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On the Labour leadership

Written By: - Date published: 2:57 pm, July 21st, 2013 - 207 comments
Categories: election 2014, labour, leadership, Left - Tags:

Over the last few weeks Labour has been in a state of agitation as the party, the affiliates and even the caucus have come to the realisation that the Shearer project has failed.

This new realisation has been marked by the emergence of leaks from unusual sources, a fragmentation of the already loose factions in caucus and a spike in feverish late night phone calls as people try to position themselves for a post-Shearer Labour Party.

Talk of an imminent coup is probably premature, but should not be ruled out. There is a level of disquiet in the party not seen since the Moore-Clark battle of the early 1990s.

It is now almost impossible to find anyone in Labour who, when speaking on condition of trust, will admit to supporting David Shearer staying in the job. MPs are still giving media the pro forma “I support the leader of the Labour Party” line while quietly plotting his demise. Party members are vocally wishing his downfall. And the union affiliates are getting restive as it becomes clear that keeping Shearer as leader will only deliver National another term in which to hammer the labour movement.

What little support he did have evaporated with his handling of the #manban. Party members are furious at his disregard for democracy. The women’s sector is calling for his blood. And caucus members are in disbelief that he ignored the issue for so long when he had all the documents and was on the committee, then handled it so badly once it broke.

Meanwhile, the press gallery has clearly turned on the leadership. The journos had gone easy on David Shearer for a long time – some because they wanted to give him a chance to develop, others because they’d invested so heavily in backing him back in 2011 and didn’t want to lose face. None of this holds now.

Labour’s leadership team haven’t helped the situation. The online attacks on Duncan Garner over the non-existent caucus letter have backfired terribly. Grant Robertson, Chris Hipkins, Annette King and Trevor Mallard may well have had reason to feel aggrieved, but the decision to attack Garner’s credibility so publicly and so personally went down very badly with Garner’s friends in the media – of which he has many. The media now have little sympathy for the Labour leadership and the mood against Shearer is firming.

In some ways, the dissatisfaction over Shearer is nothing new. There’s been concern for some time, including among many who saw from the start that he didn’t have what it takes to lead the party. It wasn’t helped by the impression that he was imposed on the membership by members of caucus.

But after November there was a sense even among Shearer’s detractors that they should give him another chance. He was, after all, the only leader Labour had, and maybe if he did have just “a few more months” we’d start to see the improvements we’d been promised. Maybe the Government would inevitably become unpopular and Labour would start to make headway with the public.

None of this ever materialised. Eight months on from conference, Labour is still failing to connect with the public and is mired in the low 30s. Despite regular Government stuff ups and scandals, Labour seems unable to make headway. The public aren’t stupid, they can see there is something wrong in New Zealand but they don’t see a credible alternative in Labour. This frame now appears to be stuck.

It’s in this context that Labour has realised Shearer is finished. The leaks are merely a symptom of this. The man ban fiasco is but a catalyst. Each poll that shows Labour up half a point or down two points is irrelevant in the broader context.

This isn’t a rut that one good poll or a new policy launch will save us from.

207 comments on “On the Labour leadership”

  1. Rhinocrates 1

    It’s not failure, it’s betrayal and corruption.

    The ABC club – Cosgrove, Goff, Mallard, King, Hipkins, Curran have hijacked a great party to serve their own cupidity.

    Grant Robertson, Chris Hipkins, Annette King and Trevor Mallard may well have had reason to feel aggrieved

    Bullshit. Not only have they brought it on themselves, they’ve damaged the party for the sake of their own egos, and in doing that, the cause of the left itself. They have no reason at all to feel aggrieved. They are guilty.

    (Sorry Eddie, I’m not attacking you for anything… except for being too tactful)

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      It now boils down to if Robertson, Cunliffe and Little can sit down and work out a deal allowing a caucus vote launching a leadership primary. I think they need to. Shane Jones might reckon himself in with a chance too.

      If caucus cannot get 50% to vote for a primary, then the Shearer ship keeps sailing ahead…unless he resigns.

      • Santi 1.1.1

        The Labour Party needs to give Dave Shearer more time. He has what it takes.
        Patience is needed. We, the royal we, need to be patient. Victory awaits.

      • QoT 1.1.2

        Shane Jones might reckon himself in with a chance too.

        No no no no no no no no no no no no please God no no no.

        • handle 1.1.2.1

          Out of the stone-cold frying pan

        • karol 1.1.2.2

          What QoT said, plus 100 … or more….

        • Saarbo 1.1.2.3

          I was 100% certain right from the beginning that Shearer was never going to be successful at Leading Labour. I am pissed off that there were so many people in Labour caucus who lacked judgement and placed him in that position.

          I put Shane Jones in exactly the same category as Shearer, he simply hasn’t got what it takes.

          • Hami Shearlie 1.1.2.3.1

            Exactly how I felt from the start too Saarbo – The arrogance of the caucus thumbing their noses at the party members who wanted David Cunliffe as leader (after all he won 9 out of the ten debates) was a story that was never going to end well. I’m very surprised and quite relieved really that David Cunliffe is still there – but for how much longer? He could get a million dollar salary anywhere in the world, so I sure hope he sticks around – without him Labour will sink without a trace. It’s very sad to see that the green-eyed monster resides in so many Labour MP’s. They never forgave David Cunliffe for being promoted by Helen Clark so early – she saw his talent, but many of the caucus are governed by their own personal advancement prospects, from what I can see, and obviously fear that David Cunliffe would make them work their butts off, and EARN their spots in the pecking order.

            • Murray Olsen 1.1.2.3.1.1

              The problem with Cunliffe’s talent and intelligence is that those who don’t possess either fear these qualities when they see them in someone else. Luckily, I don’t think he’s motivated at all by personal financial advancement. Unlike the business heroes of NAct, he doesn’t need to get elected and get his hands on the trough to make money. If his personal wealth were a consideration, I don’t think he would have ever gone into politics.

            • Jimbob 1.1.2.3.1.2

              re Cunliffe – “He could get a million dollar salary anywhere in the world, so I sure hope he sticks around”
              ARE YOU SERIOUS??!!
              How could he get a million dollar salary/
              If he could he would already be doing it.
              Cunliffe is unemployable, no corporate would have him in their busines as he is a political cancer who you could never trust.
              As soon as he is out of labour, he is out of work.

              • AmaKiwi

                @ Jimbob:

                I will wage you $100 you cannot find another MP with a CV that approaches David Culiffe’s:

                Minister of Health
                Minister of Immigration
                Minister of Communications and Information Technology
                Made an Honorary Fellow of the NZ Computer Society in recognition of his significant contribution to the ICT sector.
                Associate Minister of Finance and Revenue
                MP for New Lynn since 1999 (14 years)

                4 years as a business consultant with Boston Consulting Group in Auckland
                NZ diplomat for 7 years
                Fulbright Scholar
                Kennedy Memorial Fellow
                Harvard University JFK School of Government and Harvard Business School, Master of Public Administration
                University of Otago, BA in politics with first-class honors
                Massey University Diploma in Social Sciences (Distinction) in economics.

                $100. Put up or STFU.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Jimbob seems to have no idea either of reality or of business. Strange that.

                • Arfamo

                  Cunliffe was a brilliant Minister. He is seriously intelligent. Intellectually competent. A hard worker. Cautious and thorough. Articulate and a fast thinker. Bold, principled and honest.

                  • Santi

                    If so, why is the ABC faction keeping out the job? Why so many people in the caucus against him? Just asking.

                    David Shearer is the undisputable leader. Start supporting him.

        • North 1.1.2.4

          QoT @ 1.1.2. Jones???? Jones????

          Before I even got down to your comment I was “No No No No No” ten times yours. In fact I was, still am, catatonic at the thought. Much Voltaren failing which a stonemason’s hammer to the head, please.

          The man is a cheapy, a double, nay triple by triple cheapy. Less committed to Maori or Left than Charles was to Diana. Committed only to his strange, fondness for silly hats, thinks he’s lyrical, warbling self. A dead ringer for the prideful, malodorous backwoodsmen flatulating unrepentantly on the National Party backbench.

          Note the name “North”. I tell you, I know.

          • Alanz 1.1.2.4.1

            Even the body language of those in the vicinity of SJ have been quite telling. If he cannot even earn the acceptance of party members and the wider public, he will not be successful in increasing the popularity of the party more generally.

          • Murray Olsen 1.1.2.4.2

            My Maori mates up north have nothing but contempt for Shane Jones. Surprisingly, even some of the quite conservative farmers are starting to say a few good things about Hone. He’s not up there like Matiu Rata yet, but it could happen.

            • Alanz 1.1.2.4.2.1

              Here is Shame who might even make Don Brash sound like Mother Theresa:

              Warning: please keep all coffee, tea or even dinner away from puking range of your keyboard and screen.

        • JK 1.1.2.5

          Shane Jones is playing ‘nice guy” on his Facebook page, and getting good publicity.
          I agree with you, QoT, it would be dreadful if this arrogant man got anywhere near the leadership of the Party – he’s too rightwing – but I think he’s making a play for it !

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.1.2.5.1

            I think they already stretched to the limits of that direction with Shearer, myself.

            • Alanz 1.1.2.5.1.1

              I have been at a few public events where Shane was in attendance. Even with a bad cold and a stuffed nose, I could sense from the body language and non-verbal cues of people speaking with him and around him that it was as though he was emitting a really bad, awful smell. Actually, he was just talking and being his jolly self.

              In terms of public support with Shane, neither the optics, nor the acoustics would be acceptable, and that is before we have to deal with the anosmics.

        • Allyson 1.1.2.6

          Jones = Votes . He wowed the crowds in Taranaki with his attack on the greens anti energy stance.

        • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 1.1.2.7

          Shane Jones might reckon himself in with a chance too, because he doesn’t have to do anything. If there’s actual work involved he’ll run a mile. The guy has raised laziness to an art form.

        • Virginia Linton 1.1.2.8

          Funny how Shane only pops up/makes the effort when there is a glimmer of something extra in the wind for him.

      • Chris 1.1.3

        “If caucus cannot get 50% to vote for a primary, then the Shearer ship keeps sailing ahead…unless he resigns.”

        Unfortunately there will be no sailing ahead… Shearers ship is stuck in the doldrums

    • Red Rosa 1.2

      Got it in one. Put the guy out of his misery.

    • Nathan 1.3

      I agree. It was always agreed that the ABC group would do anything to keep Cunliffe out and Shearer was only keeping the seat warm for Robertson. Once elected Shearer should have done something about uniting the party and working with Cunliffe. Instead he demoted him and became the stooge of ABC group and Robertson being the puppet master.

      Over the period Greens acted like the real opposition and started talking about Labour-Green Govt. This scared some middle New Zealand. Any coalition with Greens should have been put in the back burner to be discussed after the polls. Instead they are talking of ministerial posts. Labour should have campaigned of ruling alone. This would have shown confidence in themselves. Now it is too late for Shearer. Cunliffe should become a leader with a new Front bench. Shearer should go to the backbenches where he belonged all along.

  2. Anne 2

    The women’s sector is calling for his blood.

    Sorry Eddie, not all women in the Labour Party are calling for his blood on the matter of the man ban. I think the mechanism they chose to go with showed naivety and a lack of political nous. It was inevitable the MSM and bloggers like Farrar and Slater would have a field day. What’s more, was it necessary to take the matter as far as they did? Labour is less than 10% away from it’s goal and if Carmel Sepuloni had captured 10 more valid votes, they would be only 7% away from the target.

    Edit: agree with Rhinocrates. The ABC club brought it on themselves.

    • billbrowne 2.1

      “What’s more, was it necessary to take the matter as far as they did?”

      I thought the “matter” got as far as it did through the normal and mandated process.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        I think Anne’s point is they should have been happy to set a specific 45% and then 50% threshold, without specifying exactly what mechanisms would be used to reach those levels. Then after a period of reflection they could see whether the 45% and 50% targets were reached, and if not, what needed to be done – at that point they could have considered mechanisms such as the ‘man ban’.

        • billbrowne 2.1.1.1

          Who are they?
          At which point in the mandated process was this matter at?
          What was the next step for this matter in the mandated process?

          Genuine questions by the way.

          • Anne 2.1.1.1.1

            “They” billbrowne were the members of the “women’s sector” responsible for the original remit as per my quote – 2.

            • billbrowne 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Were the members of the “women’s sector” following the mandated process?

              • Colonial Viper

                The process led to a big flaming PR and political mess.

                • billbrowne

                  So it’s the process that’s the problem.

                  What’s the solution?

                  Do we need an overarching authority which weeds out any ideas that may be lampooned by WO?

                  On another note, why is the Labour party the only party who’s policies need to pass through the WO filter?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So it’s the process that’s the problem.

                    good god man, that is not the conclusion. The conclusion is that you cannot leave processes on autopilot without using good human judgement and political nous.

                    • billbrowne

                      Sorry, there was meant to be a ? after “So it’s the process that’s the problem”

                    • QoT

                      Yes, but the suggested solution seems to keep being “so don’t make these policy suggestions in the first place, ladies” instead of “expect the leader’s office to have a modicum of political nous.”

                      The “man ban” is not the only affirmative-action-style policy proposal that’s been in the works. None of the others got the massive public attention. So clearly the policy proposal itself is not the issue.

              • Anne

                The members of the women’s sector responsible for that particular remit submitted it to the Annual Conference in the normal way. All remits passed then go to the policy committee for perusal and on to the Labour Council for final validation. That’s what the process used to be anyway. I never expected for one moment it would come out the other end in its original form. That’s why I see the fault falling somewhere between the two bodies – policy and council.

                What I was trying to do was be fair to Shearer. He was not responsible for the man ban fiasco.

                • Colonial Viper

                  What I was trying to do was be fair to Shearer. He was not responsible for the man ban fiasco.

                  He is however responsible for spinning the fiasco totally out of control. Shearer was advised by many in the party to handle the media in a certain way. When he got in front of the cameras however he decided to throw away the advised strategy and decided to risk improvising from scratch. He fucked it.

                  That finally convinced a bunch of people that Shearer not only lacks political judgement, but he actually has no idea how Labour Party processes are supposed to work. Which surprises a lot of us here not one whit, but was a real eye opener for some.

                • lprent

                  Agree with Anne. There are policy remits going through all of the time.

                  I seldom expect any of them to come through policy council in much the same form because the policy council has to balance remits against both existing policy and other remits. In this case it would have gotten through as a topic for discussion at council (who’d have probably recommended against it) and to conference / congress. I’d have expected it to be defeated at the latter.

                  If I’d been voting right now, I suspect that I’d have voted against it as not being required. However I’d have wanted to hear the arguments for and against such a change. If I’d been on the NZ Council and/or policy council I’d have been pushing it back behind other remits on the selection processes. There are more severe problems in that, and I suspect that fixing them to get better candidates would have fixed many of the issues with gender imbalances.

                  But this was just a remit – something that those hysterical misogynists like Cam Slater and his echo chambers on kiwiblog and the talkback fools ignored and that the media clearly preferred to ignore in the interests of a better story.

                  But as CV points out the effect of how it was handled was completely inept. That these hysterics caused a ‘solution’ that was super-dumb in terms of handling the political and media fallout.

                  All it did (as Eddie points out) was to expand the political dimensions. Having rabble rousing fuckwits like Cam Slater cause a shift in Labour’s policy development is appalling. The implications of an unacceptable parliamentary interference in the political process of the *party* is going to piss a lot of members off (myself included).

                  Basically the correct approach would have to have just to have repeated over and over again that it was a remit *and* that Shearer personally thought it wasn’t required (and would vote against it).

                  The jerk-off misogynist elements railing against it who’d clearly not bothered to read the remit wouldn’t have cared what action was taken. From now until well after the election we’re going to hear them pulling their dicks out and massaging them in an orgy of hormonally disturbed wanking regardless. So Labour should have just ignored them.

                • Tracey

                  Are you saying no men voted for the remit and no women voted against it?

                  This could never happen in the National party, because the women are in the kitchen making the tea.

      • Anne 2.1.2

        Sorry, I was referring to the original remit as presented to the 2012 Annual Conference. That is, barring men from putting their names forward if the LEC wanted only women candidates – a method fraught with potential problems and the stacking of LEC’s to achieve a certain outcome.

        In my view it was either the Labour Council or the Policy Committee who should have foreseen those problems and arranged for the remit to be revised before it saw the light of day.

        • Boadicea 2.1.2.1

          The “women only” sub clause was one that the women’s sector was content to loose at Conference as the 45% and 50% clause are where the real impact is won. Silly boys got upset over the lesser cutting clause.

    • David H 2.2

      Well here’s hoping the ABC club will enjoy their new seats on the back bench for this shit.

      • Santi 2.2.1

        They will. They are firmly in control and decided to keep David Shearer at the helm. They can smell victory.

        • AmaKiwi 2.2.1.1

          @ Santi

          To the TS editors: Is there any way you can get drug testing on Santi?

    • unicus 2.3

      Only the daft ‘ stuck in the seventies’ crowd went with this – they embarrassed the party at the last conference and gave the snivelling corporate media what they wanted to attack Labour .

      They don’t have a bolters chance of progressing their purile remit any further

  3. Jimmie 3

    Well I guess spring is getting closer

    If Shearer isn’t gone burger by the next conference perhaps someone should introduce a remit to introduce a recall vote for the leadership that can be kicked off from the members and not just allow caucus to decide if there needs to be a new leader.

    This would be an incentive for the Parliamentary leader to be able to keep party and caucus together and not the disjointed mess there is now.

  4. Rhinocrates 4

    Despite regular Government stuff ups and scandals, Labour seems unable to make headway. The public aren’t stupid, they can see there is something wrong in New Zealand but they don’t see a credible alternative in Labour.

    That is exactly it. This is an awful government, they’re evil, they’re incompetent, they’re cronyists… and the Labour caucus “leadership” doesn’t even know what’s wrong with that and can’t say it or won’t dare to.

    Instead, out of sheer misguided terror, they let Whalecum dictate policy to them and they abandon the people they need the most to get a half dozen or so “Waitakere Men”.

    captured 10 more valid votes,

    Sorry Anne, but do you see how desperate that is? Ten votes would have made the difference? No. All this talk of “just a little bit more”, “just give him six more months” all boils down to “an inch as as good as a mile.”

    Edit: Hi Anne, in response to your edit, I hope I haven’t been cruel…

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      I believe Anne was speaking to the “manban” and how close Labour already is to achieving a 50/50 M/F split in caucus; nothing to do with Shearer’s performance per se.

    • lurgee 4.2

      I don’t think the New Zealand electorate see the government as awful, evil and incompetent. If they do, and almost 50% of the electorate still voted for them, and polls suggest they still enjoy a high level of support, what does that say about the New Zealand electorate?

      The unpleasant truth is that the government have done a very good job of running the country in a way that is not too offensive to a broad swathe of New Zealanders. For a lot of people, the economy seems to be ticking over and the underlying social, economic and environmental problems that the government is doing NOTHING about are below radar for people who aren’t tragic political spods like us.

      The New Zealand electorate is small c conservative. Labour benefitted from this for years under Clarke, as rthey were happy enought to re-elect her governemt because they seemed to be doing a good enough job. Then in 2008 it became apparent they had been asleep at the wheel so they were thrown overboard in favour of the other lot, who are now enjoying the same indulgence.

      Faced with the likelihood of another three years in opposition, the left lay about them, looking for someone to blame. It’s the fault of the ABC coterie. It’s the fault of the electorate for being too right wing, ignorant, reactionary and short sighted.

      The besetting sin of the left is its conviction it is right and everyone else is wrong and jsut has to change, rather than accepting that waving copies of What Is to Be Done? in people’s faces is part of the problem, not the solution.

  5. Ant 5

    Is the background photoshopped? Would any competent Labour politician let themselves be photographed in front of a blue background like that?

    • Olwyn 5.1

      As Lanthanide pointed out at the time, he wore a very blue shirt to the by-elections celebrations.

      • Tom 5.1.1

        So he is a National Party undercover operative showing his true colours ?

        Very subtle, I know ..

        🙂

    • felix 5.2

      The blue is actually the glow from all the tories he has lurking in the background.

  6. Yes 6

    Dam…I really love shearer.. Just get rid off little Robertson Cunniliffe ..little is a major weakness and appointing him will see NZ in a dictatorship within 2 years.

    Before anyone bag me just think about this guys rise and how he has risen through the ranks. Study his route to power carefully. Him and Russell are in cohorts.

    Trust me on this….remember my post the night of the garner tweet….I said isn’t there an urgent caucus meeting that night. Two hours later bang!

    Or you can call me a conspiracy theorist.

    • Rhinocrates 6.1

      Akshully, we’ve already given you a whole range of appropriate titles. “Idiot” will do for its simplicity and economy.

    • Arfamo 6.2

      God, Yes, it’ll be great when school holidays are over and you have homework again. Concentrate on spelling & grammar this term. And use a dictionary.

    • alwyn 6.3

      I am a trifle confused with this comment.
      Do you mean little (as in small) Robertson or do you mean Little, Robertson as in Andrew Little?
      I really can’t see a dictatorship with Robertson as leader.

    • North 6.4

      Fuck off YesHole @ 6 above ! Shouty Hooten owns the dim device you dimly employ. Stop fucking around with copyright !

    • No 6.5

      Is that you, Slater ?

  7. Rhinocrates 7

    As an historical aside, should Mumblefuck and his puppeteers be defeated, his successor (David Cunliffe?) will have to deal with them. Helen Clark appointed (gag) Goff to a senior position and as her successor, which was obviously a mistake (not even in retrospect – his attitude to civil liberties, as Peter Ellis and Ahmed Zaoui know, leaves a lot to be desired), but her former rival, Michael Cullen, proved to be very competent indeed in his role.

    For the next Labour-led government, I nominate Mallard as Minister if Being a Dickhead, Hipkins as Minister of Scrubbing the Toilets With His Own Toothbrush, Curran as Minister of Being a Pot Plant, Robertson as Minister of Fog and the others as Ministers of Oh WTF, I Forget.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    For the record, this is David Shearer (in his own words, uninterrupted, not mis-reported by the MSM) …

    “Within 2 hours of hearing about the women-only selections I said that I didn’t agree with them.”

    (interview on Focus on Politics, Radio NZ, Friday)

    Either this is a lie, or he has been asleep. The “women-only selections” (for consideration, not imposed) have been on the party agenda for months. Everybody had heard about them – and talked about them … except the party’s leader? Seriously?

    The issue is not the so-called ‘man ban’, it is the leadership … total lack of.

    Mr Shearer is simply not up to the job.

    • Arfamo 8.1

      Mr Shearer is simply not up to the job.

      That’s the guts of it. Now it’s just a question of how long it will be before something is done about it. Too bad if Duncan Garner can then say see I told you. It needs to happen now.

      • David H 8.1.1

        Shoulda happened last year.

      • North 8.1.2

        Arfamo @ 8.1 – most half-pissed rugby clubrooms late Saturday afternoon yobbos are gratuitously right (correct) some of the time !

        Jesus…….NZ’sleading media fucks all on one channel…….DungCan…….mine Potty,Gower……. Wet Lips Espiner

        • Arfamo 8.1.2.1

          To be honest I don’t think Garner’s ever going to be able to live that cuckoo coup cue down. 🙂

    • hush minx 8.2

      Actually I saw that quote too – on twisted hive (http://twistedhive.wordpress.com). Has some other quotes I think shearer would rather forget as well!

    • Anne 8.3

      The “women-only selections” (for consideration, not imposed) have been on the party agenda for months. Everybody had heard about them – and talked about them … except the party’s leader? Seriously?

      There was no debate about it to speak of at the conference. I think the sentiment inherent was why the remit passed with no protest. The chances are most delegates forgot about it once they left the conference. I did. From memory the remit came up for consideration not long before Shearer’s conference speech. He was probably out the back doing some last minute practising… 🙁

      • handle 8.3.1

        Isn’t Shearer on the Council that approved the remit?

        • Anne 8.3.1.1

          Leaders have an automatic right to attend council meetings but they sometimes have more pressing business to attend to. Shearer wasn’t present when that particular remit was discussed.

      • lprent 8.3.2

        Most delegates wanted it discussed after it’d been looked at. I remember looking at it, and then looking back at the candidates from 2008/2011 and thinking WTF? I also started to wonder about how this would make the selection processes too frigging rigid after every other “group” started pushing for the same thing.

        But really the constitutional changes to shift the party from the days of having a mass membership in the 70s to recognize the reality of it’s current membership state are far more important. Apart from anything else that is partly what causes the over-ride of the local membership.

  9. cricklewood 9

    Is it possible that caucus could engineer a deal where there is a “primary” but only obe person stands for the leadership tgus defeating the voting process?

  10. KJT 10

    Labour leadership, is, at present, unfortunately for New Zealand, a contradiction in terms.

    We have had one of the most incompetent and repressive Governments in our history, and Labour is still stagnating.

    Even a Labour Greens vote in 2014 will result in the current dickheads in charge, of Labour, being in Government. Ensuring a one term National lite fuckup. Almost as frightening a prospect as National getting another term.
    At least, one more term of National will mean labour may re-organise enough to remember what they are there for, and ensure National does not return for a decade.

    • Santi 10.1

      Another National term is unthinkable. Do not despair, David Shearer will win.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Your analysis verges on being tragic for the nation, but I believe it is close to the mark.

    • geoff 10.3

      So we’re in for a 1 term of National-lite, followed by 2-3 terms of another National government and THEN we might get a good leftwing government??

      Yeah let’s just sit around and wait till, hmm when will that be…2023 at the earliest?

      Or we could organise and agitate, and boot these incompetent pricks out of the caucus within a couple of months.

      • Tracey 10.3.1

        it wont be a good left wing government, it will be one slightly to the left of the current one, but still to the right of centre. That’s the clever little manipulation that’s been going on… It’s white man heaven baby

  11. hush minx 11

    I think one of the most unfortunate aspects of the situation labor now finds itself in is that to get anywhere near resolving this mess some open and honest dialogue is required. But everyone (in terms of caucus anyway) is avoiding talking so it seems, lest they be seen as stirring and blamed for the mess. Commentators here and in the media are the reality check – announcing the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes. But we all know that the ruler is naked (deceiving himself?) and many others prefer to look away. Stopping analogy now before it gets to carried away!

  12. Olwyn 12

    CV said, on a previous thread, “Left wing” parties are nothing of the sort and usually range from being partially to totally complicit with the neoliberal agenda, currently morphing into the next phase, the total surveillance state.” /kevin-rudd-and-the-boat-people/#comment-66573 One could add aspects of this phase that include further drives to remove social commitments from the state, neuter the unions and turn the unemployed into destitute wanderers.

    What I would like to know is this: would a change of leader give us a Labour Party that would at least try to even partially defend the New Zealand population against these forces?

  13. Arfamo 13

    It could take decades for the country to recover from another National term. Labour needs to get a real leader now.

    • Santi 13.1

      Right and 100% correct. That’s why we must unite behind David Shearer, future PM.

      • Arfamo 13.1.1

        Something’s wrong with the delete option. I can’t delete your comments Santi. Everybody should be able to delete your comments.

        • Santi 13.1.1.1

          Dear Arfamo, you lack the patience of a true Labour supporter. Have faith in David Shearer. He’ll deliver the goods.

          • Arfamo 13.1.1.1.1

            Do you mind checking to see if you can delete your own comments Santi? Try it on about a half dozen first and then wait about 5 minutes.

            • Santi 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Faith in David Shearer as Labour leader, faith is needed.

            • felix 13.1.1.1.1.2

              I can’t delete Santi’s comments either. Something must be broken, can lprent or a mod have a look at this?

              [lprent: yeah right. ]

          • Jimmie 13.1.1.1.2

            Exactly right. With Shearer as leader a true Labour supporter will be patiently waiting for an election win for a long time to come!

      • North 13.1.2

        Skanky @ 10.1 above; see 6.4 above.

    • Yes 13.2

      Omg what a load of rubbish…the GFC had labour fingerprints all over it you fool. Bet you don’t work

      • felix 13.2.1

        “the GFC had labour fingerprints all over it you fool”

        Half of me thinks it would be wicked funny to see you explain this. The other half just wants you to drown in a pond.

        • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1

          Does the Euthanasia Private Members Bill let you act in order to save everyone elses misery?

    • Blue 13.3

      Leadership isnt the problem, its policies that, whilst some voters agree with, aren’t enough to convince people to switch sides. Labour is being hijacked by so many internal groups its difficult to see what they stand for and what benefit the average voter gets from Labour. I agree with the ‘delete’ option. I’ve been trying to delete yours all day, but to no avail.

      • Tracey 13.3.1

        I disagree. It seems to me the smallest group in the Labour party is the white middle class group which believes that neo liberalism with a sprinkling of compassion will do the trick. The problem is they dont like to show the sprinkling of compassion in case the imaginary “majority” of ordinary kiwis (which they define to suit) wont vote for them. Anyone who thinks the Labour party and its policies are at “the mercy” (read this as a negative) of unions, gays and women (as is so often spat out in vitriol) doesn’t look at their actual policies or implemented policies since 1984.

        Just who is the “average voter”. If you think labour should stand as some homogenous mass of nothingness just be careful what you wish for, I think they are already there.

        If you take gay voters, union members, women (or feminists – but you have to say it as though you are spitting), maybe pacific island voters… out of your average voter mix, how many voters are you left with?

  14. karol 14

    The Labour leadership issue is just plain depressing for this leftie. The totally misguided installation of Shearer as leader, is the most depressing aspect.

    • Blue 14.1

      Exactly. How can anyone have any confidence in the Labour caucus when they have shown themselves to be totally incompetent at something as basic as deciding who should be the party’s leader?

      They are asking New Zealanders to vote for them to run the country when they can’t even run their own party. Putting someone so inexperienced and so lacking in any kind of natural political instinct or presentation in the top job was nothing short of lunacy and that these idiots have not realised their mistake until now shows that they are not fit to run a cake stall.

      That’s why I believe Labour is stuffed for 2014 no matter what happens with Shearer. The problem is so much deeper than him.

    • Neiklot 14.2

      Misguided ?

      It was carefully guided by Goff .. I don’t know what part King may have played.

      Goff, the man who sacked workers after publicly promising not to.

      If your record means anything, that says it all.

      There has since been a flow of despairing workers to Australia. I have met many.

      And then Shearer, in Goff’s image.

      Make it quick.

      Move on.

  15. Jimmie 15

    Scenario time.

    What is likely to happen in 2014 if Shearer is rolled sometime soon and the party/affiliates and a caucus minority elect a leader is who is not supported by the rest of caucus?

    In the long term obviously the old has beens will be sent out for pasture however in 2014 its going to take the wisdom of Solomon to stop the old bitter fruit from destabilizing the new leader – might be needing some tough action to sort them out.

  16. Lefty 16

    Shearer is excelling at doing the political job most needed by the working class at this time in history – destroying the Labour Party.

    He is badly needed until this task is completed.

    Then all who call themselves left, including unions, activist community organisations and socialist individuals might be able to unite and build a left alternative movement/party that is not captured by technocrats and career politicians.

  17. Progressive Paradox 17

    I’m personally a Cunliffe supporter, I think that the best option for Labour would have been to elect him in 2012 as leader and electing him now wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    But saying this I think the attacks on Garner were totally justified. He was implementing what is little more than yellow journalism by not actually having any clear sources whatsoever. What’s worse still is the way Garner approached the topic was just a self-fulfilling prophecy and you can do it for anything, for example: I believe Garner is paid by a National MP to spread false rumours about the Labour party, this has been backed up by a National caucus source and a member outside the party, he will deny that this is the case but any journalist in this situation would he will try and attack my credibility but that’s just how these things start.

    On a more serious note however, the caucus really need to decide now if they’re going to ditch Shearer or stick by him none of this rubbish like we saw last election with Goff.

  18. handle 18

    Swapping the ‘leader’ but keeping the same idiots in the back office and around the caucus table will not fix Labour’s problems.

  19. Yes 19

    I am surprise you guys can’t see Russell is behind your disabling of any labour functions. The whole MSM have been hammering that point. Manufacturing crisis..greens…QE…greens…powernz..greens…

    All that needed to happen was put out the policy and tell greens to stand in the queue for podium…but no…hold hands.

    Wrong.

    Now here’s the link…little and Russell manufacturing, little and Russell powernz ..oh EMPU business again…QE…read unions websites to devalue the $

    Save our David shearer fan club

  20. Cantabrian 20

    Get rid of Shearer and clear out the front bench – put King, Goff, Mallard on the back benches – their time is over.

    • Rhinocrates 20.1

      Personally, I’d like to feed them feet-first into a woodchipper when I’m in a bad mood, and a combine harvester when I’m in a good one.

      [lprent: And I like feeding people who say things like that into bans because as well as being distasteful, it is a guaranteed silly flame starter. Have a educational ban for a week. Read the policy. I’m sure that I have pointed this out to you before – but I couldn’t locate it. ]

      • Chooky 20.1.1

        Squawk Squawk….Rhinocrates…you are naughty!!! ….but you always make us chooks laugh….

        I might add I agree with just about everything you say on the leadership of the Labour Party…and you are so mightily eloquent at times!…..please come back when your ban is up

        ….and avoid those earthquakes….ie stay close to lawns and open skies, always wear a tin hat with a big brim, wrap around sunglasses and tin shoulder pads and tough rubber boots , preferably with steel caps…and practice your sharp angle running, reversing at speed and rolling like hell techniques in the park…Move like a ninja ( this is advice from Christchurch)

  21. George D 21

    I know that nobody reads the Magazine Formerly Known As The Listener, so this illustrative photo might have been missed. It concords well with what I know about the structure of power within caucus.

    (Yeah, I know, hold your nose over the source and ignore the silly captions)

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/07/shearers-gang-or-is-it-the-last-supper/

    • QoT 21.1

      Why is my first assumption about David Clark’s position in that shot that he arrived super-early and either (a) ensured he was right next to the glorious leader or (b) committed a massive seating faux pas which everyone else has been polite enough not to point out to him?

  22. Rodel 22

    I wasn’t keen on Shearer but after listening to him more I am now warming to him and might resume activity on behalf of the Labour party.
    What did someone worthy once say? ‘ When the evidence changes, so do I…What do you do?’

  23. Barry 23

    I think the leadership problem is only a symptom of a bigger problem. The Labour party can’t make up its mind what it stands for.

    The rank and file want a party of the left that stands up for low paid workers and beneficiaries. The caucus (at least an influential part of it) are envious of John Key and want what he has. Consequently whoever is leader is goung to sound wishy washy.

  24. Cantabrian 24

    Kick the right wing career politicians out of Labour including Shearer. Cunliffe can deliver for the left.

    • Santi 24.1

      I don’t think so. The ABC faction is too strong. Mallard is behind all this.
      Shearer should lead, but if not, Robertson should be next in line.

  25. Tautoko Viper 25

    My feeling is that since Helen has gone, the Labour MPs have enjoyed the lack of discipline and fear that David Cunliffe would reinstate the strict control of caucus which is so obviously needed. The MPs seem more interested in being able to say what and when they like (Shane Jones) rather than work as a disciplined team providing a unified and coherent message.
    It is time Labour MPs put the good of the country ahead of their own interests. If they can’t stand a bit more discipline then bugger off, because there are masses of people out here who are desperately hurting because of National.

    Kotahitanga is required with a leader that can express the message with clarity.
    David Cunliffe may not be the Messiah but he is the best equipped to do the job. Please, David Shearer, pass the baton.

    • Progressive Paradox 25.1

      Totally agree.

    • Tracey 25.2

      As long as Labour thinks the promised land is a slight slant on National (which is a slant on previous labour) they won’
      t get back in until the electorate is simply fatigued by National and Key has resigned. National must know there is a chasm awaiting the successor to Key.

      The key to good leadership is the seamlessness of succession. Sadly the ego and self interest of politicians makes this unlilkely

  26. AmaKiwi 26

    If I were Cunliffe I might wait until the caucus is so desperate they beg me to be the leader. That would be after the 2014 election debacle, not before.

  27. Tracey 27

    On Saturday night I realised the country will have a third national government. People like Santi and Yes vote for them btw.

    On Saturday night my father, an occasional ACT voter but mostly National said the following, and I quote:

    “I am getting sick of the supercilious grin on that man’s face”. He referred to the PM. I was shocked. I then realised that my because my father would never vote greens, and this Labour party gives him NOTHING to justify a shift to them, he will have no option but to pout (pun due to spelling error) a tick next to Mr Bridges name and the Nats… he MIGHT vote NZ First but I think he would fear it might cause him a stroke.

    My father was a stalwart anti Clark person and used sexist terms to describe her but he never described her the way he did the PM. I was genuinely shocked.

  28. Dean Reynolds 28

    As a long time Labour member I despair of what’s happening. People who say that Shearer needs more time are delusional – he’s a great humanitarian but he hasn’t got the x factor required to make him an effective party leader or potential PM. It’s no accident that the party membership want David Cunliffe as party leader – we have a more realistic view of the world than some of the caucus.
    Cunliffe is the only Labour MP who can articulate Social Democratic principles & denounce neo- liberalism for what it is – the greatest social & political evil since fascism.

    • Colonial Viper 28.1

      The fight against neoliberalism was the fight of the 80’s and 90’s. The fight of the next 20 years is that against the feudal surveillance state. And it will have to happen against a backdrop of international economic decline.

  29. Matthew Hooton 29

    I think there may be an excellent hedge opportunity on iPredict over this issue.
    Currently, there is a 62% probability of “David Shearer to depart as Leader of the Labour Party in 2013” – see https://www.ipredict.co.nz/app.php?do=contract_detail&contract=SHR.DEPART.2013
    Shorting that – ie, betting he will stay in the job – would cost 38c, which you would lose if he was rolled, but you would get $1 if he survived till 1 Jan.
    Then, to cover that, you would buy “There will be a Labour Prime Minister after the 2014 General Election” for the current 45c (see https://www.ipredict.co.nz/app.php?do=contract_detail&contract=PM.2014.LABOUR ), on the assumption that if Shearer goes Labour will win (with Cunliffe). If there is a Labour PM, you win $1.
    So, your total investment is 83c per position. If Shearer survives and Key wins you get $1. If Shearer is rolled and Labour (probably Cunliffe) wins, you get $1. Either way, it is 20.5% return over a maximum of 16 months. This assumes you think there is a 100% inverse correlation between Shearer staying and Labour winning.

    • bad12 29.1

      i think the paid shills of the Tory elite should take their advertising of the ‘ipredict gambling site’ elsewhere,

      if Victoria University the nominal ‘new owners’ of that particular piece of internet gambling want to advertise on the Standard they should contact the ‘owners’ and fucking pay for the privilege…

      • Tracey 29.1.1

        How much did they pay for it?

      • Matthew Hooton 29.1.2

        Victoria University have always been the owners. They invented it as an academic experiment. I just did the marketing for a while (with less success than I think the uni’s efforts deserve).

        • tricledrown 29.1.2.1

          MH for once you have told the truth,and not your crosby textered lizards of OZ forked tongued double speak!

        • bad12 29.1.2.2

          Bullshit, they didn’t invent it, it’s a direct copy of a US site that promotes the same gambling,

          But, that’s not the point is it,and nor is your abject failure as a marketing agent, where obviously you have ideas way above ‘your station’ in life which from all i have read and heard from you would be that of floor sweeper/gofor to some honest workers in a factory some place,

          The point is, you are actively promoting that particular site, read the rules Hooten or better still, fuck off back to the sewerage outlets from whence you came…

    • Tamati 29.2

      Your post made no sense whatsoever until the last sentence.

    • Rosetinted 29.3

      That’s right turn everything that is important to citizens into a money making opportunity. Push the markers around on the action board and watch the results subjectively, to see if you can profit from others.

      People who would gamble on anything with gusto don’t care enough to make changes that will result in financial loss to them, even if it would be ‘right’ to do so. In the end they don’t know what right is. The game is the thing.

      Think hedge funds manipulating falls that they have allowed for themselves.

    • felix 29.4

      “This assumes you think there is a 100% inverse correlation between Shearer staying and Labour winning.”

      lolz. You’re supposed to say that bit really fast and then quickly change the subject Matthew.

  30. Tracey 30

    Can I advertise my business on here too?

  31. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 31

    Shut up.

    There’s no coup. That was made up by the National Party and fed to journalists too stupid to recognise the informants were from the National Party.

    Everyone in the party is completely happy with Shearer’s leadership. He is safe and has the job for as long as he wants it.

  32. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 32

    Shut up.

    There’s no coup. That was made up by the National Party and fed to journalists too stupid to recognise the informants were from the National Party.

    Everyone in the party is completely happy with Shearer’s leadership. He is safe and has the job for as long as he wants it.

    • erikter 32.1

      True. It will be David S who leads the party to victory. He’s the right leader for these difficult times.

      • Not a PS Staffer 32.1.1

        erikter. 32.1 @10.40
        did you call Shearer a “Right: leader?
        Why do you think we need that type of leader for these difficult times?
        Are you referring to the difficult times inside the Labour Party?
        Are yoiu referring to the widening of the gap between the rich and the workers?

        • Tracey 32.1.1.1

          I suspect he is referring to him being the right leader to ensure the re-election of the National party. I also suspect he/she thinks they are funny.

  33. Christine 33

    What does Labour stand for in 2013 looking out to 2030? So many people commenting on this and other blogs are calling for the Labour Party to look back to when it was strong in the 1930s. But New Zealand in 2013 isn’t the same as the 1930’s.
    Labour’s purpose and messages to voters from the 1930’s through to the end of the 20th century were strong and clear. What is its purpose now for New Zealanders as the country evolves economically, diplomatically and socially in the 21st century taking account of the international opportunities and issues it will have to face.
    So much of what Labour stood for when it was established seems to have been resolved. The education system which Labour leaders and unions has strongly influenced has produced people that are generally better educated, more worldly and self confident, more questioning. Labour’s message must be for those in tough circumstances but it must be for many more groups of society as well.
    A strong Labour shouldn’t have to depend on the Greens to scrape back into power. A compelling Labour purpose to 2030 should bring back support to take Labour into the 40’s in the polls competing head to head with National as the main opposition party.
    New Zealand needs two strong main parties for democracy to function properly.

    Can The Standard set up this discussion?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 33.1

      What is it about human need that has changed in the last eighty years?

      Has the fact that humans are more successful when they cooperate and organise changed?

      Or are statements like “we’re not in the 1930s any more” just meaningless right-wing tropes designed to marginalise and destroy left-wing values?

      • Christine 33.1.1

        So are you saying that Labour’s purpose in the 1930s is the same now, that people’s need for resolution of the problems of the 1930s have still not been satisfied.
        If you believe that Labour is to improve people’s situation and opportunity, then you are saying that nothing has improved or changed by your answer.
        I think that is incorrect.
        I agree that people are more successful when they cooperate and work together, we see this all the time in what people achieve through being part of clubs and associations for example. And any political party would want to achieve the same for the same reason.
        However, using your terms, my question is whether the values of the left are still relevant or should they be updated to reflect the world now and looking ahead to the 2030’s to reflect the thinking of mainstream New Zealanders as well as marginalised groups.

        • karol 33.1.1.1

          Who defines “mainstream New Zealanders” and their views?

          • Christine 33.1.1.1.1

            I dont think anyone clearly defines mainstream New Zealanders. It is fluffy term like ‘the ordinary New Zealander’ which always annoys me because we all have special qualities that dont match with being defined as ‘ordinary’.
            Who really knows what are their views? We can all guess from reading blogs, watching surveys in the media or the polls and then interpreting the results of elections. But its a guess.

    • Colonial Viper 33.2

      Rentier capitalists run this economy like never before, Christine. Misallocation of capital, fraud and tax evasion are rampant. I agree with you that Labour need a vision of the future which it does not have yet. But I would not agree with you that Labour’s task from the 1930’s can possibly be finished when you have working poor and hungry children up and down the country.

      • Christine 33.2.1

        I dont want any hungry children either, I dont think any New Zealander does.
        Taking you literally, are you saying that one of purposes of Labour is to stop the misallocation of capital, fraud and tax evasion? And if successful there would be no hungry children?
        I think a political party that is going to lead a government, ie Labour or National has to present a basket of policies that work together to achieve an overall improvement in a set of objectives that the party puts up the electorate. So, unfortunately focusing on hungry children in isolation doesn’t work by itself and doesnt answer my question.
        My point is that New Zealanders need a clearly discernable message from Labour that is relevant well into the future before enough will believe in the party to vote for it.

    • Rosetinted 33.3

      Christine
      Are you trying to white ant MMP that at least gives us the opportunity of having room for ideas and representation so they can be viewed and discussed not just dismissed as would be the case if we went back to two parties. I would have thought that anyone writing here would have already recognised this. MMP isn’t perfect but without it any vitality gets lost in the drive to maintain the traditions of government, that suit the major parties, and then if they agree. Look at the USA what a shower.

      • Christine 33.3.1

        Not at all, I accept MMP.
        All I’m saying is that I think a government that has a majority of seats from one party supported by a mix of minor parties is more likely to be stable and to push its programme through. For a left wing government I am assuming that Labour would be the dominant party. At the moment, its polls are showing that it would only have about 60% of the seats in government and would be very dependent on other parties agendae. It would not be in a strong position. Is this what Labour Party members want of their party?

        • Rosetinted 33.3.1.1

          Christine
          It still sounds as if you’re nostalgic for the past where electoral seats could pile up nicely with a clear majority even though numbers voting didn’t match up. It seems that often today in NZ and other countries there is not what I call a clear majority just a simple one as at present ad in one – Dunne. It seems strange that the country’s voters can be so evenly divided.

          • Colonial Viper 33.3.1.1.1

            Population of voters appear evenly divided only because half a million people or more have stopped bothering with the game.

  34. McFlock 34

    Well, I’m finally too busy and bored to bother arguing too much about the labour leadership today, but this bit made me laugh: “But after November there was a sense even among Shearer’s detractors that they should give him another chance. “.

    Not if the usual suspects around here are anything to go by.

    • quartz 34.1

      Shearer’s last fan speaks! Until the leadership changes and then you’ll be someone else’s little doggy. Tell me. McFlock, who do you think the best leader of Labour would be?

      • McFlock 34.1.1

        Doggy? Cheers for that. Better than being a cunlip.

        Frankly, I reckon they all lack something, although I doubt any are all that bad (except maybe Jones). Leaning towards coleadership as a model just to spread the skillset (whack opposites together eg: experience vs newer/younger, attacker vs more considered image, and so on. Maybe King/Robertson, Shearer/Ardern, King/Cunliffe, that sort of thing), but I can’t figure out whether it would halve the opportunity that whining fucktards and chicken littles would have to piss inside their own tent, or simply double it.

        • Chooky 34.1.1.1

          Cunliffe as warrior leader with King as deputy might be good…….King could be the woman Mumsy figure …..We need a woman in at the top to represent/attract half the population of voters….

          • McFlock 34.1.1.1.1

            Male and female co-leaders? But that would be electoral suicide! 🙂

            • Chooky 34.1.1.1.1.1

              Not as co-leaders:

              1. Cunliffe as Leader
              2. King as Deputy-Leader

              As long as King was loyal to Cunliffe…I reckon this combination would trounce National. King is a good solid performer.

              Labour needs to win back the women voters.

              Cunliffe must be leader….He is acknowledged as the best contender by rank and file Labour members…..and the best to counter Key and National……anyone else invites more problems for the Labour Party and plays again into the hands of National..

              • McFlock

                Why one over the other? One can be PM, the other minister of finance/deputy pm.

                • Chooky

                  i dont think King as Minister of Finance is a job she would want …How about Minister of Police….She was good at that.

          • Colonial Viper 34.1.1.1.2

            …..We need a woman in at the top to represent/attract half the population of voters….

            National don’t.

  35. asd 35

    Shortly after John Key became PM in 2008 a political scientist said words to the effect of: “I think John Key will serve as PM until such time as he stands himself down from the job due to his very high level of charisma, popularity and confidence that he exudes and is manifest within the general public who perceive him to be a strong, bold, solid, ruthless and uncompromising leader”.
    Now, those of us on the left all know that this is exterior BS, but nonetheless it prescribes a pathway Labour must take if it is to face up to the enigma of Key, and beat him at his own game.
    David Cunliffe is the only person in the Labour Party currently who can beat Key with such similarly endearing qualities that the general public will look up to as cornerstone characteristics of a ‘strong leader’. Cunliffe matches Key in the strong, arrogant and smarmy stakes, and you must fight ‘like with like’ if success is to be a chance.
    What is there to lose if Cunliffe is installed as Labour Party leader leading up to the next election? If he pulls an election win off, the caucus will embrace him, and if he doesn’t, well, Robertson and Little will still get another shot in 2017 anyway.
    Shearer was only ever meant to be the ‘nightwatchman’ or ‘caretaker’, until such time as Labour works through its election strategy and appoints a much stronger leadership, and nothing more.
    Until an aggressive strategy is implemented against Key with a strong Labour leadership, the polls won’t begin to close down the gap with National. I hope I’m wrong. I want to eat my hat.

  36. Outofbed 36

    There are only two pictures of Shearer on the Labour Party web site home page, down from 5.
    He is on his way

  37. lurgee 37

    I give up. I thought the insanity that seems to have possessed the post-Clark Labour party would have run its course after 2011. But it seems some can not sate their need to schism and plot against their own party, rather than their opposition.

    Does anyone really think installing David Cunliffe or Andrew Little is really going to give Labour a real boost in the polls? That suddenly this brain dead, factionalised caucus will suddenly unite and start pouring out brilliant ideas? That suddenly the New Zealand public will realise what it has always wanted to do was embark on a Long March to the left? Get real.

    Swapping out Shearer for Cunliffe will simply mean the current coterie around Shearer will become the scheming plotters trying to undermine the leader. The (possibly terminal) decline will continue. The polls will stay miserable, with the occasional 35% rating being greeted rapturously, while National pooter along quite happily at 48%.

    Do you really think there are Brilliant Ideas – better than KiwiBuild and the NZ Power – that some members of the caucus have just plain forgotten to mention but will rediscover with Shearer out of the top spot? It seems rather unlikely, to be generous.

    There isn’t much to be said for Shearer. There isn’t much to be said for Cunliffe. If Shearer is rolled, the electorate will not rejoice and switch from National to Labour. They will look on the conspirators as the Roman plebs looked on Cassius and Brutus – only they won’t need an Anthony to rouse them. They’ll see it for what it is. The petty politicking of little men who were so interested in advancing themselves they betrayed the movement they claimed to be part of. The electorate will be more firmly pro-Key than ever, because the NZ Labour party will have succeeded in becoming toxic as well as useless.

    Cunliffe – and anyone else – would be a fool to roll Shearer now. it won’t fix anything – not one of the buffoons put forward as a possible new leader has the wit or charisma to fix the problems of the Labour party. They are the symptom, not the solution. They will look at how few of those who strike the fatal blow go on to wear the crown. Brash rolled English and lost. Gillard rolled Rudd and lost. Rudd rolled Gillard and will likely lose – and if he does win, based on his moves against refugees, it will be a Phyricc victory as who would want to win on a platform of xenophobia and fear?

    Cunliffe and the other contenders – pygmies all, but the Labour party is a party where pygmies are well represented – would probably prefer to wait until after 2014. They are none of them so stupid as to think substituting Shearer for any one of them would make a sufficient difference. But they also know that by 2014 they will be as stale and unappealling as Phil Goff in 2011. So they will perhaps be compelled to act now – before whatever miniscule talent they possess is completely over-shadowed. I suppose being leader for a year and a bit would be preferable to never being leader at all.

  38. Chooky 38

    That is very dour of you lurgee….what sort to lurgy have you got then?…a depression?….try to cultivate a more hopeful outlook.

    I think you are wrong!…There is a lot to be said for the Cunliffe leadership option ( if it failed , at least the Labour rank and file would have had their wishes respected)

    ……And the combination of Cunliffe as leader plus the older, long experienced Annette King as Deputy could provide continuity , heal wounds, save faces and be an electoral winner…

    At the moment there is no viable alternative to the Key Nact Govt. to inspire the voting public!…50% of whom are women!

  39. Ralph Malph 39

    The Man Ban was worthy of the Mcgillicuddy Serious party. Labour lost credibility over the notion and would have lost even more if Shearer hadn’t resisted the idea. I still find it hard to believe such a silly proposal — which could only ever make many voters regard Labour as a party impossible to be taken seriously — saw the light of day.

    I like Shearer and thought his integrity and decency — at least when compared with that of the shallow, grinning fool Key — would not be lost on the public. Alas, I got that wrong. Perhaps we might as well forget about casting around for a new Labour leader and just accept that, even if Christ himself beat Cunliffe to the top party post, most New Zealanders would still plump for Key as the man they want in charge of the show. They eat him up like a fat man wolfs down McDonalds.

    (Incidentally, I’d be happy for Labour to go into the next election with every candidate a female — but only if they were the best people available. I don’t believe in quotas.)

    • lurgee 39.1

      “I like Shearer and thought his integrity and decency — at least when compared with that of the shallow, grinning fool Key — would not be lost on the public.”

      The public don’t care because – unlike spods like us – they don’t give a toss about politics mid cycle. they would only start to look at Shearer seriously in the six months before the election. We think this is a big deal because we’re political obssessives. We factionalise and scheme because we’re convinced Our Vision is the correct one and the NZ public will recognise it if only we get given the opportunity to state it clearly from a position of authority – not realising this is precisely what has been denied Shearer because NO-ONE LISTENS TO THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION MID CYCLE (an exception may be when the PM is so loathed, a la Gillard, that anyone – even Tony Abbot or Kevin rudd – seems preferable).

  40. The big problem with that proposal Chooky is that King has led the right faction within caucus for years and is a key member of the ABC.

    • Boadicea 40.1

      I can see why a tie up with King could be an attractive (and possibly politically necessary). However labour has been loosing votes because there is a perception that little has changed since Helen moved on.
      The disconnection of many people and particularly young people is a concern to all politicians. It is also an opportunity for Labour. A return to King would further distance us from youth.
      It would further paint us as a party that cannot jump start itself into the next generation.

  41. Reid 41

    Interesting debate, in that much of it centred not around the personalities of the candidates but rather around Labour philosophy, and IMO, you need a leader who will sort this because it’s not your leader that’s at the heart of your low polling, it’s your philosophy, and the evidence of that is in the combined Labour-Green polling.

    You, IMO, need to listen to the electorate. Your advanced thinking on all things progressive has caused you to get ahead of what the electorate is thinking or even wants. For example, can you even name anyone in the caucus apart from Little, who connects with the blue-collar battler, who used to be your stalwarts?

    Helen bought you into a new arena of support and thinking with the strong wimmin focus and it’s quite clear from an outsider’s perspective you guys haven’t yet absorbed that into your anatomy in the sense it’s not yet comfortable in your skin and voters sense that, even if they can’t articulate it.

    Another area of philosophy you need to reconcile is your visceral hatred of all things commercial. You need to change that from an irritant into a pearl and start recognising that business people aren’t ALL evil, selfish creatures driven by insatiable lust of money and more money. That’s just not the case but it’s clear this is what you think. And again, voters sense this and recoil.

    It’s Labour’s job to bring the progressive perspective into politics, that’s your position, but you’ll never do it by fighting, instead you’ll do it by subtle nuance to the status quo. This is what you need to do to start slicing into National’s vote, and leave the aggression to the Greens.

    Picking a leader who can sell that message is what you should be looking for and newsflash it’s not Cunliffe, it’s Little and Jones. Cunliffe is supercilious and the public sees straight through that. Key also is but he’s good at hiding it, but Cunliffe isn’t and if you pick him you’ll see the polls showing that up once the public have had six months of him and it will get worse from there. He’s very capable, but you can’t hide that, unless he has a Road to Damascus transformation, which I doubt will happen, he likes himself too much and that’s his greatest strength and his greatest weakness, just like it is with Key.

    I agree Jones has some rough edges but he’s a cut-through communicator that speaks to your base and he would make inroads into the Green vote while Little makes inroads into National’s. If the caucus settle down enough to give them their head.

    Your issue is their inexperience, Little isn’t ready to lead and he doesn’t have the time. But Key did an (almost) similar parachute when he started. Little’s would be more radical, for sure.

    And that’s your dilemma. If you go with Cunliffe, he will lose. If you stick with Shearer, he will lose. If you go with Little and Jones, they may lose, depending on whether Andrew can step up to the biggest challenge he has ever had. Don’t, for goodness sake, give the leadership to Jones, he’ll stuff it up because its not his strength. He’s an operator, a connector. He could get Winston and Hone on board as well as get your base back. He’ll mightily piss the Greens off but that’s Little’s job. Little’s the diplomat.

    But that combo is the only one I can see you guys have available that has a chance of winning 2014. Of course you might prefer to install Cunliffe, watch him crash and burn then do it with Little and Jones and that would win 2017 of course. I don’t care, that’s your choice and your dilemma, because Little is definitely a gamble at this point in his political career, and you might not care to take that chance. But the way I see it, it’s the only one you have.

    • Murray Olsen 41.1

      Thank you for your advice. I do not consider any of it worth taking. Jones is the only caucus member who is worse than Mallard. For all that you say about the public, they do not like people who have the reputation of beating the meat in motel rooms.

      • Colonial Viper 41.1.1

        And that’s the least of what is common knowledge about Jones around party circles.

      • bad12 41.1.2

        LOLZ, can you imagine Shane Jones as leader of the Labour Party, calling the bloke a wanker is in His case a mild form of praise,

        Way back Jones was touted in some circles as ‘leadership material’ based upon the fact that He had received part of His education at Oxford University and if Jones is the sum total of such an education i would suggest He has been sadly and badly let down by their filling His head with a load of utter crap,

        Most of us would call a shovel a shovel, Jones tho would explain such a simple manual appliance in terms of elongated words by the dozen which few of us could connect to the word shovel,

        The best thing Labour can do with with Jones is to give Him a low place on the Party list and tell Him to win Tamaki Makaurau or take a hike, and after having done so give Him something interesting to do in a quiet corner well away from being able to inflict even more damage to the Party and any future coalition options…

        • Santi 41.1.2.1

          All is pure speculation that serves no purpose.
          David Shearer is here to stay. He is and will be the leader. Period.

  42. lurgee 42

    Bloody Hell, if masturbating is a bar from political office then where will we ever find a leader?

    I thought Reid’s analysis was interesting and deserved more than a petty “I do not consider any of it worth taking” dismissal. That’s become too typical of the left. there’s an unpleasant whiff of elitism. Reid’s comment that the the progressives have moved further and faster than the electorate will countenance is worth consideration. If it isn’t true, why is the Labour party at 30% and National at 50%. I don’t think it is because it is too leftwing economically, but the taint of ‘Identity politics’ still taints the party (rightly or wrongly). It’s weird that almost 50% of New Zelanders identify themselves with a party that refelcts the interests of 2% of the population, but there you go – there is little logic to how these things work, another fact the Labour party has yet to digest. Zeitgeist and mood are as important to success as sound policy. After all, if it was just a matter of having the right ideas, Phil Goff would be prime minister, as he campaigned on the best platform Labour have had in years (I’m moderately impressed the rejected policies from 2011 haven’t been ditched wholesale, as I suspected they would be).

    As I’ve said before, there’s little consolation in having the right ideas as long as you are stuck on the opposition benches.

    • bad12 42.1

      LOLZ, racing into the 2011 election with the policy of ‘raising the age of entitlement for superannuation’ is what you consider the ‘best policy platform in years’ set against the Slippery shysters tax cuts which were carefully crafted to give to the top 50% the bulk of the cash give-away,

      i forgot how to do the rolly-eyes icon…

    • Colonial Viper 42.2

      Reid’s analysis did have some merit, but the conclusions he reached seemed to have been rather contrived. To say that Cunliffe is good, but an inevitable crash and burn, while Little is worth the gamble, is a custom fit answer to say the least.

      Further, an additional point – Little has been more than happy to do deals with the right wing of the party in order to bolster his own position.

  43. lurgee 43

    I wasn’t talking about what policies would be most electable, but which made the most sense. There is – un fortunately – a gulf between what we need to do and what we want to do. The left sometimes offer the former, the right say they will provide the latter.

    Labour’s 2011 manifesto was the best in terms of sane, sensible policy. I think that was was clear from my post. It was going to be hard sell to the electorate, who are less in which I think I also made clear.

    Obviously, not clear enough for some.

  44. Chooky 44

    From the Perches ( Chooky analysis):

    Little can’t cut the mustard with the working class or the electorate….he failed awfully in Taranaki.

    Jones way back before his private peccadillos went public and viral ….causing a colossal image publicity blunder….. was interesting…. but he wont be ” top of the pops” with many women voters.

    Shearer is commonly acknowledged as not a capable leader or fighter against Key….anyone who suggests otherwise, or that this should be overlooked, does not have Labour’s winning interests at heart.

    Cunliffe has to be the leader because the rank and file of Labour want him to be leader….no matter what bad spin other interested parties put on this….anything else is an insult to the rank and file membership….and they will vote or not vote accordingly…..Why not put Cunliffe as leader to their vote?

    As regards the Deputy Leader: If Annette King cant play the Mumsy( for the woman vote ) …..maybe there is another woman in the Labour Party who can ….(I would have thought Lianne Dalziel) , but she is gone to be Christchurch Mayor……..What about a Maori woman MP ?

  45. Ron 45

    It appears to me that the whole Labour Party needs reorganising, the parliamentary wing and the back office. I am almost believing that we should hire Michelle Boag to come in and do a wholesale clean out of the Labour MP’s. She certainly did a great job on Nationals deadwood. We don’t seem to have any one in the party capable of doing a clean out, but it so really needs it .
    As recent example, I recently rejoined party and duly sent off my payment and received the auto reply thanking me and saying I would be contacted shortly to put me in contact with my electorate organisation.
    Wait a few weeks nothing. Send off an email to the contact saying I wanted contact with my Labour electorate committee. Once again nothing. Maybe they are too busy to even answer emails, but less than 15 months from an election, the party should be grabbing new members with both hands. Of course it could also mean that there is no organisation in my electorate yet, and there is no one doing anything locally. I have a horrible feeling that is more likely the problem.

    • Chooky 45.1

      Reply Ron

      My daughters friends ,(in their late teens )were beautiful , vibrant well educated young Labour activists ( high up in the organising hierarchy in that election for Labour) ….They spent hours and hours on foot door knocking and working to get people out to vote from the poorest most alienated sections of our major city…..These young Labour people were thoroughly disheartened, (in fact they personally voted Green) because both old former Labour supporters and potential Labour supporters , were so disenchanted and apathetic they did not even go out to vote….even when transport was offered.

      It is so sad !!!!

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  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
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    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
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  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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  • A partial release
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    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: California burning
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    2 weeks ago
  • To Save Democracy, We Must Make The Media Our Own.
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  • Again on Child Poverty
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    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
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    4 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
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    4 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
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    5 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
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    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
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    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
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    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
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    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
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    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
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    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
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    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
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    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
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    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
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    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
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    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
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    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
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    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
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    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
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  • We’re taking action on climate change
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  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
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  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
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  • Tairāwhiti Workforce development projects get $1.6m PGF boost
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    3 weeks ago
  • NZ First welcomes primary sector support for climate change plan
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    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones hits back at activists upset with immigration changes
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones has hit back at those who are upset over a change in approach to partnership visas. There has been a specific government directive to stop waiving requirements such as couples needing to have lived together for 12 months - a test Indian couples who have ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Next steps in Northland line upgrade underway
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    3 weeks ago

  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
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    17 hours ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
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    20 hours ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
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    1 day ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
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    4 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
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    4 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
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    4 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
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    4 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
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    5 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
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    5 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
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    5 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
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  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
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  • Over 1.2 million hours of community work helps local communities
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    5 days ago
  • Te Huringa o Te Tai – Police Crime Prevention Strategy
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    6 days ago
  • Kiwis getting higher pay
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    6 days ago
  • More support for schools to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s manaakitanga highlighted in China
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  • Climate change research boost
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    7 days ago
  • Significant progress on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
    Leaders of 16 countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have announced the completion of negotiation on the text as well as agreement on virtually all market access issues between 15 countries. The leaders said they will work with India to resolve its outstanding concerns in a way that ...
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    7 days ago
  • Learn how to stay safe on World Tsunami Awareness Day
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  • Formal recognition at last for paramedics’ frontline medical role
    New Zealand’s more than 1000 paramedics are to have their role as key frontline health professionals formally recognised and regulated in the same way as doctors and nurses, Health Minister David Clark says. The Government has agreed to regulate paramedics under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. “Paramedic leaders ...
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  • Government improving protections for consumers and workers when businesses fail
    Changes to insolvency law announced by the Government today will include requirements to honour up to 50 per cent of the value of gift cards or vouchers held by consumers, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi says. “When a business is insolvent, these consumers are often left out of ...
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  • Outstanding public service recognised
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  • Global trade, business promotion focus of Shanghai meetings
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker heads to Shanghai today for the China International Import Expo and meetings focused on reforming the WTO. Over 90 New Zealand companies will be exhibiting at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE), which runs from 5-10 November. “China is one of New Zealand’s ...
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  • Drivers to get more time to gain full licence
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  • NZ-China FTA upgrade negotiations conclude
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker have announced the conclusion of negotiations to upgrade New Zealand’s existing free trade agreement with China.   “This ensures our upgraded free trade agreement will remain the best that China has with any country,” Jacinda Ardern said.   She ...
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  • Fletcher Tabuteau congratulates winners of regional economic development awards
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  • Minister welcomes record high building and construction apprenticeships
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  • More progress on cancer medicines
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  • New Zealand gifts White Horse to Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Japan
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    2 weeks ago
  • High Commissioner to Canada announced
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has named diplomat Martin Harvey as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to Canada. “Canada is one of New Zealand’s closest and longstanding international partners,” said Mr Peters. “Our close friendship is underpinned by our shared democratic values, history and our parliamentary traditions. As Commonwealth countries and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Retirement Commissioner appointed
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Japan commit to greater cooperation in the Pacific
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    2 weeks ago
  • Better Later Life launched
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  • Wood fibre to unlock our low emissions future
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  • New Rotorua Forestry Hub for Te Uru Rākau
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