11 Apr 2017

David Cunliffe makes valedicatory speech in Parliament

From Checkpoint, 5:52 pm on 11 April 2017

Former Labour party leader, David Cunliffe, says he could write a book about the 2014 election campaign - which he describes as most bizarre. 

The New Lynn MP, who led Labour into the last election, is leaving Parliament to take up a job with a management consultancy firm.

In his valedictory speech, Mr Cunliffe said the last election was more about personalities than politics.

"I could write a book about the 2014 election campaign, but I don't think anyone would believe it, or possibly read it." 

He said what the Labour Party had not had enough of to win the election was time. 

"Mike Moore once said that the easiest way to be wrong in politics is to be right too soon. 

"And I have no regrets for standing up for what I believe in, though I recognise my delivery could at times have done with some work - and no, family violence is still not OK." 

He also said inequality in New Zealand was holding the country back. 

"It is crippling our ability to do well as a country. The poor are getting poorer, the middle is working harder just to stand still. 

"And with nearly all of the wealth created in the past decade attaching in average to the top 1 percent, a smaller and smaller share of national income is actually coming to wage and salary earners." 

David Cunliffe entered parliament in 1999, and says he's look forward to being a voter, without the rollercoaster ride of media attention.