NewLabour Party (New Zealand)

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NewLabour Party
LeaderJim Anderton (1989–2000)
Founded1 April 1989
Dissolved2000; 21 years ago (2000)
Split fromLabour Party
Merged intoAlliance
IdeologySocial democracy
Democratic socialism
Political positionCentre-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.[1]

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 on issues of state intervention, regulation, and taxation. 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.

Electoral success[edit]

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.[2]

Alliance building[edit]

In 1991, NewLabour and several other parties formed the Alliance, a broad left-wing coalition.[3] 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.[4]

Former parliamentarians[edit]

The following is a list of former parliamentarians:

Former parliamentarian Term
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.


  1. ^ "Address to NewLabour Party Conference". The Beehive. Retrieved 2021-06-14.
  2. ^ "General elections 1890-1993 - seats won by party". Chief Electoral Office. Archived from the original on 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
  3. ^ Orsman, Bernard (2 December 1991). "Alliance born with eye on Tamaki win". The New Zealand Herald. p. 1.
  4. ^ Anderton, Jim (13 October 2000). "Address to NewLabour Party Conference". Retrieved 2009-07-21.