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Labour membership greatest in 30 years

Written By: - Date published: 2:17 pm, May 14th, 2014 - 11 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Moira Coatsworth recently announced that last year’s party membership was the greatest in 30 years – that is, it is higher than even before the 4th Labour Government did such damage to membership numbers.  This is a sign of rude health.

Media commentators (I’m looking at Raymond Miller) will no doubt scoff at that statement – they judge a party purely on how well they’ve manipulated the latest media spin-cycle. They forget that parties are many thousands of ordinary Kiwis, not just a few dozen MPs.

And in Labour’s case – many thousands more than just a couple of years ago, as they doubled the membership last year.

That increased connection with the community has resulted in contests among very strong candidates in very blue seats. And I think Labour’s clear message that it is looking for gender-balanced caucus to reflect society has resulted in a lot of strong women candidates putting themselves forward in particular.

Women like Claire Szabo, selected for North Shore on Monday. Current CEO of Habitat for Humanity NZ, with a Master of Public Administration from Harvard; a former CEO of English Language Partners, who has run her own business in Hungary – all this and still annoyingly younger than me…

There are only a couple of selections left for Labour, which promise more strong candidates to finish off the line-up.  And they’ll have many thousands more members behind them to help get out the vote.



11 comments on “Labour membership greatest in 30 years”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    A gender balanced caucus is a good thing; however National has figured out that even more than that NZ voters want a political party who will back their core constituency with guts, with gusto and with no apologies for doing so.

  2. Philj 2

    One party wants to get people out to vote, and one party wants them to stay at home! Hmmm.. who could that be?

  3. Tracey 3

    and yet union membership may be at its lowest in thirty years, which might just make an even bigger liar of the prime ministers whinge about unions.

    given uniona have less say than in many decades you wonder why key still cries

    ” burn them. burn them.”

    and we know many employers only move the minimum wage on the basis of legislation and not based on their good times.

  4. Tamati 4

    So how many members are there?

    Going from 2,000 to 4,000 in one thing and going from 20,000 to 40,000 is another.

  5. Tautoko Viper 5

    I am impressed by the quality and enthusiasm of the Labour candidates selected in the Northern region. These people are standing to make a positive difference to the communities they come from. They represent many different cultures and it is so heartening to see the revitalisation of the party. Bugger the polls! There is a groundswell below the radar for change.
    Integrity, instead of shysterism,
    transparency instead of obscurantism,
    altruism instead of egocentrism.
    Go Labour!

    • Anne 5.1

      I am impressed by the quality and enthusiasm of the Labour candidates selected in the Northern region.

      I am impressed by the quality and enthusiasm of the young people who have joined the Labour Party in recent times. It reminds me of the influx in the early 1970s which included among other political notables, Helen Clark. Bright eyed and bushy tailed… Norman Kirk was the inspiration for all of us. It seems to be happening again.

  6. just saying 6

    I suspect I might be counted as a member. Is it necessary to resign or does not paying fees despite numerous requests (amongst a veritable mountain of junk mail) from the party suffice?

    I had thought electing Cunliffe might make a real difference, sadly last night’s performance really highlighted that it’s just more of the same. Cunliffe is just David Shearer or Phil Goff with the gift of the gab.

    When I hear jamie Whyte speak I know that many, maybe most, in National’s caucus are hoping that the party will take them to the economic destination he advocates. Sadly, the same can’t be sad of the Labour caucus in response to Te Mana or even the Greens on economic policy. They seem to find more common ground with National.

    • Will@Welly 6.1

      Too True. And that’s not meant to be a slight on David Cunliffe. The best of what we’ve got. But not the sort that would lead the troops down the mainstreet to reclaim democracy.
      That was better left to the likes of Micky Savage and Norman Kirk.
      Across the boards, they’re too busy swirling chardonnay and quaffing champagne to every care about such a thing as democracy. Better to trample over the rights of ordinary Kiwis than miss out on a payday from some benevolent corporate or other!!

  7. Tom Gould 7

    Ben, was it really necessary for you to slag off Labour in order to promote Labour? No wonder it is so easy for the media to get up the ‘at war with itself’ and ‘not ready to govern’ narrative.

  8. Paul 8

    So Ben are you standing in an electorate or on the List ths time around.

    I agree it’s good to see candidates like Claire standing. Only hope the likes of you stay in the frame as well.

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