Virtual Hustings Meeting – Question 13
Experience : What have you learned & how would you apply it?
Question : To ensure a victory in the 2014 election we need courageous leadership. Failure is part of courageous leadership. Tell us about a time that you failed as a leader. What did you learn from that experience and how would you apply your learning in the future?
Submitted by : Dalene Mactier, Southbridge
Explanatory Note: From September 10th to 14th 2013 as part of the official selection process for a new leader the New Zealand Labour Party is holding a “Virtual Hustings Meeting” hosted by Red Alert and organised by Scoop Amplifier. Over 7 days questions were solicited from eligible voters in the election. The questions and answers are now being posted as a set of 14 posts at the Red Alert Labour Party Blog. This started Tuesday 10th September, and continues till Friday 13th September. At Red Alert all-comers are welcome to discuss the answers in the comment section of the blog. The candidates are expected to participate in these discussions at times over the five days till Saturday 14th September.
LABOUR LEADERSHIP CANDIDATES’ ANSWERS
Answer from Shane Jones
Prior to becoming a Parliamentarian I was the Leader within Maoridom that bought the fifty plus tribes together and resolved the Treaty fisheries dispute.
This took great courage.
Obviously I enjoy a florid style of speaking. This campaign has been a lesson to me about softening some of my rhetoric.
Immoderate remarks have offended some women and I realise I need to improve.
Answer from Grant Robertson
The best example in my life came from time as a leader of the student movement in the 1990s.
After fighting rising fees, cuts to allowances and massive interest on student loans for several years, we were struggling to get people involved in our campaigns.
Re-igniting the movement required going back to the first principles of what we were fighting for (equality of opportunity) and knowing that whatever happened we had to keep fighting.
We took inspiration from the civil rights movement saying “Keep your eyes on the prize, keep your mind on the struggle.” We kept the faith, and it was great to be part of working on Labour’s policy many years later that saw interest removed from student loans.
The lesson being – always remember why you are doing what you are doing, and never, never give up.
Answer from David Cunliffe
I have learnt some hard lessons about leadership in the past year. I have listened to colleagues and supporters, buckled down in my portfolio, and worked hard.
Going through hard situations can really prepare you well for the future, and as Labour’s leader I would want to put the lessons I’ve learnt to really unifying and energising our party to win the election in 2014.