Rahui Katene to stand for Maori Party in Te Tai Tonga


Lawyer Rahui Katene is the new Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tonga.

In February Ms Katene missed out to chosen candidate Monte Ohia but selections opened again after his death last month.

Te Tai Tonga electorate council co-chairman Raymond Hina said Ms Rahui would be “an excellent representative” for the largest electorate in the country.

Te Tai Tonga covers the South Island, Rakiura (Stewart Island), the Chatham Islands, Wellington and parts of the Hutt Valley.

If serving the big general electorates like Waitaki which covers an area of 34,888 square kilomteres, West Coast-Tasman with 38, 042 square kilomteres or Clutha Southland with 38,247 square kilometres, is demanding, how can anyone hope to cover Te Tai Tonga with an area of 161,443 square kilometres?

The Maori Party was confident that they’d take the seat from the incumbent, Mahara Okeroa. That task is a bit more difficult with the later start following the need to do another selection but Okeroa does not have a high profile.

 I am not sure how well he is known by his constituents, and he may feature regularly in Maori media. But he doesn’t have much of a profile in general media. I read The Press and ODT every day and I have not noticed him advocating on issues which concern local iwi, for example Meridian’s plans for the Waitaki River.

He may use other means to communicate with his constituents, but advocating for them means representing their concerns to the wider public too.

The Way Is Is



That you love nature is easy to say

Until you learn that unless you act accordingly

It will call you to account in the end.

                                         That’s why

we’re required to make the connection

between the sound the wind makes

when it starts the leaves quivering

and the way the white canes of sunlight

line the spaces between the trees

on a summer’s morning.

                         It’s a case

of working out what’s here

for the long haul

and if we want to be part of it.

It’s marvellous, abominable, confusing,

exultant: the way things are,

the way is is.


– Brian Turner –


Another offering for Montana Poetry Day. Turner lives in the Maniototo, Central Otago.


Words come back to haunt her


Fairfacts Media over at No Minister discovered three stories on Helen Clark and one on Jenny Shipley from 1999 and 2001 on the Herald politics page last night. From one on Clark’s Mission:

Labour leader Helen Clark launched her election campaign yesterday aiming to capitalise on public anger over party-hopping politicians and waste in the public sector.

“Our mission is to clean up Government and to clean up Parliament, too. We want the defectors out,” she told a cheering crowd in the Auckland Town Hall already in party mood after a 45-minute routine by Pacific band Te Vaka.

Labour’s law to force MPs who left their parties to resign from Parliament would be accompanied by a new era of moderation, frugality and integrity in the public sector, she told the meeting.

“The party is over for the senior management of [Work and Income New Zealand] and of all those other Government organisations who have wasted public money.”

Is this another ad for Tui?

Over at Keeping Stock  Iventory 2 comments on one of the other stories about The Transforming of Helen Clark.

Edwards’ main criticism of Clark is her penchant for publicly criticising her ministers.

“That could bring Helen down,” he says. “Her view is, ‘If you’re going to be open, you have to be seen to be open – I’m not going to tick them off in private and the public likes it … ‘

“While she’s riding high in the polls she’s in a very strong position in her own party but … if she drops off in the ratings there may be a backlog of grievance there.


Hat tip: No Minister, Keeping Stock.

Dansey’s Pass



Walk the wind arch of this burnished place.

Leave the gravel road behind like childhood.

Tussock flayed by austere Waitaki winds

is harsh, archaic and blown quite clean.

Here nature still defies all subjugation

and I rejoice in blissful arrogance

standing solitary upon the lion’s back.


– Owen Marshall –


This is posted because it’s Montana Poetry Day.


Dansey’s Pass  is the shortest, but not necessarily fastest, route between North and Central Otago.

Peters should practise what he preaches


The ODT  joins the chorus for Winston Peters to demonstrate the openness and accountability he demands of others:

Winston Peters might well have posted on the wall of his office that famous aphorism of the late British politician, Alan Clark: “There are no true friends in politics. We are all sharks circling, and waiting for traces of blood to appear in the water.”

Is there a trace of Mr Peters’ blood in the murky water of political party donations?

As a sideshow, the story of New Zealand First and the Monaco-based billionaire, Owen Glenn, is an amusing distraction from the much more sombre political news that seems to have been the daily diet for most of this year.

Quite as entertaining as the “did he, didn’t he” aspect is the sub-plot of “hands off” disinterest from both the Labour Party and the Opposition.

If any party is going to try to make capital out of the story, it is not going to be either of them.

Parliament has been in recess since this story broke. I don’t expect Labour to be aggressive towards Peters when the House sits next week because they need him now. I live in hope that National might apply the blow torch Peters deserves regardless of the concern he and his party might be important in coalition talks after the election.

Mr Peters, it is fair to say, does not personally delight in a confident appreciation of the news media; these days he generally starts from a viewpoint that everything published about him not written by his own hand is likely to be “malicious lies” – his description of the reports of the party donation.

But nagging away in the background are reports describing Mr Glenn as not denying giving money to NZ First.

None of this would be of the slightest interest were political parties not currently so sensitive about who pays their bills and, by implication, who might be favoured as a result.

It was, after all, Helen Clark and her Labour colleagues who painted so black a picture of the National Party and its 2005 support group, members of the Exclusive Brethren, and to a very large extent it is she who raised the issue of who might be beholden to whom.

On the matter of NZ First donations, however, she has been as shy as a prospective bride: “The buck stops somewhere else on that one.”

And National Party leader John Key has merely expressed a belief that Miss Clark should “step in and clarify matters”.

This may be because, with an election a few months away and post-election coalition negotiations likely, every politician might need to be friends with Mr Peters.

This is a major fault with MMP, but there is still hope National might put principle above politics and ask the hard quesitons next week. 

Mr Glenn appears to have implied he did give a donation of some kind to NZ First.

Mr Peters says he did not.

Not long ago, Mr Peters declined to tell taxpayers to which charities his party had given the $158,000 it had wrongly spent during the 2005 election campaign.

More recently, he also declined to clarify the status of his friend Tommy Gear, said to have been paid a great deal of money by Parliamentary Services for work done for NZ First.

Mr Peters has reportedly given “private assurances” to Miss Clark, who has noted the appointment of Mr Glenn as honorary consul-general in Monaco was at best “most unlikely”.

That may make the matter tidy from her perspective, but Mr Peters has claimed the email in which Mr Glenn implies a donation was “fabricated”.

But by whom, and to what purpose? It would help everyone if he could get past his usual tedious bluster and “clarify matters” publicly, if only in the interests of fulfilling his long-standing desire for transparency and accountability, which he so often demands of others.

Quite, he needs to drop the bluster and practise what he preaches.

Poetry Day


It’s Montana Poetry Day.

I’ll post a few of my many favourite poems throughout the day. In the meantime ponder this:


this a

poem and


it is

why is it





it’s not why


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