Audrey Young

Cunliffe had to do it, the Greens are toxic

David Cunliffe has been forced into distancing him and Labour somewhat from the Greens.

Audrey Young reports:

Labour yesterday rebuffed a proposal by the Green Party to present both parties as a coalition Government in waiting during in the run-up to the September 20 election.

Labour co-leader David Cunliffe indicated that such a pre-election arrangement could have posed problems with post-election negotiations with other parties, such as New Zealand First.

The Greens never had a formal coalition with the three-term Helen Clark Government, sufficing with a less extensive support agreement and no ministers.

Mr Cunliffe told the Herald tonight he envisaged that Labour would try to negotiate a formal coalition agreement with the Greens after the election, but until then he would be referring to a “Labour-led Government,” not a “Labour-Greens Government” – or a “Green-Labour Government” which had also been raised.

“I’m the leader of the Labour Party and my job is to maximize the Labour Party vote,” he said.

“The Labour Party will be the core of the incoming Government working co-operatively with the Green Party who are our longstanding friends.

But Labour would quite possibly be working with other parties as well “and whatever the coalition arrangements are, they need to be able to spread across more than two parties.”

He said it was important to maximize the reach “all the way from the greenest end of the green spectrum right to the political centre and cross-over voters and in order to do that, it is important that they have their brand and we have our brand, and they have their policies and we have our policies.”  Read more »

Audrey Young on Cunliffe and Labour’s poor polling

Audrey Young calls out Labour and David Cunliffe for their double speak when it comes to polls.

It was disappointing to hear David Cunliffe suggesting today’s Herald DigiPoll survey putting Labour at 29.5 per cent is off the mark.

On the one hand he said he accepted that Labour’s polling has suffered from him using a trust for donations to his leadership campaign.

The next thing he is touting his party’s own internal polling which apparently puts Labour at 34 per cent.

The fact is that if Labour’s own polling is 34 per cent, it is at odds not just with DigiPoll, but with two other recent polls: Roy Morgan on March 6 which had Labour at 30.5 per cent and the Ipsos Fairfax poll a month ago which had Labour at 31.8 per cent.

The DigiPoll result of 29.5 is not much lower in reality but falling into the 20s is from 30 is like falling into a canyon and is devastating for any party with designs on Government.

Perhaps suggesting that Labour is still at 34 per cent is one of those things you say to prevent party activists from becoming too demoralized.  Read more »

3 strikes for burglars…now we are talking

Another good policy initiative from the Act party.

They want to extend 3 strikes to thieving ratbags.

Audrey Young reports:

Burglars would be sent to prison for a minimum of three years without parole on the third burglary conviction under new policy announced today by Act leader Jamie Whyte.

It would be a separate regime to the current three strikes law which requires a judge to sentence a convicted offender of a third serious violent crime to the maximum sentence without parole.

Act was responsible for the original three strikes law.  Read more »

Another reason to support Act

Jamie Whyte is stamping his new leadership on the Act party, even if he was dreadfully under-prepared on The Nation this morning.

Last week he revitalised Act’s flat tax proposal and today he is calling of the dumping of the Resource Management Act, the single biggest impediment to progress in this country.

New Act leader Jamie Whyte will today announce that Act wants the entire 826-page Resource Management Act to be dumped, describing it as a law that interferes with people and their use of property.

The radical policy move goes a lot further than the party’s current policy of modifying it.

“There are far too many powers currently being given to various times of groups and bureaucrats around the country to interfere with people and the use of their property,” Dr Whyte told the Weekend Herald.

[...]  Read more »

Suddenly the Act party is interesting again

Richard Prebble has made a big splash.

He announced that Act is looking at bringing back their flat tax proposal…suddenly Act looks interesting again. Audrey Young reports at the Herald:

Former Act leader Richard Prebble says the party will have to raise well over $1 million to fight the 2014 election campaign that he has been appointed to direct.

There was never enough money, he said yesterday, but he expected the war chest would begin filling.

“Act has got a solid cadre, if I can use that word, of donors and supporters, most of whom have kept in touch with the party and many have continued to give, though in the last year or two or three, less than they have in the past,” he said.

Mr Prebble was appointed campaign manager by the Act board on Saturday after presenting it with a review of the state of the party and an election plan.

The board had adopted an ambitious strategy, he said.

“They don’t just want to be an adjunct of the Government. Act wants to be the third force in politics.”   Read more »

A message for Cunliffe?

You’ve gotta love context driven ads. Looks at this effort from the NZ Herald.

A message for David Cunliffe? Context driven advertising adds hurt of its own to Labour

A message for David Cunliffe? Context driven advertising adds hurt of its own to Labour

Corin Dann was almost in tears last night, but being a top notch political analyst thought good weather was a factor in Nationals surge. The Greens appear to have been rumbled as complete loons, what with shrieking about racism when none was on offer, living in a castle, twerking and then cuddling up to Kim Dotcom.

Andrea Vance in Fairfax seems equally perplexed and she puts it down to Cunliffe’s lack of exposure.

Cunliffe suffered from a lack of exposure in the last month, dropping two points in the preferred prime minister stakes to 10 per cent.  Key maintained 43 per cent from the last TVNZ poll in October.

I think we saw plenty of him flip flopping and trying to explain the debacle that was his baby bonus.  Read more »

Audrey Young slams Winston for his bullsh*t & bluster over his secret visits to Dotcom

Audrey Young calls out Winston Peters for his bluster and bullshit over his secret visits to the Dotcom mansion.

A bunch of colleagues from the Press Gallery today were showered with a suite of insults by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters on his way into Parliament today.

Their sin was to ask him whether he had visited Dotcom’s mansion in Coatesville three times, as Prime Minister John Key alleged.

Peters’ not only refused to answer, he contrived to make any such visits a matter of privacy – not that that’s an admission he had them.   Read more »

Mana and Maori Party vying for Tua

David Tua is tossing up between the Maori party and Mana in order to facilitate his entry to politics.

Audrey Young reports:

Former boxer David Tua is in hot demand – he has talked with the Maori Party about entering politics, and Hone Harawira’s Mana Party has talks scheduled with him next month.

Tua, a Samoan-born New Zealander, met Maori Party officials in Auckland this week.

Mana, a break-away from the Maori Party, has him in its sights too.

Both see him as a potential drawcard for thousands of Pacific Island voters in New Zealand.  Read more »

A kick in the balls and bloody nose on the way through

Yesterday’s foray into parliament didn’t go so well for the opposition.

Labour were cock-a-hoop, emboldened by the living embodiment of the new Christ figure who leads them. They were helped by an inept performance by Eric Roy.

However their much vaunted insurance policy got panned and then destroyed.

Audrey Young at the NZ Herald reports:

David Cunliffe called John Key’s question stupid, Bill English called David Cunliffe’s new state insurance company idea dumb, and Winston Peters called himself brilliant.

They couldn’t all be right.

With the Speaker away running the New York marathon, Cunliffe still fizzing from his strident speech at the annual conference, and National anxious to puncture Labour’s mood, there had to be a stoush in Parliament’s Question Time yesterday.

Cunliffe started off well but came away with a bloody nose – the answer he gave to what he called Key’s “stupid question” turned out to be wrong itself.

They were arguing about Labour’s new policy to set up a state-owned insurance company, KiwiAssure, as a sister operation to Kiwibank within NZ Post.

Labour says it will reduce the dominance of overseas-owned insurers, keep profits in New Zealand, and bring competition, flexibility and choice to New Zealanders.

Cunliffe implied that National’s opposition to the policy is because it received big donations from the insurance industry in 2005 and attempted to table the Hollow Men documentary on the Nicky Hager book.   Read more »

Bye bye Shane and Andy, Labour’s man ban will axe Cunner’s opponents

Shane Jones stands to lose big time as Labour has voted to introduce their man ban.

Audrey Young writes at the NZ Herald:

Labour leader David Cunliffe says it won’t be very hard for Labour to reach its newly adopted target of at least 45 per cent women MPs after next year’s election and at least 50 per cent women after the 2017 election.

“I don’t think it’s going to be too difficult knowing the calibre of the women candidates and nominees that we have around and the fact that our vote share is likely to be significantly higher this time than it was last time,” he said today.

“There won’t be difficulty at all for us to reach 45 this time and I’m confident we’ll reach 50 next time – I will be personally backing it.”

The constitutional motion adopting the targets was passed in a closed session debate today at the party’s annual conference at Wigram.

It has become the party’s main vehicle for achieving gender equality in representation after a controversial remit allowing some regions to have women-only selections for candidates was withdrawn by the New Zealand Council at the request of former leader David Shearer.

Party president Moira Coatsworth told reporters the way the party would try to achieve the targets was through the list ranking process of the moderating committee, after it had made an assessment of which electorate seats it thought it could win.  Read more »