New Zealand's Labor Party faces a reckoning after a dramatic electoral downturn, prompting soul-searching within the ranks as they analyse their defeat and contemplate new leadership.
The fallout from the failed election campaign, which saw their caucus dwindle from 60 MPs to a mere 34, has left the party in dissaray, with key figures urging a reevaluation of party values and internal relationships to mend fractures.
Amid discussions about the party's future, MPs publicly backed current leader Chris Hipkins. However, whispers of potential contenders and a looming leadership vote have added tension to the mix.
The party's history in opposition serves as a cautionary tale. Previous disunity and leadership changes plagued them for nearly a decade. With a third of the remaining MPs having lived through those tumultuous years, there is a collective determination to prioritise unity and avoid repeating past mistakes.
Former MP Sue Moroney highlighted the urgency of clear policy decisions and effective communication. She stressed the need to learn from divisive issues such as the capital gain or wealth tax debate.
As the party launches an internal review of the 2023 campaign, the spotlight remains on their ability to redefine their identity and reconnect with a disillusioned voter base in an era beyond Jacinda Ardern-style identity politics.