Labour in disguise

Phil Goff is being sneaky with his blue signs in Auckland. Justin Lester is being sneaky with his yellow signs in Wellington.

It seems Labour candidates have realised how toxic their brand is, so try to hide it.

It seems the more a candidate calls themselves independent the less they are in fact independent.


Haydn Marriner is running for Rotorua District Council (now called Rotorua Lakes Council). He calls himself Independent but in fact is chairman of the Rotorua Labour Electorate Committee. It has been under his watch that a serious of unfortunate stories have broken; including a journalist being called a ‘nobody’ by their candidate’s partner and revelations of appalling financial management. To make matters worse for his sense of independence, Haydn Marriner has all his billboards authorized by Tim Smith (Tamati’s Coffey’s partner) and his campaign headquarters is Tamati’s house. The links don’t end there either.


The dog in all of Haydn’s billboards isn’t even his dog. It is Tamati’s dog and goes by the name Anzac. The photo shoot is about as contrived as a politician can get without somehow also fitting in a baby and a little old lady. It is almost as fake as his grin.

But wait! His independence isn’t to do with the Labour Party, he’ll say, it is to do with local politics. He’ll need to tell Steve Chadwick that. As a former Labour Cabinet Minister, Steve Chadwick is clearly backing Haydn and she expects him to back her. So Haydn’s independence is about is valid as the independence of a dog on a lead (something he apparently stands for as well as bringing them into the CBD).


And this could just be the beginning. Little birds talk and with Tamati Coffey leaving the Rotorua electorate in disarray and jumping over to Waiariki, Haydn looks likely to use this campaign to propel him into the candidacy for the Rotorua seat.

  • Bob Dazzler

    Labour losers in drag?

  • Jude

    The blue signs used by Labour candidates are a backhanded compliment to National. I think they have been widely noticed and commented about. Those candidates running under a Labour backing, it will be interesting to see how they fair. In Wellington Lester versus Leggit . Names so similar 😔

  • Cadwallader

    Is he holding a dog or a handbag?

  • Davo42

    The best part of this story is the part about Tamati being a dog pimp….

  • Whitey

    It’s no surprise they’re trying to hide their party allegiance. The first thing I did when I started figuring out who to vote for was to go down my list and cross off all the names I knew had ties to Labour or the Greens. I can’t be the only one who does this.

    • Sally

      However you will find the majority of people accept at face value the “independent” tag and not delve any deeper.
      Yes, a person can be ‘independent’ but they should be honest enough to say out loud and written spiels if they have ties with a political party or support the values and policies of a political party.
      Voters have a right to know what political animal they are voting for even if it someone else’s dog.

      • Whitey

        Sad, but so very true. That’s how we ended up with Celia Wade-Brown. She campaigned as an independent and was very quiet about her association with the Green party.

  • Sid_Holland

    That billboard is about as real and believable as this one – but Jonah is obviously more electable.