New Zealand Labour Party

Labour's Review: Terms of Reference Agreed


Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result.  The review will comprise three elements

- a review of Labour's 2014 General Election campaign;

- a review of Labour's political positioning going forward, with reference to the past three General Election results; and

- recommendations for rebuilding and modernising Labour.

Moira Coatsworth, Labour President, said today:

"Learning the lessons of this campaign and of the last few years is crucial if we're to quickly get back to representing the hopes of New Zealanders for the future. Labour will listen carefully and apply the lessons thoroughly. The review will be robust and will provide clear recommendations for the way we rebuild and reconnect. After listening carefully Labour will make the changes necessary toward victory in 2017”.

The review process will include engagement with a wide range of people including Party members. The names of the reviewers will be announced within the next week. Most of the work will be completed by December. 


To complete, for report, consideration and decision on recommendations initially at the NZ Council meeting on December 7th 2014, the following Review managed in three parts:


  1. A qualitative and quantitative review of Labour’s 2014 General Election campaign, including preparation from the 2011 General Election onwards, led by an analysis of the 2014 results and incorporating:


  • party and electorate vote variance;
  • electorate and hub performance, including enrolment, persuasion and turnout;
  • the targeting approach;
  • list and electorate candidate selection and performance
  • Maori and sector strategies;
  • volunteer management and activist training;
  • campaign finance – income, expenditure, cost-effectiveness;
  • digital campaign;
  • messaging formulation and communication of policy and campaign messages (including the “Vote Positive” brand);
  • performance in and relationship with the media;
  • Party and Caucus organisation;
  • Leadership and management of the campaign;
  • relationships with other parties and
  • any other significant matters which are identified in the course of consultation.


  1. A qualitative review of Labour’s political positioning and performance, and the manner in which it is presented going forward in the light of the results of the 2008, 2011, and 2014 General Elections, to include the environment and context in which we now find ourselves; to be informed by what progressive political parties have done overseas, and what New Zealand political parties have done, in comparable situations; and how party alignment in MMP-style jurisdictions has changed over time.
  2. The implications of the agreed recommendations for Party institutions, structures, accountabilities and operations, including governance, an integrated three year campaign plan leading to the 2017 election, Caucus priorities and activity, communications, resource allocation, policy development, internal communications and discipline, fundraising. Through all this work to achieve sustained modernisation.

In doing this, noting that some matters may be referred for further consideration after December 7th.

The full Terms of Reference can be found in PDF form here.