The sad political career of Trevor Mallard



Labour MP Trevor Mallard has announced he will not seek re-election as the MP for Hutt South in 2017 but will stand as a Labour Party list candidate only.

Mallard says it’s because he wants to be the speaker of the next parliament and being a list MP makes it easier to act impartially and avoid conflicts of interest.

He has obviously been assured of a high list placing by Labour Party bosses to ensure he gets back into parliament to fulfil his dream job as speaker. And after a term or two as speaker he could then expect a Labour-led government to send him on his final political jaunt – the plum job of New Zealand High Commissioner in London.

In this role he would follow in the footsteps of people like Jonathan Hunt – the former Labour government’s Minister of Wine and Cheese whose sole political achievement, aside from fighting every attempt to clamp down on MP perks, was to break up the New Zealand Post Office into Postbank, Post Shop and Telecom and ready them for privatisation.

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It would be a sad end to a sad political career because despite his entering parliament in 1984 as a young, left-wing, progressive MP, Mallard has spent his entire time in parliament driving a neo-liberal agenda through which he has betrayed himself, his principles and his working class electorate for a job as a careerist MP in a hollowed-out political party.

Like most Labour MPs his only political ground has been denouncing National. Long ago they gave up advocating policies for the poor, the oppressed and marginalised. They can go to hell. Mallard argued strongly for Labour to retain the benefit cuts imposed by Ruth Richardson in the early 1990s. He argued the need for “incentives” to pressure those on benefits to find work as hard as he argued against extending the Working for Families assistance package to the poorest children in New Zealand.

As a senior Labour MP Mallard must shoulder a lot of the blame for the 175,000 children Labour left living in Poverty in 2008 despite three successive terms of a Labour government in times of marvellous economic conditions.

As Minister of Education he will be remembered for going out of his way to congratulate Cambridge High School for its exceptional NCEA pass rates (subsequently found to be bogus) and his closing of dozens of schools in small communities through the country. National has never had a regional growth strategy but neither has it had a regional annihilation strategy such as that employed by Mallard as he cut the heart from dozens of small kiwi communities.

For the last eight years in opposition Mallard has been one of Labour’s dead-wood MPs who have stayed in parliament to prevent the party changing direction from the dogmatic right-wing economic agenda he espoused and advocated all his political career.

It’s too much to expect him to resign – he still has a few more stops at the trough ahead of him.


  1. Yes and the deficit was bought close to zero at around only eight million when the election of 2008 came around.

    People had to wait for services then all right.

    This when Key was howling at the Labour policies for spending to much public social services -remember?

    So how much is our Crown Debt now with this loose Bruce lot?

    In dollar terms, according to forecasts, it peaks at $92.6 billion at 30 June 2017.

    Other reports say it is actually now nearing $120 Billion

    Funny that this is not known now???

    • Good points Cleangreen.

      “Labour is a fiscally responsible party. We proved that during our last term when we reduced net debt to zero, despite Bill English calling for tax cuts that would only have inflated the property bubble.”

      Labour cut net debt to zero, and the government inherited only 5% debt when it took office, and we are very lucky as a country that Labour did not listen to Bill English, who said let’s give unaffordable taxcuts in 2005, 2006, he’s finally done it, he’s spent 15 billion dollars on taxcuts the country can’t afford, one third of which go to the top 5% and that is a good investment in nobody’s book.

      Frank Macskasy
      22 January 2015 at 7:40 pm
      Indeed, the term “decade of deficits” has often been attributed to Treasury – but is patently false. Despite the claims by several right wingers, Treasury never made any reference to “a decade of deficits” – the phrase emanated from John Key, Bill English, et al, in the National government;
      “After nine years of a Labour government we are now presented with a decade of deficits and quite frankly New Zealand can not afford Michael Cullen’s high spending low growth programme.” – John Key, October, 2008
      Yet, at the same time, Key used Labour’s fiscal record at paying down debt to validate the 2009 and 2010 tax cuts – both of which were implemented after the GFC kicked in and our economy was tanking.
      (In effect, we had to borrow money – other peoples’ savings – from offshore to fund the tax cuts. Pure Muldoonism.)
      In 2008, before the general election, Key said,
      “Firstly let me start by saying that New Zealand does not face the balance sheet crisis of 1984, or even of the early 1990s. Far from having dangerously high debt levels, gross debt to GDP is around a modest 25 percent and net debt may well be zero by 2008.
      In other words, there is no longer any balance sheet reason to justify an aggressive privatisation programme of the kind associated with the 1980s Labour Government.” – John Key, March 2005
      “The level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008. It’s now $53 billion, and it’s forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2016. Without selling minority shares in five companies, it would rise to $78 billion. Our total investment liabilities, which cover both public and private liabilities, are $150 billion – one of the worst in the world because of the high levels of private debt in New Zealand.” – John Key
      Source: (Dead link. Many of National’s policy statements and speeches are no longer searchable.)
      And in 2013,
      “If you go back to 2005, when the previous government were in office, they had a number, you know, a little bit less than ours, but not a lot less, there was a 180,000 children in poverty, I think this shows 240,000 on that measure.
      Back then, New Zealand recorded the biggest surplus in New Zealand’s history…” – John Key, December, 2013
      The Nats will mis-represent (lie) Labour’s track record on fiscal management when it suits them – and use it to their advantage other times.
      If ever New Zealanders actually realised how hopeless the Nats are, they’d be in opposition for a very long time. Muldoonism was not an aberration, that much is clear.

  2. Well expressed John. He has cost Labour thousands of votes and continues to be a thorn in their side. Pity they’re too thick to realise it -if they had any sense they would put him at the bottom of the list !

  3. Yes …I remember all that about Mallard and his neo liberal Rogernomes, – THAT govt back in 1984 that bred the likes of Mallard. And has continued to walk its insidious way through NZ politics ever since.

    Mallard has been strangely quiet for a very long time now, certainly a political dead weight we have to carry , – barring his latest squeak to discredit David Cunliffe with his inane comments about bringing back Moa’s… a small one that he can pat .

    What a vicious moron.

  4. What an unnecessary pointless nasty grudge article. Not a good attitude to show voters in an upcoming mayoralty campaign.

    What about the hundreds of thousands, the current most punitive and corrupt National government are allowing to drown in poverty ?

    What about Parata gutting and destroying the state education sector in favour of private business?

    It’s been no secret that Trevor Mallard wants to be speaker when the government chances.
    Far from waving a “white flag” as John key and others want to spins it, Trevor Mallard’s decision to stand down from his seat next year is a clear signal that it’s anticipated that the Nats are going to lose the election.

    • Yes but the point is …Mallard was a firm supporter of the original neo liberal caste. As such , he is cancer to social democracy and a Keynes based economy.

      One thing we all have to bear in mind is that the neo liberal is a hijacker – it matters not what party they purport to support – their agendas have been well documented – and the deceit and guile with which they use to enable their ideology.

      We don’t need neo liberals ranting about bringing back Moa’s small enough that they can pat in a critical election campaign , please.

      Out with Trevor Mallard.

      He is not wanted or needed in today’s post neo liberal /post BREXIT era.

      Unless , like the Moa… we want to defer to dinosaur politics.

      • I understand that. But Mallard is on his way out. After the speakers job he’s gone. Goff and Gosgrove are leaving and I hope one day David Shearer takes a hike.

        It seems that some people like the author of this article spend a hell of alot more time bashing the daylights out of Labour past and present than they do about National past and present.

    • No it isn’t a nasty grudge article. It is just an article that reminds us all what a horrible man Mallard is and how he should get out of politics before he assists Labour to reach the bottom.

      I think you perhaps need to read other articles John has written, he has continually bagged National on various fronts including destroying our education system, people living in cars and the gap between the rich and the poor.

      One of the problems I always think is that Labour supporters seem unable to acknowledge what Labour did to this country (I used to be a Labour supporter back in the eighties). They also have some fanciful idea about Clark’s government and never ever acknowledge all those kids left in poverty after 9 years of good economic times. What a dam disgrace. What happened to this working class party? My grandfather I am sure has turned many times in is grave, he was a member of the Oxford (Canterbury) branch of the Labour Party and cycled into meetings in Christchurch.

      I think that is complete nonsense about Mallard standing down because he anticipates that the Nats are going to lose. Mallard will be sure to be high on the list for some reason they still think he has some Mana.

      Labour should boot out Mallard, King and all the rest of the neolib supporters. Instead Little has made King his righthand woman, gutless.

      • Oh here we go… I used to be a Labour … back in the 80’s blah blah blah…

        I cannot blame the current Labour party for what a Labour government did 30 plus years ago, just like I cannot blame John key for Sidney Holland, Muldoon, Bolger, Richardson and Shipley, who still has her snout in the trough, thanks to key.

        Good and bad. There is no such thing as a perfect political party.

        I have read John’s articles, and it looks like he has a grudge, and he is entitled to that. But it’s not a good attitude to show voters, some people would be put off by it and I think Mr Minto would be good for Christchurch as Mayor. I get tired of the senseless bashing hatefest, that’s all. It seems so distracting and counter productive, particularity when this country is being killed off by key and his Nats.

        Like I said to Wild katipo Mallard is on his way out. After the speakers job he’s gone. Goff and Gosgrove are leaving and I hope one day David Shearer takes a hike.

        I don’t think it’s just Mallard that anticipates that the Nats are going to lose.

  5. Thanks again, John. Could not agree with you more.
    Too much deadwood in Labour and way too many U.N. supporters.
    Trevor is a U.N. and Helen Clark fan and we are neither for very good reasons. Google —- ” why not to trust the U.N ” and
    ” the U.N. is not your friend ” . . . . . . etc. —-
    and Agenda 2030.
    Hope there are still a few in Labour with their heads on straight and have not been bought and sold and doing not much for this country.
    I have always felt that blow hard Mallard was mostly ineffective and this proves my point. Did more research on him and I am still not impressed.

  6. hard to disagree with any of that..

    ..but he sure ain’t the only one of that ilk still (!) staring out at us from labours’ front bench..

    ..they all need to (in yr words) ‘fuck off’…

  7. ( Ooo. Something went a bit iffy with my Confuser. If I’ve doubled up? My apologies. )

    And that, Dear @ John Minto is why I’ll be voting for you as mayor of my beloved surrogate mother-town of Christchurch.

    Mallard is an awful man. A steadfast neo liberal careerist with blood on his hands. Long may he get fucked.

    • Yep it is Mallard’s Quack, Quack in the trough to join the Natz oink, oink.

      The only good news for Labour is they are getting rid of some of their dead weight, pity they are inflicting them on the public for more guzzling .

  8. Imagine being called a political failure by the man who couldn’t even finish ahead of Penny Bright in an mayoral election

    • The difference, which seems to escape you Adrian, is that Minto has always been on the side of the poor and dispossesed. He has never earnt big salaries, his is not in it for his ego. He will strive until he dies to try and get the changes our society needs. The speaker by-the-by is paid more than anyone else in parliament.

      Please tell me a couple of progressive policies that Mallard backed that did something for those on the bottom of the heap. After all he is paid in his role and an advocate unlike Minto.

  9. Whenever he’s up for a Point of Order he sounds like the school sneak…

    However, when we are getting notices in the local rag asking people to cough up $200 to stand for the up-coming local elections as councillors, and noticing that NO ONE has volunteered yet – it’s easy to understand why Mallard is still in Parliament.

    Time to change the entire system from adversarial (they’d be beaten by the 4th form newbie debaters) to co-operative. We might get better laws at a vastly reduced cost from the present.

    And when are we going to get rid of those iniquitous ‘perks’ for egos past their use-by date?

  10. I think Mallard would make a terrible speaker to be honest. He’s got too short a fuse and gets worked up far too easily. And given his vindictive nature, I suspect he’d use the position as an opportunity for payback after being chucked out of the house so many times.

    Then again, he’d have to really exert himself to be worse than Carter.

  11. And there in a nutshell is Labour, time serving careerists. Out for a duck in the last three elections.

    • Dave, my favorite paid ( ? ) troll and Natz supporter : We are in unity about the idiots and lazy self serving politicians and there are many MANY on the right neo-liberal side of the aisle.
      That is where you will find most of the unity based in stupidity and greed.

    • Right wingers don’t believe in freedom of speech do they Dave? We are not all robots like the Nats. Unity does mean that we can still have our own opinions even if they differ from others, we still all share common goals.

          • Blake, you have provided s perfect example supporting my comments that some on the left cannot resist being a bit nasty and ultimately disenfranchising the swinging voter like me. In this case Minto was removed enough from Mallard to get away with it or even be praised for saying it. Not such a good look if say Little had crack at Jacinda though. Wonder who Minto is going to have a crack at next?

            • Look at you Dave, being all nasty and shitstirring when pulled up, you hypocrite. Judging by your comments, I seriously doubt you are a swing voter, pretty sure the Nats are confident they will have your vote.

            • You’re a swing voter, Dave? Based on most of your comments I’d have guessed you were as blue as the sky in December.

    • By that comment it shows that you now have doubts whether your Natzski mates will win next year, otherwise the question of who would be the Labour Speaker would not be relevant to you.
      Sensing a wind change and getting a little worried are we??

  12. Mallard and quite a few others need to go before they sabotage another election. There are quite a few in parliamentary Labour who don’t seem to mind losing elections, as long as they keep their jobs. It’s the typical neoliberal attitude, where what’s good for them must be good for the majority. In fact, apart from a few who supported Cunliffe, they should all just bugger off.

    • At least the in fighting (on whatever side) although it seems more regular on the left provides those interested spectators some you are quite right OVICULA

      • “In fighting”? No, merely debate from multiple viewpoints.

        If you expected all comments and views to be identical, Dave, your comments on this forum would not see the light of day.

        Ponder that.

        • Thats a very good point Frank. On another note, I am not sure it was you that raised the point about the immorality of Government super funds investing in soft drink companies and so on. I agreed it was wrong and made a comment on the blog agreeing it was wrong.I just about fainted the other day when in hospital, I saw a soft drink vending machine!. Sorry, a bit of topic.but had to say something about it.

  13. Interesting that Mallard thinks anyone on the Labour list will get into Parliament.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Little didn’t make it, based on current estimates.

  14. Trevor Mallard did one thing well.
    He made Cameron Slater look like a fat clown in a special cycling duel a few years ago (Mallard is or at least was into cycling racing).
    Slater was bragging through the media how he would make Mallard eat his dust but the boot was on the other foot. Trevor Mallard is fitter than he looks.

  15. If Trevor Mallard did become speaker he would at his worst still be better than the dip…. who is currently speaker.

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