What are Labour's new leaders Jacinda Ardern and Kelvin Davis all about? video

NZN VIDEO

Jacinda Ardern says there is no 'Plan B' but she'll fight.

Andrew Little's resignation as leader of the Labour Party on Tuesday morning opens the way for a new leadership team of current deputy leader Jacinda Ardern and hard-nosed Maori MP Kelvin Davis.

The pair are running on a joint ticket, as leader and deputy leader respectively.

Little has put his support behind Ardern becoming the new Labour leader.

What would NZ look like under a Jacinda Ardern and Kelvin Davis reign?

What would NZ look like under a Jacinda Ardern and Kelvin Davis reign?

Jacinda Ardern

Labour's deputy leader Jacinda Ardern's career so far has been described as "meteoric".

Ardern, 37, joined the Labour Party young, aged 17. She was elected to parliament in 2008. In just shy of 20 years since joining the party, she moved up the ranks and became Labour's youngest deputy leader - at age 36 - earlier in 2017.

Jacinda Ardern before Labour's caucus meeting.
CAMERON BURNELL/STUFF

Jacinda Ardern before Labour's caucus meeting.

READ MORE:
Andrew Little quits as Labour leader
Live: Andrew Little stands down, endorses Ardern 
Labour bleeds while Greens profit from Metiria Turei's 'fraud bomb' 
Stuff's poll of polls

As well as being the party's MP for the Mt Albert seat, she's also its spokesperson for justice, arts, culture and heritage, children, and small business. She's also associate spokesperson for Auckland issues.

In 2015 she said she was too "selfish" to take the job as Labour leader.

Jacinda Ardern has never said she has ambitions to lead Labour.
MAARTEN HOLL/STUFF

Jacinda Ardern has never said she has ambitions to lead Labour.

Even after her resounding victory in the Mt Albert by-election earlier in 2017 - but during speculation she would be named the deputy leader - she said she hadn't "put any thought into it".

Ad Feedback

Ardern studied at Waikato University and has worked for non-governmental organisations abroad and as an executive in the United Kingdom's Cabinet Office, according to the Labour website.

Despite previously saying she's not interested in leadership, she's no stranger to it - she was the second woman ever to be president of the world's largest international political youth organisation, IUSY.

Jacinda Ardern is seen as the party's voice for a younger generation.
CHRIS SKELTON/STUFF

Jacinda Ardern is seen as the party's voice for a younger generation.

Labour hoped Ardern would be the voice for a younger generation and attract voters the National Government had "forgotten".

She's seen as a new face for a stagnating party who can win back urban liberals and women, as well as having a strong brand and a loyal supporter base who will defend her.

But criticisms of her - often from other politicians - have focused on claims she has achieved little in politics during her time.

Ardern's is a new face for a stagnating party.
DAVID WHITE/STUFF

Ardern's is a new face for a stagnating party.

Kelvin Davis

Kelvin Davis was born and grew up in the Bay of Islands, and was principal of Kaitaia Intermediate School from 2001-2007.

He first entered Parliament on Labour's list in 2008, after unsuccessfully running for Te Tai Tokerau. In that contest Mana's Hone Harawira won by more than 6000 votes.

Te Tai Tokerau electorate Labour candidate Kelvin Davis.
DAVID WHITE/STUFF

Te Tai Tokerau electorate Labour candidate Kelvin Davis.

In a by-election for Te Tai Tokerau in June 2011 Davis drastically cut that lead but didn't take the seat.

He again contested the seat in the November 2011 general election and again lost to Harawira. Labour failed to win a big enough share of the vote for him to remain in Parliament as a list MP.

Davis became list MP again in April 2014 after Shane Jones resigned from Parliament, five months ahead of the general election.

He finally got the better of Harawira in the 2014 general election. Davis won Te Tai Tokerau in a surprise result, following Mana's ill-fated alliance with the Kim Dotcom-backed Internet Party.

Kelvin Davis has crafted a reputation as a hard-nosed corrections spokesman.
DAVID WHITE/STUFF

Kelvin Davis has crafted a reputation as a hard-nosed corrections spokesman.

Davis' profile has been boosted in the past term through his efforts to publicise conditions in jails run by private operator Serco. 

Under parliamentary privilege, Davis said in July 2015 that a Mt Eden inmate died as a result of a practice called dropping - where inmates were initiated by being thrown over a balcony onto the concrete below.

The prisoner was later identified as Nick Evans. Davis claimed he had been transferred out of Mt Eden despite his injuries, and later died at Whangarei Hospital after guards at Ngawha prison had him admitted because of their concerns about his condition.

Davis also alleged the Government and Corrections had failed to act over allegations about Serco, and that there had been talk of prisoner fight clubs at Mt Eden dating back to 2012. In July 2015, Corrections seized back day-to-day running of Mt Eden.

A Corrections report completed in 2015 found organised fight clubs were likely happening at least once a week at Mt Eden.

The report said allegations of prisoner dropping could not be proved, but said Evans had reported an altercation with another prisoner and demonstrated a "dumping action", which was seen as being like a spear tackle.

CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ.

Labour leader Andrew Little steps down after disastrous poll results.

Having brought much of the controversy at Mt Eden to light, Davis was rewarded with a boost up Labour's rankings and additional responsibilities.

Davis was also highly visible in criticising the attitude being taken by the Australian government to New Zealanders. A report in 2015 showed New Zealanders made up the largest single group in Australian detention centres.

Davis said the Australian policy of locking Kiwis up in detention centres while they waited to appeal their visa cancellations was "cruel and senseless". It was part of an effort to "purify" Australia.

Davis and the other Labour MPs holding Maori seats opted to stand as electorate MPs only in the 2017 election, and not go on the party list.

Once again he will be in a contest for Te Tai Tokerau with Harawira, who has done a deal with the Maori Party, which will not stand a candidate in the seat.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback
-->