The Hauraki-Waikato by-election is going to cost Labour a container load of tea towels

nanaia mahuta scribble face

via Maori TV

The rumbles about Nanaia Mahuta’s impending defection appear to have taken on a more solid form over the last 24 hours.  Richard Harman at Politik has the gossip

The Maori Party says it is ready for a by-election in Hauraki-Waikato if the current Labour MP, Nanaia Mahuta resigns from Parliament early.

There was speculation in Wellington last night that she may be ready to resign, possibly within the next few weeks.

Maori Party President, Tuku Morgan, says he can understand why.

“The rug has been pulled out from under her by the King (Tuheitia) regarding his withdrawal of support for the Labour party,” he said.

“That’s the game changer.”

Ms Mahuta has indicated she is considering resignation.

Over the weekend she told TV3’s “Marae” programme that the question “gets asked every three years” and any politician worth their salt should ask if they have done their time.

“I’ll make whatever decision I make based on the fact that I want to see a change of government.”

Morgan says Mahuta has been looking for a place at home, for some responsibilities at home “and that’s been on going for some time.”

“So I wouldn’t be surprised if she goes soon.”

Morgan says he has a strategy for any by-election ready to go, and there is an impressive line-up of would-be candidates waiting in the wings.

“If she was to go tomorrow or next week, we are ready to go,” he said.

Any by-election in Hauraki-Waikato would be a test of the recent electorate deal done by Morgan with Mana Party Leader Hone Harawira.

Based on the last election results, even if Mana stood aside and all their votes went to the Maori Party candidate, Labour would still be ahead by over 4000 votes.

The absence of a categorical denial is clear enough that Princess Mahuta is considering her options.  Word from Fraser House is that they are a bit puckered up about it and are looking to put together a deal to make her stay.  So far, they can’t find much to inspire her.

There is a wave of Maori nationalism developing in the vacuum of a rudderless and ineffective Labour party.  A party that has always simply assumed that the Maori seats where theirs by right.

Nanaia was shown the has no standing inside Labour when she was (rightfully) demoted, but the white male dominated EPMU “strategists” have no appreciation of Maori politics.   They are going to get a very expensive lesson.

As for Labour still leading with 4,000 votes even if the Mana don’t stand a candidate, that was with the backdrop of Mahuta being endorsed as a Labour candidate.  Once she is endorsed as a Maori party candidate Labour currently have nothing to convince the electorate to remain faithful.  Almost two decades of neglect and maltreatment will have its obvious outcome.

As for Labour, a by election is the last thing they need. Labour already can’t pay for Mt Roskill.  Two by-elections will break them, and they will have no money for the general election.  From Mahuta’s point of view, it would be perfect utu.


– Richard Harman, Politik

  • Sally

    If there is a by-election surely it would be in the National Party’s interest to support the Maori Party and help their candidate to get across the line. To have another vote from a support party would be huge. They would have to worry about Dunne so much.
    The Labour Party won’t let Mahutu go easily.

  • It sounds like Labour really need their own Clinton Foundation… or a Give to Little page being set-up.
    Wasn’t Labour trying to organise Pay to Play dinner functions to meet various senior Labour MP’s – at $25each per person – or something. Haven’t heard much about that recently…

  • cows4me

    I can get my hands on a goat if Labour need a cheap candidate, can even supply a dark brown one if they are still chasing the Maori vote, mine you finding a retarded one might be a challenge.

    • That’s really not fair on the poor goat.

    • JLS

      I think you’d struggle to find a keen goat- they have a bit of pride and intelligence. Swine might be more appropriate although equally unwilling in this case.

    • twittertit

      Careful now, GOAT is also an acronym for Greatest of all time. Don’t really see that as applicable to Labour these days….

    • XCIA

      Seems the goat is an experienced politician……….”In 1989, regional council boundaries were redrawn, with an emphasis on catchments being connected. These revised maps made Whangamomona, NZ part of the Manawatu-Wanganui Region. Residents wanted to continue to be part of the Taranaki Region, and on 1 November 1989, they responded by declaring themselves the “Republic of Whangamomona” at the first Republic Day. At every Republic Day, they vote to either keep the seating President or to vote in a new one. Since 1999, they have had Billy Gumboot the Goat (1999–2001) and Tai the Poodle (2003–2004), the latest being Murt “Murtle the Turtle” Kennard (2005–2015).”

      • cows4me

        I actually met billy , a quite and shy type, then sadly he was assassinated not long after.

  • Geordie

    Well the Labour party won’t miss her in the house….she is never there. Will Tuku stand for the Maori Party? Winston will be very dark if he does!

    Andrew Little has spent so long in Union politics (where no one steps out of line and everyone does as they are told) that he doesn’t have the skills to deal with these developments. Demoting her and promoting Davis was just plain stupid. He doesn’t have the backing of the Maori leadership and he will be out on his ear if Mana and the Maori party do a deal.

    The next question is what are the other Maori Labour MPs going to do?

    • Vutekno

      Well she is physically there most question times. But she like many of her useless Labour colleagues score a big zero in participation including heckling.

      It always astounds me when I watch the line up of dull, non smiling, bored faces that seem to be saying, I want to be out of here! Not that I blame them, hardest work they will ever do being part of the decomposing Labour corpse in its final moments. I hope they don’t turn to drink!

  • kayaker

    Could this be Nanaia’s way of getting a place at the top table? If National go with the Maori Party and vice versa, that is.

  • Sailor Sam

    She couldjust jump from one whaka to another, it has been done before.
    But I suggest she will want to be co-leader at the expense of Marama Fox.

  • STAG

    Do It! it’ll be the pinnacle of an amazingly empty political career. She may for the very first time in her life have some relevance to the public at large. Go on, Man up and do it.

  • Eiselmann

    The Waikato Princess gets elected because of her name, she switches to the Maori Party or even decides to get a pay increase by being a member of her Iwi Trust ..then all that name recognition goes away from Labour, (even ignoring any votes that will change because Tuku’s ‘truck driving mouthpiece’ has switched his voting preference)

    Labour are going to find out something every one else knows…the power of the name Mahuta ….its powerful enough that a ‘do nothing ,say nothing, achieve nothing’ politician gets auto-elected by simply being on the ballot.

    4000 Majority….Labour will have to bust a gut to get 4000 votes.

  • sonovaMin

    She may have the appearance of doing nothing and being lazy but we don’t know what has been happening behind the scene.
    She may have been blocked and discouraged from doing anything by the patronising Labour know alls. This could be big Mahuta’s revenge moment.

    • shykiwibloke

      Yes that could be true. Phil Goff could really be independent, while Matt M is moving to Auckland voluntarily too. Personally, I think it has to be a real earthquake to make a sitting MP jump ship.

    • You’re just going soft of a fellow cartoonist

      • sonovaMin

        Heh – You only have to look at how Davis has been set up as a crime hugger to appreciate Labour’s dark arts at work.
        I suspect Mahuta would have had an entirely different agenda to Labour’s.

  • Nermal

    Morgan says Mahuta has been looking for a place at home, for some responsibilities at home “and that’s been on going for some time.”

    Looking for another trough.

  • sandalwood789

    I’d *love* to see a by-election (if for no other reason than it will make a big hole in Labour’s finances.) The more things that drain their funds, the better.