Cunliffe quitting next year

David Cunliffe says he has been offered a job to good to turn down so he will leave Parliament next year. He is going to remain long enough to avoid a by election in his New Lynn electorate.

Significant factors are likely to be Cunliffe’s failure as Labour leader in the 2014 election – Labour slumped – and the jobs offered by his replacement leader Andrew leader were fairly insulting.

Cunliffe is currently ranked 27th out of Labour’s 31 MPs.

Little announced that Cunliffe would not be seeking re-election (RNZ):

“He is joining the leadership team of Auckland-based management consultancy Stakeholder Strategies Ltd, a leading strategy and organisation consulting firm that provides advice on commercial, economic and environmental issues,” Mr Little said.

He said Mr Cunliffe planned to step down sometime next year and wanted to avoid triggering a by-election.

He had made a “strong contribution” to Labour as the MP for New Lynn since 1999 and as a former leader and finance spokesperson.

“I’m not here to talk about things that happened a long time ago, David has made his decision, I have made the announcement today and so we know think about the next steps, but understand David continues to be well-respected and a good friend of mine.”

Cunliffe also played a part in Labour changing the way they elected their leader, which probably made the difference on whether Littler took over or not.

Cunliffe says he is choosing to go and wasn’t pushed – but the lack of prospects under Little must have played a part in his decision.

“A great opportunity has come my way. I’ve got options and I’m looking forward to taking them.

Opportunities and options for him in Parliament were not great.

Asked about his greatest challenge since entering Parliament in 1999, Mr Cunliffe said challenges “come and go”.

“Look, I’ve had a great run in politics, it’s a rollercoaster as we all know, but it’s an opportunity at the end of the day to make a difference for New Zealanders. It’s not about us, it’s about them and improving their lives and God knows they need help at the moment.”

Mr Cunliffe said one of his biggest regrets was the impact Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party had on the result of the 2014 election.

“A large German billionaire that came from nowhere and swung like a wrecking ball through New Zealand politics. We tried to stay well away from him, but undoubtedly he was a one-man turnout machine for marginal National voters.”

So he is blaming his and Labour’s failures on Dotcom. There was a lot more too the election than that. Cunliffe wasn’t seen as Prime Minister material by the voters.

Cosgrove to stand down

Remember Clayton Cosgrove? He used to be MP for Waimakariri, first winning the seat in 1999, and became a Labour minister in the Clark government.

Cosgrove is only 46 but seems to be past his best by date as an MP.

This is what he looked like whenever this party website photo was taken:


This was him giving his latest speech in Parliament on 4 April 2016:


He lost Waimakariri in 2011 and stood again in 2014, virtually hiding the fact that he was standing as a Labour candidate and implying he was still MP for the electorate, but failed again.

But he is still an MP thanks to his high enough ranking on the Labour list. But he has hardly been seen or heard of for the last few years, since the 2014 election in particular.

He has seemed like the MP when you don’t want to be an MP.

And he has just announced that he doesn’t want to continue to be an MP and will stand down before or by next year’s election.

Stuff: Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove will not seek re-election in 2017

Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove is to stand down at – or before – the next election.

The list MP – who had held the Waimakariri seat for four terms – said it was not a decision he made lightly. He had discussed it with his leader Andrew Little,”who understands this is about new challenges and opportunities for me”.

Cosgrove, 46, said he was elected when he was 30 and now was the right time to take the next step in his career.

“Before entering politics I held senior executive positions in business both in New Zealand and Australia, and so I feel extremely fortunate to have gained so much experience in both the private and public sector,” he said.

This is good news of sorts for Labour, who badly need dead wood out and replaced by dynamic new MPs.

Cosgrove is going voluntarily. It’s now up to Labour to come up with a suitable replacement.

Cosgrove is currently ranked 18 in Labour’s lineup.

On the Labour website: Latest from Clayton Cosgrove

That’s not very prolific.