David Cunliffe Leadership challenge speech


1185963_10151888038127704_1759232644_nAnd so it begins. The symbolism of Cunliffe’s diversity and man of the people setting with strong Labour  MPs representing the female, the left, Maori, Union, Pacifica and Gay factions of the Party compared to Robertson’s one on one beltway quiet chat with Patrick Gower to announce his candidacy must put Cunliffe in the lead.


It’s interesting how many  gallery press are all convinced Robertson will win. They must be placing those assumptions to one side after todays launch by Cunliffe. Speaking with Patrick Gower & Corin Dann afterwards, both were impressed with the impact of Cunliffe’s launch.

This is a great battle of ideas for Labour, they should feel proud that they have such amazing candidates for leader.

Here is Cunliffe’s speech…

1239617_10151888054377704_244974758_nToday I am announcing that I am seeking the leadership of the New Zealand Labour Party.

I have taken this decision carefully after talking to colleagues, supporters and family. I have been very humbled by the response. There is a strong sense that now is the time for a new beginning for Labour and for New Zealand.

Their view is that I can bring together a party and a government that provides a strong, clear voice for fairness, inclusion and prosperity to be shared by all.

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I believe that now is the right time to answer that call.

Our shared vision is to rebuild our society so that everybody – not just a lucky few – gets the chance to succeed and make the best of their potential.

In my role as a local MP and a Labour Party spokesperson, I’ve travelled around New Zealand and found that everything we as Labour people believe in, everything we’ve fought for before, is being threatened by a Government that has turned its back on hard working New Zealanders and has stopped listening.

I am deeply saddened this Government is so intent on cutting deals for its big business mates and kowtowing to powerful foreign interests, that it is willing to sacrifice so much of what we hold dear.

We still treasure the freedoms and civil liberties that our forebears fought for and the sense of fairness and decency we once believed we all stood for.

Like all of you, I am sick and tired of watching hope die in the eyes of our young.

I refuse to stand by and let these kids become part of the first generation to do worse than their parents in this country.

This has got to stop.

I want to make New Zealand a fairer place, by strengthening and supporting the most vulnerable members of our society and by giving every Kiwi kid a fair chance.

By strengthening not shrinking, support for our schools and hospitals.

By strengthening, not shrinking, the ability of every New Zealander to have a warm, comfortable home.

And, above all, by strengthening a high-value, high knowledge sustainable economy that will create the value that we can all share.

The time has now come for Labour to rise and join with our communities to build this strong and fair New Zealand, a New Zealand where our finest traditions of ‘a fair go’, our precious environment and a peaceful, principled society get a new beginning.

In short, I will be making sure that my children and your children are part of a New Zealand that is coming together not coming apart.

Kiwi mums and dads are spending more hours on the job, spending less time with their kids, bringing home a smaller wage and having to pay more for power, housing and food.

Like the young mums who can’t afford milk for their kids. Or the taxi drivers, working 14 hours a day for $5 an hour, who can’t afford to feed their families.

Is this the kind of country we want to live in and bring our kids up in? I say ‘No’. Labour says ‘No’.

I am proud to be part of a caucus and a wider Labour movement that has the talent and commitment to make a difference and serve our communities.

Together, under a Labour Party that I lead, Labour will always remain true to fairness, equality, opportunity and community.

Together, we will dare to provide transformative ideas that will change the future of this country for the better.

I believe I can communicate that vision with passion, power, and presence. As a leader, I know my first duty would be to bring together the strengths of our caucus and our party, listening to all and working with all, to forge a fighting force that can give back tomorrow to the children of our nation.

Over the next few short weeks, I will be seeking your support to be part of my vision to take Labour to victory in 2014.

Our people need us to win. They need us to win now. It is time for a new beginning.
I am ready to play my part. 

I know Cunliffe’s speech must have terrified the right because about 5 minutes after Cunliffe gave his speech, Matthew Hooton was texting me screaming abuse. The Right are frightened. Very frightened.


  1. That’s good, a good speech. I’m glad you put it out as I would never read it otherwise. I agree that it’s time for a bit of real socialism. Expound it and get people to vote.

  2. On radio live , Willie Jackson and Deborah Coddington saying Jones was the best candidate.
    Coddington clearly hates Cunliffe so that is obviously a reason to support him. Willie just prefers the Maori bloke and finds Cunliffe a bit high-falutin .
    Make no mistake , the poison directed at Cunliffe will be vicious for the next three weeks.

  3. If Labour want to win they elect Cunliffe. He can beat Key. He is articulate and can take on National on the economy, which Labour have seemed reluctant to do.

    If its Robinson, Key wins in 2014

    • I knew nothing about Cunliffe before this speech yesterday. From what I had seen his performance on issues I thought he would be great, but I was a little disappointed. He seemed kinda like a dork, very forced and not at all natural. His talk of socialism and raising taxes plays right into Nationals hands, painting Labor as far left and alienating the centrist voters they need to gain back to win the election. These are important issues, but should be dealt with in a more cautious way. Rather than saying you’ll be raising taxes on the rich, you could point out you are reversing the National tax cuts to the rich, that were used lowered revenue so they could justify asset sales. These are essentially the same thing, but the former lets you be painted as an ideologue, where as the later shows that it is National that is following neo-con ideology.

  4. This public announcement by Cunliffe, to the supporters, party members and media was “Prime Ministerial” I must say. David Cunliffe is using his skills extremely well, and he is sending the message to that “gorilla” John Key, who he already has told, to book a long holiday in Hawaii.

    Good stuff, and I hope that he will become the new leader, as Robertson has his skills, but is not going to have the pull and spirit to get enough potential voters convinced next general election.

    Jones will be runner up anyway.

    I am happy that the right is scared, and it is time they get scared, as they have made a hell of a lot of us out here scared with their largely hideous, punitive policies.

    My hope is that Cunliffe and his team will also fairly address welfare issues, and reverse at least some of the mad, draconian crap Paula Bennett and her buddies brought in. Restore the meaning into the word welfare, I suggest.

    I expect Cunliffe to not fall for those (within MSD ranks) wanting to rather pressure and penalise people for bad fortune, and include us beneficiaries in the drive for fairness and a respectful treatment.

  5. The amount of people – not just on the right but also in the comfortable liberals – who really, really dislike Cunliffe is a ringing endorsement of the man to me.

  6. Yep saw his speech on the box lastnight, if this man is sincere, we`re in for a chance, so he used someone else`s speech, what the hell, if he gets the job, my faith in the labour party might be rekindled.

  7. Interesting that there were no media questions on climate change. Pretty much like the Obama runoffs where this issue was off the agenda by all parties.

    I expect great things of Cunliffe.

    I am not disappointed. Unbidden this issue raised its head during the Obama Romney contest, and I expect it will raise its head in some form during the next 15 months. When it does, of all the three candidates for Labour Leadership, Cunliffe is the one with the intelligence and courage to confront it openly.

    I am of the opinion that even if a Hurricane Sandy struck their campaigns, Robertson and Jones would keep on campaigning as though nothing was happening.

    • The biggest issue of all and no-one wants to think about it. They’d be crapping their pants if it was a astoriod heading straight for the planet. Once the Arctic tundra melts enough, it will release as much greenhouse gases as the entire human race, and that can’t be more than a couple of decades away.But does anyone care? – nope. The over 50s will live long enough to see the disaster begin to unfold, Generation Zero will be right in the thick of it, and the next generation will have to face the fact that the planet they inhabit is barely liveable, has lost a huge amount of its life forms, and the damage is irreversible for the rest of the time the human race is around. Hey, but no worries.

  8. I predict that David Cunliffe will win the position of Labour Leader but oh boy , he has his work cut out to win the ’14 election .

    He was to convince the 800,000 non voters to vote for him and his party because that’s where his success lies in my view . In those numbers , in the people who’ve given up hope .

    He must lead with the Truth , he must lead with wit and humour , he must engage rural NZ with Urban NZ and he must disassemble the wood pile and shake out the rats , as a curative for us as much as anything else .

    The only thing that gives me hope here is that the Neo-Right has become so bold , daring and aggressive in their cruelty and greed over the last thirty years or so that we can now see most of them for who they are from all sides of the political spectrum . So it should be easier to spot the double crossers , back stabbers , liars , Machiavellian plotters , scheming megalomaniacs , kleptocrats and simple criminals if they start to have a go at Cunliffe or his supporters . We’re heading into some very , very exciting times .

    And I have to say ; Shane Jones , I could have understood your hotel room dalliances as the red blooded man you claim to be . But how much are we paying you on a ministerial salary ? And yet you use your ministerial credit card to pay for porn ? It’s the very worst value for my tax payer dollar I’ve ever had and you didn’t even kiss me first . And FYI . Internet porn is free . No class darling .

    As for Robertson . I like you too but really , you used ‘ blessed ‘ in a sentence . ‘ You felt blessed ‘ . I feel as though I’ve been shit on , ripped off , fucked over , ill treated , lied to , have had my precious time wasted , seen those I love suffer unnecessarily , watched my friends leave for Australia , nearly saw my Mum shoot herself because the BaNk naZi’s swindled her and my dad out of their life’s work at 22 % interest rates and have watched entire generations of kids get wasted by neo liberal politics . So , unlike you I don’t feel fucking blessesd . That statement made my alarm bells ring . My instinct hit me across the back of the head with a base ball bat .

    Go Cunliffe ! Yay ! Whoop !

  9. Socialism, taxation, and welfare are not dirty words.
    Spying, austerity, and asset sales are.
    We can’t let the scumbag neoliberals frame the debate.

    Robertson has promised not to interfere in the market. Why is he in a Labour party at all? I hate to think what Jones interferes with. I watched his speech and his pronunciation of words he wishes to emphasise has more of the pompous English common room than anything I’ve heard Cunliffe say. We won’t get rid of the hollow men with a shallow man.

    Kia kaha David Cunliffe.

  10. Okay David prove your not just any typical politician, how about a) provide a platform for all New Zealanders to participate in the creation of a Constitution and b) honestly inform the NZ people that Parliament is constitutionally illegal, has no further authority to govern and has no codified laws of any kind.

    Parliaments reign as if it has constitutional authority cannot continue and since the 1996 Constitution Act holds that Parliament is Sovereign and supreme over the people. Since no referendum was called by Parliament to find out what system of Government and law New Zealanders wished to adopt upon independence, and since Parliament had no mandate to assume such power to itself this would be considered unlawful.

    Legally speaking, New Zealand gave up all her Dominion Imperial Laws and become a Sovereign nation when it joined the League of Nations in 1920. One could argue that only two Sovereign Nation documents exist that are recognised under international law, namely the Declaration of Independence of 1835 and Te Tiriti O Waitangi 1940.

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