Inequities over staff increases

16/11/2008
One of the unfortunate consequences of MMP is the larger area of electorates. The difficulty and added expense of servicing them has not been recognised by extra resources for their MPs.
However, thanks to one of the clauses in the agreement between National and the Maori Party  that will change.

All Maori MPs and all MPs in general seats which cover an area greater than 20,000 square kilometres will be entitled to an extra staff member, equivalent to three full time out of parliament staffers.

The Electorates which will benefit from this are:

Name

Area sq.km

Te Tai Tonga

161,443

Clutha-Southland

38,247

West Coast-Tasman

38,042

Te Tai Hauauru

35,825

Waitaki

34,888

Ikaroa-Rawhiti

30,952

Kaikoura

23,706

Waiariki

19,212

Te Tai Tokerau

16,370

Hauraki-Waikato

12,580

Tamaki Makaurau

730

The MPs representing them are Rahui Katene, Bill English, Chris Auchinvole,  Parekura Horomia, Jacqui Dean, Colin King, Tariana Turia, Te Ururoa Flavell, Hone Harawira,  Nanaia Mahuta and Pita Sharples.

The area the bigger ones cover definitely justifies more help. But there are 21 general electorates which cover bigger areas than Tamaki Makaurau.

That raises the question of why an electorate covering a relatively small area of 730 square kilometres needs an extra staff member if these, which are bigger, don’t:

East Coast

13,649

Taranaki-King Country

12,869

Northland

12,255

Rangitikei

12,189

Wairarapa

11,922

Taupo

9,101

Selwyn

7,854

Napier

6,866

Rangitata

6,826

Whanganui

5,948

Invercargill

5,617

Rotorua

5,535

Waikato

4,947

Coromandel

4,653

Tukituki

4,277

Dunedin South

2,702

Waimakariri

1,757

Otaki

1,728

Whangarei

1,628

Hunua

1,266

Bay of Plenty

1,188

Rodney

1,051

Helensville

865

 


Bluewash margins

15/11/2008

The NZ Herald graphics show the bluewash of the country and party vote margins after last week’s election.

I’m posting it as an indulgence, if you want analysis pop over to Kiwiblog where  David Farrar has looked at the numbers for:

The upper North Island, Auckland, central North Islandlower North Islandupper South Islandcentral South Island  and lower South Island  .

 

 

 

 

Blue wash bad for democracy?

10/11/2008

The day after the 2005 election a journalist rang to ask me why the provinces went blue.

The question was a response to the gains by National of seats like Invercargill, Aoraki, East Coast, Napier, Tukituki, Tauranga, Wairarapa, and Whanganui which blue washed provincial New Zealand, leaving just West Coast Tasman, Dunedin, most Christchurch seats, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Wellington and most Auckland seats red.

He wondered if it was socially liberal legislation such as legalising prostitution and civil unions. I replied that I didn’t think these’d had a significantly greater impact in the provinces than they’d had in cities.

The change was more a reflection on the calibre of National’s candidates and the commitment they’d made to winning combined with disenchantment with Labour MPs who’d not been effective in their electorates.

But it was also a growing concern over the negative impact of Labour’s policy and in this the provinces led the country because this time, as a map from Wikipedia  shows the country is even even bluer – National gained West Coast Tasman , Otaki and New Plymouth, leaving Palmerston North   as the only general seat outside Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin held by Labour and they now hold only two of the Maori seats too.

 

It wasn’t just the provinces which went blue. National also picked up Auckland Central , Maungakiekie and Waitakere as well as the new seat of Botany.

This is great for National and I also think it’s great for New Zealand.

But is it good for democracy?

Electorate MPs face the people who put them in parliament, they work for them as individuals, they see the impact of government policies on them and if they’re effective, they feed that back to Wellington.

It’s the party vote that counts in the make-up of parliament and government. But electorate MPs play a very big role in attracting the party vote.

Good local MPs contribute a great deal to the image of their party, they are a walking talking advertisement for it and its most accessible representative. They build up personal support that can transcend party affiliation – people who can’t bring themselves to vote for a party will give a popular MP their candidate vote. This increases their majority when their party is in favour and may help them retain their seats when the tide turns against their party.

Electorate MPs also play another important role in a democratic country, they also help motivate and encourage volunteers.

Parties on the left often complain that it’s easier for National because our supporters are wealthier and so we have more money. That’s not necessarily so, we have members across the income spectrum and you only have to go back to 2002 to see that Labour can get more money than National.

National’s real strength is not the incomes of our supporters, it’s the number and commitment of its grassroots members and ironically the Electoral Finance Act constrained spending so tightly, it gave national an advantage because campaigns depended on volunteers more than ever.

And that’s why I ask if the bluewash is good for democracy, because one of the things it shows is that other parties don’t have good grassroots support throughout New Zealand.

That’s a concern for them but it’s also a concern for the country because political parties have a great deal of power under MMP and if they don’t have strong memberships that power is based on an unstable foundation of ideology rather than the stable one of broad based and committed supporters.

Hat tip: Kiwiblog.


The colour of the seats

09/11/2008

Auckland Central

100.0%

KAYE, Nikki (NAT)

TIZARD, Judith (LAB)

1,181

Bay of Plenty

100.0%

RYALL, Tony (NAT)

DEVOY-HEENA, Carol (LAB)

16,440

Botany

100.0%

WONG, Pansy (NAT)

TAWA, Koro (LAB)

10,119

Christchurch Central

100.0%

BURNS, Brendon (LAB)

WAGNER, Nicky (NAT)

880

Christchurch East

100.0%

DALZIEL, Lianne (LAB)

GILMORE, Aaron (NAT)

5,545

Clutha-Southland

100.0%

ENGLISH, Bill (NAT)

PRYDE, Don (LAB)

14,323

Coromandel

100.0%

GOUDIE, Sandra (NAT)

KININMONTH, Hugh (LAB)

13,440

Dunedin North

100.0%

HODGSON, Pete (LAB)

WOODHOUSE, Michael (NAT)

6,660

Dunedin South

100.0%

CURRAN, Clare (LAB)

POWELL, Conway (NAT)

5,992

East Coast

100.0%

TOLLEY, Anne (NAT)

MACKEY, Moana (LAB)

5,933

East Coast Bays

100.0%

McCULLY, Murray (NAT)

GOLDSMITH, Vivienne (Viv) (LAB)

12,800

Epsom

100.0%

HIDE, Rodney (ACT)

WORTH, Richard (NAT)

11,813

Hamilton East

100.0%

BENNETT, David (NAT)

MORONEY, Sue (LAB)

8,069

Hamilton West

100.0%

MACINDOE, Tim (NAT)

GALLAGHER, Martin (LAB)

1,541

Helensville

100.0%

KEY, John (NAT)

FENTON, Darien (LAB)

18,562

Hunua

100.0%

HUTCHISON, Paul (NAT)

CARTER, Jordan (LAB)

14,738

Hutt South

100.0%

MALLARD, Trevor (LAB)

QUINN, Paul (NAT)

3,632

Ilam

100.0%

BROWNLEE, Gerry (NAT)

YAU, Sam (LAB)

10,812

Invercargill

100.0%

ROY, Eric (NAT)

SOPER, Lesley (LAB)

6,152

Kaiköura

100.0%

KING, Colin (NAT)

McNAMARA, Brian (LAB)

10,136

Mana

100.0%

LABAN, Winnie (LAB)

PARATA, Hekia (NAT)

5,314

Mängere

100.0%

SIO, Su’a William (LAB)

FIELD, Taito Lemalu Phillip (NZPP)

6,496

Manukau East

100.0%

ROBERTSON, Ross (LAB)

BAKSHI, Kanwaljit Singh (NAT)

10,784

Manurewa

100.0%

HAWKINS, George (LAB)

CALDER, Cam (NAT)

5,753

Maungakiekie

100.0%

LOTU-IIGA, Peseta Sam (NAT)

BEAUMONT, Carol (LAB)

1,876

Mt Albert

100.0%

CLARK, Helen Elizabeth (LAB)

MUSUKU, Ravi (NAT)

8,695

Mt Roskill

100.0%

GOFF, Phil (LAB)

BLUE, Jackie (NAT)

5,557

Napier

100.0%

TREMAIN, Chris (NAT)

FAIRBROTHER, Russell (LAB)

8,430

Nelson

100.0%

SMITH, Nick (NAT)

STREET, Maryan (LAB)

7,884

New Lynn

100.0%

CUNLIFFE, David (LAB)

GROSER, Tim (NAT)

3,368

New Plymouth

100.0%

YOUNG, Jonathan (NAT)

DUYNHOVEN, Harry (LAB)

314

North Shore

100.0%

MAPP, Wayne (NAT)

TWYFORD, Phil (LAB)

13,159

Northcote

100.0%

COLEMAN, Jonathan (NAT)

McCRACKEN, Hamish (LAB)

8,577

Northland

100.0%

CARTER, John (NAT)

JONES, Shane (LAB)

9,423

Öhariu

100.0%

DUNNE, Peter Francis (UFNZ)

CHAUVEL, Charles (LAB)

1,170

Ötaki

100.0%

GUY, Nathan (NAT)

HUGHES, Darren (LAB)

1,422

Pakuranga

100.0%

WILLIAMSON, Maurice (NAT)

KELLY, Brian (LAB)

12,759

Palmerston North

100.0%

LEES-GALLOWAY, Iain (LAB)

PLIMMER, Malcolm (NAT)

1,050

Papakura

100.0%

COLLINS, Judith (NAT)

HEREORA, David (LAB)

9,674

Port Hills

100.0%

DYSON, Ruth (LAB)

HEFFERNAN, Terry (NAT)

3,093

Rangitata

100.0%

GOODHEW, Jo (NAT)

BLANCHARD, Julian (LAB)

7,648

Rangitïkei

100.0%

POWER, Simon (NAT)

ANGUS BURNEY, Jills (LAB)

11,131

Rimutaka

100.0%

HIPKINS, Christopher John (LAB)

WHITESIDE, Richard (NAT)

625

Rodney

100.0%

SMITH, Lockwood (NAT)

ROBERTS, Conor (LAB)

14,376

Rongotai

100.0%

KING, Annette (LAB)

FINLAYSON, Christopher (NAT)

7,845

Rotorua

100.0%

McCLAY, Todd (NAT)

CHADWICK, Steve (Stephanie) (LAB)

4,855

Selwyn

100.0%

ADAMS, Amy (NAT)

COATES, David (LAB)

10,246

Tämaki

100.0%

PEACHEY, Allan (NAT)

BARTLEY, Josephine (LAB)

15,195

Taranaki-King Country

100.0%

ARDERN, Shane (NAT)

van de WEERT, Renée (LAB)

14,615

Taupö

100.0%

UPSTON, Louise (NAT)

BURTON, Mark (LAB)

5,855

Tauranga

100.0%

BRIDGES, Simon (NAT)

PETERS, Winston (NZF)

10,710

Te Atatü

100.0%

CARTER, Chris (LAB)

HENARE, Tau (NAT)

4,638

Tukituki

100.0%

FOSS, Craig (NAT)

BARKER, Rick (LAB)

7,288

Waikato

100.0%

TISCH, Lindsay (NAT)

ARDERN, Jacinda (LAB)

11,757

Waimakariri

100.0%

COSGROVE, Clayton (LAB)

WILKINSON, Kate (NAT)

518

Wairarapa

100.0%

HAYES, John (NAT)

MACKENZIE, Denise (LAB)

6,309

Waitakere

100.0%

BENNETT, Paula (NAT)

PILLAY, Lynne (LAB)

901

Waitaki

100.0%

DEAN, Jacqui (NAT)

PARKER, David (LAB)

10,176

Wellington Central

100.0%

ROBERTSON, Grant (LAB)

FRANKS, Stephen (NAT)

1,517

West Coast-Tasman

100.0%

AUCHINVOLE, Chris (NAT)

O’CONNOR, Damien (LAB)

975

Whanganui

100.0%

BORROWS, Chester (NAT)

McDOUALL, Hamish (LAB)

5,963

Whangarei

100.0%

HEATLEY, Phil (NAT)

CHALMERS, Paul (LAB)

13,673

Wigram

100.0%

ANDERTON, Jim (JAP)

ALEXANDER, Marc (NAT)

4,566

Hauraki-Waikato

100.0%

MAHUTA, Nanaia (LAB)

GREENSILL, Angeline Ngahina (MAOR)

1,046

Ikaroa-Räwhiti

100.0%

HOROMIA, Parekura (LAB)

FOX, Derek Tinia (MAOR)

1,609

Tämaki Makaurau

100.0%

SHARPLES, Pita (MAOR)

WALL, Louisa Hareruia (LAB)

6,325

Te Tai Hauäuru

100.0%

TURIA, Tariana (MAOR)

MASON, Errol (LAB)

6,834

Te Tai Tokerau

100.0%

HARAWIRA, Hone Pani Tamati Waka Nene (MAOR)

DAVIS, Kelvin Glen (LAB)

5,496

Te Tai Tonga

100.0%

KATENE, Rahui (MAOR)

OKEROA, Mahara (LAB)

684

Waiariki

100.0%

FLAVELL, Te Ururoa (MAOR)

RIRINUI, Mita (LAB)

5,986

 

Polling Places Counted:

6,304 of 6,304 (100.0%)


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