Anecdote avalanche after Dann damns Cunliffe

Labour candidate James Dann launched an avalanche of anecdotes damning Labour’s electability due to David Cunliffe being significantly more liability than asset with voters – and this is before the train wreck since the election.

Dann is openly supportive of Grant Robertson but his open letter yesterday has had widespread corroboration.

Brand Cunliffe appears to be Labour’s equivalent of Ford’s Edsel (“the Titanic of automobiles”) and New Coke (that went down like a cup of cold sick).

Cunliffe says he spent a week soul searching but he seems to have failed to find reality. He has claimed to have substantial support but there seems to be far more who have given up on him, or never supported him.

Particularly damning was his deputy leader David Parker who said he had lost confidence in Cunliffe and thought his position as leader was untenable. Parker is now caretaker party leader until a new one is chosen.

Dann wrote in An Open Letter To David Cunliffe:

We ran a two ticks campaign in Ilam. All our material had “Party Vote Labour” proudly on it. We delivered tens of thousands of pieces of paper with your face on it. But the reality, the hard truth, is that people in the electorate just didn’t connect with you. I lost count of the number of times I door knocked someone who told me they had voted Labour all their life, but wouldn’t vote for us as long as you were leader. People who would have a Labour sign – but not one with your face on it. While those examples are strictly anecdotal, the result on election night isn’t. It’s unavoidable. It’s practically the worst result in the Party’s history.

Stuff backs this up in Moveable feast for leadership:

His opponents in caucus won’t bother mincing their words. There was silent agreement yesterday after Labour’s Ilam candidate, James Dann, wrote that he lost count of the number of times he doorknocked life-long Labour supporters who said they wouldn’t vote for Cunliffe.

One MP reckons he got the same response from eight out of 10 doors he knocked on.

NZ Herald reports “one MP” in Labour MPs undecided over front-runners:

“As things stand, one candidate is completely unacceptable and the other is regarded as a risk.”

Scott Yorke (Imperator Fish) writes in Facebook:

I’m not a party insider, just a boring old party member, so don’t shoot me if you disagree.

1.David Cunliffe: I like David, and I voted for him during the last leadership contest. But the voters don’t seem keen on him, to put it mildly. I’ve had plenty of conversations with people who might have been inclined to vote Labour this year, but chose not to precisely because David was leader. A lot of the shit thrown at David has been unfair, but it has stuck. He has also made mistakes. As an example, I was dismayed at his election night “victory” speech, which I thought was inappropriate.

It seems that David has very few friends in caucus. It doesn’t really matter to me whether or not the antagonism displayed by various caucus members towards David is justified. It exists, and I cannot see it going away if David is re-elected as leader. I can’t see how he can lead the party to victory when so many within his own caucus want him gone. How can he work with David Parker now?

So if David wins the leadership contest the party will be led by someone who doesn’t have the support of caucus, and who most voters don’t really like. A recipe for success in 2017? It’s possible, but I doubt it.

Russell Brown responded to Dann’s post at Public Address:

I lost count of the number of times I door knocked someone who told me they had voted Labour all their life, but wouldn’t vote for us as long as you were leader.

I had a couple of those conversations with people I know, just casually.

As did ‘Max':

I had a similar experience during the campaign where we were campaigning relentlessly for the party vote. The worst experience was talking to a 70 year old lady who said she had voted Labour her entire life (that is a lot of elections and a lot of Labour Party leaders!) – but she wouldn’t be doing it this time because she simply “couldn’t stand” David Cunliffe. She had met Cunliffe personally at an event and couldn’t bring herself to do it. He was just too smarmy and disingenuous for her. Easy to see how we go down to 24% when we lost those types of supporters.

And Dann’s campaign manager Stephen Judd:

How many of the “voted Labour all their life” people are actually Labour,

I’ll take that one, as James’ former campaign manager. Lots. We focus our limited doorknock and phone canvas resources on people that have canvassed Labour in the past or areas that statistically should be rich in Labour support (high deprivation index, low home ownership, good booth results in previous elections, that kind of thing). Ilam is dominated by Fendalton and Merivale but Aorangi, Bishopdale and Bryndwr where we went hardest are far different in demographic. To be honest, I got that same feedback too.

‘slewratedotnet’ writes at Kiwiblog:

As a member and volunteer I think James got it right. My family were Labour voters throughout the Clark government and that support has now gone to the Greens and Nats for much the same reasons as he talks about, they simply do not like DC.

Remember that this is mostly relating to sentiments before the election. There’s been widespread criticism of how Cunliffe has acted since the election.

It’s possible some comments may have ulterior motives with the pending leadership contest but the discontent with Cunliffe is widespread and growing.

Media are scathing of Cunliffe, especially since the election. NZ Herald: 13 bizarre things David Cunliffe has said in the past 24 hours.

Dominion Post editorial Labour needs a likeable leader:

The continuing mess shows up two fundamental facts about Labour’s defeat. Cunliffe is not liked by most of his caucus, and they are not going to change their minds about him. Why should they? He was in charge during the catastrophe. And second, most of the voters don’t like him either. In this he contrasts with National leader John Key, who is widely liked. It is a political truth that the voters are never wrong

One of Cunliffe’s biggest problems is he keeps claiming things that the voters know to be out of synch with reality.

There are obviously similar sentiments amongst those in the Labour Party who will vote for a new leader.

Cunliffe’s position even less tenable

After a rapid turnaround from being unapologetic and determined to remain as leader to taking a break to reconsider his future the writing is written large on Labour’s leadership wall.

Claire Trevett reports at NZ Herald – David Cunliffe pauses to reconsider future.

A pause is as good as gone, the Labour caucus has started him down and Cunliffe is blinking hard as he backs off from the inevitable.

Labour leader David Cunliffe is understood to be taking time off to reconsider his political future after several of his key supporters in caucus withdrew their support – a step that has ramped up the pressure on him to step down.

It is understood at least three of Mr Cunliffe’s six key backers now believe it is no longer tenable for him to lead because he would have no control over caucus and risk damaging the already reeling party further.

With half of his already meagre support base deserting him, Mr Cunliffe is now facing a choice between resigning or fighting a battle he would have only a slim chance of winning because of his almost total lack of caucus support.

His position was difficult enough with minority support in caucus. Almost total lack of caucus support would make Cunliffe’s job as leader virtually impossible and it would ensure Labour doesn’t start on the road to recovery.

It would be worse than lame duck, it would be like a duck with twenty plus pairs of hands poised around it’s neck.

One MP described Labour’s seven-hour caucus meeting as “torrid”.

Cunliffe’s demeanour had noticeably changed either side of the meeting. And he lost a key supporter in deputy David Parker.

In a further blow to Mr Cunliffe, the Herald understands that Mr Parker had decided to step down from his role on Tuesday because he could no longer support Mr Cunliffe and did not believe it was appropriate to stay on.

Yesterday, Mr Parker ruled out standing for the party leadership himself – but he would not comment on whether he intended to step down as deputy leader, saying he remained in the role “for the time being”.

If Cunliffe resigns Parker would be in a good position to step up as caretaker leader until a contest to chose a new leader is held. He would be the best Labour MP to stabilise the wallowing Labour ship.

There’s still a few staunch Cunliffe supporters in the blogs but that’s a diminished number, many can see the obvious.

A source close to Mr Cunliffe said it was becoming clear it would be hard for him to win the support of the wider membership again given the election result and the low support in caucus, despite the membership vote carrying him into power in last year’s leadership battle.

Even the unions who supported Cunliffe must be seriously reconsidering.

This is very ugly for Labour but as long as they don’t rush in to a “quick fix” and carefully consider the medium term they have time to deal with this. There is no urgency.

But I think having a new leadership team in place by the end of the year would enable Labour to start 2015 on a new and more hopeful footing.

Labour staunch on raising Super age

Labour is promoting it';s policy to raise the age of eligibility of National Superanuation again. RNZ reports:

Labour pushing later retirement age

The Labour Party is using the latest information on the state of the Government’s books to push its policy of gradually raising the retirement age to 67.

It’s not a retirement age. You can retire any age you choose.

It’s the age at which you become eligible for National Superannuation. Many people don’t retire when the become eligible, they receive Super while still earning an income.

If elected on 20 September, Labour would gradually phase in an increased retirement age of 67.

Anyone receiving a pension before 2020 would not be affected, but people turning 65 after 2020 would have to wait until they are 65 years and two months to get their entitlement. The retirement age would be raised by two months every year until it reaches 67.

Labour’s finance spokesperson David Parker says pension costs, which make up about half of all social spending, need to be addressed.

This would extend my eligibility age by two months. No big deal for me personally.

Ironically this policy is what many on the right think is essential but are up against a John Key wall of inaction, while some on the left will be spitting tacks again as they are strongly opposed to raising the Super age.

A past left wing discussion on the pros and cons of this Labour policy – The retirement age debate.

This would also be a no-go for any Labour-NZ First coalition agreement.

 

Labour versus Reserve Bank on immigration

The Reserve Bank Governor points out an obvious flaw in Labour’s claims they can control immigration numbers.

Wheeler pours cold water on Labour’s anti-immigration policy

Labour’s plans to control immigration look to have been dealt a blow by the Governor of the Reserve Bank.

Labour has promised to control immigration and introduce what it’s calling moderate and sensible measures to help address pressures on housing prices.

But Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler says it’s very hard to fine tune immigration to meet demand purposes.

“By the time you make an adjustment you may well find the situation’s completely changed.”

What Wheeler says was obvious as soon as Cunliffe opened his mouth about immigration.

But Labour deputy David Parker is sticking to Labour’s policy (that hasn’t actually been defined, just that they would do something).

Labour confident of immigration policy

Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler says it’s very hard to fine tune immigration to meet demand purposes.

Labour Party Finance spokesman David Parker says the comments don’t undermine his party’s proposals to control immigration.

He says anyone who says so is wrong, maintaining excessive immigration does put pressure on housing supply.

“We don’t accept this unambitious view of the current government that you can’t do anything about house speculation, anything about house prices, or anything about the peaks in immigration.

“You certainly won’t be able to do any of those things if you don’t try.”

a) Smoothing out immigration is extremely difficult when some of the biggest movements – New Zealanders leaving and returning – can’t be controlled at all by the Government.

b) Still no details from Labour about how they might avoid getting peaks in immigration.

Labour’s compulsory Kiwisaver exemptions

Labour have indicated they may exempt some people from compulsory Kiwisaver.

From David Parker’s speech:

Distributional and hardship effects for the lower paid would need to be considered, but could be accommodated in the detail of how the variable rate was applied.

Labour would ensure that everyone was treated fairly.

From the detailed policy document:

5.12 The New Zealand Labour Party is proposing that the existing KiwiSaver scheme become a universal work place savings scheme. This would be achieved by making KiwiSaver compulsory, with exceptions limited to those which apply to the Australian scheme.

So there would be some exceptions similar to Australia’s Superannuation Guarantee

5. Exemptions
 
An employer is not required to provide superannuation contributions to the following categories of employees:
  • employees receiving a salary/wage of less than $450 (before tax) in a calendar month
  • employees under 18 years of age working less than 30 hours per week
  • non-resident employees paid for work done outside Australia
  • resident employees paid by non-resident employers for work done outside Australia
  • employees receiving salary and wages under the Community Development Employment Program
  • some foreign executives holding certain visas or entry permits under the under the Migration (1993) Regulations
  • employees earning above the maximum super contribution base – super is not paid on the portion of income above the maximum super contribution base
  • employees paid to do work of a domestic or private nature for not more than 30 hours a week, (eg part-time nanny or housekeeper)
  • members of the army, navy or air force reserve for work carried out in that role 
  • eligible employees who made a choice, prior to the abolition of reasonable benefit limits, to not receive employer super contributions because their accumulated super benefits exceeded the pension reasonable benefit limit
  • employees temporarily working in Australia who are covered by a bilateral super agreement – employers are required to keep a copy of the employee’s certificate of coverage to verify the exemption.
  • non-resident employers are not required to provide SG for resident employees for work they do outside Australia.
Note: employees aged 75 years and over used to be exempted from the requirement, however from 1 July 2013 there is no longer an age threshold.

I’ve seen somewhere that they would also tighten up on payment holidays and withdrawals for extreme hardship.

As a comparison here are the Australian rates:

Percentage increase to minimum contribution
In the 2010 Federal Budget, the Treasurer announced important changes to the superannuation guarantee scheme.
  • From 1 July 2013, there is no longer be an age limit on employees for whom employers have SG obligations.
  • The minimum SG contribution will increase from 9% to 12%, phasing in from 1 July 2013. The minimum contributions required to comply with the SG law will be:
Year commencing Minimum SG contribution
1 July 2013 9.25%
1 July 2014 9.5%
1 July 2015 10%
1 July 2016 10.5%
1 July 2017 11%
1 July 2018 11.5%
1 July 2019 12%
Legislation

 

Labour policies could help property speculators

Labour’s monetary and tax policies could benefit property speculators in several ways, despite continued claims by leader David Cunliffe and finance spokesperson David Parker that under National speculators are not taxed (they are taxed, see Property speculators are taxed).

Cunliffe “Speculators…getting rich on tax-free capital gains”.

Parker: ““National Party, despite the fact that we had 40 percent house inflation, they’re not doing anything about it. Not taxing speculators…”.

Reducing lending rates, exempting family homes from Capital Gains Tax and lower rates of CGT could all benefit property speculators by reducing their costs and tax.

Reduced lending rates

In Labour’s Monetary Policy Upgrade announced yesterday they said they would allow for increasing Kiwisaver contributions to help keep the official cash rate (and lending rates) lower.

Give the Bank a new tool to adjust universal KiwiSaver savings rates as an alternative to raising interest rates. This would mean Kiwis would pay money to their retirement savings instead of higher mortgage payments to overseas banks.

Property speculators who borrow money to fund their property developments and house purchases will benefit from lower interest rates.

Family home exempt CGT

In his policy speech yesterday yesterday David Parker reiterated that family homes would be exempt CGT.

Our capital gains tax pushes against the tax bias which currently encourages capital into the speculative sector at the cost of the productive sector.

In addition to improving the economy, this will make the tax system fairer, and will take pressure off house prices.

As in most other countries, it will not cover owner occupied homes. The family home will be exempted.

A common way of property speculating and dealing is to purchase a home and live in it (as a family home), do it up, then sell it to benefit from a capital gain.

In Mistaking property dealing for property investment Inland Revenue make it clear that currently purchasing a ‘family home’ with the intention of reselling it is speculating and is taxable.

Some property buyers refer to a “buy and flick” strategy. This approach is most likely to mean you are a property speculator or dealer for tax purposes.

If one of your reasons for buying a property is to resell it, whether you live in it or rent it out, you’re speculating in property and your profit is likely to be taxable.

Labour would appear to exempt this type of speculating from CGT.

Reduced CGT rate

Inland Revenue state:

Dealers and speculators must pay income tax on any gain they make from reselling their property.

If that is replaced by a Capital Gains Tax it could reduce the rate they are taxed. Labour’s proposed CGT rate is 15%.

Income tax rates for individuals (excluding ACC Earner Premium):

  • up to $14,000 10.5 cents
  • from $14,001 to $48,000 17.5 cents
  • from $48,001 to $70,000 30 cents
  • $70,001 and over 33 cents

Any earnings at all (not just from property speculating) over 14,000 are currently taxed at a higher rate than the proposed CGT.

Note: it’s not clear exactly how Labour would handle these situations. Their monetary policy and CGT could be modified with exceptions and additional requirements.

Cunliffe and Parker repeat claims on property speculation

Both David Cunliffe and David Parker have repeated claims that capital gains on property speculation is not taxed. They are wrong again.

David Cunliffe in speech to Young Labour:

We have too many children who are getting sick because they live in cold, damp, cramped houses with black mould growing up the walls. Sometimes owned by speculators who just push the rent up while getting rich on tax-free capital gains.

David Parker on The Nation:

“You need to tax the speculators….capital gains tax”
“Loan to valuation ratios would not be needed if they were taxing speculators and building affordable homes.”
“National Party, despite the fact that we had 40 percent house inflation, they’re not doing anything about it. Not taxing speculators…”

Inland Revenue:

Dealers and speculators must pay income tax on any gain they make from reselling their property.

Cunliffe has made similar claims several times this month, including in Parliament. He has been corrected.

Parker has made similar claims over the past year, including multiple times in Parliament, He has been corrected multiple times.

It can’t be through ignorance.

It looks like deliberate attempts to mislead the public.

Details at Politicheck: Property speculators are taxed

Harawira wants to spend ACC fund on policies

In an interview on The Nation this morning Hone Harawira was asked how the Mana Party proposed funding their policies. Harawira suggested raising taxes “on the rich” and using the ACC fund would help pay for them.

Lisa Owen: So, to be clear, you think you can cover several billion dollars worth of spending through taxation?

Hone Harawira: That’s one of them, there’s another one as well. Did you know there’s 22 billion dollars sitting in the hands of ACC, simply amassing wealth, amassing wealth through the corporatisation of injury? There’s something wrong with that notion. That money should be spent on the needs of New Zealanders, not on investments which are aimed at maximising the wealth of the corporates that are running it.

http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/nation-lisa-owen-interviews-hone-harawira/5/187533

How big is the ACC fund? NZ Herald reported ACC fund doubles to $24.6 billion.

Latest figures show ACC’s investment fund was worth $24.6 billion.

The ACC Annual Report summarises their financial position as at 30 June 2013:

ACC Financial Position 2013So even though they have $24 billion ACC say they need to increase this to cover their liabilities.

This would mean maintaining existing levels of income to grow the fund. ACC explains how they’re funded.

The money we need to provide our services comes from levies on people’s earnings, businesses’ payrolls, petrol and fees from vehicle licensing, as well as Government funding. When working out how much money to collect through levies, we balance the likely cost of claims against the need to keep levies fair and stable. We distribute the money collected into one of five ACC Accounts, each Account covering a specific group of injuries.

If the fund was reduced then over time the Government would have to pay more to cover ongoing costs, so using up the fund now would cost taxpayers more later.

Mana Party draft policy supports returning to ‘pay-as-you-go’ for ACC. From their (Draft) ACC Policy:

MANA supports the principles originally formulated by Justice Owen Woodhouse in his 1967 Royal Commission report, in which he recommended setting up a new, universal, 24 hour, no-fault system for accident compensation and support. The five principles are: community responsibility; comprehensive entitlement; complete rehabilitation; real compensation; and administrative efficiency.

MANA believes that everything should be done to return ACC to the Woodhouse principles so that individuals and whānau are protected and supported when people suffer injury.

Key policies include:

  • Government to return to ‘pay as you go’ for ACC, rather than expecting ACC to collect enough money to cover all future costs in each year.
  • Make health and wellbeing the priority, rather than forcing people off ACC as quickly as possible.
  • Get rid of the vocational independence (work capacity) test which is unnecessary and is often used simply as a way of forcing people off ACC at the soonest possible opportunity.
  • Ensure that people who suffer from work-related gradual process injury, disease or infection, including from chemical poisoning, and from hearing loss induced by industrial noise, receive full cover from ACC.
  • Require ACC to continue cover as long as an injury remains a cause of a person’s current condition, rather than using pre-existing conditions or age related degeneration as an excuse to withdraw support.
  • Remove the inequity in access to services and healthcare between ACC and Ministry of Health clients, bringing all recipients to the higher level of access to resources.

So Mana want to dig into the ACC fund and spend it on their social policies while adding to ACC coverage and costs with their ACC policies.

To do this they would need agreement from Labour.

David Parker: ACC levy equals 350 years of Govt funding for food in schools

“The Government is taking $700 million more than is needed from New Zealanders through ACC levies over two years. That’s a stealth tax, pure and simple. They’ve been advised to reduce it but are still overcharging New Zealanders.

“That money is enough to cover the Government’s new role in feeding the kids for 350 years. That’s how badly Kiwis are being ripped off.

“The Government is using ACC as a political jelly bean jar, overcharging New Zealanders to fill to the jar to overflowing in order to dole out lollies in election year for political advantage.

“This isn’t prudent financial management, it’s taking directly from New Zealanders’ back pockets to try to win an election,” says David Parker.

Mana are trying to win an election by promising to spend from the ACC fund.

Sue Moroney: ACC levies higher than they need to be

“Money collected in ACC levies can’t be used to fund anything else, as it is ring-fenced for injuries resulting from accidents, so its use to prop up a sham surplus is misleading.

“That money would be better off circulating in the economy, than being tied up in an ACC’s coffers where it is not needed,” Sue Moroney said.

https://www.labour.org.nz/media/acc-levies-higher-they-need-be

This is just opposition and election rhetoric, there’s no guarantee Mana would get a say on use of the ACC fund and there’s no guarantee Labour would substantially change how ACC operates and is funded.

Mana want to spend from the ACC fund. Labour want to reduce levies. Mana want to increase payouts.

Is that affordable? If so who should pay?

Labour ridiculed over plan to increase top tax rate

A former Labour minister has ridiculed plans to raise the top income tax rate saying it “takes us back to old Labour and the politics of envy”.

This is as reported in The Telegraph in England – Higher tax rates will hold back economic growth Labour’s tax on the rich would send the message that Britain penalises enterprise – but ex New Zealand Revenue Minister Peter Dunne points out it’s relevance here.

@PeterDunneMP

Relevant message to NZ Labour for tomorrow here – Higher tax rates will hold back economic growth.

NZ experience also shows higher taxes stymie growth. Labour can’t have it both ways.

This should be a warning to David Cunliffe and David Parker, but they already seem committed to raising the tom tax rate.

Also from The Telegraph:

Labour’s City guru savages Ed Balls for 50p tax pledge

Economics behind Labour’s plan to bring back 50p top rate of income tax would not even get “a pass at GCSE”, says the party’s own former City minister

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, promised on Saturday that Labour would reinstate the tax band for those earning more than £150,000, if the party won the next general election.

He insisted that increasing the rate from 45p to 50p — for “the richest one per cent” of earners — would make the tax system “fairer” and help cut the budget deficit.

However, Lord Myners, who served as City minister in Gordon Brown’s government, attacked the policy, saying it would take the party back to the days of “old Labour”.

Cunliffe has indicated he would increase the top tax rate here – it is sometimes referred to as rich prick tax. But it could be counter productive.

Mr Balls claims his purpose in imposing a 50p tax rate on those earning more than £150,000 is to “finish the job of getting the deficit down and do it fairly”.

The reality is that his plans would cause a significant reduction in Government revenue, making his declared objective more difficult to achieve.

The one policy that will not help lower-income taxpayers is increasing the top tax rate; indeed, as it is known to reduce revenue it is likely to aggravate their situation.

It is revealing that last summer, during the first month in which the rate for higher earners was reduced to 45p, the Treasury received an extra £1.3 billion in income tax. This lends support to the hypothesis of the “Laffer curve”: that there is a point at which higher tax rates become counterproductive.

In a globalised economy higher tax rates push people with money and assets to other countries with more favourable rates, leaving more tax burden for poorer people.

Punitive tax rates are wrong both in practice and in principle.

In a globalised economy, high tax rates simply drive investors overseas, and personal and corporate assets offshore.

Labour’s proposal would send out the negative message that Britain penalises aspiration, enterprise and success.

And it discourages investment from overseas.

The shadow chancellor no doubt hopes to strike a populist chord with voters struggling to make ends meet, and it is possible that he will succeed, at least in the short term.

It is regrettable that Labour, concerned by its modest opinion poll lead and the unfavourable public perception of its leader, has retreated to its comfort zone of class warfare and its former preoccupation with making the rich poorer rather than the poor richer.

Labour here doesn’t have a lead in the polls, it still significantly lags behind National and needs Greens to have any chance of leading Government. Greens are likely to favour raising top tax rates too.

@NW_Cross  points to a Treasury Working Paper from 2012 The Elasticity of Taxable Income in New Zealand

This paper reports estimates of the elasticity of taxable income with respect to the net-of-tax rate for New Zealand taxpayers.

The marginal welfare costs of personal income taxation were consistentacross years, being relatively small for all but the higher tax brackets. For the top marginalrate bracket of 39 per cent, the welfare cost of raising an extra dollar of tax revenue wasestimated to be well in excess of a dollar.

Furthermore, for the top bracket the marginal tax rate was often found to exceed the revenue-maximising tax rate.

Cunliffe and Parker seem to be trying to gain support through populist policies rather than sound policies. They must know higher tax rates can lead to a lower tax take, so presumably they are choosing to dupe voters with a risky tax strategy.

If Labour and Greens do take over and slap higher taxes on the top earners it will be the middle earners – the voters they are trying to dupe – who bear more tax burden. Again. That would be ridiculous.

Labour and rock star moments

Labour’s finance spokespeson issued a media release today ‘Rock Star’ economy has Justin Bieber moment.

“If the economy truly is a rock star then it’s having a Justin Bieber moment.”

Is Labour leader David Cunliffe having a rock star moment? Cunliffe arriving at Ratana:

Justin Bieber as reported earlier today:

UPDATE: Someone else has been on to this, pic posted on by @jefftollan Twitter:

Another with Cunliffe in Labour red:

And @toby_etc turns it round with a feline twist:

(If you’re not sure what that’s about see  Cats That Look Like David Cunliffe)

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