Organisational Review Progress - 2012 Conference to March 2013
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).
Organisational Review Recommendations
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.
Some changes are already under way around the country, including strong community campaigning from some regional hubs. We will start work on others immediately, and the actions requiring rule changes will proceed to Annual Conference for your decisions. Now the really important work for all of us begins – together, actually making the changes to create a well-organised and resourced Labour Party that is open, energised and connected with all of our communities and campaigning to win government in 2014.
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. These recommendations involve significant change in many aspects of the way our Party works, and we want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to get more background explanation if they want it. If your Branch, LEC, LRC, Sector or Affiliate would like further information or clarification, contact Head Office and we will arrange for someone from New Zealand Council or the Working Group to be available.
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. For example, there may be several amendments on the same issue and, by agreement, these could be consolidated. If you have substantive feedback on the proposed rule changes please send your amendments to office AT labour.org.nz by 31 August 2012.
Again, thank you for your participation so far. I look forward to early action in many areas, your feedback, the continuing debate, and some historic rule changes in November.
Organisational review May-June report
10 May 2012
We've just released the May-June Report to Regional Conferences of the 2012 Consultation Process for the New Zealand Labour Party Organisational Review.
Labour Reboots Organisation
9 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.
“Contributions on how we campaign effectively in an MMP environment through to how we
select our Party leaders differed from region to region. But throughout the first stage of our
consultation there was one constant. Our Labour values.
“Fairness, equality, social justice, diversity, respect. Labour is a values driven party and this
review reinforces our commitment as a party, and the commitment and belief of our members
from all over the country to those values.
“The other consistent message we received from contributors was that we need to make
changes as a party if we want to be relevant in the 21st century, connect with New Zealanders
and ultimately lead this country as the next Labour government.
“We are now ready to take the next steps in our review process. Our working group has collated
all the contributions we received and have put forward recommendations based on those
contributions, evidence and international advice.
“We are taking the discussion paper to regional conferences, giving members a chance to have
their say on the proposed recommendations.
“Those recommendations deal with every aspect of Party organisation and activity, including:
• developing a process for members to be more involved in the election of Labour Leader
• having a more rigorous focus on campaigning for the Party Vote
• developing a registered supporter scheme and considering introducing lower fees to
encourage members to sign up
• developing and trialling a candidate-training programme
• considering requiring all candidates to be on the Party List
This is an exciting time for the Labour Party. We are rebooting. We are changing. It’s what our
members want. It’s what New Zealander’s want.
“We’d like to thank all those who’ve taken part in the process so far. We look forward to
continuing to work with members and supporters to make the changes needed to create a well-
organised and resourced Labour Party that is open, energised and connected with all of our
communities,” said Moira Coatsworth.
First round of consultation over
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.
So far our organisational review has been a great success and I look forward to taking the next steps.
We'll keep in touch through Labour news and on our website to let you know when the Discussion Paper will be made available.
Thank you all again for your commitment to the future of our Party.
More Regional meeting feedback
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.
Ka Pai Waikato-Corromandel!
A committed turnout from members across the region despite the rain! We had a positive discussion about Labour values with common themes of fair, inclusive, social justice and equality being top of the agenda.
Members were clear about reaching out to younger and more diverse members. Report back sessions left not a word minced and people said what they meant. So we received feedback about current weaknesses within the Party. Labour at our best meant being proud of our legacy and living our values.
Members were keen to be included in significant decisions affecting leadership, direction and policy. More debates and 'enjoyment' a must for lively party meetings!
Not even rain can keep North shore members away!
The meeting was attended by about 50 people who were keen to get into discussion groups and discuss those issues confronting modern political movements. Labour is a progressive party driven by strong values, principled policy and good people.
It was great to hear a consistent humming of conversation, laughter, spirited ideas - even though the rain continued to pelt down outside.
Mana/Kapiti definitely win the award for best venue – we had a beautiful seaside view, and thanks to Graham Kelly a great afternoon tea.
Great mix of members, ranging from vibrant young Labour lads to ex MPs – and all shared their personal experiences of being part of the Labour organisation.
David Shearer and Kris Faafoi came along to listen to members and like many there were impressed by the members who came prepared with well thought through ideas.
With over half the meetings done – next week we head down south, up north and across to Taranaki!
Feedback from Regional meetings on Labour’s organisational review.
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.
Members in Christchurch felt really strongly about having more member involvement in selections, leadership and policy development.
Overall - a great meeting that showed those in the Christchurch region are excited about the future of our party organization.
Really energising meeting – loads of engagement from everyone.
What was clear in the meeting was that people wanted more clarity and involvement in the policy process, wider consultation and more grassroots involvement.
Again, a lot of really valuable ideas around how we make Labour a more modern organisation – and heaps of enthusiasm to be a part of it.
Fairness, Equality, Social Justice, passion and people. It didn’t matter what group you were in – every member at the meeting agreed on what Labour stood for.
There was great discussion around membership – giving people a sense of belonging in the Party, making new members feel welcome and empowering their choice to join our party.
Great ideas were shared around engaging with voters and making the best of our resources. Many felt the need for the Party to concentrate on the Party vote more – and the best part was they all had ideas on how to do it.
There was an exciting representation of members that came along to have their say on the organizational review. There were new members, young members, long-time members who all had the same thing in mind. We need a Labour Government - sooner rather than later.
There was no problem getting people into groups to buzz ideas, debate viewpoints and listen to each others opinions. Labour at its best when everyone has a say and is heard!
At times it was difficult to get people back into their groups because they were so busy bouncing ideas off one another and engaging in the kind of conversation that inspires people to get more involved.
We are hoping people left with a positive impression about the meeting but I suspect that some may have felt that there wasn't enough time.
Wellington turned out in numbers – and even though MPs were told not to ‘talk too much’ Wellington Central MP, Grant Robertson couldn’t help himself and after a very brief 3 min talk he made the party faithful promise not to inform Moira of his rule breaking behaviour.
Great ideas on huge white sheets decorated St Johns Hall – but one of the discussions that stood out was around what Labour stood for. One member said he wasn’t surprised that the values and strengths outlines by numerous focus groups were similar – but that we as a Party don’t often get a chance to talk to each other or new members about the collective values we hold – and that the opportunity was welcomed.
All in all a great night full of wonderful and positive discussions.
Labour Party President kicks off organisational review with a nationwide tour
27 Feb 2012