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John Key the target as Labour leader hopefuls campaign in Wellington

Sep 9th, 2013 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Latest News, Most Popular, News


SEEING RED: Shane Jones, David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson. Image: Fairfax Media

By Khalid Ahmed and Chris Williams

THE Labour Party leadership show of Grant Robertson, David Cunliffe and Shane Jones targeted John Key, not each other, at Wellington Girls College on Saturday night

The meeting was part of a leadership run-off between the three and David Cunliffe started the capital’s turn with a light-hearted poke at the city.

“We don’t have this problem in Auckland,” he said, after a microphone failure delayed his speech, before declaring Wellington the most intelligent city in the world.

Mr Cunliffe said if elected leader, he would immediately review the GCSB bill and change it to a proper legislation.

“I will review the GCSB bill and replace it by a proper bill by lunch time,” Mr Cunliffe told the crowd of about 600.

He promised more jobs, raising the minimum wage, and he would also work towards paying the living wage.

“John Key has been attacking kiwis for years. No more selling holidays, I will raise the minimum wage to $15 dollars and I promise the living wage,” he said.

Grant Robertson also backed the living wage and promised to deliver a better New Zealand for the future.

“I believe on a living wage because we are a better country than the one John Key is delivering,” Mr Robertson said.

“It’s a clear message that we are giving away here. we are going to stop talking about ourselves because it’s time for you guys to shine,” he said.

“We need to offer a future, we need to get rid of charter schools, it’s time for a new generation of leaders, together we can rebuild and win in 2014.”

Shane Jones attacked Prime Minister John Key’s GCSB Bill and asset sales and promised a brighter future under his leadership.

“The will of the people has been sold out, the prime minister must go,” Mr Jones said.

“You want someone with experience to take us forward. I worked under Helen Clark, Phil Goff and David Shearer’s leadership, I have that experience,” he said.

Labour MP Su’a William Sio said all three candidates gave good speeches.

“The speeches were powerful. I’m leaning toward David Cunliffe, but all three displayed strong leadership quality,” he said.

Alan Wendt, organiser for Service & Food Workers Union, said David Cunliffe was favorite.

“David Cunliffe has always been a good speaker and represents a lot of the Labour Party across the board,” Mr Wendt said.

Rama Ramanathen from Rongotai said all three candidates did a good job and it would be hard picking just one.

“All three are going in a very good direction. Really hard choice, they will be very good for the country and the people,” he said.

Gannin Ormsby said he had made up his mind about who to vote for at the first candidate meeting. “It’s about who can go toe-to-toe with John Key, and for me that’s David Cunliffe,“ he said.

“The best thing about this process is that it has allowed a rejuvenation of the party and everyone’s quite excited.

“It shows that people are happy there has been a leadership change,” Mr Ormsby said.

Sonny Thomas, who manned the door checking party credentials agreed with the excitement the campaigning had generated.

“I think that to bring so many people out on a Saturday night is really good for party democracy.”

The meeting was attended by Labour supporters and their MPs who get to vote for their leader.

Voting will close this Sunday, and the winner will be announced the same day.




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