Kōrero: Labour Party

Whārangi 7. Organisation of the Labour Party

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Local branch organisation

In the 2000s the Labour Party retained two different categories of party membership – general and affiliate – reflecting Labour’s origins in the trade union movement.

General members join a branch of the party. There are many local branches, and in areas where party support is traditionally strong, there may be several such branches in a single electorate. The party also has branches for specific groups such as women, university students, Pacific peoples and people of other ethnicities.

Affiliated membership is through membership of a trade union affiliated to the Labour Party. In 2023 there were 11 affiliated unions, which paid a levy to the party based on the size of their own memberships.

Electorate organisation

Each of the 72 electorates (in 2023) has an electorate committee. A key function of this committee is to contribute towards selecting the local party candidate and supporting the candidate’s election campaign.

Regional organisation

In each of six geographic regions a Labour regional council acts on regional issues, deals with policy proposals from the region’s branches and contributes to the list ranking for party candidates for Parliament. Each council includes representatives from its various electorate committees.

Each of the six regions also has a Labour local body committee working on local government election campaigns.

National organisation

The party’s New Zealand Council (the national council) takes part in candidate selection, along with representation and input from local and regional organisations. The council includes representatives of interest groups such as Māori, Pacific peoples, unions, women, youth, and the Rainbow (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) sector. Interests such as rural affairs, elderly people and people with disabilities are also represented.

The party’s Policy Council develops its policy and election manifesto. The council consists of five people elected by the party membership, five MPs, the party’s president and general secretary, and Māori and regional representatives.

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Peter Aimer, 'Labour Party - Organisation of the Labour Party', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/labour-party/page-7 (accessed 23 September 2023)

He kōrero nā Peter Aimer, i tāngia i te 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Jan 2023