Shitting on the shoulders of giants

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, November 20th, 2012 - 85 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Labour is the oldest party in New Zealand. Those who control it at any given time are on the shoulders of giants. They have the duty to preserve and build upon the work of their forebears and the current members – not just Savage, Fraser, Kirk, Clark, but the hundreds of thousands of activists that put their blood, sweat, toil, and tears into building the party. Labour’s leadership should be dedicated to leaving the party better than they found it. But, now, as in the Rogernomics era, a clique has seized control of Labour and use its power for their own ends.

For the past four years, Labour has been controlled by a clique of 3 has-beens and 2 beltway hacks: Goff, King, Mallard, Robertson, and Hipkins.

This old guard clique led Labour to its worst defeat. A year later, with their second choice frontman as leader after they ignored the members’ will, Labour’s still below its 2008 result and on track for another defeat. (Funny story, since the start of the year, Hipkins has been telling all and sundry in all seriousness that ‘if these trends continue’ Labour will win in a landslide in 2014 – I parodied him here – now, take a look at the real trend)

The Douglas clique at least had an ideology they were working for. This clique what do they stand for? What are their values other than power for themselves? The failure of Labour to define a value set over the past four years is a reflection of this clique’s lack of values.

The membership voted no confidence in the old guard on Saturday. In retaliation, they’ve gone nuclear on the membership. The response of the old guard has been to unleash a nasty side that many who watch Labour politics have known about for some time, but never thought we’d see expressed quite this openly. After all, the preferred style of the ABCers is the off-the-record character assassination.

Their target is Cunliffe but the truth is that Cunliffe is just a vehicle for the membership – the alternative to the old guard who, like the membership and unlike to old guard, truly repudiates neoliberalism and respects the rights of members.

The attacks on Cunliffe usually take the form of what we’re seeing right now, with unnamed ‘senior Labour MPs’ telling media Cunliffe is a ‘fink’ and an ‘egotist’ and calling for him to be ‘cut down’. This talking campaign has been going on since beore the last election and I know because I’ve heard it from the old guard’s proxies more times than I care to count. Mostly this doesn’t surface publicly, except for the odd stuff up like when Goff and King went to Garner to shop a story that Cunliffe was despised by the caucus in an effort to undermine his position. It’s been relentless.

But now they’re rattled it’s come out into the open. Now we have Hipkins’ openly calling Cunliffe ‘dishonest’ and trying to blame him for undermining Goff as well (another ABC smear from just after the last election). Disturbingly, Hipkins extended his attacks to all MPs wanting a change, suggesting that they might consider “whether they are sticking around”. The old guard don’t care that the party is dying beneath them, as long as they’re on top for the ride down.

Notice by comparison the lack of vitriol and smears coming from David Cunliffe and his supporters. Cunliffe has faced this for more than a year but he’s chosen to remain above it all. He’s focused on doing his job and articulating a progressive economic vision for New Zealand. Perhaps his problem is he’s done his job too well.

So, remember, that isn’t about Cunliffe. It’s about the old guard clique trying to hold on even after the membership has told them that it is, in the words of one delegate, “taking the party back”. They want the membership as small and tame as possible, and they want any voice of the membership gone.

The old guard know for a fact that in an open vote including members and affiliates they’d be finished. They also know that if there’d been an open vote last year they wouldn’t be where they are now. Their power rests on holding a simple majority in caucus, and just as the empowerment of the membership threatens their hold (note the old guard were most vocal in lining up against the pro-democracy amendments) the existence of David Cunliffe reminds them of their lack of legitimacy and the threat to their power.

They’ll try to take him down today with an open ballot leadership vote – a Stalinist tactic that will hurt them next year and will be fruitless today because Cunliffe has launched no challenge and today’s vote will be unanimous. Their goal is to get Cunliffe and the membership out of the way so that when Shearer is replaced – it will be an open field for Robertson (have no doubt Shearer will be replaced, he must be because he is not up to the job. Temporary praise from the Herald’s rightwing columnists notwithstanding can anyone actually imagine him as PM? Shares in RIM would go through the roof)

It saddens me to see what a nasty, undemocratic little clique has done to this great party. Guess I’ll be filling out the membership form I got on Saturday… and waiting until February.

85 comments on “Shitting on the shoulders of giants ”

  1. One Tāne Huna 1

    Karol’s comment exposes the truth.

    They took the goodwill from the conference and trashed it. A shocking display of weakness.

    February: tick tock.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    I am pleased you’ve named names. This is now a fight between a morbid clique and the (particularly Auckland) membership. Goff, King, Mallard, Robertson, and Hipkins – they’ll be purged, no doubt about it.

    I worry about the damage, because I suspect that when they see the writing on the wall they’ll try and split the party to keep their comfy jobs. Mallard in particular seems to not be able to imagine another six figure salary that allows so much time to train for iron man races. But in the medium term, Labpur will be much, much better for shedding the last of the neo-liberal traitors.

    • prism 2.1

      Sanctuary
      Yes it seems to me that career politicians often lose their edge and and forget their role and just manage the political game to suit their own ends, bottoms that is. Someone new with get up and go seems such a healthy contrast. And many of you seem to think that David Cunliffe has got enough nous, presence and control to be worthy of positives to get in in February. And he is being villified for his moves for change. That’s uncomfortable for the owners of the Party who have other ideas. It’s necessary in a democracy to keep thinking and not let others of the ‘old Labour guard’ take ownership and control away from you the ‘stakeholders!’. Remember they were amongst the cohort that introduced us to the system that brought us the word stakeholders instead of citizens.

      Labour can’t get all enthused from one speech. This isn’t a speech contest, with the membership holding up cards for the best. A rousing speech is good, but a more extensive commitment to the ills of our nation is required.

      We can’t hang our ceremonial hat on the brow of a guy because he can think of one thing though it is urgently needed. Housing is a major part of the package of what humans’ need, which will be warm, secure and near their work places. So it’s got to be appropriate housing done properly, not just numbers. What about all the other needs though? Have the membership seen a plan that lays out the broad outlines under headings of priorities for attention, and then gives summaries on the chosen methods of dealing with each.

    • David H 2.2

      it’s as I figured 3 dinosaurs and 2 wannabe’s. And they will trash our party for their own Ends. FFs roll on Feburary.

  3. s y d 3

    I’ve got just the slot for Mr Mallard

    http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/get-involved/

  4. Great post Zetetic , If Shearer is serious abut staying on as leader now is the time too start working with Cunliffe.

    Kick the “Old Gaurd” to the sidelines and get on with being Labour again.

    Don’t let all your hard work so far be usurped by some power playing Maggots M8’s 🙂

  5. Agreed entirely.

    Can I also emphasize this is not about Cuniffe.  The membership is far to sophisticated for anyone to expect uncritical loyalty.  The party is more important than any individual. 

    • King Kong 5.1

      Of course it’s about Cunliffe. Your man lost the 1st leadership race and you all chucked your toys out of the cot. After a long period of public disloyalty your putsch fails and the those who have stayed loyal to the party (or at least had the good manners to say their piece behind closed doors) give you a smack in the head.

      Now there is the whirr of back peddling and lots of tears.

      • One Tāne Huna 5.1.1

        Transparent, obvious weasel. Not up to your usual standard of abuse either.

        We need better wingnuts.

      • thatguynz 5.1.2

        Fuck off KK.  Your lack of insight is surpassed only by your lack of intelligence.

      • Dr Terry 5.1.3

        King Cobra – all you cause me are tears of commiseration. How about telling us “what you stand for” in place of cutting down others? Then we will get our chance to take a shot at you.

        • King Kong 5.1.3.1

          I stand for truth justice and the American way.

          I also sincerely believe that as a society we are not doing enough for those amongst us who are born without chins. These people shouldn’t have to spend their lives experimenting with ridiculous facial hair arrangements. If we all work together we can find a better way.

          • lprent 5.1.3.1.1

            Am I to take from that is that unlike QoT you don’t like a bit of skruff ?

            • King Kong 5.1.3.1.1.1

              Hiding my face with a beard would be criminal.

              The only time a beard is acceptable on others is if you are a:
              Fisherman
              19th century Irish boxer
              Klingon
              70’s Greek musician
              Abe Lincoln
              Father Christmas
              Crazy old Chinese Kung Fu master

              Otherwise beard = doucebag

              • lprent

                Nope you missed one. “Programmer trying to hit a deadline”

              • jaymam

                I’m quite happy with beards. That is the natural state of mature men after all.
                Perhaps I’m biased. This really is a photograph of me.

              • felix

                For a monkey you’re being a bit harsh on Charles Darwin, ALL of the Beatles, and God.

              • gnomic

                Ah, a neologism. Doucebag. I kind of like it. Alas, I suppose it was merely a typo. Hmmm, I see the urban dictionary says ‘misspelling for douche bag commonly used by actual douchebags.’ By the way, have you considered the possibility that you are a dunce?

    • Sanctuary 5.2

      “…Can I also emphasize this is not about Cuniffe….”

      Ask yourself – why has the media so uncritically lined up as the willing slaves of the Mallard faction? This battle is for the soul of the party. The establishment media is petrified and stupified at the idea Labour may shatter the neo-liberal consensus. Shearers caucus supporters may largely be a bunch of lazy arsed self-interested time servers concerned primarily with their own careers, but that selfish inertia also suits the agenda of the neo-liberal establishment. So that makes Shearer is the preferred candidate of the neo-liberal establishment.

      Clearing out the left over neo-liberal deadwood and returning Labour to it’s pre-1984 roots would send shock waves through the entire right wing establishment, including the entire politicised upper management layer of the ciivil service, SOEs, DHBs etc.

      The media lining up behind Shearer was partly because they are willing court jesters interested only in bewing at the centre of attention for five minutes, but it was also because much of the MSM has inculcated the values of neo-liberalism to the point they are part of the establishment and feel just as threatened by genuine change blowing through their cosy club as Mallard and co do.

      • insider 5.2.1

        When did Cunliffe ever suggest any policies that might sweep away this so called neo lib concensus that then makes him such a target for the media? Are you suggesting he is a stalking horse for the hard left in Labour?

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1

          Compared to the average caucus position, the entire Labour membership is hard left hahahaha

      • David H 5.2.2

        And they also need to tell Garner and Gower to fuck off as well.

    • prism 5.3

      ms
      Can I expand that to – The party, and ensuring that it will act with far-seeing policies to build a prosperous nation that is practically future-oriented, is more important than any individual. I think some Labour fans think that their team winning is all that matters. But in politics the game isn’t over when the ballots are counted, either for the winners or the losers.

  6. Peter 6

    An important victory was won on the weekend, but we shouldn’t revel too much in it, because this caucus faction will do whatever it can to regain control, by other means.

    Therefore, this victory over the weekend should be seen as the first symbolic – and massive – step down the path to reclaiming the party.

    The fight may have to move to deselecting specific individuals, when the time rolls around in 15 months or so. Chris Hipkins already said that they would do the same in return, so we need to be ready for that threat and organise.

  7. infused 7

    I can’t tell whos side anyone is on… You lot seem divided? genuine question.

    • Lightly 7.1

      they’re allowed to be divided.

    • lprent 7.2

      They are. This has been a issue festering since early in the year resulting from the poor political management in caucus about the need for the party to get more open in its processes. Somehow I get the impression that the poor wee MPs are so insulated in their Wellington bubble that they think dealing with a symptom will cause the party’s irritation with them to disappear. It will merely focus it.

      I don’t think that the division is going to depart from these pages for a while if the idiots do demote Cunliffe – it will merely inflame it, damnit. While it probably makes sense in the beltway it looks like outright lunacy for many people who follow politics beyond the MSM spin.

  8. Greg Doolan 8

    Well said. A totally accurate and honest take on what is going on. The smear campaign on Cunliffe has been disgraceful. The inner circle of the caucus is rotten to the core. Stalinist is exactly the right term. They act in their own best interests and not that of the party or the country. The question is this – Is this party worth saving, can the members take back control and can the Phoenix rise again or is this the time for a new party that can start afresh without the poison of the present Czars? Many frustrated members and traditional Labour supporters will wait until February and if Mumbles Shearer and his cartel retain power there will be a mass exodus of support. The jackals will be left to fight over the carcass.

    • Wayne 8.1

      So commentators on the The Standard will keep the whole issue alive till Feburary. Will the damage be so great that if Cunliffe is successful he will have despirited and demotivated Caucus?

      How does that help you, or do you think the acrimony will just vaporise, as Cunliffe goes out to slay the National dragon?

      • rosy 8.1.1

        A few ‘anonymous’ bloggers that no-one pays any attention to can keep the issue alive? Surely you jest.

      • lprent 8.1.2

        Wayne: Aren’t people entitled to express their opinions on a political blog? Without fear of retribution apart from mine and the moderators for their behaviour.

        If people want to defend David Shearer as some have done, then they should do so. But they are and will be questioned about why, much the same as they should do for anyone else. If it becomes tedious then it becomes self-defeating. I’m rather irritated that I’m likely to have to moderate interminable debates between now and Feb because of some dumbarse politicians using political techniques that should have died a decade ago. Of course demoting David Cunliffe will inflame even more debate. This isn’t the early 00’s any more when peoples irritation about a dumb decision can be suppressed behind the limited channels of mainstream media.

        The problem is that a stupid decision is a stupid decision – it will be rehashed for a long time. Half of the irritation here was triggered by the caucus ignoring the party, and the other half was from doing something as stupid as sidelining someone competent for purely personality questions. Something I might add was not a trait Helen followed.

        If the party leadership were smart, they’d promote him after this farce of a vote today. Then I could get more peace until an orderly and fast vote in Feb

        I’d like to point out here that personally I don’t particularly like either David Shearer or David Cunliffe. I also didn’t like Helen Clark when I started assisting her campaigns. It most of a decade before my attitude shifted. But I sure as hell like helping people who are competent in their job when their goals at least partially coincide with mine.

        • King Kong 8.1.2.1

          Just so we are clear, you are saying that the diciplining is a stupid idea not the tilt at the leadership during conference that lead to it? (Not counting the alledged years of undermining that proceeded that)

          • maffoo 8.1.2.1.1

            What tilt? Seriously…. What tilt? ….there.was.no.challenge.

          • dancerwaitakere 8.1.2.1.2

            Oh god you’re thick KK. 

            How about you read the post.  

          • lprent 8.1.2.1.3

            That was the point. There was no tilt at the leadership in conference that I saw.

            I think that the other authors there were Mike and Ben. Many of the people who were there write comments here.

            There were a whole pile of delegates including the affiliates voting for changes in the constitution that would make the caucus more accountable to the party.

            There were some MP’s opposing various bits and some in favour.
            There were some LEC’s opposing various bits and some in favour.
            There were some affliates opposing various bits and some in favour – but I think that they’d worked out a common voting strategy the previous day.

            The remits were as a result of a deliberate attempt at reforming the party that was started in 2011. The leadership meetings last year were part of it. It is a long standing strategy to make the artery hardened labour party internal structures to work a bit better and so that they had some relevance to members.

            I have been moaning about the problem on this site for the last 5 years because it was so frigging hard to get any change happening inside the NZLP. In effect my efforts as a NZLP member on this site are part of my glad response to do stuff outside the party that helps it, and incidentally a place for other people to help with the process. The party finally got moving. Caucus is somewhat sluggish.

            Basically some cynical or naive idiot decided that conference could be displayed as a Cunliffe coup attempt and suckered the media into it – hell they may even believe it. But it wasn’t.

            Now the problem is that whatever happens that is a short term strategy. There were too many other people inside the party there that won’t believe it. It just looks to us like a cynical power play. And many of them write stuff here at the main left site in NZ… It is a dumbarse strategy.

            Cunliffe has ambitions sure. But basically if there is a politician that did not, then I have yet to meet them. The really irritating thing about this story is that it implicitly says that people voting for the 60% trigger were suckered into it. Mostly they looked at it and thought that is was a good way to stop another screwup like the 1980s consolidation of power into the caucus. Most of the people who talked to me pushing it have little or no time for Cunliffe. It was the left of the party that pushed it through along with a lot of people who were just sick of the silliness in caucus.

    • Brokenback 8.2

      The true nature of the ‘hidden hand’ of the Labour caucus reveals itself , unequivocally.
      I wish I had enough time to drag up my infrequent , but pertinent , posts raising these matters.

      The current events ,and in fact all the tragic tale since ’06 , is a direct consequence of their despicable machinations to form a “dry” coalition with that bottom dweller Dunne instead of a centre Left Coalition with the Greens after the working class of South Auckland had saved their sorry butts.

      None of the Neo fascist tragedy besetting Aotearoa since ’08 would have come to pass.

      The real irony of the situation is that the dire circumstances that a substantial portion of the NZ electorate now find themselves in as a consequence is fuelling a desire for the Left that may just see a dramatic rise in Party membership that should herald their permanent exorcism in February.

      That is of course unless all those people who “don’t read blogs “fail to grasp the opportunity and enrol and avail themselves the one plausible chance of true democracy that has been presented for quite a considerable time.

      I have not held membership since the 80’s , I intend to join and will vote for the future.

  9. maffoo 9

    Great article, sums it up nicely… how do we make it so Shearer reads it?

  10. I think a heated battle between Shearer and Cunliffe would convince even more voters to either not vote, or vote for the Greens instead.

  11. Santi 11

    Cunliffe is in the wrong and his disloyalty fits the shitting theme of this post.
    Shearer should demote him today and continue leading the Party. Go David S.

    • Lightly 11.1

      The rightwingers liing up to praise Shearer is the biggest black mark against him of all.

      I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Mike Smith citing the Herald’s three most rightwing journos as evidence of Shearer’s success. Of course they want Shearer, they know he’s an easy beat.

    • maffoo 11.2

      What did he do that was so wrong? HE didnt challenge for leader, he didnt blab party secrets to the media, he has repeatedly said he backs Shearer….. so…..what has he done wrong?

    • Dr Terry 11.3

      You too, Santi, please just go!

  12. Well said zet, sums it up nicely.
    The old guard and their newbie lackies have good reason to be sacred – their days are numbered (about 90 or so).

    • ianmac 12.1

      “sacred” Really. Bless you my son.

    • Santi 12.2

      Not after today’s demotion. Like it or not Shearer will maintain a firm control for the foreseeable future and should lead to the election.

      • Lightly 12.2.1

        and nothing could make the Right happier than that.

        • Bob 12.2.1.1

          I am a right leaning voter, and I want to see Cunliffe leading Labour come the next election. When it comes to the leaders debates the country should get a strong grasp of the direction each party wants to take the country, IMO there is no way Shearer would be able to articulate any meaningful policy or how he believes it would benefit the country (I was worried about Goff also, but he surprised me at the last election, I can’t see Shearer being the same), this would mean that even if a left leaning block were to win the next election (which is looking quite likely), it would likely end up a power struggle between Labour and the Greens similar to what is happening in the UK with the Conservatives and the Lib Dems, and I can’t see enough common ground for them to form a cohesive government. With Cunliffe as leader, I could see Labour winning a higher % of the party vote and being able to govern with the Greens as a minority partner which I believe would cause less friction.

      • Dr Terry 12.2.2

        Yes, Santo “lead to the election”. One notices lack of reference to “winning” the election!

  13. Tigger 13

    Nice post Z.

  14. Rhinocrates 14

    Well said indeed Z. Agree completely. The ABC gang seems to have begun in narcissism, passed through solipsism and has now entered full-blown hallucinatory dementia – but the reason behind their madness is to crush the will of the party itself.

  15. Peggity 15

    First time commenter long time watcher.

    [deleted]
    [lprent: Ah – not a first time commentator after all. Already been astroturfing and you are now Spam ]

    • kiwicommie 15.1

      Last I heard Michael is long retired and out of politics, and Helen is trying to ignore it and eat pizza with reporters.

    • Rhinocrates 15.2

      They’ve stayed well out of it, and wisely so.

      I recall that shortly before the conference Helen said something about it being inappropriate for the past generation of former MPs and leadership to interfere. She may require several hours of surgery to remove her palm from her face, but she won’t utter a word about it, I’m sure. Likewise Michael. It would be undignified and foolish and they’re neither.

  16. debatewatcher 16

    I rarely comment and am usually happy to be an observer. I haven’t been a fan of Shearer’s but was willing to give him a chance until this weekend. After seeing the vitriol from Hipkins and the way Cunliffe has been/is being treated though I can only say that it is outrageous.

    Genuine past examples of undermining come from Maurice Williamson and Brian Connell (in the National Party). How is what Cunliffe said remotely worthy of a demotion? If the vote in February were meant to be a foregone conclusion, members wouldn’t have demanded that vote be held!!!

    So what am I going to do? Join Labour – so I can vote in February. I urge all other Cunliffe supporters to do the same – every vote will count.

    • Greg Doolan 16.1

      The correct response. People Power always wins in the end.

    • prism 16.2

      An example of trying to change a leader came with one about Sir Robert Muldoon around 1980. An historian wrote this scenario about what good things could have resulted.

      In hindsight, a change of leadership would have pitted a Talboys-led party in 1981 against Labour’s Bill Rowling; each with an inclusive approach to politics that had them meeting regularly for an early morning swim in the Beehive pool.

      Such a change might have avoided the divisive Springbok tour, could have averted the bitterness of Sir Robert’s final term and invites conjecture on whether David Lange would have become prime minister with all the implications of Rogernomics.

      An interesting obituary of Sir Brian Talboys, a long term politician from the National Party.
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/obituaries/7159203/Statesman-who-could-have-been-PM

      • prism 16.2.1

        Changing a leader can have a huge effect, and if the new incumbent is wisely chosen, this would lift the country higher than Maui. Otherwise we get the negative effects as in my previous blog – Springbok tour, and probably, Rogernomics.

  17. Rogue Trooper 17

    King had her own “show me the money” moment when the MSM questioned her about the costings for Homes and Sections within the newly announced housing policy
    (I have met her briefly when I worked in health at Burwood and she was the Minister)

  18. McFlock 18

    Does anyone see a way that by this time next year Labour will be able to put forward a cooperative image, rather than this bullshit that has festered all year?
           
    Assuming caucus really is fractured along Cunliffe:Shearer/Mallard/Robertson lines, why would the latter team be any quieter out of leadership than the former?
       
    Because seriously, unless this shit gets sorted out Labour really is fucked in 2014, and I’m sure everyone will blame each other. And be happy with their moral victory, albeit political loss. I’m stomping back to the Alliance.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Some kind of Cunliffe, Robertson accomodation would have an overwhelming majority in caucus and be a very stable platform for Labour to work from.

      • McFlock 18.1.1

        But Mallard has been named as the likely macchiavelli, and is excluded from your ideal compromise – if true, wouldn’t he just do a Chris Carter (but be smarter about it)?
             
        Not to mention that a strong leader would have to bring Shane Jones into line, so he’ll be shitting in the pool as much as possible before 2014.
         

      • Treetop 18.1.2

        I could live with a Cunliffe (leader), Robertson (deputy leader combination) instead of Shearer (deputy leader) combination as Shearer and Robertson are six of one and half a dozen of the other. Two newbies together learning the ropes has been painful to watch.

        I am upset with the old guard about what they are doing to Cunliffe. When it comes to Mallard he never even made deputy leader, possibly Mallard is acting out his own aspirations through Shearer.

    • Lightly 18.2

      not everyone in National likes Key but they like being ministers. A leader who MPs believe will lead them to victory will have the support of caucus and the party. Shearer isn’t that person, hence all this. If Shearer were going to win in 2014, there would be no trouble.

      • McFlock 18.2.1

        That’s the difference between tories and lefties: the problem here is not just a difference in victory expectations (whether Shearer can deliver), but also the style of any resulting government. And the rhetoric has been very polarising about it: Shearer might be many things, but I don’t believe he deserves the term “neoliberal”. 
               
        My worry is that this feuding is getting entrenched enough to be maintained well into 2014.
                   
         

        • One Tāne Huna 18.2.1.1

          Look at the number of comments here from people who intend to become members as a direct result of decisions taken at the weekend. The Labour Party is in fine fettle.

          It wouldn’t hurt to get rid of the mumbling bumbling bottleneck at the top and install someone effective, though.

          • McFlock 18.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, that’s the shizzle. “Bumbling bottleneck”. What happens if Shearer wins the Feb vote? Will you be making the best of it, or continuing the hyperbole?
                     
            And if Cunliffe wins, will the Shearer camp here and elsewhere behave with similar grace?
                     
            Great – Labour might get new members. It might also lose members who want a party without backbiters and snipers. And no matter who wins in Feb my concern is that the defeated side will continue the fight well into election year.

            • lprent 18.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes that would be my concern as well. However it would be a different situation than the two that have happened.

              1. the anointed heir

              2. the parachute candidate that the caucus wanted for whatever reasons….

              Neither were conducive to actually resolving the leadership to the opponents satisfaction. 60% in caucus or a win across the whole party probably would be.

            • felix 18.2.1.1.1.2

              I don’t know mate, now that the voting procedure has been sorted whoever leads the party after February will be able to claim a legitimate democratic mandate from the party.

              Be a bit hard for the defeated side – whoever it is – to argue with that I’d have thought.

              • McFlock

                Wouldn’t stop people from trying, though, especially if the the vote went caucus+affiliates> membership.

                But even the caucus being overruled by the others leaves the failed candidates able to take the moral high ground, saying that e.g. the membership had been poisoned by gossip and dirty tricks. Whoever wins.

                From my ind, the only outcome to put a lid on the bullshit is if all three parts voted in the same direction – not unanimous, just a majority in all 3 groups.

            • One Tāne Huna 18.2.1.1.1.3

              Making the best of whoever has the genuine backing of the party under the new rules. The National Party is the problem, after all.

  19. muzza 19

    The Douglas clique at least had an ideology they were working for. This clique what do they stand for? What are their values other than power for themselves? The failure of Labour to define a value set over the past four years is a reflection of this clique’s lack of values

    They do have an ideology, it is the same one “The Douglas” clique operated to, so this lot are doing their job just fine. Running interference to allow the NATS to continue the ideological tasks!

    Why do people still include Helen Clark in positive reference, as if she was not at least the equal, of anyone prior or post to sell out NZ!

    Someone speak up, how did Helen “earn” that UN job again…

  20. RedBat 20

    I am only just realising that John Key is NOT one of your socialist Labour infiltrators into the Nats.

    You guys really are as fucked up as you seem.

  21. Brokenback 21

    The true nature of the ‘hidden hand’ of the Labour caucus reveals itself , unequivocally.
    I wish I had enough time to drag up my infrequent , but pertinent , posts raising these matters.

    The current events ,and in fact all the tragic tale since ’06 , is a direct consequence of their despicable machinations to form a “dry” coalition with that bottom dweller Dunne instead of a centre Left Coalition with the Greens after the working class of South Auckland had saved their sorry butts.

    None of the Neo fascist tragedy besetting Aotearoa since ’08 would have come to pass.

    The real irony of the situation is that the dire circumstances that a substantial portion of the NZ electorate now find themselves in as a consequence is fuelling a desire for the Left that may just see a dramatic rise in Party membership that should herald their permanent exorcism in February.

    That is of course unless all those people who “don’t read blogs “fail to grasp the opportunity and enrol and avail themselves the one plausible chance of true democracy that has been presented for quite a considerable time.

    I have not held membership since the 80′s , I intend to join and will vote for the future.

    • Lindsey 21.1

      You should have another look at those 05 numbers. Then tell us how a Labour/Green coalition without NZ First or Dunne could have had the numbers to form a government.

  22. xtasy 22

    Most parties “shit” on activists and supporters, so has Labour. I suggest that people think of their power to be better spent perhaps in a new party to the left, not this lot, some of whom are very questionable. Hangers on in Parliament there are, same as in their ranks an file. That is in ALL existing parties, for sure.

  23. Delia 23

    I have studied Labour since I was 17 in 1975 (yeah I am old) they have always had major rows. This treatment of a fellow Labour person was appalling, and I can not and will not this time forgive them. I watch your shambolic Lange/Douglas govt as everyday NZ workers jobs were destroyed. That was ok with Prebble, Douglas and everyone else. Reality is you have not been a workers party for years, you are something else. Something undefined.. No one really understands the Labour party anymore and that should tell me something. You have lost my vote, you won’t get it back. I just cannot respect you people. Also I think you are unkind. Something you accuse National of.

  24. Brendon O'Connor 24

    Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Stop calling the leader of the Labourless Party David Shearer. For the last time he is to be referred to from hence forth as “what’s his name”.

  25. lorraine 25

    At last Shearer spoke out today about this housing policy. Key did a great job of kicking the idea to the curb saying that it is impossible to buy a section in Auckland for $50K. Even if it was possible to buy a section for $50K in a location in NZ where there is housing shortages Shearer wants the private sector to build the house at a profit for $250K. The houses that they are talking about seem to be single houses on their own section. Doesn’t look economically viable for a company like Fletchers who Labour would need to do the job. There is also the skill shortage. What is in it for Fletchers when they can already make a better profit doing their own projects and why would they pass on the discounts that they make in bulk buying materials to the government?
    The second issue is the government bonds he says is going to fund them. Bonds are debt investments whereby an investor loans a certain amount of money, for a certain amount of time, with a certain interest rate, to the government. They are government guaranteed and if the scheme went belly up the taxpayer would have to bail the whole thing out.
    There is inflation risk, in that the principal repaid at maturity will have less purchasing power than anticipated if the inflation rate is higher than expected. Many governments issue inflation-indexed bonds, which protect investors against inflation risk by increasing the interest rate given to the investor as the inflation rate of the economy increases.
    The tax payer will be picking up the bill if the scheme doesn’t pan out as expected. Labour would then have to borrow money to make sure these bonds were paid out because they guarantee them.
    The only other things Shearer came up with this morning on Q&A were policies that were David Cunliff ideas originally.

  26. lorraine 26

    Shearer said David Cunliff had been plotting to destabilise the Labour leadership. What actual evidence does he have of that? NONE. In fact the only thing they have against Cunliff is that he did not say he would vote for Shearer in Feb.
    The clique has let their imagination run away with the fairies and are hoping they can hoodwink the labour voters into believing this rubbish.

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    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
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    1 week ago
  • After years of stability, Antarctica is losing ice
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by SueEllen Campbell Until recently, Antarctica’s ice has seemed surprisingly stable. In contrast to the far north, the southern continent’s massive ice sheets, glaciers, ice shelves (ice that floats on the ocean), and seasonal ice appeared to be reliably frozen: Enough snow fell ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s Persistent Rail Issues
    Over the last few weeks in our weekly roundup we’ve commented on the frequent delays and cancellations that have occurred on the rail network this year since the rail network went back into full operation on the 22-Jan – with Kiwirail proclaiming they had ‘successfully delivered summer holiday infrastructure upgrades ...
    1 week ago

  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
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    7 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
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    2 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
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    4 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
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    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
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    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
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    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
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    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
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    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
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    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
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    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
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    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
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    3 weeks ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
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    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
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    3 weeks ago
  • Step Closer for European Union Free Trade Agreement
    New Zealand has moved closer to ratifying the New Zealand – European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA), with the First Reading of legislation to bring the Agreement into force being held in Parliament today.   “Almost a decade after preparatory talks first began on an FTA with the European Union, I’m pleased to ...
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    3 weeks ago

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