Labour doesn’t deserve Maori vote

April 21, 2014

Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote.

‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more. I don’t believe they deserve our vote, I don’t believe they deserve the vote of the Pasifika people, because if there’s one thing I’ve noticed since coming through and being a Minister this time, is the very very poor resourcing of all Pasifika health, social services, you name it.’

When asked whether she is worried that the Labour party might take a large portion of the Maori Party vote , she said, ‘I think that our people have to ask themselves that for all the years that Labour were in government, the nine years of plenty, what is it that changed in their lives? What is it that Labour did that made them feel that things had changed for them, and have made a difference?’ . . .

The answer to that question is not much.

The Maori seat enabled Labour to take Maori for granted.

It was National which started the Treaty settlement process and it’s National which has settled most claims.

The progress report at the end of 2012 showed:

treatyprogress

There have been several more settlements since then, including settlement of the last of the historic South Island claims.

But it’s not just Treaty settlements which make Maori better off with a National-led government than a Labour-led one.

Labour sees electoral gain from keeping people dependent.

National knows it’s better to help people become independent and move from grievance to growth, not just in economic measures but in social ones too.


Partners by choice better than necessity

January 22, 2014

Prime Minister John Key has made his preferences for coalition partners clear.

He also stresses the importance of the party vote:

. . . “First and foremost, National will be campaigning hard for every party vote it can win, because that puts us in the best position to continue the positive policy direction New Zealand is on.

“Put simply, the higher National’s party vote, the more options we have. . .

National didn’t need to invite the Maori Party into coalition in 2008, it chose to do so.

A higher party vote gives more options for a major party because it would be able to approach potential coalition parties by choice rather than through necessity.

It was difficult to win an outright majority under first past the post, no party has managed it under MMP.

The PM’s first preference for coalition partners is those he has worked with successfully already – Act, the Maori Party and United Future.

“I know that post the 2014 election, National will almost certainly need to work constructively with other political parties to form a stable Government.

“Since November 2008, we have shown that we can lead a stable Government with other political parties involved, even when those parties have different outlooks and policies.

“Looking ahead, it is most likely that the nature of these working relationships will be via Confidence and Supply Agreements, as these have worked well in the past two Parliamentary terms.

“In the end it is the public who largely determine the make-up of the Government by voting in parties to Parliament,” says Mr Key.

Mr Key says that given the right electoral circumstances, his preference would be to continue working with the current three partners to the Government, which are ACT, the Māori Party and United Future. . .

By making this clear voters have a better idea of what they might be getting.

“I believe there is also a scenario where it would be possible to add the Conservative Party to this group.

“While National has of course had differences with ACT, the Māori Party and United Future, together our four parties have formed a stable and successful Government since late 2008,” Mr Key says.

“We also have policy differences with the Conservative Party, however it is likely that there would be enough common ground to work with them in Government.”

Voters also know what they won’t be getting if National is able to form a government:

In terms of other parliamentary parties, Mr Key ruled out working with Labour, the Greens and Mana on the basis that there is insufficient common ground to achieve a stable and successful working relationship.

“These parties represent a far left wing agenda that we do not believe is good for New Zealand,” says Mr Key.

Labour is a bit confused about how left it is, not helped by a leader who sways further left with some audiences than with others.

With regard to New Zealand First, Mr Key said that he believed a post-election working relationship was very unlikely; however he would not rule the possibility out ahead of the election.

“In 2008 we ruled them out because we were unable to reconcile some of their statements on the Glenn donation matter. Six years has passed and, should New Zealand First be returned to Parliament, we would not rule out a discussion after the election.”

This has excited the media but it is clear New Zealand First would be a last resort.

Whether or not National is in a position to form a government and which parties it will need, or be able to choose, to invite into coalition is up to voters who now know which parties are preferred, which could be considered and which would be ruled out.

The more votes National has, the more options it has and the the more stable the government will be.

On current polling it would certainly be a lot more stable than a Labour/Green government with other parties in tow through necessity and therefore able to exert a much stronger influence than if they were in government by the bigger party’s choice.


National will consider working with . . .

January 21, 2014

Prime Minister John Key has announced which parties  National will consider working with following this year’s General Election.

His preferences are ACT, the Māori Party and United Future and is not discounting the Conservative Party.

He’s also left the door slightly ajar for New Zealand First.

 “MMP makes it likely that every election will be a tight contest,” Mr Key says.

“That means it’s also likely that following the election we will need to work collaboratively with other parties to form a stable Government.

“First and foremost, National will be campaigning hard for every party vote it can win, because that puts us in the best position to continue the positive policy direction New Zealand is on.

“Put simply, the higher National’s party vote, the more options we have.

“I know that post the 2014 election, National will almost certainly need to work constructively with other political parties to form a stable Government.

“Since November 2008, we have shown that we can lead a stable Government with other political parties involved, even when those parties have different outlooks and policies.

“Looking ahead, it is most likely that the nature of these working relationships will be via Confidence and Supply Agreements, as these have worked well in the past two Parliamentary terms.

“In the end it is the public who largely determine the make-up of the Government by voting in parties to Parliament,” says Mr Key.

Mr Key says that given the right electoral circumstances, his preference would be to continue working with the current three partners to the Government, which are ACT, the Māori Party and United Future.

“I believe there is also a scenario where it would be possible to add the Conservative Party to this group.

“While National has of course had differences with ACT, the Māori Party and United Future, together our four parties have formed a stable and successful Government since late 2008,” Mr Key says.

“We also have policy differences with the Conservative Party, however it is likely that there would be enough common ground to work with them in Government.”

In terms of other parliamentary parties, Mr Key ruled out working with Labour, the Greens and Mana on the basis that there is insufficient common ground to achieve a stable and successful working relationship.

“These parties represent a far left wing agenda that we do not believe is good for New Zealand,” says Mr Key.

With regard to New Zealand First, Mr Key said that he believed a post-election working relationship was very unlikely; however he would not rule the possibility out ahead of the election.

“In 2008 we ruled them out because we were unable to reconcile some of their statements on the Glenn donation matter. Six years has passed and, should New Zealand First be returned to Parliament, we would not rule out a discussion after the election.”

 I sincerely hope that New Zealand’s First’s support won’t be needed, although David Farrar posts on the possibility of asking for it to support a minority government.

It’s more of a vanity vehicle than a party and its leader has shown he’s unreliable.

He’s also not prepared to show his hand before the election:

. . .  Winston Peters says the party is making its position clear from the outset that it will not be part of any pre-election discussions or arrangements aimed at subverting the democratic process.

“We thought MMP would stop the gerrymandering and ‘old boys’ arrangements of the past but some political parties keep manipulating the political process for their own ends instead of trusting the voters.”

Mr Peters says the time for talking about forming governments should be immediately after the election and not before. . .

What he means is he’s not prepared to put commit himself one way or the other for fear of losing votes.

Instead he’ll keep everyone in the dark until he can make a deal which best advantages him.


iPredict – narrow Nat win

January 15, 2014

iPredict’s first update for the year is predicting a very narrow win for the incumbent government.

Key Points:

•       Election expected in Q4 2014, most probably in November
•       Growing economy expected, but with rising interest rates
•       Only National, Labour and Greens to reach 5% threshold
•       Maori, Conservative, Mana and UnitedFuture parties to win electorate seats but Act to miss out
•       Very slight advantage to John Key as head of a National/Conservative/UnitedFuture government

Commentary:

This is the first iPredict Update for the 2014 New Zealand General Election with forecasts based on trading by the more than 7000 registered iPredict traders.  As in 2011, the newsletter will be based on a market snapshot taken at a random time, initially weekly and then daily during the election campaign.

The first snapshot, which was taken at 9.32 am today, suggests a very slight advantage to incumbent prime minister John Key, most probably leading a National/Conservative/UnitedFuture government, with or without the Maori Party. . .

Of the major parties, National is expected to win 43.0% of the party vote, the Labour Party 34.5% and the Green Party 9.5%.  

No other parties are expected to reach the 5% threshold under the MMP electoral system.  The Conservative and NZ First parties are both expected to win 4.6% of the party vote, the Maori Party 1.5%, Act 1.3%, Mana 0.7%, UnitedFuture 0.6% and the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party 0.3%.  

Stocks for the proposed Civilian and Kim Dotcom parties will be launched in the near future.

Based on the party vote forecasts and the electorate results above, Parliament would be as follows: National 54 MPs, Labour 44 MPs, Greens 12 MPs, the Conservative Party 6 MPs, the Maori Party 2 MPs, UnitedFuture 1 MPs and Mana 1 MP, for a total of 120 MPs.  A government would be required to have the support of 61 MPs on confidence and supply.

Under this scenario, National, the Conservative Party and UnitedFuture could form a government with 61 MPs.  Were the Maori Party involved, such a government would be supported by 63 MPs.

Were the Conservative Party not to win an electorate seat, a Labour/Green/Maori Party/Mana government could be formed with 62 MPs.

Overall, the market indicates a very narrow advantage to National, with a 53.3% probability of a National prime minister after the next election and a 45.1% probability of a Labour prime minister. . .

I’d call that too close to call which is what most polls have been saying.

 


McKenzie to succeed Turia

December 8, 2013

Chris McKenzie has been selected to succeed Tariana Turia as the Maori party candidate for Te Tai Hauauru.

His work history includes being the lead Treaty of Waitangi settlement negotiator for Ngati Raukawa, a self-employed consultant, education manager at Raukawa Trust Board and teacher at Tokoroa High School.

He is a member of the Te Ohu Kaimoana electoral college and was the previous chair of the Raukawa Settlement Trust. . .

Turia formed the Maori Party when she left Labour over the Seabed and foreshore debacle.

His challenges is to transfer personal support from her to votes for him and the party.


Will it be UFM?

November 10, 2013

Maori co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell was guest speaker at the United Future conference.

United Future has had several manifestations and names since it was first formed to fight the first MMP election in 1996.

In its many changes it’s absorbed several other parties.

Does Flavell’s guest spot at the conference mean it’s looking to take on/over another?

UFM is an abbreviation of unique manuka factor, could it also soon stand for United Future Maori?

#gigatownoamaru is united in the quest to be the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.


Who do you trust?

November 8, 2013

Duncan Garner critique’s Prime Minister John Key of the fifth anniversary of his government.

He gives him 7.5/10 and concludes:

Your choice is between John Key and Bill English with a few rag-tag minor right wing parties – or David Cunliffe and Russel Norman – with perhaps Winston Peters in tow.

Who do you trust?

To which a commenter answers:

Let’s not forget his development into a well respected leader in the region as the last APEC conference in Bali showed. And he’s the only Commonwealth leader to ever have been invited to Balmoral – surely that’s worth an extra point :-)

Given all the challenges that have been thrown at Key over the past 5 years, easily a 9.5 out of 10. The answer to your last question is a no-brainer, Cunliffe and Norman in charge is a very scary prospect and when voters enter the booth in November 2014 I think in their hearts they’ll know Key and English are the people to trust. Key to win by a nose next year.

The outcome of next year’s election is very finely balanced.

Labour has more potential coalition partners but it’s still not very strong itself and the prospective of  its possible partners in government may well put off more voters who might be considering voting for Labour.

National has fewer potential partners but is stronger itself.

A still weakened Labour with a strong (for a wee party) Green Party plus  any or all of New Zealand First, Mana, the Maori Party and possibly Peter Dunne is a much more radical and less stable option than a strong National Party with two or three partners.

#gigatownoamaru is backing itself but welcomes support from anywhere to become the Southern Hemisphere’s first gigatown.


Margin of error changes

October 29, 2013

People on the left hoping Labour’s rise in recent polls was pointing to certain success in next year’s election will have been disappointed by the results of two polls released yesterday:

The Fairfax Media poll, showed Labour and National were both up a couple of points.

. . . Labour is up two percentage points to 33.6 per cent since the last Fairfax poll, completed in August before the leadership spill that saw Cunliffe replace David Shearer.

But National is also up two points and holds a huge 17 point lead over Labour, winning the backing of more than 50 per cent of committed voters. . . .

Most of Labour’s support appears to have come at the expense of the Green Party which does nothing for the left block.

The One News Colmar Brunton poll showed a gap of only 11 between National and Labour:

Support for Labour and its new leader has stalled in the latest ONE News Colmar Brunton poll, with neither the party or David Cunliffe making any gains over the last few weeks. . .

But when it comes to preferred Prime Minister John Key still appears to have the golden touch, up one to 43%, while Mr Cunliffe hasn’t built on his strong start and is unchanged at 12. Winston Peters is steady on 4%.

In the Fairfax poll National had enough support to govern alone but that is very unlikely to be reflected by actual support in next year’s election.

Under MMP support for minor parties will determine which party governs.

In the second poll the right and left can both get to 60 but that’s not enough:

National has 58 seats and with one each from Act and United Future the centre right can muster 60.

But Labour’s 43 seats plus the Greens 16 and Mana’s 1 also gives the centre left 60.

The Maori Party with its three seats and New Zealand First could be the kingmakers.

This assumes NZ First doesn’t get over the 5% threshold and that Act and United Future both win a seat.

Before anyone gets too excited about the results, it’s only a couple of polls and the changes are in margin of error territory.

At best it shows that changing leaders hasn’t made much difference to Labour and if Cunliffe had a new leader’s honeymoon it’s over.

But we’ve more than a year until the next election.

Winning a third term was always going to be hard but not impossible for National and that hasn’t changed.


Maori Party not looking to merge with Mana

October 26, 2013

The Maori Party is meeting with the Mana Party to discuss co-operation on issues but it’s not looking to merge:

Maori Party president Rangimarie Naida Glavish said:

. . . “It is vital that we work with other parties to achieve the needs of our people and that’s why we’ve left ourselves open to working with whoever is in government at anytime be they blue or red, green or yellow.

“It makes sense to open discussions with the Mana Party on an issue-by-issue basis, but the question of merging with them looks very unlikely at this stage because of their position to only work with certain parties,which we think would be to the political detriment of our people.” . . .

This is sensible.

There isn’t a single Maori view. Both parties will have common views on some matters but not all.

Mana, like the Green Party, is marooned on the far left where its only chance of being in government are with Labour.

The Maori Party, sensibly stays in the middle, able to go left or right, making it a potential coalition partner in both a National-led or Labour led government.


Making a difference of making news

July 15, 2013

Several critics of the Maori Party, including Mana leader Hone Harawira, are telling it to distance itself from National.

The party is quite rightly saying it will keep its commitment to support the government until the next election.

. . .Co-leader Tariana Turia says the party will stand by National for the rest of this term of Government, but won’t say who it might work with after 2014.

Te Ururoa Flavell says the party will consult its supporters after the election before making any commitments to other political parties.

Critics don’t realise, or don’t want to understand, that the Maori Party votes against the government more often than not.

However, it votes with it when it matters, on confidence and supply, and a few key areas which are consistent with its philosophy.

Keeping its options open after the next election puts it in a position of power which Mana and the Green Party don’t have because they won’t support National.

The Maori Party strategy is the sensible one for a party which wants to make a difference rather than one like Mana which just wants to make news.


Sharples resigning

July 2, 2013

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples is to resign from the leadership today and will leave parliament at next year’s election.

Clinging to the co-leadership as he had been wasn’t good for the party and could well have contributed to its poor showing in Saturday’s by-election.

However, his retirement could make it more difficult for the party to hold his seat.

It will have to find a strong candidate who will attract wide support as his successor in Tamaki Makaurau.

 


Divided they lost

July 1, 2013

Only around 12,000 of the nearly 35,000 people on the electoral roll in Ikaroa-Rawhiti bothered to do vote in the by-election.

Labour’s Meka Whaitiri won the seat with just 4,368 votes and a sorry 35.8% turnout.

Is that a record low?

The Mana Party will be delighted that its candidate  Te Hāmua Nikora came second with 2,607 votes.

The Maori Party will be very disappointed that its candidate Na Raihania, was third with 2,104.

The win might be enough for those in Labour’s caucus who were aiming their knives at their leader’s back to set them down, for now.

But something all three parties need to think about is that the combined total of Nikora’s and Raihania’s votes was greater than that of Whaitiri’s.

Pita Sharples says the Maori Party, rather than its candidate, is responsible for its result. He didn’t mention, but he ought to be thinking about, his unwillingness to loosen his hold on the leadership.

However, as Matthew Hooton points out:

Had Mr Harawira not split the Maori Party in 2011, it is almost certain it would have won last night’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election.  It would most probably have held on to Te Tai Tonga in 2011 so that it would now hold six of the seven Maori electorates and have much greater leverage over Mr Key and Labour. . .

There is no single Maori view but one party targeting the Maori seats would have had a very real chance of challenging Labour for them and being in a very strong position to go with a government led by either National or Labour.

But divided they lost the by-election and will almost certainly be too weak separately to do nearly as well as they could together.

Harawira put his personal feelings before political strategy, opening the way for Labour to retake most of the Maori seats and that could well bring about the demise of these electorates.

The idea of  New Zealand First in a governing coalition is the stuff of nightmares. But there would be one small consolation if that was the only way for National to stay in government, both parties favour culling the Maori seats.

National conceded that policy when it invited the Maori Party into coalition in 2008.

Should the Maori Party not be in a position to help National into government and, perish the thought, New Zealand First be a potential coalition partner, the Maori seats could go.

If Harawira had bothered to take a longer view beyond his personal agenda he would have been aware of that possibility and the risk he was taking in splintering from the Maori Party.


More ammo for red necks

June 26, 2013

Na Raihania, Maori Party candidate for the Ikaroa Rawhiti by-election, wants surplus state houses sold to low-income Maori who aspire to home ownership.

 “The Maori Party aspires to see more Maori owning their own homes. Allowing them to buy surplus state houses in areas of low demand would help get them onto the first rung of the home ownership ladder,” said Mr Raihania. . .

Last week the Mana Party launched a policy that would make it much easier for Maori to buy their first house.

The Mana Party will build homes and offer financial support to get more Maori into home ownership, under a new policy to be launched tomorrow.

A spokesman for leader Hone Harawira said the policy would be specific to the 41 per cent of Maori who have never owned a home. . .

Both parties are appealing to what they hope is their constituency.

They are also providing more ammunition for red necks.

There is already a scheme which enables state house tenants to purchase their homes but that applies to all state house tenants.

Their might be arguments for targeting some assistance to people of a particular race but that does not extend to helping people buy their first, or any, house.

 

 

 


Let’s not go there

June 15, 2013

Jane Clifton explains the motivation for opposition behaviour over Peter Dunne’s resignation:

What’s really going on here is a three-way game of whack-a-mole. Labour, the Greens and Winston’s New Zealand First are odds-on to form the next Government, but as coalitions go, it’ll be a shotgun wedding. There are outbreaks of cooperation, and the official line is that a Labour-Green ceasefire is in place. But at bottom, none of these parties’ main players rate, respect or trust one another. They are on the same side on most issues – ie, whatever National does is evil. But they’re also in predatory competition with one another.

All of which makes Parliament’s battle-lines oscillate alarmingly. Things can seem relatively straightforward when a party recognises that its enemy’s enemy is its friend. But when that “friend” turns out to be more inimical than the enemy, what then?

There would be even more inimical participants if the Maori and/or Mana parties were added to the mix.

Labour is in the process of trying to figure out whether it can help engineer the squeezing out of one or other of its potential partners so it only has to swallow the one set of policy dead rats in government. So whose rats would be the least obnoxious? At the moment, you’d have to say Team Red is fantasising about not having to work with Team Green and thinking that maybe Winston – the devil it knows from past Beehive iterations – is the better option.

If he’s the better option it doesn’t say anything good about the alternative.

The Greens would be exponentially more demanding than Winston. The fact that co-leader Russel Norman is still evangelising the wonders of quantitative easing represents a gigantic elephant room-mate for the putative Labour/Green/NZ First finance minister. The Greens would, of course, like that to be Norman, and there’s another almighty conflict to resolve before even getting bums on seats in the Cabinet room.

The Greens would also hold out for a massive progressive tax realignment that would quickly alienate a chunk of Labour’s salaried and small-business support base, and doubtless reinvigorate the population drain to Australia. The Greens would demand nothing less than a fiscal upheaval.

All of which would provide National with plenty of ammunition to scare voters from listing to the left.

A red government would be bad enough for the country, add green to the mix and you’d get something altogether worse.

It really would be better not to go there.


Green Party to contest by-election

May 21, 2013

The Green party has opened nominations for a candidate to contest the Ikaroa Rāwhiti by-election.

The party has only ever won one electorate. that was a general seat and the party didn’t manage to hold that.

The chances of its winning the by-election are slight.

The interest will be in whether it manages to mobilise voters and which party it takes votes from – Labour, the Maori Party or Mana.

 


Information not persuasion

February 12, 2013

This year Maori have the first chance since 2006 to choose whether they’re on the Maori or general electoral roll.

“If you are Maori and on the electoral roll, then this year you get to choose which type of electoral roll you want to vote on,” Enrolment Services national manager Murray Wicks said.

“There hasn’t been a Maori Electoral Option since 2006, so we want to make sure that Maori have access to all the information about the option and what it means before making their decision when the option period begins.

“It’s an important choice, and we want people to be confident to take part.”

The Electoral Commission is bound to present information on the options rather than persuade and says Maori organisation tasked with spreading the word should be strictly impartial.

Kiwiblog noted yesterday that one of those organisations is the Maori Council which is in the midst of legal proceedings against the government.

How impartial will it be?

Other groups, not employed by the Commission are free to persuade and they usually urge people to sign up for the Maori roll.

It would be good to see a campaign explaining the disadvantages of that and the benefits of being on the general roll.

As Tariana Turia said, Maori seats didn’t give Maori a voice:

I think what our people are starting to realise though is that when they voted Maori people into Labour they never got a Maori voice, they got a Labour voice and that was the difference, and they’ve only begun to realise it since the Maori Party came into parliament, because it is the first time that they have heard significant Maori issues raised on a daily basis.

Maori seats not only didn’t give Maori a voice, they gave and continue to give them inferior representation because most of them are too big to service effectively and provide constituents with ready access to their MPs.

Te Tai Tonga covers 161,443 square kilometres - the whole of the South Island, Stewart Island and part of Wellington. Te Tai Hauauru is 35, 825 square kilometres in area, Ikaroa-Rawhiti covers 30,952 square kilometres and Waiariki 19,212 square kilometres.

Maori seats were created when the right to vote depended on the ownership of land. That hasn’t applied for decades and there are now more Maori MPs in general seats and on the lists than representing Maori seats.

This gives them better representation than the Maori electorates which were taken for granted until National invited the Maori Party to be a support partner in government.


Single vehicle for diverse views won’t go forwards

January 24, 2013

Tariana Turia has announced this will be her last term in parliament and Te Ururoa Flavell wants to be co-leader of the Maori Party.

That would be simple if it were not for the party’s rule requiring male and female co-leaders.

Flavell can’t succeed Turia and so has to challenge Sharples who doesn’t want to go.

The requirement to have female and male co-leaders could cause more than enough difficulties for larger parties where the talent pool is larger.

What’s happening in the Maori Party shows why it’s even more of a handicap for the wee ones.

Complicating the issue is Hone Harawira’s suggestion that the Mana and Maori Parties should merge, with him as leader.

The leadership of the Maori Party was thrown into the spotlight yesterday morning when Mana Party leader Hone Harawira announced he was open to talks to reconnect with his former party as leader.

He claimed members of the Maori Party had approached him around the country keen for him to take over. . .

Sharples appeared to be open to the idea of Harawira returning, saying there was no point in having two Maori parties. . .

Harawira and Sharples must have forgotten why the former left the Maori Party a few short years ago.

His vision for Maori was very different from that of the party’s other MPs and theirs aren’t the only visions.

There are Maori involved with other political parties who have very different ideas.

A single vehicle for diverse and sometimes conflicting philosophies won’t take its  passengers forward, they’ll just keep going round in circles.


Co-leader conundrum

December 24, 2012

Sharing the leadership can only work for the wee parties because they know they’ll never be in a position for their leaders to be Prime Minister.

I’m not sure what difference having two co-leaders rather than a leader and deputy makes in practice but it can produce a conundrum when party rules dictate the need for gender balance.

It is especially problematic for wee parties who don’t have enough candidates, or possibly talent, in their ranks, to elevate a sitting MP to the position.

The Green Party faced this problem when Russel Norman became co-leader outside parliament when he wasn’t the next MP on the list.

The Maori Party now have a similar problem.

Tariana Turia has announced she’s not standing again in 2014 and will consider stepping down from the leadership before then.

She’s also asking her co-leader Pita Sharples to step down as leader in favour the party’s only other MP Te Ururoa Flavell.

There may well be good arguments for Sharples to step-down anyway.

But if the party didn’t require gender balance in the co-leadership succession could take place without the need for Sharples to step down.


Turia’s retirement will pose challenges for party

December 15, 2012

Tariana Turia’s announcement that she won’t stand in the 2014 election foreshadows the end of an ear for the Maori party.

It doesn’t mean the end of the party but it does pose some challenges for the organisation.

It will be difficult to find a co-leader with her mana.

It might be less difficult to find a candidate to replace her in the Te Tai Hauauru electorate but it won’t be as easy for a new candidate to hold the seat for the party.

Ms Turia began her parliamentary career in labour and resigned from the party on principle over the Foreshore and Seabed legislation. She resigned and stood in the subsequent by-election to prove she had a mandate.

Then Labour leader Helen Clark referred to the Maori party as the last cab off the rank for coalition negotiations.

John Key extended the offer a place in the National-led coalition after the 2008 election, even though he didn’t need the Maori Party’s votes for a majority.

But it gave him options and gave the party the opportunity it could achieve some of its goals in government rather than gaining headlines but making no progress in opposition.

As a small party it has had to compromise to gain some of what it wants, but it has stayed true to its principles and can point to some achievements, due in no small part to Ms Turia’s determination.

Her party will miss her.


If they can’t run a conference . .

November 20, 2012

Quote of the day:

“Let’s face it, the Labour Party can’t even run a conference, how on earth could they run the country?

“What they’re demonstrating is they just fundamentally do not like each other and it’s no great surprise that a lot of New Zealanders don’t like what they are doing,” he said. John Key.

The polls show a Labour/Green/New Zealand First/Maori Party/Mana coalition with a similar number of seats as National and its potential coalition partners.

But the public usually waits for a party to perform well in opposition before it’s trusted in government.

Labour has been overshadowed by the Green Party and NZ First in opposition. Now it’s disunity is on display, and will continue to be so at least until February, it’s shown it can’t even run itself.

“I always treat whoever the leader of the opposition is with respect … but the simple bottom line is if you go and have a party which is going to be internally consumed, which will be the case whoever wins, in the end it’s a really bad news story for Labour.

“The only winner out of this will be [Greens leader] Russel Norman.”

It certainly won’t be New Zealand which deserves politicians who put their energies into serving their constituents rather than mismanaging themselves.


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