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Ardern handed a poisoned chalice – Beyer

Wairarapa’s last Labour MP has weighed in on the Labour Party’s leadership shake up.


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Wairarapa’s last Labour MP says Tuesday’s change in party leadership was too little “too late” and would not win them the election.

Georgina Beyer said Jacinda Ardern had been handed a “poisoned chalice” following her meteoric rise to Labour’s top seat and that the party should have “stuck with Andrew Little”.

Mr Little resigned as the leader of the opposition in the wake of steeply declining polls, the latest of which on Sunday had the party languishing at 24 per cent.

“How many goddamn leaders has that party had since Helen Clark tossed the towel in on election night 2008,” said Ms Beyer, the Wairarapa MP from 1999-2005.

Labour’s internal problems, and somewhat externally, stemmed from that period, she said.

“It was brutal . . . no succession plan, no alternative, no nothing, and that just threw Labour into the last three terms of turmoil.

“Labour reeled after Helen left like that.”

But what did they expect after nine years — “Prime Ministers of that calibre do not hang around”.

Ms Beyer said Ms Ardern would certainly give the party a boost and “some promise” but it was not enough.

“They’ve done it weeks out from an election — that’s fatal . . . because it does not ring of stability.

“And that’s what the country looks for in a government.

“National are sleepwalking to victory.”

However, Ms Beyer did not think the move would hurt Ms Ardern in the long run.

Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis’ promotion to deputy leader was the real surprise, but it was perhaps a bid to grab Maori voters, she said.

“The only winner who seems to be coming out of this is Winston [Peters].”

There was no way the NZ First ‘kingmaker’ was going to contemplate going with the Labour Party considering this “meltdown”.

“It’s sort a nightmare for Labour I think, they will put on a brave face . . . but I know what it’s like behind the scenes.”

It was too late for the party to win now, she said.

“God only knows how they are going to be able to afford all the new billboards.”

Ms Beyer said she felt most for the Labour candidates, who have not been in parliament yet.

“I feel sorry for those candidates out there that are flying the flag and working passionately and all of that sort of thing.”



  1. So surprised at Georginas comments. Things that matter are so worth fighting for no matter the risk. This will be aworthwhile fight to the end! Some one had to do it. How big a mess is Nz currently in!! Behind you all the way!!

  2. I thought along the same lines as Tamihana – Beyer just sounds like a jealous old sourpuss, maybe because she didnt get her own chance at the limelight. Kiwi’s certainly dont want liars like National running the country anymore

  3. Beyer is irrelevant and totally wrong, the only meltdown is in your head George.
    Coming off like sour grapes.

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