The elected politicians say no, the unions say yes…. and the unions win

English: David Cunliffe, Charles Chauve (polit...

English: David Cunliffe, Charles Chauve (politician), Annette King and Grant Robertson at a post-budget public meeting in April 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The Labour Party has elected through an entirely undemocratic voting system their new leader


David Cunliffe has emerged as the new Leader of the Opposition after winning the clear backing of the public and unions, but not of his Labour Party caucus.

Labour’s general secretary Tim Barnett said Cunliffe was elected by a majority in the first round of the three-way electoral college and said this gave the race clarity.

Cunliffe had received 51.15 per cent of the vote, followed Robertson on 32.97 per cent and Shane Jones on 15.88.

As expected, Robertson pulled the majority of caucus support with 47.06 per cent followed by Cunliffe on 32.35 per cent. Jones had 20.59 per cent support.

Cunliffe drew the most support from the wider party, at just over 60 per cent followed by Robertson at just under 27 per cent and Jones on 13 per cent.

Cunliffe was the overwhelming union favourite, taking almost 71 per cent of their vote.

The election process had been an “outstanding success” in terms of revitalising the party, Barnett said from Fraser House in Wellington where the announcement was made at 2.50pm.

“With this leadership election the Labour Party he embarked on and delivered a new and exciting and democratic process,” he said.

”In terms of party and public and party engagement it has been an outstanding success, it has unified the Labour Party and energised our grass routes.”

Barnett said there had been a high turnout from Labour members throughout and “Labour is stronger as a result”.

At David Cunliffe’s electorate office a huge cheer erupted as it was announced the MP had won the Labour leadership race.

Cunliffe had just arrived with wife Karen Price to address the crowd after the news was announced.

MPs Iain Lees-Galloway, Rajen Prasad, Sue Moroney, Carol Beaumont and Moana Mackey were at Cunliffe’s New Lynn electorate office to hear the announcement, along with dozens of supporters.

Party President Moira Coatsworth told the crowd Cunliffe had won with a clear majority to more cheers.

“David has been elected by a robust and democratic process and won on the first round with a clear majority. This gives him a strong mandate as leader and he has the full support of the Labour Party.”

Cunliffe had the leadership skills and vision “to win the trust of New Zealanders and take Labour to victori in 2014,” she said.

She introduced Cunliffe to his supporters as the next prime minister of New Zealand.

“I have no doubt he will go on to become a great Labour prime minister who builds a stronger, fairer and more sustainable New Zealand.”

Cunliffe told the crowd his election represented a new beginning for Labour and for New Zealand.  

“This contest has been a win for Labour and all those New Zealanders who currently don’t have a voice.”

He paid tribute to Grant Robertson and Shane Jones.

Robertson was a clear favourite of the caucus, getting 47 per cent support compared to Cunliffe’s 32 per cent on the first count.

Cunliffe said he believed every member of the Labour team would put the cause first.

“When we do we will win and when we win we will change this country. Our people have spoken. They have entrusted to all of us to join together and fight for a better future for all New Zealanders.

”Tomorrow morning would be the start of Labour’s campaign against the Key government,” Cunliffe said.

There was no indication yet of who would be deputy leader.


Labour’s public show of new-found unity could be just skin deep with some fearing blood on the floor within days of the new leader taking office.

Cunliffe could have an uphill battle winning over a hostile caucus after Robertson was confirmed as having the most support there.

One MP earlier warned that Cunliffe’s first days in the job would be crucial: “I reckon we will know in the first week or so how it’s going to go. If he can’t bring the group together then he’s shot.”

Camp Cunliffe insiders expected he would extend an immediate olive branch to rivals, retaining Robertson in the crucial deputy’s position if he wanted it. A source within Cunliffe’s team also expected there to be a number of Robertson supporters retained in senior portfolios.

This suggested Cunliffe would adopt a similar strategy to Prime Minister John Key when he was appointed leader of the Opposition. In a day-long strategy session at his Parnell home with leadership rival Bill English, Key divvied up front-bench positions and caucus rankings in a deal that secured unity.

This was also the successful strategy used by former Labour leader Helen Clark to unite warring factions after she promoted the leaders of an uprising against her.

But any attempt at brokering unity could come unstuck if Cunliffe attempts to appoint a whip over the incumbent Chris Hipkins, who publicly tore strips off Cunliffe after Labour’s divisive annual conference last year. The whip’s position is usually only held by someone who has the full trust and confidence of the leader and there are rumours Cunliffe has promised the position to Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway.

But the position can only be changed by the caucus, leading to a potentially bloody battle between Robertson supporters and Cunliffe if Hipkins refuses to stand down.

There could also be acrimony if Cunliffe demotes the so-called “old guard” – Annette King, Trevor Mallard, Phil Goff and Ruth Dyson – whom Camp Cunliffe accused of running the campaign against him during the last leadership spill.





Coalition wins by 9pm

Well with plenty of counting to go the coalition has walked in with a resounding defeat. Sorry to see Rudd win his seat, though this may be great for the coalition! Abbot has run a tight and positive campaign, Kevin should hang his head in shame


And they still think sabotaging the MRP float was a good idea?

Roy Morgan published a poll today showing a pretty decent swing to the right. This poll was taken after the Green/Labour alliance released their policy to create a single NZ power purchasing monopoly, will they back down on their 70’s socialist policy, I doubt it.

A major open letter was also released today to the Green/Labour alliance from ten huge signatories, including the Major Energy Users Group, yep thats right even the energy users group are worried about this crazy scheme!

Education vs Education

So in New Zealand the Labour Party are stating they will close down Charter Schools should they ever get back into Government. They are effectively saying that even if Children are doing well, even if parents are happy, even if there are savings made, even if there is public support they will shut off funding to Charter Schools, their reasonings for this are so weak it is embarrassing

  • The introduction of charter schools is based on the failed notion that increased competition will improve student outcomes. There is clear evidence from New Zealand and overseas that this isn’t the case. Even the Treasury has argued that systems with “highly competitive elements” do not produce systematically better outcomes.

  • At a time when the government claims it is focused on quality teaching, charter schools won’t have to employ registered teachers, and the principal won’t even have to hold a teaching qualification.

  • Charter schools will lack public scrutiny. They won’t be covered by the Official Information Act, and although the Ombudsman can now investigate concerns about student stand-downs and exclusions, the overall accountability regime is still very weak.

  • New Zealand’s world-leading curriculum won’t have to be taught in charter schools. Charter schools could be used for indoctrination, rather than education. For example there is nothing to stop a charter school teaching “intelligent design” in the place of science.

  • The Labour Party does not believe that schools should be in the profit-making business. Money that is extracted from charter schools in the form of dividends for shareholders is money that isn’t being invested in education.

  • Charter schools will not have an enrolment zone. While the government claim that charter schools will be targeted to areas of high need, there is nothing to stop such a school accepting a majority of their enrolments from outside their neighbourhood. We remain concerned that charter schools will be able to use underhand methods to “cherry pick” students.

  • We recognise that a number of learners are currently struggling within the education system, and that Māori and Pacific learners are disproportionately represented in that group. That’s why we believe the government should be focused on ensuring that every school is a great school, regardless of where they live. Policies should be based on research and evidence, not ideology.

  • Much of the flexibility that the government claims it seeks through the charter schools model already exists, for example Special Character Schools can already be established with in the existing public school framework.

  • National has no mandate to introduce charter schools. Although it was working on the proposal before the last election, it did not reveal it to the public until afterwards. The fact that the process of establishing charter schools has already started even before the legislation has passed is a real slap in the face to those who took the time to make submissions to the select committee.

Of course the real reason is the Labour Party receives it’s funding from Union Fees that unions pay for you even if you do not want them too and the Unions are scared of schools making their own decisions. Surely though the most important thing at the end of the day is that children are doing well in school? Apparently not for the Labour Party.

Meanwhile in Australian education news the Gonski reforms are falling down. The COAG ministers met on Fridays and unanimously failed to sign up to Julia’s massive education reforms. This is the sound part of the Federation, while I still struggle to understand how states can have such differences and so many tiers of Government can financially be viable I am happy to see that the states are able to slow down erratic policy which at this stage has been so poorly worked through.



LabourGreen power plan will increase prices

Any excellent post today from Ele over at Homepaddock.
I am floored to see the communist alliance of Labour/Green/Mana come out with this. The positive is that even David Parker, the senior minister, has gone on the record disagreeing with the idea 7 years ago. The negative, the leader of the Green ‘Aussie Norman’ actually wants to be finance minister come on kiwis see this coalition for what it will really be… a money printing, socialist, nanny state, backwards trip to the seventies and a plummet in world ‘rankings’



The LabourGreen plan to power us back to the socialist seventies will increase the price of power – and at least one of their MPs knows it.

Electricity consumers should be under no illusion that the Labour-Greens power plan will hit them in the pocket, says Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges.

“Harking back to the 1970s with a half-baked nationalisation plan will ultimately cost consumers as it returns the country to the days of supply constraints, power blackouts and ultimately higher prices.

“David Parker himself said this in advice to the Cabinet in 2006.

“As Minister of Energy he said that “a single buyer would likely result in higher capital and operating costs”. He went on to say that: “The risks involved in changing arrangements could be significant. The resulting uncertainty could lead to investment proposals being put on hold. Direct implementation costs could be large.” And, he…

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New Zealand National Party cleaning up in the polls

Now I have ALWAYS been told that after a poor period of government such as New Zealand endured in under Helen Clark and the Labour Parties regime that the incoming party will clean up (which they did, though nothing like Queensland), do poorly at the next election and barely scrape together a coalition (yep well one extra seat!) and then, if they get that far, bomb at the third election.

Well John Key’s National-led Government look like they are the anti-norm, the way things are going they could even once again increase their seat ratings. Now I extremely doubt this far out they will actually get 60+ seats next election, but heck unless they get a real opposition in the next twelve months it is hardly mission impossible.

The lastest Roy Morgan poll puts National on 60 seats with a 47.5% vote share, easily able to form a centre right government, assuming they go back in with UF and the Maori Party then able to form a very safe coalition. In my humble opinion, and I have commented on this previously, John Key runs a friendly and tight ship. Captain Key is the leader of a luxury cruise liner while Shearer is on the Titanic with his crew kicking the passengers into the icy and lonely waters! Poor Shearer, with colleagues like his you don’t need an opposition!

I am not denying for a second that it is an extremely long political stretch till the next election, but seriously Teflon John (as the left wing bloggers like to call him) has delicately worked through several crises effectively. Until a strong opposition comes along he is hanging out on easy street with a strong team to back him up.

Even with the aggressive mainstream Left wing media backing him up (so so poorly)  David Shearer is proving to be very ineffective.

So well done National and well done the New Zealand public who can see through the childish left wing scare mongering

UNDP Helen Clark meeting with New Zealand Prim...

UNDP Helen Clark meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (Photo credit: Wikipedia)