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.


The MP most likely . . .

March 28, 2014

Kim Dotcom is claiming a sitting MP will join his Internet Party.

. . . He repeated his claim that it would be represented in Parliament, whether or not it achieved the 5 per cent MMP threshold for list seats, because a sitting electorate MP would join.

He would not name the person or say which party he or she represented, because of a confidentiality agreement, but it was not Harawira. The MP’s name would be revealed in June. . .

He didn’t know how many MPs were in parliament when asked by Seven Sharp.

There are 121, 70 of whom hold seats.

Given the unity in National and the high probability all those running again will hold their seats any of its 42 MPs would be mad to leap from a rock to sinking sand.

John Banks is retiring and Peter Dunne would have lots to lose and nothing to gain by any dalliance with Dotcom.

Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples are also retiring. The third Maori Party MP, Te Ururoa Flavell would also have too much to lose by leaping from the steady waka into a dotbomb dinghy.

Dotcom says it’s not Harawira and we can take his word on that because while he’s the lone paddler in the Mana waka, he’s not stupid enough to tip it up.

That only leaves Labour.

A few of its MPs might feel uneasy in their seats and most will have some doubt about the probability of being in government after the election.

The prospect of power can do strange things to people but even unhappy Labour MPs wouldn’t be stupid enough to think they’d have a better chance of success by leaping into the unknown.

Who then is the MP most likely to join Dotcom?

Almost certainly someone in his dreams.


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.


No more Maori seats good sign

October 9, 2013

The Maori Party is blaming the Electoral Commission for no increase in the number of Maori seats.

The Maori Party is disappointed at this week’s announcement from the Representation Commission, that no new Maori electorate will be created following the census and the Maori Option.

“Proper investment by electoral agencies in promoting Maori engagement with Parliamentary politics could have convinced another 4% of electors to join the Maori Roll, and secured an eighth Maori seat,” said Co-leaders Tariana Turia and Te Ururoa Flavell. 

“The Electoral Commission’s campaign did not do enough to ensure that people were fully informed of the difference between the two rolls.  The feedback we received from rangatahi is that the information provided from the Electoral Commission left them feeling that they had more choices on the general roll.”

“The Electoral Commission spent around $1.5million on the Maori Option Campaign, but measured their success based on the number of times their advertisements were viewed, not on results or ensuring that the message received by whanau were transformed into action – the action of filling in the forms and sending them back in.” . . .

It’s the Commission’s job to ensure people are informed of their options and to present the facts not to influence them one way or the other.

People are better on the general roll – most seats are smaller geographically making it easier for MPs to service and for constituents to access MPs and electorate offices.

. . . “The Maori Party will be making submissions on new boundaries for the current Maori seats – we think it is quite unrealistic for the whole of the South Island and part of the North Island to be represented by one MP, for example. The lack of access to Maori electorate MPs is a valid reason for Maori electors to opt onto the General roll – which reduces the number of Maori seats. The whole system works to disenfranchise the Treaty partner in Parliamentary politics.”

Te Tai Tonga is too big and poorer access will influence decisions on which roll to go on.

But that problem isn’t confined to Maori electorates. Some general seats are bigger than some Maori ones.

We’d all be better off if there were no Maori seats because more general seats would make all electorates smaller.

No increase in Maori seats is a good sign that people are recognising that, as Tariana Turia said, Maori seats don’t give Maori a voice.

It might also reflect that more Treaty settlements have been concluded and more Maori are moving from grievance mode to growth.


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.


More or fewer?

June 6, 2013

Several commentators have been picking there will be an extra Maori seat after people choose which roll to be on.

But so far  more people are switching from the Maori roll to the general roll than from the general roll to the Maori one.

If that trend continues the number of Maori seats will stay the same or there could be one fewer.

This could be a reflection of Treaty settlements which have enabled Maori to move from grievance mode to growth mode.

It could be because Maori realise the size of the electorates makes it much more difficult for their MPs to represent them effectively.

It could be because there is no single Maori voice.

It could also be because people realise the seats have had their day.

The Maori Party isn’t happy about the trend:

Tariana Turia said “When we first entered into a relationship with the National Party in 2008, the first thing we did was negotiate to keep the Maori seats in place. At that time it was a huge deal because National had campaigned on getting rid of the Maori seats. We cannot be complacent, we know that our seats remain vulnerable, and if we don’t use them we risk losing them.”

“Māori voter participation is absolutely crucial to any system of political representation. And yet, for at least the last decade, there has been ample evidence demonstrating that the electoral system is not effectively engaging with Māori. Much more work must be done on all fronts, to encourage Māori uptake on their democratic right, to get on the electoral roll”.

Voter participation and representation do not depend on special Maori seats.

Participation is equally important which ever roll people are on and being on the general roll doesn’t mean Maori aren’t represented.

Turia herself said that 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.

I don’t know if there are any figures for Maori voter participation on the general roll but voting in Maori seats is usually lower than in general seats. Many who enrol on the Maori roll don’t bother to vote.

One argument used to defend the continuation of Maori seats is that it’s up to Maori to choose.

That’s like saying only those 65 and over should have a say on superannuation. Having Maori seats affects us all.

If those seats were dropped and the current total number of electorates retained the seats would decrease in geographical size which would give better representation for all of us.


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.


Ho hum

February 4, 2013

Another Waitangi Day, another story about Titewhai Harawira.

Ngapuhi trustees are trying to oust Titewhai Harawira, from her self-appointed role as the kuia who escorts dignitaries, including the prime minister, onto the lower marae at Waitangi.

But they are concerned Ms Harawira may disrupt ceremonies if she is not allowed to keep her role.

Ngapuhi leader Kingi Taurua said the trustees have decided that other kuia should be given the opportunity to be part of the Waitangi celebrations.

Mr Taurua said that unlike Ms Harawira, other kuia work hard on the marae and should be rewarded for their work. . .

Ho, hum – it’s not so much a news story as deja vu.

Who can blame Tariana Turia who is refusing to return to Te Tii Marae this year because of past displays of violence on Waitangi Day?


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.


No excuse for abuse

October 13, 2012

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says there is no excuse for child abuse.

“There is no justification for the vile maltreatment, neglect, and abuse of children that has too frequently led to tragic consequences”.

“It does not matter how poor or rich you are – no child should ever be placed in danger. This is one time to put politics aside, and do what is important, in ensuring all our families are supported to care and protect their children”.

“Printing wads of money will not save the lives of our babies”.

“The Māori Party has always said that the situation of over 270,000 children living in poverty is intolerable; and we must work together to create the jobs and opportunities to bring more income into the home.

“But we should all be on the same page with these two issues. Child abuse and treatment must be addressed and the White Paper is a good step in that direction. Whānau poverty must also be addressed – absolutely”.

“But the two are not mutually exclusive – there are well off families who treat their children with contempt; there are also many families living on limited incomes who treat their children as taonga”.

“Like many in my generation, as children we didn’t have a lot to go on, in terms of the material wealth of our household. But we were rich in the support of our extended family. One of the glaring differences between then and now is how difficult it can be for our young parents, isolated in the city, and lacking family around them. Our collective challenge must be to ensure all our families are supported, no matter what their circumstances.

“Whanau, hapu and iwi need to prepare for their tamariki to be returned. We must pick up on the momentum and begin the process of Whanau Ora and ensure our people have capability. This will require the right supports and training in place – much as is already in place with foster care”.

“I had hoped that this might be a time when right across Parliament we could unite in a common call to support our families to fulfil their responsibilities. I resent the interpretation that child abuse is the practice of the poor. Truth is, while those with sizeable salaries can often hide the extent of the harm done, abuse, neglect and trauma can and does occur across all demographics”.

“Let’s be united in our concerted campaign to insist that there is no justification for child abuse – to abuse and neglect your children is not acceptable and never will be”.

She is right.

Poverty is a problem but it isn’t the cause of, or excuse for, the neglect and maltreatment of children.

That isn’t restricted only to the poor. However, children whose parents are on welfare are more likely to be abused and the Opposition parties which have criticised the White Paper have also opposed measures the government is promoting to get those on welfare who could work to do so.


SMOG or playing to gallery?

September 6, 2012

From any other politician this would be regarded as a SMOG - social media own goal:

Hone Harawira · 2,262 subscribers

8 hours ago ·

  • Time John Key realised a few home truths like (1) he can tell his little house niggers what to do, but (2) the rest of us don’t give a shit for him or his opinions!

It’s certainly not language befitting an MP but he’s playing to his gallery.

I presume he’s referring to this:

That leaves the Maori Party. Co-leader Tariana Turia says  she doubts they will be attending.

“Well at this point I don’t really see the point in going,” she says.

Fellow co-leader Pita Sharples agrees.

“We believe this is a thing that iwi/hapu have to work out  themselves,” he says.

They are right.

Maori as a whole don’t have rights to water. If anyone has a case it’s individual iwi or hapu.


Why walk to opposition wilderness?

July 27, 2012

The Maori Party’s opponents were very keen for it to walk out on its coalition agreement with National.

But difficult as coalitions and the compromises it requires can be, the party knows where it can achieve most:

This week in the clearest statement she has made on why the Maori Party will not walk away from its coalition agreement with National, Turia (who many regard as the true leader of the Maori Party) said: “Why would we jeopardise the greatest opportunity Maori have ever had to benefit from political influence by abdicating our responsibilities and disappearing into the crowded wasteland of the opposition?”

In this single sentence she encapsulated what she thinks the Maori Party can achieve in alliance with National, but also her distaste for what she calls “the Labour House” where she says, when she was in it, she “had huge difficulty in learning by rote the key lines of the day.” She says the Maori Party contributions at Cabinet Committees have a free and frank flavour which leaves little room for doubt “if we have concerns.” She says “just as importantly we acknowledge the compromises made in our favour: the transformation across all sectors through Whanau Ora, and the increased priority given to addressing poverty and a range of social issues.”

Labour had the Maori seats sewn up for so many years it took them, and Maori, for granted.

National showed respect for the party after the 2008 election by inviting it into coalition when it didn’t need to.

Yesterday, the government completed the third reading of the Ngai Tāmanuhiri Claims Settlement Bill during which Tariana Turia struggled with tears .

Three other settlements were also finalised and several MPs made Facebook entries saying how moving the waiata from the gallery were.


Playing to poor-me gallery

February 1, 2012

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples was playing to the poor-me gallery with his response to Prime Minister John Key’s first speech of the year last week:

Maori Party Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples is disappointed at the obvious omissions from the Prime Minister’s State of the Nation speech this afternoon.

“This was not a speech about the health of this nation – it was almost exclusively about the economy and budgetary matters,” said Dr Sharples.

“There was nothing said about the well-being of our nations peoples.

“I didn’t see the word poverty – even though the government has set up a Ministerial inquiry into poverty.

“The Treaty was not mentioned once – even though we have already begun to review the constitution of Aotearoa.

“And there was no reference to Maori in his speech – so our people must see that only the Maori Party in Parliament is able to bring their most important issues before the House of Representatives and the Government.

He must know that getting the economy and budgetary matters right is the only way to pay for education, health and other services and boost employment and that those are the only way to alleviate poverty.
He also ought to know that when the Prime Minister talks about New Zealanders he means all of us and that it is not necessary to single out any particular group.
This speech, like yesterday’s threat to walk away from the Maori Party’s coalition agreement with the government, was chest-beating for a constituency.
He and his co-leader Tariana Turia can’t possibly have forgotten the message they gave voters during the election campaign — that you can’t achieve anything in opposition.
But they are on dangerous ground because their grandstanding will not appeal to all Maori.
Iwi with money to invest are keen to take up the opportunities provided by the partial sale off state assets.
In playing to the poor-me gallery Sharples and Turia are foolishly overlooking the other gallery full of people keen to stand on their own feet.

Nats, Maori Party have relationship Accord and C&S agreement

December 11, 2011

The National and Maori Parties have reached a Relationship Accord and Confidence and Supply Agreement.

This agreement differs from those signed with the United Future and ACT parties in that while the Maori Party will support the National-led Government on confidence and supply, it is not required to vote for legislation required to give effect to the policies in National’s Post-Election Action Plan.

“This is a policy-based agreement and features a number of areas where both parties agree to work together,” says Mr Key.

“On everything else besides confidence and supply, the Maori Party will decide support or not on a case-by-case basis.”

This gives the government three extra votes on confidence and supply measures and allows the Maori Party more freedom to support or oppose other government policies as it chooses.

In return co-leaders get ministerial appointments outside cabinet:

Maori Party Co-Leader Dr Pita Sharples will be appointed to the positions of Minister of Maori Affairs, Associate Minister of Education and Associate Minister of Corrections.  These Ministerial positions will be outside Cabinet.

Maori Party Co-Leader Tariana Turia will be appointed to the positions of Minister responsible for Whānau Ora, Minister for Disability Issues, Associate Minister of Health, and Associate Minister of Housing.  She will also continue to have Associate Ministerial responsibilities in the areas of Social Development and Employment.  These Ministerial positions will be outside Cabinet.

National invited the Maori Party into government three years ago when he didn’t need their votes to govern. That gave the party the mana which had been denied it by Labour which left it in opposition. It also allowed the party to get some concessions - among which was the agreement by National to not abolish the Maori seats – and policy gains.

The coalition agreements with Act and United Future means National doesn’t need the Maori Party to govern this term either. But again John Key has opened the door and the party has sensibly decided to come in and make some policy gains rather than languishing in opposition where it would achieve little or nothing.

The agreement is here.


Who’d work with whom?

November 24, 2011

John Key has proved he can work with some unlikely coalition partners.

He’s managed to provide a strong and stable government with Act to the right or him and the Maori and United Parties to the left.

How would you rate Phil Goff’s chances of keeping together the stack of colation partners he’d have to appease?

They’re not even in negotiation yet and already the Maori Party is unenthusiastic about one of the other parties  which would be in the stack. Deborah Coddington left this comment:

What newsrooms should really be asking the Greens is whether they can work with the Maori Party. I interviewed Tariana Turia today and asked her if she can work with the Greens and her response was astounding. I asked her if she trusted the Greens to return the conservation estate to tangata whenua and her response was an unequivocal, “I don’t believe they would”.

I asked her about the Greens’ policy to put a price on water for irrigation, and the tangata whenua’s very strong relationship with waters and rivers, and what she thought about who that money should be going to, under principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Her reply: “I’ve always been a bit suspicious of him [Russel Norman]…I don’t think they’re as honest as they make out to be.”

Someone, she said, should be putting these questions to the Greens before Saturday.

Someone should, but will they? See why do the Greens get such an easy ride? Part One for the answer.


The wonder of whanau

November 23, 2011

Quote of the day:

“As a nation, we must transform our thinking from what we can’t do, to what we can do; and we must reinvest in the importance of collective responsibility– looking out for our neighbour; caring for our own kids . . .

“New Zealanders are tired of hearing about the dire predicament they are in, and the quick fix solutions that various parties are promising does nothing to create the long term change we need”.

“For the vast amount of resources spent on the industry of misery, we have to ask have these services progressed the situation of our families? What is the social and economic outcome? . . .

Government needs to be acutely aware that their role is to support the responsibilities that properly lie with family – not make our families redundant.

We have to wake up to the wonder of whanau –the incredible potential of our people to do for themselves.

“Exacerbating our people’s situation and maintaining our dependence on others must cease if we are to achieve inter-dependence of ourselves”. Tariana Turia


Grievance and gimme or whanau helping whanau

October 31, 2011

Tariana Turia talks sense:

Hone Harawira’s rhetoric that political parties should ‘feed the kids’ must be challenged says Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia.

“Gone are the days when we allow the State to take over the role of families; to encourage whanau to abdicate their responsibilities” said Mrs Turia.

“Our greatest opportunity through Whanau Ora has been that our whanau are able to inspire the nation and act as a beacon of hope for our own solutions” said Mrs Turia.

“The last thing we need is for another politician to come in to save our families by handing out free breakfast and free lunch to their kids”.

“It’s patronizing, it’s demeaning and it devalues the vital capacity of our whanau to take responsibility for their own children’.

“Hone has picked a number out of the air  ($38m) but the costings are at least ten times that” said Mrs Turia “and that’s not for all children either”.

“If we provided free breakfast and lunch to the children the Child Poverty Action Group has classified as living in poverty (230,000) that brings a cost of $368m per year – that’s right  – a billion dollars for the next term of Parliament to authorise politicians to take over the rights and responsibilities of families”.

“We must resist any attempts by politicians to paint our families as incapable of doing for themselves.   We should be working to inspire hope; to remind our whanau of their capability to feed their children, provide a healthy lifestyle, a warm and secure home”.

“Government’s job is to ensure that there is support for families to look after their own; that there is meaningful work available; and a minimum wage of at least $16 an hour”.

“And we must restore to ourselves our time-honoured traditions.  The Maori Party has invested in the recreation of maara kai so that our whanau can fend for themselves, determine their own futures”.

“Our whanau are our future – not a politician handing out a free lunch”.

This is really encouraging and offers voters in the Maori electorate real choice – the grievance and gimme of Harawiara and the Mana Party or whanau helping whanau of the Maori Party.

One encourages dependency the other encourages responsibility.


Turia not committing to full term

October 30, 2011

Maori Party c0-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples are numbers seven and eight  on their party’s list.

That is a deliberate move in preparation for their retirements.

Number one is Waihoroi Shortland who is standing in Te Tai Tokerau and his place indicates that he is the likely successor to the co-leaders.

Giving an indication of future plans is sensible. Sharples says he will stay on until the 2014 election but Turia has indicated she probably won’t complete the term:

Tariana Turia says she will step down sometime during the next term of government, while Pita Sharples says he will see out the term but will not stand in 2014.

She was going to stand down before this term and given her age and family commitments that would have been understandable.

She is clear this will be her last election and she might be meaning to retire close enough to the next election to not trigger a by-election.

If however, she intends to retire earlier she will be putting the taxpayers to the unnecessary expense of a by-election.

Retiring early because of something unforeseen is understandable. Standing when you don’t intend to complete the term is not so much of a problem with a list MP because the next person on the list succeeds them without having to go back to voters.

But standing in a seat when you have no intention of completing the three year commitment you ought to be giving voters is a mistake, and given the cost of a by-election, an expensive one.

Party President Pem Bird’s announcement of the list is here.


Spot the leader – Updated

August 25, 2011

The Listener has been comparing political party websites.

It found 13 pictures of John Key on the front page of National’s

Labour’s is topped by a video of David Cunliffe and you have to scroll right down to the bottom to find a head and shoulders of Phil Goff beside Annette King, David Parker and Cunliffe.

How do other parties feature their leaders?

The Maori Party has photos of it’s president Pem Bird beside co-leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia just below the masthead.

United Future has plenty of mentions of Peter Dunne but just two small identical head and shoulder shots of him.

Act has a video featuring Former leader Rodney Hide at the top of it’s front page and no other photos at all.

The Mana Party has changing photos some of which show Hone Harawira, although none identify him as leader.

And the Green Party has a link to it’s MPs but no photos and no names.

Update:Stuaker left this comment:

Stuaker says:
August 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm  (Edit)
http://www.greens.org.nz/ is the actual Greens website, which has photos of the co-leaders, as well as other MPs

But when I clicked on it and also typed in the address and still got to The page I linked to i.greens.org.nz

UPDATE 2: It’s an iPad problem – when I tried this link on a PC it worked and shows chagning photos in the masthead which include co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman.


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