Labour-NZ First-Green Government 2017 – Winners and Losers



On the night Winston announced he would join Labour and the Greens after 12 days of negotiations to form a new Government, my Daughter…


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…and I went into ecstatic joy. I put her to bed, called in a  baby sitter and hit the town with some comrades to jump as many Karaoke bars as we could find to sing the following…

I’ve only stopped parting to write this blog.

It’s been a long, long, long 9 years and finally there is hope.

Matt McCarten & me lurking in the background.


I was privileged enough to be talking with those involved in the negotiations and added my 2 cents worth when required and the entire behind the scenes machinations deserve to be made into a film one day.

Labour Party strategists unable to explain why the fuck Peter Dunne is trying to hang out with them. Most pictures say a thousand words. This one says 3, ‘fuck off Pete’.


Here’s how I broke down the 12 days.


First 6 days: Policy, policy, policy. Everyone was amazed by how many things Labour, NZ First and the Greens agreed upon. There was a huge amount of enthusiasm and positivity. There’s a feeling this could all be sorted within an extra day.

Next 4 days:It suddenly occurs to everyone that Winston hasn’t actually stipulated what kind of Government he actually wants and the horror that he’s considering the cross benches causes vast depression. Rumours circulating that National are just opening their chequebook and have offered Winston most of Western Civilisation in return for support.

Final 2 days:Suggestion is made that because Labour can’t out bribe the National Party, they should appeal to Winston’s real passion which is dismantling Neoliberalism.

An hour before the result became public, I was tipped off we had won and the negotiation tactics had been wildly successful.


THE BIG ISSUES: These are the issues which seemed to shape the thinking of those making the decisions.

China: The report into how National are little better than a front for Chinese Business interests weighed heavily. There was a sense that China’s influence over the Government actually posed an existential threat to the political sovereignty of the country.

Global Financial Collapse (part 2): If you talk to any expert in the upper echelons of power, they are all convinced that part 2 of the 2007 GFC is about to hit and the economic damage will be immense. Labour, NZ First & the Greens needed to make the decision that they would show real leadership and front when that shit storm hits or were they going to be cowards and avoid it.

Neoliberalism: No one picked it going into the negotiations (mainly because Labour weren’t confident enough to engage in dismantling neoliberalism), but when Winston was given the choice between baubles and an opportunity to take a sledge hammer to the free market. The sledgehammer won.

Cultural Modernity: There was a deep sense that NZ has stagnated and gone backwards on many social issues and that National kept us locked in the 90s somewhere. Even NZ First, the supposed bastion of social conservatism wanted far more change than National were offering.



Jacinda: She. Was. Amazing. Jacinda went beyond anything anyone had ever seen. She knew her sense of centre, she never lost her nerve. She deserves admiration for her real leadership over the 12 days.

Winston:In the end he really wanted to smash neoliberalism. I mean like REALLY wanted to smash it. More than anyone had ever guessed.

Shane Jones:Major lynchpin between Labour and NZ First. Expect him to be very important to keeping this Government together.

The Labour Maori Caucus: Willie Jackson and Meka Whaitiri are the new co-leaders and they are the largest faction within the Labour Party now. Expect huge political muscle from this group.

The Greens: I know, I know, I know, they wanted more, but for a Party that effectively self-immolated itself 9 weeks out from the election, this is a pretty fucking good result…




National negotiating tactics: In the end all they had were bribes. They didn’t understand that Winston was serious about changing neoliberalism.

National campaigning tactics:Once they turned to just lying, it was difficult for anyone to treat them seriously and with respect.

National internal dynamics:Watch as the Blue Dragons flex their political muscle and Judith collins starts her campaign against Bill.

The champions of the poor – Hone, Met & Marama:The saddest thing about this election is that some of  the Poor greatest champions, Metiria, Marama and Hone are not inside Parliament.

Mainstream media: The offensive double standards at play in this election was apparent throughout the campaign. How Metiria was a bigger story than a Chinese spy inside the Government has never been explained, and this sums up the ugliness…


Jacinda has pulled off one of the greatest political come backs in NZ history. To think that she has turned the Labour Party around and won the 2017 election in the space of 10 weeks is an achievement like none other in NZ politics and her leadership, courage and tenacity bear all the hall marks of a truly great Prime Minister. With Winston in full war mode against neoliberalism next to her and the very smart James Shaw on the other side, this is a Government who have every chance of producing an incredible 3 years.



    • Well written Martyn and
      well mapped…

      It would be good if you could write a Statement of Mission for our new Parliament – Martyn.

      It should include legislation against excessive greed and disregard of the greater good. Punishment for infringement by individuals and of businesses and corporations should be very severe.

      People and Corporations who want to be greedy can always leave NZ and live in another country. People and corporations who disregard the greater good should also lose their citizenship and be exited.

  1. Wow and wow !!!

    I’ve just woken up , made a coffee and sitting here smiling with glee , – esp at your exuberance , and , – shame on you Bomber ! ,- getting kicked out of bars , you lout !!!

    Lol! , – seriously , though I hope you had a great night and I can only imagine the weight lifted off your shoulders after all this time.


    Yahooo !!!!

    He was termed the ‘ Guardian of the North ‘ not so long ago , – well now he is the ‘Guardian of New Zealand ‘. He really is in my book.

    I have always believed this is what Winston has had on his heart all these long , long years. All these decades of having to take shit from these arrogant neo liberals chumps . Well they are about to get their just deserts . Its been a long time in coming but he has stayed true all this time. He truly is a Rangatira.

    And I’m very happy for him and his party. They have been vindicated grandly.

    And the Greens ,…

    At long last , they have been formerly rewarded for all those decades of determination ,- all those years of having a huge influence on attitudes and policy’s ,… well now they are in government. And they too , were maligned and slurred and campaigned against unjustly. The policy’s you listed are ground breaking in contrast to the devastation of successive neo liberal governments. The Greens too , have been vindicated, finally and rightfully so. Well done the Greens ! , – very happy for them as well.

    I note that both Gareth Morgan and Marama Davis are the party musterer’s. The equivalent of the party whips. I cannot think , under the circumstances of two better ‘ enforcers’ than these two. Not that the party needs any ‘ enforcing’ per se’ , but both are natural born activists at heart. And with this govt line up ,- their profiles can only be raised for the better in future.

    And then we have Labour .

    What a stunning victory , what a real credit to Andrew Little in standing aside to facilitate one of the most amazing , – and historic, – events in New Zealand political history !!!

    We owe so very much to Mr Andrew Little.

    And to Jacinda Adern. She is and was just awesome. Right from the start. And she will continue to be so. How can she not be an asset to New Zealand , – both here and overseas. Her infectious smile and sunny personality , mastery of the media, – and ability to quickly think on her feet , to be conciliatory , to front up to obnoxious behavior with firmness yet good grace ,… wow!

    And be humble and compliment her opponent / opponents for their successes.

    This really is the dream government for so many of us. With Labour , Greens and NZ First , this really will be a renaissance of not just NZ politics , – but NZ society.

    This is a great time to be a New Zealander. We are getting our country back after 33 years of it being turned into someone else’s country. And the celebration will go on and on.

    And as for National ,…. just ,…

    Yeah . Well , what do we say to these neo liberal freaks and wreckers?

    NA NA NA A ,

    NA NA NA NA ,



    • “I’ve just woken up , made a coffee and sitting here smiling with glee , – esp at your exuberance , and , – shame on you Bomber ! ,- getting kicked out of bars , you lout !!!”

      If I had my way I’d put him in the army. Show him some discipline and respect for the born-to-rule! He’s climbing way above his station!
      Bloody hippie tree-hugging scruffy lout!


  2. The MSM (complete with all their rent-a-voices) appear to be doubling down since parties went into negotiations. Most of these sages appear to have got it all wrong.
    The theme to watch now is how they’re all saying ‘National will be an incredibly strong opposition’, and that’s something that’ll be pushed and pushed. But of course that opposition will be based on the same outright lies and spin that characterised their time in government. All that bullshit should be easier to counter from the position of government.
    I’m pretty sure one of the things Winnie will take on is the covert corruption (whispers between mates, conflicts of interest, unethical behaviour, cronyism, greed – characterise it as you will) that’s been such a part of the last nine years of government.

  3. Great Post…and not just three years….Nine years or more !

    …this new government is the fresh face of the future

    ….wisdom and experience and youth and enthusiasm for CHANGE away from neoliberalism

    …we so desperately NEED this government!

    National are looking like yesterday’s ‘has beens ‘…old and tired hacks … lacking in insight , humanity and integrity…greedy and self- serving…lacking in ability

    …with no vision for the future except the neolib robbers dog further plundering of New Zealand’s environment and assets and undermining New Zealand as a sovereign state…as well as New Zealanders’ tax paid generational rights to education, health and housing

    ( how many New Zealanders have died because of the Nact government?)

    • Yes yes yes,

      Grat posts from all here including the Glowing depiction Martyn painted of this majestic coalition that (with all our constant support staying behind them all as we go forward for the next decade with (Labour/NZF/Greens) to re-establish our mana as one of the best countries to live as in 1958 we were the second best country behind Sweden to live then.

      There is no reason why we cannot return our beautiful country to that former place as the most desirable to live and flourish in which we came to cherrish.

      • @ Cleangreen … yes the filthy cesspit of squalor is being drained now. Could take a little while to get rid of the 9 year lingering foul stench though. But hey, that will happen soon enough, with the awesome L/Gr/NZF team working on our behalf now. Couldn’t be better 🙂

      • ” to re-establish our mana as one of the best countries to live as in 1958 we were the second best country behind Sweden to live then.”

        Yeah…back then this is how we got wealthy, as Chris Trotter describes: “The United Kingdom constituted an insatiable market for this country’s agricultural products, and the United States made sure its enfeebled British ally received sufficient cash to go on buying (among other things) all the butter, cheese, lamb and wool New Zealand could send it. It was an arrangement which very quickly transformed New Zealand into one of the wealthiest nations on earth.”

        Chris goes on to say that the only way we can have someting similar in future is to get in bed with China, as we were with the UK half a century ago.

        • The issue is that China don’t want to buy our exports of butter and milk, they are buying the farms and assets outright and the National party is helping them!

          We are not longer an export nation of goods and services but of Profits going offshore.

          We already can’t afford to buy our own cheese and butter. The best produce NZ produces does not go to the domestic market, instead we import inferior food for Kiwis to eat and superior food goes offshore. I’m dreading when we start getting counterfeit food that is common in China. It’s probably already here.

          That’s why Joe Blogg is not happy, wages are going down, good food going up in real terms and the higher population is having funding shortages in health, education and social spending.

          A migrant Chef on minimum wages paying $20k for a fake job or a so called real Chef job on zero hour contracts at Sky City for $16 p/h while having children and bringing their parents into NZ which need further financial support, a house, more infrastructure is making NZ poorer – not richer.

        • Hi NZBC

          The article on Radio NZ today was interesting, as Sir Tobby Jones, a long time UK union man saying NZ/UK is on the cards again post Brexit. worth a listen.

  4. Part 2 of the Global Financial Collapse will be no excuse for the National fans for any difficulties in having the country running smoothly and things been fine when the next election comes around. They will put the boot in.

    Part 1 was their own big backstop along with the Christchurch earthquakes.

  5. National 44.5%. + Labour 36.9% Total = 81.4%

    National Party supporters in the media are screaming that NZ First should go with the biggest party, (despite any differences in principles or ideology.) And that it is unfair and undemocratic that they are going with the biggest voter bloc and not the biggest Party.

    Taking this stupid argument to its ultimate illogical conclusion, Labour and National Parties should be forming a coalition.

    Why aren’t these outraged nutters calling for that then?


  6. P.S. Duncan Garner (and not Taika Watiti) is a traitor to this country’s people and democratic ideals.

    Duncan Garner needs to be sacked for his dirty treasonous attack on New Zealander of the year.

  7. It was a good result overall.

    Obviously Lab/Greens alone would have been the ideal, but as Mr Peters said, ‘you can’t always get what you want’

    The Green’s will be there to blunt Peter’s obnoxious plays to racist populism, and NZF will counterbalance some of the crazier ideas emanating from the greens such as cannabis reform (medicinal use, definitely yes, general legalization -no)

    Whatever the case, as Chris Trotter, has pointed out, and much to the chagrin of the likes of WK, the only way for New Zealand to reclaim anywhere near the living standards of pre 1984, is to develop a relationship with China akin to the one we previously had with the UK:

    If New Zealand wants to remain part of the first world, that will be a world ever increasingly and inexorably dominated by a non-white power.

    • You know what’s crazy? A law that forces the police to arrest people for possession of a drug experts agree is less harmful than alcohol. Right there in the list of policy wins the Greens got out of the negotiations is a referendum for legal personal use, which we will win if the Drug Foundation’s polls are to be believed. But yes, having NZ First in the government will give the social liberals in Labour and the Greens a convenient canary-in-the-coalmine, helping them move forward on social policy at a pace that the public can cope with.

  8. Soo … The Nat’s are beaten by team ‘Rabble ‘ of Lab/NZF/NZG! Doesn’t Bill understand that to win a 100 metre race, that you have to run the full 100 metres. 95 metres is not enough Bill, and supporters /journalists. You cannot cannabalize your team and then wonder why you have no friends.
    Well Done Team. And thanks Mr Bradbury, and Co.

  9. “Jacinda has pulled off one of the greatest political come backs in NZ history. To think that she has turned the Labour Party around and won the 2017 election in the space of 10 weeks is an achievement like none other in NZ politics and her leadership, courage and tenacity bear all the hall marks of a truly great Prime Minister. With Winston in full war mode against neoliberalism next to her and the very smart James Shaw on the other side, this is a Government who have every chance of producing an incredible 3 years.”

    …and more years beyond that!

    Thank you Martyn, pleasure reading another superb article, it says it all.

    Another superb article Martyn that say it all.

  10. Thanks for this kind of inside info, which gives one a clearer picture of what went on during the last week and a half or so.

    It explains Winston’s apparent tiredness and exhaustion, and also the excitement and upbeat spirit amongst the Labour and Greens caucuses.

    I trust that NZ First will stick to the agreement, which has though not even been signed yet.

    There will definitely be some potential for disagreements and arguments, particularly when it comes to expectations the Greens may have, and what Winston and NZ First want.

    And let us not be under any illusion, there will be a massive backlash by business lobby groups. Expect Federated Farmers to go onto the barricades, they have long been somewhat friendly towards ACT policies, certainly towards National.

    Only if some regional economic policy will give them some carrots, may they stay calm.

    The situation cannot be compared with 1999 and 2000, as then there was still a somewhat vocal and strong left movement, in the form of the Alliance, or part thereof, and some on the left within Labour.

    Over the last nine years neoliberalism and its main advocates National and ACT have made sure that there is little true left wing activism and representation in parties left.

    What we will get is an improvement of course, but even the Greens can hardly be called ‘left’ now, at best ‘progressive’ or ‘liberal’ minded.

    Unions are weaker, and too many have now been tied into the neoliberal economic scheme of things, are dependent on business and profits they make, even just the fear of losing a job compromises people not to express any criticism.

    Thus the business sector and lobbyists will only feel emboldened, to try all to destroy this coming government by throwing endless spanners into the works.

    Better be prepared for the fight, it will come sooner or later. Let us hope it will not turn violent in any bad form or shape.

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