Nanaia Mahuta

Meanwhile deep in the bunker…

David Cunliffe is on the back foot.

cunliffe-buttIf you have to tell everyone you are working your butt off then most people will generally scoff at you and mock you for being a shirker.

People know when someone is working hard…they don’t have time to explain how it is that they are working hard.

Labour’s frontbench MPs gathered in Auckland yesterday, knowing some of them could be out of a job in two months if the downward slide is not arrested.

Senior sources yesterday confirmed caucus discipline was a key focus of the meeting, after recent headlines overshadowed party policy.

My Labour sources tell me The Cunliffe spent a considerable amount of time ringing around possible suspects conducting a witch hunt for the person who squealed to Fairfax.

The Sunday Star-Times yesterday reported an unnamed Labour Party source criticising Cunliffe’s decision to take time off so close to the election, to go skiing with his family in Queenstown.

Cunliffe yesterday rejected the complaint. “I work long hours with every ounce of energy that I can ever muster, and I took a last break before the election for a few days with my family.

“I was sick for two days and I had a three-day holiday skiing with my children and that is it. They probably won’t see much of me now before the election.”

He said the break had not been raised with him by any of his MPs. “There’s a general recognition that I work bloody hard, for 18-hour days and more.”

Oh dry your eyes! What a sooky-pants…boohoo I was sick doesn’t cut it. This is the big game now…take a Codral and soldier on.  If he hadn’t apologised for being a man I would have suspected it was “man flu”. Read more »

Hands up who wants compulsory Te Reo?

The Labour party seems intent on transforming itself into a minor political party.

First there was the Man ban, then wanting to regulate trucks in the fast lane, their ongoing pandering to single interest groups, David Cunliffe’s apology for being a man and now they want to make Te Reo compulsory for every school child.

All New Zealand schoolchildren would learn Maori under Labour’s long-term plan for te reo, but it appears the party is loath to give the policy a high profile.

Labour Maori affairs spokeswoman Nanaia Mahuta and education spokesman Chris Hipkins indicated Labour had an “aspirational” target for Maori to be taught in all schools after the Maori Party’s Te Tai Tokerau candidate, Te Hira Paenga, claimed Labour had endorsed his party’s policy for compulsory te reo in schools.

“We are glad to see Labour at last getting the message that our reo is something that we all, as New Zealanders, should embrace,” Mr Paenga said.

Ms Mahuta initially suggested Mr Paenga had the wrong end of the stick, saying Labour would only promote its own policy which was “the recognition that te reo should be a working language for all New Zealanders”.

However, Ms Mahuta was far more direct in a debate held in Gisborne earlier this month when she said: “We’ve made a clear commitment that te reo Maori will be compulsory in our schools.”

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Tell her she’s dreamin’!

Election time certainly brings out the idiots.  I mean, you have to be positive, but you also have to be realistic.

Targeting seven seats in the upcoming election, the Maori Party is confident in holding their present three and taking a further four.

Party president Rangimarie Naida Glavish announced the target when she addressed the 10th birthday celebration in Rotorua on Saturday night which doubled as the opening of the party’s 2014 election campaign.

“The seven Maori seats are there for the taking by the Maori Party. We are confident of holding our present three seats, Tamaki Makaurau, Waiariki and Te Tai Hauauru.

The Maori Party will be lucky to hold their current seats, let along expand their influence through all seven Maori electorates.   Read more »

The Cunliffe wants to remain as leader after election, citing Clark precedent

I have been picking up this talk all week, from my Labour sources.

That The Cunliffe believes and is working towards retaining 60% support of caucus to keep the leadership even if Labour suffers a humiliating defeat under his leadership.

This discussed in Claire Trevett’s revealing article in the Herald in The Cunliffe.

[The] Cunliffe says he intends to stay on if Labour is in Opposition after the election when he faces a confidence vote. His supporters agree – Tizard points to Helen Clark staying on after losing in 1996. But some former ministers say Cunliffe’s situation is different. Clark had a strong core of experienced supporters behind her, ready and able to keep caucus in line. Many of Cunliffe’s supporters are relatively new to Parliament or junior other than Nanaia Mahuta and Sue Moroney. Cunliffe names his ‘kitchen cabinet’ – the group he calls on when there is a sticky matter at hand – as David Parker, Grant Robertson and “the venerable and formidable” Annette King. None were Cunliffe supporters in the past.

This is all The CUnliffe is focussing on at the moment…oh that and skiing…as he seeks to shore up his leadership ambitions going forward.

Labour have abandoned any pretense of achieving 40% in this election and even 35%, instead The Cunliffe is now talking about being happy at or around 30%.

That is no position to attempt to pretend you can lead a government, when you can’t even command a third of the population to your way of thinking.

David Cunliffe though is seriously deluded if he thinks that he has the support that Clark had in attempting a two election strategy to gain the premiership. For a start he doesn’t have the leadership skills, and never will, that Clark had. Then there is his inherent laziness and poor planning. The Cunliffe is a classic type of person that resides in any large organisation…a shadow dweller who leaps into prominence when wins are on offer, or to claim a key role in a victory of some sort.    Read more »

Have Labour had an outbreak of ethics?

Matthew Hooton writes at the NBR about Shane Taurima and Labour’s decision to rinse him.

The strange thing about the Taurima report is that labour actually did the right thing and gave him the arse.

Have Labour had an outbreak of ethics or did they have too many gays for the quota?

Matthew Hooton thinks they knew all along and have done this to try to appear to have clean hands.

In some circles, Mr Taurima is very highly regarded.

As Winston Peters put it on radio this morning, as part of a wide-ranging interview on his latest allegations about the Cook Strait ferries and his promise to release, as early as today, information he says he holds that will force Judith Collins to resign: “Over the years I have known Shane, I have always found him to be highly professional and the kind of quality Maori media personality that we need to seriously encourage in this country.”

Mr Peters described the decision by the Labour’s New Zealand Council not to allow Mr Taurima to seek the party’s nomination for Tamaki Makaurau as “a tragedy”, “a terrible pity” and “disappointing in the extreme”.

Tamaki Makaurau, currently held by retiring Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, is now overwhelmingly favoured to be won by Labour in September. Whoever wins Labour’s nomination can look forward to a long career in parliament, representing the Auckland region, and to become a major rangatira, with a permanent place in Maori history.

Mr Taumira is only human to have wanted that desperately – and Labour gave him every indications it wanted him, delaying the deadline for nominations to try to accommodate his difficulties with his employer, TVNZ.

Those indications were even stronger because a large number of people within Labour, including on its New Zealand Council, knew all along what Mr Taurima was up to within TVNZ and implicitly endorsed it.

Mr Taurima essentially set up a Labour cell within TVNZ, signing up his own staff as party members and setting up new branches.   Read more »

Right man in the wrong party

Jonathan Milne has taken a drive down the motorway away from the cloisters offices of the Herald on Sunday to interview Shane Jones.

What he comes away with is an admission that for all these years Shane Jones was a man living inside the wrong party.

The seeds of Jones’ decision to quit were sown two years ago. In mid-2012, then-Labour leader David Shearer stood him down while the Auditor-General investigated why Jones, as associate immigration minister five years before, had granted citizenship to Labour Party donor Bill Liu.

“I was highly pissed off about that,” Jones says. “That had a bloody visceral effect on me, actually, more than the credit card episode. I’ve never really fully admitted how much that jolted me.”

Jones was isolated from his Labour colleagues and felt he had few friends. “And Winston [Peters] came and found me and said, ‘you come with me’. If there was ever a point at a deeply personal level that I really respected Winston’s toughness, it was then.

“He was basically taking me under his wing to go through that ordeal. That counted for a lot. I’m quite a deep person in my own way, although I’ve got a big mouth. So I never forgot that.”

Ahhh the wily old fox Winston Peters, saw an opportunity. I wonder if anything will come of this?

Jones returned to Labour’s front bench in March last year, and a month later got the call that Parekura Horomia, the kaumatua of the Labour caucus, was on his deathbed.

He headed down to the East Coast, where Horomia was waiting in the front room of his small farmhouse in Mangatuna, Tolaga Bay. It was an intimate moment, as Horomia handed over leadership of Labour’s Maori caucus to Jones.

They spoke in Maori. Horomia said it was time for him to okioki – to rest. Jones replied: “Kia kaha chief, mo te iwi.”

It was, in part, out of a sense of duty to Horomia that Jones put his hand up for leader three months later. There were those who believed he could pull it off.

Indeed, still buried on the Labour Party website is a page prepared for the eventuality of a Jones victory. “Shane Jones is the 15th leader of the Labour Party, and the next Prime Minister of New Zealand,” it proclaims, boldly and prematurely.

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Good attitude from Nanaia Mahuta

Nanaia Mahuta has shed 15kgs in recent months and tells how she did it, willpower over obesity taxes.

The death of Parekura Horomia is more than a cautionary tale for fellow MP Nanaia Mahuta – it is a wake-up call. Now, she is leading a group of parliamentarians on a journey to overhaul their lives in a way he never could.

Two weeks before he died, Parekura Horomia committed himself to losing weight. It was a decision he made too late.

But, perhaps prophetically, when he signed on to patron an organisation aimed at helping people reclaim their health, he pulled the founder aside and said, “Whatever we start, we finish.”

Those words have given Mere Takoko – parliamentarian, body-building champion and the founder of fitness programme Chumpchange – a determination to see it through. The new figurehead for the programme is Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta, who has already lost 15kg.

“He did want to make a commitment to better health,” Takoko says.

“I think his passing is a precautionary tale of what happens if one doesn’t look after their health and wellbeing – he was simply gone too soon.”

Horomia’s legacy is gaining cross-party support. A dozen MPs including Green co-leader Metiria Turei and party member Eugenie Sage, Labour’s David Cunliffe and Louisa Wall and National’s Paul Hutchison are joining Mahuta in making healthy life choices and fundraising for the Child Cancer Foundation (CCF) while they’re at it.   Read more »

Collins crushing on Contenders

Judith Collins guest blogs about what she calls the three Amigos in the dance of the desperates.

I grew up Labour – in the days of Norm Kirk and the more forgettable Bill Rowling.  I knew David Lange – having chosen to intern in his Mangere Electorate Office while at Law School.

So I can say that to see the self indulgent warbling of Labour’s Three Amigos  as they troop around the country promising anything to anyone (with the exception of Shane who has threatened only bad things to the PM) will be a mildly sad sight to those who still willingly pay their $10 to join the Labour Party.

Political parties should always be about their members but this strange and foolish exhibition of faked friendship and grandiose schemes has been nothing more than embarrassing.  Read more »

Who should be Labour’s deputy?

Will Cunliffe suffer the Moroney Effect?

Both David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson have pledged to support a man ban…essentially forcing 50% of candidates to be women.

It stands to reason that they should, if they are true to their words nominate a deputy…as a kind of package deal so members know what they are getting in advance.

David Cunliffe has explicitly declared he will have a woman for his deputy but who? Word has it that Sue Moroney has got the nod and she was certainly front and centre at Cunliffe’s campaign launch.  Read more »

Cunliffe’s great lurch left & other bombastic comments

David Cunliffe‘s entered the race for #laboursgottalent.

His press conference was bizarre.

Surrounded by party luminaries like Iain Lees-Galloway, Sue Moroney, Carol Beaumont, Louisa Wall and Nanaia Mahuta, he defended his wealth by claiming that the PM apparently flies over his Herne Bay house by helicopter en route to his electorate office.

He also claimed that mothers can no longer afford milk for their kids, and that taxi drivers work 14 hour days for $5 an hour..

At one point he literally embraced ‘socialism’ with a staged presentation of roses.

Perhaps worst of all, he promised top economic jobs for the Green Party in any Government he leads.

A few high/low lights:

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