David Shearer

Is Simon Bridges really a future National leader? Ctd

Simon Bridges has always had the look of someone who thinks he will become Prime Minister almost by default.

He has a few things going for him like a safe seat and a reasonable media presence, but he looks like he is more of a Bill English, David Shearer or David Cunliffe type leader than a John Key or a Helen Clark.

What happened to English, Shearer and Cunliffe is they thought they could do well in the polls through natural talent, not through hard work and building up their party and people to make sure they could win. Like English, Shearer and Cunliffe, Simon Bridges is doing little build up his own caucus, or the National Party or the vitally important donor base.   Read more »

Cunliffe goes over the top and signals Labour will continue to provide for bludgers

Aside from not wanting to let the facts get in the way yet again David Cunliffe is starting to adopt the verbal approach of his chief of staff, we had the Garner interview that was mate this and mate that which from a toff in a Herne Bay mansion is ridiculous.

We now have the totally over the top reaction to what is some pretty minor changes to state house tenancies, reviewing a tenancy in a HNZ house to someone whose luck has improved to free up a house for someone more deserving is now “disgusting”.

Clearly there is some media training going on but with the same results that Phil Goff and David Shearer had…you can’t completely re invent someone.

And what of the policy?

Sounds like pretty sensible stuff to me and no doubt any other working person out there paying private rent.

The changes, coming into effect tomorrow, give community housing providers greater access to money to subsidise people in desperate need of a home.

It means non-government groups can offer income-related rents for tenants for the first time.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said it would allow more diverse housing options for people on the waiting list, and make houses more affordable.

“It means significant savings for those renting the houses, with the state picking up a bigger part of the bill for them,” she said.

The government has set a target for 20 per cent of the country’s social housing to be provided by non-government organisations by 2017. Currently there are about 1200, but Minister for Housing Nick Smith said he wants that number to rise to 12,000.

Many of those new projects will be in West Auckland – where about 1200 of the 5500 people on the national state house waiting list live.  Read more »

Lessons from Australia for the Labour party

I have had people ask me why I post on politics in the UK and in Australia.

My usual answer is because I believe them to be relevant. Those two countries provide a hint as to what happens in domestic politics. Especially with the Labour party.

Whilst National maintains loose ties with the Conservatives  in the UK and somewhat closer ties with the Liberals in Australia it is Labour that maintains very close ties with Labour in Australia and the UK labour party.

Many of David Shearer’s and now David Cunliffe’s strap lines and core policies come from UK Labour. So watching what happens in those countries leads to a closer and better understanding of what is going on here.

Which brings me to Labour’s problems in New Zealand…and the similarity between the problems the ALP is currently experiencing.

THE time has come for someone to take the Labor Party by the scruff of the neck and shake it until it recognises reality, truly admits defeat, reorders its priorities and changes key policies that have failed it repeatedly at the ballot box.


Logic and survival dictate that the ALP must drop the convoluted arguments it has used for defending the carbon tax, the mining tax and its economic management for much of the past six years. Labor has to do what Tony Abbott did to the legacy of John Howard’s Work Choices, and bury and cremate the mining and carbon taxes.  Read more »

David Cunliffe’s ongoing lies and deception


Yesterday David Cunliffe spent an hour on NewstalkZB with Tim Fookes.

I listened so you didn’t have to. It was dreadful but the amount of times David Cunliffe ‘mis-spoke’ or deliberately lied was incredible.

Take his claims on capital gains tax and his attack on farming.

David Cunliffe attacks farmers and lies about CGT David Cunliffe NewstalkZB. "David Cunliffe attacks farmers and lies about CGT"

Read more »

Hosking editorial on polls

Mike Hosking says Labour has no chance unless they change their game plan.

So with two weekend polls to deal with, the common theme is how close they are.

When polls vary you can dismiss them, especially if you’re the one that hasn’t polled so well. But these two polls are remarkably close: National on 47 and 46, Labour on 31 and 31, and the Greens on 11 and 11.

Given that, there is no escaping the fact Labour has major trouble. Although it’s six months to the election and although there is policy to come, and you can probably argue the bulk of us aren’t really tuned into the fine detail of how we’re going to vote and who stands for who, as each of these polls passes and each week ticks by the intensity and pressure on the party intensifies. In this case it’s Labour.

They pressured David Shearer into quitting with numbers that were better than those David Cunliffe has right now. The pressure is enormous in Labour. Plus there is the added pressure of a potential traitor in their midst.

The Greens at 11 are about where the Greens always are and have been. New Zealand First may or may not be there. In one poll they have 7 and in the other they don’t cross the 5 per cent threshold. My guess is they’ll make it and line up with the left, and in doing so will probably line up behind the left to at least give them a shot at forming a government. But that’s a punt, and if you’re Labour you’re not relying on it to save you.  Read more »

Cunliffe certain, sort of, it’s not Shearer in bed with Dotcom

David Cunliffe is certain, sort of, that it isn’t David Shearer who has crawled into bed with Kim Dotcom.

Labour leader David Cunliffe says he would be “extremely surprised” if MP and former leader David Shearer left Labour for Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party.

Mr Dotcom said in an interview with TVNZ’s Q and A programme on the weekend that one of the politicians he really admires is Mr Shearer.

He has also said that he has an MP with an electorate lined up and ready to jump ship to his party.

But Mr Cunliffe is confident that MP is not Mr Shearer.

“A lot of us admire David Shearer but that doesn’t mean he’s going to jump ship into the Dotcom party,” he told TVNZ’s Breakfast.

“I’d be extremely surprised if that occurred.”  Read more »

Danyl on the latest polls and where the trend is going

Danyl McLauchlan maintains a poll of polls with a bias corrected and non-bias corrected version. Both are showing the same thing.

Bias corrected aggregated poll of polls below. Non-bias corrected graph here.


Safe to say that Cunliffe isn’t working out as Labour leader. He’s losing voters to National and he’s also trending down in the preferred Prime Minister rating.


I wonder what David Shearer thinks when he looks at the gap between National and Labour since the election? At the time I thought ditching Shearer was the right thing to do, but its starting to look like it was a horrible, horrible mistake.  Read more »

Snapper bag limit no April Fools joke

David Shearer - Dead Fish

Remember the snapper debate?  It could have taken down a government, and instead it claimed the leader of the opposition.

Snapper fishers will need to lengthen their rulers and return more fish to the sea from Tuesday as measures to restore the country’s most popular fishery take effect.

This is the last weekend when recreational fishers can legally take home as many as nine snapper with a minimum size of 27cm in the Snapper 1 fishery, which covers the east coast of Northland, the Hauraki Gulf and the Bay of Plenty.   Read more »

Colin James on Cunliffe

Colin James joins the extending narrative that David Cunliffe can’t win.

James isn’t so crass as to say that out loud, but a read between the lines shows it clearly.

David Cunliffe has just under six months to build the sort of credibility for a Labour-Greens coalition that pulls some voters across from National’s side and some non-voters in from the cold.

In his six months as leader Cunliffe, first, got only a short-lived bump in opinion polls and then in February-early March took Labour back to its David Shearer low. His biggest publicity recently has been for leadership stumbles.

And those stumbles are real stumbles, rather than Shearer’s mumbles.

First, Cunliffe chose to run Labour’s innovative children policy as a cash handout when its real value is a focus on children’s physical experience in the womb and nutritional, emotional and cognitive experiences in the early years of life. That is, he highlighted the palliative of a dole to parents over investment in children to give even the disadvantaged a close-to-equal opportunity to be full citizens as adults. And he did not say the palliative would be discounted for parental leave cash.

National got two free hits. It could say, first, Labour was sneaky and, second, would be old-style tax-and-spend when an edgy global economy mandates fiscal caution.

One down. Second, he ran a line about super-rich Key being out of touch because he lives in a leafy suburb. A more self-aware Cunliffe would have remembered attacks in the leadership contest that he lives in a nice house in a leafy suburb while promoting a “red” Labour. Another free hit for National.

Two down. Then he had to own up to an anonymous trust to (lavishly) fund his leadership campaign, thereby undermining Labour’s criticism of National’s anonymous election funders and John Banks’ troubles with contributions to his 2010 mayoral campaign. Insiders say Cunliffe had to be persuaded to be open about the trust so that it wouldn’t fester all the way to election day.  Read more »

Tricky or Shifty don’t matter, it comes down to trust

My good friend Brian Edwards has gone back to blogging, despite swearing off it.

He explains just why it is that John Key is going to win this election…and it isn’t because of being called tricky or shifty…it comes down to trust….and no one trusts David Cunliffe.

Intelligence, articulacy, skill in argument – these are all measurable, objective criteria. But it’s when you get to matters of character, of how each man comes across, that the picture is less distinct. Cunliffe calls Key ‘shifty’; Key calls Cunliffe ‘tricky’. Both are probably right – they’re politicians after all.

But it’s not the full story. In the world of ‘Who would you most like to have dinner with, go fishing with, share a bach with, play golf with, go on holiday with’ journalism, Key has it over Cunliffe. People think Key is ‘nice’; ‘nice’ is not a word commonly applied to Cunliffe.

‘Nice’ may not cut it in politics, of course. Ask David Shearer. But it’s not a liability either. Not being trusted is an entirely different matter. On our daily Ponsonby/Herne Bay strolls, Judy and I receive both solicited and unsolicited opinions on politics and politicians. One theme is dislike of ‘rich prick’ Key, another is distrust of Cunliffe. When you ask for evidence to justify this distrust, you get: ‘Don’t really know exactly… can’t quite put my finger on it… just something… something about his face maybe.’  Read more »