Jun 22, 2008

Annette King: Labour Leader?

The writer of the blog Adding Noughts keeps hearing rumours about Annette King and the Labour leadership. He highlights the role King played in trying to get Roger Douglas to stay on in 1990, as explained by Michael Bassett.

We like King, and think that she would be a great deputy for Phil Goff, but we are not sure about her getting the top job. She isn't young, and there is a bit of scandal around her (HBDHB for example). It would be a brave call for Labour. As she is also from the right wing faction of the Party we doubt that she will get the deputy leadership either. More likely, we will see Annette resign sometime in 2009/10 to allow a big bye-election at which Andrew Little will run against a yet unknown National candidate (Chris Finlayson, should he miss out on Rongotai in 2008, is unlikely to be risked in a bye-election). Little will most probably win, gain great publicity as a result, and move on to do a David Lange (who was also launched by a bye-election).

King is facing a couple of problems in her Transport portfolio at present - we posted yesterday on the land transport bills. Coastal shipping is becoming a problem also. Trans-Tasman this week reports some rather forceful words from the much respected Barrie Saunders on King's Coastal Shipping Statement - Saunders is suggesting (amongst other things) that the Government is seeing surf breaks as more significant than ports.