Crossfire VOD: Live Interview With David Cunliffe On Tuesday Nov 12


LIVE CROSSFIRE WEBCAST: On Tuesday November 12 – The Daily Blog webcast live a Crossfire interview between Labour leader David Cunliffe and political journalist Selwyn Manning and TDB editor Martyn Bradbury.

Part 2

The Crossfire interview examined David Cunliffe’s performance since becoming Parliament’s opposition leader in September, and explored the Labour leader’s views on the Trans Pacific Partnership and why he believes Kiwi Assure is a vital solution to systemic problems within New Zealand’s insurance industry.

We also explored David Cunliffe’s views on the Police performance over the Roastbusters crimes; and questioned him over whether or not John Key should attend CHOGM in Sri Lanka.

Here is the run-sheet including a selection of questions:

ISSUE ONE: First up, the Roastbusters crimes against women. David, what is your take on the Police’s handling of this?

ISSUE TWO: David Cunliffe’s performance since becoming leader of the Opposition.

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Q: David, on Friday it will be two months since you became leader of the Labour Party. How different is Labour under your leadership, and are you having to drag some of the more change-phobic conservative members of your caucus into unchartered waters?

ISSUE THREE: The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. FIRST, LET ME PLAY A SHORT CLIP…

Q: First off, have you seen this video, and have you signed the petition?

Q: Many see the TPPA as a multilateral free trade block… but it is much more than this, it is feared that the TPPA will erode a government’s right to legislate… to regulate in the nation’s interests. What is your position on the TPPA?

ISSUE FOUR: KIWI ASSURE… New Zealanders have been paying into EQC since the day they first became income earners. EQC has failed thousands of people, families, those who live alone, in Christchurch and the Canterbury region. Why is Labour’s priority to create a new state owned enterprise rather than fix up the broken EQC?

ISSUE FIVE: India’s Prime Minister Singh and Canada’s Prime Minister Harper are refusing to go to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka this week.

It is a protest against the totalitarian murderous regime of Sri Lanka’s president RAKAPAKSA.

But Prince Charles, UK PM, David Cameron, Australia’s PM, Tony Abbott, and our Prime Minister John Key will all share food and conviviality with a man who may in future be held accountable for crimes against humanity. Is John Key correct, that it is better to be at the table and raise one’s concerns, o is he wrong to go to CHOGM?



The Crossfire Format: Crossfire is a joint-venture public interest-styled web-first programme by host Selwyn Manning and panelist Martyn Bradbury.

Each episode will examine a selection of significant subjects with one leading decision-maker or opinion-shaper. After a one-on-one interview, Manning will introduce panelist Martyn Bradbury who will quiz the interviewee, drilling down into the answers pitched during the interview section. Manning will also put questions from the audience to the interviewee. And the audience, will be able to debate their views in the live chat window. and


  1. Dump Mallard, Goff, King,they have done their bit and been in far too long…

    Tamihere = NO way… People are saying if he gets in as an MP, they will not vote for you

  2. Eric Pyle CEO of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association says that all it will take to restart the Hauauru Ma Raki project is “the right policy settings” which would create 3030 permanent jobs in the renewable sector.

    Mr Cunliffe will your government put in place the “the policy settings” that Mr Pyle talks of, that will allow this stalled project, and others like it, to proceed?

  3. Mr Cunliffe, can you confirm Labour’s housing policy re: foreign ownership. of residential property.

    i.e. Foreigners defined as: every one BUT NZ citizens and permanent residents that still live in NZ and pay the vast majority of their yearly income (etc) taxes here.

    I ask, as It seems as if Labour have quietly watered down David Shearers comment on TV (Q & A ?) that Labour would BAN ALL foreign ownership of NZ property.
    I and a many other ex-Labour supporters believe something drastic, such as this, is needed, so we can again own a basic human need (housing) in our own country, without becoming debt slaves (i.e. the average house should cost 2.5 times the average salary).
    When housing is again affordably for Kiwi’s to own a house in their own country, and isn’t been used by international printed (or illegal) money to invest-speculate at our expense, THEN let foreign interests have SOME property.

    n.b The cynics would note that David Shearer was toppled as the leader of the Labout party, very soon after voicing this policy. Is that a coincidence? Or are Labour still committed to this policy, without huge ‘wiggle room’ with remarks like LIMIT ownership etc.

  4. The struggle against deep sea oil drilling and prospecting in our greater economic zone is becoming New Zealand’s version of the XL Pipeline.

    Mr Cunliffe, as the leader of New Zealand’s biggest opposition party, can you give us an assurance that a government led by you will ban all deep sea oil drilling and prospecting?

  5. I’ll try to stick to the three areas in the subject space, though I might be going a bit off-topic. I’ll put in a bunch of questions, but obviously it’s up to the interviewers which (if any) are asked.

    1) Is the job of Leader of the Opposition as you had imagined it to be? Harder or easier than you thought it would be?

    2) Is a Labour government under your leadership still intent on moving away from the neo-liberal policies of the last 30 years?

    3) How do you believe your leadership differs from that of the past three leaders (Helen Clark, Phill Goff, David Shearer)?

    4) Does Labour have anything to offer for those people who are unable to work (due to health, disability, or family issues)? These people have been hit really hard by the previous two National governements, and Labour hasn’t done anything to help them either.

    5) Under your leadership, will the full text of the TPPA be released publicly before it is signed?

    6) Do you believe the TPPA has any chance of getting through anyway? Many of the participating parties are starting to have doubts about it.

    7) Will KiwiAssure use overseas reinsurance, or will there be a different method of financial protection against major events?

    Thanks for running this interview. It’s good to hear from the future Prime Minister of New Zealand 🙂

    • Oh yeah, I’m not sure it’s retentive, but:

      8) Will the house building program “KiwiBuild” involve the building of state housing as well as private housing? If so, can you give an approximate number of state houses that will be built?

  6. Kia ora David,

    Michael Nolan, Rangitata LEC.

    It is fantastic to see Labour’s strong focus on jobs with fair pay and conditions for everyday workers.

    However many people cannot work, are actively but unsuccessfully job hunting, or studying to gain better employment opportunities. These people are struggling on appallingly low levels of state assistance that have never been rectified since the 1991 cuts.

    Labour’s Income Support policy for the unemployed and students seems very thin to me; can you assure members and potential voters that you will deliver not just high-paying jobs, but dignified and livable rates of welfare and student support?

    Many thanks (and excellent Conference address by the way),
    Michael Nolan

  7. Trite Alert !

    Hello David Cunliffe ? Is paula bennett really that hideous ? And does she actually wear a leopard skin jacket . Do 800 kg leopards exist in the wild ? If not then are they force fed MacDonalds night and day so that paula can get pelts to fit ? Why not just kill , skin , die and wear the skins of the unemployed ? Save a leopard ! Wear a bennie ?
    Also , where did sir micky fay get his 790 million from ? And also , where is david richwhite ? And how much money does he have ? Oh , and lets not forget Owen Glenn ? And what’s your thoughts on agricultural Producer Boards ? And did the BNZ pay back it’s tax payer funded bailout of 390 million , with interest , dating back to 1990 or so ? Where are the trains ? They’re big and noisy but they’re hard to see these days ? And why are there so many big scary trucks crushing our tax paid for roads ? Why do truck drivers call their trucks Big Scary Names like ‘ Highland Predator ‘ or ‘The Hulk’ with a picture of Marvel Comics’ The Hulk’ painted on the cab ? What is the average size of the penises of the average truck driver ? Is it true that keith holyoak swindled property near Lake Taupo ? Does that kind of thing still go on ? What about the latest furore over tax loop holes for politicians ?

    And finally ; where is our money David ? Only four million people . Large rich country . Dripping in essential resources . Popular and trusted trader with the worlds largest and wealthiest economies and suddenly we’re deeply in debt with a societal crises and a Maori incarceration rate that’s grabbed world headlines . ( Al Jazeera )

    My two best questions would surely be .
    Where is our money David ?
    And would you agree that New Zealand has been swindled of it’s money , it’s mana and it’s soul by the Good Old Boys ?

  8. How can you claim neoliberalism is going to end when it seems as though you will continue forcing kiwis into debt, just to get educated?
    Or is the end of neoliberalism just for boomers?
    Are we going to continue with the neoliberal logic of education as personal capital, or do you want to change things?

  9. Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese have been evacuated and are crammed into storm shelters, while entire regions in the Philippines are without food and water, and bodies lie in the streets, hang from trees, or are buried in flattened buildings.
    Hurricane Haiyan

    “Coal is the main cause of climate change” James Hansen
    Storms of my Grandchildren

    “When it comes to coal mining, our policy is no new mines” Russell Norman
    The Vote 23:30

    Labour’s finance spokesman, David Parker, says his party’s policies on oil, gas and mineral extraction are close to those of the Government.

    “I don’t think we are much different from National,” Parker said.
    labour National “close” on mining NZ Herald

    I’m very sad to say there’s a very good chance that by the time my two young sons reach adulthood, the safe and healthy world that we all took for granted will be gone. Finished.

    David Cunliffe

    The Dolphin and the Dole Queue

    Coal is the leading cause of climate change. James Hansen has said that if we can’t stop coal it is all over for the climate.

    Mr Cunliffe, as leader of the Labour Party what is your current position on coal mining?

    Mr Cunliffe, are you of the same view as David Parker, that there is not much difference between Labour and National when it comes to oil drilling and coal mining. Or do you support the Green party’s position of “No New Coal Mines?

    Bathhurst resources have just got permission to proceed with their plans to excavate the biggest coal mine in New Zealand’s history on the Denniston Plateau. In the court proceedings taken by Forest and Bird they were banned from by law from raising climate change as an objection. Arguably if climate change had been allowed to be raised this mine would never have been allowed to proceed, the evidence is just so overwhelming.

    Will you change the legislation to allow climate change to be raised in consent hearings?

    In light of the huge death toll in the Philippines from Hurricane Haiyan will you remove the permission for Denniston to proceed?

  10. David, will Labour seriously curb the continued expansion of Dairying??? It is an outrage..that on one hand we have this Bull shit(IMF) designed Omissions Trading Scheme, yet on the other hand we as the public are subsidizing more irrigation schemes in support of more environmentally unsustainable corporate Dairying to blight our landscapes across the country! National are making out that they are wanting to protect New Zealands lakes and rivers.via their pathetic new water plan.. all a disgusting joke
    chrs J

  11. No mention of climate change?
    No hard questions about Deep Sea Oil?
    No discussion of the huge subsidies being paid to fossil fuel companies?
    No questions about Denniston, or Hauauru Ma Raki?
    Deathly silence about the 10,000 killed in the Philippines by the most powerful storm to ever make landfall anywhere on Earth.

    The elephant in the front drawing room, is climate change. Last year, Obama and Romney managed to hold a whole presidential election campaign without acknowledging the elephant in the room. Even when Hurricane Sandy, the most powerful SuperStorm to ever hit New York, blew out the front windows, tore the drapes and flooded the carpet. Despite this climate catastrophe, both candidates managed to edge there way gingerly around the elephant to find the door.

    Both candidates were in terror of offending the fossil fuel lobby.

    Are we witnessing New Zealand’s version of this deliberate self censorship, even in the left political blogosphere?

    If so, is there any hope that climate change will be addressed anywhere during the lead up to, and during, next year’s election?

    And if climate change is not debated in the election, how can any incoming administration, (whatever it’s constituent parts), have any mandate to raise it in government?

    Do Martyn Bradbury and Selwyn Manning believe that climate change is a non issue?

    Or was this just the patsy first interview to ease up to the real hard questions, next time?

    • Hi Jenny,

      I sure do think climate change is the biggest issue confronting us right now and will continue to be so. All your points above are hugely valid and apologies for not raising them.

      This isn’t an excuse but a factor… half way through the interview the connection for all three of its participants crashed. I was able to hook David Cunliffe back, but we couldn’t get Martyn Bradbury back online.

      That took my eye off hitting some issues, including what you raise above.

      We will get better at it as we progress.


      • Selwyn, was the interview too full to ask a few more of the question we the readers raised?
        e.g. Foreign ownership of property and land in NZ.

        It’s GREAT that you interview D.C, and I appreciate there are MANY other questions to ask, and the technical difficulties you mentioned. But I just wondered if you agreed my question (3rd comment above) was a worthwhile question to get clarification on?

        p.s. PLease DO keep the good work up guys. …………….you can’t please all the people all the time……..

        • Hi Kevin,

          My instinct as a journalist has always been to go deep into a single issue, and it suggested to me last night that we had too many issues for the 30 minute format, especially after Google+ hangout crashed. I might come up with a different name and use Crossfire for another configuration.

          You might have heard me mention to David Cunliffe, that at some point in the near future it will be good to go deep on the correlation between social need and economic development/generation – to dedicate a whole episode to it.

          What I want to develop is a format that is similar to Al Jazeera’s The Stream where one issue is examined, with either one specialist being interviewed, or a group of specialists all contributing, and where audience participation is right there interacting. On The Stream the interviewers do a good job of highlighting audience comments and questions, and they seek answers.

          I dealt with The Stream and its producers over the episode it dedicated to the GCSB amendment legislation and was really impressed, not only by them but the format.

          See what you think. With the help of people like you highlighting what works and what doesn’t we’ll get a good show going for election year….

          • Thanks for the reply Selwyn.
            I fully appreciate time constraints and prioritising.
            Clearly I’m biased and think my questions is most important…..smiling.
            Good on you for what you’re trying to achieve. I’ll follow it closely.

            However my final attempt at convincing you and others that this is the most important issue facing NZ……..
            If citizens didn’t HAVE to spend so much on housing (rent or buy) then they’d be more of their earnings to buy the basic necessities and live ‘well’.
            Borrowing money (printed out of thin air overseas, by a select few people-banks) to buy property from one another CAN only end in disaster and in the meantime ONLY a select few benefit from the excessive borrowings and house price levels.

            So something needs to be done ASAP, and my suggestions (or very similar) would effect matters quicker, simpler and fairer than most ideas, that would take years to MAYBE work (but are still worth doing as well) , e.g. build more houses, Capital gains tax etc etc.

            Keep up the good work all on TDB.


  12. A very credible response across a pretty good range of issues. David has the advantage over some of his colleagues of actually getting it that Rogergnomics has proliferated misery and economic insecurity – but his media skills make Key look like a badly trained monkey.

    I hope he remains committed to putting the country right, rather than falling back on the ‘best efforts of the best informed’ defence, which I imagine he can play very easily.

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