Northland loss to Winston not a lesson for Whangarei’s Shane Reti it seems

Shane Reti isn’t quaking in his boots, or even his jandals over claims that NZ First will seriously contest Whangarei at the next election.

NZ First Leader and Northland MP Winston Peters is targeting Whangarei for his party next election, but incumbent Shane Reti isn’t too worried.

Speaking at the start of the party’s annual conference in Dunedin at the weekend Mr Peters said Whangarei was ripe for the taking because of National MP Dr Reti’s low profile.

“Shane can walk down the main street of Whangarei and eight out of 10 people don’t recognise him. Now that’s a fact,” Mr Peters said.

Mr Peters, who captured Northland from National in a by-election in 2015 and has since put more campaigning focus on the regions, also named Whanganui as a possible target.  

The rumour mill has it that former Labour List MP Shane Jones will stand for NZ First in Whangarei, but that has been shot down by Mr Peters who said he had not spoken to Mr Jones about standing.

However, his comments about Dr Reti have sparked a response, with the first-time MP for Whangarei saying Mr Peter’s comments can’t be true.

“The numbers don’t lie,” Dr Reti said.

“If you look at the last election we got every second vote in the party vote (18,503) and I got every second vote in the candidate vote (20,111). I was really honoured that it was the second-highest vote ever for the Whangarei electorate. NZ First can continue to do and say what it wants, but I’ll continue to work hard for the people of Whangarei … and create more jobs.”

He said the National Party was already preparing for the next election and if NZ First stood a candidate against him he would give that person the same respect he would any candidate wanting his seat.

NZ First List MP Pita Paraone stood in Whangarei last election and gained 2944 votes while NZ First got 4936 party votes. Mr Peters said his party’s candidates for electorates could be known by the end of this year.

Winning Whangarei of National would be difficult. The number aren’t insurmountable but Shane Jones would have to change the habits of a lifetime and actually have to do some hard work on the streets. Also, it isn’t a by-election so any comparisons with Northland are silly.

The main problem that Shane Jones faces is that Shane Reti is actually well liked in his electorate. Being a former GP there are many, many voters he has helped.

I think Shane Jones should look at tipping out Twyford in Te Atatu…there is certainly plenty of money sloshing around to see that happen.


– NZ Herald

  • Keeping Stock

    Shane Reti has also had some wins for his constituents. He got Air New Zealand to drop plans to cut early morning flights from Kerikeri and Whangarei to Auckland. The people who voted him in wild not forget things like that.

    As far as Peters shooting down speculation of Jones standing. I’m not sure he did. The words he used withg Paul Henry, when asked if there had been a discussion were “precisely” and “no”. But was Peters saying “Precisely no”, which would be shooting the idea down (even though Peters’ “no” frequently means yes)? Or did he say “Precisely, no”? That could imply that he had been talking to Jones, but Whanganrei hadn’t been specifically discussed. That’s semantics, for sure, but in Peters’ case every comma or punctuation mark has to be scrutinised, because we all know he plays word games.

    • biscuit barrel

      Didnt they pullout completely from Whanganui- thats must affect the local MP under that reasoning, and its a NZ First target too !

      I dont think the timing of flights affects the average voters at all.

      • Keeping Stock

        It might have biscuit barrel, had not Chetser Borrows and Whanganui Mayor Annette Main not immediately started talking to Air Chathams who now offer the same schedule that Air New Zealand had between here and Auckland. Air Chathams have been fantastic to deal with, and I had my first flights with them yesterday and today and their service is first class. Had the local MP and Mayor simply rolled over and meekly accepted Air NZ’s reasoning, we would have no air service to Auckland, and the future of the airport would be at risk.

        As for the timing of flights, it makes a huge difference to people who are either making international connections or wanting to do business in Auckland. Now people leaving Kerikeri will be able to be in Auckland by around 7am, not 10am. As a reasonably frequent business traveler, I know what a difference that makes.

  • biscuit barrel

    “tipping out Twyford in Te Atatu…there is certainly plenty of money sloshing around to see that happen”??
    Each candidate is limited to $25k spending ..i wouldnt of thought that was ‘plenty of money’

  • XCIA

    “Now that’s a fact,” Mr Peters said.” Really? So its not the usual conjecture, rumour or downright lies then, that would make a change.

  • Moonroof

    If SJ was to stand in Te Atatu, it might just force enough of a vote split to give Alf Ngaro the electorate seat. While he may have (foolishly) aligned with Vic Crone’s mayoral campaign, would much prefer him to Phil Tywford, Alf has been been pretty decent for a list MP, and the Nats have won party vote last two elections in the TaT. Waitakere Man has moved on from Labour…

  • M C Chinaman

    How about we do the exercise where we walk down the street in any NZ town with photos of the NZ First MPs and see if 2 out of 10 can name them?

  • Keanne Lawrence

    The only thing anybody dumb enough to vote for the Jones Boy if he makes another attempt at politics is they know what they are getting. As we are aware there are some things that can not be polished and even the slightest rubbing creates a mess.