28 Sep 2014

Labour releases terms of reference for review

7:53 pm on 28 September 2014

A review of Labour's election performance will consider the party's future political positioning as well as most aspects of the 2014 campaign, including leadership.

Labour's ruling council has released the review's terms of reference, following the party's worst election result in more than 90 years.

Labour got just 24.7 percent of the vote on 20 September - just over half what the National Party got.

Labour's president Moira Coatsworth said the review would have a wide frame of reference.

"Labour's been trending downwards for the last three elections steadily, so we clearly need to have a real look at our political position, where we've come from, where we are now and then how we move forward."

Ms Coatsworth said a team of about five reviewers, from both in and outside the party, will report back with recommendations by early December.

Their names will be announced within the coming week.

Robertson denies undermining Cunliffe

Senior Labour MP Grant Robertson denies he undermined leader David Cunliffe in a bid to position himself ahead of a party leadership contest after the election.

The two MPs are the confirmed contenders for the Labour Party leadership, after Mr Cunliffe announced he would officially resign as leader on Tuesday.

The leader will be chosen - as Mr Cunliffe was himself last year - by an electoral college made up of 40 percent caucus, 40 percent party members and 20 percent affiliated unions.

Mr Robertson unsuccessfully ran for the post last year against Mr Cunliffe and Shane Jones, but said with the party getting its worst election result in 92 years it is time to take a new look at what it does.

He denied Mr Cunliffe had been undermined since the election, saying he was given a fair go.

Grant Robertson speaking to media in 2013.

Grant Robertson speaking to media in 2013. Photo: RNZ

"I spoke after the election about the result, I made the point then that this was not about the leadership only, it was about a range of issues after out caucus meeting on Tuesday where we agreed not to speak to the media."

Some party members had spoken out and undermined Mr Cunliffe, but Mr Robertson said he was not one of them.

"I haven't said anything until now David Cunliffe has made his announcement."

However Mr Robertson told TV3 there were mistakes made by Mr Cunliffe during the election campaign.

It was a mistake for him to apologise for being a man at a Women's Refuge symposium, where he also said men were responsible for the majority of family violence, Mr Robertson said.

"There's a host of things, of course there's the apology for being a man, of course there were issues around policy and whether the leader could remember that, but that's only part of it."

Mr Robertson said he thinks he has more support from the party membership and unions for his bid for the leadership than he did last year.

"Over the last year I've had a lot of feedback from members of the party and the affiliated unions about the different jobs I've been doing and I think now this is a new time."

Senior Labour Party MP Sue Moroney said David Cunliffe was actively undermined since the election.

"And I think that has been clear from subsequent discussions in the media after election night, I think that's become really apparent now."

David Cunliffe announces to media in Auckland he's resigning.

David Cunliffe announces to media in Auckland he's resigning. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Cunliffe seeks leadership again

Mr Cunliffe said yesterday, that seeking a fresh mandate was the right thing for him to do.

"I've really searched my soul on this, that at the end of the day, there much be a choice and it must be a positive choice and it must involve all parts of the party, our caucus and the cabinet."

He said the electoral college process was the right way for the party to proceed.

"Whatever the outcome, I will be supporting the winner 100 percent and I know that my colleagues will do the same."

Newly returned Labour MP Stuart Nash said he would not be contesting the party leadership, but he had not ruled out seeking a deputy leadership role.

Mr Nash, who won the Napier seat back for Labour, said there may be a dark horse who throws their hat into the ring, but it would not be him.

He said the party needed to look at how it should improve before the 2017 election, and should move away from the left.

"I think we need to move back to the centre, we can't occupy the hard left as this election showed.

Stuart Nash.

Stuart Nash. Photo: SUPPLIED

"At 24 and a half percent we are ineffective for the people who we need to be effective for."

Former leader David Shearer told TVNZ he was pained by the party's decision to have a leadership contest before a review of its general election performance was even done.

However he was still refusing to say whether he wants to be the leader again.

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