The Leaderboard: David Cunliffe

The Leaderboard profiles the people behind the policies of the Asia-Pacific.Who is he?

David Cunliffe is a member of New Zealand’s Labour Party and member of parliament (MP) from New Lynn, West Auckland. From October 2007 to November 2008, he served as minister of health and minister for communications and information technology. Prior to that, he was minister of immigration and associate minister of finance.

David Cunliffe is the favorite to win New Zealand’s Labour Party primaries to become the new party leader leading up to the general elections in 2014. Source: Peter Harrison’s flickr photostream, used under a creative commons license.

Why is he in the news?

Cunliffe in August announced his bid to replace Labour Party leader David Shearer, who is stepping down. Cunliffe is considered a leading candidate for the job ahead of party elections scheduled for September 15. He has been gaining ground in the party caucus and has wide support from grassroots members. Some believe he is the Labour Party’s best chance to win the general elections in 2014. Grant Robertson, an MP from Wellington Central, is another leading contender.

What can we expect from him?

Cunliffe is running on a platform championing social equity, including raising taxes on the rich. Although Cunliffe is expected to win, Robertson still enjoys wide support among the party caucus. Many observers predict Labour will elect Cunliffe as its leader and Robertson as his deputy.



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