Labour finally get a candidate


It’s taken a while but Labour has finally got a candidate for Tāmaki Makaurau.

Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth has announced that Peeni Henare will be Labour’s candidate for Tāmaki Makaurau at the 2014 General Election. . .

He’s a late starter.

But Labour hoped that Shane Taurima and then Julian Wilcox would stand for selection.

Taurima’s nomination was turned down after a report condemned his politicking at TVNZ.

Will Flavell, was nominated when the party opened, reopened and then extended the nomination period.

It was obvious the party didn’t want him. It isn’t clear how popular Henare is in the party and he’s not got much time to get the electorate’s support.

The Maori Party selected Rangi McLean, as its successor to Pita Sharples who holds the seat, a month ago and he’ll be four weeks of campaigning ahead.

How not to write a media release


A good media release should answer all the appropriate ws – who, what, where, when, why and how.

Labour’s announcement of its candidate for Tukituki tells us the basic who,  Anna Lorck, for where and when she was selected.

It also tries to say how:

She was selected today from a field of three strong candidates to represent Labour.

Moira Coatsworth said today:

“A great crowd of Labour members attended today’s selection meeting. . .

That is trying to put a positive spin on Labour’s undemocratic selection process which gives more power to unions and head office than local members.

But the glaring omission from the release is answering anything about what the candidate’s background and credentials are.

The party has had a run of SMOGs – social media own goals – and now it’s failing to get an old-fashioned media release right.

A selection announcement is a golden opportunity to promote a new candidate but all this release did is put paint-by-number platitudes in her mouth.

The best (wo)man for the job?


Before he lost the Labour leadership, David Shearer announced he’d quashed the party’s man-ban:

Mr Shearer yesterday announced Labour’s council had agreed to his request to withdraw a proposal to allow some electorates to open candidate selections to women only, saying it was distracting from issues people wanted Labour to talk about.

The party’s got a new leader and policy is back in effect if not exactly as it was earlier proposed:

The Labour Party has voted to introduce a gender quota system to ensure half its MPs are women.

The new party rule means Labour’s men may have to give up spots in parliament, earned on merit, to female MPs.

Labour’s caucus is currently 42 percent female, but the quota means that number will have to rise to 45 percent by 2014, and 50 percent by 2017.

It means Labour’s party list will be stacked if required, with women put ahead of men to meet the quota.

The party grassroots lost a battle to introduce a so-called “man-ban” on men in electorate seats earlier this year when former leader David Shearer had it struck out.

This time party president Moira Coatsworth won, with a man-ban in drag.

“Women have missed out. This is about getting women equality,” she says.

Are you really equal if you’re more equal than people who might be better able to do the job than you; if you’re there for the cause of equality rather than your merit?

David Farrar analysed previous elections to show which male MPs would have been sacrificed for women had the quota been in place:

1996 Lose

Joe Hawke
Jonathan Hunt
Mark Gosche
Dover Samuels

1996 Gain

Helen Duncan
Verna Smith
Suzanne Sinclair
Sue Moroney

1999 Loss

Joe Hawke
Jonathan Hunt
Michael Cullen

1999 Gain

Lynne Pillay
Lili Tuioti
Brenda Lowe-Johnson

2002 Loss

Ashraf Choudary
Dave Hereora
Graham Kelly
Jonathan Hunt
Michael Cullen

2002 Gain

Moana Mackey
Lesley Soper
Carol Beaumont
Gill Boddy-Greer
Louisa Wall

2005 Loss

Dave Hereora
Russell Fairbrother
David Parker
Shane Jones
Ashraf Choudary
Rick Barker
Mita Ririnui

2005 Gain

Lesley Soper
Louisa Wall
Denise MacKenzie
Leila Boyle
Jennifer McCutcheon
Linda Hudson
Marilyn Brown

2008 Loss

Stuart Nash
Rick Barker
Ashraf Choudary
Kelvin Davis
Charles Chauvel

2008 Gain

Judith Tizard
Louisa Wall
Lesley Soper
Erin Ebborn-Gillespie
Josephine Bartley

2011 Loss

Raymond Huo
Rajen Prasad
Shane Jones
Andrew Little
Charles Chauvel

2011 Gain

Carol Beaumont
Carmel Sepuloni
Deborah Mahuta-Coyle
Steve Chadwick
Kate Sutton.

. . . In 1996, 1999 and 2002 Labour would not have been able to give any male MPs a winnable list place. . . .That means they would have lost Michael Cullen. Ironically, one of the MPs who would have been elected in his place is Lesley Soper. Soper is the only pro-life woman in the Labour Party, and quite hated by most Labour women.  . .

There’s equality of opportunity and equality of outcome.

The former ensures everyone has the same chance and the best candidate wins.

The latter puts gender ahead of merit.

A quota will leave women MPs open to the criticism that they’re there in parliament because of who they are rather than their skills.

If not having enough women in parliament is a problem, serious consideration needs to be given to what’s stopping them getting there rather than manipulating the list.

That is using a second-best band-aid to cover the symptom without addressing the cause.

#gigatownoamaru is getting there on merit.

Labour selects candidate for Chch East


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.

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