Trevor Mallard

Duncan Garner on Labour MPs running for the life rafts

I covered this earlier today, Duncan is on it too

Three Labour MPs have broken ranks in recent weeks – quite loudly and very publicly.

They are interested in one thing: self-preservation. They want to win their seats and they’ve given up relying on their party. They are clearly concerned Labour will poll poorly on election night, so they’ve decided to run their own campaigns – away from head office and away from the leader.

These MPs have either chosen not to be on the list or they have a low-list spot. They are vulnerable. It’s all or nothing for them.

They must win their seats to return to Parliament; this sort of pressure usually focuses an MP’s mind.

They want to be back in Parliament and they want the $150k salary.

I’m talking about West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor, Hutt South MP, Trevor Mallard and list MP and Te Tai Tokerau candidate, Kelvin Davis.

Take Davis: yesterday he engaged Labour in its biggest u-turn in years. He told me he supported the Puhoi-Wellsford road project that his party has openly mocked and criticised.

Labour MPs call it the holiday highway; David Cunliffe has campaigned against it. Labour, until yesterday, was going to can the project upon taking office. Who knows where they stand now!

Davis told me people in the north tell him they want the controversial project and so does he.

Jobs, transport, industry, tourism.   Yeah, controversial indeed.  If only Labour supported ‘radical’ ideas like that.

Read more »

Things must be getting desperate in Hutt South, Mallard is still musing about Moas

You have to give Trevor Mallard some credit…when he latches onto a cunning stunt he really gives it his all.

Last election he wasted 6 months training his heart out to beat a fat lazy blogger in race around the streets of East Auckland, in a sport that consumes his every waking moment in between stints at his part time job in parliament as an MP.

He lacked the courage to have a crack at a sport of my choosing…boxing or Sporting Clays…he took the easy win and then shut up.

This time his brilliant campaign strategy is to repeatedly and vociferously advocate for the resurrection of a long dead bird…and I’m not talking about his political career here…rather he wants to investigate in saving and extinct bird, the moa.

Trevor Mallard just can’t let go of his fascination with resurrecting the moa.

Yesterday Inglewood, a town long associated with the extinct flightless bird, came to the attention of the Labour MP.

He was in Taranaki yesterday to talk about sport and recreation, but was fascinated to learn Inglewood was briefly known as Moatown in the mid-1870s.   Read more »

Sledge of the Day

Chris Bishop is taking the fight to Labour’s Trevor Mallard in Hut South, and by all accounts he is hurting Trevor.

We know this for a couple of reasons. First, that Trevor Mallard had to resort to concocting and outrageous policy idea that he shamelessly shopped to the media in order to get coverage. Secondly, despite his leader scotching that idea he is still pushing hard for it.

Labour sources tell me that polling in Hutt South is neck and neck and this perhaps gives us the underlying reason Trevor Mallard is acting the goat.

Chris Bishop though has promise, especially given this sledge the other day:

This morning I took part in the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce candidates’ debate. I talked about my vision of the Hutt as a hub for high value manufacturing and high tech industry. There are hundreds of innovative Hutt Valley businesses in these fields already that barely anyone in Wellington let alone Auckland knows about. If I am privileged enough to be elected as MP for Hutt South I won’t waste my time talking about moas and won’t get thrown out of Parliament constantly. I’ll be a champion for high tech jobs for the Hutt, for research and development, science and innovation, and upskilling our young people at great institutions like Weltec. It’s time for a fresh face for Hutt South and a new strong voice in Parliament and government.

He continues to use the moa distraction to his advantage…the mark of a good politician to keep using a stuff up by an opponent to rub salt into wounds.

Mr Moa and Chris Bishop

Mr Moa and Chris Bishop

Read more »

More from the Herald on The Cunliffe

The Herald has continued their series on “The Cunliffe”.

While last weeks effort would have made The Cunliffe happy I doubt he will be pleased with todays works, especially those by Claire Trevett.

He is fingered as a snitch:

Cunliffe describes that 1999 intake as the first political generation that had not been “scarred” by Rogernomics or the acrimony after it. But that first term also saw the start of the problem Cunliffe has struggled with since – his relations with his caucus colleagues.

Cunliffe and Tamihere gravitated towards each other, part of a group of junior MPs including Clayton Cosgrove and Damien O’Connor, and dubbed themselves the “Mods” – short for Modernisers. They met in each other’s offices for drinks and discussed policies and the direction Labour might take in the longer term, post-Clark. They decided to recruit others and Tamihere says Cunliffe returned with loyal Clarkists. Whether it was innocent or deliberate, he was seen to have dobbed them in.

Cunliffe denies it: “I certainly didn’t go telling tales on class mates. JT and I were in the middle of that group, not everybody agreed with everybody else and in the end it didn’t go that far. But I’d reject that I dobbed anyone in.”

Whatever happened, Cunliffe’s friendship with most in that grouping waned after that point. One onlooker at the time recalls Cunliffe as trying to be friends with everyone. “It was like high school kind of stuff. He’d walk in [to Parliament's cafe] and go ‘g’day bro’ how you going?’ and JT would just look at him like one of the nerdy kids had come up to him in the playground.”

Tamihere says there was no big blow out and they did maintain a professional relationship. Asked about the Mods’ goals now, Tamihere laughs and says “well, you always go down there with those heady ideals.”
“He’s an extraordinarily talented chap but you never get to see the real David. You get to see the David that he thinks you want to see. And that’s his problem.

What Trevett didn’t mention, but my Labour source did, was that after ratting out the Mods to Clark H2 (Heather Simpson) summonsed each of them individually and gave them a dressing down. They were rinsed and it is something that Clayton Cosgrove has never forgotten and why he is the ex-officio leader of the ABCs.  Read more »

Labour’s positive message didn’t even last a day

Labour promised a positive campaign:

David Cunliffe’s put his MPs on notice – no sledging of the opposition.

Labour’s leader’s to stay away from slinging personal dirt and run a positive campaign, targeting issues and policies.

David Cunliffe admits it won’t be easy for some veteran combatants like Trevor Mallard.

“It’s always a bit tempting in the parliamentary bear pit to respond and we will need to show some restraint and probably won’t be perfect.

David Cunliffe says the New Zealand public is frustrated by the theatrics during question time in Parliament and this is an attempt to improve the political tone.

That didn’t last long, less than a day.  Read more »

If Labour are going to run a POSITIVE campaign, what will they do with Trevor?

Labour’s big message today has been that they are going to be Positive about everything.

Not a nasty word will be spoken, no smears, no Gotcha politics.  Just good old fashioned positivity!

Question is… can Trevor manage for 2 months?

Labour’s education ipad policy backtrack has begun

Yesterday it was free ipads for all school kids. Then Davide Cunliffe went on The Nation and gave a rather confusing answer to questions about the policy that was seeded with media as being free.

PG: Let’s turn now and talk policy, education, a policy out today you want every student from intermediate upward to have a tablet, to have an iPod?

DC: Absolutely, from year 5 to 13 under a Labour led government, every student will have their own personal digital device, it will be subsidised for parents to get into and there’ll be a very low cost payment plan with a hardship fund for those larger families who perhaps couldn’t afford it.

PG: So how will that payment plan work?

DC: You get a hundred dollars up front from the government, you buy a very low cost device which we are able to purchase in bulk, you pay based on the Manaiakalani model which is working in Point England in Auckland at the moment, about $3.50 a week for which you get service, insurance and out of school access to the Internet.

PG: So how many tablets are you talking?

DC: Oh, we’re talking enough for every student in the country.

PG: Do you know how many?

DC: We’ve based it on an estimate of 70-percent of pupils taking this up.

PG: So how many?

DC: I’ll come back to you with the exact numbers. I’m not going to give you an exact number-

PG: And how much is it going to cost?

DC: It’ll cost 19-million dollars in the first year, 41-million of operating expense in the second year and then cruises down to about 30 million a year after that.

PG: Because looking at this, this is universal isn’t it, iPads basically?

DC: They’re not necessarily iPads. In Manaiakalani they’ve used chrome books or notebooks.

PG: Every kid gets a tablet, son and daughter gets a tablet.

DC: Not necessarily a tablet. You want the best learning device at the best cost.

PG: Everybody gets a computer

DC: Everybody gets a computer. Some kids will have their own.

Read more »

Tim Watkin on Labour’s problems

Tim Watkin from Pundit blogs about Labour’s problems.

Normally a fanboi of Labour he has had to write this through gritted teeth.

Damage from within. David Cunliffe so close to getting it right, but still so wrong. And potentially strong and popular policy undermined by off-message gaffes… When Labour supporters gathered at the party congress this weekend get around to asking why their party isn’t doing better, it only has to look back at the past week to see the party’s problems laid bare in miniature.

If you wanted proof that the party’s internal divisions still aren’t resolved, you only have to look at Trevor Mallard’s moa comments. Some say he’s desperate for attention to keep his Hutt South seat, some say he’s just going off as usual. But he’s more experienced and strategic than that, and this was a prepared speech he was then ringing round urging media to cover, not some outburst. The imagery of extinction was profound; the impression that Mallard would rather waste another three years in Opposition than see Cunliffe as Prime Minister, hard to ignore. It seems pretty clear that some Labour MPs are happy to lose this one so that they can get their own leader/puppet/fellow traveller in place for 2017. To me, that’s disgraceful in any party. If you don’t believe strongly enough to fight against three more years of the other guys, you shouldn’t be standing.

Hence, if Labour party members want any sort of shot at government, they’d better use this weekend to get the ABC (Anyone But Cunliffe) club in a corner and tell them to shut up or bugger off.

They can’t get rid of the ABCs, they are entrenched in safe Labour seats. The problem lies though not with them but with the activists and Cunliffe loyalists seeking to purge when purge is impossible.

The ill-discipline was catching, though, and Cunliffe went off-message himself on Friday saying he was sorry for being a man.

Read more »

Labour needs one of these rules

With the Labour party Congress on this weekend and with Trevor Mallard running amok off message, they could really do with a similar rule to the one just implemented in the NRL.

The NRL’s salary cap changes for next year include a “no dickheads policy” that allows clubs to sack misbehaving players without being financially penalised for doing so.

Cronulla had to make the agonising decision to get rid of their star playmaker, Todd Carney, after he was embroiled in another controversy, this time a lewd photo that went viral.

The NRL’s salary cap changes, which were announced a month ago, will not take effect in time to benefit the embattled Sharks. However, clubs are less likely to tolerate abhorrent behaviour from next year, knowing the funds allocated for terminated players can be spent rebuilding their roster.    Read more »

Mike Hosking on Labours failure

Mike Hosking gives Labour a few handy hints about why it is they are failing.

They won’t listen, instead they will attack Hosking, but that doesn’t make what he says any less important.

This weekend Labour’s doing what National did last weekend, except they’re calling it a Congress.

It’s the big party get-together that takes on new meaning given it’s election year.

I bet Labour wishes it wasn’t election year.

Or if it has to be election year, I bet Labour wishes it was January again and they could start all over.

Labour’s in a mess.

They look in no shape at all to compete, far less win an election.

Up until about now I’ve been running the line that’s generally run in election year when it comes to polls and predictions.

The line is that, “there’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge”, the line is, “a week is a long time in politics”, the line is, “the polls will tighten”.

Well as we sit here now this morning I feel less and less of that is true.

It looks increasingly possible that a lot of what appears might happen, actually will happen, even though it’s July and the vote’s in September.

One of the things I think will happen is that Labour won’t break 30 per cent and quite possibly will do worse than that.

The tragedy of that is they will have committed one of life’s great sins.

In life you learn from your failures.

Read more »