Caucus room now a war room

April 4th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

leader David Cunliffe has ejected MPs from the caucus room to turn it into a war room, moving all key political staff into a vast open-plan office.

National has a war room also. It isn’t at Parliament though. It is at National Party HQ, where the staff are funded by members and donors – not by taxpayers.

Of course parliamentary staff always play a significant role in election campaigns, but for my 2c the campaign should primarily be driven from the party HQ.

The new strategy office is the brain-child of chief of staff Matt McCarten and is aimed at making sure the party is co-ordinated and quick on its feet. Labour MPs will now be sent downstairs to a smaller room for their weekly meetings.

I guess that is the good thing about having so few MPs – you can fit into the smaller room :-)

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36 Responses to “Caucus room now a war room”

  1. Floyd60 (87 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  2. Pete George (22,863 comments) says:

    It could be said that it’s just changed from an (un)civil war room to an inter-party war room.

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  3. duggledog (1,361 comments) says:

    ‘War Room’ God I’d love to be a fly on the wall in that ‘War Room’

    Pity they haven’t got a war chest. I hear there isn’t a lot of money in the party coffers these days

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  4. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    More to the point it would be either a rainbow room or rectum reamer room. There is no toleration in the fairy party for the audacity to dare mention “War” it being something that may glorify battle.

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  5. Tautaioleua (282 comments) says:

    Nonsense igm, they call themselves the rainbow warriors.

    :-)

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  6. Cunningham (821 comments) says:

    Haha a war room. I wonder how many fellow comrades will be downed by friendly fire in that war.

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  7. Yogibear (295 comments) says:

    Must be taking the Taliban threat seriously

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  8. OneTrack (2,618 comments) says:

    Are they actually doing any real “opposition MP” stuff (you know – what the country currently pays them for)?

    Or is it all just private campaigning now, and they have effectively handed over the reins of being the formal Opposition to the Greens?

    Thanks Chief of Staff Matt – you are worth every cent that the country is paying you to look after Mr Cunliffe’s office and staff.

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  9. peterwn (3,164 comments) says:

    Hope that Parliamentary Services dongs Labour for the cost of the extra phone and data outlets required. A caucus room by design would have minimal communications connections – years ago the Opposition caucus room had one ‘outside line’ phone – the MP’s would not trust a phone connected to the Parliamentary exchange.

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  10. alex Masterley (1,491 comments) says:

    I suppose we are paying for it.

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  11. Reid (15,970 comments) says:

    They probably needed the sound-proofing so Matt is free to shout as much as he likes.

    And given the poll ratings no doubt there’ll be loads of that going on over the next few months.

    Let’s hope they’ve bought a good supply of these.

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  12. tvb (4,210 comments) says:

    This is party political activity. But the boundary between party political and parliamentary has always been vague. In the six months before an election everything gets political so there is not much point making a large fuss.

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  13. burt (7,828 comments) says:

    So if Labour win the election the first legislation to be passed will be excusing themselves from using tax payers money to campaign. Move on !

    Oh, if they don’t win, we’ll just move on right because being Labour MPs they can’t be expected to understand the comply with the confusing laws for campaign funding.

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  14. duggledog (1,361 comments) says:

    igm comment of the day @ 9.09

    The Greens would have a Love Room god knows what would go on there

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  15. coventry (316 comments) says:

    Hone’s war room is the broom cupboard on level 2, east wing.

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  16. dime (9,468 comments) says:

    “is at National Party HQ, where the staff are funded by members and donors – not by taxpayers.”

    They dont deserve to get tax payer funding. only the left do. because the right is wrong, the left is right and the end justifies the means.

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  17. flipper (3,575 comments) says:

    An interesting point about who meets the cost ……..

    Nationwide the National Party employs about 17 people full time.
    In addition, at General Election time, short term contractees are engaged,,,,,, every single one paid for by the party – not Parliamentary Services.

    In Australia, the Libs had their 2013 war room in down town Melbourne, and they had a staff of more than 170 – plus another 45 odd at State HQ – all paid by the party.

    At the very least labour should be paying rent for the room…and its use for campaign purposes should be approved by The Auditor General and The Clerk of the HoR …or they should be told to bugger off to Barnett’s LGBT HQ.

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  18. Rich Prick (1,557 comments) says:

    I thought the only war Labour faced was a civil one. So, pffft, let’s leave them to it.

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  19. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (789 comments) says:

    Floyd60 (57 comments) says:
    April 4th, 2014 at 9:02 am
    The Gnat’s War Room is funded by tax avoidance.

    Just don’t forget the bloody fact that your Chief-of-Staff, Matt the great McCarten is the tax cheat of the first order.

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  20. WineOh (553 comments) says:

    “You can’t fight in here, this is the War Room!”

    [name that movie, easily in my top 10]

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  21. Ross12 (1,153 comments) says:

    Aren’t the Labour guys the ones who talk about a conflict of interest ? This definitely falls into that category, in my view –at the very least a conflict of interest in use of “public” facilities.

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  22. Sadu (128 comments) says:

    On one hand these people are in a job that they have to reapply for every 3 years, so in a sense I can understand a bit of taxpayer time being used to campaign.

    On the other hand, contractors are in the same boat – they get paid a higher rate than an equivalent employee but no job security and potentially gaps between contracts. They need to put some aside to cover these gaps.

    So on the balance, there probably needs to be stronger controls on what happens on work time for MPs. No employer would tolerate 6 months of lost productivity every 3 years while the employee uses work time to finance their own activities. I’m less fussed about the ministers who still have to actually do their jobs during election time and cracks will appear if they spend too much time campaigning. But what about the scum list MPs with no actual responsibilities? Do these people even have job descriptions or does nothing change when they stop “work” and switch to campaign mode?

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  23. Paulus (2,503 comments) says:

    They could not run a sweet shop from Labour Party HQ.

    It is has a leaky home syndrome. Full of holes and leaks. Is this deliberate ?

    Nothing appears recently to not be available outside the office.

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  24. gravedodger (1,516 comments) says:

    Does any one or any entity have responsibility to assess the possibility of public funding by stealth in this additional rort of cross subsidy between parliamentary services and party campaign funding that must fall to the party alone.

    McCarten’s appointment as a tactical move in election year raised major potential for rorting, Chief of Staff being the delivery of product of the leaders office for and in support of the function of The Leader Of her Majesties Loyal Opposition and a legitimate activity to be funded by Parliamentary services.
    This conversion of facilities for functioning democracy in the environs of Parliament to party campaign assetts is somewhat suspicious to put it mildly and a serious investigation is called for.

    Cripes their efforts so far could be run from a marquee in Makara.

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  25. Alan (1,064 comments) says:

    @Peterwn, mobile phones and wifi.

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  26. mikenmild (10,766 comments) says:

    WineOh
    Was that from Dr Strangelove? Great film.

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  27. Barnsley Bill (978 comments) says:

    This is actually a fairly smart idea for Labour.
    It will help them keep an eye on the whole team so they can work out who is leaking and hopefully they have set up a desk for a couple of adults to check every tweet, facebook message and communication for relevance, spelling, grammar and stupidity prior to it being published.
    Cunliffe wearing earmuffs yesterday was the highlight of my day. pretending to listen to somebody while the others stood there without ear protection.
    It really is becoming attack of the killer clowns with his social media SNAFU’s

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  28. WineOh (553 comments) says:

    @mikenmild, yep spot on.

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  29. Pete George (22,863 comments) says:

    This is an example (paid travel and accommodation is another) that gives incumbent parties a huge advantage over parties outside Parliament. They also get major benefits of better media coverage than most outside parties..

    Colin Craig, Kim Dotcom and whoever funds Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis, Focus NZ, Alliance, Democrats for Social Credit etc have to fund and fighting a very uneven battle.

    And because the incumbent parties benefit they are unlikely to care about or do anything about breaking actual rules or breaking the spirit of fair democracy.

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  30. Pete George (22,863 comments) says:

    Barnsley Bill – you contradict yourself. There can’t have been any adults checking every tweet and Facebook post yesterday. It wasn’t just the earmuff photo that gave a weird perception, another of inattentive supporters made one wonder if Labour listen to anything.

    Labour’s Listening?

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  31. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    I should be gobsmacked at this rort of public funds to enable Labour to carry out party business on the public dime. But I’m not. It’s just par for the course for Labour.

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  32. OneTrack (2,618 comments) says:

    Pete – at least with the incumbent parties, somebody (deluded as they may have been of course) has actually voted for them. Why should the NZ taxpayer fund Kim DotCom to run for parliament when he isn’t even allowed to be an MP?

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  33. JC (909 comments) says:

    Barnsley,

    Thats my reading too. Its more a defensive move than anything else as Matt moves protect his assets. He will know that many of the electorate MPs will put their energies into electorate work to hold their seats and are useless to “The Team”.. so out of the room they go along with those suspected of ABC and leaking or sabotage.

    Looks to me like he’s protecting the core.. or maybe the soul of Labour to fight another day.

    JC

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  34. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (789 comments) says:

    OK Bros – I think you all had enough of fun. Chief of Staff’s plans are working great. National is doomed as per the latest Roy Morgan poll.

    Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows a potential Labour/Greens alliance (45%, down 0.5%) now ahead of National (43%, down 2.5%) for the first time since January. Support for Key’s Coalition partners is little changed with the Maori Party 1.5% (down 0.5%), ACT NZ (0.5%, unchanged) and United Future 0.5% (unchanged).

    Support for the Labour Party has risen slightly to 32% (up 0.5%), the Greens have fallen to 13% (down 1%), New Zealand First 5.5% (up 2%), Mana Party 0.5% (up 0.5%), Conservative Party of NZ 2.5% (up 1%) and Internet Party (0.5%, up 0.5%) while support for Others is 0.5% (down 0.5%).

    If a National Election were held now the latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows that minor party support would decide the new Government.

    Bye bye John Key and National.

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  35. RRM (9,471 comments) says:

    igm (786 comments) says:
    April 4th, 2014 at 9:09 am

    More to the point it would be either a rainbow room or rectum reamer room.

    Have you ever been happy igm?

    I mean, fuck, my old man’s pretty frigging negative about a lot of things, but he’s My Little Pony’s Happy Christmas Magical Fairy Slumber Party Volume 7 next to you…

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  36. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    Haha haha rainbow warriors. Gold

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