RIP the Alliance Party

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 pm, May 27th, 2015 - 50 comments
Categories: Politics - Tags: ,


An apt description by NRT:

The Alliance (1991 – 2015). Born of Rogernomics, Ruthanasia, and everyone who was unhappy with them, it gained 18% of the vote in the 1993 election, but (thanks to FPP) only two MPs. After that it was all downhill, as their supporters either gave up voting due to being unable to produce change, while Labour moved away from NeoLiberalism and regained some respectability. MMP finally saw them gain proper representation, and they entered government in 1999 in coalition with Labour, but disintegrated under the pressure of Labour’s backing for America’s war in Afghanistan (and how’s that gone, guys). Died after a decade-long case of irrelevance 26 May 2015. Survived by the Greens.

The Alliance gave us paid parental leave, and helped drive Labour back to the left. But after 2005, when they got just 1,641 votes, it was apparent that they were done. What’s surprising is that it has taken them so long to admit that.

Some of my best friends used to be members of Alliance.  The relationship with Mana was complex …

To all former members kia kaha and keep up the battle.


UPDATE: The Alliance clarifies the situation, saying that the de-registration will be hopefully just temporary: Thanks Kiwiri for pointing this out.

50 comments on “RIP the Alliance Party”

  1. Chooky 1

    +100 Good Post…My Father jumped from the New Zealand Labour Party to the Alliance…after voting Labour all his life… He was a working man on the railways, in the freezing works, in insurance, in the fishing industry and a farmer…the Alliance represented him and other New Zealand working men and women

  2. weka 2

    I’ve always wondered if things would have gone differently had Anderton not come out of retirement in 1994. He retired for family reasons and said he wouldn’t be coming back. Had he stuck to that the Alliance might have remained a potent alternative to Labour.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Agreed 100%. Anderton was not a leftie and his insistence on retaining control was really problematic.

      • weka 2.1.1

        I’d be interested to hear from anyone why they were so keen to get him back. They had some great people apart from him.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        Anderton was/is an Old Socialist who believes in capitalism first and being nice to everyone second.

      • Ergo Robertina 2.1.3

        An ungracious and churlish comment.
        Anderton’s faults can never take away the fact the Party left him – not the other way around. Whatever he lacked he was undoubtedly a ”leftie”, securing actual gains in a time of total economic capitulation for the left; heard of Kiwibank?

        • weka

          are you talking about Labour or the Alliance?

          Leftie is relative, which is the point of my comment and micky’s and Draco’s. Had Anderton not made a comeback, the Alliance might have been able to make a stand for the left given that Labour were unable to.

        • mickysavage

          Sure the party left Anderton. But I never saw him as being the left wing saviour of NZ politics. Tim Shadbolt would have been a better choice.

          I suspect I have fixed views because of a meeting when I was 17 and Anderton …

          • Ergo Robertina

            OK fine. For myself, I tend not to have fixed views on people; I try to give credit where it’s due and I don’t seek gurus or saviours.
            As you acknowledge he was left on his own by the party, which went on its own destructive way.
            But the left wing saviour of NZ politics thing is your construct; no-one has claimed that’s the case.

            • mickysavage

              I don’t think there is an individual who will be the left wing saviour, the movement is a collective one. But I was a bit weird because I always hoped Lange would do the job even during the dark days of Rogernomics …

        • Clean_power

          No, not ungracious but a clear and perfect description of Jim Anderton by Draco. 100% accurate.

          • Ergo Robertina

            You haven’t followed the thread.
            I replied to mickysavage, not Draco.

  3. Colonial Rawshark 3

    To members of the Former Alliance Party – consider rejoining Labour in your groups and networks and help us push this grand old party LEFT

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Or the Greens or The Internet Party or Mana.

      • weka 3.1.1

        Or just the Green Party, which is a functional, competent left wing party with good internal processes and on the whole very good existing MPs.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Agree with both of you

          • Tamati

            How’s your little fiefdom that is the Andersons Bay Labour Party?

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Strong in spirit and sharp in critical thinking

              • Tamati

                Good for you. I hope you contest the South Dunedin nomination vehemently come 2017.

                Are you officially recognized by the Labour Party executive council?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Dunedin South nomination? Uh, no thank you

                  • millsy

                    Pity. Having people like you in the Labour Party would actually want to make me vote for it.

                  • dukeofurl

                    Just need a Big Red Jar of Jaffas, and the control of the party would be in your hands.

                  • Tamati

                    Not you personally!

                    Just wondering if you intend to hold the current member to account?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Indeed. My ethos is that it is the duty of Labour Party branches to always hold MPs to account for their views and their performance, and that’s what we do at the ABP Branch.

                      Yes, we are a constitutional branch of the NZ Labour Party.

                    • Crikey! I’d love to be a fly on the wall the next time you try and hold your local MP to account. Didn’t that MP once try to hold you to account?

      • Chooky 3.1.2


      • mauī 3.1.3

        A lot of work to do for Internet / Mana to get over 5% if the Maori seats don’t work out again. I voted for them last election and can’t help but feel a bit cheated that my vote didn’t count. I’ll probably be going back to a safer Green vote.

        • Clean_power

          Get real: Mana will never reach 5%, the Internet Party will die soon. The only hope for the Left is Labour WITHOUT the Greens.

          • mauī

            Mana were polling at 4% at one point before the last election.

            Labour needs all the help it can get if it wants to be in Government. If they wanted to turn down the Greens they would need at least 40% of the vote – not gonna happen.

          • millsy

            would be nice if you gave me a detailed explanation as to why clean air and water are evil.

        • Chooky

          yes maui …my sympathies….i voted Green ( worked for the Greens) and Mana/Int…and my vote didnt count either…thanks to Labour not cooperating with Mana/Int and Hone in the TTT seat…. and undermining the whole Election for the Left

          • mauī

            Just looking at the results for Waiariki from 2014, the combined Mana and Labour vote was 10,000, and Maori Party got 7,500. But what happened was the Maori Party won by 2,000 votes – stupid. Labour has to stop this dog eat dog stuff and support the left candidates from other parties who can get into Parliament.

  4. The only true Left wing Party is Mana and I do hope it has a future.

    The rest just do not have their hearts in the right place unfortunately, all talk and no do.

  5. swordfish 5

    Party-Voted Alliance in both 1999 and 2002.

    Which made me a very rare species indeed. Only a tiny proportion of 1999 Alliance voters remained loyal at the next Election (and those heading off to Anderton’s newly-minted Progressives weren’t all that numerous either). I remember the New Zealand Election Study estimated that more than half of 99 Alliance supporters swung to Labour after the big stoush.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    a more apt example of the two issues that have and continue to divide the NZ left–both social democratic and marxist, would be hard to find–namely the attitude to social democracy as an ideology as opposed to specific reforms and the emphasis on International to local politics

    the Alliance had this conflict in spades, delivering reforms that endure to this day while ultimately running aground on the rocks of Afghanistan

    never did hear the full account of why Laila did not deliver that letter to the speaker and rid us of Mr Anderton, but New Labour and the Alliance remain important parts of NZ political history

  7. Sable 7

    A good party with good principles. I remember voting for them as an alternative to the revolting Labour mob when they first came to prominence. Seems if you have any ethics you wont last long in the swamp that is NZ politics.

  8. millsy 8

    That is sad. I voted Alliance in 1999. Would have kept voting for them had they had half a decent chance of getting into Parliament.

    I always thought that Labour started drifting slowly rightwards after the Alliance lost its place in Parliament in 2002.

  9. Kiwiri 9

    Hello All

    May I ask who posted this?

    Perhaps an update might be appropriate, given what is on the Alliance’s Facebook page?

    RIP is more likely soon to mean to ‘rise’ in peace 🙂


    “FYI, the Alliance is not winding up. Didn’t expect this to make headlines, given the general lack of interest in what we get up to but have seen a few posts already so…… the Alliance applied for deregistration because we had a bit of an admin slip up and didn’t get our three year membership renewals out in time meet electoral commission membership declaration deadlines. We thought we’d better fess up and ask for an extension to get things in order but only got given a week which was not long enough. We were hoping for a month. So we have applied to be deregistered in the meantime to keep everything above board. Not being registered saves a heap of admin and money (for a small party with no paid staff). It’s tempting to stay that way for awhile. Especially as we are keen for the Left to work together in some form or another. But we’ll see. Watch this space.”


  10. Red in the bed 10

    Can someone please explain to me why Jim Anderton is not perceived as a true leftie by those on this thread, and what exactly he did to alienate so many people?

    I voted for Alliance when Jim and Sandra were leader and deputy, and supported their policies completely, and thought he seemed like a great guy, so I’m genuinely perplexed by this…

    Didn’t he do a good job as Minister of Regional Economic Development?

    • Sable 10.1

      Jim Anderton is a good man.He would I suspect have been Labour PM in time, had he stayed on but he had something called principles and ethics so he left and set up his own party.

      The challenge for good people like Jim Anderton is the large number of arrogant creeps in political office he and others like him are confronted with. Its very hard to challenge a corrupt status quo. Especially when the MSM are busy licking their dirty boots.

  11. Red in the bed 11

    Pleased to hear you say that Sable. To me he is one of our great leaders and deserves a bit more respect. You don’t get to become deputy PM without breaking a few eggs along the way.

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