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Nanaia Mahuta – live Q&A

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, October 30th, 2014 - 44 comments
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Nanaia MahutaAll going well Nanaia Mahuta will be joining us here live today between 2 pm and 3 pm. As usual all comments and questions will be strictly moderated. The following is from Nanaia …

Greetings Standarnistas!

I am proud of our country and the Labour Party and I know that it can be better.

We are a progressive movement for change and we are at an important juncture. We must take stock to assess the challenges we face in a political landscape where we must earn back the confidence of New Zealanders.

Hard-working Labour members and supporters campaigned for the types of policies that could lift our desire to become a smart, innovative and caring nation in the 21st Century. The election outcome told us that we just didn’t get cut through, the missing million didn’t mobilize, the prospect of Dotcom raised more concern than support and ‘Dirty Politics’ may have turned punters off altogether. We must keep confidence with the base of support we do have as we work out our way forward.

We need to be prepared to do things differently. The Party has started its programme to modernise the way we do things and that must continue. The Parliamentary wing needs to modernise its approach and represent the aspirations of New Zealanders who despite their working class roots may see their needs better responded to by other political parties. We need to reclaim this space.

My upbringing and my world-view are different. Leading a life of service, contributing to the collective aspirations of community and working amongst diverse groups are just some of the experiences that have shaped my approach.

Being involved in change programmes has given me insight. The Organisational Review for the Party and the Governance and Representation Review for my tribe have tackled challenges of structural, cultural, organisational and leadership change.

When I entered Parliament the caucus culture was that one must ‘do their time – look, listen and breathe through your nose’. Mentoring was a myth and it wasn’t until the 2004 foreshore and seabed issue, I took my place in the caucus as an elected equal with my colleagues. I used the process to effect change for my electorate where they have never been prejudicially affected by any subsequent piece of legislation.

Where you stand in the hard times are a good test of character. After 5 elections I have retained the confidence of Hauraki-Waikato people whom I have never taken for granted.

New Zealand is now more diverse as a nation. The challenges of modern society require a collaborative and sustainable approach. Communities, Business, Local Government our academic institutions are already moving in this direction.

We can uphold our values of a fair and decent society. We can promote economic prosperity and environmental responsibility as mutually inclusive aspirations.

We can ensure that our children and old people are cared for at the most vulnerable times of their life cycle.

We can affirm to working people, and those who share our aspirations in the productive sector that there is everything to gain when we have thriving communities and regions.

We can explore the rich contribution of diversity.

We can be stronger when we work together.


Nanaia Mahuta

44 comments on “Nanaia Mahuta – live Q&A ”

  1. Chooky 1

    Nanaia Mahuta would be a great leader!….along with Andrew Little

    Mahuta is a modest high performer:

    “My upbringing and my world-view are different. Leading a life of service, contributing to the collective aspirations of community and working amongst diverse groups are just some of the experiences that have shaped my approach.”

    She is a collaborative Leader:

    “Where you stand in the hard times are a good test of character. After 5 elections I have retained the confidence of Hauraki-Waikato people whom I have never taken for granted.New Zealand is now more diverse as a nation.

    The challenges of modern society require a collaborative and sustainable approach. Communities, Business, Local Government our academic institutions are already moving in this direction.”

    and she has vision:

    “We can uphold our values of a fair and decent society. We can promote economic prosperity and environmental responsibility as mutually inclusive aspirations.”.

    • Chooky 1.1

      oops …i need to put in a question:

      Nanaia will you work collaboratively with other parties on the Left?

    • Nanai Mahuta 1.2

      Chooky in opposition I think that building a strong relationship with potential coalition partners is important and I would take a constructive approach across the parliamentary and party levels of leadership over the next 3 years

  2. Tracey 2

    Kai Ora and thank you for taking the time to post and to attend a Q and A.

    Labour has a unique position in the political landscape due to its allegiances with unions. Despite being in opposition the LP has a rare opportunity to act on some of its policies through this partnership and improve wages and workplaces without actually being in Government. This may also increase LP vote and turnout.

    My question is:

    Do you consider a strategy for the LP to get MPs on the ground over the next 2.8 years working on a nationwide education programme with Unions, utlising their extensive infrastructure to educate NZ workers about the value of union membership as a way to improve their wages, working conditions, security of job and family a worthwhile strategy? If yes, how would you instigate it. If no, why not.

    • Nanaia Mahuta 2.1

      Tracey I would tend to agree with the approach you have imied and would work in partnership with unions to achieve that objective. Our effort in Parliament would amplify to hard working New Zealanders that a productive economy and the protection of worker rights have mutual advantage to regional growth and productivity.

  3. mickysavage 3

    Thanks for this Nanaia.

    I am interested in caucus dynamics. I am not breaking any confidences by saying that the dynamics within Caucus are not ideal.

    What changes do you think should be made to improve things?

    • Pat O'Dea 3.1

      More specifically, Nanaia, are you able and/or willing to face down the Right Wing ABC faction to give David Cunliffe a senior role in your shadow cabinet?

      • All members will be treated without fear or favor based on their aspiration to work towards a united team, a focussed opposition, a strong voice for working people and able to build credibility around a credible Labour alternative to Create a vision for NZ where all peoples can live, work and thrive.

        I believe that DC has a huge contribution to make as do other members of our caucus. Our commitment to the team will determine how talent will be recognised.

    • Nanaia Mahuta 3.2

      It appears to me that this decision will again be one where the membership will express a preference and Caucus will need to act in a more disciplined way or risk further perception that the party and parliamentary wing are not in sync. We must be disciplined in the next phase to rebuild confidence that we will get our house in order.

  4. wekarawshark 4

    I won’t be here this afternoon, so if the questions get asked in another thread, can someone please post this for me?

    Tēnā koe Nanaia,

    Thank-you for standing for Labour leader, and taking the time to answer questions here.

    My questions:

    If at the next election Mana were the make or break for the formation of a left wing government, would you choose to take their support on confidence and supply or would you choose to remain in opposition? (note, I am not asking if you would go into coalition with Mana, just if you would accept their support on C and S). If you would accept their support, how will you communicate this to the electorate pre-election?

    Do you intend for Labour to develop policy specific to Work and Income beneficiaries, esp those who are not in a position to enter the workforce? (as opposed to policy directed towards low income people in general). Will you support Labour rolling back the worst of the Paula Bennett welfare reforms?

    How do you intend for Labour to address the cultural and structural problems within Work and Income? How do you intend for Labour to address the wider society cultural issues regarding welfare eg the bludger memes?

    ngā mihi,

    • The team I lead will be highy motivated to present an alternative economic vision where regional development will provide tangible opportunities for the productive sector to grow jobs and transition to a low carbon economy, we will further establish credibility and support for education and training investment and ensure that our public health and education system become a hallmark of a caring society and where opportunity is available to all.

      On MANA it seems to me that it will be very hard to regroup with no presence in Parliament. I remain open to conversations to opposition parties represented in Parliament as a first step to build the campaign to change the Government.

  5. Hello NM from Hamilton.

    What policies will you bring forward to address and eradicate poverty in NZ?

    Do you believe the labour party should stand official candidates in local body elections with the aim of winning and enacting party policy at local level?

    • We will emphasise policies that promote a high value productive sector to grow good quality jobs, we will push for targets on child poverty in order to keep the Government accountable to its responsibility, and we will further advocate for the rights and interests of the most vulnerable. For those modest hardworking families we will ensure that there is a coherent policy package that addresses their needs so they can see that we support them. Housing, Working for Families, the cost of child care and cost of living pressure are the range of issues that would need to be factored into this approach.

  6. Clemgeopin 6

    Hi Nanaia. Here are my questions:

    [1] Have any of the Pākehā caucus members (non Maori, non PI) indicated their first preference vote for you? If yes, is that number at least two?
    [2] Please describe briefly what your approach will be to reduce the ever increasing wealth and income gap in our country.
    [3] Do you have enough confidence that you can take on and fight Key for the Prime ministerial position during the next election campaign?
    [4] Will you be able to be a fair and effective leader for all New Zealanders?

    I wish you well. Kia Ora.

    • 1. No
      2. Please see previous comments above. In addition to that I would take the approach that Labour would need to lead an inquiry on the changing nature of work to better understand sector by sector the extent of the challenge to reduce the wealth and income gap and to better inform where our ‘investment’ approach might best be focussed. As we move from a high volume to high value economy we need to transition the current and future labour market towards that goal.
      3. With a United and Focussed Team Labour is formidable. I will certainly change the landscape on which that fight will take place.
      4. That can only be assessed over time.

      • Clemgeopin 6.1.1

        Thank you so much for your honesty and integrity in the answers. I appreciate that very much. I will certainly give you my first preference. Cheers!

  7. Goodsweat 7

    Hello Nanaia, thanks for taking the time. During your 18 years in parliament what 3 achievements would you consider your greatest triumphs?

    • 1. Being an effective advocate for my Electorate where I was unafraid to test my mandate on the hardest of issues (F and S) where Labour suffered huge electoral damage. I continue to serve my electorate and hold their confidence.

      2. I have always put my name to comments to the media and have not brought the Party into disrepute.

      3. As Minister of Youth Affairs I initiated exactly the types of projects that grew participation of young people in decision-making, that fostered mentoring, that tackled issues of their time mental, sexual and reproductive health initiatives and teen pregnancy.

      There are other things but these particular three speak to the values that I hold as a person.

  8. Tracey 8

    Would you consider!”accomodations” with other left parties if it could save this country from a fourth national govt?

  9. Manuka - Ancient Order of Rawsharks 9

    Kia Ora Nanaia,
    Thank you for standing – your presence has made the question of leadership much more real, somehow. I think you are one of a few who could restore a sense of dignity and pride to all people of Aotearoa once again.

    My question is to do with the extent that corruption has crept into so many areas of public life, including government, councils, police and more. Would you consider overseeing the establishment of an independent commission against corruption for NZ, tasked with cleaning up all relevant areas?

    Thank you.

    • In the first instance I support greater transparency in the political system as we unravel issues raised in ‘dirty politics’ there may well be greater impetus to pursue your suggestion.

  10. Tracey 10

    if you are elected leader of the LP do you accept that the right both directly and through their channels will seek to undermine you with fact and fiction? if you do accept this what strategy do you and your advisors have to get beyond that to ensure the LP messages are heard

    • Connect with more New Zealanders and enter into a broader range of relationships with stakeholder groups and communities that tend not to have affinity with Labour. It will take effort to earn the confidence of more New Zealanders they need to know how and why we think the way we do and what motivates us to build a New Zealand that works for everyone.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Kia ora Nanaia
    I think Maori have shown all NZs how to stand up for what is right and needed for the country at the same time as Maori have been pressing for progressive policy and reparation for themselves.

    Do you think that there are enough activists in the Labour Party who you can work with to further the interests of the country and the people on the lower to middle-income strata? Do you agree what is needed is more supportive and effective welfare and creation of jobs through work schemes, small loans and business and government service initiatives?

    • I agree that there needs to be a strong emphasis on work that is genuine and sustainable. I also recognize that be ensuring the most vulnerable are cared for we create a fair society. Work and better paying jobs has to be a core motivation. But we can’t stop there as people should aspire to achieve more no matter where their starting point.

  12. Karen 12

    I would like the Labour Party to recognise the need to greatly increase the number of state houses available. At the last election there was too much emphasis on home ownership which is not a realistic option for many families. What is your view?

  13. Hi Nanaia

    I hope you will be our next PM. We need a break from the kind of politics that has sickened Kiwis (and ironically Hager copped the blame).

    To my question:

    Will you consider measures to stop the sale of NZ land and assets to foreign interests?

    With one hand the government gives land back to Ngāi Tūhoe, with the other it sells off the Rakaia river and our power companies!


  14. adam 14

    Nau mai Nanaia

    Do you like Bob Marley? Do you think liberalism as an economic theory works for Maori? Your husband is awesome, does he look after the tamariki? Is it ok to call you kaitiaki? How do you propose to deal with nationals lack of aroha?

    Please note the first 4 can be answered yes or no for times sake, if you like – the last one deserves at least two sentences.

  15. mickysavage 15

    Thanks for engaging Nanaia. Come back any time!

  16. lurgee 16

    Bland non-answers, same as the other three.

    What did Labour do to deserve this, a contest between non-entities?

  17. Karen 17

    I liked Nanaia’s answers, although am disappointed she did not answer my one about state housing.

    An oversight or deliberate?

    • mickysavage 17.1

      Oversight I am sure. Will see if I can get an answer from her. She was severely time constrained.

    • Murray Rawshark 17.2

      I’m not so sure it was an oversight. Labour backs away rapidly from any talk of state housing. I think it may be the most important issue and a revitalised building program would feed through to other areas. It can even be fitted into climate change politics by making the houses more environmentally sound. It seems to me that Labour, while talking about all Kiwis, aims at neither beneficiaries or renters. I expected better from Ms Mahuta.

  18. there seems to have been an openess to mahutas’ answers’..

    ..something the opaque/jargon-babblers cd learn from…

  19. Zolan 19

    NM managed to touch on a lot of points given the relatively low participation at the time. Enough to get a sense of what she considers core goals at this point.

    Some questions can’t really be answered on principle before the democratic process has played out, so knowing when not to pre-empt those decisions is a plus.

  20. Marksman33 20

    Well I must say I am impressed now, she has firmed my resolution. And Lurgee, get a fucken life.

    • lurgee 20.1

      Get over yourself. Most of her answers were so vaguely couched that they could have been from any of the candidates. Or, even, John Key. “We will emphasise policies that promote a high value productive sector to grow good quality jobs,” might be Key talking about the dairy industry.

      It’s not all bad, what she says. But it isn’t distinctive, and the way she expressed her answers, in horribly diffuse, complex political waffle, should be very troubling to anyone not suffering from a severe case of confirmation bias.

      That said, she’s no worse than any of the others.

      Why can’t someone say, “We need to build good houses and push up wages. We need to get people to join unions so they can look after themselves, instead of government trying to do it for them. We need to face up to the damage we’re doing to the environment in pursuit of profit, and stop doing it. We need to stop kids growing up cold, sick and hungry; suffering abuse; and failing at school; and going on to lives of crime, drug use and unemployment. Of course we need to pay for it. Those with most and those with most to lose should contribute the most”?

      Instead, we get jargonese like “abour would need to lead an inquiry on the changing nature of work to better understand sector by sector the extent of the challenge to reduce the wealth and income gap and to better inform where our ‘investment’ approach might best be focussed. As we move from a high volume to high value economy we need to transition the current and future labour market towards that goal.”

      Some people really, urgently, need to go and read Orwell’s Politics and the English Language (http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit) or at least the ‘practical rules’ given by the Fowlers at the start of The King’s English.

  21. Cave Johnson 21

    Definitely a more open tenor to the answers. Nanaia is certainly a little different. A risky choice. Hard for me to pick whether she would be a very strong or a very weak leader. I suspect one or the other. Interesting.
    I’m going to have a listen to her on youtube and see if I can divine more…

  22. Cave Johnson 22

    I’m going to have a listen to her on youtube and see if I can divine more…

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