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Leadership rumours

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, March 26th, 2011 - 257 comments
Categories: labour, leadership, phil goff - Tags: , ,

It’s been a dreadful week for Labour. So out come the oft repeated rumours of a coup against leader Phil Goff. Usually this is just the ever predictable right wing blogs stirring. But this time the excellent Scoop news site is making the claim:

Hughes Resigns As MP – Cabal Rising To Replace Goff

Scoop has also learnt that indeed a cabal representing a group within caucus is counting numbers against Goff.

Maryan Street and Ruth Dyson are representing a cabal that is seeking support for David Parker to replace Goff. And rumours that Helen Clark and her strong-arm strategist Heather Simpson have been consulted appear to have some substance.

Today, Scoop understands Parker has the numbers to roll Goff. He does have the support of the majority of the Labour caucus. But Scoop also understands the cabal will not make its move to roll the leader until Goff absorbs full responsibility for his handling of the Hughes affair.

In this case the Scoop reporter (Selwyn Manning) has it wrong. Some people may be talking, but (unless he is going out of his way to lie to reporters) Parker is not lining up to roll Goff. Besides which, Parker is far too smart. Now is the wrong time for a leadership challenge, Goff should lead the Party in to the next election, win or lose. And finally, I suspect that Parker doesn’t want the top job. He’s a political and policy powerhouse, with brains and capacity for work. The next Cullen. But he hasn’t so far displayed the manner or the soundbite view of the world that a leader needs. I don’t think he wants it.

257 comments on “Leadership rumours ”

  1. Carol 1

    Stuff is also reporting it:


    The Labour Party is in turmoil, with senior figures questioning leader Phil Goff’s judgment over the Darren Hughes affair and a crucial frontbench meeting on Monday and Tuesday likely to discuss the issue.

    … But one of the party’s rising stars, who asked not to be named, said next week’s meeting was likely to crystallise how angry MPs were over Mr Goff’s handling of the issue and whether there was the will for a leadership challenge.

    “It depends if people like Charles Chauvel, Shane Jones, David Parker and Trevor Mallard have the balls to say something.”

    Sources said the appointment of Mt Albert MP David Shearer to the plum education job, after Mr Hughes was stood down, had only made the matter worse.

    …All denied a leadership spill was imminent, with some blaming Government supporters for seeding an untrue story. “It’s just smoke signals; nothing serious yet.” One prominent MP said no-one had approached him suggesting a leadership change, and a coup attempt would “kiss goodbye” to the election.

    Speculation about a possible replacement for Mr Goff has centred around Mr Parker, finance spokesman David Cunliffe, health spokesman Grant Robertson and Mr Jones.

    Also Andrew Little is apparently pissed that he wasn’t told of the Hughes business earlier. Goff’s position looks shaky, but it depends if there’s anyone plausible to replace him, IMO. Is Parker that much of an improvement?

    • PeteG 1.1

      Little sounded very unhappy when interviewed on NatRad after the Goff press conference. He won’t appreciate not being included in the loop, and the mess makes one and possibly two of his jobs a lot harder.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Damn, I just wish Labour would take things one step at a time and not over-react (or under-react) to every bloody new development which comes along. Honestly LAB, you don’t have to reflex knee jerk every time you get a new tap.

    Plus there is still every chance that Darren Hughes will be vindicated in the next several days, so the last thing we need is Labour spilling red all over the carpet in the mean time. Chill guys.

    • TightyRighty 2.1

      the fact that you see hughes as the victim in this is appalling. Worth was guilty without a trial, now that the same situation has arisen in labour, hughes’s resignation = admittance of guilt. by your own actions.

      goffs leadership has been appalling, spill the red, lets see a real contest in november

      capcha: problem, just one?

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        Resignation =/= guilt.

        Resignation = political scandal damaging the party.

        There still remains the possibility that no charges will be made. I’m not speculating either way.

        • infused

          Oh bullshit. If you’re a top MP, you don’t quit.

          • Colonial Viper

            Oh bullshit. If you’re a top MP, you don’t quit.

            Oh bullshit. If you’re a top MP you realise when you’ve become a liability and you go.

            Of course according to your metrics, the likes of Pansy Wong are outstanding MPs for having hung on to dear life for so long, even if it meant faith in their party and their fellow parliamentarians was circling down the drain while they did so.

  3. Monty 3

    I too fear a coup is underway. Please believe me when I say that we on the right want Goff to stay. But if he is rolled then I suppose I would be quite happy with Parker / Street.

    At this stage the election is a dead duck for
    Labour. The only question now is how Low will labour go, and will the lost support gonto the Nats?

    • higherstandard 3.1

      I thought a NZ opposition could not be more useless than English’s effort in 2005 – this lot make English’s efforts look stellar in comparison – and we still vote the daft beggars in again and again and again.

  4. Gus 4

    While I agree that the timing may not be ideal if as the article suggests in the last paragraph Parker does hold these aspirations with Little likely to enter Parliament at the next election Parker may view this as his one on only opportunity.

    If he does he will know that he only has to be able to demonstrate a small increase in current polling to hold onto the leadership post the election where as if he waits until afterwards he will need to chance Little also putting his hat into the ring.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Little will be very hard pressed to put his hat into the ring for leadership of the party when he has only been an MP for a month or two.

      And why exactly would Parker want to take over the leadership position when the odds against Labour are stacked towards the one term National Govt this year? Leading a party to a defeat is not great for political longevity.

      • Gus 4.1.1

        I agree that it will be hard for Little and ideally I am sure he would like to have at least a term in Parliament before it occurs. However considering the state of the Party, the lack of viable leadership options and his personal aspirations it is impossible to rule out Little putting his hat into the ring. Equally considering his background even with the lack of Parliamentary experience it is impossible to rule him out getting sufficient numbers.

        As for why Parker would do it. If he holds Leadership aspirations the longer he leaves it the less likely it will be. It he goes now he faces no viable competition and can blame what ever occurs in November on Goff. If he waits post election he is no better off and potentially worse off by having to try and rebuild Labour from an even worse position and having to compete with Little.

  5. Mike 5

    The only way National can get over 50% in November is through depressing the level of enthusiasm and activism on the left, which will result in a low voter turnout. Keeping Goff on as leader is the number one way in which Labour can make this happen.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    I think now is a good time to replace Goff.

    1. Making a change now still gives time for the new leader to gain traction before the election.
    2. Its hard to see things getting any worse than this with a change, so its pretty much a no-risk strategy.
    3. The new leader shouldn’t be tainted if Labour lose, as that could be pinned on the pitiful performance by Goff. That is, the new leader got a hospital pass.

    Problem is, its hard to see anyone taking his place. I agree that Parker doesn’t seem like an improvement. From what I have seen of him, he has the charisma of a cadaver. However, I think Labour will get a bounce in the polls because the new leader is NOT Goff.

    From National’s perspective, Goff is like the batsman you want to keep in because he his a slow scorer when a big hitter is required to get the run-rate up. So, I don’t think that National will be too happy to see Goff replaced.

    • ts

      Why is it that when I see you giving advice to the left I instinctively think that the opposite is the best course to take?

      To the rest of the commentators, sorry there will be no coup in the next couple of weeks. Nothing to see here, just Farrar and Slater et al interviewing their keyboards and trying to sap the confidence of the left.

  7. PeteG 7

    I think everything in the Scoop article sounds believable.
    The normal reaction to queries is denial leading up to any attempted coup.
    I would be surprised if there is not widespread disgruntlement with Goff.
    If it isn’t done now talks of leadership issues will plague Goff through to the election.
    I don’t see how a leadership change now would make anything worse for Labour.

    • lprent 7.1

      It would cause a lot of activists (like me) to decide not to work for the party. Who’d want to exert effort to get party vote to reward stupidity? I doubt that changing leadership would do anything to the party vote except to drop it.

      • Bored 7.1.1

        I was once very active on behalf of Labour, I could not be persuaded to support and work for Goff……

      • KJT 7.1.2

        I do not expect competence from politicians but;
        All i’ve seen from Labour, as member of the public looking from outside, is National lite, me to-ism, shooting them selves in the foot and as QOT says, waffle.

        I cannot imagine any one doing worse than Goff so far.

        Probably to late to roll the old guard now. Should have been done two years ago.

        Labour was rolled last election because even though they had 9 years they still did not get rid of all the right wing crap that has been imposed on us since 1984.

        They still support the whole, “free trade”, “Neo-liberal” mess that has worked so well for us?

        Labour have left it too late to let the public know they actually stand for us. That is if they really do any more.

        If they had the guts to stand up for a future NZ that works for ordinary people they may have got some traction.


        CGT, FTT, Capital flow restrictions, progressive taxes, public housing, GMI, a real minimum wage, stoppping the TPP, restoring the right to strike. would be some areas for a good start.

        • Bored

          You mentioned my biggest gripe with Labour, 9 years in power and no roll back of the neo lib nonsense….and the current crew dont look if they will have enough spine to do as you say.

          • the sprout

            Indeed. One has to ask, even if in spite of themselves Labour won this year, do you really believe Goff and King would make the radically leftward corrections needed just to neutralize the effects of Key’s term? Let alone actually moving NZ back to a more leftward policy setting.

        • James Gilbert

          “I cannot imagine any one doing worse than Goff so far”

          As a national supporter neither can I but then I read this….

          “CGT, FTT, Capital Flow Restrictions, Progressive taxes, public housing, GMI, a real minimum wage, stopping the TPP, restoring the right to strike”

          I wish you the very, very best of luck getting Labour to adopt these policies and eagerly await the day some poor SOAB who is charged with taking the reigns of Labour in the future has to sell them to the electorate.

          It’ll be delicious.

          • KJT

            As doing the opposite has been so successful. Of course!

          • mickysavage

            Yeah James

            Doing anything that may slow down the torrent of wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy is such an electoral downer. Shame on those people. What are they thinking?

            Do they think that everyone should be treated equally??

            Bah, humbug.

            • felix

              I love the official Nat line about that: “Equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome”.

              ‘Cos like, equality of outcome is like, the last thing we want, right?

              • Yeah Felix it is a bunch of words that sounds sort of like principled.

                I think that Labour and the left should not buy into the argument however and propose a new line. Instead of equality of outcome it should be …

                “Equity of outcome”.

                This does not mean exact same treatment of everyone but that the poor and disadvantaged should be looked after.

        • Swampy

          The right to strike during contract negotiations exists, if you are talking about political blackmail of employers this was outlawed many years ago and will never be restored.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      Boils down to some very simple questions. Who, if anyone, is going to lead the charge against Goff.

      Who, if anyone, is going to support a change in leadership.

      Shane Jones is out, he’s barely rehabilitated. From the article that leaves Parker, Cunliffe, Robertson.

      For any one of those names to have a chance, the other two will have to support him. Are Cunliffe and Parker going to support Robertson making the move? Very highly unlikely the no.3 and no.4 are going to back that. So you’re left with Cunliffe trying to get Parker and Robertson onside, or Parker trying to get Cunliffe and Robertson onside.

      What do you think is likely? To me, none of these scenarios work.

      I don’t see how a leadership change now would make anything worse for Labour.

      That’s the point though. Unless a leadership change makes things clearly better for Labour, why bother with the upheaval?

      • lprent 7.2.1

        Exactly. This just sounds like some disgruntled MP bullshitting. Anyone with half a brain knows that a leadership change just negates half of the work that we’ve been doing and that we will do.

        There would be no point to doing it – apart from personal ambition and a desire to help the Nats

        • Gus

          The question though is how much of that work has already been seriously damaged over the past week?

          I suspect the next poll results will show that what ever gains have occurred over the last 6 months will have been lost.

          • lprent

            Problem is that voters really really value stability. In a MMP environment that translates directly into party votes. 6 odd months is too short to recover, and whatever ‘sizzle’ there is from the change (if any – the stated contenders don’t fill me with sizzle joy factor either) will be insufficient to change that.

            That is why leadership changes in Germany are such stately progressions, and why there are almost accepted times in the electoral cycle when they are done.

            • PeteG

              Goff really really does not look stable at the moment.
              Labour really really does not look stable at the moment.

              Correction – the perception of ineptitude seems stable.

              • lprent

                Why – because some right wing blogger says so? Please stop gripping yourself, your self gratification may damage the software.

                • PeteG

                  On this largely pro-Labour blog I see more anti-Goff sentiment than pro-Goff. Most of the “keep him” comments are not “he’s great”, they are more like “gawd, what choice do we have”.

            • Gus

              Yes voters do value stability, almost as much as they like winners and Goff isn’t a winner.

              Just look at his polling numbers. From memory he hasn’t be able to break the 10% mark for preferred PM and under his leadership the party has floated consistently around the 32% mark.

              Goff has proven he is incapable of gaining the results that Labour is capable of and as a result he needs to go.

        • PeteG

          Remaining in a state of denial and pretending that things will be hunky dory limping along with Goff will help the Nats more than anything.

          I would be very surprised if the wider public view of Goff now is not perpetual toast. This week’s mess is not an isolated misstep, it has simply confirmed resoundingly that Goff isn’t the sort of leader any country would want to choose. I hope for the good of Labour and NZ politics at least Goff recognises that over the weekend, even if the desperately faithfull in his party can’t see it.

      • PeteG 7.2.2

        Boils down to some very simple questions. Who, if anyone, is going to lead the charge against Goff.

        There has been no charge to support Goff, and it is now less likely there will be now, more likely the reverse. Especially in the polls. He’s destined to have leadership issues hovering while he remains.

        When there’s a chance to be top dog someone’s bound to be putting their hand up.

        • Colonial Viper

          When there’s a chance to be top dog someone’s bound to be putting their hand up.

          But WHO do you think will do that?

          As the article says – Jones? Parker? Cunliffe? Robertson?

          • Gus

            Who would get the most out of pushing Parker into the leaders role now and then watch him get rolled over by a bus this election ? Cunning !!! plan if thats the case.

      • lefty 7.2.3

        A leadership change might not make things better for Labour. But it might stop things getting worse – which is almost bound to happen if Goff remains in charge. Don’t underestimate how stupid an old Rogernome can be.

        If there was a potential leader waiting in the wings who was able to set a bold new course and prepared to challenge the right wing myths that determine the shape of political debate in this country then Labour might even be able to put up a good fight in the election.

        They don’t, so they won’t, because they can’t.

    • I think everything in the Scoop article sounds believable.

      Any reality based support for that thought?

  8. lprent 8

    Doing a leadership change would be fucking idiotic. I very much doubt that it is happening.

    But I’m off to the Auckland Northland list tedium this morning so I will find out.

    • higherstandard 8.1

      “Doing a leadership change would be fucking idiotic.”

      I agree, however, it’ll likely happen as this current iteration of an opposition has proven itself more fucking idiotic than most.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      Good luck with that lprent.

      Region 5 and Region 6 had rather exciting list meets.

      May yours be far more boring.

  9. Carol 9

    Let’s wait and see how the Labour team works through this. Labour’s strength is in its team. The Right, especially National, are trying to make this, and the coming election, about leadership, because that’s all they’ve got.

    • PeteG 9.1

      At least National have a valid claim to have leadership. Labour don’t.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        National have a valid claim to have celebrities. Quite a difference.

        Oh, unless you mean the leadership Key showed around dealing with Pansy Wong of course.

        • Gus

          Viper you and I both know perception is everything in politics and rightly or wrongly the perception is that Key is doing a excellent job in his role, just look at the preferred PM polls.

          As of Feb John Key’s Prefered PM rating was 49.1% vs 6.8% for Phil Goff.

          It wasn’t until December 09 the Goff was able to surpass Helen’s rating for preferred PM despite her being out of the country.

          • lprent

            Preferred PM polls are pretty useless as political indicators. They just reward success.

            But tell me who else from Labour was showing on that poll?

            Kind of makes the point why it would be good for National if Labour has a leadership change.

            • Gus

              While the argument about changing the leadership being more beneficial to National was valid 6 months ago I no longer believe it would make any greater harm than what we will experience under the current leadership.

              We’re better off selecting a new leader who may at best be able to make some improvements to the poll results between now and November and at worst be given the maximum opportunity to returning Labour to the correct path.

              • felix

                Gus. There’s no “we” in provocateur. You look ridiculous.

                • Gus

                  Felix you are troll.

                  Between the profanity, attacks and insults that you’re spouted in my direction over the the last few hours your commentary is about as interesting and worthwhile as that which can found the sewer.

                  I don’t care who or what you think I am I know my voting history.

                  [lprent: Moderators determine who are trolls, commentators don’t. Felix has never fitted the profile. Felix just likes to torment posers. I guess you have attracted his attention. ]

              • lprent

                Gus, there is no we. The Labour party leaders are selected by caucus. So if you aren’t a labour mp you don’t get a vote. Your first chance is at the general election. Then you vote for parties and an electorate MP
                But you never select or vote for party leaders in Labour UNLESS you are a MP

                • Gus

                  I disagree Lprent, there is “we” the paid up labour party membership of which I am one. There is the “we” the helpers and grass root supporters that go house to house delivering information into letterboxes, putting up hoardings etc of which I am one.

                  As much as the leadership might like to disagree without us they and the party are nothing and if they continue to follow this the current course they are likely to find themselves standing alone wondering where the money and helpers have all disappeared to.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hey Mr Labour Party Member

                    Go read the Constitution and come back when you have. Until then you are wasting our time.

                    • Gus

                      Why because I’m don’t think Goff is fit to lead the Labour Party? Or Hughes hasn’t been been poorly done by.

                      Until there is a strong leader at the helm of the Labour Party the polls will continue to be the mess they have been. Our best hope currently is being able to post election form a coalition government with the support of the minor parties. Is that the best you want for Labour?

                      By all means we should be including the minor parties to make a stronger more well balanced government but it should be because we want to not because we have no other option.

                      At the end of the if Goff stays I believe it will only be because the party leadership are too scared and weak to make the decisions that need to happen.

                  • lprent

                    You’re telling me? FFS I am sitting in a hall in Mangere listening to 38 7 minute speeches by people wanting to be on the Labour list.

                    If you are a member (and I have suspicions about that) you really need to ask someone in the party to explain the constitution of the party. In particular the election procedures for the various posts. Personally I avoid any post other than delegate, but I know what the procedures are.

                    • pollywog

                      really ?…is that all it takes to get on a party list ?

                      make a speech to sway some labour wiseguys and BOOYAA !!!

                      then what ? brown nose your way up the list til you hit some voodoo magic cut off figure and you’re in the money ?

                      surely not ?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Actually you have to start your brown nosing way before you give your speeches. Ideally many weeks in advance, because you will want to line up delegates to vote for you and have that set in concrete before the day even starts.

                      Ahhhh the pleasures of democracy.

                    • SPC

                      Just join the party at electorate level, go to regional gatherings, participlate in campaigns – hand our cards with your website address (CV and related self-promotion available to view).

                      Oh and find a way to develop a public profile or within a sector of sociery.

                      Nothing 10 years of planning and work couldn’t resolve. Problem is, there’ll still be 10 others for each position saying their speeches too.

                    • pollywog

                      edit : WOW…prescient SPC

                      and is that how it goes for all parties or just Labour ?

                      so what would i have to do if i wanted to get on the Green party list ?

                      green nose 🙂

                    • lprent

                      make a speech to sway some labour wiseguys and BOOYAA !!!

                      Not exactly. This is just the Northland Auckland area list and I’m a voting delegate for my electorate. So this is about part-way through through the process.

                      This is the second time that I’ve seen most of these candidates. I saw many of them last week when they came to my electorate to speak as well. Since there are quite a number of electorates in the region, that means that they’re getting a pretty rapid education in speaking to groups.

                      We’ve had their CV’s floating through the e-mail for a while. So many of us will check on what other activists think of them.

                      You’re also looking at most of the delegates being grizzled old campaigners like me who are basically very skeptical or MP’s who are looking at them as possible colleagues.

                      We rank them in order of preference until we get an agreement. If someone isn’t ready we will voting for very low order positions because they need seasoning or to get better skills. It can take several election cycles (if ever) to get ranked high enough to be in with a chance at our level.

                      Then the lists from all of the areas are combined by the moderating committee.

                      It is a intensely arduous process.

  10. I think everything in the Scoop article sounds believable.

    I think everything in the Scoop article sounds like it was written by a right-wing blogger. The ‘cabal’ deliberately recalls Mike Moore’s comment that he was rolled by a ‘lesbian cabal’. The idea that the party is still run by Heather Simpson and Helen Clark operating remotely from New York is a popular meme on the far-right blogs.

    • lprent 10.1

      My view as well.

      There is disquiet about the handling of the Hughes case. But I can’t imagine enough people in caucus being stupid enough to be bothered doing this. It is the wrong time for it to do any good for the party vote, unless you happen to be in National.

      • PeteG 10.1.1

        Last week seemed the wrong time to me.

        As soon as possible now seems the right time, if nothing is done until after the election Labour have basically thrown away 9 months of recovery time – a time when they will get the best exposure of the term.

        Next year all the focus will be on the new government again, and all Labour will have is a lingering perception from the campaign. Do they really want that perception to be the final rites of Goff?

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Stuff is keeping the story alive, this time apparently quoting at least one Labour MP that dissatisfaction with Goff is up there. And that some of the newbies from 2008 are amongst the most unhappy. King is said to be eyeing up her opportunities as well. Come on LAB no self inflicted wounds please o_O


  12. My spies tell me that the counting is real

    • Marty G 12.1

      I’m not one for white-anting our own side but the counting is definitely happening and the fact that they’re announcing it as basically a fait accompli through the media is an attempt to shore up senior figures, it so undermines goff that a change becomes inevitable.

      • interesting 12.1.1

        So you think a coup is underway Marty?

        • Marty G

          dunno. there’s obviously some mood for change. whether it actually amounts to anything more waits to be seen. if it was a done deal, i doubt the media would be used in the way it has been.

          but you have to remember there’s also the slater/ede/collins side of things, they want to distabilise but probably not topple goff. how much of the talk is from them is hard to gauge.

          • the sprout

            agreed, they’ve been planning how to use this to destablize goff and king for the last two weeks.
            i think their plan will backfire however if it does actually result in a change of leadership – NACT’s chances are more assured with a continuation of the current Labour leadership and ‘strategy’.

            • Deadly_NZ

              But if you are going to get rid of Goff and King, then would it not be the time to cut out the rest of the dead wood?? like Dyson, Mallard, Hawkins and maybe even Dalziel. Unfortunately the first 5 on the list are on their last legs as well so really there is no-one else to replace them with. And that is another reason Labour will lose the next election, in fact they would probably still lose even if Key was caught out for all his lies and shenanigans. Time to start saving for my tickets to AUS if I am lucky I will just have enough to get there in November, because the next 3 years are going to be a NAT paradise, and NZ a country of slaves.

              • millsy

                Australia? Personally I think that would be like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. And Julia Gillard is pretty much more and more everyday becoming a business as usual PM, telling off unions, and sucking up to the mining barons.

          • Danyl Mclauchlan

            but you have to remember there’s also the slater/ede/collins side of things, they want to distabilise but probably not topple goff. how much of the talk is from them is hard to gauge.

            I think there are two things happening: Labour MPs furious at Goff, considering a leadership change and saying so to the media off-the-record, and National’s elves spreading rumours about a specific coup.

            This reminds me of the role the right-wing blogs played in the 2008 election, in which they’d manufacture a rumour, each print separate pieces of it and then link to each other (‘huge scandal about to break about Winston Peters in Las Vegas, Matthew Hooton and Cameron Slater have more pieces of this breaking story’) and the MSM would chase themselves silly trying to track it down. I think there’s something similar going on here.

  13. The Voice of Reason 13

    Well, I’d have to say, I can see a potentially winning scenario for Labour that does involve a change of leadership. Andrew Little takes Darren Hughes’s list spot. Then Goff’s job. Makes Jacinda Adern his deputy and presents a generational change to the voting public. Ok, might still lose, but not by as much. And here’s the important bit: might just lift Labour’s vote by 4 or 5% and get over the line with help from the Greens, Winnie or even Hone.

    Its a risk, but not as big a risk as letting National win a second term.

    • the sprout 13.1

      and I don’t think it’s any worse risk than persevering with the current line-up. i have no interest in helping elect a Goff-King led government (as it stands i’ll probably vote elsewise), but i’d be happy to help a fresh line-up

      • PeteG 13.1.1

        Goff has unfortunately kept associating himself with his name variants, goof and gaff. Nice enough bloke, not a leader.

        King is largely anonymous, except for now being known to have housed an embarrassment.

        They are better known for what they did last century.

    • lprent 13.2

      Little wasn’t on the list as I remember it. It proceeds down the list that was presented to the electoral commission before the last election.

      • The Voice of Reason 13.2.1

        You might be right there, Lprent. That’s an area I’m not that familiar with. What would happen if all the current Labour list names refused the position? Would it just stay vacant?

        And, assuming it could happen, how does Little/Adern sound to you?

        • Colonial Viper

          Little has said publicly that he wants Louisa Wall to take Darren’s spot. And that the other candidates on the List (incl Tizard) should have the good sense to keep away because they aren’t even standing this year.

          • The Voice of Reason

            I heard Tizard on RNZ yesterday and she sounded totally disinterested (though chuffed to be back in the news, I think).

            • Inventory2

              Tizard has told Barry Soper she wants the job, to which she is entitled under Labour’s constitution. She was deprived of the opportunity to make a valedictory speech after she lost her place in the House in 2008, and she wants to put that right.

        • lprent

          Neither have the experience required. I suspect that both would tell you that themselves.

    • felix 13.3

      Little doesn’t actually need to be on the current list in order to become leader now, and he doesn’t need to be a sitting MP either. Unconventional but true.

      • Colonial Viper 13.3.1

        A leader but not an MP and therefore one outside of Parliament then? Doesn’t seem to make much sense.

        • Olwyn

          I vaguely remember this scenario being considered in relation to one of the smaller parties, where a leader outside of parliament was considered. A party like ACT for instance, might get so annoyed with Rodney as to elect someone else, not yet in parliament, as leader while Rodney still held the only ACT parliamentary seat.

          • Eddie

            russel norman was co-leader of the greens while not an mp. for nearly 3 years too.

        • felix

          Outside parliament until November 26 that is.

          And yeah it’s a weird idea but in 2008 NZ elected an alcoholic who speaks Pidgin as a first language, and doesn’t read things before he signs them, and by all accounts doesn’t even really like spending time in New Zealand, let alone parliament.

          Weird times, weird measures?

  14. Chris 14

    ‘National have a valid claim to have celebrities. Quite a difference.”

    The point us Key is on the approx. 55% popularity ratings and Goff hovers around the 5-7% ‘unpopularity’ rating scale.
    This is what the public perceive. Yes, popularity ratings are variable and not the holy grail but perception is everything in politics. The perception [whether you like it or not] is that Key [for all his faults] has charisma and a personality style that is personable. Goff, while he is privately ‘a nice bloke’, lacks theses characteristics esp. when seen in TV land. Having said that I cannot see a change in leadership at this stage being plausible or credible. It will signal a vote of desperation to middle New Zealand voters. Non of the potential candidates has the stage presence to make a massive swing. Parker will be remembered for his previous ‘issues’ and the rest don’t cut the mustard. Wait till after the election Goff, will fall on his sword then, and rebuild over the next 3 years. It will be come clearer them who can sit in the big chair.

  15. Luva 15

    The general arrogance and sleep walk to victory attitude that the Nats have is in my opinion due to Goff. From the day he was elected leader I felt the 2011 election was a done deal for Key. I think Key felt the same thing.

    The right have been saying for years he is yesterdays man. It looks like this debacle is also convincing his colleagues the same thing.

    As a centre rightie who currently supports the nats I want goff to stay. Labour can’t win with goff. That’s a fact

  16. MrSmith 16

    This could be just what labour needs, “even bad press is better than no press at all”. They should grab the limelight and make sure they stay in it till the election, if that means a change of leader so be it.

  17. prism 17

    This morning Kim Hill interviewed a USA guy with interesting insights into politics there – Documentary film maker Alex Gibney. Worth a listen to.
    His latest work Client 9 is about a concerted attack on a politician who was dealing to financial misdeeds and those targeted or affected used his sexual proclivities against him and blackened his name. He had been in consideration for President. In the light of what has happened to Darren Hughes etc it throws light on the use by character assassinators of information against politicians arising from the microscopic study of any gap between political pronouncements and personal behaviour.

    On Alex Gibney –His work as a writer and director includes the 2006 Oscar-nominated Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and the 2008 Oscar-winning film Taxi to the Dark Side.
    In 2010 he directed the feature Casino Jack and the United States of Money , and the documentary Client 9: the Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, along with one of the six segments in the documentary Freakonomics, based on the best-selling book.
    The latter two films will screen during the World Cinema Showcase (Auckland 1-18 April, Wellington 14-30 April, Dunedin 5-18 May).

  18. Lanthanide 18

    I don’t know if there’s going to be a leadership challenge, but this is really the last real opportunity anyone in Labour is going to have to make one before the election.

    Goff is clearly set up for a fall over his handling of the Darren Hughes affair, so changing leadership now, especially after the media and Key have made rumours about it this whole term, won’t look too out of place for the public.

    The other point in favour of change now is that there is still enough time before the election to set up a new platform for the leader.

    The budget this year is going to be National’s biggest gift to Labour. Their best bet is to have a leader that can properly capitalise on it. I’m not particularly sure that any of the other names being mooted would be any *worse* than Goff at that at this stage. Cunliffe is going to need to play a large role whatever happens.

    Also a little nugget from the scoop article that may have been overlooked:
    “Labour insiders have told Scoop that Hughes offered Goff his resignation weeks ago, after confiding in his leader that he was under Police investigation. The fact that Goff didn’t accept it then has caused stress amongst Labour caucus members.”

    So Darran offered to resign weeks ago. Goff said no. Darren offered to resign on Thursday, Goff said no because he didn’t think it was necessary. Darren offered to resign again on Friday, and Goff said yes. The only thing that changed was the public scrutiny.

  19. More to the point, why is Andrew Little advocating that Labour trample all over MMP, and that the next top five from Labour’s 2008 Party List (all of whom were available to serve, if elected, between 2008 and 2011) be discarded so that Louisa Wall can fill Hughes’ vacancy? This is a far worse abuse of MMP than the widely-criticised Greens one in 2008 where Russel Norman vaulted over Catherine Delahunty and Mike Ward just before the election.

    It begs the question; who is calling the shots? Surely Goff is leader of the parliamentary Labour Party, so it’s his call – isn’t it?


    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      More to the point, why is Andrew Little advocating that Labour trample all over MMP, and that the next top five from Labour’s 2008 Party List (all of whom were available to serve, if elected, between 2008 and 2011) be discarded so that Louisa Wall can fill Hughes’ vacancy?

      Not really trampling democracy as Louisa can serve New Zealand better than those others, Tizard et al., candidates who haven’t even been assed to stand this time around, and who have no chance of being in Parliament after November.

    • felix 19.2

      It doesn’t “beg the question” in any way at all. Jeez, how many times do we have to go over this?


    • Marty G 19.3

      it’s actually not up to goff, it’s up to the people on the list. none of the ones on the current list are on the next election list, except wall. so it’s perfectly understandable they wouldn’t give up their lives for five months’ work and would put the interests of the party first.

      • Inventory2 19.3.1

        But all were avialable for three years from 2008 to 2011, and those who just missed out must have known that there was a chance that they would be called upon. It’s not about who is available in 2011; the Party List was submitted in 2008, and is valid until the 2011 election. Labour is taking us for mugs.

        • Colonial Viper

          We are talking about people who would go into Parliament for a few months, swan around without a care or responsibility, and have absolutely no hope of returning in November.

          At least with Louisa Wall she would work harder and be back after the elections to keep working.

        • Eddie

          don’t be silly. there’s a big difference between being available for a 3 year term two and a half years ago and being available for six months now.

          do you think they’ve all been sitting in suspended animation waiting for the call-up?

        • Puddleglum

          It is presumably each individual’s choice as to whether or not they wish to enter parliament. My understanding is that being on the list does not make it compulsory under law for someone to take up the opportunity to enter parliament. We are all able to resign from our jobs, roles in volunteer organisations, etc.. It would be unusual not to be allowed to ‘resign’ from the list.

          Little, so far as I’m aware, was not telling the five people that they can’t accept but was pointing out that they might not want to accept given the timeframe and that they had not put themselves forward – or had not made? – the list this time around. You might see that comment as coercive, but it is far less coercive than an employer, for example, saying to an employee that if they don’t like it (the job) they can lump it – or get on their bike. We’re all adults, after all.

      • higherstandard 19.3.2

        Isn’t there an option to just not fill the position if all parties agree ?

  20. burt 20

    The timing might be shit for the party but really a clean out of Helen’s yes [ people ] is well overdue.

  21. Sanctuary 21

    “…Is Parker that much of an improvement?…”

    Unfortunately for Phil Goff, he now finds himself in the position of a losing All Black captain who is no longer being picked because he dominates his position, but because there is (apparently) no one else. This is a perilous situation, for the simple reason you are no longer the architect of your own fate and can no longer set the narrative. As in sport, so in politics – the question always eventually evolves to this – from “is there anyone who is much of an improvement?” to “is there anyone who could possibly be worse?” This is where Phil Goff now finds himself. After this gross mishandling of this Hughes business my answer to the question “is there anyone who could possibly be worse?” is no. And in fact, I would say that now a range of candidates who would be better.

    Goff is of the wrong political generation – note I don’t buy the age argument, but I do think that timing and momentum is everything in politics, and he lacks the time and credibility to re-invent himself now. He is just to closely associated with Clark and the last two Labour governments. People want an excuse to switch votes to Labour, a reason to persuade themselves they are not just voting for the return of the Clark government sans it’s towering leader. ANYONE else offers this perception change. To this reasoning, I think a change of leadership to anyone is a postive move.

    Goff strikes me as a decent, honest man. An excellent and faithful public servant of the New Zealand people who has loyally done his very best for his country. But he also strikes me as a man who has been promoted to one level above his ability. Whoever his replacement might be in a coup, would they be any worse than that? And could they even actually grow quickly into the role? My answer to that is no, they could not be worse and yes, a new leader could re-connect with a lot of swing voters.

    Finally, anyone who became leader now would not be blamed for any possible election loss in November. The idea that the contenders are reluctant to be tainted with defeat is nonsense – as recently as Helen Clark opposition leaders have lost elections and gone on to evntually be PM.

    So it seems to me that anyone other Goff would not be any worse, and offers the potential to be quite a bit better.

    • Salsy 21.1

      I agree, but just how its done is vital. Cunliffe is the obvious choice – hes snatching headlines already and would obliterate Key in debates – plus this election is about finance…

  22. burt 22

    The other possible good outcome from all of this would be if King didn’t win Rongotai.

    • Marty G 22.1

      it must be hard living in enemy territory, burt, but king’s not losing rongotai just because she loses the deputy leadership. look at the past leaders and deputy leaders in national who still hold seats – english, brownlee, nick ‘three weeks’ smith…

    • U 4 United 22.2

      [lprent: much of that was speculation on a current police investigation. Two week ban for stupidity
      . ]

      • Colonial Viper 22.2.1

        If the police report confirms the above hypothesis then, if King has a backbone at all, which I question, she ought resign. (Spineless creep won’t though!)

        and logically, Len Brown also needs to go. Guilt by association you see.

      • felix 22.2.2

        You’re a Whale Oil reader aren’t you U4?

        I guess you reckon him and Farrar are responsible for all the racism, sexism and homophobia in the comments on their sites then.

        Me too.

      • deemac 22.2.3

        I’d love to hear a RATIONAL explanation of how a landlord/landlady is responsible for a tenant’s behaviour! Anyone??

  23. Winston Sanders 23

    Fact 1 : [let’s wait for the police report thanks — r0b]
    Fact 2: Goff knew about it three weeks ago
    Fact 3: He did nothing

    Would you want this man in charge of the country?

    • Lanthanide 23.1

      Fact 1: Key has a private fortune
      Fact 2: Key voted in a tax cut of 5% to the top rate, of which his large salary of $400k benefits, as well as any returns from his investments
      Fact 3: He doesn’t see this as a problem.

      Would you want this man in charge of the country?

      Hint: I suggest you don’t play this type of game.

      • infused 23.1.1


        Quote me if I’m wrong. How does it matter?

        • felix

          You didn’t read past the (made up) headline. Here’s what he said:

          “I already donate a good part of the pay I receive as Leader of the Opposition to charities and other good causes. I will continue that practice should I become Prime Minister,”

          Care to elaborate on what that means? Classic Key-speak.

          The obvious questions are:

          a) What constitutes “a good part”? 80%? 50? 25? 10? 5%? No idea. Just let it mean whatever you want it to mean (a lot of righties think it means 100%)

          b) What constitutes “good causes”? Again that can mean literally anything and it’s different for everyone.

          So what this pleasant sounding statement tells us for sure is that Key takes an unknown amount of money at unspecified intervals and does something or other with it.

          No matter what you want to believe, that’s all he actually committed to.

          Do you see how this works yet?

    • deemac 23.2

      better to have a currency trader who made his fortune betting against NZ, eh?

      • Colonial Viper 23.2.1

        I suspect that Key is still betting against NZ, and still making more money.

  24. Raymond A Francis 24

    I feel all of National are or should be down on bended knees hoping Goff will be leading Labour into the next election, so apart from trouble making, a coup is no advantage to the right
    I am also surprised at the negative vibe here regarding a Labour victory, with a slight swing (surely inevitable in todays economic climate) one may be able to be cobbled together

    So if I was a Labour MP (with ambition) now would be the time to act, certainly give me the jump on Mr three hat Little the self appointed great white hope

    • Inventory2 24.1

      I am also surprised at the negative vibe here regarding a Labour victory, with a slight swing (surely inevitable in todays economic climate) one may be able to be cobbled together

      And therein lies the dilemma Raymond. To get the Treasury Benches, Goff or his successor is going to have to “cobble together” a coalition including the Greens, Winston Peters, the Maori Party and perhaps a new left-wing party. Labour may even need to court Peter Dunne again to get the numbers. Is that the recipe for stable government?

      • felix 24.1.1

        So? National may well be in exactly the same position.

        Do you think ACT and the maori Party are going to have 10 seats for National to play with this time? Me neither.

        Imagine if National actually needed the votes of both ACT and the maori Party at the same time. Sound like stable govt to you? Nah, me neither.

        Dunne doesn’t count, he’ll go with whoever. If he even wins a seat which ain’t a given this time.

        Nats are just as likely to need Winston as Labour are. And yeah, Key will go there and you know it.

        Nothing stable about it.

        • Lanthanide

          “And yeah, Key will go there and you know it”

          National will go there. Key would quit.

          Given Peter’s recent speech, I don’t think a National-NZFirst government would achieve much.

          • felix

            Probably true, Key might see that as a high note to go out on.

            And I don’t think a National-Peters govt would ever get much done.

  25. Colonial Viper 25

    This shit is starting to depress me now.

    For a bit of respite I am going to do some volunteer work today to further undermine National in my nearby electorates hehehe 🙂

  26. Chris 26

    Quote “Goff or his successor is going to have to “cobble together” a coalition including the Greens, Winston Peters, the Maori Party and perhaps a new left-wing party. Labour may even need to court Peter Dunne again to get the numbers. Is that the recipe for stable government?”

    No this is not a recipe for a stable Gov.T. It would not take long for differences and fractions to appear. For a start Peters is not a team player and whatever party he has been in historically he has been ‘divisive’. Peters would clash with the Maori Party straight away. Sorry I can’t see the voters going for the a melting pot of or 5x or 6x left leaning parties all with different agendas. The Nats. will promote this scenario also prior to the election as major negative outcome of the election. What’s plan ‘B’ ?

    • PeteG 26.1

      What’s plan ‘B’ ?

      Rebuild as much support as possible by November and keep rebuilding after that for 2012. Goff has proven he is not capable of rebuilding – it’s not all his fault, but it’s been not happening on his watch.

      I don’t think the cobbling together of anyone who will come on board is likely to happen – the general “rule” has been for the party winning the most seats to lead a coalition.

      I think the next most likely scenario is a minority government led by the party with the most seats, with or without coalition partners. And I don’t think that’s too bad an option, certain better than a rabble coalition.

  27. ianmac 27

    Leadership is to do with image. Is there an attractive intelligent woman in the ranks?

  28. ianmac 28

    Just on National News that Mr Goff has been told by three journalist that the Hughes story was leaked by a staff member from “a Ministers Office.”

  29. Sookie 29

    I don’t think Labour’s chances will be ruined by a leadership change now, despite the bad publicity and sense of disnunity, I think it will make things better. Someone mentioned publicity- Labour struggles these days to get much media attention that isn’t negative. If there’s a coup, that will keep the party in the headlines for a while. And I know of a lot of centre-left voters like myself who will have second thoughts about throwing our vote to the Greens if Labour got themselves a new leader. I always liked Trevor Mallard as he doesn’t take crap from anyone. Shane Jones’ porn interests don’t bother me. I think some gruff, working class type guy would be a good bet, not some silver tongued posho intellectual. Labour needs to win back all those swing voters, or at least some of them. The rest can go to Winston 🙂

  30. lprent 30

    Phil Goff up in stage speaking now at the list meet at Mangere bridge. Doesn’t look too worried. Good speech so far

  31. kriswgtn 31

    What makes me laugh about the RWNJ’s ,theyre still under the impression that NZ has a FPP system
    , duh MMP you muppets

    Key has ruled out Winnie + Hone LOL
    ACT are imploding,The hairpiece from the hutt will be gone as well so tht leaves who??
    The MP be lucky to keep the seats they have

    Nat wont get 50%

    • Sookie 31.1

      They haven’t got a chance in hell of getting 50%, there’s too many pissed off people around all too aware they’re a lot poorer these days. Their allies suck, and Winston has been travelling around the country virtually unnoticed gladhandling and kissing babies and giving impressive speeches and nibbling away at the centre swing vote. He’ll be back in for sure, ACT will be gone, the Maori party will lose a couple of MP’s…what are the Nat’s to do? It won’t take much to force them out, that’s why Labour needs to sort their shit out now.

    • infused 31.2

      “Key has ruled out Winnie + Hone LOL”

      So he has ruled out two fucking morons and that’s lol? Sums up Labour right there.

      Labours Slogan for 2011 “We will do anything to win”

      Two racists, bigots, and one that has a memory span of 2 minutes (probably applies to both actually).

      • Colonial Viper 31.2.1

        Love how the Righties always project their own mindsets and attitudes on to others

  32. Sanctuary 32

    I hate to say it lprent, but when you partner is thinking of leaving you for someone else you are always the last to find out….

  33. Adrian 33

    Missing in all this are facts. 2 am?, “stumbling” upon a Police car, 5.30 am? naked man holding obviously very cold nuts? Which story is true or are they even connected? Why was the complainant supposedly carrying on with his life ” normally”, wouldn’t you be keeping pretty low? One might flee a 7.2 quake or a fire naked, but little else short of that. And there is obviously some sympathy for Goff from some in the press gallery, in their identification to him of exactly who it was who leaked the info, very unusual. Those journos presumably believe that this is a dirty trick attempt to ramp up a silly behaviour scenario. Did the nasty bastards lose patience with the failure of the usually reliable rumour mill to do it’s job, and have they unwittingly exposed ( NPI )themselves. Does a Minister has questions to answer?. The whole Goff witch hunt is playing right into their hands.

    • Marty G 33.1

      not helpful to speculate when we don’t have info. we’re not going to behave like the right did over worth and try to discredit the complaint.

  34. Cunliffe FTW !!!

    He’s got a tidy line in suits and ties plus he’s the only one with the brains and balls to call out and hammer English and Key’s lies on the economy, now and post budget.

    The economy still being the issue on which the election will be fought between the 2 major parties.

    And even if Labour lose, it still gives Cunliffe the opportunity to keep hammering away at the ineptness of Key and English by putting forward the strongest arguments against selling power companies and the like.

    Robertson for all his potential is still a political n00b and who the fuck is this Parker guy ? I don’t even know what he looks like or have seen him say anything about nothing since…well forever ?

    It’s now or never for Labour. Time to stand up and be counted. Ditch Goff and King then hit the ground running on the real issues.

    Give Key and English a run for their money from a fresh start. Theres 8 months of new ground to be covered which can be made up with constant acceleration by fresh legs rather than plodding along with the same old tired hacks.

    It really is a new game out here since the Helen years. The quakes plus peak oil, recession and climate change have altered the poltical landscape forever. We don’t want stability from the old guard. We want radical new left field solutions to everything from housing to education to employment to the economy and everything in between.

    And even if thats not possible we want people who can at least elucidate and expound on issues with some sort of clarity of vision and coherence of message. Goff and King just don’t do that. Neither in fact do Key and English. Winston does, Metiria does, even Hone does

    and by we, i mean me, myself and i 🙂

    • Salsy 34.1

      Count me in!

    • Colonial Viper 34.2

      I’m glad The Standard put up that video of Cunliffe hammering away at the Government this week. Nice work dude, keep pouring the pressure on.

      • Deadly_NZ 34.2.1

        Unfortunately he is the only one, all the rest are ineffective Goff included. Key ran rings around him the last couple of days, which means his handlers have trained him a bit more..

  35. Chris 35

    Quote: “Just on National News that Mr Goff has been told by three journalist that the Hughes story was leaked by a staff member from “a Ministers Office.” ”

    More the reason this should have been ‘managed’ from the word go. Of course a story like this was going to get ‘leaked’. Unsure who was ‘advising’ Goff, King and Hughes as they were clearly wrong as was Goff, King and Hughes for not front footing it. Now is is being managed by the media and the opposition.

    • ianmac 35.1

      It seemed to me to be still of significance should the office be that of the Minster of Police. Perhaps less importance for any other Minister.

  36. wyndham 36

    ‘And even if thats not possible we want people who can at least elucidate and expound on issues with some sort of clarity of vision and coherence of message. Goff and King just don’t do that. Neither in fact do Key and English. Winston does, Metiria does, even Hone does’

    Quite right pollywog . . . and one of the reasons that despairing Labour voters will be flocking to vote Greens next election. Or Winston. Or Hone.

  37. Hi Inventory2,

    It is presumably each individual’s choice as to whether or not they wish to enter parliament. My understanding is that being on the list does not make it compulsory under law for someone to take up the opportunity to enter parliament. We are all able to resign from our jobs, roles in volunteer organisations, etc.. It would be unusual not to be allowed to ‘resign’ from the list.

    Little, so far as I’m aware, was not telling the five people that they can’t accept but was pointing out that they might not want to accept given the timeframe and that they had not put themselves forward – or had not made? – the list this time around.

    You might see that comment as coercive, but it is far less coercive than an employer, for example, saying to an employee that if they don’t like it (the job) they can lump it – or get on their bike. We’re all adults, after all.

    Edit: This was originally a response to a comment from Inv2 some way above (19.3.1). It wouldn’t accept it first time then, second time, it ended up at the end of the comments. Sorry. Just seen that my first comment was accepted. Please completely ignore this. Good grief, what a mess I’ve made.

    • Pascal's bookie 37.1

      Good enough comment to read twice mate.

      • Puddleglum 37.1.1

        Thanks PB. Appreciated.

        The only incompetence I really can’t stand is my own.

        • Inventory2

          The only fault in your reasoning Puddlegum is that saying to an employee that “if they don’t like it (the job) they can lump it – or get on their bike” is what’s known as constructive dismissal, and can end up as a very expensive lesson for the employer concerned 🙂

          But it may all be academic anyway. Barry Soper reports that Judith Tizard wants to deliver the valedictory speech that she was deprived of delivering by virtue of being ousted in 2008.

    • PeteG 37.2

      Little wasn’t coercive, he can’t coerce on this, but on NatRad (17.36 yesterday) he was questioning if the five would “want to go through the disruption for six months to warm a seat”, repeated similar, and it could be easily thought he pushing Wall’s case, mentioning her several times and only talking positively about her chances.

      He fairly obviously wants Wall, but it’s up to the preceding five on the list to give Wall the option.

  38. HC 38

    Sorry “ROB”, I think this time you have got it wrong. It may in the end not be Parker that rolls Goff, it may be Cunliffe. Both know how dismal the situation within the party and particularly it’s leadership is.

    Also is Andrew Little unhappy about what is going on.

    I think Scoop have it right and there will be a challenge. It is still over 6 months until the election. A challenge MUST happen right now – or the election will become another shambles for Labour. The time is right now to challenge Goff, because he will not get the votes Labour needs. He is a competent and experienced politician who can also hold good speeches, but his style and personality are that of gone by days. We need fresh blood and a more in tune leader heading the opposition.

    When Goff gets displaced now then it is time enough for a new leader to prove himself and prepare the party and electorate for the election.

    I have a lot of sympathy for Phil Goff, but he must now realise himself that he cannot be the leader that wins the next election. He should have the decency to make room for a fresh, new and equally competent and capable person to step in right now.

    The media will then also focus on Labour and it’s new leader, which is a chance to put John Key and consorts under pressure.

    Let us not wait for more doom, let a challenge happen and let a new leader have a chance now to set Labour onto a new and decided course to steer this country out of this absolute misery we are in. It is my last hope for Labour to see the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel!

    • r0b 38.1

      The prediction was about Parker. My post / response was about Parker. I haven’t said anything about any other possibilities.

  39. Chris 39

    The media and the opposition will also highlight the fact that Andrew Lit­tle was several days ago pro­fess­ing to know noth­ing about it all dep­site Phil Goff telling the media that “his lead­er­ship team” had known for two weeks.
    It begs the ques­tion. Is Andrew Lit­tle not in Goff’s leadership team ?
    There is also the issue of the ‘missing week’ that needs to be sorted ASAP or this will drag on as media foder and the Nats. will be sleeping very well at night.

    • Eddie 39.1

      the party president wouldn’t usually be part of the ‘leadership team’, they’re very seperate roles.

      that said, little ought to have been informed

  40. ridge83 40

    never mind, we can all be cheered, not, by watching Sky News coverage of the NSW election tonight. David Speers, Peter Van Onselen, and co are all very entertaining and well informed

    I agree with HC, let a challenge happen

  41. fatty 41

    Please get rid of Goff, the guy is pathetic…and has been since he became leader.
    National have been putting this election on a plate for him for the past 6 months and he is yet to take advantage of it.

    Could anybody do any worse?

    Goffs whole political career has been spent being a cheer leader for whatever Labour is doing, regardless of how stupid it was…Rodgernomics.

    The guy is a sheep, always has been, always will.
    What happens when a sheep becomes a leader?…leadership ceases to exist

  42. ianmac 42

    I understand the concerns of Left supporters over leadership. I do not understand why the right leaning are so persistent over getting rid of Goff. If Goff was no good wouldn’t the right want him to stay? Maybe Goff with more exposure over Election Year has the potential to flourish and the Right have concerns.

    • PeteG 42.1

      I think there are many on the left as well as right who have serious concerns about Goff’s inability to flourish. He’s muddle through the last couple of years but instead of lifting his game for election year he seems to have gone backwards, and now messed up.

      I know some here seem to see me as right leaning (I think that’s funny) – but I want to see a decent Labour leader, a strong Labour presence in parliament and therefore a better parliament. I think Goff has had his chance and shown he’s not got what it takes – and the longer he stays the more it will take.

    • RobC 42.2

      My own suspicion is the right wish to (continue to) de-stabilise Goff without actually having him replaced, as they think no-one in their right mind would change leaders this close to an election.

      Goff has been in Parliament for 30 years. His “potential to flourish” I suggest is minimal. And this is what is so concerning – someone who has been there for so long is making schoolboy errors, not once, but regularly.

      Personally I think that Labour should call the right-wing bluff and replace him. I’m beginning to think there is actually nothing to lose given his continuing blunders.

    • fatty 42.3

      Goff won’t flourish now, he never has….who cares about the concerns of the right?

      Labour need a new leader.

      More Goff exposure leads to more stagnation, its the last chance to move forward or forget about this election

  43. Maui 43

    Parker, Cunliffe .. whoever – just do it !

    This country badly needs a break from this ongoing catalogue of disaster – and I don’t mean the Golden Boy from Merrill Lynch, or this anarchic Minister of Transport.

    Have a spill, roll the dice, make a decision – break this long white cloud of gloom and stop our best and brightest heading for greener grass overseas.

    • Deadly_NZ 43.1

      Never heard of Parker before this blew up, so it will have to be Cunliffe. But I think this is another case of a day late, and a dollar short..

  44. millsy 44

    What have Labour got to lose from a leadership change?

    Nothing. Lets face facts:

    1) National is still 50% in the polls, and look like the first party to win 50% + at an election since 1951, when Sid Holland (I think Key is more like Holland than any of the other National leaders – a real nasty prick), called a snap election after the waterfront dispute

    2) Lets face it, Goff is useless. Yesterday’s man. He has too much tar stuck on him from the 4th and 5th Labour government. The general public dont want to know him, and you are only a few clicks away from the nerdy looking younger him, as Minister of Employment justifying the monetary policies of the Lange/Douglas cabinet.

    3) Time is running out for Labour’s ‘target market’. The Labour party caucus may have their secure seats and parlimentary perks and salaries, and comfortable living standards after the election, but there are plenty of people out there who are going to driven to the wall come 2012. You have heard about the tales of those in Christchurch having trouble with their insurance companies, well, wait till ACC is handed over the private insurance industry. And thats just to start.

    4) Its time for a generational shift in the Labour party administration anyway. Labour has never been really good at this. From my understanding, it wasant until the late 60’s, early 70’s that the last of the 1935 intake finally moved on from parliament. Not only does Goff need to go, but King, and probably Mallard need to follow as well.

    Regadless of what happens, Labour WILL NOT WIN IN 2011. There is nothing to lose from a leadership change

    • PeteG 44.1

      Yes, I agree – are you right leaning?

      • millsy 44.1.1

        No, I consider myself a pragmatic democratic socialist with some capitalist characteristics

        • Colonial Viper

          Whoah!!! Me too 😯

          Mighty pleased to make your acquaintance! 😀

          • Herodotus

            “…are you right leaning?”
            Well anyone who voted Nat/Act/Lab/NZ1/UF and MP could be considered right leaning, given that their economic theroy that they all follow are from the same source. They all are scared of foregn bankers/mulitnats and are willing to sacrifice NZ public for what these big businessmen say e.g. trade agreements, credit ratings etc. Just look how we have had ursurped from us control of our own destiny (and not B Tamaki version 😉 ). From memory Lab has more ex Ivy league grads in Caucus than Nat, and even the union appears full of graduates.

    • Lanthanide 44.2

      National aren’t going to get 50%. They simply won’t. We haven’t had the grandaughter of all budgets yet.

      Given that, and Labours non-stellar polling, the election result really revolves around the minor parties and who will form a coalition with whom. It is looking increasingly likely the Maori Party will get back in with 2-3 seats only, and Hone will win his. Peter Dunne is marginal, but goes with anyone anyway. The wild cards are NZ First and Act. Don’t forget that NZ First actually got 4.6% at the last election, a lot more than Act did – they only got in because of Hide’s electorate seat, which is shaky.

      If Act doesn’t get in, it leans everything towards Labour. If Act doesn’t get in and NZFirst does, it pretty much guarantees a Labour-led government, simply because NZFirst and National will never be able to agree (see Winston’s rejection of asset sales in his recent speech).

      • millsy 44.2.1

        Yes, they will darling. I can guarantee it.

        WRT the ‘granddaughter of all budgets, there will be a fair bit of bennie and student0 bashing in it, that will appeal to National’s base.

        • Lanthanide

          “there will be a fair bit of bennie and student0 bashing in it, that will appeal to National’s base.”

          National’s base doesn’t make up 50% of the population. That’s the problem.

          • Colonial Viper

            National’s base makes up about 15% of the population. They have to hoodwink everyone else.

      • RobC 44.2.2

        National could get 50% on a low turnout. That is a possibility; there’ll be plenty of people (I’m one) who at the moment couldn’t vote for any party. The budget will largely be forgotten come November unless Nats do something stupid in it (and can’t rule that out).

        Unfortunately, NZ First holding the balance of power disturbs me as much as National getting an absolute majority. Talk about Hobson’s Choice.

    • pollywog 44.3

      i reckon Labour, under Cunliffe, have every chance of winning, ‘cos when it comes down to it, it’s the worm in the pre election leaders debates that decides…

      …and i have no doubt that in a one on one, Cunliffe can pWn Key or English in any debate on the economy and look pretty fucken snazzy doing it too.

      • Inventory2 44.3.1

        I don’t share your view of Cunliffe pollywog. I doubt that he will ever lead the Labour Party, simply because he can’t connect with the Average Joe. He might be a brilliant Finance Minister in the future, but like Bill English (2002 apart) and Michael Cullen, I doubt that he would ever advance beyond the role of Deputy Leader.

        Like it or not, party leadership now is presidential. Goff is not cutting it at the moment, and nor, do I believe, would Cunliffe.

        • Colonial Viper

          NZ politics can stop being Presidential in style very damn quick.

          • Inventory2

            It would be a good thing CV; on that we are agreed. But as long as election campaigns are based around a 30-sec soundbite on the 6pm news rather than the “god old days” of Town Hall meetings, presidential is what we’re stuck with.

        • pollywog

          Naturally you don’t share my view I2, cos Cunliffe is the one guy that sends all you righties packing.

          He would be your worst nightmare in any debates on the economy and that, not the presidential style of electioneering that Key and your lot are striving for, is what this election will be fought on.

          So of course you’d want to play down his chances and ramp up a nobody like Parker to run against Key.

          I think Cunliffe would connect with the average joe, if you give the average joe a bit more credit than being a dumbed down, knuckle dragging serf to their well to do betters who buys whatever tripe the media are peddling at any given time.

          I mean Goff can’t, or has ever been able to, connect with the average joe yet…

          …with Winston running interference on the presidential style campaigning, Hone rabble rousing the natives, the Greens speaking truth to power and the Maori party looking increasingly desperate and irrelevent now that their reason for existing has been enacted

          all it would take is for Cunliffe to show some impeccable timing and ruthless intent as leader and it’d be Key looking like a boob scrambling for his political life

          Cunliffe could easily bring out the nasty, vindictive, mean spirited, spoilt brat of a child hiding behind Key’s well PR groomed facade and that’s gotta be worry for smile n wave’s handlers and all the other nutjobs.

          • Puddleglum

            Makes me wonder how tall Cunliffe is compared with Key.

            Then there’s this quote from this study. (There are many similar studies).

            Of 43 American presidents, only five have been more than a smidgeon below average height. In the past 13 US presidential elections [paper was written in 2006], the taller candidate has won 10 times. Presidents tend to be taller than the average population (Persico/Postlewaite/Silverman 2004). Gladwell (2005) reports the results of his survey on about one-half of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. He finds that the average CEO is approximately 3 inches taller than the average of the male American population.

            • the sprout

              I agree Cunliffe would be the best choice for leader – but his one disadvantage is significant: he’s not wildly popular amongst his own caucus. Parker wins that contest.

              • Agreed – the popularity that matters is in caucus. I was just playing along with the ‘Presidential’ approach and seeing where it might go.

                It actually gets worse. Perhaps we should be choosing political leaders and candidates on a scientifically verified biometric index?

                From the article:

                The model’s forecasts, calculated by cross-validation, correctly predicted the popular vote winner for 27 of the 29 elections; this performance compares favourably to forecasts from polls (15 out of 19), prediction markets (22 out of 26), and three econometric models (12 to 13 out of 15 to 16). Out-of-sample forecasts of the two-party popular vote for the four elections from 1996 to 2008 yielded a forecast error almost as low as the best of seven econometric models. The model can help parties to select the candidates running for office, and it can help to improve on the accuracy of election forecasting, especially for longer-term forecasts.

                Those scientists are scary people.

              • pollywog

                he’s not wildly popular amongst his own caucus.

                which is all the more reason he needs to step up, bring his A game each and every, and not get caught slipping…

                …but this is the caucus who foistered the insanely popular Phil Goff on us to lead the opposition…yeah ?

                What that tells me, is that Parker must be a bit of an eatarse and the caucus decisions are suss…

                …sounds like the caucus needs to man up, grow a pair and stop wanting a happy ending with every ego massage !

                I mean jeez…Do they want to win this election or not ?

          • Inventory2

            By “some impeccable timing and ruthless intent” do you mean like that he showed when he sacked the democratically elected Hawkes Bay District Health Board in 2008? His timing and intent there was so impeccable and ruthless respectively that the DHB was reinstated shortly after the 2008 election, and Cunliffe narrowly missed having to appear in the High Court at a Judicial Review initiated by the various Mayors from Hawkes Bay.

            PS: do you see the irony of calling Key “the nasty, vindictive, mean spirited, spoilt brat of a child hiding” whilst you are lambasting RWNJ’s? Just askin’ …

            • pollywog

              hardly impeccable timing but the ruthless intent shows he has got it…

              …the timing will come naturally

              as for irony. let me google what it means first and i’ll get back to ya…

    • ianmac 44.4

      I don’t think that the general population is busy analysing the history of various politicians. I think that most people are more concerned about here and now and the cost of living and the rise of unemployment. Therefore someone has to be convince “us” that they know who to blame for our worsening position, and who will give us a better deal. Who should that be? A new face? A known face? If only Mr Goff would practise short sharp answers when he does get the chance. then maybe……..

      • Herodotus 44.4.1

        As the NZ economy slowly sinks. Neither party has an answer, but both thru crap policies are the cause. And this Lab running surplus/GDP growth type agruements do nothing for the cure. The patient is terminal and requires radical thinking and policy implementation to save it (tax cuts or taxing the rich are nothing more than shifting deck chairs on a big boat that has hit an iceburg).

        • Bored

          “Running a surplus / GDP growth type arguements do nothing for the cure” Sorry to be a sad arse on this but you are 100% correct, the real issue is that growth as we knew it for 200 years has run its course with the peaking of oil, water, etc etc. We might get point growth years but overall the direction is down. I think how we handle the change and measure our performance as a society should really be the main focus of politics, unfortunately until a critical mass of the politicians and population come out of denial then we will suffer misallocation of effort and resources for diminishing returns. Labour are as you say just as at fault of this as Nact.

        • Marty G

          “neither party”

          more than 2 parties.

          If you want answers, look to the greens. every solution that’s now being looked at is something they’ve been talking about for at least a decade.

    • chris73 44.5

      Holy crap I find myself agreeing with you (mostly) on all points especially 2 and 4

      Soooo bearing that in mind who is going to roll Goff and when?

      If Parker does will he do it before the election and try to improve Labours upcoming defeat so it doesn’t look so bad (otherwise known as the black caps gambit ;)) but risk getting tainted by the defeat (he could ask bill english how that feels) or will he wait until after the election and scrap over the carcass with the other potential leaders

      Whatever happens though Labour should now heed what the right wingers have been saying for the last couple of years and that is forced retirements and new mps…and if I was the new leader of Labour my first order of business would be to get rid of Ruth Dyson and then start on the rest of Dear Leaders former supporters

  45. Samuel Hill 45

    Goff doesn’t inspire anyone to do anything. He is the one that brought us student debt on a ridiculous scale. Yet now he claims he wants to help us. Give me a break. While the fools in this country stare at Key in wonder, the bleeding hearts on the left play kiddy games.

  46. Santi 46

    [you’re on a week ban. — r0b]

  47. outofbed 47

    I am conflicted, as a Green Party supporter we will do better as Goff as leader, Lets face it he has no chance of winning it for Labour and we might be the recipient of some disaffected Labour supporters votes..
    But with a new Labour leader the left has a chance of winning with a stronger Labour vote but possibly weakened Green support
    On Balance I would support a proper left wing Labour Party, Can’t see that happening under any scenario

  48. SPC 48

    Well we know what happened in 1990, only marginal improvement from a leadership change.

    We know what happened in 1993, a National government went hard right and would have lost if Labour and New Labour had not split (a second election performance better than the first). This government has so far tried to moderate its right wing tendencies till a second term to prevent such a breakdown in trust with the electorate. It’s made a show of keeping to its manifesto promises for this reason. It’s is not yet vulnerable.

    We know how long it took Clark to build credibility as a leader. Two full terms as opposition leader (a second election performance better than first).

    We know that opposition leaders rarely do well in the first term of a new government – the exception is Muldoon. We also know that being an opposition leader at the third election of a government is a good place to be. But the second election is when you want to be well placed. Note McLay getting rolled by Bolger – and him getting thrashed in 87 but winning against a walking dead and divided party in 1990.

    Is the goal to try and win or position for 2014? Or both?

    For this year, its probably Goff. And 2014 possibly Goff. For Cunliffe its being the Finance Spokesperson at an election campaign (as Key was in 2005) to prepare the way for being a candidate after the election.

    The other issue is whether to offer any of the other leadership candidates a position as deputy leader before the election. So they have a visibility and a role during the campaign year. Could Little (post Presidency and before MP status) or Parker or Shearer (apparently not a standout in the House but that’s over-rated) do that?

    While the well being of children and families is an issue of itself this campaign – does King have to remain deputy to ensure this focus?

    Whatever, the real game changes are over policy as connected to party stability and reliability before the electorate – the latter two factors manifest in the leaders standing, reputation and credibility. That’s were the real work is down building a partnership that is the oppositions role in providing an alternative government – that tests the government to gain backing for their policies and forces them to moderate their plans.

    As to the politics – threre is the 75 campaign and making the public aware of the risk of re-electing this lot. That and proposing a better way/an alternative programme is all that can be done.

    The game is played with the players you have doing the best they can by working together as a team – earn respect by hard work and maintaining unity of purpose.

    The politics of panic, insecurity and fear is what what the right seek to sow and is the path of self-destruction.

    • gobsmacked 48.1

      A lot of good sense there SPC.

      I’m less interested in the Goff versus Not-Goff debate, than in the type of change Labour need.

      Generational change – good.

      Principled change – good (i.e. reassessing party direction and developing policies to match)

      Band-aid change – not good.

      When a leader takes over a party, s/he makes a keynote speech, on party and personal values. S/he outlines a vision, and tries to connect with the public. (Good but horrible example – Brash at Orewa)

      But if a leader takes over and is immediately mired in the minutiae of daily politics, then it’s a wasted opportunity. The public don’t sit up and take notice. If the shiny new leader’s answer to Labour’s problems is to promote somebody from #17 to #14 in caucus, then they don’t understand the question.

      Labour doesn’t need more “Insider politics”. The Wellington Soap Opera, next episode. Who cares?. The press gallery do, but not the voters.

      Labour need somebody who can do an Orewa … but for social democratic, progressive values. Sing the song of “Common purpose”, with words and music to inspire us.

      But if the new leader sees their role as “keeping people in caucus happy, so I can keep my job as Opposition Leader after a narrow election defeat”, then I’d stick their job application in the shredder. And I’d stick with Goff.

      • SPC 48.1.1

        I suppose one good thing to come out of this will be media focus on the party – that can be taken advantage of. Maybe a few of the rumoured cnadidates for a coup should publicise some speeches they intent to make and get the media along to listen to Labour discussing their vision, government, issues and policies.

  49. Irascible 49

    If one was to believe that the NACT analysts took the best plays from the Labour Party campaigns to portray Key as a friend of the people in 2008 (e.g. the use of the Kirk iconic picture at Waitangi mirrored in the now ignored girl from “struggle street” set up for Waitangi 2008) then the blogosphere feeds into the journalists around possible leadership spills in the Labour Party are plays taken from the panic spills that happened after Rowling’s leadership… Palmer – Moore spills just before the election period.
    The spin from the NACT PR machine, swallowed whole by the journalists, has been to foster the idea that the Party and its MPs are dissatisfied with Goff and thus keep Labour unsettled and appearing to lack decisiveness even the face of bad leadership, constant indecision and poor management by Key & English.
    Judging from the commentaries in Stuff & Scoop their spin is getting the coverage they pay for.

    • Nemesis 49.1

      Grouch… I mean Irascable, interesting post.I’ll bet you’ve never complained about Labours spin doctors and pr machine.I’ll also bet you never complained about the yawning gulf between the coverage of Hughes and Worth on this site either.
      National didn’t have to do much to win in 2008, the cupboard was bare for more naked vote grabbers like WFF and interest free student loans.The public could see Labour for what they are, self serving venal fools clinging to power at all costs and hiding behind spin doctors as they staggered from one scandel to the next .A group of troughers interefering in peoples lives and spending their hard earned tax dollars on vanity projects like “the dole for artists”.Propped up by Winston Peters and his lies, it’s all so depressing to reflect on don’t you thnk?
      .As for casting Key as a friend of the people ,could Clark have been further removed from the people she claimed to represent? An academic cloistered away at Uni until she decided to flesh out her cv a bit more for a job at the UN by entering politics,.
      I’m gutted that it was Hughes though, when Labour are ready to take power[not now obviously, way ,way ,way too much dead wood there] I would have though he had a lot to offer NZ .I live in his electorate and he’s very well thought of by even non labour voters.
      Labour aren’t ready to govern again, Clark still lingers in the background stirring away , too many fruitcakes and weirdos with a sense of entitlement there too.What happened to the real Labour party? People you could disagree with but respect because they earned their spot , people who knew what it was like to worry about how to pay their bills or if their car would pass it’s next warrant.I’m sure you’re not proud of the likes of Mallard , Cosgrove and Dalziel let alone the likes of Chris Carter.

      I’m sure on reflection you’ll agree with most of what I’ve said.

      [lprent: Good to see that you’re not trolling (yet) with your usual auto-crap comments. I have to say that your comment does bring back a tear of nostalgic memory for those halcyon days of formulaic trolls from 2008. I have to wonder if you have any capacity to learn? Or are we going to have to see these idiotic statements all over again. If we are then you’ll find I have a lot less tolerance for them now. ]

      • Nemesis 49.1.1

        If you can monitor ips you’ll see that I’ve never posted here before although chances are someone else with a similar login has..I’ll admit the last line was cheap and I won’t do that again but I stand by the rest of my post.I’m very surprised at some of the attitiudes to the trouble Hughes has got himself into shown on this site.I’m also gutted that of all of Labour it was him, he had so much potential.Unlike so many of his colleagues.

        • lprent

          I did check, different IP and email. Just your bad luck to pick a handle that is so similar because the previous Nemesis was very much a troll here, and was banned a number of times. You can see on search if you search for @author Nemesis and set advanced to comments

  50. Chris 50

    Quote “Labour need somebody who can do an Orewa … but for social democratic, progressive values. Sing the song of “Common purpose”, with words and music to inspire us”

    Do you have some one in mind ? Hopefully they can dance as well.

    • Colonial Viper 50.1

      Quote “Labour need somebody who can do an Orewa … but for social democratic, progressive values.

      How far do we need to look?

      A hell of a speech

      • grumpy 50.1.1

        Probably the best Leader of the Opposition possible at present, the best Minister of Foreign Affairs and the worst Prime Minister.

        Labour could do an awful lot worse and not any better.

        • felix

          Moana Mackey (mkay?) has always impressed me in the house. Don’t know what she’s like outside of there though.

    • gobsmacked 50.2

      Sam Cooke?

      “A change is gonna come …”

  51. seeker 51


    David Parker was swift to deny the circulating rumours that he was launching a leadership challenge it tells us here. What is Scoop up to?

    At least this post has given Nact.supporters and Goff detractors the chance to vent and let off steam and speculation. Saves on antacid pills.

    • Redbaron77 51.1

      The rumours would be believable if David Parker had been building up a high public profile in the party and across the voting public at large over the past two to three years which recognisably marks him out as a “leader apparent”. However as other commentators have noted, David Parker has instead a built up a “policy powerhouse” and “safe pair of hands” profile. Shane Jones and Grant Robertson in contrast are more easily recognisable as “leader apparents” probably due to their respective public personality styles.

      • felix 51.1.1

        Yeah, I hadn’t heard anyone mention Parker as a possible future leader until this recent rash of rumours.

        Points to bullshit in my opinion.

        Weird though. If someone made that up, why not make it up about one of the usual suspects?

        Confuse, distract, disarm?

        • Colonial Viper

          Weird though. If someone made that up, why not make it up about one of the usual suspects?

          Somebody in Sydney or New York drafted up the script that’s why it doesn’t sound quite right.

  52. bobo 52

    Come election day the whole hughes affair will be forgotten just like worth wong is now.. Reading the panic comments to roll Goff harks back to the infighting that helped keep labour in opposition after Lange. No one else wants the leadership as its still a national parties 2nd term to lose. Note to labour insiders aka chris carters, stop bitching to the press, they are not your friend.

  53. gobsmacked 53

    Goff is on Q & A tomorrow (TV One, 9 a.m.).

    Say what you like about Goff, he always fronts, even when under fire. I suppose if he ran for cover whenever things get messy, he’d have John Key’s poll ratings.

    • fatty 53.1

      Its the only time the public will listen to him for more than 15 seconds.
      He needs the exposure.

      • gobsmacked 53.1.1

        And yet there he was on Close-Up and Campbell Live on Friday night.

        Feeble, fatty.

  54. Chris 54

    Quote: “He needs the exposure”.
    Goff has been doing the job for 30 years. He has been opposition leader for 2 + years. His popularity polling is in the margin of error, he has failed to get traction for Labour at all over the past 2 years and he needs ‘more exposure’ ??
    Sorry if he has not got ‘exposure’ by now he never will. Certainly the last few days of ‘exposure’ by Goff has not done him or the Party any good. Basil Fawlty could have done better.

  55. gobsmacked 55

    Judtith Tizard “helps” Labour by sitting down with Patrick Gower on TV3 and telling him she’d love to make a valedictory speech (i.e. return to Parliament).

    Yes, Judith, that’s the issue here. You, you, you.

    This sense of self-absorbed entitlement from the likes of Tizard alienates Labour voters far more than anything Phil Goff has done as leader. We’re struggling, we want a party that listens and cares about folks like us … but no, it’s not about us, apparently. It’s about Judith Tizard, and her hurt feelings. Diddums.

    Everyone gets worked up about who’s at number one on the list. But it’s the rest that matters even more (after all, they get to hire and fire the leader).

    Take some bloody weedkiller to that party list, replace the Tizards with candidates who bloody well “get it” and will work their arses off for the people who put them there, and Labour’s problems are solved.

    • felix 55.1

      Work their arses off for the people who put them there?

      What a crazy idea. So crazy it might just work. Has anyone suggested it to the Goffice?

    • Bob Stanforth 55.2

      Finally, someone who gets it.

      The country (largely) didn’t vote for Nat and JK at the last election, they voted against the squalid and corrupt incumbents. Hoping for something they could palate. And they have found they can, hence the high poll ratings.

      And Labour continue to set themselves apart as back stabbing rudderless morons who are in it for life, not the greater good.

      And you (not you GS) wonder WHY the poll ratings stay the way they are? Watch the next Roy Morgan, and think about what I just said. No, really.

      Utterly without conviction, rootless and detached from the reality of whom they purport to represent. And yet some on here wonder why the country arent interested in voting Labour.


      • Colonial Viper 55.2.1

        actually its quite clear who here is “rootless and detached from reality” Bob, and it’s not me.

      • gobsmacked 55.2.2

        I don’t think there will be much change in the polls.

        Labour’s 30% base includes a lot of people like me who are frustrated that they aren’t doing much better. That doesn’t mean we switch to National.

        In the unlikely event of Labour’s numbers being badly hit, the likely winners would be the Greens and NZ First.

        It would be kinda funny if Winston got back in at the next election, thanks to Labour’s lost voters, and then … put Labour into power.

        Maybe that’s the Machiavellian brillaince behind all this.

    • lprent 55.3

      Working on it. I have another boring (but crucial) day tomorrow doing my bit to make good list.

    • I saw this and it really made me cross.

      On the one hand we could have the next MP for Manurewa, a Maori Woman be reintroduced into Parliament early. She could make a good contribution and her campaigning would be assisted.

      On the other hand we have the opportunity for someone to make a valectory speech and then F off.

      I am cross because possibility A could significantly help Labour’s election campaign. Possibility B will hurt it and threaten MMP.

      MPs should realise that they are the servants of their political movements and not the masters. And when they have gone beyond the use by date they should say goodbye …

  56. Chris 56

    They reported on TV1 that ‘Hughes was the son Helen Clarke never had’. Great association. Yes on TV Judith Tizard certainly did not give a ringing endorsement of Goffs leadership in fact she was actually negative towards him. I am sure viewers in TV land were thinking ‘umm.. that sounds like a really great cohesive team – I think I will vote for them’ – Not.

    • Colonial Viper 56.1

      WTF was Tizard even doing on the List last time.

      • grumpy 56.1.1

        Labour has been poorly served by it’s “Rainbow” wing, first Carter and now Hughes. The current coup attempt from Street and Dyson. Why on earth would they now want to do a swifty to get Mackey in?

        The chances of getting Winston on side decrease the more influence the Rainbow group have with Labour, his lot are pretty socially conservative and this type of thing will send them over to National

    • lprent 56.2

      Amusing. The son comment was from one of the Mt Albert Great Debates. A fund raiser event held every year, where comedians try to outclass politicians in humorous debate. I can’t remember who said it, but it was a joke of the absurd – just like your political acumen.

      There was a reason that Judith was so far down on the list for a sitting electorate MP.

  57. Chris 57

    It may have been a joke but they reported to TV land people
    “just like your political acumen”
    ? I was only reporting what they said on TV1.
    Don’t attack the messenger.

  58. belladonna 58

    Who the hell is David Parker – cant say I have heard much about him.
    I think David Cunliffe could do it for Labour and New Zealand. He has passion, intelligence and a hint of a young Kennedy about him who will appeal to women (something Goff lacks) and has the makings of a good labour. For God’s sake sort it out Labour, stop living in the Bill Rowling era of blind hope or it will be another 3 years of National. Goff is a nice man but what use is a nice man to a defeated party.

  59. randal 59

    Phil Goff is a decent man and this is evident when you look at how much the tory press want to villify him.
    he just needs a bit more mean.
    Go Phil.

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    8 hours ago
  • Tax credit boosts cash flow for Kiwi innovators
    A world-leading payments system is expected to provide a significant cash flow boost for Kiwi innovators, Minister of Research, Science, and Innovation Ayesha Verrall says. Announcing that applications for ‘in-year’ payments of the Research and Development Tax Incentive (RDTI) were open, Ayesha Verrall said it represented a win for businesses ...
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    8 hours ago
  • Te Awa shared path completed
    Minister of Transport Michael Wood joined crowds of keen cyclists and walkers this morning to celebrate the completion of the Te Awa shared path in Hamilton. “The Government is upgrading New Zealand’s transport system to make it safer, greener, and more efficient for now and future generations to come,” Michael ...
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    1 day ago
  • Crown apology to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has delivered the Crown apology to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua for its historic breaches of Te Tiriti of Waitangi today. The ceremony was held at Queen Elizabeth Park in Masterton, hosted by Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua, with several hundred ...
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    2 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs meets with Chinese counterpart
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta has concluded her visit to China, the first by a New Zealand Foreign Minister since 2018. The Minister met her counterpart, newly appointed State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qin Gang, who also hosted a working dinner. This was the first engagement between the two ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government delivering world-class satellite positioning services
    World-class satellite positioning services that will support much safer search and rescue, boost precision farming, and help safety on construction sites through greater accuracy are a significant step closer today, says Land Information Minister Damien O’Connor. Damien O’Connor marked the start of construction on New Zealand’s first uplink centre for ...
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    3 days ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Christopher John Dellabarca of Wellington, Dr Katie Jane Elkin of Wellington, Caroline Mary Hickman of Napier, Ngaroma Tahana of Rotorua, Tania Rose Williams Blyth of Hamilton and Nicola Jan Wills of Wellington as District Court Judges.  Chris Dellabarca Mr Dellabarca commenced his ...
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    3 days ago
  • New project set to supercharge ocean economy in Nelson Tasman
    A new Government-backed project will help ocean-related businesses in the Nelson Tasman region to accelerate their growth and boost jobs. “The Nelson Tasman region is home to more than 400 blue economy businesses, accounting for more than 30 percent of New Zealand’s economic activity in fishing, aquaculture, and seafood processing,” ...
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    4 days ago
  • National’s education policy: where’s the funding?
    After three years of COVID-19 disruptions schools are finally settling down and National want to throw that all in the air with major disruption to learning and underinvestment.  “National’s education policy lacks the very thing teachers, parents and students need after a tough couple of years, certainty and stability,” Education ...
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    4 days ago
  • Free programme to help older entrepreneurs and inventors
    People aged over 50 with innovative business ideas will now be able to receive support to advance their ideas to the next stage of development, Minister for Seniors Ginny Andersen said today. “Seniors have some great entrepreneurial ideas, and this programme will give them the support to take that next ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government target increased to keep powering up the Māori economy
    A cross government target for relevant government procurement contracts for goods and services to be awarded to Māori businesses annually will increase to 8%, after the initial 5% target was exceeded. The progressive procurement policy was introduced in 2020 to increase supplier diversity, starting with Māori businesses, for the estimated ...
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    4 days ago
  • Continued progress on reducing poverty in challenging times
    77,000 fewer children living in low income households on the after-housing-costs primary measure since Labour took office Eight of the nine child poverty measures have seen a statistically significant reduction since 2018. All nine have reduced 28,700 fewer children experiencing material hardship since 2018 Measures taken by the Government during ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech at Fiji Investment and Trade Business Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Kamikamica; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Tēnā koutou katoa, ni sa bula vinaka saka, namaste. Deputy Prime Minister, a very warm welcome to Aotearoa. I trust you have been enjoying your time here and thank you for joining us here today. To all delegates who have travelled to be ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government investments boost and diversify local economies in lower South Island
    $2.9 million convertible loan for Scapegrace Distillery to meet growing national and international demand $4.5m underwrite to support Silverlight Studios’ project to establish a film studio in Wanaka Gore’s James Cumming Community Centre and Library to be official opened tomorrow with support of $3m from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government future-proofs EV charging
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has today launched the first national EV (electric vehicle) charging strategy, Charging Our Future, which includes plans to provide EV charging stations in almost every town in New Zealand. “Our vision is for Aotearoa New Zealand to have world-class EV charging infrastructure that is accessible, affordable, ...
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    5 days ago
  • World-leading family harm prevention campaign supports young NZers
    Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan has today launched the Love Better campaign in a world-leading approach to family harm prevention. Love Better will initially support young people through their experience of break-ups, developing positive and life-long attitudes to dealing with hurt. “Over 1,200 young kiwis told ...
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    5 days ago
  • First Chief Clinical Advisor welcomed into Coroners Court
    Hon Rino Tirikatene, Minister for Courts, welcomes the Ministry of Justice’s appointment of Dr Garry Clearwater as New Zealand’s first Chief Clinical Advisor working with the Coroners Court. “This appointment is significant for the Coroners Court and New Zealand’s wider coronial system.” Minister Tirikatene said. Through Budget 2022, the Government ...
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    5 days ago
  • Next steps for affected properties post Cyclone and floods
    The Government via the Cyclone Taskforce is working with local government and insurance companies to build a picture of high-risk areas following Cyclone Gabrielle and January floods. “The Taskforce, led by Sir Brian Roche, has been working with insurance companies to undertake an assessment of high-risk areas so we can ...
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    5 days ago
  • New appointment to Māori Land Court bench
    E te huia kaimanawa, ko Ngāpuhi e whakahari ana i tau aupikinga ki te tihi o te maunga. Ko te Ao Māori hoki e whakanui ana i a koe te whakaihu waka o te reo Māori i roto i te Ao Ture. (To the prized treasure, it is Ngāpuhi who ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government focus on jobs sees record number of New Zealanders move from Benefits into work
    113,400 exits into work in the year to June 2022 Young people are moving off Benefit faster than after the Global Financial Crisis Two reports released today by the Ministry of Social Development show the Government’s investment in the COVID-19 response helped drive record numbers of people off Benefits and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Vertical farming partnership has upward momentum
    The Government’s priority to keep New Zealand at the cutting edge of food production and lift our sustainability credentials continues by backing the next steps of a hi-tech vertical farming venture that uses up to 95 per cent less water, is climate resilient, and pesticide-free. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor visited ...
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    6 days ago
  • Conference of Pacific Education Ministers – Keynote Address
    E nga mana, e nga iwi, e nga reo, e nga hau e wha, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou kātoa. Warm Pacific greetings to all. It is an honour to host the inaugural Conference of Pacific Education Ministers here in Tāmaki Makaurau. Aotearoa is delighted to be hosting you ...
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    6 days ago
  • New $13m renal unit supports Taranaki patients
    The new renal unit at Taranaki Base Hospital has been officially opened by the Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall this afternoon. Te Huhi Raupō received around $13 million in government funding as part of Project Maunga Stage 2, the redevelopment of the Taranaki Base Hospital campus. “It’s an honour ...
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    6 days ago
  • Second Poseidon aircraft on home soil
    Defence Minister Andrew Little has marked the arrival of the country’s second P-8A Poseidon aircraft alongside personnel at the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s Base at Ohakea today. “With two of the four P-8A Poseidons now on home soil this marks another significant milestone in the Government’s historic investment in ...
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    6 days ago
  • Further humanitarian aid for Türkiye and Syria
    Aotearoa New Zealand will provide further humanitarian support to those seriously affected by last month’s deadly earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, says Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. “The 6 February earthquakes have had devastating consequences, with almost 18 million people affected. More than 53,000 people have died and tens of thousands more ...
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    6 days ago
  • Community voice to help shape immigration policy
    Migrant communities across New Zealand are represented in the new Migrant Community Reference Group that will help shape immigration policy going forward, Immigration Minister Michael Wood announced today.  “Since becoming Minister, a reoccurring message I have heard from migrants is the feeling their voice has often been missing around policy ...
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    6 days ago
  • State Highway 3 project to deliver safer journeys, better travel connections for Taranaki
    Construction has begun on major works that will deliver significant safety improvements on State Highway 3 from Waitara to Bell Block, Associate Minister of Transport Kiri Allan announced today. “This is an important route for communities, freight and visitors to Taranaki but too many people have lost their lives or ...
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    7 days ago
  • Ginny Andersen appointed as Minister of Police
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has today appointed Ginny Andersen as Minister of Police. “Ginny Andersen has a strong and relevant background in this important portfolio,” Chris Hipkins said. “Ginny Andersen worked for the Police as a non-sworn staff member for around 10 years and has more recently been chair of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government confirms vital roading reconnections
    Six further bailey bridge sites confirmed Four additional bridge sites under consideration 91 per cent of damaged state highways reopened Recovery Dashboards for impacted regions released The Government has responded quickly to restore lifeline routes after Cyclone Gabrielle and can today confirm that an additional six bailey bridges will ...
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    1 week ago
  • Foreign Minister Mahuta to meet with China’s new Foreign Minister
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta departs for China tomorrow, where she will meet with her counterpart, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang, in Beijing. This will be the first visit by a New Zealand Minister to China since 2019, and follows the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions between New Zealand and China. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Education Ministers from across the Pacific gather in Aotearoa
    Education Ministers from across the Pacific will gather in Tāmaki Makaurau this week to share their collective knowledge and strategic vision, for the benefit of ākonga across the region. New Zealand Education Minister Jan Tinetti will host the inaugural Conference of Pacific Education Ministers (CPEM) for three days from today, ...
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    1 week ago
  • State Highway 5 reopens between Napier and Taupō following Cyclone Gabrielle
    A vital transport link for communities and local businesses has been restored following Cyclone Gabrielle with the reopening of State Highway 5 (SH5) between Napier and Taupō, Associate Minister of Transport Kiri Allan says. SH5 reopened to all traffic between 7am and 7pm from today, with closure points at SH2 (Kaimata ...
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    1 week ago
  • Special Lotto draw raises $11.7 million for Cyclone Gabrielle recovery
    Internal Affairs Minister Barbara Edmonds has thanked generous New Zealanders who took part in the special Lotto draw for communities affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. Held on Saturday night, the draw raised $11.7 million with half of all ticket sales going towards recovery efforts. “In a time of need, New Zealanders ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government delivers a $3 million funding boost for Building Financial Capability services
    The Government has announced funding of $3 million for providers to help people, and whānau access community-based Building Financial Capability services. “Demand for Financial Capability Services is growing as people face cost of living pressures. Those pressures are increasing further in areas affected by flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle,” Minister for ...
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    1 week ago
  • Education New Zealand | Manapou ki te Ao – new Chair and member
    Minister of Education, Hon Jan Tinetti, has announced appointments to the Board of Education New Zealand | Manapou ki te Ao. Tracey Bridges is joining the Board as the new Chair and Dr Therese Arseneau will be a new member. Current members Dr Linda Sissons CNZM and Daniel Wilson have ...
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    1 week ago
  • Scholarships honouring Ngarimu VC and the 28th (Māori) Battalion announced
    Fifteen ākonga Māori from across Aotearoa have been awarded the prestigious Ngarimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarships and Awards for 2023, Associate Education Minister and Ngarimu Board Chair, Kelvin Davis announced today.  The recipients include doctoral, masters’ and undergraduate students. Three vocational training students and five wharekura students, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the Court of Appeal and Judge of the High Court
    High Court Judge Jillian Maree Mallon has been appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal, and District Court Judge Andrew John Becroft QSO has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Mallon graduated from Otago University in 1988 with an LLB (Hons), and with ...
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    1 week ago

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