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Labour leader stands down; no replacement yet; 'I realise I no longer enjoy the confidence of a number of my caucus colleagues'

Labour leader stands down; no replacement yet; 'I realise I no longer enjoy the confidence of a number of my caucus colleagues'

Embattled Labour Party leader David Shearer has stood down.

At this stage no new leader has been elected yet.

The announcement came at a hastily arrange press conference.

There was no early indication of what exactly had prompted the move from Shearer, though it was hardly unexpected given the way the party has failed to fire in the opinion polls.

In announcing his departure Shearer said there had been "no ultimatum" and "no vote".

"But from the soundings I have taken from colleagues I realise I no longer enjoy the confidence of a number of my caucus colleagues."

Shearer said he had been "privileged" to lead the Labour team for the past 20 months and "I’m proud of the gains we have made in that time".

But the party needed to do more, so the time had come to hand over to a new leader to take the party through to the next election in 2014, he said.

"It has been a challenging time off the back of the 2011 election result.

"We have rebuilt and reformed the party and under my leadership, we have released a number of significant policies to improve peoples’ lives.

“KiwiBuild – which will put 100,000 families into their first, affordable home. NZ Power – which will bring down power bills for every Kiwi family and business. And there is much more to come."

Shearer said that after spending the last 20 years of his life leading humanitarian and reconstruction projects overseas, he came home to New Zealand because he is passionate about this country.

"We have a history to be proud of but I believe our best years lie in front of us. But to really take this country forward, we need a change of Government. We need a progressive Government with fresh ideas.

"We need a Labour-led Government.

"The ambitions of one person should never be larger than that greater purpose.  It is time for someone else to take up the challenge of leader.

"I came into politics to make a difference. I believe I have done that. And I will continue to do so as a loyal member of the Labour team and the MP for Mt Albert.

"I would like to thank my fellow MPs and my staff for all their hard work. I wish them all the best for the future." 

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70 Comments

National now have a problem.

hmm and maybe the Green's....14% ate Labour's vote block really...
regards

It doesn't matter which way you look at it - we all have a problem AJ.  There is probably not one of them in Wellington worth voting for. We all end up voting for the best of the worst and that is not doing a country a lot of good.
 
To be fair National have had a bad run with earthquakes, Pike River, GFC, and a plethora of issues which have all taken up precious time. Key and English have been focused on getting the Government books back into some sort of order with.
 
I'm thinking we should have Independent MP's who stand for what they stand for. Party politics are not useful on the whole and tear the country apart.
 
In fact we would probably get a few good MP's from the bloggers on this site that could do a better job than the lot up in Wellington.
 
 

Ive come round to the view that yes Political parties are actually much of the problem.  However independant MPs acting on their own would give those with money a far bigger chance of getting elected as they have the cash to spend, that wouldnt be true representation, so parties are a lesser evil.
"bad run" such things have always happened...it evens out.
"bloggers" I doubt that somehow...many in here are pretty extreme right/libertarian view and show little clue on real economics or humanity. We have seen what 30 years of right leaning voodoo economics can achieve...a bigger mess just around the corner than the 1930s depression...
regards

this  will be good - a 3 way tussle between Union lefties rep Cunliffe , boring Parker and Granty Rainbow  robertson be nzs first gay PM

I don't think the Unions support Cunliffe, they like Little.
 
   I have been a member of the National party for 25 years but I would vote  labour if Cunliffe was head.

... as the door creaks open , a low-brow corn-fed voice is heard to say , " H'yer folks , h'yuk h'yuk .... I'm back " .... and Goofy strides in ...
 
Welcome back Phil Goff !

funny thingbut when I read you first sentence I imagined it was you....
regatds

.... David Shearer has no more place in the NZ Labour Party than I do ..... he's not a leftie nor a union sympathiser ....
 
But Goofy does have experience .... whereas no one likes me old mucker , Cunny .... and the other lad is a tadge too queer for the electorate ....
regatds

Personally I dont know that would effect Grant R's chances. Him or David Parker.
regards

If Grant R - we might see Maurice Williamson change sides :-).
 

These days I don't think the voters will care that Robertson is gay.  But they should worry that his background of experience is in Government, and Government and errrr...... Government.

Sort of agree....I think with the last 2 no-names who despite their ability lacked charisma and voter appeal that Labour has to learn and fast that unless they cant get someoen to match smiling death they will again be an also ran.  Grant R actually has some of that...if nothing else he's won his own electorate...
JK's experience in Govn was what btw?  apart from shafting them?
regards

Noooo GBH....Phill is as gone as you can get......just goofing off n picking up the paycheck.
Parker rattles too easily...Little is too too left..... and Shane  just ain't ready to behave long enough  for the GCSB not to have a file on him.

Count : How absotittley jolly to have you back , ole chum .....
 
... yassss , the Gummster was muddying the waters .... little Johnny & the Gnats are bereft without Sheep Shearer ( the gift , who just keeps giving ) .....
 
A Hard-Labour crew captained by our old buddy Cunny , and with Granty-poo remaining # 2 , would pose a threat to the incumbent Gumnut ....
 
.... d'yer suppose the GCSB guys are tuning into this spiel ? .... if you hear the distant " woop woop woop " of helicopters , call Kim Dotcom for advice !
 

Always a pleasure to read you take on it GBH.......a nod and a wink  should see him in with a show, well hell he's got the wink down , but it's kinda permanent....although as I said a coupla weeks back , don't rule Gillard out....just looking to roll somebody ,,,, anybody..! stuck in a Rudd.
 Be well Mon Ami....off to cook the wife's dinner, maybe ratoban.....!

WB, missed your quality posts....
regards

Surely Shane Jones will also be in the running. He talks a whole lot of sense if you ever catch the Maori news channel. Best thing for Labour in my opinion would be to do a co-leader thing like Greens and Maori. That would indeed signal a new era - power sharing and unity should be the hallmark of MMP politics. Labour needs to remake itself big time and that would be a very good way to please all the factions in both Party and caucus. 
 
Frankly, Shane Jones and Andrew Little would be my picks .. both superb negotiators - both able to bring the grassroots back to the party - and that is desperately needed. They need the Maori vote, they need the workers vote, they need the youth/student vote, they need the union vote and they need the academic vote. Forget trying to leech to the centre - it only worked for Helen because National was in disarray. 
 
I still view Cunliffe as suffering a bit from the neoliberal hangover but he'd make a good Minister of Finance. Labour should be thinking not only about its leadership but the full suite of portfolios before making this decision. Shearer has handed them an opportunity - as long as they don't let internal politics get in the way.

as long as they don't let internal politics get in the way.
 
Ummm. We are talking about the Labour Party are we not?

Clearly if they fail to look united this time - Greens and NZ First will be seen as leaders of the opposition.

NZF? now you frighten me....

Provide proof to back that assertion?

Honestly I think you are in la la land...the centre swing voter decides the election.  Id rather not see Labour spend a decade in the wilderness just to prove that again. 
PS Just where is the Alliance? New Labour? gone bye bye, that should tell you how small the "true left" is as a voting block.  Besides which that block is locked into Labour or the Green's anyway, no where else to go dont need to buy their support.
regards
 

Excellent commentary, thanks Kate.  I look forward to John Armstrong's prognosis of where they need to go. 

Thanks.  And I should have added that not only do they need to re-announce their shadow Cabinet portfolios to take them through to the election alongside the new leadership announcement - but they also need to announce an intention to work with Greens and NZ First on a grand coalition agreement - with Hone giving them support on confidence and supply :-).
 
Time to knock out the "one-man-wonders" that have been propping up MMP governments ever since Helen joined up with Jim.
 
Time for our Parliament to show the world how to work collaboratively in government with wide cross-party support and shared governance. It is the only way we will ever rise above the tyranny of the executive which has been the hallmark of NZ's unicameral Parliament since the 1950s.
 
 
 
 

Oh I never imagined you were a left leaning voter.....
regards

The new leader will have to be someone who can withstand all the name calling from a certain  side of the house. If there was any one thing that's puts me off National it is that.

OK , so not Goofy or Cunny , you reckon ....
 
... gay Granty or shagger Shane then ?

And one of the worst at it has been the Attorney-General recently. Shameful really. 
 
Shane would come in handy there as he could return the insults jovially in Maori and the Speaker wouldn't know what was being said.

Agree...its like watching a decile 10 Kindergarden, a bunch of smug self-important so and sos acting catty.
regards

Cunliffe
Robertson
and
Parker : Labour are in more poo than Fonterra !
 
... time for Winnie & the Greens to lead the opposition benches ...

Winnie and the Greens will milk a few votes out of this - just hope the country doesn't get botulism from all the powder coated sweeties they throw around.

to save Labour time and money wasting on knife sharpening materials,  what say we have poll on interest.co on who the anointed one should be.
we shouldnt  forget Comrade Maryan Street either - she could stand under the slogan " Labour - streets ahead when its time to take the road to victory "
( actually , making Shearer stand up with those 2 smelly  fish on Tuesday  has got to be the cunningest coup de tat on the part of the next Pretender to the throne)
 

Thats it folks , Like Labour in Australia,  Labour here is a lost cause , they can never recover in the next 7 - 8 months  and by May 2014 ,  start campaigning .
Added to which , the Greens have eroded their constituency significantly
Its a pity really because one was expecting Shearer to be a bit of a reformist like Tony Blair http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Blair  with a new vision for labour that took it out of the communist era state- does -everything thinking .
Instead , there was never a vison just pressure from hard line lefties in the party ensuring  he was unable to transform that radical thinking within labour that the state -must-wipe - your -backside , andTax - and -spend other peoples money .
Now , they might as well merge with the Greens to become the Greenlabour Party

Well that merger would make it the greenhouse - loads of gas too.

While I realise polls jump around a lot, the latest Roy Morgan poll taken last week before Shearer's act of teamwork, shows Labour Greens 48% surge ahead of National on 44%. While NZ First could presumably swing either way, it seems far more likely to me they would side with Labour Greens. Assuming the current poll stayed anything like that for 18 months, that grouping would have a comfortable majority.
Assuming the poll is correct, and somewhat lasting, I would hypothesise that National has progressively been losing trust on some core issues, and if that were true, my marketing background says trust is one brand element that once lost can take some getting back.
Time will tell. 

Was it another bank account that he forgot that he had????

I look at it like this:
Cunliffe - Labour moves to the right giving te Greens some space and picking up some centre-right votes. National are well beaten in '14 and Crusher comes in while TeflonJohn slides off back to Wall St
Little - Labour stays as is of moves to the left, poaches some seats from Te Greens and maybe scrapes by in a very vicsious election. National narrowly defeated in '14 but maybe MrSJoyce takes the reigns.
 
Either way I think this is bad news for the Nats.
 
 

ya drimmin..   Labour will self implode with Cuncliffe and Andrew's fractions

Disagree Chairman, they got it soooo soo wrong when the went for Shearer...went for the puppet as opposed to the dogfighter.
 Ya don't take a knife to a gunfight, so don't take a pussy to a dogfight...capiche.

They will have better chances if they have Cunliife and Jones as deputy. Jones will have enough mongrel to keep Andrew and Parker at bay (and Russell)

There's them that talk.... there's them that do, an I been a busy busy boy.
 Bye bye, invisible man, my fondest wish is that you do  not fade into insignificance as you've already tried that an it just didn't work out for you.
 Prepare the return of the the Running Cun...to get past Robertson he will need all that cunning and less of the squinting.....
 If they have any sense as a Party  looking to be serious contender, Robetson's gotta go too.
 I'm off to get busy......
 Hey while I'm here, no cospiracy, just fantastic timing or coincidence,,,, Dunne's Party  gets the nod from the electoral commission , he get's his xtra 100k the day before the GCSB Vote.
 ay ...eh..? 
 Dunne walks into a bar with a dirty big ugly frog atop his head....
The Barman looks in horror and says  WTF is that...?
The Frog says ...ah dunno , it started out as a wart on my ass.

Their version as I understand it wouldn't apply to the family home. Are you suggesting there are 1 million property speculators out there?
 

May be not the family home but every loves extra taxes...  there is better way to calm the houisng bubble!

Well presenting it as a solution to the price of housing is dumb anyway. It's a tax - and property speculation is one industry that isn't in a slump (well not in Auckland anyway, which is the biggest chunk of the overall market). 
 
So, drop the doing-it-to-lower-the-price-of-houses excuse and get to the chase .. the country needs to collect more tax from those business/capital ventures that are turning a profit. Simple as that and far more honest IMO.

I am here in Brisbane. Our eighbour built a brand new house and it took 17 weeks (incl. appying for permit etc..), permit cost was under 10K.  That's the typical time frame here.. well that's one way to calm the market. Make it easier to build and they'll have my vote!

yeah my house build here in adelaide was only slightly longer, and permit costs (planning and building) were about $700.
And no development contributions

Just curious, did that include the cost of building inspections or is that charged out on a separate basis?  We had three building inspections recently for a pretty straight forward internal reno (pre-line, post line and final CoC) - just can't see how one could do inspections alone for a new build for under $700.00, let alone approve plans and administer the back office processes as well.  

While we are asking questions was there a connection fee for water, sewer etc instead of development contributions

K and K
Yes there were connection fees - totalled about $1500 from memory 
$700 included inspections. I think most councils here in adelaide fund most of their planning and building staff costs through rates, with only minor cost recovery.  
with construction grants for first home buyers its a great time to build in Adelaide
Kiwis are getting shafted

Kiwis are getting shafted
 
I reckon Aussie just knows how to tax better (GST, stamp duty, CGT - payable on transfer of assets through inheritance as well, of course, mandatory super) - whereas NZ went down the lower taxes / higher user pays route. And Aus has the benefit of both federal and state taxation - whereas we're unitary.  But that's just a general impression and bear in mind both jurisdictions are running massive deficits.

Kate: CGT is a Federal Tax, while GST and Stamp Duties are State Taxes. Local Bodies do not have taxing powers and survive on rates alone.

Yes, I know and I'm assuming those state taxes will contribute to costs associated with local amenities (e.g. recreational facilities, museums, art galleries, historic/heritage etc.) - whereas here all that infrastructure is over to the local body?
 
 

yes, state govt does provide quite a lot of funding to local govt

Matt-in-Adelaide .. you forgot the kicker .. why dont you tell the people here your assessment of whether you get more or less services for your rates in Adelaide (neglible consents) compared to Auckland (impressive consents) ..

bugger all difference from what I can tell. Maybe roads and streets are maintained a bit better in Auckland

I'm just looking at my latest rates announcement, Bayside Council
For every $100 spent
Insurance and public Liability $2
Community Buildings              $14 provide and maint
Waste Management                 $10
Libraries Arts culture                $6
Family & Children svcs            $6    creches
Aged & Disability svcs           $11  meals on wheels, in home assistance, transport
Street Lighting                          $1
Parks & Recreation               $18   lots of them
Roads Footpaths Drains      $17
Community Safety Laws      $13  planning, consents, inspections

Zanyzane,
I suspect you have a point. Although there is an intellectual case for a capital gains tax, it is only really sound if it includes the family home, and that would be a clear political no-no. But then in certain circumstances where inflation is very low, and there is a deficit, I would not rule out printing, but I know from experience that any talk of that gets the natives restless. (they seem to prefer Aussie Banks printing billions of $NZ than the Reserve Bank doing it, which always strikes me as bizarre, but that is an aside). There are other alternatives to managing property booms, or even to reduce inequality, if that is the objective. Some of them involve tax reductions which would for sure win votes. 

You're correct  Zanyzane : They've had a CGT in Oz for several years now .... and yet they're sitting atop the mother of all property bubbles in Ashtraylia ...
 
CGT just pisses people off .... it makes life unnecessarily complicated ... Accountants love it !
 
... simple solution to the housing shortage : Ensure more houses and apartments are built : Easy peasy , bro'.

Been giving this a bit of thought today. Shearer was not my pick for leader when Goff lost the mantle. The main reason for that was he did not look like he really wanted the job.
He's a decent man who has made his name in decent pursuits, and seeing as he surfs and plays a bit of guitar, I would expect he is a good guy.
However all that is by the by, the thing that sticks out for me is that the country would prefer a money trader who has made his name in totally selfish pursuits as a leader than a guy who has worked in humanitarian pursuits and made a great name for himself in doing so. So much of this speaks to us, as it does to Labour and Shearer

Well said Raegun.
I sympathise somewhat with Shearer, he meant well and had good intentions but he failed to inspire voters and perhaps lacked the edge to increase their support in the polls.
I believe whoever steps up to the mark needs to empower the entire Labour caucus and promote not just one but several of it's aspiring MP's. One leader solely will not contribute to a growing and prosperous country. 
That's where National's strength lies...Key, English, Joyce...even Parata all have strong leadership qualities that appeals to the joe-average public. 
There is a sense of irony that selfish, arrogant, bully-boys and (girls) win over the public in the polls. 
Labour need to target traditional left approaches whilst balancing  issues of Social welfare and the justice system. I believe the promotion of youth employment in the workplace, subsidised tertiary education; in particular fields where we have a shortage of highly advanced skills and promoting graduate schemes in larger corporate firms to encourage the bright and talented young people we have living in this country.
Labour should also distance themselves from the Greens. I have a great deal of respect for Norman but New Zealander's are a little scared of what he brings to the table...including a few on this forum.
Labour needs to regain it's own identity. Not one aligned to the Greens. Either way they'll become coalition partners.
Finally, National will bolt in, in the next election regardless of what happens. They have bullied their way through office at the expense of many New Zealanders but it has also gained their respect.
A bit like a very strict teacher who no-one really likes but respect all the same.
 

Respect National?
 
The 'swallow a few dead rats' to gain power party?
 
With a leader who calls the police when a cameraman invited to cover the circus accidentally leaves a microphone in full view of the circus performers?
 
And who views scientists as "a bit like lawyers" - able to be bought to say anything he (or anyone else for that matter) wants them to say?
 
The same one who made a  pledge not to raise GST because his his tax cuts were absolutely affordable?
 
Respect for him.  Hardly.
 
Contempt for us. Absolutely.
 

Don't blame the show pony, Labours problem is that they are devoid of any policy that will swing the masses. - gay weddings and the like may be nice but are a long way from increasing the lot for working kiwis. minimum wages and conditions, health etc is what people want from Labour. - Get back to the (Labour) basics and stop pretending to be a National-lite. Increase taxes build infrastructure etc. 

Such a touching faith in the Power of Politix, evinced on this 'ere thread.
 
I had no idea there were so many starry-eyed idealists left in the world.
 
My prediction:  a shedload of completely unsustainable but immensely alluring promises from whichever red-green glove puppet pops over the parapet.
Populist stuff like the following:

  • Raise the minumum wage to, what the heck, $22.17
  • Index the grey-hair panem and circenses weekly purchase unit price to  70% of the average wage
  • Roll back all the ACC changes and reinstate lump sum payouts for injuries to cultural dignity
  • Buy back all the power companies, and while we're in purchase mode, a couple more banks as well, plus the big insurance companies who have profited from Christchurch Earthquakes as revealed by their latest financials.
  • And, for the working man, Free Beer Tomorrow.

Should take about 1.75 electoral cycles to totally foobar the country once whichever buncha muppets then in power realise the Error of their Ways.
 
Given the colours involved, I'd be inclined to brand the whole shebang as the Kermit Party.

Cute, but I think even the leftists/idealists or whatever you call them/us get it that the country is broke.  National's spending has proven that!!!!!
http://www.interest.co.nz/Charts/Government/government-debt
 
 
 

Kate, under the new GSCB act that comment could be considered seditious.
Just remember you are being watched.

Just remember that Helen Clark set all this up , when she was PM .... all Jolly Kid has done is to tighten the rules regarding the government's ability to use them ...
 
... apparently on her recent visit to NZ she was pleased that the majority of her policies to oversee the citizens and make them welfare wards of the state have been kept 100 % pure , no dilution of the state's powers ...

Indeed, GBH.  The first wonder is that the Fine Upstanding Citoyen are so easily purchased, the second that once bought, they so easily Stay bought. 
 
I think it's called Democracy.
 
let the Good Times Roll!

"Cute, but I think even the leftists/idealists or whatever you call them/us get it that the country is broke.  National's spending has proven that!!!!!"
Spilt my coffee......too funny! Sadly true.
 
National are truly a don't tax but spend party......
I would like to see a coherent policy of realistic budgets. Taxing and spending that balance out. Surely Labour could treat the electorate with at least some respect and stop insulting our intelligence. You don't have to forsake minimum living conditions for the less well off to live within a tight spending regime. 
A CGT is a sensible start.
Cheers
 

Yeah, the country isnt broke, long way from it we can even borrow long term at 3.2% so even mad dog right wing investors dont think that we are.  The Public debt isnt high and, it just doesnt tax enough. The upper income bands have been taxed at 70% before now and we still had bombing economies in teh 50s and 60s.  Anyway the debt is mostly private, that level of debt is truely painful but freely taken on as per right wing market mantra.
"Surely Labour could treat the electorate with at least some respect and stop insulting our intelligence."
Personally I think thats been tried and just has not worked, I see it all the time. Take me Im very risk adverse and cautious, ppl dont like to listen as Im "negative"  They like to listen to [blindly] positive ppl like GBH (that includes IQ level btw) who tell them all will be well.
CGT, yes I agree, but it should be on the family home as well and there should be PAYE reductions to compensate, that will never happen however....massive voter loss. 
Personally I think with an excess of and cheap energy we have forgotten just how important it is to act as a society and not individuals...thats gonna change and big time, it has to.
regards
 
 
 
 

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See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.