Herald on Cunliffe

July 5th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

One of the good things the NZ Herald does every three years is an extensive background piece on the Leader of the Opposition, and hence potential next Prime Minister. These stories take months to compile, but they are very useful at painting a picture of the person who may be the country’s next leader.

Their lengthy piece on is here. It’s very interesting, and I especially like the section on him and Karen.

I am of the view that most MPs are in politics for the right reasons – because they sincerely think they can make NZ a better place. Around 10% to 15% are ratbags. The rest, one may disagree with their views and policies – but they are well motivated. I include David Cunliffe in this category.

While iPredict says he has only a 16% chance of becoming Prime Minister, a lot can happen in 77 days.

Here’s an extract from the article:

He met Karen Price, a law and music student, in the first week of the university year. Within six months they were engaged, a year later they were married; the bride was 19, the groom 21. They met at the “Knox [hostel] Hop” during orientation week. Her friend and his roommate went as a date and they tagged along as chaperones.

“I thought he was pretty dishy,” says Price. “He was tall, countryboyish with a long blond afro and a washboard stomach. I thought he was very attractive.”

Cunliffe: “We became part of a peer group that all got to know each other. I think we ended up going out four or five months later. We had some classes together; we were in the legal systems tutorial of Mark Heneghan, Dean of Law now. I think it’s fair to say the other kids didn’t get a word in edge ways.”

Prof Heneghan noticed: “It was nice to see them moving closer to each other and the little glances back and forwards,” he recalled in a 2013 interview. “They were pretty keen on each other right from day one. They were the strongest arguers against each other.”

Cunliffe talks first about her smarts (and his) when asked what appealed. “She was an outstanding student, [there was] a huge intellectual connection, very much a match of equals.” Prompted, he adds: “A lot of attraction as well, dashing Scandinavian good-looks on her part.

Very cool.

In April, she attended his 20th birthday “as a guest, not an item”, and in April he proposed. When he decides something, he moves fast, she says.

That’s very fast. From dating to engagement in less than a month, but sounds like they had been moving towards each other for most of the year.

The Herald also has 10 things you may not know about him:

  1. He played Jesus in the school play.
  2. His “little” brother, Stephen, is 6’7″ and an expert on the Patagonian toothfish.
  3. He has a half-brother and three half-sisters.
  4. His great-grandfather married King Dick Seddon’s sister.
  5. He helped his half-brother, Bill, through a life crisis.
  6. He scared the pants off Michael Laws when they were at Uni together.
  7. He caught a salmon in memory of his father at the spot on the Rangitata River where he died of a heart attack.
  8. He was voted most likely to be a world leader by fellow scholarship students at Atlantic College in Wales.
  9. His father, a vicar, remarried eight months after the death of his first wife.
  10. The William Cunliffe who died in the Brunner mine disaster of 1896 may be a relative.

There’s a follow up next weekend focusing more on his life since becoming an MP.

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28 Responses to “Herald on Cunliffe”

  1. Redbaiter (9,632 comments) says:

    I had a quick look at the Herald this morning and saw all of the Cunliffe stuff.

    Thought the Herald must have been worried by all the allegations of anti-Cunliffe bias and allowed him to edit the paper for a day.

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  2. Zapper (1,028 comments) says:

    So basically, his wife is extremely smart and therefore they are equals. He can’t help himself can he?

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  3. FeralScrote (226 comments) says:

    I`m afraid I just can`t bear to look at the smarmy munter,especially after yesterdays fiasco.
    I really can`t be bothered wanting to know anything about him/her unless it is his resignation from politics.

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  4. davidp (3,588 comments) says:

    >He scared the pants off Michael Laws when they were at Uni together.

    I’d like to apologise on behalf of all men for Cunliffe terrorising Michael Laws. I wasn’t there and don’t know either of them, but I still feel shame that another man did this to Laws. I hope that Laws can accept this profound apology and forgive us all.

    Oh, and have Grant Robertson and Russel Norman apologised for being men, yet? Or do they just not give a damn about their gender’s violence against women?

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  5. tas (648 comments) says:

    I am of the view that most MPs are in politics for the right reasons – because they sincerely think they can make NZ a better place. Around 10% to 15% are ratbags. The rest, one may disagree with their views and policies – but they are well motivated. I include David Cunliffe in this category.

    Hear, hear!

    I’m sure he went into politics for the right reasons, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I’m sure he’s a great guy on a personal level, but I don’t think his politics can do any good for NZ.

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  6. Harriet (5,132 comments) says:

    “…They were the strongest arguers against each other….”

    Doh……you can’t get two people that stupid in 4 million people proffessor. :cool:

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  7. meow (20 comments) says:

    How many of the “facts” in the Cunliffe story (especially the 10 things you didn’t know) have been validated as correct? Just sayin’, the guy has a habit of making stuff up.

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  8. notrotsky (85 comments) says:

    While that list is of 10 things that people may not know about him, after yesterday there is one thing about him that everyone now knows.

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  9. Johnboy (17,007 comments) says:

    After his denial of his status as a male I have decided to start calling him “Daphine Cunliffe”! :)

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  10. flipper (4,218 comments) says:


    Herald on Cunliffe
    July 5th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

    ” One of the good things the NZ Herald does every three years is an extensive background piece on the Leader of the Opposition, and hence potential next Prime Minister. ……
    “…. I am of the view that most MPs are in politics for the right reasons – because they sincerely think they can make NZ a better place. ….,,.,.,.. I include David Cunliffe in this category”

    Overall, horse manure.

    The case can be made that it is useful, self aggrandisement coverage. But in the case of Cun*life, all the PR bullshit about him and his (childless?) family will have the effect of raising his favourable rating from 9+ to, may be, 11 or 12.

    In 2002 Bill English was bad. But he was never dishonest, or tricky, or in any other way as bad as CminusT

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  11. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    He is still a liar, a cheat, and a charlatan of the highest degree, not worth a blurt!

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  12. scrubone (3,105 comments) says:

    He is still a liar, a cheat, and a charlatan of the highest degree

    Meh. I remember Clark. And then there’s Obama – Cunliffe’s got a long, long way to go.

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  13. smttc (763 comments) says:

    Certainly got the one about most likely to be a world leader completely and utterly wrong.

    Narcissist.

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  14. Anthony (798 comments) says:

    He likes people saying nice things

    http://www.techzone360.com/news/2007/03/29/2452495.htm

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  15. mandk (1,018 comments) says:

    @ Redbaiter,

    I took a look at the Herald website too.

    It has all the appearance of a Cunliffe fanzine.

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  16. Redbaiter (9,632 comments) says:

    “It has all the appearance of a Cunliffe fanzine.”

    Yes.

    I think its a reaction to the absolute screaming outrage of the left, who as part of their brain damaged outlook, actually do believe the media is the major part of an extreme right wing plot.

    The crescendo has become so loud, the weak liberals who run the Herald thought they had better do something to assuage the left.

    Especially after their editorial last week claiming they were not biased.

    A ridiculous claim when the don’t employ one conservative journalist.

    Or when it is very much down to them and the rest of NZ’s prog media that National has virtually transformed itself into Helen Clark’s Labour Party.

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  17. sgthree (13 comments) says:

    Apropos to nothing, it intrigues me why they say his great-grandfather married King Dick Seddon’s sister, rather than saying that his great-grandmother was King Dick Seddon’s sister.

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  18. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    Doesn’t he look so smarmy in those photos. Especially the one at university. Would be good to find someone who went to Uni with him in the 80s to confirm if he was a real cock as we suspect or has just become on since he joined Labour

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  19. kowtow (8,776 comments) says:

    Played Jesus in the school play……..

    …… but can’t bring Labour back to life and most definitly won’t be resurrected after his crucifixion scheduled for September.

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  20. Fentex (1,038 comments) says:

    I feel DPF is cleverly damning Cunliffe with faint praise – for highlighting that list of things about people related to Cunliffe does nothing to recommend him personally and suggests, if it’s the most interesting things about him one wouldn’t have known he must not have achieved much on his own merits out of one’s sight.

    For example the article about him mentions he volunteered and worked on an election campaign for Ted Kennedy in the U.S – a thing he did himself few in NZ are likely to have known that is more interesting than a few irrelevant factoids about relatives.

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  21. David Garrett (7,557 comments) says:

    Yes…I too wonder where the “scared the pants of Laws at Uni ” thing comes from…Funnily enough Laws has lost his column in the SST so he can’t publicly rebut the accusation…How convenient …

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  22. goldnkiwi (1,545 comments) says:

    Perhaps the Herald could interview Michael Laws since he has been named as a party lol.

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  23. Fox (206 comments) says:

    Oh, was that the NZ Herald?

    With about 12 lopsided articles about Labour and it’s policies and 7 carefully selected promo pictures of Cunliffe peppered throughout, I mistook it for a Labour Party election pamphlet.

    Silly me.

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  24. Ross12 (1,456 comments) says:

    Would Laws and Cunliffe had been at University at the same time ? I thought Laws would have been older than Cunliffe. I must be wrong.

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  25. David Garrett (7,557 comments) says:

    Ross: Now that I think about it you are quite right…Laws is the same age as me (55) and Cunliffe is 50…I think Laws may have dawdled a bit about actually graduating which may explain it…

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  26. wiseowl (936 comments) says:

    That’s a laugh.
    There is no way he would have scared the pants off Laws.

    Was most likely the other way around .

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  27. cha (4,081 comments) says:

    There is no way he would have scared the pants off Laws.

    Wouldn’t be hard, Laws is scared shitless by his ex….

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  28. Viking2 (11,571 comments) says:

    Johnboy (14,650 comments) says:
    July 5th, 2014 at 11:40 am

    After his denial of his status as a male I have decided to start calling him “Daphine Cunliffe”! :)
    =======================
    JB that’s an insult to all the Daphine’s.
    didn’t the French have a word for boy kings’ .
    Something like Dauphin ?
    That would be more appropriate.

    Dauphin Cunnliffe.

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