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Labour elects Phil Goff as new leader

Hon Phil Goff
Leader of the Labour Party


11 November 2008 Media Statement

Labour elects Phil Goff as new leader


The Labour Party caucus today elected Labour’s new leadership team.

By unanimous decision, Phil Goff was elected as Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party, with Annette King as his deputy.

David Cunliffe will be Labour’s spokesperson on finance, and Darren Hughes and Steve Chadwick the Senior and Junior Opposition Whips respectively.

Mr Goff said a strong and effective Opposition is vital to the effective functioning of a democracy.

“Labour will fulfil that role. Our caucus is 43 strong, seven down on our 2005 election result,” Phil Goff said.

“In Government, Labour succeeded because it had a united, disciplined and motivated parliamentary and ministerial team.

“The outcome of today’s caucus demonstrates that Labour will be a strong, united and determined Opposition.

“We have 13 new members, who are the most talented and able intake into our caucus since 1984. Their presence gives Labour’s caucus a strong combination of experience and new and fresh talent.

“We accept the verdict of the people that after nine years in government, the mood was time for a change. Time will tell whether the changes which are proposed will be what the public was led to believe.

“We are proud of what Labour has achieved for New Zealand over its time in office – we have left the country a better place than we found it,” Phil Goff said.

“We recognise however the importance of reconnecting with the electorate and regrouping, using our time in opposition to develop new policy as well as fulfilling the role of holding the Government to account.

“In Opposition, we will support the Government constructively where we believe its actions are consistent with the well-being of New Zealand and New Zealanders.

“Where we believe it is acting contrary to the best interests of New Zealand, such as slashing Kiwisaver, R&D tax credits or privatising ACC, we will oppose the Government vigorously.

“We will be watchful for secret agendas.

“Caucus today also made presentations to our departing MPs and acknowledged their contribution,” Phil Goff said.

“Special acknowledgement was given to our departing leaders, Helen Clark and Michael Cullen.

“Helen and Michael were a superb leadership team and we owe a great debt to them. They shared a passion for making New Zealand a better and fairer society.

“Their skill, determination and competence are acknowledged even by their critics.

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to have worked with them over nine years in Government. I am pleased that we will continue to have the benefit of their participation and experience in our caucus,” Phil Goff said.


ENDS

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