Jo Hayes Nat candidate for Chch East

13/06/2014

The National Party has selected List MP Joanne Hayes as its Christchurch East candidate for the 2014 General Election.

“Joanne has been a valuable member of our caucus as a List MP and will work hard for Christchurch East,” said Regional Chair Roger Bridge.

“National has made the rebuild one of its top priorities. Another Christchurch-based MP will help to keep our city’s voice strong in John Key’s National Party.”

Ms Hayes said she was proud to earn National’s nomination and is looking forward to the campaign.

“National is making real progress on the Christchurch rebuild, building a stronger economy with more jobs, and supporting hardworking families. Christchurch communities are seeing the benefits of a Government that is focussed on what matters and putting the needs of Christchurch at the top of the agenda,” said Ms Hayes.

“There are just three short months until the election on 20 September. I’ll be working hard to get out in the electorate and engage with the issues facing Christchurch East communities,” said Ms Hayes.

Joanne Hayes – Biographical Notes                                                                                      

Joanne Hayes is a National List Member of Parliament. She is of Ngati Porou, Ati Haunui A Paparangi, and Rangitane ki Wairarapa descent, and is married to Pat with two sons and two grandchildren.

Before entering Parliament at the beginning of this year, she held executive level positions in the health, social services, and education sectors, most recently as Director of Community Relations for UCOL Whanganui.

Ms Hayes previously stood for National in Dunedin South in 2011.

Jo has the distinction of being the candidate who won the party vote in Dunedin South which had been regarded as deep red.

Christchurch East is also a very red seat. Jo and her team will be working hard to change that and the electorate will benefit from having another government MP working in and for the city as it recovers from the earthquakes.


Closed and counting

30/11/2013

Polling booths have closed in the Christchurch East by-election and votes are being counted.

It’s always been a Labour seat so in spite of the strong campaign run by National candidate  Matthew Doocey he’s not expected to take it.

In fact, if John Armstrong is correct, apathy will be the winner.


Labour’s seat to lose

27/11/2013

Labour leader David Cunliffe reckons the Christchurch East seat is National’s to lose.

So despite Dalziel’s solid 5334 majority in 2011, Cunliffe has been talking up National’s equally emphatic victory in the party vote in 2011, by 13,252 (46 per cent) to 9100 for Labour (31.65 per cent).

Labour’s “key message” is that the seat is National’s to lose.

For Cunliffe “any old win would do”, he said yesterday.

“I would say 50 per cent would be great.”

He is adamant the party vote is the best measure of “underlying party allegiance” available.

But this isn’t a general election where people get two votes. It’s a by-election for a seat Labour has held for decades.

No-one would expect a new candidate to get the support Dalziel built up over several terms as the local MP,even though, contrary to her assertion she would be an independent mayor, she is helping Poto Williams.

But it would be a serious blow to Labour, its candidate and its leader if National’s Matthew Doocey won the seat.

People in Christchurch East have had more than enough of living with the aftermath of earthquakes, dealing with insurance companies and all the other challenges which make day to day life more difficult. There’s little more the government can do about most of these than it’s already doing but even so, people at the end of their tethers can use their votes to send a message about their frustration.

This all makes the seat Labour’s to lose and it’s Cunliffe’s to lose too.

He hasn’t made much progress in the polls since becoming leader and anything but an emphatic win for his candidate, chosen over those supported by the locals, will be a big blow for him.


Learning to be leader

12/11/2013

As  backbencher you can pick your fights. An opposition leader can too but has to be careful about which s/he picks.

On the lists of things you should be above are attacks on a by-election candidate in a seat your party is expected to win but David Cunliffe made the mistake of getting stuck in to Matthew Doocey, National’s candidate for Christchurch East.

That has provided Doocey with the free publicity of a letter to the editor:

I am writing to express my surprise at the personal and desperate attack on me by the Leader of the Labour Party. I was not given the opportunity to respond to comments from David Cunliffe which were published on Friday November 8.

For the record I have expressed no interest and am not even thinking about any other election other than the one taking place right now in Christchurch East. I have been working hard nor for a number of weeks in what to date has been a positive campaign: my Facebook page demonstrates this.

Mr Cunliffe has inadvertently given my campaign another confidence-building boost, as I attempt to make history and take thsi seat from labour.

It was only one week ago  that the prime minister launched my campaign and it would appear I am already seen as a threat the the Opposition leader. Surely this must be some kind of political record.

For Mr Cunliffe to target me as some sort of carpetbagger is both insulting and wrong. I grew up in Christchurch and I”ll be here long after the by-election. Unlike other candidates I was was not parachuted in from Auckland at the expense of local nominees.

I’m running a strong campaign in Christchurch East and have had tremendous support from almost all of the senior MPs in John Key’s National caucus.

I can only assume Mr Cunliffe’s outburst is a symptom of desperation and.or poor polling for Labour in Christchurch East, where the community is questioning where the nearly 100 years of Labour representation has got them. Matthew Doocey, National candidate Christchurch East.

As is the way today, the free publicity doesn’t stop with The Press.

The letter has been picked up by CoNZervative, Kiwiblog and Keeping Stock.

When a mammoth attack a mouse and loses, the mammoth looks much smaller.

An aspiring Prime Minister shouldn’t even notice a by-election candidate from another party, let alone launch a personal attack on him.

This is the second time in a week Cunliffe has got publicity for looking less than leader-like.

The first was for his refusal to appear on The Farming Show with Jamie Mackay in case he didn’t get a fair hearing and would be made fun of.

I covered that here and the story has also been picked up by Keeping Stock and Kiwiblog.

When you’re opposition leader you can pick your challenges but an aspiring Prime Minister wouldn’t turn down a regular slot on nationwide-radio for fear of being made fun of.

This was a mistake on several counts, the three biggest being that the slot is now taken by Green co-leader Russel Norman; that he’s supposedly rediscovered the regions and is trying to appeal to them and that’s where the show gets blanket coverage; and  it makes him look like a lesser leader.


10 candidates for Chch east by-election

05/11/2013

The Electoral commission has released the names of the 10 candidates for the Christchurch East by-election:

Candidate Name Party
BAKER, Leighton Conservative Party
DOOCEY, Matthew National Party
GASKIN, Ian Independent
HOLLAND, Adam Independent
LAMBERT, Paula Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party
LICHTWARK, Jenner Democrats for Social Credit
MOORHOUSE, David Green Party
PARK, Sam Independent
VEALE, Gareth ACT Party
WILLIAMS, Poto Labour Party

Keeping Stock has found Labour has been a mite premature about the outcome:

This is a red seat and the odds favour Williams but it is good manners to wait until the voters cast their ballots before claiming to be an MP.

#gigatownoamaru is taking nothing for granted in the race to become the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest town.


Made in Christchurch

25/10/2013

Does it matter if a candidate for an electorate is a local?

All sorts of factors are taken into account by parties in selecting a candidate and voters when they consider which to support.

One of those is the knowledge of and commitment to the electorate.

One measure of that is whether or not the candidate can be considered to be a local – someone who has lived in the area for a long time, knows the people and understands the issues not just academically, but personally.

When Labour chose its candidate for Christchurch East they obviously thought other factors mattered more when they picked a newcomer to the city.

Whether or not they’re right is up to the voters but it has given National’s candidate Matthew Doocey a strong point of difference on which to campaign:

My Campaign advertisement on Page Two of this week’s Pegasus Post.


Labour selects candidate for Chch East

21/09/2013

Labour has selected its candidate for the Christchurch East by-election:

Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth has announced that Potu Williams will be the candidate for the Christchurch East by election following the resignation of Lianne Dalziel. We had a robust democratic selection process with hundreds of local people in a packed rugby club hall in the heart of the electorate, where a very strong field of candidates discussed local issues.  . .

Labour’s view of robust and democratic isn’t necessarily the same as other people’s.

Kiwiblog points out that Labour has a six person panel with three head office appointments so the vote of each local member is worth around 1/100th the vote of a head office person.

Christchurch East is regarded as a safe Labour seat although retiring MP Lianne Dalziel had a strong personal vote.


Matthew Doocey to contest Chch East for National

13/09/2013

The National Party has selected Matthe Doocey as its candidate for the Christchurch East by-election.

“While an incumbent Government has never won a by-election in a seat it does not already hold, the National family are united behind Matthew as he accepts the challenge to wrest a seat which Labour has held since 1922,” says National Party Regional Chair Roger Bridge.

“Matthew Doocey is a fresh new face to the political landscape in Christchurch, and one of two nominees interviewed for the candidacy. We’re delighted to have him aboard.”

Matthew Doocey says he is proud to have won selection to contest the by-election on behalf of National.

“It’s going to be a big challenge up against the Labour machine in East Christchurch. Of course Lianne Dalziel is a household name there and Labour will be desperate to hold on to the seat.

“But I believe Christchurch East needs a constructive voice inside John Key’s National-led Government. It’s an electorate with huge opportunities and big decisions to make as it works its way through the recovery and beyond.

“Jobs, growth, education and healthcare are the bread and butter issues. I think the public appreciate the fact that National has held steady despite the distractions and side-tracks that appear to pre-occupy the other side.

Matthew Doocey (41) is married to Hungarian-born wife Viktoria. They have lived in Redwood since returning to Christchurch from the UK earlier this year. He works at the Canterbury District Health Board as a manager in its surgical division.

He went to St Bedes college, then studied counselling psychology at WelTec (Wellington). He has a Bsc (Hons) in Social Policy, an MA in Healthcare Management from Kingston University in London, and an MSc in Global Politics from Birkbeck University in London. He is also studying towards a Doctorate in Health by distance at Bath University in the UK.

Matthew Doocey has a long career in healthcare management including in the delivery of community mental health and social care services both in voluntary, and Government settings. He has worked extensively in the voluntary and community sector, including for Youthline NZ.

“Christchurch is my home town. My closest family are here. When I heard about the quakes I really wanted to come home to the city I grew up in and give something back.

“Christchurch East was characterised by strength and resilience in the aftermath of the earthquakes. Now we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the community even stronger and I want to be part of that.”

The Green Party is contesting the seat which will split the anti-government vote to some extent and a new candidate won’t have the personal following that the retiring MP Lianne Dalziel had.

But Christchurch East is a dark red seat and even a strong National candidate like this one faces a huge task in contesting it.


At risk of losing seat?

09/04/2011

Labour is ranking its party list this weekend and Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel has opted out of it.

“I came to the conclusion that if I wasn’t re-elected by the people of Christchurch East I wouldn’t want to be a member of Parliament. I wouldn’t want to be anything other than the MP for this area, especially now with the challenge we’ve got.” She said she had not enjoyed being a list MP because the connection with her constituents was not as close.

Why would a senior MP opt out of the list?

She is right that list MPs don’t have as close a connection with constituents as electorate MPs do but is this an admission she’s at risk of losing her seat?

That is the only way she would be in danger of reverting back to being a list MP.

Lianne received 20,969 votes and Labour got 18,893 votes in 2005. National’s candidate David Round got the support of 8,996 people and the party got 9,851 votes.

In 2008 she won the seat with 17,969 votes from National candidate Aaron Gilmore who gained 12,204 votes. Labour received 15,585 party votes and National gained 12,289 party votes. 

The trend is down but a 5,000 majority would hardly be called marginal.

Does opting out of the list mean she’s expecting a demotion this time and wants to avoid that? She was 26th in 2005 and 15th in 2008.

Standing for the electorate only without the protection of a reasonably high list place gives her the opportunity to tell voters the electorate vote is the only way she’ll be returned to parliament.

But it’s the party vote that counts. A candidate who is standing for both electorate and on the list can say, ask for both but tell voters if they’re going to split their vote it’s they should give her/his party the tick.

A candidate who will only get in by winning an electorate is hardly likely to give that message.

Manakau East  MP Ross Robertson has also opted out of the list, as he has done before.


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