The Labour review is doomed before it starts

Labour has announced a sweeping review of its election thumping, starting with its campaign strategy.

After a two day long Labour council meeting, Party President Moira Coatsworth announced terms of reference for the review including:

– a review of Labour’s 2014 General Election campaign;

– a review of Labour’s political positioning going forward, with reference to the past three General Election results; and

– recommendations for rebuilding and modernising Labour.

“Learning the lessons of this campaign and of the last few years is crucial if we’re to quickly get back to representing the hopes of New Zealanders for the future,” [Labour party president] Coatsworth said.

“Labour will listen carefully and apply the lessons thoroughly. The review will be robust and will provide clear recommendations for the way we rebuild and reconnect. After listening carefully Labour will make the changes necessary toward victory in 2017”.

A team to carry out the review will be announced within a week and the review will be mostly carried out by December.

The people on that team will be fascinating.   Will this open it all up and let in the sunlight, or is this going to be for show and essentially damage control?

In more detail:   

1. A qualitative and quantitative review of Labour’s 2014 General Election campaign, including preparation from the 2011 General Election onwards, led by an analysis of the 2014 results and incorporating:

● party and electorate vote variance;

● electorate and hub performance, including enrolment, persuasion and turnout;

● the targeting approach;

● list and electorate candidate selection and performance

● Maori and sector strategies;

● volunteer management and activist training;

● campaign finance – income, expenditure, cost-effectiveness;

● digital campaign;

● messaging formulation and communication of policy and campaign messages (including the “Vote Positive” brand);

● performance in and relationship with the media;

● Party and Caucus organisation;

● Leadership and management of the campaign;

● relationships with other parties and

● any other significant matters which are identified in the course of consultation.

2. A qualitative review of Labour’s political positioning and performance, and the manner in which it is presented going forward in the light of the results of the 2008, 2011, and 2014 General Elections, to include the environment and context in which we now find ourselves; to be informed by what progressive political parties have done overseas, and what New Zealand political parties have done, in comparable situations; and how party alignment in MMP-style jurisdictions has changed over time.

3. The implications of the agreed recommendations for Party institutions, structures, accountabilities and operations, including governance, an integrated three year campaign plan leading to the 2017 election, Caucus priorities and activity, communications, resource allocation, policy development, internal communications and discipline, fundraising. Through all this work to achieve sustained modernisation.

The Vote Positive brand was predicated on Dirty Politics.  How did Labour know it was coming?   Why is it that Kim Dotcom “hacks” the government, and Labour runs a “Vote Positive” campaign on the back of Laila Harre’s friend Nicky Hager coincidentally writing a book?  Keep in mind that Laila is a Green policy wonk that Dotcom got to borrow for a while.

Just how honest do they dare be in this review?  Because if they are not, and they pretend the Dirty Politics thing was something that happened externally, they’re going to base their future on conclusions that are born from denial and lies.

They’re stuffed though.  The truth will tear them apart.  And lies won’t solve the problem.


– Fairfax media

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.