Paddy praises Labour-Green vibe

Patrick Gower gives a glowing rteport of the vibe at the joint Labour-Green ‘state of the nation’ event yesterday.

Newshub: Labour-Green combo best Left vibe in years

If it is “all about the vibe”, then the Labour-Green alliance has nailed it from the outset of election year.

My first question after seeing them onstage together at the joint State of the Nation was, “What took you guys so long?”

The vibe at the Mount Albert War Memorial Hall was the best I have seen on the Left for years.

The leaders gelled, and so did the crowds. Labour benefited from the Green energy. And the Greens benefited from the extra size of Labour.

They both looked better together. But the most important thing was that it felt real.

The Green supporters liked Andrew Little. The Labour supporters liked Metiria Turei. They clapped each other like they meant it.

There’s no doubt the joint campaign is for real. Despite it looking like the game changer some hoped for last year Labour and the greens have doubled down and committed themselves to it being their main campaign focus.

Sure, there are lots of hard questions about the Labour-Green alliance. They will come.

The pundits and the public will ask more questions than the parties’ faithful.

But the way the two tribes came together is crucial. The reality is, that in the liberal left stronghold of Mt Albert, red and green are the same. This election they are together.

Today it did not look like a political marriage of convenience – it looked like the reality.

Sure there were no policy details, but today was all about the vibe.

And the vibe for the Labour-Green alliance was the best vibe I have seen in years.

But is it a vibe that voters warm to? Time will tell.

I have seen the vibe generated by Kim Dotcom at Internet-Mana meetings, and I have seen the vibe of Winston Peters at last year’s NZ First conference. That doesn’t make them government-in-waiting parties.

We should get a bit of an idea after two or three months of polls this year. If they don’t improve then the Labour-Green vibe could be under threat. If they do improve then their joint confidence could keep growing.


  1. I watched it here:
    Metiria made a huge appeal to “powerful women”, which I found not at all inclusive, and unless I missed it, was the only one of the two speakers to mention being in Government together – with Little as PM. No mention or hint as to other arrangements.

  2. PDB

     /  January 30, 2017

    Is this the excellent green-red vibe he was referring to?

    • Brown

       /  January 30, 2017

      That’s clever that is. Made me smile twice. Well done.

  3. Zedd

     /  January 30, 2017

    well he’d know sez i.. :/

    any reports of them ‘singin kumbayah’ ?

  4. John Schmidt

     /  January 30, 2017

    If talking to yourself is a vibe that makes you a real candidate for Government then my singing efforts in the shower will definately win NZ has talent.

  5. Given Patrick Gower’s background and his marriage to the Green/Left, one could not expect any better evaluation of the Green/Labour love fest. Gower is well known for his anti-National approach to the news. e.g. A Beehive source said TV3’s political reporters took a more aggressive approach than TVNZ’s but seemed to concentrate on stories about conflict and political stumbles rather than weighty issues. “Paddy doesn’t strike me as being deeply interested in how the current account is faring.”
    You may not remember this incident, I do!
    “Gower leads the pack almost literally, especially when there’s a wounded politician to be pursued.
    In 2010 the quarry was embattled Labour MP Chris Carter, who was under attack for credit card spending. Carter made the mistake of trying to evade the questions of waiting journalists outside the Labour caucus room. In madcap scenes that brought to mind the analogy about dogs chasing cars, Gower harried Carter as he fled down a staircase. It generated a visual spectacle for the evening news but contributed little to the sum of human knowledge.
    Even Gower now seems to concede it may have been over the top. “That was a long time ago,” he says. “In print that would have been a ‘no comment’. In TV it’s a whole lot different.”

    And there is more:
    “There have been other, similar occasions. Former Act MP David Garrett – another politician under siege at the time – has alleged that Gower once continually blocked him when he was trying to pass through Wellington Airport. “I had little doubt that he was trying to provoke me to drop my bag and then drop him.”

    Then there was the Brash episode, which happened not long before the 2011 election. Gower says he had exposed tension between Brash, then leader of Act, and the party’s candidate for Epsom, John Banks, over the decriminalisation of cannabis. Brash had spoken in support of it; Banks was resolutely opposed.

    3 News showed Gower confronting Brash as he got out of a car outside Wellington’s Amora Hotel. The former Reserve Bank governor’s exact words were: “You’re a deceitful bastard, quite frankly, and I don’t want to talk to you any more.”

    All prejudices aside, I would repeat Brash’s comment as my own – without defending Brash’s politics, he was a very professional Reserve Bank Governor, and intelligent.

    • Gezza

       /  February 1, 2017

      He’s a bit naughty though, in my opinion.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 1, 2017

      A pity Gower never annoyed Bob Jones.

      • Gezza

         /  February 1, 2017

        Gower might be an irritating prat but he’s not completely stupid. Besides, I suspect this video of Rod Vaughan’s adventure with Sir Bob is probably shown in the first week of journalism school as an example of things for journos to avoid doing in NZ.

      • I stayed in Bob Jones’s lodge in Turangi some years after the infamous punch-up of the helicoptered in reporter when Sir Bob was fishing. I strongly suspect Muldoon put Bob up for his knighthood for that reason alone, but maybe I’m dreaming!