6 September. This can be done by clicking here.

          There is a lot more detail in the Rules, which NZ Council have been working on for the past eight months. Click here to see the Rules.

          • FINBAR 9.1.1.1.1

            Thank you for that clarity.Is the vote being taken at the meetings or at another time.

            • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Stuff article says that people can vote at one of the meetings if they choose. I understand you can also submit your ballot via snail mail.

  10. Hambone 10

    Hurry up and choose Robertson as our next leader. Victory will follow.

  11. NZFemme 11

    Genuinely curious why this has made you so angry?

  12. Anne 12

    Read this load of tripe from Bryce Edwards.

    He quotes Vernon Small and Jane Clifton at some length as though they are objectives journos.

    Grant Robertson’s strong leadership appeal

    Trev and Jane (Tarzan and Jane?) lining up the journo/commentator ducks?

    • billbrowne 12.1

      I’m getting pretty pissed off with all these arseholes – most of which I’m sure don’t have a vote – trying to make me feel like the only obviously sensible choice is for me to vote for GR.

      I mean, I might – if he comes out with the goods better than DC – but all this being talked down to and the inference that Labour party members are a bunch of idiots who don’t know that GR is the sensible choice, best for the party, country & yadda yadda yadda.

      It’s none of their business anyway…

      • Anne 12.1.1

        Its a repeat performance of the last contest in Nov/Dec/2011. The same Tory journos, Tory commentators, Tory shills, Tory bloggers singing in unison over “which Labour candidate we should vote for”. The only difference… Shearer has been replaced by Robertson. How dammed arrogant and ignorant of them.

      • Craig GlenEden 12.1.2

        I have to agree bb these are the same journolist arsehole’s who for months have told us what a great leader Shearer was going to be, according to them he was the right choice! Well anyone who had spent anytime with the Shearer new he was a newbie in every way, he was not a political leaders arse.
        Then we had Gower try to make out Cunliffe was mounting a leadership challenge by supporting members who want to have a say on the Leadership. We all know how this turned out Shearer was worse than Goff ( Takes some Doing) and low and behold its Robertsons lot who just 18 months ago swore their support for Shearer announce that if Shearer didnt go quietly that Street was going to push him. Ha .
        So a message to Mallards bed mate Clifton and others of her ilk , we have your number dont pretend to act in our Parties interest because we know you are acting in your own. This time members get to have their say!

      • FINBAR 12.1.3

        The damage is done,who leads us at the next Election is a mug, odds say, mug. Then again,stand strong.

    • Paul 12.2

      Edwards has been drinking Chardonnay too long with the the wealthy elite. Hearing him on the Panel this week talking about Labour with National’s Boag shows how disconnected he has become.

    • Saarbo 12.3

      Add to Vernon Small and Jane Clifton, this morning John Armstrong. Clearly a concerted effort by Robertson to use his friends in the media. Trotter is spot on the mark in :http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2013/08/irresistible-forces-meet-immovable.html
      I have witnessed some ex Labour MP’s in my Labour branch who are as “right” as anyone in the National Party, they despise Cunliffe and support Robertson. Cunliffe has been clear that his move further left has been driven by the GFC, what surprises me is why more people have not moved left post GFC, it is a MASSIVE failure of the free market philosophy (certainly a reason why I have moved further Left, worth a read: Michael Sandel: What Money Cant Buy, The Moral Limits of Markets). Given the obvious freinds that Robinson has in the media, there is every probability he was behind the attack on Cunliffe at the November Conference, which has been enormously damaging to Labour.

      I would also like to know how the “3 factions” in Labour were exposed, 1) Shearer (ABC) 2) Robertson and 3) Cunliffe. Prior to this being exposed there was only the ABC’ers and Cunliffes team. Of course cunning old Robertson had to publicise that he wasn’t really a Shearer supporter, so I suspect that he put this (3 factions) out pretty early…distancing himself away from Shearer for an eventual challenge. And ffs, Jane Clifton is pro Robertson/anti Cunliffe…surprise bloody surprise…she should have a disclaimer noting that she is “shacked up with trevor fuckwit mallard” and is happy to report on anything Trevor wants her to. She had similar biases in her writings when she was shacked up with that National idiot.

      But something in John Armstrong’s article this morning did give me great hope, he reckons that if Cunliffe is chosen Leader then “The consequences of that – a flood of MPs announcing their retirements might be one outcome – can only be guessed…” Pleeease, pleease let this be true!!!!!!!!!

      • Craig GlenEden 12.3.1

        Totally agree Saarbo!

      • phillip ure 12.3.2

        yeah..sarbo..i saw that resignation-threat..

        ..laughed..and went ‘joy1..joy!..reason number 53 to vote for cunnliffe..!

        ..get rid of all that 80’s/neo-lib detritus..cluttering up the place..

        ..why don’t they just go and get an effing life..?..

        ..y’know..!..gorge on their (self-voted) eyewateringly genorous pension-schemes..

        ..take up macrame..or something..

        ..and yeah..clifton should post a disclaimer with her opines…channeling mallard as she is..

        ..and i reckon that robertsons’ (seeming) wholesale support from all these neo-lib-apologist trouts in the corporate-media..

        ..will be seen for what it is..those elites who control those media-whores..

        ..angling for the best candidate/outcome for them..

        ..don’t you worry..they all heard robertson’ hurried dog-whistle to them..(as they all recoiled in horror at the threats to ‘reform’ our expoilitive-power-set-up..)

        ..when he promised them that power-reforms were the only major reforms any incoming labour govt would institute..(!)..

        (w.t.f. was that all about..?..you ‘d have to ask..him..eh..?..)

        ..and those seeking a clearer focus on just what it is robertson stands for..

        .(.some in the media tell us he ‘is more left’ than cunnliffe..is so it is a cunning deep-cover version of it..eh..?..one where you fool everyone..by acting/doing rightwing all the time..)

        ..those wondering could do worse than going to the herald online..where the 3 candidates get to have a say..to sell themselves.

        ..and i read robertsons’ offerings twice..and i’m fucked if i know what was said..aside from aspirational-bullshit..meaning absolutely nothing..

        ..jones is his usual boofhead/wannabe-bovver-boy self..

        ..and cunnliffe talks some policy..

        ..go read them..

        ..then see if you can come back with a translation of what robertson said..

        phillip ure..

      • Rodel 12.3.3

        Saarbo – Yes Trotters article was good.I think it explained lot. Everyone should read it.
        Anne -re Edwards article…’tripe is the right word….Small “respected”..what next?’
        billbrowne- spot on comments-

      • Chooky 12.3.4

        @Saarbo….surely a beautiful gal like Clifton can do better than Mallard!!!!…..maybe someone on the Lefty Left should do a counter seduction offer ( thinking strategically here)

    • Maureen 12.4

      I think he changed after that attack by John Armstrong last year. To adapt a quote from David Farrar, he’s “tacked to the right”. I was horrified by Jane Clifton’s article … it’s once over lightly these days.

  13. Tamati 13

    Kinda disappointed they aren’t doing one in Auckland city. I know Western Springs is technically in Auckland city, but it’s still a long way for some of us.

    An event at the University would be awesome! Obviously there is a pretty huge contingent YL Princess Street, as well as plenty of other interested students. Would be pretty easy to schedule as it’s mid semester break, and plenty of empty lecture theaters.

    • Alanz 13.1

      There won’t be one in the city, based at Auckland University?? Why not???

    • karol 13.2

      Western Springs is pretty accessible to all. It’s fairly accessible to the north and west and central city. FFS, travelling from central Auckland to Western Springs is only half the distance from Waitakere to Auckland CBD.

      And the other meeting in Manukau pretty much gives relatively equal access from around greater Auckland.

      • Tamati 13.2.1

        It’s pretty damn far it you have to rely on a ferry and a bicycle.

        Couldn’t they have three or four meetings across Auckland? It’s a third of the countries population FFS. I guarantee they could fill a 400 seat lecture theatre at UoA or AUT.

    • Colonial Viper 13.3

      YL Princess St think that the party is theirs to inherit.

  14. newsense 14

    who is the leader of the Maori caucus then?

  15. tracey 15

    This is not a campaign to become govt per se. It is to give members a chance to influence the direction of their own party. Accordingly it needs first and foremost to be for members. I do hope candidate statements are being posted for those members who cant make meetings.

    are members being sent live streaming links

  16. Takere 16

    One of Labours values; Play Fair? So it’s a fair competition then …. experienced public relations professionals, Chris Harrington and Mark Russell – both of whom are helping out in a personal capacity as friends of Mr Cunliffe.
    A long-time party activist and former press secretary to finance minister Michael Cullen, Jenny Michie, is also on the team. The Labour party haven’t taken sides in this leadership race???

    • Ad 16.1

      Seems fair when over half the Labour caucus have been actively “Playing Fair” working for Anyone But Cunliffe for the last 6 years. They had all the resource, all the leadership, all the power … all the results in the form of perpetual failure.

      And you’re complaining because citizens who are Labour members want to get on board and say: “We are sick of being told what to do by professional political losers.”

      • Takere 16.1.1

        Cunliffe hasn’t been the leader for 6 years. Look, Cunliffe can’t connect with the voters Labour needs, thats a fact. The 5 to 7 percent that he wants to target won’t win the next election when they get split 3 ways. I agree that members are tired of being told what to think by the losers in the labour party. There are a fair few of them too!

        • the sprout 16.1.1.1

          Quite correct Takere, Cunliffe can’t connect with rightwingers such as yourself in the the way Shearer did, or Jones or Robertson can.

          Your mistake is in thinking you’re needed.

  17. Te Reo Putake 17

    Morning all. I’m going to Levin and I’ll be trying to give regular live updates during the candidate’s speeches and I’ll also try and get a few quotes from whatever MP’s I bump into during the course of the day. Should be a fun arvo, but I’d ask TS readers to spare a thought for Parekura Horomia. Today is actually the Region 3 conference, which was postponed at the time Parekura died and his passing will be marked appropriately.

  18. Te Reo Putake 18

    Greetings from te Horowhenua! Big turnout already. Lots of MPs, lots of strong local election candidates including Stuart Nash, Hamish McDouall and Soraya Peke Mason. The latter is likely to take Tariana Turia’s seat next election.

    David Parker speaking now on power prices,cleverly simple explanation of why deregulation hasn’t worked.

    Nice vibe in the hall, expectant is probably the right word.

    • Clement Pinto 18.1

      Will a live coverage or fast transcript of the proceedings and speeches be available for us that can’t be there in person?

  19. Lionel 19

    I hope the vetting process is through whats to stop the Nats from having their own people join via the union movement as has already been mooted on this website wouldn’t put it past them they are all snakes

  20. gobsmacked 20

    I like a good moan as much as anyone but I reckon Labour are getting a lot more right than wrong with this contest. It’s the first time, there are bound to be teething troubles, but if you review the past week …

    – Major upsurge in enthusiasm from Labour supporters, and interest from potential supporters

    – The two candidates who matter have done well in the media, differentiating but not divisive

    – There’s been the predictable shit-stirring from the Right and you can feel the frustration growing as it fails to derail the process

    – Shane Jones has gone from being the “grass is greener” candidate (i.e. the one people want simply because he isn’t there) to a real candidate, doing real campaigning, and that will kill off any nonsense about him leading Labour in an election

    Provided Cunliffe and Robertson don’t aim gun at foot (unlike Jones, they’re both smart enough not to) then Labour should come out of this stronger than in many years.

    Prediction: Cunliffe 56%, Robertson 33%, Jones 11%.

    • Clement Pinto 20.1

      Strangle, my calculation is exactly the same as yours! But I think the final voting break up % will not be revealed. I don’t think they did that during the last leader election through caucus..

    • Clement Pinto 20.2

      Your prediction (and mine) stack up not too badly! Well done to us! Cheers!

      ESTIMATE : David Cunliffe 56.00%, Robertson 33.00%, Jones 11.00%,
      ACTUAL : David Cunliffe 51.15%, Robertson 32.97%, Jones 15.88%,

  21. Te Reo Putake 21

    15 minutes to kick off. Jones the first to arrive. Robertson supporters are handing out leaflets with a weird pattern of triangles on it. Whatever can that mean?

  22. Te Reo Putake 22

    The hall is packed, big queue outside! May be a delay getting going. Cunliffe walks in, quickly surrounded by supporters. I count 150 seated, 40 standing.

  23. Colonial Viper 23

    thanks for the updates!

  24. Te Reo Putake 24

    Cheers cv. 200 at least packed in, moving welcome in te reo, Jones translates for DC and GR.

  25. Te Reo Putake 25

    Speaking order is SJ first, DC second.

  26. Te Reo Putake 26

    Jones gets some good laughs early. ’50 million dollar gorilla’ gets a good round of applause. Talks about provincial dreams, need to take the party to the regions.

  27. billbrowne 27

    Just got a letter from the little scrote Hipkins – will vote GR.

    Seems he’s not bothering with the whole candidates’ meetings, speeches etc.

    If he’s there you could ask him why he bothered making the trip.

    • mickysavage 27.1

      Which electorate are you in Bill?

    • Not a PS Staffer 27.2

      “Scrote” from Urban Dictionary

      noun- Literally short for scrotum. When a person, usually a male, is so useless and insignificant that they do not deserve the tiny effort it takes to spit out a second offensive syllable; less than a scrotum.

      I like it

  28. Te Reo Putake 28

    Jones is on fire! Talks about ending the inward looking approach. need hope, direction and lesdership for our waka.

  29. Te Reo Putake 29

    DC up now. a bit limp at the start, but warming up. Talking about poverty, health, schooling. ‘proud of LP, best hope for NZ’ We mind the gap … lasse unfair.

  30. Te Reo Putake 30

    Minimum wage to $15 after next election. Talks about assets, doesn’t rule out nationalising MRP

  31. Te Reo Putake 31

    Pledges to repeal the kapiti expressway. huge cheers.

  32. Te Reo Putake 32

    GR Up now, calls Key the weakest link, biggest cheer so far. Full employment at a living wage. all govt contractors to pay LW.

    • Colonial Viper 32.1

      Full employment at LW. Very nice indeed.

      • Clement Pinto 32.1.1

        ‘How’ is the moot question. They need to provide, asap, at least before the next election, detailed policy and strategy to achieve that laudable goal.

        • Greywarbler 32.1.1.1

          Dear Clement P
          Please don’t burst the Labour bubble.
          Regards Euphoria

          • Clement Pinto 32.1.1.1.1

            I am a Labour supporter and voter. I believe Labour will achieve great things for our nation as they have always done in the past. Every decent progressive just measure has been as a result of the fair and courageous policies of Labour. I was stating a legitimate view that every major social and economic aspirational policy detail in broad terms and not just the policy needs to be put in the open before the election. I wasn’t bursting any so called bubble as you derided.

            • Greywarbler 32.1.1.1.1.1

              My point is that promises and visions are easy, then comes the hard part of shaping affordable policy and timelines. Which is what I thought you might be saying. But just for the moment it is great to hear promises and forward thinking and grand speeches. The financial reckoning can wait for now.

  33. Te Reo Putake 33

    Ok, speeches over. Robertson clear winner. DC tried to be an evangelist in a room full of atheists. Jones surprisingly good. All 3 solid though and will improve over the next few days.

    • are you on record trp..as a robertson supporter..?

      ..(just seeking some context for yr wholesle endorsement..eh..?..)

      phillip ure..

      • Not a PS Staffer 33.1.1

        TRP has a complicated life. The poor wee thing.

        He doth protest, too much, that he is a Cunliffe admirer.

        Then….he always supported the status quo, as defined by Trevor and Grant, and admonished anyone who suggested that it might not work out under Shearer.

        Yes, his endorsements must be seen within a context.

    • mickysavage 33.2

      TRP you could have waited for Q&A to finish before passing judgment.

      • Te Reo Putake 33.2.1

        Huh? I was specifically rating the speeches, MS. Robertson came off best, Jones second, Cunliffe third. The Q and A went better for DC, but he really was off the mark in the speech. To be a bit more detailed about it, his delivery was flat, his one liners went over the head of the audience and he just failed to connect. Not a fatal blow, by any means, and he really did lift his game in the Q and A. But dollars to donuts, it’s Robertson who left Levin feeling the best about the day.

        • Anne 33.2.1.1

          Given Levin’s close proximity to Wellington I imagine Robertson was more or less on home territory. His supporters – many of them Vic. uni. students I gather – would have been there in droves. Could that account for much of the cheering response to Robertson’s speech? Unless the Robertson troops intend to traipse around the country with him, his ovations might not be quite so enthusiastic elsewhere. That is not to say Grant is not a good speaker because he is – I’ve heard him.

          Btw, I love the ongoing proclamations from the various ABC club members announcing their support for Robertson. I presume this is in response to Cunliffe’s supporters fronting up in person to stand alongside Cunliffe when he announced his candidacy? I have the impression they consider themselves so superior when ranked alongside the Cunliffe supporters (most of whom were demoted for their supposed disloyalty) that we’re all going to think… oooh look, they’re all so clever and important and they’re backing Grant so maybe we should too. Cynical I know, but close to the truth?

          • Te Reo Putake 33.2.1.1.1

            Good point, Anne and the region includes Kris Faafoi’s Kapiti electorate, so close enough to the capital for that to be a factor. However, there was a huge contingent of Iain Lees Galloway’s peeps there and ILG is very pro-Cunliffe. My guess is that there were marginally more GR supporters than DC, but that doesn’t diminish my point that DC was off his game, at least initially or that Robertson spoke best. I imagine when the meetings in Ak are held, DC may feel more at home and that might help.

            • karol 33.2.1.1.1.1

              I have noticed in some speeches by Cunliffe in the house, he starts off low key, and then the speech gains in momentum as the speech goes on.

            • Anne 33.2.1.1.1.2

              …my point that DC was off his game,…

              Yep. could be right. David was criticised at his leadership launch for being “over the top” by a number of commentators so he may have tried to tone himself down. Don’t David. You’re naturally ebullient and that’s what so many of us like about you.

          • lurgee 33.2.1.1.2

            You’ve never been to Levin, have you? It’s a LOOOOOONG way from Wellington, spiritually at least.

        • kenny 33.2.1.2

          On the money there TRP. I was there and agree entirely. I want Cunliffe to win but he needs to lift his game quickly. He seemed to be uncomfortable with the format.He needs to ditch the notes and speak from the heart.He needs to remember this process is about picking a leader who can beat Key. Stop apologising for perceived indiscretions (you did nothing wrong) and speak with more vigour.

          I was impressed by all three of them and was pleasantly surprised. I think the party will do well with any of them as leader but for the me the all-rounder would be Cunliffe.

  34. Te Reo Putake 34

    I’m a labour party supporter Phil. Cunliffe is my preference for leader, but he’ll need to improve.

    • Clement Pinto 34.1

      Thank you Te Reo Putake for your updates. Much appreciated. After watching a few media exposures so far, it is clear that all three candidates are of high quality. Each of them has more mana, believability and integrity than John Key has ever had or can ever even dream of having.

    • Boadicea 34.2

      Bollox TRP, you have been a defender of the Robertson King Goff regime on these pages. Your half arsed support for Cunliffe was always seen to be bullshit.
      You are a hand-maiden of the ABCs.
      Thought I actually think that you are not aware of that!!!
      Wake up.

      • Te Reo Putake 34.2.1

        Yeah, nah, Boedicea. I’d ask you for a cite, but, as you’re lying there’s no point. But anyway, kudos on being the first person ever to accuse me of being an ABCer, that made me laugh out loud. My consistent position has been that policy is more important than the talking head at the top. I support whoever is the LP leader, but not unequivocally.

        • weka 34.2.1.1

          “My consistent position has been that policy is more important than the talking head at the top. I support whoever is the LP leader, but not unequivocally.”

          Are you suggesting that there are no major policy differences between the current leadership candidates, TRP?

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 34.2.2

        Boadicea and CGE, having looked through TRP’s comments past, I can find little to support your perceptions.

        • Colonial Viper 34.2.2.1

          This might be helpful…

          What’s new? Shearer retrospective.

        • Craig Glen Eden 34.2.2.2

          You didnt look very well did you Knucklehead just look at his tripe below making out Cunliffe was admitting to a failed attempt to knock Shearer by leaking to Gower. Talk about making shit up! TRP has beeen being doing this shit for along time he is a Robertson support which as I have said is fine but at least be honest about it.

          Ive spoken to others at the meeting who are saying differently from TRP, so do I take a word he says as being honest? Hell know

          • Te Reo Putake 34.2.2.2.1

            Tough, Craig. Your made up friends can’t help you, and they can’t change reality. I’m not in the Robertson camp, never have been. However, Robertson did the best of the 3 candidates today and that’s a stone cold fact. You’re going to hate reading this, but Cunliffe wasn’t even the second best speaker. Jones was better; funnier, on topic and engaging. But, as I said, I expect Cunliffe to improve over the next few days.

      • lurgee 34.2.3

        He was there, wasn’t he? Unlike you, or me. He’s well placed to judge the performance of the candidates. You’re just letting mad spleen possess your faculties. Just accept, maybe Cunliffe is capable of stuffing up.

        • Craig GlenEden 34.2.3.1

          I would believe my Union contacts before TRP lurgee and lets remember this is the bloke who denies what he has said even when he own words have been quoted straight back at him by CV. As I have said support GR all you want but dont make out you dont and dont make out you have supported Cunliffe in the past when he hasnt.

    • Craig Glen Eden 34.3

      Your full of Shit TRP you have been a ABC from the beginning which is fine but do us all a service tell the bloody truth, stop the shit we get enough of it from so called Journolists.Any positive thing you have said about Cunliffe has been back handed.

      • Te Reo Putake 34.3.1

        And the second person to call me an ABCer crawls out from under his rock. Still, I did just shake hands with Grant Robertson, so it may be true 🙄

        • Colonial Viper 34.3.1.1

          I don’t know about ABC, but you declared Cunliffe’s chances of ever becoming leader as being zero months ago, detailing that you thought his bad behaviour and lack of political competence at Conference in 2012 had permanently slammed the door shut on him.

          Typical quotes from you include:

          Cunliffe has had two cracks at knocking off Shearer (in caucus and at conference) and has failed both times. He won’t get a third chance.

          and

          I really hope Cunliffe has a future leadership role, perhaps under Robertson or Little, but the sad fact is that he’s missed the boat in terms of leading the party.

          and

          After the flop at conference last year, Cunliffe is not going to be leader any time soon. His support within caucus has collapsed and there is no mechanism to test his support in the wider party. Otheer options will leave him as just a footnote in history, I’m afraid.

          and

          Sorry I can’t give you emails, letters, or other forms of proof, but Cunliffe’s leadership ambitions died on the weekend of the conference. And maybe that’s the real coup, eh?

          • Te Reo Putake 34.3.1.1.1

            Actually, I think I said Cunliffe would never roll Shearer. Turns out I’ve been proven correct, DS rolled himself.

            • Colonial Viper 34.3.1.1.1.1

              I’ve quoted what you said above, TRP.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Not all of what I said, CV, just a few of my many, many comments. And nothing in the quotes you do list is wrong. Yet. Cunliffe is still not the leader and based on Robertson’s effort today, he still may not be at the end of the election process.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Oh, OK, so you’re a Cunliffe supporter who thought that Cunliffe was finished and that he still may be. That’s helpful clarification.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Yep, them’s the facts, CV. Depite your cynisism, I’m still voting for him. Of course, as voters have to rank all 3 candidates, I’m voting for Robertson and Jones as well 😉

                  • lurgee

                    Is it impossible to support someone you think can not win? Then how do you explain all the people voting for the Greens or Mana?

            • Boadicea 34.3.1.1.1.2

              Grant Robertson rolled Shearer, using Street to front it. Street made that abundantly clear.

              That Shearer rolled himself is also true in that he should never ever have allowed himself to be the guinea pig in a bad experiment.

              Shearer’s vanity is the cause of his undoing.

              Shearer was not a nice man. He was vain ignoramus who, with the help of Robertson, did a lit of damage to the Labour Party. If Robertson is not rejected now that damage will continue.

          • weka 34.3.1.1.2

            “I don’t know about ABC”

            I don’t either, but my memory of you TRP, in the past year or so, has been of someone tied to the conservative centre of the Labour party and who boxes clever when that is pointed out 🙂 I found your reporting today interesting, but I also find myself not quite able to trust it.

            • lurgee 34.3.1.1.2.1

              You have to be careful with your perceptions though. I get some flack for being ‘pro-Sheaerer’ and rightwing, even though I wanted Cunliffe to win. I just accpeted that he didn’t and moved on. I also comprehend that my politics are not reflected in the wider NZ electorate. If Labour put out the sort of programme I would unequivocally support, they’d lose an awful lot of votes on the right flank, and gain virtually none on the left – because there aren’t enough there. Some of us seem to be better at taking that into account.

              I find the attacks on TRP’s integrity pretty disspiriting. It suggests some people are almost as convinced by Cunliffe’s divine qualities as he is and are simply going to try to yell down anyone who says It Ain’t Necessarily So. Odd how they turn on TPR and accuse him (?) of blatant bias, but make no comment on Benghazi’s evaluation. Perhaps that was actually the biased one?

              I’d suggest Roberston knew he was starting from behind with the memberships and will throw everything into his campaign to win member votes.

              • weka

                I think the problem is that TRP’s bais isn’t blatant. If it were blatant, it wouldn’t matter. My unease with their comments on the meeting today is based on their posting history here, not their politics.

                • lurgee

                  My posting history here is probably quite similar. I wanted Cunliffe, got Shearer. Accepted that and got over the disappointment. Found the constant schisming and undermining and questioning really dispiriting. Want Cunliffe again, but would settle for anyone and unity as a starting point.

                  • weka

                    That’s fine. But other people don’t think that GR will be good for the left if he becomes leader of the Labour party. You can frame this as people worshipping Cunliffe, but I haven’t seen that. I see people supporting Cunliffe as being the only real choice, not because he is the messiah, but because the Labour party is in such bad shape due to its neoliberal hangover.

                    I say this as someone completely outside the LP. As GP member and voter, whoever leads Labour is important for obvious reasons, but I don’t feel any particular affinity with Cunliffe other than he happens to be the person most likely to help shift Labour and thus NZ left again. If I am wrong about this, and GR isn’t going to support the ABCs, and is going to start the move away from neoliberalism, I haven’t seen the evidence yet.

                    “Want Cunliffe again, but would settle for anyone and unity as a starting point.”

                    Right, so this is the fundamental diffference. You think the unity of the Labour party is the most important thing. I don’t, and I see Labour party members here who don’t either. If Labour unity means status quo, fuck that. I really don’t get this unity thing, given that there is an insurmountable division within the party. If GR wins, and you get your unity, doesn’t that just mean more agonising years of Labour moving to the centre? What is the point?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You think the unity of the Labour party is the most important thing. I don’t, and I see Labour party members here who don’t either. If Labour unity means status quo, fuck that. I really don’t get this unity thing, given that there is an insurmountable ideological division within the party.

                      I think that’s what you probably mean, at least it’s how I read it.

                      A system based on political parties has certain weaknesses. MPs have to tow the party line even if it doesn’t represent their own personal viewpoint. In MMP it can be worse, because a lot of list MPs have to tow the dominant line of the day, or risk being demoted on the list and eventually out of office. What this has meant over time in Labour that your loyalty (or appearance of loyalty), and your ability to be a good follower, starts being valued more and more highly. And too often more highly than competence, political judgement, ability to get the job done,…

                    • weka

                      I probably did mean ideological CV, but it’s also in how that plays out in practical terms. Are there not also divisions between caucus and the membership, and divisions between the needs of the party and the needs of MPs looking after their careers?

                      “MPs have to tow the party line even if it doesn’t represent their own personal viewpoint. In MMP it can be worse, because a lot of list MPs have to tow the dominant line of the day, or risk being demoted on the list and eventually out of office.”

                      Hence the value of having the whole party form policy, choose list placement etc, rather than those things being controlled by caucus or the upper levels of the heirarchy.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Grant’s not a damn neo-liberal: look at his industrial relations policy announced today, or his speeches. He’s a reforming social democrat.

                    • lurgee

                      *sigh*

                      I refer you to my comments some time ago. I accept my personal political convictions ado not accord with the bulk of New Zealand, and a lurch to the left will shed more votes than it brings in.

                      And I’d suggest having a wet socio-democratic government squatting dully in the centre ground would be far better than having National in office. It’s political reality. Head left and feel good about yourself if you must, but it won’t last beyond election night.

                      The NZ electorate is broadly centrist with a worrying tendency to lean to the right, and that’s been amplified by the last 30 years of neo-liberal misrule. Clark understood that. It wasn’t much fun, watching Labour play to the middleground, but it meant we were spared the horrors of Don Brash in charge.

                  • weka

                    “My posting history here is probably quite similar.”

                    To go back to this point… it’s not TRP’s party politics I object to, it’s the spin and subtle dishonesty. I think your problems of perception here are different to that.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Cheers, Weka. It’ll comfort you to know I’m not dishonest. Not particulaly subtle either, though I do like to take the piss occasionally. My only spinning is on the backyard cricket pitch.

                      I gave a straight read of what happened today. They were my impresions and I’m supported by others who were there when I say it was Robertson’s day. I actually took the trouble to talk to people and ask them who they thought won. Random people, too; other members over a cuppa. TV3 also reported it as being in the bag for Robertson.

                      edit: so does Farrar: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/08/a_win_for_robertson.html

                    • weka

                      You do realise I’m not disputing the conclusions you came to from the meeting?

                      And if you were a subtly dishonest spinner, your comment just now is pretty much what I would expect 🙂

                      ‘dishonest’ was probably not the best choice of words. But while I do find your comments in ts interesting, like I said, I can’t quite bring myself to trust what you say with regards to the Labour leadership.

                      btw, linking to Kiwiblog and TV3 to support your position isn’t really that convincing 😉

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Yeah, I picked KB and TV3 for quantity, not quality. Desperate, I know.And fair enough about the trust factor, it’s the internet after all. Funnily enough, I met a lovely TS reader during a break and told her my handle. I wonder if the trp she knew from here matched up to the real me. I’m hoping I exceeded expectations!

                      I’m looking forward to reading other folk’s comments on the meetings tomorrow. Probably need a whole new post for that.

                    • weka

                      It’d be good to have a new post for each meeting.

              • QoT

                almost as convinced by Cunliffe’s divine qualities as he is

                Ah good, the “anyone who supports Cunliffe is deluded and thinks he’s Jesus” myth is getting well grounded. And by people who keep insisting we need unity!

                It all makes sense when you realise that ever since the loss in 2008, “unity” has been code for “shut up and stop criticising our obvious leadership blunders”.

                • McFlock

                  That last bit is part of the pro-cunliffe meme. Apparently calling someone a neoliberal because they don’t list the exact policy items one desires is part of healthy debate and criticism.

                  And if cunliffe doesn’t win it’s because of evil ABCers plotting behind his back and not his own failings as a human being.

                  • weka

                    “Apparently calling someone a neoliberal because they don’t list the exact policy items one desires is part of healthy debate and criticism”

                    Who has done that?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      McFlock doesn’t believe that the Leader makes much difference to Labour’s performance, but continues perpetuating his passive ABC act anyways.

                    • McFlock

                      Anyone who’s called a current member of the labour caucus a neoliberal or neolib sympathiser. Quite a few pop up in the search engine, especially from when Robertson threw his hat in the ring.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Labour will not intervene in any other market!!!

                    • McFlock

                      it’s a sad day when you resort to repeating cetacean and nbr spin, cv.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What do you mean, right wing spin? Robertson said it himself.

                    • McFlock

                      nope, he didin’t say anything like “Labour will not intervene in any other market”.

                      Oh, you can take one of his comments about NZpower and add an awful lot of wishful thinking, but at the end of the day you’re just making shit up.

                  • weka

                    “Apparently calling someone a neoliberal because they don’t list the exact policy items one desires is part of healthy debate and criticism.”

                    i.e.

                    “Anyone who’s called a current member of the labour caucus a neoliberal or neolib sympathiser”

                    Disingenuous much? Now it’s not ok to critique Labour MPs with regards to where they stand on neoliberalism? Or are you saying that none of the current Labour MPs are neoliberalists?

                    • McFlock

                      No. I don’t think they are. I don’t think they’re anything close.

                      Fuck. Now we’re reduced to definitions.

                      Here’s what I mean by “neoliberal”:
                      Non-intervention inmarkets
                      Elimination of worker protections and the welfare state
                      Complete elimination of immigration, import and export controls
                      Privatisation of all government functions
                      Massive shrinkage of government
                      strictly private provision of education, healthcare and social welfare

                      Basically, what prebble et al were after in lab4. Yes, goff and others were in lab4, but that doesn’t make them neoliberal. It might just make them economically dumb and weak thirty years ago.

                • lurgee

                  @ QoT

                  Note how my original “some people are almost as convinced by Cunliffe’s divine qualities as he is” became “anyone who supports Cunliffe is deluded and thinks he’s Jesus” – which would be an odd thing for me to say, as I’ve stated several times I want him to win, and wanted him to win last time as well.

                  Bit of ‘spin’ and ‘subtle bias’ (or whatever it was that TPR was accused of) going on there, QoT.

                  And consider how TPR is being treated here – shouted down, smeared and accused of lying BY PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT EVEN AT THE MEETING. All by people supporting Cunliffe, denying that he might have fluffed it, and that Robertson might have made a good speech. What does that tell you about those people? That their fanatacism over-rides their faculties.

                  The narrative thus far around here has been that Robertson is a canny operator who can not connect with the membership or the electorate, whereas Cunliffe is the darling of the grassroots. That got challenged today, and some people don’t like it.

                  And – to borrow your own words – the smears directed at TPR sound rather like frightened Cunliffistas snarling, “shut up and stop criticising our obvious (wannabe) leadership blunders”.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hey dude fuck off.

                    TRP spread the exact same bullshit after Conference last year: that Cunliffe had been planning to carry off a coup at Conference. I was at Conference and I know for a fact that was ABC spin. Any leaks to the media were carried out by the ABCs. As O.T.V. also concluded at the time the coup rumours were false allegation and all in TRP’s imagination.

                    TRP is merely returning and rinsing off the exact same ABC themes now – as are you.

                    The narrative thus far around here has been that Robertson is a canny operator who can not connect with the membership or the electorate, whereas Cunliffe is the darling of the grassroots. That got challenged today, and some people don’t like it.

                    Robertson can’t beat Key.

                    Not on the economy, not on private sector experience, not on Ministerial experience, not on being able to turn Auckland out.

  35. TRP will tell you he WAS a Cunliffe supporter but its all rot. He’s an ABC. GR was not clear winner. I’m here too and I was impressed at all three speeches and the answers. The overwhelming feeling here is ‘we’ve got real talent and its great to see!’.

    • billbrowne 35.1

      What kind of Q’s were asked? Any surprising / outstanding replies?

      • Te Reo Putake 35.1.1

        Lots of questions, Bill. Employment rights, Iwi, women, jobs etc. Lots of commitment to the living wage, repealing bad legislation, empowering women and making our families violence free.

        There was a lot of humour in the replies, particularly from Jones. All three quoted bible passages while discussing what they thought their weaknesses were. Cunliffe ribbed Jones … ‘lead us not into temptation’, ho ho!

        Cunliffe twice referred to the last conference and said he’d learned from the experience. He seemed to be half apologising/half saying he was humbled by the experience and the subsequent demotion. Seemed to accept responsibility for leaking/talking to Gower at conference last year (‘I’ve learned how not to deal with Gower’).

        • Colonial Viper 35.1.1.1

          Seemed to accept responsibility for leaking/talking to Gower at conference last year (‘I’ve learned how not to deal with Gower’).

          Sorry mate, but what a load of made up bullshit you’ve just issued. Cunliffe was accused of spearheading a coup last conference on the basis of not saying for the hundredth time in 72 hours that Shearer had is unequivocal support. The charge was, and remains BS, amply spread around by the ABC’s and again now by yourself.

          • Te Reo Putake 35.1.1.1.1

            Don’t talk to me about it, talk to Cunliffe. He repeatedly ackowleged his failings at the last conference today, both during his speech and in the Q and A. He’s given up denying it, perhaps you should too.

            • Colonial Viper 35.1.1.1.1.1

              You were pushing the Cunliffe failed coup attempt narrative last year after Conference, and you are pushing it again now. It was bullshit then, and it is bullshit now.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Cunliffe disagrees with you, CV.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Well, since I was there and I talked to him both then, and afterwards, I definitely know you are full of it.

                • karol

                  At his leadership campaign launch on Monday, Cunliffe said he has learned from the past and felt he could have handled the media better at least year’s conference. He has learned from the humbling experience of being on the back bench etc.

                  He was not claiming he had attempted a coup during the conference. I took it to basically mean he wasn’t going to re-litigate the whole 2012 conference issue. There’s not a lot to be gained by re-litigating the whole issue now. It seemed like a strategy just to draw a line under the whole business and look forwards. It didn’t sound to me like he was saying (on Monday) that he had attempted a failed coup at the conference last year.

                • Benghazi

                  Cunliffe said he has learned how to better handle the media TRP. He has never ever acknowledged what you are alleging and it is misleading for you to suggest that there was an admission today.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 35.1.1.1.1.2

              In his own words, did he “acknowledge his failings” or “learn from the experience”? They mean rather different things.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Both. He raised it specifically when the candidates were asked to identify their weaknesses and he seemed to be genuine when he talked about it being a humbling experience. He acknowleged leaking or, at least talking out of turn, to Gower in answer to a question about whether the candidates needed media training. He got a good laugh when he said he’d learned how not to deal with Gower. (ie don’t trust the sod).

          • kenny 35.1.1.1.2

            CV you obviously weren’t there so you have no idea what was said. TRP is quite correct in what he says happened. Cunliffe did apologise for past ‘indiscretions’ (see my earlier post) unnecessarily I thought. He will have to lift his game quickly if he is to win.

        • Not a PS Staffer 35.1.1.2

          Cunliffe’s perceived crime at the last conference was to share the same sentiment as the majority of the Membership in Ellerslie.
          They, the Members and the Affiliates, wanted the member to have a significant say in the leadership selection.
          The leadership did not want that.
          They saw Cunliffe’s open lobbying as a sign of resurrection. They were caught totally unawares by the Friday night vote of the Affiliates. That is why Andrew and Darien were so angry: they were seen to be out of touch with their base.
          The leadership decided to pre-empt the February selection opportunity presented to Cunliffe by the votes on Saturday afternoon. They briefed TV3 that Cunliffe was making a leadership bid at the conference. The rest is history.
          Total Bullshit but it worked.

          I suspect Cunliffe learned a lot from that. The majority of the membership and the affiliates learned a lot from that.

          That is why the majority of the membership and the affiliates will vote to make sure the likes of Robertson are not in a position to run this Party.

          • Comrade Coba 35.1.1.2.1

            + 1 you have got it spot on DC-SJ-GR that’s how we roll the ABC & they know. How often does a MP call you on a Sunday? It’s a desperate attempt to garnish votes. The wash will settle & it’s all happy happy families!

    • Te Reo Putake 35.2

      Benghazi, I based my assessment on what I saw and what others told me. I asked half a dozen people who came over best of the candidates and all said Roberston. He got the most applause for his speech, seemed at ease and connected well with the audience. Cunliffe was hesitant, nervous even. He’ll improve. Like it or not, Robertson did best.

      PS, I’m wearing a Nix shirt if you wanna say gidday.

      • Boadicea 35.2.1

        Call the fashion police!

      • Benghazi 35.2.2

        I tell you what I saw today. I heard Moira close the extremely positive meeting with a warning to members not to feed the media anything they could play up into divisiveness and disunity. I thought the meeting was fantastic for Labour and I was really hopefuly.

        That is, until I watched a pre orchestrated set up of Robertson supporters head outside, pick off a reporter each and tell them that “Robertson won the Q&As and clearly is the only choice for Leader”. I saw this, I heard this, and I am frankly appalled at the ongoing ABC set up.

        • billbrowne 35.2.2.1

          If I see this sort of shit at a meeting I go to, I WILL raise a stink, that WILL make it on to the news – take this as a warning, if you don’t want that to lead the 7PM bulletin.

          Am planning on going to more than one by the way.

        • Anne 35.2.2.2

          Aha Benghazi, that fits in with my comment at 33.2.1.1. Here’s the excerpt:

          Given Levin’s close proximity to Wellington I imagine Robertson was more or less on home territory. His supporters – many of them Vic. uni. students I gather – would have been there in droves. Could that account for much of the cheering response to Robertson’s speech? Unless the Robertson troops intend to traipse around the country with him, his ovations might not be quite so enthusiastic elsewhere.

  36. Rich 36

    I don’t think any other party invites the media into their branch meetings.

    It would be nice to move to the US system of open primaries, but all parties should do it at once – I for one look forward to voting in National’s: Cam Slater and Gerry Brownlee both seem sound leadership candidates, but on balance, I think I’ll go for Aaron Gilmore.

    Also, it would be nice if there were independent media to invite for the whole meeting, but we don’t have such people in NZ. And if (as is demanded) you extend media to mean “anyone with a blog” or “anyone with a twitter account” then they might as well just send a standing invitation to the Young Nats.

    • gobsmacked 36.1

      One of the funnier blog comments was Homepaddock (National party office holder) seriously complaining that Labour’s leadership election meetings didn’t go any further south than Dunedin.

      Whereas … National’s last leadership election meeting didn’t go any further south than Parnell. Media were definitely not invited. Nor were the party members.

  37. Boadicea 37

    Grant’s crowd ignored Moira’s request not pitch to the waiting media .
    Quite a concerted and orchestrated lobby activity.
    Shameless fuckers.
    They are well rehearsed at this!

    • Te Reo Putake 37.1

      Yep, his team is organised alright. If I’ve learned anything today, it’s that this is not going to be a shoo in for Cunliffe. He’s going to have to fight for every vote.

      • Colonial Viper 37.1.1

        Absolutely. This is a true leadership primary. A simple question remains – who can take on Key next year and throw National out of power.

  38. jaymam 38

    I’d just like to state here that since Helen Clark resigned I have supported David Cunliffe as leader and nobody else. He is the only chance Labour have got to win against John Key. So a vote for anyone else would be crazy. The Labour caucus have got it wrong twice now – don’t make it three in a row. I’m not in an LEC now but I have a very good idea what voters like and dislike, and plenty dislike the other two contenders.

    • Colonial Viper 38.1

      Which Leader can beat Key in the debates and turn out the voters to win the party vote. This is not difficult political calculus.

    • Anne 38.2

      It’s not so much we dislike them jaymam but rather we know Cunliffe is the right man for the times. There’s an old truism which says… if you are too close to the problem, you can’t always see the right solution. Many in the caucus fit into that category.

  39. levin have set the bar/standard high..

    ..they catered..

    ..over to you..the rest of nz..

    ..this is the mark you must (at least) front up to..

    ..(vegan somosas @ western springs..?..)

    ..phillip ure..

  40. Tanz 40

    All MPs are well off, it just happens to come with the job, which is highly paid, but for good reason. You don’t aspire to get to Parliament for the money alone. This should not count against the contenders, I mean, who would not live in a leafy suburb if one was able? That is the aspiration of most people, is it not? Not that there is anything wrong with wonderful West Auckland!! Leafy, kind of.

  41. Frida 41

    Hi all
    I was in Levin today. I’m a Cunliffe supporter from Raumati and I’ve voted for him already at the meeting. But I agree with TRP. He came third today. Hopefully he’ll hit his straps over the next few days.
    Cheers

  42. Clement Pinto 42

    The TV 3 ‘THE NATION’ : I watched it this morning and felt that Sean Plunket was partial to Jones and Robertson but was quite unfair to Cunliffe in the way he kept interrupting him disturbing his trend of thought and not letting him complete his sentences.
    Happened more than on one occasion to DC but not to the other two. Did any one else think so? If you didn’t watch it this morning, you can still watch the show tomorrow morning as it plays again on Sunday.

    I am a member. I am keeping an open mind on the 3 candidates so far. I like them all for different reasons, but I want someone that the NZ general public will want to support and help bring Labour into power by defeating the present lot of untrustworthy and discredited National/ACT lying crooks. I Will start making my mind up after watching at least another 6 meetings.

    • Hami Shearlie 42.1

      We noticed exactly the same thing you did Clement Pinto – what else can we expect with Sean Plunket being a great friend to the National Party – Apparently Kerry Prendergast (National party through and through), wanted Plunket to stand for the Wellington Mayoralty when she was leaving!! Sean sure wouldn’t want David Cunliffe to be the Labour Party leader – DC might do something absolutely AWFUL and actually win the next election!!!

      • Clement Pinto 42.1.1

        Thanks Hami Shearlie. I feel better now. I was wondering a little if I myself was prejudiced about Sean Plunket and his bias! I so wish that these interviewing hosts are fair to the participants and do not show their own prejudices. Very few of them have that ability.

      • Don't worry. Be happy. 42.1.2

        Sean Plunket’s bias and poor old Geoff Robinson’s bumbling finally got too much for me on Morning Report and I stopped listening, although from time to time I catch Simon Mercep with his highly inappropriate ‘Fair Go’ hat on. Sigh. “Nine to Noon” followed as did Mora “such a nice man” (such a suck up to his Tory panelists). That leaves only Mary Wilson and Kim Hill. Fortunately they’re more than enough. Thank God for women.

  43. Murray 43

    Current Labour is just poor National in drag. Time to get back to basics where people are the main issue. Jones (minus the nonsense descriptive cliches) has the right goals but whether he can achieve them without a Cunliffe is debateable. And a difficult mix

  44. Ant 44

    Seems to be fracken grass-roots bingo at the moment… Likelihood of candidates actually delivering on these things as official Labour policy once elected to the leadership?

    Cunliffe has talked the talk prior to the runoff at least – probably has some ideas of their feasibility… I get the feeling GR will take any position or say anything that will get him the top spot, Jones is pretending to be working class…

    • karol 44.1

      Two things have struck me this weekend, that indicate Robertson is following the same strategies as Shearer:

      1) NZ Herald qu & a: Robertson says the first thing he’d do as leader is tour the country.

      Q: What is the first thing you would do as Labour’s leader?

      David Cunliffe: I would work with my caucus colleagues to assemble the best lineup we can to win in 2014 and release the energy of every member of the caucus to take on John Key. I regard unity of the caucus as a top priority.

      Shane Jones: Upgrade the Leader’s Office, get some smart people in there and get a professional office manager so that the Leader’s Office is a permanent man-o’-war. A significant problem we’ve had is too many caucus members have felt dislocated from what happens at the front bench, and when people feel dislocated, energy levels go down.

      Grant Robertson: Plan a tour around New Zealand to hear from New Zealanders about their hopes, challenges and concerns. Take the caucus with me and start putting our message out clearly.

      Shearer made a big thing of doing just that when he became leader.

      The other two candidates talked about uniting caucus. Robertson seems to assume caucus will already be with him.

      2) Shearer tacks to the left, as described by Martyn Bradbury:

      ean Plunket grilled the 3 candidates mercilessly while later in the day the first debate in Levin occurred where Robertson made up for his earlier lame duck performance by tacking hard to the left.

      I seem to recall that when under pressure, especially from some in the Labour Party or some potential Labour voters, Shearer feinted to the left.

      • Olwyn 44.1.1

        I agree, and commented to that effect on Bomber’s piece. I have come to see the conflict within Labour that has led to this leadership contest as being a conflict between Labour as a grass roots movement and Labour as members of a political/media elite. It is a situation whose seeds are sown during good times, when both poles can be satisfied, but which causes disruption during bad times, when looking after your place in the pecking order can mean betraying the grass roots, and genuinely representing the grass roots can compromise your elite status. So, the aim, for those of such persuasion, becomes winning them over without losing your in-house allies. The big question is, which has the greatest influence on your actions – the members and voters or the allies? With Shearer, we already know the answer. With Robertson, we surely have a few clues.

        One such clue is who cheers loudest, those wanting representation or those wanting cushy jobs.

  45. Bruce 45

    I’m liking this leadership race as it seems to be keeping Labour in the headlines. I support Cunliffe as new Labour leader. Robertson and Jones can give nice speeches, but the fact is they have baggage/issues (I don’t need to spell these out) that can be detrimentally used by the right-wing.

  46. dubious 46

    Grant Robertson for Labour leader. Enough said.

  47. Tanz 47

    watched Q and A. Jones is the winner Clear, concise, humble.. Robertson did okay too, Cunliffe is the most hungry for it, but in an annoying way.

  48. Linz 48

    Has anyone any news about this afternoon’s meeting?

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