Red Alert

Archive for the ‘by-election’ Category

Poll warning Te Tai Tokerau

Posted by on June 13th, 2011

Poll warning again. Native Affairs poll has Hone and Kelvin within 1%.

Sample only 500, done by landline. Maori electorates notoriously difficult to poll.

It is clear that the race is close and the Maori Party is collapsing (actually nationally as well as up north).

But as Kelvin pointed out it is who gets more votes not who answers their phone that counts and therefore organisation will be vital.

Fairly soon the Maori Party will informally throw in the towel because they want Hone to lose more than they hate Labour winning.

Why the Maori Party is third in Te Tai Tokerau

Posted by on May 17th, 2011

Maui Street is a great blog. Don’t always agree but Morgan has his finger on the pulse.

Here he outlines the Maori Party’s problems.

Texts from Auckland

Posted by on May 10th, 2011

Txts from Banksy 1

Txts from Banksy 2

Txts from Banksy 3

Double standard on double dipping?

Posted by on May 9th, 2011

John Key was asked over the weekend how he reconcilled his view that Hone’s by-election is a waste of money (which I agree with) with his view that Jami-Lee Ross should have resigned from the Auckland Council, thus forcing a by-election (which I also agree with). His response was ironic to say the least…

“There’s been a long-held view in parliament that when you come in , really, you shouldn’t double-dip and be on two different organisations” – John Key, SST, 8 May 2011

I’ve long held the view that politicians shouldn’t “double-dip”, but it seems to be a new one for the National Party. Key, English and other senior Nats defended Sam Lotu-Iiga doing just that when he stayed on the Auckland City Council at the same time as he was an MP.

In fact the case against Lotu-Iiga’s double-dipping was even worse. During the time he was an MP and Councillor, he took part in parliamentary debates about the ‘super city’ legislation, a pretty clear conflict of interest if ever there was one. Shame Key didn’t hold the same position on double-dipping back then…

Additional thoughts on Botany

Posted by on March 6th, 2011

Further to Darien’s post a couple of additional things strike me looking at the voting in Botany (all in the context of the very low turnout of course)

– The significant decline in the centre right (National and ACT) share of the vote, down from 71% of the electorate vote to around 59%. ACT really are looking like a spent force, while National probably would have expected to have picked up more of that vote.

– the enormous divide within the electorate. Michael Wood got nearly 90% of the vote in one booth, while Jamie Lee Ross romped home in others.

In any event talking to Labour folk on the ground they were happy with how the day went. Wringing out votes in a no-win contest is very difficult, especially with the weather. and it was a great job to mobilise and increase the share of the vote in the way they did. Excellent effort.

And of course, congratulations to Jamie Lee Ross on winning the seat.


Posted by on March 5th, 2011

The results are in and its no surprise that the new MP for Botany is National candidate Jami-Lee Ross. Congratulations to him and I will watch with interest his progress as a backbencher in parliament.

Ross’s majority is 3,996 and National’s percentage of the vote has slipped a few points.

Labour’s Michael Wood got 28% of the vote, which is up from our vote in 2008, so well done Michael and the Labour team. There was a great buzz at campaign headquarters today and the 25% of the electorate that is Labour has responded well to our door to door efforts in the past few weeks.

Turnout was low – possibly something to do with the rain in Auckland today, but more likely to do with Christchurch being more on people’s minds and a very low level of media interest.  I doorknocked today and some people had completely forgotten there was a by-election.

Interesting that ACT was pushed right out of the race by the New Citizen Party, who got 10.6% of the vote.

I will be interested to see how the media interpret the result overall.

Filed under: by-election

Key will quit at end of year, mixed incentives for the Double Dipper and questions about the system

Posted by on January 3rd, 2011

John Key’s announcement that he will quit politics at the end of the year when he is no longer PM is no surprise.  He has always given the impression of being a CV builder and someone who lives for the moment rather than the grind necessary to get real change. The same interview shows he has given up on catching Aussie wages.

His comments will be causing interesting debate around the English bbq. Talk about mixed incentives for a deputy.

There is however a serious issue raised. Should Key be running for Helensville ?

Geoff Palmer and the Royal Commission were always of the view that list positions should be used by senior MPs rather than (mainly) being an entry point.

In some countries there is a nominated list member as a deputy for electorate members, so there is an ability to shift to a list and not cause a by-election.  And voters know about it at election time. That way say PM Deputy Finance Foreign Affairs and Trade at least would not have day to day constituency responsibilities. And it can be a two way door – ie former Ministers resume electorates if they choose to. Might be something for a longer term debate.

But in the interim I wonder if we are up for a discussion on whether we should, in the medium term, develop a convention of leaders and deputies of major parties being list but not electorate candidates.

And no I never made the suggestion to Helen. And please don’t show this to Phil and Annette while they are having a break.

Follow the money – and find Wong

Posted by on November 24th, 2010

Not unusual for John Key and Pansy Wong to eat with large groups of  Chinese people in Bellamys.

Pansy collected these and many other cheques which were assumed to going to the National Party – we thought they were being laundered through the Waitemata or other National Party controlled trusts.

But now we know that in fact the money has been paid into an account controlled by Pansy and Sammy Wong.

No wonder Key doesn’t want her to resign – he wants to collect the money variously decribed as hundreds of thousands and well over a million.

refining the penguin questions

Posted by on November 16th, 2010

Posted yesterday on whether David Farrar is effectively a public servant following his (fair) criticism of a legal aid lawyer. David has taken leadership on transparency in government and I’m sure many of his ideas will find their way into Labour policy.

But the test is whether he is prepared to match his words with his deeds.

So David :-

  1. What is the total value of contracts you have either directly with the National Party’s Leaders fund, or through the National Party which are subsequently refunded from taxpayers funds ?
  2. What proportion of your companies’  incomes does 1. represent ?
  3. What is the dollar value of each of the next four highest value clients contracts? nb not asking for identification unless they too are public bodies.
  4. What is the total value of contracts funded from offshore for polling and/or research in New Zealand ?

Wong gone – lucky Labour – yeah right – well done Pete

Posted by on November 13th, 2010

I’ve been away from the laptop for a couple of days but have been watching the Wong story unfold. Grant posted yesterday.

Didn’t take as long to get her resignation as I thought it would.  But it was always coming. She has been donkey deep in family business dealings while a Minister and repeatedly used her position as a Minister to attempt to give credibility to those dealings – especially but not only in China.

Key is already looking terrible.  His media person -while going around the gallery following Key’s instructions called my colleague a “f..kwit”.  We are still waiting for Key to say that his poodle was wrong.

But then Key said yesterday :-

“In the end she has to take responsibility for the travel subsidy even if it was exercised and used by her husband,

Silly man – Pansy had already admitted signing her husbands businesses papers during a meeting on that trip. For Key to pretend she didn’t know what her husband was doing when she was endorsing the deal both with her presence and signature beggars belief.

And the silly penguin must be regreting his premature support for Wong.

The matter will inevitably end up with the Police. The Speaker has no choice – they are serial abusers – including on a trip with John Key – but even if they weren’t didn’t it is not up to the Speaker to choose which frauds he refers to the Police.

Wong might last till the end of the year but one thing is for sure she won’t be a candidate at the next election.

Thanks Pete for your work – pity the punters  mightn’t see all of the results until court processes have finished.

Mana low priority for National

Posted by on October 6th, 2010

There is to be a by-election next month in Mana.

Hekia Parata is the National Party candidate.

Stuff reports John Key saying they will fight hard :-

National will run a strong campaign in the November 20 Mana by-election, Prime Minister John Key is promising.

“Hekia Parata is an excellent candidate and we will run a strong campaign,” Mr Key said.

“I’m looking forward to supporting Hekia and talking with the people of Mana over the next few weeks.”

Nonsense Key – what are the facts.

She is a member of the Electoral Legislation Committee. It sat from 10am to 4pm today with a 45 minute lunch break.  Anyone who was outside Room 3 Parliament House would have seen her going into the room and coming out with other members of the committee.

Asked Nats why she wasn’t working on her campaign.

” No one would replace her.”

“Slack discipline.”

Don’t think they believe they have a chance – but they didn’t  need to throw in the towel so early.

And she has a great new nickname – Whatthehekia.

Filed under: by-election

Mana by-election dates

Posted by on October 4th, 2010
  1. Fri 15 Oct – Laban resigns
  2. Wed 20 Oct – GG to issue writ
  3. Wed 27 Oct – Nominations close
  4. Sat 20 Nov – Election Day
  5. Thu 9 Dec – Return of Writ final day

Will be good to get Kris into the house this year.

Thanks Kiwiblog

Filed under: by-election

Standard evidence on Lee’s lies

Posted by on December 6th, 2009

The Standard has new material which shows that Melissa Lee lied even more than we knew earlier. Will be interesting to see if her mentor John Key continues to back her or whether he has the backbone to sack her.

I bet he will do neither but will be relaxed as he does.

Nats Auckland list might have a winnable spot with Worth gone, Blue, Mapp and now probably Lee going.

And isn’t it a pity that Tim Ellis is banned. Watching him trying to defend this one would have been entertaining.

First Bob Jones now Prebble talking up Labour

Posted by on October 30th, 2009

I’ve previously linked to a Bob Jones article picking a Labour win in 2011.

Here’s a link to the Prebble piece at Gauntlet.  He notes that Labour got more votes than National in 1978 after a massive defeat in 1975, he says inter alia:

Back in the present, Phil Goff is a much more impressive figure than Bill Rowling was. He is smarter for a start, and is a much more experienced politician going into an election, having 15 years prior experience as a successful minister, compared to Rowling’s three years and John Key’s single year. Goff has fought far more elections than either man. Experience counts.

Take the Mt Albert by-election which is the only head to head comparison we have of Phil Goff versus John Key. Labour’s polling two months out only gave Labour only a very slight lead.

Goff and Key then took the major decisions that turned a possible National win into a Labour landslide. Both Leaders selected their candidates. Phil Goff picked David Shearer who did not put a foot wrong. John Key picked Melissa Lee who was the wrong candidate even before she opened her month and proved it. Very few Koreans live in Mount Albert.

Both men had a big say in who organised the campaign. Goff relied on Labour’s hardened professionals who run a textbook campaign. John Key made the bizarre choice of a cabinet minister, Jonathon Coleman, as National’s campaign manager.

Some claim by-elections are a more reliable guide than polling. The by-election shows how soft National’s support is and how in a general election a 5.85% % two-party swing is enitrely possible. It raises serious questions about John Key’s leadership in a campaign.

If John Key was more experienced, National would not have contested the Mt Albert by-election. National under Muldoon did not contest Sydenham when Norman Kirk died, thus depriving Labour of a contested victory.

We could not believe it when the Nats decided to contest Mt Albert – most of us thought it was going to be a Green v Labour race.

After appointing Michael Cullen to a string of boards it then becomes hard to argue he was a disastrous financial manager. Similarly, supporting Helen Clark for work at the UN lends credibility to Labour. Credibility, the feeling that a party can be trusted to be in charge of the country, is political gold, and is what elections are won with.

Subsequently, Labour won twelve new seats. No party that had just lost government has ever gained a dozen new MPs. They mostly come from Helen Clark’s office where are they trained to be professional career politicians who will do what it takes to win. Their youth and enthusiasm is revitalising the party.

Well they don’t mostly come from Helen’s office but they sure have hit the ground running. They are very very good and over time we will see the results of that.

Key lies in the house

Posted by on October 17th, 2009

Thanks to The Standard for reminding me of one of Key’s lies in the House this week. He said:-

“Maybe that reflects badly on NZ On Air, which thinks that the way that it should respond to these things is by leaking them to the Labour Party, without having the courtesy of sending the letter in the first place to Melissa Lee.”

I was one of the Labour people to whom the letter was sent.  I didn’t give it to the media. It came with material, partly of a personal nature, from within Melissa Lee’s company. It included  information that would not be available to NZ on Air.

In normal circumstances I would refer the matter to the Speaker but he has now repeatedly ruled that Minister’s obligation to tell the truth finishes with their primary answer and does not apply to supplementary answers.

At least Lee only took three months to agree to pay back the money received as a result of false declarations over several years – English has not yet agreed to repay over a decade of money received on the basis he resided in Dipton.

No leeway and utu

Posted by on October 13th, 2009

The Nats are facing not one but two unfolding horror dramas in the broadcasting portfolio of Jonathan Coleman.

The Mt Albert Maestro was most uncomfortable with questions today about breaches of contract between Melissa Lee’s production company and NZ on Air. Might that discomfort reflect the fact that although Lee is saying the issue was a “total surprise'”,  my understanding is she was engaged in rather concerned conversations with NZ on Air a month ago..

Meanwhile,  having said three weeks ago that Kiwis could now kiss goodbye to seeing major sports events  on free-to-air television, Coleman’s had his hand twisted up his back to fund TVNZ and TV3’s bid against Maori Television for the Rugby World Cup rights. Why, you might ask, are two government agencies now bidding against each other? Simple. The government fears that voters in election year may be  offended by part Maori commentary.

Pita Sharples could be forgiven for  plotting utu after his mana was today so trampled. Remember he was apologising to J Key just a few days ago for not having alerted Cabinet to his approval of Maori Development Ministry money for MTS bid for RWC rights. Sharples said it was because he was a new, junior Minister; now he is being brutually shown just how junior he is.

Melissa and bill

Posted by on October 13th, 2009

What is it with these Nats. Years of false declarations and they think an offer to pay back part of the money (Bill) and all of it (Melissa) means  they can expect to be forgiven. And no doubt they are going to tell us again today what careful custodians they are of the public purse. They are just not credible.

Now is when we see if Key has backbone. It is a big test for him.

English and the patient pete

Posted by on September 17th, 2009

This story will last as long as English is a Minister.  It is moving along from yesterday’s post. Audrey Young  has picked it up, Vernon Small continues to understand it while the Standard has the best summary.

Update :- TVNZ and TV3 both covered – resulting in language from English that made Tau Henare seem polite.

How we can believe Bill English.

Posted by on September 9th, 2009

Bill English has a major problem. He has told New Zealand that he didn’t change his family trust arrangements to rort the accommodation allowance system.

His suggestion is that the timing is co-incidental. Officials however went to the Prime Minister before accepting his claim.

I’m yet to meet anyone who believes him and can give a credible explanation that does not involve a rort.

It is vital that the Minister of Finance not have this problem overshadowing him. Any suggestion of lack of veracity causes the country international problems. It certainly doesn’t help our credit rating if we look like a number of countries where this sort of issue is commonplace.

And in NZ he is trying to make cuts. How can he do that under this cloud.

There may be a good, but personal, reason for the change. I can’t imagine what it might be.

I have an offer for Bill. He can brief me. I undertake to keep his reason confidential whether or not I think it is reasonable. If it is reasonable I will say so publicly and apologise. If not reasonable I will say just that.

Not Yours To Sell

Posted by on July 10th, 2009

Today I’m launching a new campaign to protect Auckland’s community assets. It’s called Not Yours To Sell.

Over the last few months of the super city debate, and the last four days of select committee hearings on the super city bill, it has been clear to me that Aucklanders fear the super city may be the prelude to privatisation of our assets.

Last week my member’s bill – the Local Government (Protection of Auckland Assets) Amendment Bill – was pulled from the ballot. Over the next three weeks I hope we can mobilise public support for the bill, and particularly pressure on Auckland’s National MPs to support it.

If passed the bill would give Aucklanders the right to a referendum before any public assets were sold off. The Prime Minister has said the Government has no plans to sell Auckland’s assets and it would be up to future Auckland Councils. Well…yes, precisely. It is not so long ago that they sold off shares in the airport, and tried to flog off the port. Add to that the fact that we have a Minister of Local Government who advocates privatisation. And a Rodney Hide-led Cabinet review that seeks to scale back local government to ‘core services.’

So if you want to help save Auckland’s ports, water company, transport, libraries, parks, sports grounds… go to Not Yours To Sell, sign up, and take action.