Labour camp review recommendations, but no holding to account, victim appalled

Labour Party President Nigel Haworth said a report on the Labour Youth Camp near Waihi in February had made a number of recommendations which would all be adopted – but I can’t find any details on anyone being held accountable for the use of alcohol by young people, the lack of supervision, and the slow and poor response by party officials.

Timeline (Newsroom and RNZ):

  • 9-11 February 2018: Labour Youth Waitawheta Camp near Waihi in February
  • 12 March: Sexual misconduct alleged at boozy Labour Party camp
    The Labour Party has been hit with claims that four young supporters were sexually assaulted at one of its annual ‘Summer School’ camps near Waihi last month.The four – two males and two females – are all 16 and were allegedly assaulted or harassed by a 20-year-old man during a wild party on the second night of the camp. Newsroom has been told the man was intoxicated and put his hand down the pants of at least three of the four young people.
  • 12 March: PM investigating reports of sexual assault at Labour event
    Labour’s general secretary Andrew Kirton didn’t notify the Prime Minister, the police or parents that four teenagers were allegedly sexually assaulted at its summer camp last month.
  • 13 March: Labour camp misconduct: Victim reached out to Megan Woods
    It has been revealed that Cabinet Minister Megan Woods was contacted by a victim raising concerns about incidents of sexual assault of teenagers at a Labour Party summer camp.
  • 14 March: Second Labour sexual assault incident alleged
    Another person has contacted the Labour Party saying they too were sexually assaulted at a Labour event several years ago. Labour has already apologised to four teenagers who were sexually harassed by a 20-year-old man at a Labour youth camp in Waihi last month.
  • 19 March: Details of Labour’s sexual assault review revealed
    The review into how Labour handled complaints of sexual assault is expected to take up to three months and every party member will be contacted.
  • 22 June: Andrew Kirton steps down as Labour Party general secretary
    The Labour Party’s general secretary, Andrew Kirton, has resigned to take up a senior position with Air New Zealand.
  • 5 July: Labour Party camp accused in court, name suppressed
    A 20-year-old man has appeared in court charged with indecent assaults at a Labour Party youth summer camp. He denied six charges of assaulting four victims believed to be aged 16 to 18. The man was arrested on 26 June.
  • 29 August: Review reported on

The report was “expected to take up to three months” but has been partially reported on five months later.

RNZ:  Labour to review policies after Young Labour camp incidents

The Labour Party says it will implement all the recommendations of a report into indecent assaults at a Young Labour camp in February.

Labour Party president Nigel Haworth said Labour had committed to putting in place all the recommendations and had established a process for that work to be completed.

The recommendations:

  • Develop a more tangible and effective relationship between Young Labour and the Labour Party
  • Review and/or develop policies on The party’s code of conduct – along with consideration as to whether that should apply to the Young Labour Party, or whether a modified or separate code should be developed
  • Review and/or develop policies on sexual harassment and sexual assault, alcohol, events and host responsibility, bullying and complaint procedure
  • Incorporate updated event registration and parental consent and risk disclosure information requirements and forms to ensure compliance with current best practice and all legislation relating to the care of minors when participating in party held events.
  • Ensure at least one Labour Party representative should also attend the entire event and be available throughout (solely or jointly with another nominated adult supervisor) to ensure compliance with safety and welfare expectations and the Young Labour Party should also nominate a welfare officer to attend all events
  • Introduce a new, over-arching alcohol policy, formulated in consultation with expert external advice
  • Introduce a new open complaints process to enable complaints to be received and responded to without delay and with the appropriate degree of specialist advice.

However, Mr Haworth said he would not be releasing the report.

One of the victims:

“As far as I’m concerned the failure to release the report to the media is absolutely disgraceful”

“I feel to a degree that there is conflict of interest in a sense – one of the most influential figures that was aware of the original complaint, which is the President of the party, is also the person that is in charge of implementing the recommendations of the review.

“Further to that, the fact that it hasn’t been released to the media shows an absolute lack of transparency, but a copy also hasn’t been released to the victims or the people that were interviewed for the review, which from my perspective as a victim is absolutely disgraceful.”

Jacinda Ardern…

…said she has yet to read the full report, however, it would not be made public because the events detailed in it were still before the court.

The review was undertaken for a reason and the party knows there were things it needed to do differently, Ms Ardern said.

I understand the need to not make the full report public due to matters still being ‘before the court’.

There seems to be no reason why victims should not be given the report, except that Labour may want to keep things from being revealed that could impact on the prosecution.

Perhaps Labour have given their report to the prosecution to help with the facts of the matter, but I can’t see any indication of this having been done.

I can see no indication of anyone apart from the alleged offender being held accountable.

Party secretary Andrew Kirton resigned in June and left the party in July.

Labour need to maker sure things like this don’t happen again in the future, so it is good to see recommendations on that.

But there appears to be no holding to account for those that allowed underage drinking at February’s camp, enabled alleged sexual assaults to happen, and then tried to deal with it alarmingly inadequately, and secretly.

Newsroom:  Victim slams Labour summer camp report

One of the victims from Labour’s youth summer camp scandal has slammed the party for its “absolutely appalling” handling of a review into what went wrong, saying nobody is being held accountable.

“Failing to release the report shows a blatant lack of accountability and from my perspective as a victim, is absolutely appalling.”

The report should have been released with the redaction of any information which could have identified people, they said.

The victims and witnesses involved in Austen’s inquiry were not given a copy of the final report either.

They also questioned the news that Haworth would lead the work on changing Labour’s procedures, given the failures of the party in handling the initial complaint.

“The person in charge of implementing the recommendations is the person that hasn’t been trusted in the first place to provide support and resolve the issue…I don’t see accountability there.”

The victim believed alcohol should be banned entirely from events which had significant numbers of people under the age of 18, rather than allowing adults to drink while in attendance.

Labour have failed again to address concerns of at least one victim.

 

 

Labour front up over summer camp allegations

After copping a lot pf criticism over the last two days Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern and party president Nigel Haworth fronted up at a media conference today.

I think they did a good job of accepting responsibility and detailing what they would do to address the problems coming out of their one of mishandling the sexual assault allegations, and what they would do to try to minimise the chances of anything like it happening again.

They had little choice but to do this, to try to stem the damage and restore some credibility.

They have put a hold on any Young Labour events.

Interesting to see Ardern and Haworth fronting up on it today. Until now party secretary Andrew Kirton had copped most of the media attention on the issue.

RNZ: ‘We failed in our duty of care’ – Labour leadership

The Labour’s Party leadership has apologised “deeply” to the victims of sexual assault at a Young Labour summer camp, their parents and the other young people there.

At a media stand-up held this afternoon, Leader Jacinda Ardern and party president Nigel Haworth unveiled a number of measures the party was taking, two days after it emerged four 16-year-olds were sexually harassed or assaulted by a 20-year-old at a Young Labour camp.

“We understand we failed in our duty of care during the event,” said Mr Haworth. “We have failed in our duty of care in terms of support we’ve offered since then, we are very, very distressed about this.”

He wanted to “apologise deeply” to the four young people who have been so “grievously treated”, to their families and the other young people at the event.

Changes will be made to way Labour events are held, including having a “senior member of the party” at all Young Labour events, once they are resumed.

No heads would roll as a result of the handling of the Waihi incident, said Mr Haworth, including his own and that of general secretary Andrew Kirton.

I don’t see any need for resignations at this stage. Everyone can make mistakes, especially in politics and political management – and Labour and it’s officials have major mistakes here. They should learn from them. If not and mistakes like this keep happening then jobs will be in jeopardy.

Ms Ardern did not want to make detailed comments about what happened while investigations were underway. But she did confirm a Labour MP was present “generally” at the camp.

“Liz Craig was there, she had an early flight the next day so was in bed at the time this all occurred.

“I cannot say when she went to bed but she’s been very clear about the fact she wasn’t present when the sexual abuse took place”, said Ms Ardern.

She was present during some of the drinking though – there are photos of this circulating.

However she is not likely to have been responsible for organising or supervising.

She also backed Mr Kirton saying while the assaults had been handled “very, very badly” by the party, he had acknowledged there were failings.

“He is now very much a part of the party’s work to fixing the issues and the failings that we recognise.”

In statement posted to Facebook, Ms Craig said she was at the Young Labour Summer Camp at Waihi as a guest speaker on oral health issues.

“I overnighted at the camp as I was unable to get same day flights and left early the following morning.”

She attended a quiz event and went to bed early once that had finished, she said.

“While alcohol was present, I understood the organising committee had put in place measures to ensure those under the age of 18 were not drinking, and that organising committee members had been designated to oversee the evening’s events.

“I was dismayed to hear of events being raised in the media this week, as I was unaware until then that anything of this nature had occurred.”

If she left early on the Sunday morning she may have missed the eviction frrom the camp of the offender.

Senior barrister Maria Berryman has been brought in to look at how the party deals with harassment and abuse at other Labour party events.

Labour also confirmed today it had suspended all events held by its youth wing as it reviewed the sexual assault claims, one of which was now being investigated by police.

Mr Haworth said when they were reinstated they will be run by the party and not Young Labour officials. They will also be alcohol-free and a senior member of the party will be present.

Speaking to media this afternoon, Ms Ardern said she was not aware of any previous instances at events she had attended as an MP and as a member of Young Labour.

“[However], I cannot, hand on heart, rule out that this hasn’t happened before.”

Thias is far from over for Labour, but they took a big step in the right direction today.

Labour target 40%

Labour’s president has set a target of 40% party vote in September’s election. This looks optimistic given Labour are still struggling to get 30% in polls.

1 News: Labour sets target of 40 per cent of the party vote

Labour Party president Nigel Haworth has set campaigners the task of raising support to 40 per cent of the party vote between now and the September election.

“Our task in the party is simple – we just have to turn out the party vote to ensure we are in government,” he told about 500 delegates at Labour’s election year congress yesterday.

“I don’t use numbers like 30 or 35… 40 is what we want, 40 I like.”

Labour should be targeting the 40s if they want to compete head to head with National, but they have as good as conceded they were relying on the Greens to make up the numbers.

They will now find it hard enough to get to 35% and Labour+Greens will struggle to get enough votes to form a government without needing NZ First and/or the Maori Party – apart from their lack of popularity and Greens appearing to have hit a support ceiling if one of them gains ground in the polls it tends to be at the expense of the other.

Can Labour get anywhere near 40%? Not on current performance and polls.

Having a target to strive for is worthwhile, but it needs to be a realistic and achievable target, otherwise it can demoralise party members when they don’t look like getting close, and it can also be counter-productive in getting public support.

There is discussion on this at The Standard in Forty or bust!, with AB saying:

Nice target – but 35% would be a huge achievement and probably good enough to win. That means picking up 5-6% from current levels and preferably without taking some of it off the Greens.

Right now I just don’t see where that 5-6% is coming from.

Recent polls have Labour stuck around  28-29%.

With a media establishment that overwhelmingly supports them and so much more money than the others, the bottom for National is probably 40%. They are currently 44-45% so they won’t lose a lot more, and a chunk of that from the comments I hear around immigration I believe will go to Winnie.

Blaming the media is a common (and stupid) excuse for their own inadequacies and failures, and won’t help them lift their support.

I think that leaves only the “missing million” and our hopes for this demographic have been dashed in 2 elections running.

The ‘missing million’ is a failed aspiration. The Greens and union organisations tried to tap the non-voter pool last election without noticeable success.

Thinking that if only the media would show everyone how good they were and how bad National was, and if only those who don’t vote would realise how deserving Labour are their votes – and actually get out and vote – is unlikely to move the polls or improve Labour’s prospects.

The reality is that currently 24% looks more likely than 40%, unless National stuffs things up badly (Alfred Ngaro had a good shot at that in the weekend).

Positive PR is good, unless it is pie in the sky posturing.

Last election the Greens targeted an achievable looking 15% but failed to improve on their previous election result.

Haworth has proposed what looks like an unachievable target – it would need Greens to drop a few percent.

It’s easy for party members, MPs and voters to just dismiss something that looks out of reach.

Labour’s annual conference, offline

I think Labour is having their annual conference this weekend and will mark 100 years since the party was founded, but it’s hard to tell from their online presence.

13615386_10153752496691452_3217164495635400169_n

Oddly I can see no sign of this on the home page on their website.

labourwebsitenoconference

The ‘latest’ is last weekend’s news.

I got the 100 years graphic from their Facebook page, but remarkably there is no obvious sign of their conference there either.Under Events:

labourfacebookevents

That August campaign launch is presumably for the local body elections. No mention of any event relating to the Mount Roskill by-election, and more remarkably, no sign of their centenary conference.

I also see that there’s a gap in the history montage, no Norm Kirk from the 1970s, nor David Lange from the 1980s.

“New Zealand Labour Party does not have any upcoming events.”

Remarkable. Is this a result of the exodus of communications staff from Andrew Little’s office? Or under the Memorandum of Understanding do they leave social media to their Green Party branch?

No sign of any posts  about the conference at The Standard yet either.

Someone must have thought to tell a journalist though, as 1 News have reported Labour to mark centenary, look to future at annual conference.

Do they see no future in online promotions?

Labour will celebrate their past and their future when as many as 600 delegates head to Auckland for their annual conference this weekend.

This year marks 100 years since the party was founded and while marking the milestone the event will focus on the campaign to win government in 2017, President Nigel Haworth says.

“We know it’s going to be difficult because we’ve got a well funded, well resourced government in power,” he told NZ Newswire.

“We’re feeling very comfortable we’ve got a strong campaign.”

“I think the way it’s come out over the last year we’ve dealt with most of the hard issues, this year is very much about campaigning,” Mr Haworth said.

Maybe that strong campaign will be launched at the conference.

“It will be an opportunity for us to reiterate our platform about New Zealand being a place of genuine opportunity for everyone regardless of the circumstances of their birth, and I’ll have a policy to announce relating to jobs,” Mr Little said.

The Party is expecting between 500 and 600 delegates to attend the three-day event which kicks off with a President’s welcome from Mr Haworth tonight.

It starts tonight. Maybe they notified some of their members by snail mail.

Mr Little will address delegates in the main event on Sunday afternoon.

Will Little’s policy on jobs include a new opportunity for someone to promote the Labour Party online?

Ika: Labour WTF?

I missed the start but I have been watching Labour WTF for a while now.

Labour, WTF? – Live from Ika Seafood Bar & Grill in Auckland, New Zealand, Simon Wilson leads a panel discussion about the state of the Labour Party.

With Nigel Haworth (Labour President), Andrew Campbell (former Green Party Chief of Staff), Dr Deborah Russell (tax expert), Chloe Swarbrick (former mayoral candidate).

Nigel Haworth comes across as a woolly waffler, maybe he runs a tight dynamic ship for Labour but he doesn’t exude confidence.

Deborah Russell is little more than a Labour cheerleader. She sunk to a custard comment about Key’s ‘moral fibre’. She is clearly positioning herself for a political future with Labour.

Chloe Swarbrick is worth having in the discussion. Having considered views of a young woman is great to have in the mix.

Andrew Campbell is the most interesting and forthright about the reality of Labour’s shaky position.

Chloe thinks Jacinda should be Labour leader.

Deborah was asked who outside Labour who would make a good leader, she sidesteps it and promotes a few Labour people ‘coming through’, like Michael Wood who is standing in Mt Roskill.

Andrew names Grant Robertson as ‘an amazing contrast’ to John key as leader and Jacinda as well would be the future leadership for Labour.

Nigel is asked about whether Labour should change their selection rules and he deferred to the members.

Andrew says he agrees with much of what Simon wrote in Look, there goes the Labour Party – sliding towards oblivion.

Deborah refers to Labour as a ‘broad church’. Perhaps it was in the past. It has narrowed alarmingly. And then she refers to Justin Trudeau as Mr Yummy when asked about trustworthiness in Labour.

Then she rejects charisma, saying trust is all important.

Nigel is asked if he thinks the Memorandum of Understanding is important and says it didn’t come entirely from the Greens, but has avoided the question – should it become a coalition agreement. He is wedded to a strong alliance.

Asked about the Maori Party he says it is difficult to see their ‘type of behaviour’ as incompatible with Labour.

A questioner says he has seen no evidence of policy solidarity based on the MoU. Nigel says that it is far to early in the election cycle to come out with substantial policy. He is worried about National moving in on their policies. He says Labour has to time their policy announcements very well. But there remains a vacuum, for how long?

Andrew says there would be a major benefit in Labour and Greens having separate tax policies so Labour+Greens can’t be described as a tax/economics bogey man.

To a question on fundraising Chloe says that money isn’t so important, getting a message across needs to be clear, there needs to be a vision.

Nigel says that money is important. Labour missed an opportunity on public funding of campaigns.

He says Labour has established an ‘extraordinary digital periphery’ – I guess he is talking about their email harvesting.

Someone questions the MoU, saying that it looks like Labour has given up recovery, in contrast to National’s recovery after their 2002 disaster. All Labour has done is ‘cuddle up to the greens’.

Andrew emphasises that the New Zealand electorate hates instability.

Someone says that she wants to be a Labour supporter but she isn’t enthused by Andrew Little and unless they can bring threw people like Chloe they will lose the next election.

Deborah launches into another promotion of Labour/Little. She says Labour has the leader they need.

She then squashes Chloe’s enthusiasm saying that pragmatism matters.

Is Chloe Swarbrick the future of the Labour Party?

Nigel says he would be delighted to have her and over time he wants the party to be attractive to people like ‘Chloe’. They don’t have a lot of time.

Chloe says she represents engagement. She stood as a protest candidate because she was pissed off with the system that doesn’t stand for the people.

She doesn’t see a revolt happening any time soon.

She has a lot of problems with media not holding politicians accountable.

Deborah avoids the question ‘is Andrew Little the future of the Labour Party?’

Andrew says “there is a malaise in the Labour caucus” and refers to National’s ability to turn of MPs compared to Labour’s stagnate bunch.

Chloe says Labour can win when they can empathise and communicate.

Simon says they can win when they have”a leader we can admire and trust and we want to be the Prime Minister”. He talks of the need for charisma.

The discussion comes to a close.

The title remains unresolved – Labour WTF.

Andrew and Chloe should start a new party.

Is Labour sliding towards oblivion?

This question is being asked tonight when Simon Wilson chairs a Spinoff debate at Ika Seafood Restaurant about the future of the Labour Party.

Wilson writes Look, there goes the Labour Party – sliding towards oblivion.

What is the point of Labour? Is it a twentieth century phenomenon sliding into oblivion in the twenty-first?

If you’re an urban progressive, the Greens look like a more natural home. If you’re worried about modernity in any or all its forms, New Zealand First is ready and waiting. If you’re a Māori activist, you can choose from the Māori Party and the Mana Party.

If you’re working class? Any of the above, isn’t it?

In reality, Labour gets votes from all those groups. That’s a good thing: major parties need broad appeal. But Labour doesn’t always treat it as a good thing. They let the inevitable contradictions of being a broad church undermine them – this is expressed through absurdly frequent leadership battles – rather than becoming a source of strength.

Actually, there is a point to Labour and it’s a really important one. They’re there to win elections. Labour is the main party of opposition and therefore is likely to be the majority party in any centre-left government. So they have to look credible. They have to be credible.

If they’re not, the whole centre-left suffers. A vote for the Greens is a vote for a Labour-led government. Votes for NZ First and the Maori Party are also votes for the possibility of such a government.

In New Zealand, it’s generally accepted that Labour’s main job right now, working with the Greens, is to win the next election.

But it’s not obvious this view is shared throughout the Labour Party, where many people clearly prefer to have a leader they agree with, or feel is “one of us”, rather than a leader with great electoral appeal.

And that, in a nutshell, is the tragedy of the Labour Party. They don’t understand the importance of personality. They don’t have a leader capable of charm and because they changed the voting rules to get rid of the last one they did have, David Shearer, they don’t have the ready means to get another one. It’s not that they can’t win, but they have made it a lot harder for themselves.

It’s fashionable to say charisma shouldn’t matter, that personality politics is a scourge. That’s such nonsense. There’s a good reason voters want to feel we can like and trust our leaders: our trust commits us to the political process, commits politicians to us and helps give legitimacy to lawmaking.

So, what are the prospects for Labour heading into election year? Andrew Little will remain leader so they have to double down on becoming the voice of the future. That’s about policy and articulating a vision. Becoming the champion of the compact city in all its forms – from decent affordable housing to creating a cycling city – is a heaven-sent opportunity.

Will they grasp it? What’s their future if they don’t? On the positive side, there’s only one John Key. When he retires, National will lose its charm advantage. On the negative side, it’s only a matter of time before the Greens find an immensely charismatic leader of their own. When that happens, if Labour hasn’t done the same, they really could be annihilated.

There’s no sign of a charisma threat from Greens at the moment, nor does charisma seem to be lurking in their ranks.  So the left in general seem to have a problem, but Labour has been suffering the most.

Tonight’s debate should be interesting.

Tonight at Ika: Labour WTF? – why, what and how is Labour as it turns 100? Simon Wilson chairs a discussion with Labour president Nigel Haworth, former Greens chief of staff Andrew Campbell, commentator and Labour candidate Dr Deborah Russell and third placed Auckland Mayoral candidate Chloe Swarbrick. The Spinoff will livestream the event via ye olde Facebook page from 7.30pm

That’s a distinctly left wing panel, but it’s their problem so it’s up to them to show they recognise the challenges they face, if they do.

Chloe Swarbrick seems to be the in person in politics these days, she has been picked up by media and pushed. But it will be a while until she can lead whatever party she may eventually join, if she does.

Labour “all the more certain” to win

Party President Nigel Haworth has said that Labour are “all the more certain” to win next year’s election because of Andrew Little’s leadership.  He was speaking at an event in Dunedin celebrating the centenary of the party.

That’s rather optimistic given the current state of the party and polls.

ODT: Labour confident in its 100th year

The event was held at the Community Gallery to celebrate the party’s centenary exhibition.

It allowed Labour to look back on its achievements with pride.

“We have done the hard yards. The other side has picked up what we’ve done and sort of tinkered with it,” Prof Haworth said.

The party expected a September 2017 general election, and was six months ahead of what it had anticipated in its preparations, Prof Haworth said.

Hard to see how Labour is six months ahead of preparations, unless they mean with fund raising or candidate selection.

Clare Curran acknowledged the party had not always lived up to its ideals.

It had mostly, but not always, stuck to its values.

“Let’s be honest,” she said.

Asked about the comment, Ms Curran told the Otago Daily Times  there was no point  “glossing over” the economic upheaval of the 1980s, but people should remember it was one part of a significant history.

Labour in the 80s rescued the country from the dire economic situation left be Rob Muldoon, nut now some on the left seem to see Lange and Douglas as dirty words.

Mr Little was keen to look forward, rather than back, devoting much of his speaking time to a campaign-style speech that talked about the “Kiwi dream” and the “deep housing crisis”.

Littler has been using those themes for some time.

If elected,  Labour would not put up with further delay to the Dunedin Hospital redevelopment, and would start rebuilding immediately.

‘If’ elected? I thought politicians spoke more positively than that.

Labour would guarantee no loss of services, and would safeguard its status as a “fully fledged” teaching hospital, Mr Little said.

Dunedin hospital has battled against losses of services for decades under successive governments. With the city and coastal Otago falling behind other parts the country population-wise and the ongoing centralising of expensive health facilities it’s hard to see the level of services maintained.

Listening to Mr Little’s speech was Labour supporter Richard Thomson, deputy commissioner of the Southern District Health Board and a member of the hospital redevelopment partnership group.

He declined to comment when approached by the ODT.

Thomson will know the reality of the situation.

labourstan

Does anyone recognise this dude?

 

 

 

 

Labour can’t hide from poll reality

Rodney Hide adds another voice to those criticising Labour president Nigel Haworth for his claim that the polls tell Labour they are “on course to victory in 2017”.

Rodney Hide: Don’t mention the polls!

Spare a thought these summer holidays for Professor Nigel Haworth, President of the New Zealand Labour Party.

He has attempted to rally members and supporters with a missive declaring, “We’re finishing an excellent year in which the polls and popular feeling on the streets tells us that we are on course to victory in 2017”.

The polls a year on from their election defeat in 2011 had Labour and the Greens trailing National by 1 per cent. A year on from their 2014 defeat Labour and the Greens are trailing National 10 per cent.

The polls are worse for Labour than when David Shearer was leader.

We understand the need for positivity and talking the team up.

But positivity can’t be at the expense of reality. You can’t be 10 points down at half time and tell the team the scoreboard shows you winning. That’s delusional. That does nothing to rally the team.

How do the latest poll results compare to three years ago?

Last five poll results 2012:

  • National 45, 44, 47, 46.2, 45.5 – Average 45.54
  • Labour 31.5, 35, 34.6, 34.4, 33.5 – Average 33.8
  • Greens 13.5, 13, 12.9, 10.5, 11 – Average 12.18
  • NZ First 6.5, 3.6, 2, 3.8, 8 – Average 4.18

Last five poll results 2015:

  • National 47, 49, 46.7, 49, 51.3, 48.6 – Average 48.6
  • Labour 31, 29.5, 32.3, 28.5, 31.1 – Average 30.48
  • Greens 12, 12, 10.2, 13, 8.2 – Average 11.08
  • NZ First 9, 6, 7.5, 6, 5.7 – Average 6.84

National and NZ First are stronger now, Labour and Greens are weaker.

The only way Labour are guaranteed ‘victory’ in 2017 is in coalition with Greens. Which way NZ First would go will be unknown until after the election and it’s far from sure they would team up with Labour and Greens..

Consolidated averages end of 2012:

  • National 45.54
  • Labour+Greens 45.98
  • Labour+Greens+NZ First 50.16

Consolidated averages end of 2015:

  • National 48.6
  • Labour+Greens 41.56
  • Labour+Greens+NZ First 48.4

“We’re finishing an excellent year in which the polls and popular feeling on the streets tells us that we are on course to victory in 2017” sounds like ra-ra political bull.

It’s nearly two years until the next election and much could happen in that time. Hide points out that Labour could still succeed.

You can inspire the team telling them we can win, that we have done the hard yards and are well placed to win.

And in truth that’s Labour’s position. It can win the next election. It has done some hard yards and the team has settled down under Andrew Little’s leadership.

The polls this far out don’t matter much. They are certainly not a predictor of what will happen over the next two years.

But making claims that don’t stack up is not a good way of inspiring the team.

I fear that in slipping off the standards of academia Haworth has slipped a little too far. In discovering in politics no strict need for accuracy, he has thrown out facts and abandoned reality.

His failure to see where we are suggests he is unlikely to get us to where we would like to be. There’s a sense that Labour remains out of touch. Haworth’s rallying cry simply reinforces that view.

The perception they are out of touch is a significant issue for Labour.

Continuing to appear to be out of touch, like Haworth in party newsletters, tells us that Labour has to change fundamentally if they want to promote  their chances in 2017 and be believed.

Labour branch recess “nothing to lose any sleep over at all”

Labour are that brimming with support that the putting of a branch into recess has been descrobed by the Labour Party president as “certainly nothing to lose any sleep over at all”.

Richard Harman at Politik reports: LABOUR LEFT WINGERS CLOSE BRANCH IN PROTEST

The Labour party leadership is shrugging off a move by a Dunedin branch of the party to go into recess because it says it is not left wing enough.

The Anderson’s bay branch of the party has said it is going into recess.

Its organiser, Tat Loo, who writes under the pseudonym “Colonel Viper’ on the left wing blog site, “The Standard”. Said “Labour as an organization is failing ordinary Kiwis both locally in Dunedin and centrally in Wellington on many different levels and it shows every sign of continuing on that track.

“We want no part of propping up the Thorndon Bubble careerist ‘pretend and extend’ set any further and will be moving on to new political projects.”

But party president, Nigel Haworth, said the move was “really quite inconsequential”.

He said it was a minor perturbation.

“It’s certainly nothing to lose any sleep over at all.”

In fact Mr Haworth and leader, Andrew Little, night well regard the move as a minor victory in their quest to make the party more relevant to mainstream New Zealand.

Yeah, right, sheeding support is just what Labour need right now.

Ok, Tat Loo has been a vocal critic of the direction Labolur is heading (right and down) at The Standard for a while. A few years ago he got offside with Clare Curran and she is alleged to have tried to have him suspended from the party.

But Labour can’t really afford to shed factions.

I met Tat Loo during the 2011 campaign (he stood for Labour in the Clutha/Southlan electorate), seemed a nice enough guy but having seen what he writes at The Standard our ideas on politics are obviously quite different.

As Colonial Viper Loo wrote about the branch recess decision at The Standard:

ABP Branch of Labour goes into recess; all Branch Officers to resign

Dunedin’s most active and most innovative Labour Party branch is going into recess.

Going by the comment count (361 to date) there’s been a lot of interest.

Quite funny to see me pop up in the commentary:

Colonial Viper 17.2

thanks RL. To our team forging unity throughout the Left is not going to be the goal, it is going to be shifting and driving authentic political debate, something that many are clearly uncomfortable with.

  • One Anonymous Bloke

    :roll:

    Like Pete George only with conspiracy theories 😆

    • Colonial Viper

      yeah, because everyone on the Std reckons that my politics and that of Pete Georges are directly comparable.

      • One Anonymous Bloke

        I’m referring to the fact that, like yours, his rapier-like debating abilities make people uncomfortable 😆

        • McFlock

          Different sides of the same coin.

          PG often seemed to me to be so keen on the idea that truth was a matter of perspective that he would disappear up his own cartesian doubt.

          CV seems to be so convinced he can read the matrix code as it swirls by that anybody who disagrees with him must be either a fool or a neoliberal stooge.

Quite funny to be included in discussions like that.

Less funny – both Tat Loo and I are potential Labour voters, albeit from opposite sides of their spectrum. That both of us a rejected by Labour and Labour supporters suggests that 30% might be not be left behind any time soon.

But apparently the Labour leader and the Labour president see this as really quite inconsequential, a minor perturbation and  certainly nothing to lose any sleep over at all.

 

Labour president disses “mythical political centre”

Labour’s party president has shuns pursiing a “mythical political centre” in an opening night speech at the Labour Partry 2015 conference.

President Nigel Haworth delivers his address to – the opportunities ahead and the challenges facing us.

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From his speech:

Labour President Nigel Haworth: need to be true to our principles, not pursue a “mythical political centre”

I wonder if that excludes working for the real political centre.

Also at the conference Andrew Little said “Our moral obligation is to do the best for New Zealanders.”

He didn’t say out loud ‘Our moral obligation is to do the best for New Zealanders…except those in the centre’.

If Labour shuns the centre and pursues it’s historical Labour ideals they will somewhat narrow their appeal.