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Labour leadership contest a fantastic innovation

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, September 16th, 2013 - 132 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, labour - Tags:

Well, didn’t that work well? For the past three weeks, Labour has dominated the political news with three contenders show-casing its values. There was remarkably little aggro – witness Tracy Watkins’ desperate scratching for any time conflict story. David Cunliffe has emerged with the legitimacy of a democratic victory, and a much stronger-than-expected mandate.

The next question: when National loses and Key scampers off to Hawaii, how will their next leader be elected? Will they make the same mistake that Labour made in 2011 of letting the caucus choose, or will they join the 21st century and let their members have a democratic say? I wouldn’t hold your breath.

132 comments on “Labour leadership contest a fantastic innovation ”

  1. irascible 1

    When PinoKeyo flees to his home in Hawaii the National-ACT party will, true to its philosophy, put the position of Party Leader up for tender with the offer of a sweetener to their favoured PPP corporate purchaser.
    After all didn’t PinoKeyo buy his way in to the position in the first place?

  2. Craig Glen viper 2

    It has been a great process for the Party as a result of the way the candidates ran their campaigns it could have been different and barring the behaviour of one MP the Mps have abided by the spirtit of faiplay. The preferential voting system has also made it clear just where and to what level the candidates have the support of the three groupings in the Party.
    Cunliffe was in deed the clear winner, now its time for the caucus to get behind the leader that the Party has overwhelmingly chosen and if they believe they cant do that, then leave with dignity and make room for some new talent to take the Party forward.

    Thanks again to Labours staff for all the work.

  3. Tom Gould 3

    November 27 this year marks the 7th anniversary of John Key’s honeymoon with the news media. Interesting that David Cunliffe’s ‘honeymoon’ with them lasted about 7 hours.

    • karol 3.1

      Yes. The corporate media shows whose side it’s on. But they’d better beware. The people are getting on to them in increasing numbers!

    • Janice 3.2

      The narrative on RNZ this morning is not only that DC will have trouble uniting his caucus, but that he is going to raise taxes. No mention of whose taxes he is going to raise.

      • aerobubble 3.2.1

        Politician always raise taxes. All lobby groups are essentially arguing for a tax increase. Take the Sensible Sentencing trust, that likes us all being the victim of crime and higher taxation to keep a underclass of criminals churning generations of families into crime. The point surely is are those taxes good for us or not, and Labour has been silent on the taxest of Key, taxes from GST, taxes from poor and reduced legislation, taxes from nonsense policies to keep the public distracted. How much have the inquiries into the GSCB been when all Key need to have done was have an opne debate about the laws in a cross party manner. How much a tax will the new law be as we have to take extra means to secure privacy (and so cost the watchers even more in tracking, analysis and decyption etc).

        We need a debate about taxes and anyone who says they are for lower taxation should be laughed out the building, there is no such thing, no government believes in lower taxation, what they mean is shifting taxes into the private sector, outsourcing the externalities, the risks on to mum and dad NZ. Three decades of lying neo-liberal nonsense, ts got to be outed and shutdown.

  4. tracey 4

    no brash no cash. thats how national elect its leaders.

  5. chris73 5


    How about maybe concentrating on winning the election first…

    • Enough is Enough 5.1


      Add the 800,000 non voters from 2011 to Labour’s core vote and you have something close toa landslide.

      Now si the time for the left to act as the government in waiting and prepare to take office next year. Lets start telling the country how New Zealand will look in 2015 under the Green/Labour government.

      • BM 5.1.1

        Why do you think these 800,000 are left voters?

        I’d say the majority of them just can’t be fucked voting, don’t really care whose in charge.

        • lprent

          The majority of them will vote when they can see something worth voting for or against. For instance the turnout was low in 2002 because it was obviously going to be a landside. But in 2005 is was high mostly (in my opinion) because many casual voters saw a damn good reason to not allow Brash to win the election after his Orewa speech and subsequent proclamations about what National would do *when* they won the election.

          And the canvassing I have done or analyzed (a *lot* over the last 20 years) indicates that most of the casual voters will vote left rather than right when they do vote.

          • BM

            So, how are the left going to get these individuals to vote.?

            What’s going to motivate them enough to get off their chuffs and take an interest in the voting process, we don’t have a divisive Brash situation happening at the moment and if anything Key is considered pretty moderate and inclusive by most certainly not hard right and extreme like Brash.

            The way I see it Labour’s going to have to promise some pretty expensive stuff to get these “voters” to the booths, how much tax payer money is Cunliffe and Labour willing to throw away to get these elusive non- voters to the polling booths.

            • McFlock

              nah. Labgrn just need to promise to stop kicking the majority of NZers when they’re already down.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

              @ BM,
              The comment I hear most often re not voting is that it ‘doesn’t make any difference’ who one votes for.

              What Mr Cunliffe has indicated is going to make some space between Nat and Labour and therefore give people a variety in choice. (We already have that due to the other smaller parties , however many may be stuck in the idea of voting for either one of the 2 largest parties).

              I do not think that we are not in a ‘divisive’ situation. I find Nat stance very divisive.

              I also disagree with you comment that Key is being ‘pretty moderate’. He is creating a rip roaring mess of many areas by his strident stance of supporting big money interests over anything else. (Some examples being changes to the RMA, GCSB Bill, and welfare eligibility, making education less accessible, and keeping wages at gutter level, etc

              • BM

                You must consider Helen Clark hard right as well since Key hasn’t canned any of the stuff Clark brought in.

                Maybe it’s you with the extremist views, ever thought about that?

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)


                  Whether I am strident or not is avoiding the point I raise, which is I do not think Mr Key’s approach is moderate.

                  Supporting monopolistic conditions is bringing the Western world to its knees in case you haven’t noticed.

                  When a sector is ‘too big to jail’ is a case in point.

                  What happened when corrupt and fraudulent practices of the people in financial circles created financial damage globally? Did the perpetrators experience the downside (‘market discipline’) of the risks they were taking?
                  Nope, they got bailed out.
                  Did they receive bonuses after having taken such risks and lost the money of others on a mass scale?

                  Why? What is the justification?

                  There is no justification, simply a sheer practicality that when a monopoly is created, in the event it collapses, it will cause damage to the many sectors connected with it.
                  This is one of the many reasons to avoid monopolies.

                  This is an example on a grand scale of the very expensive and damaging approach that is Mr Key is following in this country.

                  As I understand it under Labour we had less accumulation of debt, and where they choose to spend money creates positive effects in the future, for more people and entries on the positive side of the ledger.

                  Where Nats choose to spend money only tends to benefit small numbers of people and rarely adds value to the positive side of the ledger (either now or in the future).

                  It is hard to fathom how Nats still manage to get people, such as yourself, believing that their approach is the least expensive.

            • lprent

              You might see what National is doing as being “moderate”. But you are a voter rather than a non-voter. I realize it is hard to think outside of your own interests but…

              Those on low incomes just see rising prices, less services (and those that are there require more payments), and higher tax rates because virtually everything that National has done has been to throw cost burdens ever higher on the poor.

              Lower income households also happen to be the vast majority of the non-voters. Putting in policies that will reduce their cost structures are what will encourage them to vote Labour. The problem that Labour has had for the last two elections is that they have concentrated on the voters in policy rather than the non-voters. It has meant that they have been trying to appeal to the relatively small percentages of voters who flipped to National in 2008. In 2011 that focus resulted in a massive drop in the turnout most of whom were Labour voters – they couldn’t see anything that Labour was proposing that did anything for them.

              Basically for Labour targeting “middle NZ” is a stupid philosophy. It is too far expensive for all of those on lower incomes because that is where the bribed for middle income earners comes from. Labour needs to get more people voting rather than discouraging them.. They also need to discourage the build up of an underclass that seems to be the favoured economic approach of National.

              • Rogue Trooper

                targeting the Pasifika (and Maori) ‘non-voters’ will maintain a natural advantage.

              • Wayne

                A good number of the “non voters” were probably National leaning voters who thought it was all in the bag in 2011.

                It would be good to knew who the non voters actually were – has anyone done any research on this?

                I know Labour thinks they are all basically left, but that is almost certainly not true.

                Change elections are ones where the vote turnout is high, true for both 1999 and 2008.

                Now does it really seem that case here? It was clearly so in Australia, and the polls pointed that way a good year ago. But the polls show a pretty close Left/Right split with the Nats getting more than 45%. If history of MMP repeats itself the largest party will form the Govt. Although I appreciate that will change at some point.

                I know Labour seems to think the situation in NZ is comparable to the 1930’s, or at least that is what Labour’s message seems to say. But I reckon you will have a hard time convincing most New Zealanders of that.

                Anyway I heard DC say on radio this morning all wanted he wanted to do, was for all NZers to have clean dry housing and all children’s bellies full.

                Well, he might be on a winner on the housing front, easy enough to build more state houses and have some form of loan package for first home buyers.

                But are NZ children really starving, or even going hungry. And if they are, a few more dollars on the benefit is not the real answer, more like meals in schools. Which might be the solution in all decile 1 to 3 schools.

                • geoff

                  Yeah don’t sweat it Wayne, I’m sure Key’s got in the bag…

                • Rogue Trooper

                  or, one could consider taking up the spinning of wool yarns in the latter years of life…

                • lprent

                  I’ve done enrolled non-vote analysis for the NZLP and follow up (ie canvassing) in 2002, 2005, and 2008. Mostly for the Auckland isthmus area. But using the same analysis

                  “Kids” are the biggest single group of ENV’s. Who they will vote for if they get around to voting is anyones guess. The voting intentions tend to settle considerably when they hit the age range of 25+.

                  There are a group of complete never-voters who really aren’t worth much effort. Usually they have never voted and only seem to get on the roll because the electoral commission.

                  When you isolate it down to the people who will vote (albeit sporadically), they are highly segmentable into people that only require a small amount of contact to get out to vote, to those that you have to make a lot of effort to vote. With canvassing you can isolate those who are likely to vote left and what issues get them to do so. The group of enrolled non-vote that requires the least amount of effort are far more left wing and in lower socioeconomic demographics than the the NZ voting population averages in the areas I’ve looked at.

                  Running appropriate messaging campaigns and/or contact campaigns work pretty well at getting people out. The effect is measurable.

                  But I seem to remember that the long-running NZES surveys from Jack Vowles have some analysis on smaller samples of non-voters. Those should be public information – I’ve helped out indirectly on several of them.

                  BTW: neither 1999 nor 2008 were particularly high polling elections. 1996 and 2005 were the peak party votes of registered voters voting valid votes in each decade.


                  1996 88.28%
                  1999 84.77%
                  2002 76.98%
                  2005 80.92%
                  2008 79.46%
                  2011 74.21%

                  If you look against the number of registered voters vs the estimated numbers of eligible voters then it evens out a bit more (the rolls in the 90’s were frigging awful).

                  • Wayne


                    Thanks for this, although I should have checked before posting.

                    I guess for the winning side in a change election, it does feel like a big turnout.

                    Interestingly, the low vote years are 2002 and 2011. I appreciate that many young people don’t vote, at least for one or two elections. And there is certainly another group (probably 5 to 7%) who just don’t care or see Govt as relevant to their lives.

                    But my question remains, in years like 2002 and 2011, is the ENV, the supporters of the loosing party who believe they have no chance or is it the complacency of those convinced their party will win. I suspect a 2 to1 split, but with no real data, I don’t know.

                    • lprent

                      I’m afraid that I’ve never actually investigated the motivations for people not turning out in any particular election.

                      The reason for that is simple. My reason for chasing ENV’s is to get them to turn out, via contact strategies, and we’re always resource constrained. So we targeted resources on to the smaller numbers of low-hanging fruit. Those are the people who have voted in the past, are likely to be Labour voters, and are likely to turn out if they have contacts to remind them there is an election on.

                      I would have been interested in their motivations if I was doing political messaging. But usually in a contact strategy with ENV’s the main message that we do is simply to say that voting is important and BTW I’m from Labour and our candidate is… Ideally several times

                      But I will say that the probability of being a casual ENV’s from consistent national supporters is minimal. The worst I ever saw was in 2002, but even then most appear to have voted elsewhere. Consistently swinging voters is pretty high. Consistent Labour voters have a pretty high probability of not voting in some segments.

                      I have targeted young people as well because if they go out and vote once then the probability of them reliably voting in the future goes up markedly.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  @ Wayne,

                  There is an assumption in your last paragraph that the way to get people well nourished and into clean and dry housing is to raise benefits.

                  This is one way to do it and what I liked about what Mr Cunliffe was saying in his campaign was about his focus being on 100% employment.

                  Those with some understanding, such as yourself, will know that for a government to actually focus on livelihoods (rather than mutter something about trickle-down and otherwise ignore the issue) is a pretty novel idea these days and a far better way to solve the issue.

                  It is great to have welfare as a backstop however, it is unpleasant and damaging to be on unemployment welfare for any more than a short length of time and since the 1980s it is my understanding that successive governments have either not understood this, or cared, and have not been aiming to ensure there are livelihoods for all at all.

                  Instead, they have preferred to follow political ideologies that reflect big money interests and just about guarantee job losses.

                  The justification has been about placing more importance on ‘inflation’ or ‘interest rates’.

                  The policies they have pursued have simply ended up advantaging those at the top of the heap whom have been having a government-enabled a ‘free-for-all’ in conducting more and more speculative activities to ‘make their [already large piles of] money grow’ and in doing so, have been investing less and less in job producing productive activities. These activities also effects the effective functioning of the market and when that breaks down completely people not being well represented by governments are required to pay the speculators large sums of money so that they can continue in their fun and games.

                  The same political ideology tends to ensure that when jobs are in existence the emphasis of profit as the be-all-and-end-all (again, top-of-the-heap interests) leads to the use of the term ‘efficiency’, which can nearly always be swapped for ‘loss of livelihoods so that a few can make more profits’.

                  Ensuring that the focus is on jobs will be good for people, ‘keeping children fed’, opportunities and working conditions and will have the added spin-off of creating a healthy economy.

                  Of course those with huge amounts of money whose only thought is ‘have to make my money grow’ regardless of the wealth they already possess and regardless of the effect their actions are having on others, won’t like there to be a focus on people and livelihoods. This will get in the way of their mouse-in-a-wheel notion-of-accumulation neurosis.

                  So if those people have too much power in this country, I am guessing they would prefer their supplements, I mean, welfare was raised rather than something actually shifting out of their favour in order to advantage more people.

  6. tracey 6

    the real work starts now. cunliffe being elected changes nothing. what he says and does is what matters now. imo.

  7. Ad 7

    I have a bit of a headache this morning. 😉

    Can’t remember the last time I saw so many Labour people celebrating after so many scars and internal battles. We were present at the creation.

    Best insider political moment of the day: Phil Twyford photographed with Jacinda Ardern looking miserable leaning against the wall in Wellington as the results were read out, and then 2 hours later Phil Twyford is in Auckland on stage in New Lynn beaming with David Cunliffe. The pure politics of Twyford, let alone the logistics, on full display.

    He will be teased (kindly) about that forever.

    Lynn and all the major writers here did an astonishing job throughout the last 5 years.
    Holding the left to account. Building the base.

    A 20% increase in Party membership in the last few weeks!

    And with that Cunliffe took a full sweep of the Members and Affiliates.

    There are a huge number here who deserve credit for all of that.

    The 2012 conference rule changes were, in the end, worth the fight. Everyone who stood by us on that conference floor should holds their heads high right now. With asprin in their hands.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    Cunliffe gave a very good interview on Morning Report, with the type of feisty fighting words that never really came out of Shearer (audio available from this link): http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/221735/key-warned-to-be-on-guard

  9. King Kong 9

    Some would argue that the new leadership rules have put the lunatics in charge of the asylum.

    This has resulted in a guy who historically was way to the right of most in the party having to pretend he is the reincarnation of Hugo Charvez in order to get his hands on the leadership.

    Alot of the loud mouths on here will look pretty foolish when the free golden spacehip for all doesn’t eventuate.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1

      Sorry you have confused the ACT partys leadership machinations with a considered and democratic election.

    • Clement Pinto 9.2

      You wish! I am confident that your ill will and bad tidings will not eventuate. We the party members will not let that happen. Mr Cunliffe will prove to be a capable, fair, efficient and exemplary leader.
      The members of the caucus will also give him 100% support. If any of them try to play dirty now, their own goose will get cooked.
      And oh, by the way, Key, Banks, National and ACT are gone burgers at the next election. Get used to it.

      • King Kong 9.2.1

        Keep drinking the Kool aid

        • Clement Pinto

          King Kong, you keep sucking on Key’s and Banks’ BS.

        • phillip ure

          so bitter..kk..and so soon/already..?

          ..are u already resigned to the inevitable defeat yr twisted ideology will get next next year..?

          ..and a correction for you..’the lunatics’ are the ones currently running ‘the asylum’..

          ..fucking our society/country/environment over..

          ..selling us all down the river..

          ..and all just to enrich the vested-interests who put them there even more..eh..?

          ..and fuck the/any human collateral-damage along the way..


          ..and i’m guessing here:..a big ayn rand fan..?..are you..?

          ..phillip ure..

          • ZET

            @ Phil. ’the lunatics’ are the ones currently running ‘the asylum’..

            No Phil, It’s Only Their PURPOSE That’s Mad.

        • Rogue Trooper

          “it’s a message. You have to drink it, that’s how it works!”

    • Hanswurst 9.3

      What evidence do you have of his being to the right of most of the party? I never got that impression when he was in government. The first mention I remember of him being to the right of the party in the media was a couple of days after the 2008 election when it was printed on Stuff that King, Goff and “to a lesser extent” Cunliffe were seen as from the right of the party. It’s been picked up a couple of times since. I’ve never seen any arguments advanced to support it, so as far as I’m concerned it’s likely just a case of some journalists asking each other what they think and then printing the findings.

      • Murray Olsen 9.3.1

        I don’t think journalists even ask each other what they think. The important thing in the Murdoch era is to be first with the news, so they just make it up. There is evidence for this in that it would be very difficult to find two or more people who shared many of their delusions.

    • North 9.4

      KK @ 9 – you are right – some lunatics would argue that – as they lose the fight to conceal the you know what running down their legs. That’s you baby.

  10. ak 10

    “If putting a warm dry home around every Kiwi child and making sure their tummies are fed and they have shoes on their feet is suddenly far-left, well go ahead with that tag,” he said.

    Carve it in a totara slab six feet high and never stray from its shadow…

    Let cowards flinch and traitors sneer in their own hell

    Today God’s own is reborn.

    • Don't worry. Be happy. 10.1

      He makes me feel both pride in and hope for this country…and it’s been a long time coming! Well done David Cunliffe. Well done Labour! Onward and upward.

  11. tracey 11

    king kong you adeptly outline the right’s attitude toward the electorate. you realise mr key and his backroom posse consider you to be one of the lunatics.

    • King Kong 11.1

      Because I provide them with the babies to eat and wear a monocle myself, they have told me that they consider me an underling which is 2 tiers up from lunatic.

  12. Greywarbler 12

    David Cunliffe on radionz 9toNoon being well grilled by Kathryn Ryan and coming up with very tasty ideas and statements.
    CGT Living wage fiscals will need to be worked through some tax rises Tiwai Point shouldn’t have ignored Treasury opinion and add 10% to electricity a/cs and pay $30m which just carries through to the next election Pointing out his track record in business and that Labour has run the country successfully before, and Labour does not have to take lessons from National, and it is getting behind all children being educated and healthy. Monetary framework not good, not just inflationary controls. Growth external balance fiscal responsibility and price stability along inflation and could look at Australian Reserve Bank Act as a comparison to ours which is straight out of the Milton Friedman recipe book.

    This is only part of what he said. Worth listening to as lots of discussion. One thing – some of ABC on front bench was a yes.

    09:05 New Labour leader David Cunliffe vows to give senior positions to MPs who haven’t supported him
    New Lynn MP David Cunliffe, who was yesterday elected the new leader of the Labour party to take on Prime Minister John Key at next year’s general election.

    Twitter: @DavidCunliffeMP
    Audio will be up soon.

    • Chooky 12.1

      +1 Greywarbler…it was very good to listen to!…..clear and intelligent ……he is so so the best person for the New Labour Party !….which in coalition with the Greens will win the next election

  13. So when does he announce all his new taxes?

    • Te Reo Putake 13.1

      He doesn’t. The NZLP policy council makes the final decision on policy. But, expect at least a CGT and a token rise in the top rate of tax.

      • Brett Dale 13.1.1

        Okay then, when does the NZLP policy council make their announcement.

        • fender

          Don’t worry Brett. It’s the sickly-rich who will be affected, not an office temp.

          • Rogue Trooper

            hee hee; Kiss ’em all over, then Exile them.

          • Brett Dale

            Us Office temps have a say too, I would just liek to know will he honest and announce what he is going to do.

            • fender

              Yes you do have a say, and I’m surprised you haven’t been critical of policy that has made you poorer under this shonKey Govt.. I doubt very much you earn enough to be in line for a tax hike. IMO people earning over $2,500 per week could pay way more tax than they do at present.

            • QoT

              Of course, Brett. You’re just very concerned. Especially about the not-yet-confirmed policies of a party which isn’t in government and thus has no power to magically impose any new taxes which they haven’t campaigned on, unlike the actual government.

              • QOT:

                I have concerns for the future, what say John Key has a heart attack and
                dies, then its greg Brownlee, no one will vote for him and Labour will
                then come in.

                Its just too heavy to think about the Future, Under Labour nothing will
                be free, not even Pespi, they will ban washers and driers you will have
                to dry your own clothes.

                2015 doesnt look good if we have a Labour Government, people may be
                thinking about the future, but it wont be a good, if we people took the
                time to think about it.

            • Scott Nickerson

              Like Key and English announced their intention to raise GST before the 2008 election?

  14. Papa Tuanuku 14

    Key unfazed by new Labour leader (from TVNZ).

    This is why our nation is in a mess, Mr Key is never fazed, and has no solutions.

  15. tracey 15

    Interesting dig brett.. how many taxrs raisdd under key??? Road user petrol liquor cigarettes gst… then the lolly scrambles scf to non qualifiers… rio tinto… brokers for asset sales….

    • Brett Dale 15.1


      Since I dont own a car, dont smoke or drink, Im quite happy with those taxes.

      • fender 15.1.1

        Well you better watch out when Key brings in the hover-board tax.

        • Brett Dale


          There better not be a Hoverboard Tax, infact there would be funding so kiwi inventors can work on one, and not give 60 million to a fuckin boat race.

          If a person ever invents a hoverboard, his/her country would be set up for life!

          • fender

            I mentioned the hoverboard to illustrate to you that we all need to stick together to oppose taxes that unfairly affect the less well off (even if it’s not something directly affecting you), and to oppose taxes that see the rich get richer.

            The financial benefits from the ‘boat race’ are huge and it’s money well spent according to the experts.

            • Brett Dale


              Its better for the less well off and well off to stop drinking and smoking and putting money into pokie machines.

              My problem with the Americas cup, is imagine if you invest that 60 million dollars into
              boys/girls basketball at the school level, you could end up getting 100’s of college scholarships for kiwi kids to the usa.

              Its also better for everybody to invest to get Hoverboards invented, no one will use cars, the planet will be less polluted, our resources will be saved.

      • QoT 15.1.2

        The World According to Brett Dale: politicians have to be honest and announce all their policies upfront! Unless those policies don’t affect me personally because then I don’t give a fuck. What do you mean, “community”?

        • Rogue Trooper

          must read: Hating Strong Female Characters. 😎

        • Brett Dale


          Polices should be announced before hand, and Im proud individual, the greatest
          inventions in mankind, havent been invented by communities, they have been
          invented by individuals, and the inventions to come will be done by individuals.

          If you go back to my posts, I support the tax on beer/smokes/gambling because
          they are harmful to the COMMUNITY.

          Taxing people just because they have a lot of money (which I dont have) is
          freakin stupid and never works.

          As my old friend Tannen use to say , you cant make leaves out of a tree.

          • QoT

            And those individuals totally built their own houses, grew their own food, wove their own clothes and protected their personal property with their bare hands all while inventing things. They were THAT awesome.

        • Brett Dale


          You only believe in community, if they believe in, what you believe in, and
          that is where it falls down. Imagine if the whole community was like
          that bigoted jerk from the conservative party, if everybody agree with
          him as a community, would you still be about community?

          Of course not, you would be an individual. If ya go back in time to say 1955
          Im sure the community would be something you disagree with.

      • ZET 15.1.3

        @Brett “Since I dont own a car…”(sic)

        ..This could be corrected by buying one of the few remaining DeLorean’s and inventing a time machine to pair with the hover-board which is due for an imminent special preview before an audience of international celebrities.


  16. Sable 16

    I think National should invite Robert Mugabe to be their next leader it should be a seamless transition….

  17. captain hook 17

    The selection process was great for the party and now everybody must get behind the leader and show what he and the party can do.

  18. Clement Pinto 18

    I think the 40% weight-age for the Caucus in the leadership elections is too much because it is the party members that are the most important, not the Caucus or the Affiliates,.

    The caucus and the affiliates should have a LESSER influence than the members.

    So, I think the following weight-age is much better:

    [1] Members=50%, Caucus=30%, Affiliates=20%


    [2] Members=50%, Caucus=25%, Affiliates=25%


    [3] Members=45%, Caucus=30%, Affiliates=25% [My preferred option]


    [4] Members=40%, Caucus=30%, Affiliates=30%

    What are your views/thoughts on this?

    • lprent 18.1

      I think that you are foolish.

      In the end caucus has to work with whoever is put into the position. That requires the someone appointed as leader has to have a significiant minority inside caucus or the party/affiliates to work with. Otherwise it isn’t going to work. If you look at your numbers and equate that to numbers of caucus members in the current caucus it’d be perfectly feasible to have the support of 5-7 people in caucus who support the leader. That is just unworkable.

      Therefore at worst with the current procedure, it should take a pretty large majority from outside of caucus with with a significiant minority inside caucus (or vice versa) to impose on the party/affiliates or caucus. The 60/40 split is pretty good. The 20% on the affiliates acts as a nice counter balance because it counters demagogues getting traction amongst a low turnout of members, or the bubble effect in parliament. Union members/delegates across unions tend to be rather immune to anything except workability (you can see that in the current vote).

      The idea isn’t to have an ideal. It is a procedure to get a workable leader of the parliamentary caucus that will express the composite will of the party members. The older procedure was designed to get a workable leader of caucus where the party president acted as a counter balance. But the party organisation has diminished so far that had become effectively useless.

      • Clement Pinto 18.1.1

        I found your first sentence, being personal and judgmental of me, offensive.

        • lprent
          1. I never really care about the opinions of others unless it gets in the way of whatever I’m working on.
          2. I was expressing my opinion of your idea. Not you. If you choose to take it personally then see point 1.
          3. I find that engaging people at an emotional level short-circuits the largely meaningless polite discussion and gets things down to the raw level that a eventually any disagreement will wind up at anyway. This saves me an enormous number of comments to write every year. And…
          4. I find that making my opinion quite clear up front usually prevents ambiguity when people read the explanatory paragraphs. You’d be surprised out how often I have people trying to tell me that what I said supports their ideas when it clearly does not.
          5. I don’t wanna be nice
  19. red blooded 19

    Oh come on, Clement – that was very measured and moderate, given the level of sarcasm, anger and abuse that people throw around on this site from time to time. Be fair – you asked, “What are your views/thoughts on this?” It was pretty clear the lprent was saying that he thought your SUGGESTION was foolish, rather than claiming the right to judge your personal abilities in a more general way.

    I sometimes think people go over the top with the vituperative venom on this site, but this certainly wasn’t in that category.

    I have to admit that I also think your suggestion is foolish. When it comes right down to it, the caucus are the people who have to be able to operate as an effective team and they are going to have a different level of knowledge and insight. While they are not always right, I think it’s wrong to say that they are only motivated by self-interest or that they are not worthy of respect. Afterall, they have chosen to spend their lives representing the party that most of us on this website claim commitment to. I think it is entirely reasonable that the caucus has equal status with the wider party in this decision-making process. If a potential leader could not muster ANY support in the caucus, that would be cause to seriously question his/her leadership skills. Similarly, if the darling of the caucus is rejected overwhelmingly by the wider party then they are not managing to connect with the people they supposedly speak for, so they should not be assured leadership status.

    40/40 is fine by me.

  20. MrSmith 20

    Just heard David C interviewed on radio NZ and what a sweet sound, he is already streets ahead of Shearer, they then asked Shearer what he thought David C should be doing. Message for David C, a job in the parliament crèche would be perfect for Shearer they might find all the kids just nod off.

    • Rogue Trooper 20.1

      “Here’s a house, here’s a door…” but then, reportedly, he has the Humpty with politics.

  21. thor42 21

    I want the chocolate fish for spotting Cunliffe’s first lie.

    Here we have the article in which he “vows to spare his detractors” –

    Yet what do we see mere hours later? Chris Hipkins, one of the said detractors, gets given the heave-ho – Cunliffe says he “wants new whips”.

    So much for the value of Cunliffe’s “vows”.

    • Rogue Trooper 21.1

      hardly worth a ‘chocolate fish’; now, passing some tertiary papers in Discourse analysis ,that would be worth Licorice Allsorts, or Humbugs.(not Brighton Rock, The Al1en) 😀

    • Murray Olsen 21.2

      Weak. Hipkins stood down.

    • karol 21.3

      Cunliffe hasn’t discounted Hipkins in a spokesperson role. I heard Cunliffe on RNZ saying the jobs will be for MPs, ABC history or not, based on merit.

      But the whip job is a “non-partisan service role” – therefore implying Hipkins had been too partisan within the caucus in the past to continue in that role.

      Edit: the whip is selected by caucus, but I understand Cunliffe will make a recommendation – ditto for the deputy.

    • amirite 21.4

      Hipkins will still hold his Education portfolio, in fact he got praised by Cunliffe for his parliamentary performance.
      Get yer facts right.

    • Kevin Welsh 21.5

      Given the ‘heave-ho’?

      If Hipkins had any moral fibre at all he would resign from Parliament for his comments regarding the phantom coup.

      He put his mug on TV and basically lied through his teeth about it. And as DC said this morning, Hipkins now takes back those comments.

      The ABC’s though they had DC dead and buried and Hipkins thought he was being clever delivering the coup-de-grace on prime-time news.

      Bye bye Chippie, I see a seat further down the pecking order with your name on it.

    • Colonial Viper 21.6

      I want the chocolate fish for spotting Cunliffe’s first lie.

      Here we have the article in which he “vows to spare his detractors”

      Nobody has been hanged, drawn and quartered (yet). It seems pretty merciful to me, so far.

    • North 21.7

      Hey, thor42, mischievous liar @ 21 – check it out – Hipkins has already fallen on his sword. The dignified and honourable pose Cunliffe mentioned.

  22. feijoa 22

    Congratulations David – you’ve hit the ground running
    In fact, you’ve got the talent for this job in spades
    Don’t let the media tell you what to do- you’re actually way smarter than they are
    I suspect you’re way smarter than your caucus, and that’s been pure petty jealousy on their part.
    As the great Helen said – time to move on
    Change is finally here – really, if the old guard of the Labour caucus thought doing more of the same was the way to win next year, they must have been dreaming. I think DC will take these MPs out of their comfort zone, and all for the good

  23. Poem 23

    +1 Feijoa

  24. tricledrown 24

    Brett Fail hopefully when Hey when labour green increase tax on the very well off they will lower the GST back to 12.5% a tax on poor families.
    Who spend all of their income!
    While Capital gaingsters pay no tax which will be changed.
    A good policy to help sell a Capital Gains Tax would be to reduce income tax by the same amount that is raised.
    This would put the heat on those Capital Gaingsters who pay no tax!
    And it would those against CGT
    No argument!

    • Brett Dale 24.1


      The problem is Labour wont lower gst, (they wont take gst off fruit and veges, remember when clark was PM, she said it was too hard to do)

      They will increase taxes on the rich and the upper middle class, bring in a capital gains tax, but they wont give middle /lower kiwis a tax break.

  25. Intrinsicvalue 25

    The whole thing was indeed a fantastic innovation…for centre right voters. We saw the pork barrel politics of the left at it’s best, with the number and value of promises turning the entire event into a giant auction. The Labour Party is a joke, a parody of the party that once represented the ‘ordinary kiwi’.

    • felix 25.1

      Please give some examples of these promises and explain how they go against the interests of ordinary kiwis.

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