NZPA’s Grant Fleming has done an interesting interview with Steve Maharey. Some extracts:
He was also reluctant to talk about Labour’s leadership post-Clark, but said he did not hold the view of some Labour members that Cabinet Minister Phil Goff was too right-wing to lead the party.
This is significant. In fact this is highly significant. Maharey was long seen as the MP who would stop Goff becoming Leader. To have Maharey publicly endorse him is not a minor thing. I would even go so far as to say it is a sign the leadership sucession is close to settled.
To be fair to Goff, he deserves a chance at the top job. Even the left of Labour should be able to recognise that he has been a very competent Minister, and has not tried to undermine Clark since the unsuccessful attempt in the late 90s.
I actually think Goff could be electorally difficult for National. He is reasonably right wing on law & order issues – often a weakness for Labour – and would throw away the ideological hatred of tax cuts. Not because he is a proud devotee of tax cuts, but because he recognises their popularity when surpluses are so high.