National caucus choose new leader today

The National MPs will choose a new leader today, and also a deputy leader.

This is done by secret caucus ballots – it is predicted that several votes may be required before one person has a clear majority.

That person not only becomes National Party leader, they will also become the Leader of the Opposition – a challenging role for a first term in opposition, especially with the media frenzy that seems to be getting worse over Jacinda Ardern and her personal life.

It will take time for whoever takes over to establish themselves and give the public a good idea of their aims and abilities – choosing a party leader is always a punt.


Bill English remains as National leader

The National Party caucus today chose the status quo over leadership, with Bill English confirmed to remain as leader unopposed, and also Paula remains as deputy.

This is sensible at this stage. They may revisit this in a year or so, with the party and English deciding whether to continue as they are through to the next election or not.

It could depend on how settled or anxious the National MPs become as the term progresses.

English and others should be keeping in mind the disaster for National in the last term they lost power, in 1999-2002, when after English rolled Jenny Shipley their support plummeted.

How well planned was Labour’s leadership change?

There are some aspects of Labour’s very quick leadership change that raise a few questions.

It appears that as far as Andrew Little went he was genuinely undecided about what to do on Sunday when the Colmar poll went public and Little went public in response, making a major mistake for a leader when he questioned whether he should remain. Who advised him to go public with doubts?

On Monday Little seemed to swing back to being determined to stay on, but I think he was out of Wellington.

However on Monday evening it was reported that he was going, and it was specifically stated that Labour sources had Jacinda Ardern set up to take over, with Kelvin Davis as deputy.

When Little returned to Wellington on Tuesday morning he was asked at the Wellington airport what he would do, and he told a reporter he would not step down.

But at 10am he fronted up to media and said he was quitting. That was followed by a Labour caucus meeting where he nominated Ardern as leader, and Grant Robertson nominated Davis as deputy. Both were unopposed so got the top jobs.

Soon afterwards, at noon Ardern fronted up to media seeming remarkably well poised and prepared considering she officially only knew she would be leader about an hour earlier. She read from speech notes or a written speech.

Afterwards Davis claimed that it was all a sudden surprise, but there are doubts about that. It would be remarkable for someone to make such a big decision that would dramatically effect their and their family’s lives in an hour or two with little or no chance to discuss with family.

Stuff:  Labour’s Kelvin Davis is ready for the spotlight

Kelvin Davis says he had no idea that he’d have a new job just 24 hours ago, but you get the feeling he’s been getting ready for a while.

He was nominated by finance spokesman and former deputy Grant Robertson, and was elected unopposed.

But while texts were swirling discussing the possible pairing of Davis and Ardern on Monday night, he is adamant he had no idea he would be in this role until the morning.

“24 hours ago I was in a totally different frame of mind, and not expecting to be the sitting where I am now – but that’s the nature of politics,” Davis said.

Davis was in Northland and planning to stay on, but his assistant booked him flights down to Wellington late last night.

He woke up at 4am, had “the quickest shower of my life” and drove to KeriKeri airport to fly down.

Davis said he managed to talk to his wife about the decision to be deputy leader before making the call – and she said “go ahead”.

He said “he had no idea he would be in this role until the morning” but that is contradicted by “his assistant booked him flights down to Wellington late last night”.

He may well have been uncertain whether Little would step down on Tuesday, but he must have considered the possibility well prior, and must have been involved in discussions on Monday, otherwise he wouldn’t have been named as deputy in advance.

Ardern has obviously been groomed and preparing for a leadership role for some time. She stood as Robertson’s deputy in 2014 when they lost to Little.

Normally Labour have a very involved leadership selection process that has taken about a month, being decided by a vote  split between Caucus (40%), party members (40%) and affiliated unions (20%). Little beat Robertson by just over 1%, but with scant support from Labour’s caucus.

There is an exception to this process – within three months of a general election the caucus alone can decide on a leadership change.

Given that it is now less than two months until the election and time is critical – Labour’s billboards and pamphlets have all been printed and there is not much time to reprint and re-plan their election strategy – I don’t think the exact timing was planned.

But it looks suspiciously like alternative leadership had already been well canvassed and planned, should the opportunity arrive to shove Little aside.

It looks like Labour’s caucus, or at least some of it, had at least deliberately been prepared to overrule the decision of members and unions.

Lynn Prentice at The Standard posted  Ok, I’m pissed off with the Labour caucus again. Time to switch

To say that I’m pissed off about whatever happened and deeply suspicious about the action of the caucus, would be an understatement. The vote in 2013 [it was November 2014] by the whole of the Labour party as a group to install Andrew Little was quite clear. He wasn’t exactly my choice of a best candidate, but he was the best candidate to cut across the whole party and their supporters. Especially bearing in mind the damage that the faction fighting inside the caucus had done since Helen Clark stood down after the 2008 election.

I neither have time or the inclination to dig around to see the machinations that caused this to happen in the 3 month window when caucus alone can elect the leader of the parliamentary party. But I am deeply suspicious about the timing and abrupt nature that it isn’t a coincidental move. It looks to me like a deliberate roll via whisper campaign and a general lack of support in a caucus. I’ve had rumors of a move by the conservatives and ambitious in the caucus to do this for a while.

Anne commented:

I’m with lprent on this one. We’ve both been around the Labour Party a long time and observed the machinations inside the Labour hierachy, and their parliamentary equivalents, from the inside looking out, and from the outside looking in. We’ve got form when it comes to understanding the nature of their respective ‘modus operandi’ and its not always a pretty sight. I could go on to detail what I mean but frankly can’t be bothered.

I, too, was hopeful that the elevation of Little would put an end to the factionalism and he certainly has held them in check. However, its now starting to look like the leading parliamentary lights have taken advantage of the current situation and (I suspect) exacted their revenge on the membership and affiliated unions for daring to go against their wishes in the leadership election 2 years ago [closer to 3 years ago]. Unfortunately, the weaker members of caucus appear to have not stood up to them and have been rolled into line.

The truth will emerge one day.

No matter how they were put in these positions Ardern is now leader, and Davis is deputy. The campaign will roll on.

But it appears that the story about how they got there is being spun somewhat.

It will now be interesting to see what Ardern and Labour do about policies.

Policies are theoretically put forward and debated and decided by all of the party, involving party members.

Labour’s current policies have been developed and decided over the past two and a half years.

Ardern could put different emphasis on policies that are already in place or in the pipeline.

But if she makes policy changes, as some people are urging (the Corbynisation of NZ Labour has been suggested by left wing activists) that would be another usurping of party processes by a caucus cabal.

If Labour do well in the election then this may not matter – power placates the party plebs.

But if Labour end up in  opposition again for a fourth term the caucus could fragment and the party may want to take out their annoyance on someone.

Some of the affiliated unions may not be very pleased either. Recent donations:

Maritime Union of New Zealand – $40,500 received on 19 July 2017

E tu Union – $120,000 received on 20 June 2017

They have lost the leader they voted for.

D’Esterre at The Standard:

It certainly looks like that. I’m very angry at Little’s ouster and I’m done with Labour.

It infuriates me that I made a donation to the party the day before Little was forced out. Now Andrew Kirton is claiming a flood of extra donations over the last couple of days as an indication of public support for the change of leadership. It bloody is not, in my case at any rate! If I could get that money back, I would.

Last night, I got the begging e-mail from Jacinda Ardern. Would I be getting my cheque-book (to coin a phrase) out? somebody asked me. Not. A. Chance.

One thing seems likely – that while the timing may have been opportunistic quite a bit of planning had already taken place by some in Labour’s caucus. Ardern and Davis must have considered the options well in advance, they were too ready to jump in not to have been.

If that’s the case then some people aren’t being straight with the public. That’s a risky thing to do during an election campaign – especially if not everyone in Labour is happy.


This is a coup d’etat, pure and simple.

An authoritarian one at that.

So much for democracy for the members of the labour party. This is quite an awful affair. But good news for us who have been saying all along labour is a liberal party representing the interests of the liberal class, by using the words of the suffering and pain to trick people.

Trick me once, shame on me. Trick me twice, shame on you. Keep on trying to trick us – well for that we have the labour party.

If the election goes well or ok for Labour most may be forgiven. If not Labour could be at risk of further turmoil. Politics can be a high risk game.

Faafoi rises in Labour reshuffle

Andrew little has promoted Mana electorate MP Kris Faafoi in his caucus reshuffle after Clayton Cosgrove announced he would not stand again next year.

Kris Faafoi promoted to Shadow Cabinet

Posted by Andrew Little

Kris Faafoi has been promoted to Labour’s Shadow Cabinet and receives the Tourism portfolio while Clayton Cosgrove takes on a business outreach role – a move prompted by Mr Cosgrove’s decision to not stand at the next election, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.

“Kris Faafoi is a very talented MP whose hard work has earned him a place on the Shadow Cabinet. He is instantly recognisable to many New Zealanders and connects well when he’s on the road – an invaluable skill when working with the tourism industry.

“David Shearer receives Kris’ Consumer Affairs portfolio. David is passionate about this area and has some special projects he is keen to work on.

“Clayton Cosgrove keeps his Commerce, Veterans’ Affairs and Associate Finance portfolios. He takes on a new business outreach role. Clayton has excellent links with business and will lead the push in working with industry. He has stepped out of the Shadow Cabinet to allow new talent to be promoted.

So Cosgrove has stepped down but not out.

 “Labour has a talented line-up with an excellent mix of wise heads and new blood. These minor changes provide new strength,” says Andrew Little.

I guess he has to say that.

While Labour’s ‘Team’ web page has been updated to reflect the new responsibilities the pecking order hasn’t changed, with Cosgrove still at number 18 and Faafoi still at 24.

This reshuffle not only hasn’t warranted a post at The Standard, so far Faafoi’s promotion hasn’t been mentioned in comments either. According to their Search he barely rates a mention ever (twice only so far this year) so the lack of interest is not surprising.

Faafoi was chosen to stand for Labour in the Mana by-election in 2010. He is the the first MP of Tokelauan descent (he grew up in Christchurch).

Faafoi trained as a journalist and worked for the BBC and as a political commentator.

He returned to New Zealand  and was Phil Goff’s chief press secretary when Goff took over Labour’s leadership after Helen Clark resigned. Faafoi was also the Rongotai Pacific branch chair of the Labour Party – that is Annette King’s electorate.

So Faafoi is one of the growing number of MPs who have effectively been internally promoted from within Labour’s political class.

An uncomplimentary cartoon by Emmerson at NZ Herald:

Labour rumblings and reshuffle

Rumours are reported to be rumbling in the Labour camp, but Andrew Little denies there will be any major changes when he reshuffles his caucus following the the announcement that Clayton Cosgrove won’t stand again next election.

Cosgrove seemed to be in semi-retirement anyway.

Heather du Plessis-Allan reports on some insider moans in Labour needs a hero and a cause:

For a while now, everyone in the party has bravely kept painting their faces, putting on their party frocks and pretending life was peachy.

That’s the line that’s been spun. But…

I was killing time around Parliament, waiting for a minister. A Labour Party insider was killing time too. We got talking.

Andrew Little said this. Andrew Little said that. Tired of his cock-ups. Tired of being blamed for his mistakes.

It wasn’t a surprise morale in the Labour Party was low, it was a surprise someone was being honest about it.

It would have been surprising if there hadn’t been concerns expressed, privately at least, about Labour’s and Little’s performance. And this was before last week’s poor poll result and before Little’s flailing attacks on John Key this week.

Later that day, I walked through the arrivals gate at Auckland airport next to a well-connected political mover and shaker. We got talking. Trouble’s brewing in the Labour Party.

They’re talking of cutting Grant Robertson. They’re talking of cutting the chief of staff. Watch this space.

While the political buck stops at the top chief of staff Matt McCarten was recruited by David Cunliffe and that didn’t work well. Little retained McCarten in the critical role and that hasn’t worked out well.

If Little isn’t going then McCarten has to go. Something drastic has to change and that’s one of the few options Little has.

But shuffling Robertson out of the Finance role? That’s less likely for a couple of reasons. Dropping Robertson from Finance would be an admission of a failed gamble with Robertson and would threaten his whole Future of Work thing, something Little is probably reluctant to do.

And demoting Robertson from the most demanding of portfolio roles would give Robertson more time and a reason to reconsider his leadership ambitions.

In any case little says he is not including Robertson in his shuffle plans.

Claire Trevett writes in Labour to ‘rejig’ caucus:

Labour leader Andrew Little will do a “slight rejig” of his caucus this week after Clayton Cosgrove’s decision not to stand next year, but has ruled out changing key personnel such as finance spokesman Grant Robertson.

Little said he had no plans to replace Robertson.

“There will be some slight rejigging in the next week or so, but I’m not anticipating any significant changes.” There was speculation former finance spokesman David Parker could get the finance role back, but Little and Parker denied it had come up.

Little said nobody had suggested he change the finance spokesperson, and when he set up his Shadow Cabinet in 2014 he made it clear Robertson would be in the finance role until at least next year’s election. “I’m totally satisfied with Grant’s performance and have no intention of changing him out of the finance role.”

After stating that Little can’t drop Robertson.

So were the rumblings about Robertson discussed by Labour’s leadership?

Or does it reflect dissatisfaction further down the ranks?

Either is a potential problem for Labour.

What Little has committed to is a minor tweak of caucus roles. Cosgrove is ranked 18 and has hardly been seen over the last eighteen months, but relatively low profile responsibilities…

  • Spokesperson for Commerce
  • Spokesperson for Veterans’ Affairs
  • Spokesperson for Tourism
  • Associate Finance Spokesperson

…so re-assigning those will probably not give any indication that Labour are doing anything different.

So Little’s best option to vitalise (you can hardly revitalise something that has been on life support for nearly a decade) his leadership is replacing McCarten.

Chief of staff is a vital role in a party leadership team. Little is noticeably struggling. If he can find someone who will do the hard work for him behind the scenes, and who will give him frank and helpful advice, then he might (just might) find a way of looking like a future Prime Minister.

Little said the poll was “disappointing” but had not spooked him or the caucus. “We are struggling to get clear messages through on our priorities. We’ve got to work harder at that.”

But this week Little’s priorities seemed to be muddy messages dirt mongering, pretty much the opposite of what he says Labour should be doing.

It’s not a matter of working harder, it’s more a matter of working smarter. Much smarter.

And it would be a smart move to appoint a smart chief of staff.

But the biggest problem may be finding some one willing to try to sort out Labour’s mess.

Iowa caucus results

It turns out that Donald Trump was flattered by the polls leading into the Republican Iowa caucus. He has been beaten by Ted Cruz by 3.3%, and Marco Rubio was just 1.2% behind him.

  • Cruz 27.7%
  • Trump 24.3%
  • Rubio 23.1%
  • Other 24.9%

It’s early days and a lot will depend on where the votes for those who drop out go. Relatively unheralded, Rubio could be a serious contender. Trump may have trouble picking up support.

And Hillary Clinton edged out Bernie Sanders in the Democratic caucus.

  • Clinton 50.1%
  • Sanders 49.4%

This gives Clinton the early advantage but again, this is just one state.

UPDATE:  Big turnout and Trump surprised it didn’t benefit him, and big money politics – $2.5m spent by one group solely to attack Trump.

Packed Caucuses Were Supposed to Benefit Donald Trump, but May Have Hurt Him Instead

DES MOINES — One of the biggest surprises of the night in Iowa was the large turnout on the Republican side, which many pundits had predicted would benefit Donald J. Trump. Mr. Trump’s team believed this, too, and was talking about the packed caucus sites around the state before the votes were cast.

But that was not how things went, raising the prospect that some of the voters who turned out were interested in stopping Mr. Trump, instead of propelling him to victory. What also became clear was that Mr. Trump was not immune to negative political ads, despite a pervasive concern among Republican operatives that he would retaliate if they aired them.

Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign, along with a “super PAC” supporting him, Keep the Promise I, aired cutting ads raising questions about Mr. Trump’s character and trustworthiness. So did a newly founded group called Our Principles PAC, whose sole goal was to stop Mr. Trump.

That group spent $2.5 million in 10 days on ads against Mr. Trump.

Little’s big reshuffle

Andrew Little has played his caucus reshuffle cars well, with some risks (there’s always risks).

1. Andrew Little
Leader of the Opposition
Security and Intelligence

2. Annette King
Deputy Leader

Good move having King as deputy, keeps some continuity with a lot of experience and should help get the Caucus onside and supportive.

3. Grant Robertson

A big play. Robertson wanted a top job, this isn’t what he wanted but this is perhaps next best. It will be a real test of his ability. If he doesn’t measure up Little has a couple of ex Finance spokespeople sulking but in a year may be ready to perform.

4. Nanaia Mahuta
Maori Development

Reward/conciliation here. Mahuta needs to show she can perform far more visibly and effectively than she has so far.

5. Phil Twyford

Not sure about this one, maybe he’ll be good enough. There’s one way to find out.

6. Chris Hipkins
Shadow Leader of the House
Senior Whip
Early Childhood Education

A good promotion of new blood, Hipkins has to learn to lead and not work in the shadow of fellow henchmen.

7. Carmel Sepuloni
Social Development
Junior Whip

I have no idea how she will go with this sort of promotion and only just back in Parliament.

8. Kelvin Davis
Associate Justice (Sexual and Domestic Violence)
Associate Education (Maori Education)
Associate Regional Development

A good move. One Labour candidate/MP with fairly wide support and respect and he eliminated a pesky Mana left flank for Labour.

9. Jacinda Ardern
Small Business
Arts, Culture, Heritage

Nowhere near where she wanted (deputy to Robertson) but lucky to get a chance under Little, she’s been a bit lightweight. If she performs she could replace King in a year – is she being mentored for this?

10. David Clark
Economic Development
Associate Finance
Associate Health (Mental Health)

Maybe in his second term he realises that hard work is necessary and he’ll be prepared for serious debate.

11. Su’a William Sio
Pacific Island Affairs
Local Government
Associate Housing (South Auckland)
Interfaith Dialogue

Reward for PI support. I don’t know if he otherwise deserves it.

12. Iain Lees-Galloway

Could be part of the new wave but needs to improve.

13. Megan Woods
Climate Change

Some rate her but I haven’t seen it. Her demeanour in Parliament hasn’t impressed, too angry/snarky.

14. David Cunliffe
Regional Development
Tertiary Education
Research and Development
Science and Innovation
Associate Economic Development

A fair placement for him. He needs to prove he can work hard with a team.

15. David Parker
Trade and Export Growth
Shadow Attorney General
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

Also fair placement after his sulking in failure. He has to prove he wants to help the cause or drop out.

16. David Shearer
Foreign Affairs
Consumer Affairs

Seems to be good with Foreign Affairs but not so good with party affairs.

17. Phil Goff
Veterans’ Affairs
Auckland Issues
Ethnic Affairs

About here he should be, if he wants to put the effort it.


Trevor Mallard:
Assistant Speaker 
Internal Affairs (excluding Gambling)
Sport and Recreation
Animal Rights
Parliamentary Reform

He might be better with his Assistant Speaker role requiring a more responsible performance – if he can leave his dirty politics in the past.

Ruth Dyson
Senior Citizens
Disability Issues
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

There for experience, not for future prospects.

Damien O’Connor
Primary Industries
Food Safety

Not likely to rise to greater heights.

Clayton Cosgrove
Building and Construction
Earthquake Commission
Associate Finance

Significant demotion deserved. He campaigned for electorate vote and blatantly ignored party responsibilities, and a fairly toxic brand that Labour needs to leave on the past.

Sue Moroney
Women’s Affairs
Associate Labour

She hasn’t been stellar but I don’t know why she’s been slid backwards so much. Mustn’t be seen as a future prospect.

Little has made some major changes. Labour needs major change.

Putting them on notice that  all positions are up for review in a year is smart – Little needs to change things but needs to not aggravate old and recent wounds too much as he gets himself established.

If the polls have recovered enough he will be able to assess things and then act decisively this time next year to prepare a credible team for the election in 2017.

Little has played his first hand with a good balance of old and new, carrot and stick. It’s up to all of them to step up.

Labour MPs lukewarm support of forest/wood policy

Labour’s promotion of it’s forest/wood policy yesterday was mixed from the party and David Cunliffe – see Labour’s forest/wood policy on social media.

How well was it supported by Labour’s caucus? Some did their bit but most didn’t join the promotion. Overall the caucus support was underwhelming.

Deputy leader David Parker doesn’t operate his Twitter account and doesn’t seem to be on Facebook.

Grant Robertson supported the policy on Facebook…

Great announcement from David today. Forestry and the wood sector is a great example of how Labour’s economic approach will differ from National. We want to get alongside the sector and ensure that we don’t just export logs, but add value here in New Zealand and create secure, sustainable jobs.

…and on Twitter…


Labour will support move from volume to value to create sustainable jobs with decent wages- starting with forestry …

…but gave more attention to his ongoing attacks against Judith Collins.

Annette King is only an occasional user of Facebook. She tweeted three times yesterday but they were unrelated niggles.

Shane Jones was quiet on it apart from a re-tweet a backbencher MP:


@NewstalkZB I went along to tautoko @DavidCunliffeMP and @matuashane . It’s a sound policy. Tax breaks, techno innovation, more logs #nzpol

That suggests Jones attended the event. Whether under orders or not staying quiet may have been wise for him.

Jacinda Ardern was quiet on Facebook yesterday. She tweeted several times but on unrelated things.

Clayton Cosgrove rarely uses Facebook, the last time in June last year, and while he has a Twitter account he has never tweeted.

Chris Hipkins was on Facebook…

I’m sick of seeing raw logs shipped off overseas when we should be putting Kiwis into work. David Cunliffe has announced an excellent package of measures that will boost our timber industry and create local jobs. We won’t get rich as a country by constantly increasing the volume of raw products we export. We need to add value to them first.

…and on Twitter he retweeted Cunliffe’s promotion and followed up with two tweets with links to the policy:


I’m sick of seeing raw logs shipped off overseas when we could put Kiwis to work here at home. Labour will fix that.

Forestry is a great example of the opportunity NZ industries have to move from volume to value.

Nanaia Mahuta hardly uses Facebook. She was active on Twitter yesterday but on other matters.

Sue Moroney posted National attacks on Facebook on Tuesday but was inactive yesterday. She tweeted once and retweeted once yesterday but nothing related to the policy launch.

Phil Twyford was active politically on Facebook on Tuesday but only changed his profile pic yesterday. He was also active on Twitter on Tuesday but not yesterday. This silence is curious – Twyford is spokesperson for Housing which must have some interest in the timber industry.

Maryan Street is inactive on her Facebook page and hasn’t tweeted since last week.

David Shearer is inactive on Facebook and barely active on Twitter.

Su’a William Sio was active on Facebook on unrelated topics. He doesn’t seem to be on Twitter.

Phil Goff is inactive on Facebook and doesn’t seem to have a Twitter account.

Louisa Wall is inactive on Facebook and doesn’t seem to have a Twitter account.

Andrew Little posted a parliamentary speech of his on Facebook. His two tweets were unrelated to the policy launch. He is spokesperson for Labour but was quite on a policy promoting “Better jobs. Higher wages”.

Moana Mackey was quiet as usual on Facebook and her only tweets yesterday were digs at Bill English and John Key.

Damian O’Connor doesn’t seem to be on Facebook or Twitter.

David Clark linked to the policy on Facebook, saying…

Great announcement. Otago saw-millers can look forward to a more promising future and higher-value jobs for the region.

He also retweeted and tweeted:

Labour’s Forestry policy announcement great news for the regions @nzlabour @matuashane

MT “@NZStuff: Labour: good for the regions; good for Otago

@keith_ng something about square pegs in round holes? #WoodFirst

English can’t see the wood for the trees #nzqt #WoodFirst

He’s the only person to use the #WoodFirst hashtag.

Iain Lees-Galloway has sometimes promoted Labour on Facebook but not yesterday. Two unrelated tweets.

Kris Faafoi posted something unrelated on Facebook but hasn’t tweeted since last week. He has a media background and is Spokesperson for Broadcasting and Associate Spokesperson for Communications and IT, but doesn’t seem to practice what he is supposed to preach.

Carol Beaumont hasn’t posted to Facebook since last week. She tweeted once yesterday but only on home ownership.

Megan Woods doesn’t seem to be on Twitter but linked to the policy from Facebook and said:

Innovation critical to making this happen.

Darien Fenton was active in Facebook but on unrelated political matters. She retweeted the Labour announcement of the forestry policy.

Ross Robertson is inactive on Facebook and doesn’t seem to be on Twitter.

Trevor Mallard posted something unrelated on Facebook. He was active on Twitter but nothing related to the policy.

Ruth Dyson had two unrelated tweets but posted a link to the policy on Facebook and said:

New Zealand keeps exporting raw logs instead of creating value-added exports which create jobs and better living standards for everyone.

Labour’s investment, innovation and industry approach to the Forestry and Wood Products sector will make a real difference in upgrading the whole country’s economy.

Clare Curran hasn’t posted to Facebook since Monday. She retweeted Cunliffes link to his speech.

Rajen Prasad had two unrelated posts on both Facebook and Twitter.

Raymond Huo hasn’t posted to Facebook or Twitter since last week.

Rino Tirikatene hardly uses Facebook. He tweeted:


@NewstalkZB I went along to tautoko @DavidCunliffeMP and @matuashane . It’s a sound policy. Tax breaks, techno innovation, more logs #nzpol

Meka Whaitiri rarely uses Twitter but posted a link to the policy on Facebook and said:

Labour’s Economic Upgrade policy focussing on Forestry and Wood Products will create real sustainable jobs in Ikaroa Rawhiti.

Poto Williams is not active on her Facebook page and was inactive on Twitter yesterday.

While there was some support of the policy launch from Labour MPs most did not promote it. This was not a team effort and overall was lukewarm and underwhelming.

Re-orientation more pressing for Robertson

While Labour flounders and risks foundering on rocks Grant Robertson continues to relive his student days doing the rounds of the university Orientations. He just tweeted:


My Orientation tour continues. Today it’s Auckland. Come on down and say hi at @PrincesStLabour stall. #labour4students

What about labour4election? #MPsforsupportingleader?

After the important things are done why not try -re-Orientation in caucus? There seems to be a major disorientation and loss of direction there.

Whipping caucus into shape

Whippings and unity