Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


A Twist in Time Puts Ardern In Top Job Without Kerfuffle

A Twist in Time Puts Ardern In Top Job Without Kerfuffle

INSIGHTS ABOUT THE NEWS - It’s funny how fate works. Had Andrew Little resigned three months before the general election on Sept 23 - about a month earlier than he did - the Labour constitution outlines the process of electing a new Labour leader. It would have involved not only the party caucus, but also branch and union representatives. It could have been drawn-out and harmed the party.

Instead, things changed within 24 hours. Because it was less than three months to the election, only the caucus voted on Tuesday morning. The result was a smooth transition with Jacinda Ardern voted leader and Kelvin Davis her deputy.

As reported in today's edition of Trans Tasman Political Alert, "the Govt now has a real battle on its hands. Ardern’s sudden accession to the Labour leadership has transformed the political landscape. She may be the youngest Labour leader yet, but she generates excitement.

Her caucus elected her unanimously, even though those who saw themselves as future leaders were among them. She presents brilliantly on television, where Little so singularly handicapped himself out of the race.

Yet she is virtually untested in a serious leadership role. She could not win Auckland Central (a previous Labour seat) in 2011 or 2014. Will she project a halo effect into those electorates where Labour voters have drifted off to the Greens or NZ First?

The party she leads has traumatised itself as a result of, as one critic put it, strategic ineptitude, policy torpor and organisational decay. She has little time to revitalise the team behind her or reshape the policy she inherits from Little. It’s possible she may duplicate the “Corbyn effect,” but then UK Labour still finished second.

She is handicapped, too, by running in tandem with the Greens who have muscled into Labour territory on social justice. And the electorate could be wary of how Winston Peters might have to be brought into a coalition to form a Govt. Some commentators are convinced Peters as the most experienced (and a former deputy PM) would demand the top job.

Meanwhile, National, which appeared to be coasting towards a fourth term, has been galvanised by the change. It must shed any complacency in its ranks, rally its support base, and and some new way of underlining the importance of stability for the country.

Ministers have been wheeling out policy announcements like that on the ending of decile-related education funding this week, but some authorities believe if it is to avoid being stigmatised as “tired” after nine years in Govt, it has to present fresh and compelling ideas to guarantee a fourth term."

Another time factor which will influence Arden’s path forward will be how quickly she can come up with credible new policies to raise Labour’s vote.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election