21 Feb 2013
It has been around a year since the start of the Labour Party's post-election organisational review.
In November last year 622 registered delegates (the largest number at a Labour Conference since 1988) met to debate, review and formally pass a number of the recommendations you helped provide as part of the Organisation Review. What emerged from our Conference decisions were significant long-term elements of our democratisation process, with a level and type of member participation in line with similar parties in other democracies.
The most important aspect of the Review is now our focus….moving quickly from the talk to the action! It’s the implementation of the agreed changes that is essential to being the organising machine that delivers government. Over the past two months New Zealand Council has been looking closely at the implementation plan, and particularly the priority of getting the new hubs working well across New Zealand.
A working group was set up at Conference to look at candidate selection matters, and how to achieve gender equality in the numbers of men and women Labour MPs. The work of this group will be discussed at regional conferences in April to June 2013.
In addition, the Policy Council is working on the first round of our policy platforms, another new initiative and these will be ready for discussion, debate and amendment (with new policy proposals you can submit) at the Regional Conferences starting from April to June of this year.
Furthermore, we have developed the administrative rules to be used as we change the way we elect the Parliamentary Party Leader and are working on implementing the remainder of the recommendations agreed to as we prepare to return to Government at the next election.
It is an exciting time, but we need your support to keep this work going.
KEY OUTCOMES OF THE 96th ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE NEW ZEALAND LABOUR PARTY
Over 50 significant Rule changes agreed, including:
• Introduction of the concept of regional hubs (groupings of General and Maori electorates) to focus on party vote activity and on-going campaigning.
• A relaxation of the rules around branch and electorate meeting regularity and content, to encourage flexibility, and a greater focus on organising
• Tighter requirements for gender equity among branch and LEC officers groups, and the Policy Council, and for planning processes by branches and LECs
• LECs to be obliged to have Youth Officers among their membership
• Introduction of registered supporters as a membership category
• Introduction of koha (donation-based) membership for the first time someone joins the Party; reduction of the annual fee for people who are unwaged to $5 per annum, and increase of waged and family categories of membership to $20 and $30 respectively.
• Clarifying the right of New Zealand Council to establish sub-committees and working groups with delegates responsibilities and tasks.
• New Zealand Council to meet at least five times annually.
• Policy Platform (permanent statement of policy) to be established by the end of Conference 2013; policy and the Election Manifesto to be based on and consistent with that Platform. The Policy Platform is binding on all Labour Party members elected as such to public office, MPs, NZCouncil and Policy Council.
• Policy inconsistent with the Policy Platform due to changed circumstances or coalition requirements must be approved by a 2/3 vote of the Policy Council, and reported to the next Annual Conference.
• Policy remits are replaced by Policy proposals.
• Strategic selection criteria to be developed for use in electorate and list selection processes.
• Election of the Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party – the Leader must be an MP; an election happens if there is a vacancy, or if requested by a simple majority of Caucus (at any time), or if the Leader fails to obtain the support of 60% plus 1 of the Caucus in a vote held within three months after a General Election (and in February 2013, as a one-off); the electoral college comprises 40% party members and 40% Caucus (both One Member One Vote), and 20% affiliates (varying voting systems).
17 July 2012
The New Zealand Council of the Labour Party has now endorsed a wide range of important changes for our Labour Party organisation.
Your feedback in the Organisational Review gave us clear messages on the changes we need to make as a Party if we want to connect with New Zealanders and succeed at the General Election in 2014. More than 1000 people had their say on the changes they wanted. The Review’s Working Group listened carefully, analysed all your feedback and provided a set of recommendations that were discussed, commented on and generally endorsed at Regional Conferences. This document contains the recommendations that have subsequently been agreed by New Zealand Council.
We would like to thank everyone who has taken part in the process so far. The response has been inspiring. We warmly acknowledge our leadership team David Shearer and Grant Robertson who are committed to leading effective change and made time for meetings up and down the country. The Working Group has shown extraordinary energy and skill since March, running two nationwide consultations and providing a set of practical well-supported recommendations on target in mid July. Warmest thanks to its members: Ruth Chapman (who coordinated their work), Nanaia Mahuta, Rick Barker and Mark Hutchinson. The Advisory Group comprising Tim Barnett, Sophia Blair, Bryan Gould, Selwyn Pellet, Rob Salmond and Margaret Wilson gave wise counsel and challenging perspectives. Glenn Riddell and Maryan Street joined the working group to develop the specific constitutional recommendations for the Council. Thanks to the Australian Labor and British Labour parties particularly the ALP Secretariat and International staff who provide solid support and Hon Peter Hain (who led the UK reforms) and whose visit and presentations were so helpful.
The Party's Constitution requires that all proposals for constitutional change should be sent to members at least four months before the Annual Conference when they will be voted on, to allow plenty of time for debate and discussion.
We have had two rounds of consultation on these proposed changes. That process has helped us to feel confident that we have heard members' voices, and we have acted on what we heard. We also included evidence from overseas and debated that, along with the advice from our own Advisory Group members. We want to provide one more feedback loop on proposed rule changes before the formal voting at Conference. This is so that any significant disagreement can be identified, and possible ways to proceed explored. It will also allow us to manage the amendment process at Conference so that the debate is not overwhelmed by procedural complexity. If you have substantive feedback on the proposed rule changes please send your amendments to office AT labour.org.nz by 31 August 2012.
10 May 2012
“Over 20 regional meetings nationwide, 300 written submissions from members and non-
members, input from academics, commentators, community groups and political parties from
Britain to Canada– Labour is ready to push the reboot button’, Labour Party President Moira
Coatsworth said today.
“Over 1000 people participated and contributed to our review process – members and non-
members alike. Our regional meetings were energetic and full of innovative and thought
provoking ideas on how we modernise and strengthen Labour’s organisation.
2 April 2012
Our first round of consultation for our organisational review has now concluded. Our working group members are now working hard to collate all of the contributions received to form part of the Discussion Paper which will be available to members just before regional conferences starting in May.
You will get another chance to contribute your thoughts on the Discussion Paper at regional conferences and again online via the Labour Party website.
In the end close to 1000 party members and members of the public contributed their thoughts and ideas on how we can modernise our organisation and I want to thank each and everyone one of you that posted in your contribution, made an online submission and attended the nationwide meetings.
23 March 2012
Great turn out by local labour members in Palmerston North. Ideas ranged from new forms of fundraising online to better policy processes that members can play a more active part in. One of the stronger themes to be debated was the need for more Labour representation in the provinces and having a plan to turn them from blue to red. All in all a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
The Labour presence is alive and well in the tourism capital of our country – Rotorua. Great to catch up with members and play a part in the lively discussions about the future of the Labour Party. A lot of discussion over the need to mentor and guide not just aspiring politicians – but future Labour office holders which led to some really exciting suggestions.
16 March 2012
We kicked off our regional organisational review meetings in Napier last week - and what a great start! Great turn out by the locals and vigorous discussion was had on all topics; from leadership selection to they way we work as an organisation on the ground.
Great turn out at the Christchurch review meeting. Over 60 members came along to have their say and all made really valuable contributions to the discussion. Members thought the process was really positive and loved the opportunity to be able to talk about the organisation.
27 Feb 2012