Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


David Cunliffe Ak Speech - Leading Labour For Fair Work

Leading Labour For Fair Work and More Jobs

For immediate release
Western Springs College Hall

1 September 2013


Ngā Mana Whenua: Ngāti Whātua, Te Kawerau a Maki; tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Kia ora, Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Bula vinaka, Faka’alofa lahi atu; Taloha ni, Kia Orana, Namaste, Sat Sri Akal, Salaam Ali’kum, Ni Hao Ma and a warm South Side greeting to you all.

To all the Dads out there – happy Father’s Day and thanks for spending part of your special day here to support Labour.


I guess all of us are here because we love our kids and want a better future for them.
The dads among you will probably agree that you never fully understand the love of a parent until you become one yourself.

My dad had a profound impact on me.  He taught me fairness, dignity and respect.  He was a Minister in a small rural town in the South Island and he and my mum worked hard. 

We did it tough at times, because he was pretty ill when I was a teenager. But, you know what? It was still nowhere near as tough as some of you are doing right now thanks to the National Government

Folks, I left my boys at home today because I wanted to come here and give something to you.  My Father’s Day present to the children of Auckland is to give you back your parents. 

To make sure you can earn a decent living wage so that you can spend time with your kids, not just working three jobs for them.

I want to help the most vulnerable within the workforce. People like cleaners, who get beaten down every time a cleaning contract changes hands. And in its latest appalling Employment Relations legislation, the National Government is taking away the last protections for vulnerable workers of so called ‘small employers’.

It wants to give bosses the right to walk away from negotiations without settling.  They even want to rob you of your smoko and lunch breaks!

Under a Labour Government that I lead, that legislative rubbish will be gone by lunchtime! 

That’s right.  We will repeal the Employment Relations Amendment Bill and all the other draconian anti-worker laws within our first 100 days as Government.

No more right to fire at will, without even a decent explanation.

No more undermining the role of unions, who play a hugely positive role in keeping a workforce together and building safe healthy workplaces.

No more taking away your right to strike; no more selling your precious Christmas holidays. 

No more removing from the employers the obligations to settle, and wrecking the ability of unions to fight on your behalf. 

Under my leadership Labour will have fair industrial relations laws starting with industry standard agreements.  In the first 100 days of a Labour Government.

What do we want?  National gone!  When do we want it?  Right now!

That’s not all John Key has done. He has given tax breaks to his big business mates and put up GST for the rest.

John Key and Paula Bennett climbed the ladder.  He grew up in a state house, but now won’t let state houses be built in his electorate at Hobsonville.  Paula Bennett pulled up the ladder on the Training Incentive Allowance.


Under Labour, we can do better.  Labour has the fresh ideas.  What we need now is the right leadership to make sure that everyone in New Zealand gets a fair chance and a fair share.

The Labour Government that I will lead will champion full employment.  Our aim will be that every New Zealander who is ready, willing and able to work is either in a job or training for one. 

That would be a huge change from John Key’s New Zealand, where thousands of applicants lined up for 150 supermarket jobs at one location.

But jobs, like money, do not grow on trees.  To be credible and responsible as well as visionary, the Labour government I lead will have a solid programme of economic development. 

That will be located within sound fiscal management.  Labour will be trusted with the public purse and we will not run away with the chequebook.  

But we must move Government off the side-lines and into new partnerships with communities, regions and local government that will create economic and social value.

These are not necessarily new projects.  They are projects that already exist but don’t neatly fit into Treasury’s business plan, for how they pick projects to support.

Because they are not just about economic development, they are also about social development.  Makes sense.  Economic development is all very good but if a community isn’t work ready, then all the value is lost out of that community.

So this is about supporting projects that communities, industry sectors and regions have been slogging away at for years, if not decades, and which are not going to be completely attractive to private interests.

They are projects like the aquaculture and Harbour Development in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, making sure our Christchurch anchor projects are more than just building an edifice but are contributing to jobs and social development.


All our good intentions, all our policy, all our values and our platforms, will mean sweet nothing in the lives of our people unless we win in 2014.

I am here before you today because I am ready to lead Labour to victory now.

I am asking for your support because we have to win next year. We simply cannot afford four more years of National destroying our jobs and burdening down our families.  

As your leader I will unify the party, caucus and wider Labour movement, so that we are unstoppable in 2014.

I have experience and skills in business, in government and around the world that mean I can lead a Sixth Labour Government to victory in 2014, and to strengthen our economic credibility once we get there.

I can make tough calls when needed, even against powerful vested interests.  As a Minister and a front bencher, I busted the Telecom monopoly and kicked out a dodgy health board because I believed in doing what was right. 

This is no time for complacency.  We must choose a leader who has the skills and experience to do the job right now.


We need a leader who is grounded in the struggles of ordinary working families at an electorate level, but also skilled in making government work smarter, able to talk the languages of business and technology, and to operate on the world stage.

I have those skills and experience to fight for hardworking New Zealanders.

That is my commitment to you today.  No ifs, no buts, no maybes.  A Labour Government under my leadership is going to make a difference to your lives.

We are going to make sure we have the basics for families. We are going to build strong communities and we are going to fight for workers’ rights.
Under my Leadership, Labour will roll back National’s harsh employment laws and make a real difference to workers, their families and communities.
You know, it is easy for a politician to promise the earth, moon and stars. To say that everyone will have a job tomorrow and a living wage.  That is what I want and I won’t settle for less. 

It won’t come overnight and it won’t happen by accident.  It is going to take a lot of work.

My name is David Cunliffe. I am ready to win and ready to lead. I can foot it with John Key or any other National Minister in any debate, anywhere, anytime. 

I am proud to be part of the Labour Party team and am confident we will win the confidence and trust of the nation in 2014. 

We all want National gone.  We all want it right now.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Australia’s Election

Australia’s new PM Anthony Albanese faces an obvious dilemma, barely before he gets his feet under the desk. Australia is the world’s leading exporter of coal. Will the new Labor government prioritise the jobs for Queensland/NSW workers in its mining-dependent communities - or will Labor start to get serious about climate change, and risk the inevitable political backlash from making a major shift into renewables..?


Government: New Zealand To Stay At Orange For Now
With New Zealand expecting to see Omicron cases rise during the winter, the Orange setting remains appropriate for managing this stage of the outbreak, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>

Australian Election: Prime Minister Congratulates Anthony Albanese
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Anthony Albanese and the Australian Labor Party on winning the Australian Federal election, and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison... More>>

Government: Helps Supermarket Shoppers Get A Fair Deal
Urgent Budget night legislation to stop major supermarkets blocking competitors from accessing land for new stores has been introduced today, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said... More>>

Government: Independent Panel Appointed To Review Electoral Law
Justice Minister Kris Faafoi today announced appointments to the independent panel that will lead a review of New Zealand’s electoral law. “This panel, appointed by an independent panel of experts... More>>

Trade: Prime Minister To Visit United States
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is leading a trade mission to the United States this week as part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19... More>>

National: Jacqui Dean To Retire From Parliament In 2023

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has announced that she will not be seeking re-election at the 2023 election. “I have advised the President and Leader of the National Party that I have decided not to put my name forward... More>>




InfoPages News Channels