David Steele

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David Steele is a New Zealand economist and activist.


1976 - foundation member Wellington Marxist-Leninist Organisation.

Workers Communist League/Left Currents

1980 - Confirmed member of Workers Communist League. Blasted by Jim Knox for trying to force stringent conditions on any agreement to return to work by the workers at the NZMC plant in Wellington. A Coachworkers Union delegate at the plant.[1]

1981 member of a Workers Communist League led delegation to North Korea.

1988 - WCL national secretary [2]

1990 - Left Currents member.

March 1192 On list of contributors to issue 5 of Left Currents linked journal, Labour Notes - union consultant.


1985 - official in Wellington Coachworkers Union (WCL president Graeme Clarke is secretary) and WTC. Assisted Task Force on Trade Union Education in preparing their firstst report.

1986-87 a national co-ordinator of the Trade Union Education Authority with special responsibility for educational resources in economics, appointed 21 November 1986.

1988 May 15, DST reported Steele attended a May Day dinner organized by TUEA.

Circa 1989 David Steele did a study of the Business Roundtable, which was published by the Trade Union Education Authority.

Left debate

1988, February 9, featured in debate of activists inside & outside the Labour Party, held at Auckland Hotel Workers Union hall.

Debate was on value of working to change the party from within. On his side was prominent Auckland unionist Bruce Fowler, on other side Margaret Wilson & Jim Anderton.

"Where To The Socialist Left Now?"

1990 April, wrote article for Bruce Jesson's "The Republican" on "Where To The Socialist Left Now? The Implications of Eastern Europe and other questions."

p 12..."The political spectrum of East and West in converging... p 13"In the centre, social democracy is the most rapidly growing political trend in Eastern Europe... "- the communism expounded by Marx, the ideal of a classless society - this ideal will always recur, and humanity will keep trying, in different ways, to achieve it, because it is inherent in the struggle for social liberation... I was a member of a communist organisation for fourteen years - from the formation of the Wellington Marxist-Leninist Organisation in January 1976 to the dissolution of the Workers Communist League in January 1990. Like many others, I was politicised by the movements of the late sixties and early seventies - against authoritarianism, conscription, the Vietnam War, apartheid - and then attracted to communism by three things: Marxist theory (which hit me like a revelation); the example of other activists, old and young, who were communists; and the rave reviews China was getting at the time... p 14 "Accelerated doubts came in 1981. In 1981 we were very active in the anti-tour protests, but came under a lot of flak as an organisation for our organisational secrecy, a feeling that we were trying to control the movement, our insistence that class struggle was more important than the women's and Maori struggles... p 15 "For me personally there was another influence in 1981. I went on a trip to North Korea and got a taste of the "monolithic" model of communism closeup... "We zoomed along concrete highways in our Volvo, past beautiful mountains and the imposing agricultural scenery..." Steele didn't think it was liberation because of the cult of personality for the "Great Leader and his son the "dear leader".

Against the Compact

Second of April 1990, signatory to People's Voice appeal for "united front" to defeat "Compact" Trade union researcher, Wellington.

"For the Public Good"

1990 - interviewed on highly controversial "For the Public Good" program on links between the Labour Party and big business.

Alliance Party

1993 - Alliance Party candidate for Western Hutt, self employed economic & policy consulatant & injury prevention researcher. Member Poverty Action, and former spokeasmn for Community Power Campaign opposed to privatisation of Energy Direct. BA, Dip Soc. Sci. [3]

1997 - Director of research, Alliance Party.

1998 - author of AP report "Towards a New Monetary Policy", critical of Reserve Bank Act etc. [4]


  1. [Truth, Nov 25 1980]
  2. [Auckland Sun, 3 Feb 1988]
  3. AP Manifesto
  4. Salient 16