Jim Anderton

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Jim Anderton

Jim Anderton is a far left New Zealand politician. He was born in 1938.

Addressing the Young Socialists

On August 17, 1974, Anderton was the New Zealand Labour Party candidate for the Auckland mayoralty and as reported in the Trotskyist Socialist Action League's paper Socialist Action, spoke at the Young Socialists educational conference at Auckland University while on the campaign trail.[1]

On August 14, 1976, addressed another seminar organized by the Young Socialists, this time the venue was the Trades Hall, with the issue covered on this occasion being "Auckland: a city in crisis". this was part the larger issue of "community services in decline".[2]

Debate with pro-Soviet leftists

On February 1, 1980, Anderton shared a forum with Russel Johnson of the Socialist Action League and Ella Ayo of the Soviet aligned Socialist Unity Party, concerning the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Ayo and Johnson sought to justify this blatant act of Soviet aggression, whereas Anderton took the opposite view, at odds with his later collaboration with pro - Soviet organizations.[3]

Central America - an important target of the Left

On June 20-21, 1981, Anderton, who by now was President of the Labour Party, was one of the sponsors of a conference held at Victoria University entitled "Central America - a new Vietnam?"[4]

Central America conference - hotbed of extreme-left

In July 1987, Anderton was listed as a sponsor of a conference held at Victoria University entitled "For Peace and Justice in Central America". Other sponsors included the Maoist Workers Communist League, the Soviet aligned Socialist Unity Party and the Trotskyist Socialist Action League.

ATC March


NZ Trade Union Moments and Memories January 11 20l6 · Auckland, New Zealand.

1979 FOL Auckland Trades Council March.

Union leaders front row of march, from left–Mike Jackson, Jim Knox (turned), David Thorpe Combined State Unions, Jim Anderton (NZ Labour Party), Eileen Tourell, Peter Purdue, Len Smith, Adrian Webster PSA, Frank Clarke.

Anderton and the Labour Party

On June 12, 1976, Anderton addressed a seminar called "Labour, politics and the local community" at the Ellen Melville Hall in Auckland, organized by Labour's Princess St. branch.[5]

By 1981, he was President of the Labour Party. It was in or around this time that he had become separated from his wife, Caulfield.

Anderton had, by 1987, become a Labour M.P.

From November 9, 1987-88, he was also elected as a Labour Party Policy Council member along with Peter Harris, Maryan Street, Bruce Hucker and Geoff Woolford.

By 1989, Anderton had left the Labour Party and formed the New Labour Party, of which he was leader.

On keeping Labour Party's economics left

In 1987, Anderton was the leading light in the Economic Policy Network consisting of Labour Party members dissatisfied with Rogernomics , which sprang from a "Broad Left" Grouping. (Rogernomics was a name invented by the left in New Zealand to describe what they saw as right-wing economics then being practiced by the Labour Party).

On November 21, 1988, it was reported that Anderton blamed the Labour Government for New Zealand's economic woes. He suggested expanding the Reserve Bank's daily settlement target from $30 million to 50 or $100 million, thereby allowing the exchange rate to fall to US 55c by March 1989.[6]

Anderton and Labour - left in, left out?

On February 9, 1988, an article appeared in the Maoist Workers Communist League's paper Unity, concerning a debate which featured activists inside and outside the Labour Party, held at the Auckland Hotel Workers Union hall.The issue covered was on value of working to change the party from within. On the one side was Bruce Fowler and WCL member David Steele, with Margaret Wilson and Jim Anderton taking the other.[7]

The New Labour Party

NLP leaders, Jim Anderton, Matt McCarten, Matt Robson, Laila Harre

Anderton had, by 1989, left the Labour Party whose politics he was unable to influence sufficiently to his liking and formed his own version of what he believed they should be, in the form of the New Labour Party and, of course, he was the NLP leader.

In the same year, Anderton was on the NLP's National Council in Christchurch.

On June 3-4, 1989, the inaugural conference of the NLP was held in Wellington and attended by about 500 people. "A small but vocal far Left minority made clear their view on Saturday that New Labour must be broad enough to embrace them. Mr Anderton later warned that NL must avoid 'fringe narrow agendas' or a 'doctrinaire' approach that would alienate potential supporters. He was criticised by several speakers for dominating constitutional debates, and the conference supported several changes to the proposed constitution - including inserting the word 'socialism', which the draft had not contained."[8]

By 1990, Anderton was a member of the 10 "person" NLP Campaign Committee.[9]

From July 19-21, 1991, Anderton was a speaker at the NLP "Economics, Jobs and the Environment" conference held in Auckland.

NLP extreme left infiltration

On September 26,1989, a letter appeared in Nexus by C.B. Milne which, among other things, exposed the Trotskyist Socialist Action League and the Maoist Workers Communist League infiltration of the NLP. "In fact I saw with my own eyes that NLP leader Jim Anderton, held a copy of it while he waited his turn to speak at the QE2 Square after the June 16 Queen St. March against the loans scheme."[10]

The Stalinist Communist Party of New Zealand's paper the Peoples Voice in June of that year, also made a similar observation.[11]

It was also noted that the PV had beaten the July 3 Television New Zealand report on the exposing of the entryist tactics of the communist left.

The NLP and race-based policies

It was reported in the Press on May 29, 1989, that Anderton attended the Maori Mana Motuhake's Party Hui (gathering) at Te Kao in Northland, where the NLP's Maori policy was discussed. "Apart from more autonomy in delivering health and education policies the policy paper also hinted at different tax and income maintenance rates for Maoris."[12]

Comrades Unite - New Labour Party forms Alliance Party

On December 1, 1991, Anderton signed a formal declaration representing the NLP to form the Alliance Party (which consisted of a coalition of mainly leftists).[13]

By 1996, Anderton had become Number 1 on the Alliance Party Southern Region Party list.[14]

In 2001, in the then left-leaning magazine, the New ZealandListener, an article stated that Anderton was part of the inner circle of power in the Labour Party/Alliance Party coalition government.[15]

Socialist dinosaur economics

On November 16, 1992, Anderton spoke at the Alliance's Annual Conference about tax rises. To further reinforce his stance on the issue, he was to say afterwards:"Read my lips, we will raise taxes".[16]

Good friend of extremist

In 1981, it was reported in the Soviet aligned Socialist Unity Party's paper Tribune, that Anderton had attended a rally in Auckland opposing the Springbok Tour. By now the President of the Labour Party, he spoke there alongside Hone Kaa, Andrew Beyer and well known extremist and member of the SUP, Bill Andersen, with whom he was described as being good mates from way back.[17]

Left stance on Bastion Point

On March 28, 1982, Anderton addressed a gathering held at the Auckland Trades Hall, which opposed the proposed sub-division of Bastion Point. Many of those in attendance were, of course, of the extreme left. (This proposed sub-division was vigorously opposed by local maori, who then occupied the land in question).[18]

Anti-nuclear push

In 1982, Anderton spoke at the Auckland MayDay rally where he stated "The policy of the Labour Party is for a nuclear-free Pacific."[19]

On October 30, 1982, Anderton addressed a crowd of 350 at a demonstration at Winsor Reserve, Devonport, against the use of Devonport for nuclear ships.[20][21]

Opening speech at Soviet Front WPC meeting

In 1987, Anderton attended the Soviet front World Peace Council Bureau meeting held in Auckland in which he made the opening speech.

Support for Singapore communists

On November 8, 1988, it was reported that Anderton spoke out against Singapore's President for his "human rights abuses" over suppressing communist opposition there. He called Singapore's laws "draconian and repressive".[22]

No to indirect sporting contacts with S.A. - no matter how remote

On December 13, 1988, the Press reported that Anderton even opposed the New Zealand Cricket Council's invitation to the English cricket team to tour here because it might put the 1990 Commonwealth Games in jeopardy, as 8 of the English team had played South Africa![23]

Not only the earth is red in Australia

In July of 1990, Anderton went to Brisbane, Australia, where he met with "progressives" including the New Left Party, the Socialist Party of Australia and the Democratic Socialist Party.[24]

In July, 1991, Anderton was a keynote speaker at a Democratic Socialist Party run Socialist Scholars Conference in Melbourne. He shared the closing plenary with Filipino Trotskyite Francisco Nemenzo and Frank Stilwell, president of the New Left Party (formerly known as the Communist Party of Australia).

The Socialist Scholars Conference, held at Melbourne University High on July 18-21, 1991, around the theme of Ecology, Socialism and Human Survival, was a resounding success according to both organisers and participants. The second such conference to be held in Australia, it attracted around 800 activists and academics from around the country.

Jim Anderton, MP and leader of the New Labour Party in New Zealand, outlined the consequences of the introduction in the mid-1980s of a monetarist economic strategy bringing a massive rolling back of welfare provisions, extensive privatisation, an increasingly unjust taxation system and growing levels of unemployment and poverty.[25]

In late November 1992, Anderton was preparing for another trip to Australia - for 5 days on this occasion - to meet financiers. "Basically we have to get in front of the business community" he astutely observed. The Press reported that he would also be in Melbourne to address a dinner given by the Rainbow Alliance - a coalition of minor parties including Greens and the Democratic Socialist Party.[26]

Loss of Australian comrade


On November 1992,Anderton wrote to the Green Left Weekly offering condolences on the death of Democratic Socialist Party leader Jim Percy. The article stated: "The NLP mourns the loss of Jim Percy. We have had the privilege of sharing political ideas with Jim and the DSP since our foundation. We have appreciated the support and the solidarity extended to us. Jim was committed to a world cleansed of war and oppression. we share his vision. Signed, On behalf of the National Council and members of the NLP".[27]

Stalinists elicit no comment - well not publically

On September 23, 1991, the results of a survey appeared in the PV in which Anderton was asked, among others, whether or not he supported the so-called "day of action". He declined to give an on-the-record answer.[28]

Support for MMP

Anderton was a signatory to the ad headed "Vote for MMP" which appeared in the Press on September 12, 1992, which was inserted by the extreme left dominated Electoral Reform Coalition.[29]

MMP, which stood for Mixed Member Proportional Representation, was a political and electoral voting system which has long been supported by the left as a means of gaining disproportionate leverage.

Anderton a forbidden foreigner in Tonga

In 1992, an article appeared in the Green left Weekly which noted that Anderton was sent a letter by the Tongan Minister of Police, Mr. Akou Oola, informing him that foreigners ie: Anderton and evidently his like, were forbidden from attending the Tongan pro-Democracy conference.[30]

The Green Left Weekly is the magazine of the Australian Democratic Socialist Party.

Meeting with anti-free trade activist

In July 1996, an article appeared in the leftist paper Common Ground, concerning the New Zealand tour of Mexican Anti-Free Trade activist, Dr. A.V. Calderon. Anderton met with him to talk about the North American Free Trade Assocation and New Zealand parallels with its own free-trade agreements.[31]

Common Ground was the publication of the Australian Workers Party - a coalition of radical "Christians" and former supporters of the Maoist Workers Communist League.

Justice seminar in memory of leftist clergyman

The leftist publication Common Ground carried an article which noted that in July 1996, Anderton was unable to attend a seminar entitled "Justice in New Zealand" because of an illness. The venue was held in Palmerston North and was dedicated to the memory of well-known Marxist clergyman Father John Curnow. Nonetheless, Anderton's address entitled "Politics, in the Service of the people or the Global Economy" was still read to participants.[32]

Anderton - the enlightened socialist

In 1996, the student newspaper Salient carried an interview with Anderton in which he explained, for the benefit of we, the unenlightened, the wonders of socialism. Anderton said: "Socialism to me and most enligthened people... is simply an empowering of the whole community by elected representatives who genuinely come from and represent the aspirations of that community. Its a genuinely democratic process, Its a genuinely collective process, because the community resources are used for the benefit of the whole community".[33]

NZ Committee to Free the Cuban Five

Circa 2009, the list of Initiating Members and Supporters of the New Zealand Committee to Free the Cuban Five, included Hon. Jim Anderton, Minister Agriculture, Biosecurity, Fisheries, Forestry, Minister Responsible for the Public Trust Associate Minister of Health Associate Minister for Tertiary Education. Leader of the Progressive Party.[34]



  1. Socialist Action August 9 1974
  2. Socialist Action July 23 1976 page 7
  3. Socialist Action February 15 1980
  4. Socialist Action May 29 1981 page 2
  5. Socialist Action June 11 1976
  6. Press November 21 1988
  7. Unity February 9 1988
  8. Press 5 June 1989
  9. Peoples Voice April 30 1990
  10. Nexus September 26 1989
  11. Peoples Voice June 12 1989
  12. Press May 29 1989
  13. Tamaki Election Alliance Party handout December 1 1991 page 7
  14. Press March 18 1996
  15. Listener April 14 2001
  16. New Zealand Herald November 16 1992
  17. Tribune August 10 1981
  18. Socialist Action March 19 1982 page 3
  19. Tribune May 3 1982 page 2
  20. Socialist Action October 22 1982 page 11
  21. Socialist Action November 5 page 4 1982
  22. Press November 8 1988
  23. Press December 13 1988
  24. Direct Action September 11 1990
  25. Wealth of ideas at Socialist Scholars conference Wednesday, July 31, 1991 - 10:00 By Lisa Macdonald
  26. Press November 23 1992
  27. Green Left Weekly November 1992 Number 80
  28. Peoples VoiceSeptember 23 1991
  29. Press September 12 1992
  30. Green Left Weekly Number 79 1992
  31. Common Ground August 1996
  32. Common Ground August 1996
  33. Salient Number 11 1996
  34. Initiating Members and Supporters of the NZ Committee to Free the Cuban Five