What will it take?

May 9, 2013

Dear Aaron,

If you were at the Mainland Conference in Hanmer to the end you’d have heard West Coast Tasman based list MP Chris Auckinvole’s final words.

You might remember him talking about the importance of the two wings of the party, the MPs and the volunteers,  and the good that can be achieved when they’re working in unison.

That was before we knew you hadn’t been at the conference dinner as any MP who took his responsibility to the party seriously, and respected the volunteers, would have been.

The party understands the competing demands on MPs – parliamentary duties, electorate work, family commitments – but just one weekend a year we ask you all to come to your regional conferences.

It’s an opportunity for volunteers to discuss policy with you, air concerns, get to know you. The social functions are an important part of that.

That you chose not to grace the conference dinner with your presence might have been overlooked. Your behaviour at the dinner you did attend can’t be and everything that’s happened since has made it worse.

I was part of the committee which met in 2011 to rank the party’s list.

Our deliberations are confidential but the rankings are not.

You were the lowest ranked sitting MP and anyone with any humility would have worked out why.

Once a list is ranked and put before the public at an election the party can’t change it. But someone can, as Paul Quinn did, turn down the opportunity to take up a place with his dignity intact and get on with his life.

You didn’t take the hint from your list placing and claimed the vacant seat. Why?

You’ve been reported as saying that you have enough money to live  on without needing to work so it can’t be the salary.

I don’t know if you did any good in the few weeks you’ve been back as an MP but in the last few days you’ve done immeasurable harm.

John Key and National have retained a fairly high and reasonably constant level of popularity in polls for several reasons. One of those is party discipline.

Both the wings Chris talked about have been strong and flying in unison.

Your antics are threatening that.

The Prime Minister has lost confidence in you and the president says the party is disappointed.

That is putting it very, very mildly.

If there’s one thing that gets volunteers riled  it’s an MP who doesn’t understand the importance of discipline and unity, doesn’t uphold the standard of behaviour expected and puts himself before the party.

What on earth are you thinking?

If your words and actions are anything to go by it’s not what’s best for the government, the party, parliament or the country.

What will it take to make you understand what you’ve done wrong and what’s the only thing you can now do to make it right?

Yours in disappointment,

Ele


Paul Foster-Bell MP to be?

April 22, 2013

A media release from  former MP Paul Quinn says he will not return to parliament when list MP Jackie Blue retires to become Equal Opportunities Commissioner in May.

With the resignation of my former colleague Dr Jackie Blue I am the next eligible member of the National Party list to fill the vacancy her resignation has created.

While I enjoyed the term I spent in Parliament from 2008 to 2011, I do not wish to take up the list place available to me. Since leaving Parliament I have been engaged in a series of commercial projects that are very absorbing and satisfying and I am now fully committed to my expanding business interests. . .

Paul Foster-Bell who stood in Wellington Central is the next person on National’s list.


Blue out, Paul who in?

April 16, 2013

National list MP Jackie Blue is to take up a new role as Equal Opportunities Commissioner in June.

Justice Minister Judith Collins said:

“The EEO Commissioner has an important role to play in championing EEO principles, issues and practices in New Zealand as well as appreciating their relationship to social, economic and labour market trends.

“Dr Blue is committed to human rights and equity issues and is currently the Chair of three cross-party groups in Parliament. I’m confident she will be a very capable Commissioner.”

Dr Blue has a Private Members’ Bill in the ballot seeking to protect young women from forced marriages. I hope another MP takes up this issue.

Dr Blue holds a BSc from the University of Auckland and gained her MB ChB from Auckland Medical School in 1983. She came to prominence in the medical sector as a pioneering breast physician and, in 1992, was a founding member of the St Marks Women’s Health Centre. Dr Blue entered Parliament as a list MP in 2005 and has since held a number of roles including membership of the Health Committee (2005 to 2008).

She is currently the Chair of three cross-party groups in Parliament – New Zealand Parliamentarian’s Group on Population and Development, Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians and Parliamentarians for Global Action. Dr Blue is also a member of the Justice & Electoral Committee and Deputy Chairperson of the Health Committee.

Her resignation from parliament will open the way for another MP.

The next person on National’s list is former MP Paul Quinn. If he chooses not to take up the vacancy the next one of the list if Paul Foster-Bell.


They said this about the list

August 18, 2008

Even if the election result is not as favourable for National as current polls, the party list indicates the new caucus will be younger, have more ethnic representation and more women than the current caucus.

Tracy Watkins  says:

The elevation of the newcomers reflects National’s push to put up more women and elect a more ethnically diverse caucus.

Dene MacKenzie  says:

National Party campaign chairman Steven Joyce could be a broadcasting minister in waiting after being ranked 16th on the party’s list, released yesterday.

… A study of National’s list shows an emphasis on areas which in 2005 cost the party the election, particularly in South Auckland.

This election, National will have candidates listed high enough in South Auckland seats to ensure they become MPs, with the prospect of lifting the party vote.

Peseta Sam Lotu-liga (standing in Maungakiekie) has been ranked at 35 and Kanwal Bakshi (Manukau East) is at 38.

McKenzie also notes:

Dunedin health manager Michael Woodhouse looks assured to enter Parliament as a National Party list MP judging from the party’s full list released yesterday.

Mr Woodhouse, chief executive of Mercy Hospital, is ranked 49th on the list, meaning National has to poll, on paper, anywhere above 41% for him to become the list MP based in Dunedin.

Several candidates ranked below him are likely to win electorate seats so to be safe, National would have to poll 43% for him to become an MP.

If he does enter Parliament, he will be the replacement for Katherine Rich, who has been the party’s list MP from Dunedin for the past nine years.

Audrey Young  says:

On current polling, the list would produce six Maori MPs, three Asian MPs and a Pacific Islander in National’s next caucus.

The six Maori would be sitting MPs Georgina te Heuheu, Tau Henare and Paula Bennett, joined by Hekia Parata, Paul Quinn and Simon Bridges. The latter may get in Parliament by winning the Tauranga seat.

Pansy Wong, a sitting list MP, expects to be joined by broadcaster Melissa Lee and Indian businessman Kanwal Bakshi.

The party’s Maungakiekie candidate, Auckland City councillor Sam Lotu-Iiga, has been given an assured place in Parliament at number 35 on the party list.

… There are many variables that determine the number of list MPs allocated to a party, including the number of electorate seats it wins, its total party vote and the number of votes cast for parties that are eventually not entitled to any seats.

But under a scenario that sees National polling 48 per cent (and, say, Labour 35 per cent, the Greens and NZ First 5 per cent, the Maori Party with four seats, and one seat each for Act, United Future and Progressives) and with National keeping the electorate seats it now holds, the party would win another 27 list seats, all the way to number 61 – Marc Alexander, a former United Future MP who will contest Jim Anderton in Wigram.

Some polls suggest there might be even more, but lessons from history and a dose of realism make that unlikely because smaller parties usually get more support during the campaign.


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