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Labour Leaders Lose Their Mojo

Labour Leaders Lose Their Mojo
Commander RFMF, Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto with inspecting the cadet parade at Ratu Navula Secondary school in Nadi on May 26,2017. PHOTO:LITIA TIKOMAILEPANONI
September 25
09:06 2014

Labour MPs in New Zealand emerged from a seven-hour crisis meeting on Monday – and leader David Cunliffe is still refusing to go.

After presenting the party’s new chief whip Chris Hipkins and his junior Carmel Sepuloni, he gave a short statement, but refused to say what happened in the meeting.

His MPs have given him a bloody nose with their choices.

Openly critical of Cunliffe in the past, Mr Hipkins was a whip under former leader David Shearer.

He was also demoted in a reshuffle earlier this year.

Mr Cunliffe wants his MPs to hold a confidence vote in him, triggering a primary-style run-off before Christmas.

But the caucus wants to hold off until they have reflected on the crushing defeat at the ballot box on Saturday.

Cunliffe said he hasn’t made any decision on whether he would resign – a climb-down from bullish statements made in a press conference.

He also lashed out a senior colleagues who gave interviews last Saturday’s election loss.

Labour slumped to just over 24 per cent, its worse defeat since 1922.

Cunliffe said earlier he had searched his conscience about his decision to remain leader. “We do need to clear the air and we do need to move forward as a party.”

“Obviously, a lot of stuff went wrong.”

He said he was taking responsibility for the “deeply disappointing” loss but would not apologise.

He blamed strategy, organisation, cultural and “people issues”.

“The voters are always right. We worked hard but we are not yet seen as a credible alternative.”

Former leader David Shearer said a forensic analysis should be conducted by an independent person into what went wrong for Labour.

Internal polling, held by the senior leadership team, should be released “among other things,” Shearer told Radio New Zealand.

An examination of the factors that led to Labour’s loss would lead to change – which may include leadership, but may not, he said.

“This is horrendous for Labour, we need to own this result.”

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September 2014
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