David Shearer

David Shearer was elected leader of the Labour party because he had an outstanding leadership record outside parliament and he represented a chance for Labour to make a new beginning.

He never found a way to show us his skills and he never created the new beginning Labour needs. 

The dead fish stunt will be installed by history as the cringing moment that brought it all down, but for months failure has felt like a matter of time. 

Although David Shearer was elected with the support of the previous leadership team, the point of picking a first term MP was to make a break with the direction that had lost consecutive elections. 

The five key points to consider when choosing the next Labour leader

So, David Shearer has pulled the pin on his leadership of the Labour party and killed off his own ambition because, he says, the party's ambition is more important. A decent sentiment from a decent man; it's cliche to say he's a good and likeable man, but he is. However he lacked what New Zealand is looking for here and now.

With three pretenders to see off and an active destabilisation campaign underway, Shearer's hold on the leadership looks precarious. Does he have one big push left in him? And if not, what happens next?

Labour has long defined itself as the party of change and opportunity, and those concepts will be front of mind for many of the party's MPs while on recess.

No points if you guess the answer - it's pretty obvious. The real question is if and when the electoral maths could compell New Zealand Labour to follow the same path

The Australian Labour party leadership change this week is an interesting prism through which to view the New Zealand Labour Party and its travails.

Labour MPs have voted in a leader they despised, a leader they once confidently predicted the public would come to hate as much as they did. Except the public didn't. Or at least, hasn't yet.

Act One of Peter Dunne's departure has come to an end. What does Act Two hold in store?

Now that Peter Dunne has turned into the political equivalent of a bleeding seal swimming amidst a feeding frenzy of hungry sharks, what happens next?

Well, there's three ways that his involvement in any past leaks will get scrutinised in the next little while.