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Will Labour go it alone?

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, October 21st, 2020 - 99 comments
Categories: act, greens, labour, maori party, national - Tags:

I have no idea if she is right or not.  But Tova O’Brien has suggested that a Labour Green joined at the hip coalition is not going to happen.

There has been a fair bit of commentary suggesting that the election result was bad for the left.  This is surprising given that the only available rational conclusion is that it was a blood bath for the right.

Labour polling at levels never seen under MMP and not seen since Micky Savage’s time is an outstanding result.  And the Greens created history of their own.  They were the first support party to increase their share of the vote in a subsequent election.

The commentators are not picking up what happened at the grass roots of our democracy.  I have spoken to many, many people over the past few months.  Overwhelmingly their response was that Jacinda and the Government had handled Covid exceptionally well, National was a mess, and they were going to vote for who they could trust to do the job.

Why did the Greens do so well?  I am pretty sure there were more than a few Labour voters thinking they needed to make sure the Government was as progressive as possible and made sure that the Green Party can have a significant effect on party policy.

Both parties have had to draw heavily on their respective lists.  I said this a week ago:

And last minute Green – Labour party votes could see some very deserving people elected to Parliament.

For Labour Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board Chair and all round good person Lemauga Lydia Sosene is 54 on Labour’s list and has a good chance of being in the next Parliament although there are electorate MPs below her on the list who should win their electorate and it will be tight.  Mangere deserves two MPs.  Epsom has though the ACT gerrymander had two MPs for the past 15 years.  Mangere deserves to be treated the same even if more legitimate and democratic methods are used.

For the Greens at number 11 on their list Steve Abel is tantalisingly close.  His history with Greenpeace and fighting climate change is formidable.  His lifetime of activism and his deep understanding of the issues would be invaluable for the next Government. This Parliament needs Steve to be there.

Sosene and Abel are the next MPs into Parliament, just on the wrong side of the current vote count.  I hope they both make it, soon.

Should Labour go into coalition with the Greens?

In brutal terms there is no need to.  Previous coalitions were to make sure that the dominant party had a majority in Parliament to ensure supply and a buffer in case of emergency.  Labour has a healthy buffer.

It is a function of people seeking public office but there is a great interest in occupying Ministerial positions.  I am actually a fan of the Micky Savage way of doing things, from each according to their ability and to each according to their need.  Put all Parliamentarians on the same salary and invite those that are keen to do extra work.  Unfortunately it does not work this way.

So a joined at the hip coalition does not seem likely.

However there is the potential of a confidence and supply arrangement and there are some talented members of the Green caucus who should be offered Ministerial positions outside Cabinet.  As examples James Shaw’s work on the Zero Carbon bill last term was invaluable and Julie Anne Genter has a significant contribution to make to the areas of transport and sustainability.

As for the Maori Party I believe that it is important for a respectful relationship to be developed.  The Maori Party is the latest of a number of parties set up with a Maori focus dating back to Mana Motuhake in the late 1970s.  I have a lot of time for many of its policies.  The Maori Party in my view would fit better in a Labour coalition than in a National led coalition.

Further evidence of the swing to the left is the Greens winning Auckland Central and the Maori Party winning Waiariki.  That a majority were willing to endorse Chloe Swarbrick and Rawiri Waititi shows how far they have come.

Further details of the new Government’s make up will appear this week.  But given the utter domination of Parliament by the centre left and left, the fact that National’s caucus has been reduced to a Christian Farmer rump, and the ACT party has more than a hint of being full of crazies, this will be an interesting Parliament.

Finally here is the Labour Party policy platform.  Read it carefully.  It is this Parliament’s coalition agreement against which at the end of the term Labour’s performance will be measured.

99 comments on “Will Labour go it alone? ”

  1. Roy Cartland 1

    The idea that Labour somehow owes any concessions to its new-found 'swing' voters is utterly ridiculous. If people wanted National policies they should have, and would have, voted National. The fact that the Nats were a disaster is irrelevant.

    Labour needs to deliver on its rhetoric as well as its promises rather than sell us out under platitudes like 'together' and 'all NZers'. Again.

    • froggleblocks 1.1

      The idea that Labour should just ignore the people that gave it an outright majority is utterly ridiculous.

      • I Feel Love 1.1.1

        Well, no, Labour has a set of policies, which they are obliged to deliver.

        Your argument would be like me voting ACT, and then demanding they have a bunch of socialist type policies, just because I (a socialist type), voted for them.

        • froggleblocks

          No, that's not my argument at all.

          Roy said those voters should be ignored. I said they shouldn't be.

          • Gabby

            No he didn't. He said they shouldn't be mollycoddled. They wouldn't want that anyway.

            • Robert Guyton

              That Labour should "make concessions".

              It's all speculation, isn't it; double-guessing the intentions of voters.

              Labour can do as she pleases, so long as the next election delivers them into Government again. That might require a successful and willing Green Party.

              • roy cartland

                Yes it is speculation. But there is an audible buzz in the msm that Labour ought to be somehow accommodating the wishes of those who swung from National. Not 'rewarding' them with policies the media insists they would prefer is not the same as ignoring them. They swung for a reason, and Labour can happily assume it's because they specifically didn't want Nat policy.

                • froggleblocks

                  Not having a formal coalition with the Greens is how the accommodate them.

                • greywarshark

                  They swung for a reason, and Labour can happily assume it's because they specifically didn't want Nat policy.

                  What policy do they want or is it a case of what they don't want? Have they any good wishes for NZ at all those swinging Nats – like chimpanzees from tree to tree?

                  National swings like the pendulum do,
                  Trendies on bicycles two by two,
                  Wellington night life, Auckland tower of babel,
                  The latest style and the latest marvel.

                  Think of the tune to England Swings.

                  • Roy Cartland

                    Who cares what they want, or rather what the media and business lobby says they want. They voted Labour. And that's what they get.

                    Climate change action, better wages/welfare, inequality reduction, housing, proper health service and education and improvement for Māori/treaty. You know, the ole Labour party 'values'.

                    You don't water down because you got more votes, surely?

      • Incognito 1.1.2

        Right, Labour should put more lipstick on the neo-liberal pig and become a pinko shade of National because that’s the mini-mandate that a few National voters allegedly gave them because they were disillusioned with their shambolic ‘team’?

        If anything, Labour has a mandate to implement what they campaigned on and not implement what they ruled out. It really is that simple.

        • froggleblocks

          Yes. Which means not having a formal coalition with the Greens.

          • Incognito

            Because Labour and Green Party policies are diametrically opposed and there’s no common ground and no common goals? That might explain the friction & tension since 2017 between the two parties.

        • Nic the NZer

          They have you there because I didn't see them campaign on anything in particular, though we can rule out a wealth tax (probably).

          • greywarshark

            NictNZer Yes that is a major point I think – they kept their options open in general, only ensuring that they didn't scare the horses.

          • Incognito

            Labour did hide it well that they were going to continue the rebuilding of the economy as outlined in Budget-2020 and even their campaign slogan “Let’s keep moving” was a fuzzy smokescreen. They were so late with posting their Election Manifesto I’m surprised they even bothered this time.


            Our Manifesto To Keep New Zealand Moving

            I understand that all former National voters, particularly the farmers, read it and went “yeah, nah, I’m going to vote for the pretty communist to keep those green communists out of Government”. You see, there’s a big difference between a pretty and a green communist.

      • RosieLee 1.1.3

        Labour has the outright majority full stop – they are not obliged to consider any arrangements. Doesn't mean they are ignoring anyone.

      • ken 1.1.4

        If people didn't want a Labour Government, why did they vote Labour?

        Here's a tip – next time there's an election, be true unto thy self, and vote for the party you want to govern.

    • Treetop 1.2

      For me it is not about who wants what, it is about who has earnt the privilege to govern.

      When it comes to ministerial positions if prior to entering parliament you have a lot of skill in an area I would not want to see this wasted sitting on the back bench. Those previous cabinet ministers who performed well need to be retained in cabinet regardless of a change in a portfolio.

  2. Treetop 2

    Labour has a mandate to govern alone, the voters exercised their democratic right and the result is a Labour victory.

    As for all the other parties in parliament if they want a stronger voice they will need to legislate for this. Good policy by other parties will not be ignored by a Labour government. Both recent referenda were from the Green and Act Party and were agreed on by Labour and NZF.

    NZF is no longer there because the voters chose this.

  3. froggleblocks 3

    There has been a fair bit of commentary suggesting that the election result was bad for the left. This is surprising given that the only available rational conclusion is that it was a blood bath for the right.

    Because Labour, at best, is a center-left party.

    It's not a case of left or right, it's left, right and center.

    • Enough is Enough 3.1

      I agree.

      This is bad for the left because Labour will now be able to continue on their Business as Usual way, as they have since 1984. The Greens ability to really make transformational change is extremely limited.

      I hope I am wrong but I can't really see Labour doing anything which is likely to upset big business, or the centrist rural voters who flocked to Labour.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    Conservation can be a bit of a poisoned chalice in terms of popularity – it wouldn't surprise me if Eugenie Sage was allowed to retain it.

    • Devo 4.1

      Especially if mining exploration permits can be granted against your wishes by the Labour ministers

  5. Ad 5

    It'll be pretty much same as last time, with the NZF posts going to the Labour 2017 intake.

    Nice and tidy.

  6. bwaghorn 6

    Yip they should but maybe only one full ministers spot , that would be Sage in conservation, let them take the heat for that culling etc shes proved upto it .

    Then some associate spots . The more the greens are in the more they will realise blind ideology dont cut it and they will become more ready for when they will most likely have some rwal power next election.

  7. Adrian 7

    The reason that the Greens may/will miss out is that with 65+/- Labour MPs to keep happy the last thing Jacinda needs is another partys MPs to cater too.

    • Tricledrown 7.1

      Of course Adrian the right would love this division on the left.

      But in reality our 3 year election cycle needs a pragmatic approach imagine if National ditched ACT.

      The next election will require a coalition of some sort, to cut off your potential coalition partner's would be stupid.

      • froggleblocks 7.1.1

        The next election will require a coalition of some sort, to cut off your potential coalition partner's would be stupid.

        What are the Greens going to do, pack a sad and refuse to form a coalition with Labour, allowing National to form a government instead?

        The Greens, in refusing to deal with National, have no leverage. If in 2023 they're faced with the choices of "go into coalition with Labour" or "let National form a government", do you really think they'd let National win?

        • Robert Guyton

          The Greens have choices other than coalition with Labour; some of those options have been described already, others are hovering in the wings, waiting to be realised and explored; even Opposition is a choice The Greens could take, to the concern of Labour, should the Greens then use the position to :ginger-up", undermine, whatever, Labour. The Greens are certainly not without options. In 2023, their options could be greatly enhanced by circumstance. If they were in a kingmaker position, they’d have more leverage than you could shake a stick at!

          • Enough is Enough

            The Greens only have options, if those options are offered to them by Labour.

            Labour could form a government the day that the specials come out without even picking up the phone to Marama and James.

            So their choices are only those which Labour decides are their choices.

          • Psycho Milt

            The Greens have choices other than coalition with Labour…

            I keep seeing people on Twitter seemingly unable to grasp this I-would-have-thought-obvious fact. Underestimating the Greens seems to be chronic among their opponents.

          • froggleblocks

            The Greens have choices other than coalition with Labour

            I'm explicitly talking about the outcome of the 2023 election here.

            If the Greens are upset in 2023 about how they were treated in 2020, their choices may be to get over it and form a coalition with Labour, or let National form a government.

            I think they will get over whatever put their nose out of joint and form a coalition with Labour.

            Ergo, Labour can treat them pretty badly in 2020, because the Greens still won't have any leverage in 2023.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              If 'Labour' does "treat them [the Green party MPs] pretty badly in 2020", then it's possible that some will be upset; "nose out of joint" and all that.

              On the other hand, based on the recent history of generally good relations (cooperation even) between the Green and Labour party MPs, it's possible that both parties will continue to engage in a friendly and respectful manner. Given the current leadership of each party, the dominance of the Labour party in the new parliament doesn't preclude pretty good 'treatment', IMHO.

              Is there some evidence that ‘Labour‘ intends to treat the Greens “pretty badly“, or is this simply speculation – wishful thinking even?

              • froggleblocks

                My definition of "treat badly" is "give them much less than what Green leaders, MPs and party members really wanted and are happy with".

                Marama Davidson said on election night she wanted to be a cabinet minister. If they end up with 0 ministerial posts at all, and just a 'consultation agreement', that's the sort of thing that leaders, MPs and party members might consider to be "treated pretty badly".

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  "Marama Davidson said on election night she wanted to be a cabinet minister."

                  froggleblocks, you've claimed repeatedly that on election night Davidson said "she wanted to be a cabinet minister", and that "she wanted to be a minster [sic] inside cabinet."

                  I've tried to track down Davidson's actual words, but a Google search yielded nothing. Where can I listen to or read what Davidson said? I’d really like to hear/read what Davison said, in her own words – that would help me to make up my own mind about what Davidson wants.

                  If they end up with 0 ministerial posts at all, and just a ‘consultation agreement’, that’s the sort of thing that leaders, MPs and party members might consider to be “treated pretty badly”.

                  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Honestly, it seems to me that some here would prefer there to be a bit more argy-bargy between Labour and the Greens than is currently evident. Indeed, certain MSM outlets seem to want the same – I guess conflict sells.

              • Robert Guyton

                " it's possible that both parties will continue to engage in a friendly and respectful manner"

                I'm with Drowsy. Only the cynical expect Jacinda to bitch-slap the Greens.

                I am not expecting such an outcome.

          • observer

            I agree they have several options, but I don't agree that "opposition is a choice".

            They clearly stated their position pre-election: to support Labour on conf & sup. Presumably they have read Labour's policies before making that commitment. "Accept" doesn't mean "like".

            They have to keep their word now. Later on, if Labour renege on promises during the term, or respond to "events" in an unacceptable way, then the Greens could withdraw support. They would be justified in doing that.

            But not justified now.

            • solkta

              I don't recall the statements being that specific. I did hear that voting Green was a vote for a Labour led government, and that is what there would be with the Greens in opposition.

    • Treetop 7.2

      I to thought the PM has enough on her plate with managing her own MPs.

      The Deputy PM needs to be selected carefully. As well the position down from Deputy PM.

      Who would you choose for Deputy PM?

      • anker 7.2.1

        It has to be Kelvin D. The Deputy Leader. End of.

        • Treetop

          I want Davis just below the deputy leader as he is not Wellington based. I want Hipkins as deputy leader. I want to see Davis take education.

          Deputy PM did not sound right when I wrote it.

          • anker

            Hipkins has proved he is excellent.

            Interesting idea Davis for education. Will Hipkins stay with health? I thought Ayesha Verrall might get a quick promotion and even wondered if they'd bring Clark in as Associate Min of Health for his knowledge of the portfolio.

            Deputy PM needs to be Maori.

            Excuse me if this is ignorant, but they don't have much to do unless the PM is out of the country (Not gonna happen for a while) or indisposed.

            I am not sure why people don't want Davis? I thought he was o.k

            • Treetop

              There is going to be a big restructure in education not seen since tomorrows schools in 1989. I want to see a strong Maori voice in education and Davis has been a school principal. Hipkins is my pick for health minister and Verrall for associate health.

              • froggleblocks

                & Peeni Henare for associate health, specifically for the Maori Health Authority that's proposed as part of the DHB restructure.

          • Gabby

            Kelv has clearly made a pitch for Arts and Culture.

            • Treetop

              He can do Arts and Culture as well as education.

              Right now school boundaries are being discussed to be redrawn to attract diversity of culture in Auckland schools.

  8. Paul 8

    The Green Party also did well because people like me that normally tick red twice wanted to see them over the line so that, if needed, they could with Labour defeat the right. Do I care now that they are not needed – yes because I am not entirely sure that this or any Labour government will do the 'lefty' things that I think need doing.

  9. Pierre 9

    I am pretty sure there were more than a few Labour voters thinking they needed to make sure the Government was as progressive as possible and made sure that the Green Party can have a significant effect on party policy.

    This is a curious paragraph. It suggests there are Labour voters who want a government of the left – a Labour government. But (by hedging support for the Greens) they think Labour needs to be held accountable by a coalition partner? Do these hypothetical voters believe that Labour can't actually be relied upon to carry through social advances without the influence of a friendly party in the form of the Greens? If there are concerns that a Labour government won't be progressive enough, that should be a matter for the internal democratic structures of the Labour Party, not a tactical decision on election day.

    And, speaking of internal democracy, in this context the decision to form a government is not up to parliamentary calculations. There is already a majority, so any potential alliance would be based on a common political project. Of course internal discussion is by necessity invisible from outside, but… is there discussion around this?

    • Pierre 9.1

      Just want to point out that Paul up there in comment number 8 shows exactly the sort of problem I was referring to.

    • Gabby 9.2

      Labour may be less likely to disintegrate if forced left by external factors rather than internal strife.

      • PIerre 9.2.1

        If all Labour members were loyal to the party and its constitution, we could simply substitute 'internal strife' for 'a healthy democratic culture'.

        A British MP who I admire a lot used to talk about how under some circumstances it was necessary to extend political struggle inside the party. At least in the British Labour Party there are MPs who openly lobby on behalf of the corporate monopolies, they are friends of the oligarchs. So, if the class enemy exists inside your party, you should be prepared to fight them within the party. It is sometimes better to confront the contradiction than to hold your tongue in the name of unity.

        I'm not saying it's the same in New Zealand, it's not; only OP suggested that there were contradictions, and these have come to the fore as part of the question of forming a government. My point is that these should have been dealt with before reaching this stage.

    • Devo 9.3

      I think that the Author may have been making the same mistake that those on the right have been doing in trying to attribute voters as solely belonging to a singular party.

      The swing voters that decided this election weren't National voters wanting to shut the Greens out. They are like the same people that voted for Clark three times, and then Key three times, etc. They simply trusted the Labour party (Jacinda if you want to get specific) more than National to lead us right now and hence gave their votes to the Labour party

      Likewise, "Labour" voters who gave their vote to the Greens are probably from the same group that voted Green in 2011 and 2014 when they would pull in 11% on election night, and then voted Labour during the 2017 campaign when the wheels fell off the Green party and Jacindamania was sweeping those on the left. They likely voted for the Greens this time because they liked what they were offering policy wise and wanted the next government to implement those policies

    • Phillip ure 9.4

      Um..!…it has been more than a few decades since labour has been a 'left' party….neoliberalism is the mast they cling to…lange wasn't 'left'…clark wasn't 'left'…the last three yrs have been neoliberal-incrementalism writ large..(but we are told this is the fault of peters/nz first…yeah right..!)….the greens have/were to be the spine of any left revival/return to roots from labour..

      • PIerre 9.4.1

        There is always the argument that Labour (in New Zealand and Britain) is the political wing of the labour movmement, the mass party of the working class. So long as that relationship is there, the party has the potential to express the demands of the working class (the left). If some 'natural' Labour voters would rather vote Green, that shows somewhere along the way there should have been a discussion inside Labour, well before election day.

  10. anker 10

    Hipkins has proved he is excellent.

    Interesting idea Davis for education. Will Hipkins stay with health? I thought Ayesha Verrall might get a quick promotion and even wondered if they'd bring Clark in as Associate Min of Health for his knowledge of the portfolio.

    Deputy PM needs to be Maori.

    Excuse me if this is ignorant, but they don't have much to do unless the PM is out of the country (Not gonna happen for a while) or indisposed.

    I am not sure why people don't want Davis? I thought he was o.k

    • Gabby 10.1

      He's an ok parrot, when he remembers to stick to the two lines he's been coached to recite. He doesn't appear to be able to form coherent thoughts independently.

  11. anker 11

    Pierre, I think people try to use their vote strategically, depending on what they want to see happen/the govt to do.

    • Pierre 11.1

      Yes, and if the strategic preference of Labour voters is they want a Labour government, but they want it held in check by the Greens – that's fine, although we should question what that strategic choice actually means for the Labour Party.

  12. Eco maori 12

    If I was Labour I would have A Coalition with the Green Party why its quite logical. With all the new environmental policies needed to mitigate Human Caused Climate Change the Greens would take the lead with the policys and the negative effects to come next Election.

    Ka kite Ano.

    • greywarshark 12.1

      That will be considered by the Greens. One reason why they might want to just commit to supporting Labour on supply and confidence – I think that's the term.

      If they go into coalition they may as you say get blamed for the Green effects on various aggrieved parties, and also they might have to swallow some policy that Labour wants and they hate.

      And I don't think that Labour has said sorry for opening our front door to the scavengers of the world, or has that slipped my memory?

      And – what Robert G says. https://thestandard.org.nz/will-labour-go-it-alone/#comment-1761361

  13. Uncle Scrim 13

    not seen since Micky Savage’s time

    … a small correction – not since Peter Fraser’s time. Labour got 51.3% in 1946, six years after Savage’s death.

  14. NZJester 14

    Labour does need to look to the future and going it alone could possibly backfire at a future election. Not having NZ First there will help a lot with getting some policies in place formally being blocked by NZF. Most of the support National lost went to their puppet party not to Labour. Most of the people Lanour would have drawn from National would be the type who just go with who is popular and don't give a darn about policy. They have no elegance to any party, just to saying they are part of the popular crowd.

    • Enough is Enough 14.1

      Labour looking to the future…

      Who will the Greens go with in 2023 if they hold the balance of power?

      That's all Labour will be asking themselves and the answer is 100% clear.

      • greywarshark 14.1.1

        "What do we want! Positive Action."

        "When do we want it….? NOW."

      • Robert Guyton 14.1.2

        They ought also to ask themselves, "What price will they ask?" Along with, “How much will we be willing to pay?”

  15. observer 15

    It's really very straightforward. The policies of the government are what matters. And those policies will be as "left" or "centrist" as Ardern wants them to be. No more, no less.

    This will be the case if … James Shaw is Deputy PM, or a Minister in Cabinet, or a Minister outside Cabinet, or supporting on confidence and supply, or on the cross benches, or part of the opposition. Or Speaker, for that matter.

    The roles/portfolios of Green MPs will not make the government more or less progressive. (It might make the Ministers more or less talented, e.g. if Genter is replaced by a mediocre Labour MP, but that's a different issue).

    Presumably Ardern will offer the Greens something, so they can support the policies she wants. Whether they take it or not is a strategic decision for the Greens themselves (with legit pro's and cons, long term). And that's all it is.

    • weka 15.1

      I agree with the general point, but, I think having Shaw with Climate, or MD with welfare (as examples) *would in fact make Labour more progressive, by default. That's one value for Labour of at least a C/S, they can tell voters it was the Greens.

      • froggleblocks 15.1.1

        That's one value for Labour of at least a C/S, they can tell voters it was the Greens.

        Yeah but no-one forced Ardern to give the Greens any power at all, so that's not especially credible, particularly as Labour get last say in any policy they put forwards, and if it came to it, Ardern can sack them as ministers too.

  16. Ffloyd 16

    Why not Meghan Woods for DPM?

    • bwaghorn 16.1

      They would rather have a Maori even if hes a tongue tied dipstick who thinks a dodgy poem attacking a wounded foe is the a good idea.

      • greywarshark 16.1.1

        Can you write a poem bwaghorn? They can be very expressive, dodgy or not.

        This from a Scottish site. https://sceptical.scot/2019/11/five-poems-for-a-general-election-in-hard-times/

        They sent out a dove: it wobbled home
        wings slicked in a rainbow of oil,
        a sprig of tinsel snagged in its beak.
        a yard of fishing-line binding its feet

        Simon Armitage

      • PaddyOT 16.1.2

        Come on Waghorn… TS commentators have lampooned Judith and the Natz relentlessly!

        The poem was far more intellectual than many pernicious projectiles aimed at Natz' personalities and tactics. The foe who had been so dirty and insulting were defeated resoundingly and so Davis just threw as good back at ’em,rubbing it in.

        Far better speech than the white hypocrite's, dirtier than a farmer's ditch, wearing the blingy golden, emperor's new clothes that cost more than manys weekly income.

        Kelvin Davis was actually playing off his comic speech from 2019 where he introduced the blue taniwha and 9 long years of darkness. In effect he was adding a chapter on election night.

        2019 speech- an in house Labour parody that also jabbed at Hemi, Winiata and Maui Jonesy.

        "One by one people came forward committing themselves to making the world of light a better place for people to live. "
        " They have 365 days (give or take) to devise a plan to defeat the hideous taniwha heading their way…
        But, ladies and gentlemen, this, this is where the story stops for now. A cliff-hanger of sorts…..

        Because the second chapter is still being written… "


        Putting Kelvin Davis' poetic endeavour in perspective, "dipstick" is the deputy leader at the 2004 Natz conference, Brownlee who asked attendees to think of a "c" word to describe Prime Minister Helen Clark and the Labour government.

        Gerry's was funny eh for a public speech, the Natz all laughed ?

        So now having a speech impediment, being Māori and scripting a metaphoric poem makes a poor deputy? Jeepers.

  17. Jackel 17

    It's not a matter of is it palatable to the left, right or centre, it's a matter of does it work or is it just another waste of resources. If the Ardern government are successful at removing child poverty they would win support from every political quarter just as they have with their covid response.

    • solkta 17.1

      The thing is though, "child poverty" is just a euphemism for "poverty", and you must know that National no want to get rid of that eh.

      • Jackel 17.1.1

        In my mind a child living in poverty is something completely different to poverty in general.

        • solkta

          Like love and marriage, they go together like a horse and carriage.

          • greywarshark

            I suggest that the authorities and most of the citizens have become so hardened about hardship, that hearing about adults difficulties and sufferings just slides away from consciousness. To talk about children being in poverty does have some affect, small though it be as the Child Poverty Action Group would tell you after years of presenting facts, argument and protest.

        • In Vino

          I am inclined to think that the whole expression is nonsensical. How on Earth does anyone bring a child out of poverty whilst leaving the rest of that family in poverty?

          It is a nice-sounding phrase to throw about, that is all.

          • Anne


          • Jackel

            My main point wasn't about child poverty, it was do what works and people will support you. Of course poverty and child poverty are related but that doesn't mean we can't treat them separately.

            • solkta

              Oh yes, we could just move all the kiddies into state care, that's a good idea that would work. Oh wait..

          • Gareth Wilson

            How on Earth does anyone bring a child out of poverty whilst leaving the rest of that family in poverty?

            Wasn't there a novel about that?

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          " In my mind a child living in poverty is something completely different to poverty in general. "

          …until you start to think about how you get rid of one without getting rid of the other.

          • Jackel

            Appropriations specifically for children should not be being used for other purposes.

  18. WeTheBleeple 18

    I reckon Collin's drove her own voters into the arms of Labour with her wealth tax fear-mongering. This was not organised but a fear based knee jerk reaction as planned, but voters moved in the wrong direction.

    ​​​​​​​Which is freaking hilarious.

  19. Infused 19

    Labour handles a crisis well and thats where it ends. Labour is naked this time around for their failures to be seen by all.

    Of course the greens are not getting in. Why would they.

    Key needed the buffer when he did it. Labour do not

    • Drowsy M. Kram 19.1

      "Of course the greens are not getting in. Why would they."

      Reckon arrangements the Greens & Labour will have for the next 3 years will be similar to their cooperative arrangements over the last 3 years – just speculation, of course.

      Some predicting a 'cold shoulder outcome' will be the same folks who would have preferred a different outcome from the 2017 post-election talks – 'We was robbed!'

      I bet the electorate, at the first possible chance, (not just Nat supporters either) will punish all three parties harshly.” “I bet they will pay a very high price, in a very short time…

      I suppose you could make the case that NZ1st paid a very high price – not so sure about punish the two left-leaning parties though.

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