Cunliffe: I'm backing Shearer
Mon, 19 Nov 2012 5:21a.m.
By Laura McQuillan and 3 News online staff
David Cunliffe has sought to put rumours of a leadership coup to bed by saying he will back current leader David Shearer if a vote was held in the next few weeks.
Talking to TV3's Firstline this morning, Mr Cunliffe said it was never his intention to cast doubt on Mr Shearer's leadership or push for an early vote.
"I have not called for an early vote," said Mr Cunliffe.
"Media said that my leader was calling for an early vote, and I said if that was going to clear the air then I would welcome it, but I was very careful to say that it was not me that was calling it.
"If there is an early vote, he has my support. I will be voting for David Shearer.
Mr Cunliffe did not say whether he would back Mr Shearer in a vote due to be held in February, but "may very well do".
"I think that the speech given yesterday was excellent, I think the policy was excellent and I think that the party was happy with it, I think the direction is good, and I expect that he will be confirmed in February [as leader]."
Mr Cunliffe rang Mr Shearer last night to tell him he has his support.
Hundreds of party members turned out to Labour's annual conference in Auckland during the weekend to approve historic reforms to the party's constitution and structure, including making it easier for MPs to roll their leader.
But the coup talk dogged Mr Shearer and detracted from his maiden leaders' address to the conference on Sunday, where he announced plans for a major building programme for new housing targeted at first home-buyers.
Eleven months after they went head-to-head for the leadership, Mr Shearer may call for a confidence vote as early as Tuesday.
It's a recess week at Parliament, meaning the party has seven days to quell speculation of a leadership challenge before it becomes a talking point for Government ministers in debates and further knocks Labour's approval ratings.
On Sunday, Mr Shearer was in no rush to announce a date for a confidence vote, saying he would call it on his own terms.
"I'm the leader, I'll take those decisions when I need to," he told media.
"We have some issues to deal with inside the Labour Party. That will happen, but today is about getting our vision for New Zealand to New Zealanders, and that's what I've done."
He denied a last-minute addition to his speech, calling for unity, was an attack on Mr Cunliffe.
"We have to show New Zealanders we are more focused on their ambitions than on our own," Mr Shearer told delegates.
This morning Mr Cunliffe said he wasn't focusing on a leadership challenge.
"I didn't come into politics to do any particular job… I'm not focused on being leader of the Labour Party."
He says any vote should take place under the new rules enabling just 40 percent of caucus - or 14 of Labour's 34 MPs - to trigger a leadership contest, rather than the normal 50 percent threshold.
NZN / 3 News
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19/11/2012 5:42:14 p.m.
Now is not the time for Labour to announce how they are going to close the loopholes with Capital Gains Tax but I'm sure they will be able to do that effectively and eloquently in the lead up to the 2014 election.
19/11/2012 1:25:51 p.m.
When Mr Shearer says he is will have a Leadership vote on his own terms, he is deliberating going against the clearly expressed wish of the Members. The members Daud they wanted involvement. Shearer is ignoring them.
Not a good leader.
19/11/2012 12:21:31 p.m.
Is not about who takes over for the Labour, its about doing the right things the people vote them for.We just need a stronger leader who can go out and speak up, not just sit back and do nothing and makes everyone struggle, while the National is making the rich becomes richer, Come on Labour stop the fuss and go do your job what we vote you for, not picking on your own member.You mean to stop National from winning the next election. Come on Labour.
19/11/2012 12:15:08 p.m.
FAIR NZER wrote:
Mr Cunliffe and Mr Shearer should both support Jacinda ARDERN instead to have any chance of winning over John KEY and his Party to form the next Labour Party Government in 2014....no ifs or buts!
19/11/2012 11:37:14 a.m.
Here is another "Tui Billboard".
19/11/2012 11:18:02 a.m.
They call Cunliffe The Missing "T" for a reason.
19/11/2012 10:18:44 a.m.
The membership bought in new rules at the conference for electing leaders and that takes affect in the feb vote,so let it happen then.The wider membership are not happy with shearer's perfomance to date and their grievances are justified.Shearer should never have been chosen over Cunliffe,the career politicians were responsible for that choice.The membership and wider labour voters want Cunliffe.It's all about democracy,will shearer eventually wake up and see that his perfomance is shocking.
19/11/2012 10:17:57 a.m.
Lowering voting age to 16 is weird (they're still kids at this age), and even at 18 years of age young people really have no idea about real life and politics so the voting age should really be at least 20-21 years of age...also Maori is being taught in Schools now isn't it? It would be better to spend money on teaching life skills such as how to make nutritious meals and growing your own fruit and veg etc
19/11/2012 10:07:24 a.m.
Labours greatest weakness is its policy, or lack there of.Even when Labour has a policy, its a mess of excemptions and loopholes.Take Labours CGT, a Cunliffe special. Its a mess. Take GST (best thing Labour ever did), it runs so well as it doesn't have excemptions and loopholes. If go for a CGT best to avoid the loopholes and excemptions. Its still going to be a mess as if an asset is sold, what is the capital gain (aka inflation) amount if it hasn't been sold in 20-30 years?It also need to have its rate set properly. Curently capital gains which are taxed pay 28% as the income tax rate of businesses/trusts. This means if bring in a CGT, need to set the rate so there is no advantage to move income around between income tax and CGT, so CGT needs to be the same rate. Eg banks exchange profits, they are a capital gain currently taxed, and if the CGT is only 15%, banks will move profits around to make more exchange profit for its lower taxation.Then there is the effects of policy, eg how will the CGT affect house prices? Typically it will make many a seller decide to hold onto the asset to avoid CGT, ie less housing supply, and higher prices. All part of affordable housing under Labour.Or take Labours calls to raise min wages, yet their print money/devalue/inflation would see the current $13.50 min wage lowered to around $10 buying power. This would make real wages less, and our exports more competitive, but only through less real wages. They need to get their policy straight.
19/11/2012 9:49:40 a.m.
Master stroke from Cunliffe - buys more time to watch the bumbling Shearer to make an even bigger a hash of things and for him to work up enough support until the proper vote in February. Thus the leadership rumblings will continue all the way through the Christmas recess when the focus should be on getting into the government. Key will be laughing all the way to Asia this morning.
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