NewLabour Party (New Zealand)

Last updated
NewLabour Party
Leader Jim Anderton (1989–2000)
Founded 1 April 1989
Dissolved 2000;18 years ago (2000)
Split from Labour Party
Merged into Alliance
Ideology Democratic socialism
Political position Centre-left [ citation needed ]

The NewLabour Party was a centre-left political party in New Zealand that operated from 1989 to 2000. It was founded by Jim Anderton, an MP and former President of the New Zealand Labour Party.

Jim Anderton New Zealand politician

James Patrick Anderton was a New Zealand politician who led a succession of left-wing parties after leaving the Labour Party in 1989.

The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.

Contents

NewLabour was established by a number of Labour Party members who left the party in reaction to "Rogernomics", the economic policies implemented by the Labour Party's Minister of Finance, Roger Douglas, which saw the traditionally left-wing Labour Party swing heavily to the right. Anderton, who had been among the most vocal critics of Douglas, was joined by a number of other members of the Labour Party, such as Matt Robson, Laila Harré and Phil Amos, and a number of left-wing activists, such as Bruce Jesson. Anderton was the party's only MP.

Rogernomics

The term Rogernomics, a portmanteau of "Roger" and "economics", was coined by journalists at the New Zealand Listener by analogy with Reaganomics to describe the neoliberal economic policies followed by Roger Douglas after his appointment in 1984 as Minister of Finance in the Fourth Labour Government of New Zealand. Rogernomics was characterised by market-led restructuring and deregulation and the control of inflation through tight monetary policy, accompanied by a floating exchange rate and reductions in the fiscal deficit. Douglas came from a background of Labour Party politics. His adoption of policies more usually associated with the political right, and their implementation by the Fourth Labour Government, were the subject of lasting controversy.

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Roger Douglas New Zealand politician

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Electoral success

In the 1990 elections, NewLabour stood candidates in all electorates. The party gained a certain amount of support from disillusioned Labour voters, winning 5.16% of the vote. Anderton was NewLabour's only successful candidate, retaining the Sydenham seat in working-class south-central Christchurch. He remained the party's sole representative in Parliament, which was now dominated by the National Party with 67 seats out of 97. [1]

Christchurch Metropolitan area in South Island, New Zealand

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. The Christchurch urban area lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula. It is home to 404,500 residents, making it New Zealand's third-most populous city behind Auckland and Wellington. The Avon River flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park located along its banks.

New Zealand National Party Major New Zealand political party

The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.

Alliance building

In 1991, NewLabour and several other parties formed the Alliance, a broad left-wing coalition. Initially, NewLabour maintained a separate identity within the Alliance, keeping its own party organization intact. By 2000, however, many felt that maintaining parallel NewLabour and Alliance structures was counter-productive, and at NewLabour's October conference, it was decided to completely assimilate the party into the larger Alliance structure, marking the end of NewLabour as an autonomous group. [2]

The Alliance was a left-wing political party in New Zealand. It was formed at the end of 1991 by the linking of four smaller parties. The Alliance positioned itself as a democratic socialist alternative to the centre-left New Zealand Labour Party. It was influential throughout the 1990s, but suffered a major setback after its founder and leader, Jim Anderton, left the party in 2002, taking with him several of its members of parliament (MPs). After the remaining MPs lost their seats in the 2002 general election, some commentators predicted the demise of the party.

Former parliamentarians

The following is a list of former parliamentarians:

Former parliamentarianTerm
Jim Anderton 1989–2000
Laila Harré 1996–2000
Matt Robson 1996–2000
Pam Corkery 1996–1999
Liz Gordon 1996–2000
Kevin Campbell 1999-2000

MPs elected between 1991 and 2000 were members of the NewLabour Party's faction of the Alliance.

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References

  1. "General elections 1890-1993 - seats won by party". Chief Electoral Office. Archived from the original on 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
  2. Anderton, Jim (13 October 2000). "Address to NewLabour Party Conference" . Retrieved 2009-07-21.