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Labour Party President says the Party is strongest it’s been ‘in a long time’

Despite the resignation of notable front-bencher Shane Jones this week, and stagnant political polling, Labour party president Moira Coatsworth is adamant the Labour party is in its strongest position in a while, with the biggest membership in 30 years.

Asked by Q+A’s Rachel Smalley about Mr Jones’ resignation, Ms Coatsworth denied it was a negative for the party, although she said and the party were sad to see him go.

“He’s a loss, but he’s handed the batten to Kelvin Davis, who will hit the ground running,” she said.

While she says Labour didn’t know about Mr Jones’ conversations with National, she did know Shane was unhappy as he had told her “the fuel’s gone out of the tank”.

Ms Coatsworth said the role of ‘working class hero’ would now be filled by up and coming members of the Maori caucus, and that the party was finding new candidates in areas that it had previously struggled to get representation in, suggesting the party’s fortunes were on the up.

She said there would be “more renewal” as Labour approached the election, but wouldn’t disclose the details.

Comments and questions

"Labour Party President says the Party is strongest it’s been ‘in a long time’"

With a comment like that she must be hoping for a job in comedy after the election.

This bothers me as what we need in NZ is a very strong, intelligent and cohesive opposition to keep National honest-ish. I'm not seeing that.

I wonder if "more renewal" means a clear out of the ageing dead wood that inhabits the Parliamentary party at the moment.

I don't doubt the party is the strongest it's been for a long time, but I'm surprised she admits it.

A long time for Labour is yesterday Henry. So of course Coatsworth can say that. The fact that they are in absolute disarray, with no funds and with obvious factions amongst their few MP's, doesn't seem to have registered with her yet. (not to mention she is considered the worst Labour President with regards to fund raising, that they have ever had).

Did she just say that the working class will only be supported by Labour's Maori members? But Kelvin Davis seems more focussed on Te Reo and Te Tai Tokerau.

Is it my eyes or is is her outfit green. Like their policies

It's a pale green. Like the party, she's in transition.


Has he passed the insulation or sail piece to Davis? She can't even get a a simple metaphor correct. Crikey.

I'm struggling to reconcile "sad to see him go" with "not a negative". But then I struggle to reconcile a lot of what Labour says. Maybe they could try honesty and see if that helps them?