Annette King

Promise? Threat? Will Helen Kelly formalise her pledge?

Go Already: Helen Kelly promises to leave NZ if Judith Collins becomes PM

Go Already: Helen Kelly promises to leave NZ if Judith Collins becomes PM

On Q+A this morning Helen Kelly said “I’m leaving the country if Judith Collins becomes PM”. (at 6 min mark)

Doesn’t sound like Helen will make a good Hutt South MP then…or a sensible replacement for Annette King.

I want to know if she will make that a firm election pledge?

Because if there was a need for a reason to have Judith Collins as Prime Minister then that is it.  Read more »

More local body winners

As Len Brown’s second term winds down in disgrace before he is even sworn in we really should look at local body politicians who are winners and not ratbags.

Anna Kirk

A friend and favourite of the Whale, and a popular choice of voters in Taupo who re-elected her on Saturday, 12 October.  Anna Kirk is the daughter of former National Party president Judy Kirk.  Probably one of the smartest people in local government, and very well networked throughout Taupo and in Wellington.  Like many politicians in a smaller district council, Anna doesn’t get the public exposure that elected members get in larger metropolitan centres, but she does earn the backing of her constituents in a conservative district, and has some of the best campaigning pedigree in the country.

Paul Eagle

A Labour man with ambitions to replace Annette King in Rongotai, Councillor Paul Eagle has emerged as a formidable grass roots politician following his comprehensive re-election to Wellington City Council.  A top polling candidate in Southern Ward, Paul is well regarded by voters in Newtown and Island Bay, and acknowledged as one of the better advocates on Wellington City Council for policy issues that play well with his Labour branches.  Will have his work cut out to transform support for his council role into support from Labour members to overcome Helen Kelly and Andrew Little for a plum red seat when it comes up in the future.    Read more »

Labour’s Red Wedding

As the bloodshed continues Jane Clifton likens Labour’s blood-letting to the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones.

He has won, and won well. But the ever-culturally connecting Twittersphere is already looking forward to David Cunliffe’s “Red Wedding”: Tuesday’s caucus meeting.

As Game of Thrones followers know, the dreaded wedding was attended in good faith by rival kingdoms who thought they were invited in the spirit of reconciliation, but a striking number of guests were executed by the victor even before the bouquet-toss. Cunliffe will long have been calculating how many scalps he can take from among his caucus opponents, without perpetuating the deep divisions from which his party is suffering. He has already indicated senior roles for his two leadership rivals, Grant Robertson and Shane Jones, and for former leader David Shearer. But lust for caucus blood-spillage within the party appears pretty strong. If he doesn’t wreak vengeance, his supporters will be bitterly disappointed. Those identified as ABCs – Anyone But Cunliffe – are obviously on automatic notice. But it’s not that simple, as few of them are expendable. Beside Robertson, the ABC ranks have included top younger party talents Jacinda Adern and Chris Hipkins, along with respected former leader Phil Goff and popular frontbench veteran Annette King.

The smart money is on Cunliffe restricting utu to the least cuddly of his opponents: top of the demotion list, Trevor Mallard and Clayton Cosgrove. Clare Curran, who has for a second time caused fur to fly in the thick of an election campaign through injudicious blurts on social media, may join them in the dogbox.

Mallard has been knifed, as has Hipkins…what will happen to Cosgrove?

The older members may just shuffle off into the mists of time. They lost, end of story.

Of course they may just wait and watch to see of Cunners fails.

Is Cunliffe NZ’s Kevin Rudd?

Andrea Vance looks at David Cunliffe and whether or not he is our own version of Kevin Rudd.

It was the defining moment of the 2011 election campaign. Under the blinding heat of stage lights, the then Labour leader Phil Goff faltered as Prime Minister John Key goaded: “Show me the money.”

Key had identified a $14 billion hole in the Opposition’s bold plans to introduce a capital gains tax and make KiwiSaver compulsory, all while rebalancing the economy.

Floundering, Goff could only promise his finance spokesman would explain the costings at a later date. The leaders’ debate was lost to Key, and Labour’s campaign never really recovered from the impression they were pushing expensive, uncosted policies.

The party went on to suffer its worst defeat in decades. And in the minds of some MPs, one man was at least partly to blame: the numbers man, and former Cabinet minister, David Cunliffe.

The New Lynn MP claimed to be ill, at home that November night. But conspiracy theories mounted: some were convinced the ambitious Cunliffe had deliberately left his boss hanging.  Read more »

Garner on Robertson v. Cunliffe

Duncan Garner was scathing on his show last night about David Cunliffe and he has written a piece about the battle between David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson.

The real fight – as it always was – is between David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson.

The caucus, led by an increasingly strong anti-Cunliffe brigade, is backing Robertson. Because it makes up 40% of the final vote, this gives Robertson a strong start.

The unions, though, seem to mainly back Cunliffe. But at 20% of the final vote – it’s not quite as influential as the caucus share.

That leaves the party members to vote on who will be leader.

Cunliffe’s nose may just be ahead – but it’s not over: Robertson’s people won’t give up; they seriously dislike Cunliffe, they really do.

They really really do.  Read more »

Labour members still focussed on Man Ban

Despite David Shearer’s order to Ban the Man Ban, the Labour wimmin are still pushing ahead with discussions about it.

It would seem that they intend to ignore David Shearer.

Greetings [REDACTED]

New Zealand Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth invites you to join her and the Labour Women’s Council for our Conference this coming weekend.
Interested in building womens leadership by supporting other women or taking a step up yourself? There is still an opportunity to take part in this important and exciting conference.

On Friday you can join Labour MPs Nanaia Mahuta, Sue Moroney, Carol Beaumont and Moana Mackey for a special community event – Building for Habitat for Humanity.  Read more »

Another Chart of the Day – Polls

Danyl McLauchlan updates his poll of polls chart, which he alleges corrects for poll bias. It may do, but it doesn’t really matter because for Labour the lines are going in the wrong direction. I’d be interested to know whether the poll bias is mathematically calculated or emotionally calculated.


Danyl explains what the chart shows from his point of view, which is not dissimilar to mine.

(This chart corrects for poll bias – just like Nate Silver! – the code to generate it was writter by Peter Green. You can see a non bias corrected chart here. Note how the aggregated curves for National and NZ First are miles away from the actual election results?)

Labour are losing votes to National, and they’ve lost them during the period of time in which the GCSB bill was introduced and the Sky-City deal signed off. They should be winning, not losing. Shearer has responded by replacing his Chief of Staff with Fran Mold, his former press secretary, and Labour’s MPs are leaking to the gallery that his leadership is under threat if he doesn’t reverse this downward trend.

I don’t have any close contacts within Labour these days, but the second-hand gossip I hear is that staff morale is very low, there’s no longer any expectation they’ll be in government next term and there’s very little respect for the senior MPs currently dominating the party, who are seen as chronic underperformers (Annette King – elected to Parliament thirty years ago – was billed as a superstar Health opposition spokespersonwhen Shearer reshuffled at the start of the year. How’s that working out?)

Changing the CoS doesn’t seem likely to fix the party’s problems, but neither does changing the leader, unless its accompanied by more drastic change.

Danyl forgets about the man-ban debacle in there as well, not just the GCSB and SkyCity issues, which frankly are beltway issues of no import to the wider electorate.

MPs on Twitter

Claire Trevett writes about MP tweeting.

It has been just over two years since National MP Tau Henare was anointed Minister of Twitter for his alacrity with the medium.

There has been a significant reshuffle in the portfolio area since then. That was a time when relatively few MPs were on Twitter and most were too scared to take the new toy out of its box, let alone play with it with any vigour.

Henare is still there and still covers a wide area of topics. He recently managed 135kg in the deadlift. “Am I happy? Damn Skippy I am.”

My advice to most MPs about Twitter…is don’t go there. You will not be engaging with swinging voters, only sycophants or stalkers, so a pointless waste of time unless you can foot it in the sledging stakes.

But the landscape now is a lot more like the Wild West and some surprising gunslingers have emerged in the likes of Act leader John Banks and United Future’s Peter Dunne, who tweeted through his journey from common-sense Peter to the beleaguered martyr in his very own spy melodrama, facing allegations he leaked a GCSB report.   Read more »

How long has Shearer got? Not long

Audrey Young outlines Labour dreadful choices…they all know David Shearer is hopeless and essentially a political corpse. Almost every political journalist and most commentators except the rabid mouth breathers of the left know that he is a goner.

When rumours of a leadership coup in Labour broke on Tuesday night, I bumped into a Green MP as I was racing back to the office.

The first question we asked ourselves is “who is it?”

We speculated about David Cunliffe and deputy Grant Robertson.

Grant’s not ready, I said. Grant is definitely ready, the MP said.

I also thought about Andrew Little. He had a boost from the last Herald-DigiPoll survey which had him almost matching Grant Robertson in terms of a suitable replacement for Shearer were he to suddenly depart politics.

It was the same poll that began this round of jitters because Shearer’s popularity fell six points and the party’s by almost the same amount to 30.9 per cent.

Anyway, by the end of Tuesday night, it was clear there was no coup under way by Robertson or anyone else. But Shearer’s chances of being replaced before the next election had increased.   Read more »

Garner cuts loose

Duncan Garner is going gang busters on Radio Live.

His show kicked off with this audio. He explains that there is a coup underway in Labour and all of this is part of death by a 1000 cuts.

Colin Espiner agrees on Twitter.

Read more »