Claire Trevett

Twyford exposes his own dirty politics and is mad Media party didn’t play along

I’m not sure Phil Twyford understands that his Twitter?exchange berating various?Media party members like Red Andrea and Red Claire was public.

In any case, a?war with media is fraught with danger and he has succeeded in pissing off several key members of the Press Gallery. Accusing them of bias and not running your lines the way you wanted is just plain retarded.

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NZ Herald openly continue their support for Little and Labour

In the leadup to the party’s conference, Little told the Herald one advantage that All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had over him was that sports teams could select and de-select at their pleasure. He had to work with what he had.

Little’s basically complaining he’s got to make a team out of players picked from Buller, West Coast and Mid Canterbury. ? Crap in, crap out – basically. ? ?Nice one Andy, that will win you friends.

This is a critical reshuffle.

Parliament is about to break up for the year, and the Herald is going on about next year’s Labour reshuffle? ? Seriously?

Labour has been criticised for being too oppositional and failing to present as a Government in waiting. This shadow Cabinet has to be of high enough calibre to convince the voters that Labour is ready to take over.

His team is small and he needs his performers to perform. There are precious few of those. Those who got opportunities and made the most of them will do the best, such as Kelvin Davis and Phil Twyford. Beyond those, few of the MPs have stood out in the public eye.

Reshuffling a group of people that are useless isn’t really going to produce a better outcome.

Little has already indicated Jacinda Ardern will be moved up from her ninth position. That is likely to be a shift to fourth in the rankings. Although Labour’s top three are all from Wellington, they cannot be moved given one is the leader, the other the deputy and the third the finance spokesman.

Ardern’s job is to win over Auckland. She is also likely to take on a meaty portfolio in place of the justice portfolio, which is not a natural fit for her. Expect Kelvin Davis to leapfrog over Nanaia Mahuta to be the highest ranked Maori MP and for Mahuta to drop down.

Ardern to win Auckland? ? Ha! ? Read more »

Say my name

It looks like Claire Trevett can’t say my name:

Craig’s problem came to light after a blog printed material pertinent to the resignation of his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor and some board members began to speak their concerns about that resignation. Craig’s attempts to clear it up only served to smear the glass more.

A blog?

Surely she means THE blog. You can add up all the traffic of every other blog in NZ and still you don’t get to THE blog.? Read more »

Who is Andrew Little? How did Little go at Ratana?


Who me? No it’s Andrew Little not Stuart Little

If you look at media reports Andrew Little didn’t do so well at Ratana.

And those media reports are subtle but brutal showing that the as yet un-filled PR position in his team is going to have a hard job getting two positive stories about a dopey looking, dour, grumpy leader into the media.

The photo the Herald used on Saturday was dreadful.

The comments by Claire Trevett worse.

Andrew Little has survived his first address to Maori at Ratana but was well and truly upstaged by NZ First leader Winston Peters when it came to wooing the nannies.

Beforehand, Mr Little admitted to having butterflies in his stomach given the historic relationship between Labour and the Church followers.

He was also the third Labour leader in as many years and the Church speakers had issued a warning that Labour had to up its game after the faith Maori placed in it in last year’s election.

It may have helped that none of his predecessors – David Cunliffe, David Shearer and Phil Goff – attended this year. But the pressure went up when he discovered he’d also have to give his address in front of National MPs.

Usually the Government parties and Opposition are welcomed on to Ratana separately, but this year delays prompted the organisers to opt for a joint powhiri.

Mr Little managed to get through his speech without looking at his notes. He even managed to get in a few jokes, saying of the prophet Ratana that he was “80 years ahead of Gareth Morgan. And he didn’t have a book to sell”.

However, he didn’t get many laughs, possibly because Dr Morgan was on the paepae alongside the Ratana elders, having been welcomed on yesterday.

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I’ve got bad news for Bryce Edwards

Bryce Edwards must have hit the crack pipe before writing his last woeful column of the year.

Apparently National had a horror year…or so the headline screams.

Yes, John Key’s National Government won a spectacular third term victory. And yesterday the Herald gave the reasons that National can be positive about its achievements – see the editorial, Govt comes out on top in colourful year.

And nearly every political journalist has awarded John Key the title of Politician of the Year – see, for example, Patrick Gower’s Politician of the Year.

But, it was still an incredibly torrid year for National, and even the PM pointed to the election campaign as one of his low moments of the year – see TV3’s Key found campaign ‘a low-light’ for 2014.

Tracy Watkins also stresses that it’s been a terrible year for the National Government: ‘His government was assaulted on every front with scandal, trouble and controversy. Ministers resigned, his coalition allies ended the year diminished, and he ended the year looking evasive and tarnished by his links to dirty tricks and shock jock blogger WhaleOil’ – see: One clear winner, plenty of dashed hopes.

Not only did the election campaign take its toll, but as I pointed out recently in another column, The downfall of John Key, the challenges and allegations of Dirty Politics were really starting to bite after the election. See also, A year of (neverending) Dirty Politics.

Even Matthew Hooton thinks the Government has suffered, especially since their election victory, and he details National’s incredibly arrogant behaviour since the election, pointing to the main offenders: John Key, Christopher Finlayson, and Gerry Brownlee – see: For John Key: summer of reflection please (paywalled).

Likewise, Duncan Garner says that although Key deserves to be the ‘politician of the year’, ‘The first few months of the new regime have been largely underwhelming. Not telling the truth about his contact with attack blogger WhaleOil hurt the prime minister. It was a royal stuff-up and he admits this privately’ – see: Key my politician of the year, but now for the third-term blues. Garner believes the Key’s reputation is on the decline: ‘It’s happening for Key, slowly. His jokes don’t seem as funny. He looks more haunted and hunted these days’.

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Integrity? Surely she jests

Claire Trevett has pronounced that David Parker has integrity.

No , she really did.

Next up is Labour’s David Parker, who proved nice guys finish last (or second to last) in Labour’s leadership run-off. Parker’s integrity is also his handicap. Sticking to his pledge not to take finance or deputy ended up being an own goal – he is now marooned with the rest of Labour’s Davids on the mid benches, where Andrew Little has sent them for a bit of quiet reflection while he asserts his own stamp on the job. He seems quite content with that.


Surely not?

This is the same man who stood in parliament and defamed 4 people under parliamentary privilege, proved he hadn’t even read the Chisholm report and then went two for two in the defaming stakes by doing so again the following week. ? Read more »

Cosy media relationships on the left are just fine, obviously



Armstrong and Trevett with Annie the de facto Labour Leader.

So texting the PM is bad, but drinking with a deputy leader OK.

Will Bradbury and Prentice publish this photo like they do with the Hosking/Key photo as proof of collusion between journos and pollies? ?Don’t hold your breath.

Wasn’t it john Armstrong who was sanctimoniously reprimanding John Key for texting me?

Oh… yes… it… was.

Twice cooked and as rotten as ever

Claire Trevett discusses David Cunliffe’s ill-advised second tilt at the leadership.

It wasn’t the most auspicious location to launch a renewed bid for Labour’s leadership.

David Cunliffe stood on a grassy knoll outside Pinky Girls Massage, which was decked out with a string of twinkling red fairy lights but – outside business hours – had its curtains tightly drawn.

It was oddly apt, given Cunliffe’s staggering conclusion that an end to his leadership was premature.

Cunliffe spent days furrowing his brow and sending emissaries to tell media he was seriously weighing up whether it was in the interests of the party for him to stay on as leader.

His caucus colleagues had started to relax a bit. But they forgot the indestructibility of Cunliffe’s self belief is akin to that of a cockroach – it would survive a nuclear bomb.

Cockroaches might survive a nuclear bomb, but if you stamp on them good and hard they rarely recover from that.

Still, standing outside a brothel shows yet again that David Cunliffe is not situationally aware.

He decided he was indeed in the best interests of the party. So straight after saying he was resigning in a belated show of responsibility for the election result, the sighs of relief from the majority of his colleagues turned into gasps of horror when he added that he would also rise again.

Caucus must now wrestle with the possibility he will again be leader. There is little doubt he will have the support of only a few. There is rage about the damage he has done by prevaricating for so long.

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Are the unions abandoning Cunliffe now?

This was written before today’s presser by Cunliffe. ?I still think it asks important questions, especially as Cunliffe is going to need the unions to succeed in his leadership bid.

It would seem that the unions are a bit squeamish for a donnybrook and are hedging their bets on Cunliffe…except the Meatworkers union who are blaming me and my immense powers for David Cunliffe’s tits-for-hands leadership.

Claire Trevett reports:

Labour’s largest affiliated union has sent a warning to leader David Cunliffe not to assume it will back him again if he forces another leadership runoff following Labour’s disastrous election result.

Most EPMU delegates voted for Mr Cunliffe in last year’s leadership runoff – in which strong support from the party membership and unions carried him over the line. However, the union’s general secretary, Bill Newson, said that did not mean Mr Cunliffe would get that support again.

“I’ve seen comments that the party membership and unions will line up with David Cunliffe. People shouldn’t make assumptions based on what happened last time. Because quite a big thing happened in the meantime and it was called an election.”

He said the union would discuss its stance once the picture was clearer, and it was still possible delegates would support Mr Cunliffe if there was a contest.

It had not made a formal recommendation to its members last time, and only about 35 of its 80 delegates had voted.

Mr Cunliffe is expected to announce his intentions today after a meeting of Labour’s ruling council. He is expected to resign but could delay a decision on whether to challenge for the role again until after a review of the election is finished in December. ?? Read more »

This election, same as the last

The songs says:

“History never repeats
I tell myself before I go to sleep
Don’t say the words you might regret
I’ve lost before you know I can’t forget”

But it actually does when it comes to New Zealand elections. ? Read more »