Annette King

Soper gets sticky knickers over Annie

Barry Soper has shifted his glad eye from the younger set and has a real love-in about 68-year-old Annette King.

Listening to the Labour veteran Annette King banging on in Parliament’s bear pit the comparison floated through my mind.

They’re female and were born within a month of each other, both turning the ripe old age of 70 next year. They’re certainly forceful women, even though King is seen to be in the twilight of her long political life.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is in full flight with her bid to to slide into the Oval Office’s leather chair, despite the memories that office must hold for her from the time it was occupied by her hubby Bill twenty years ago. At least the decor’s changed since then.

King, who’s affectionately referred to around Parliament as Auntie, was herself in full flight, making her opponents even more grizzly now that they’re back at work after their summer holiday break. It was good, old school, tub thumping stuff reminding us of Austin Mitchell’s view of God’s Own as the half gallon, quarter acre, Pavlova Paradise.

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Little for Rongotai? Yeah, nah.

Labour veteran Annette King has confirmed she will stand again in 2017 but possibly only on the list, a step which would open up her Rongotai electorate for leader Andrew Little.Mr Little is currently a list MP and if he does not win an electorate he could be the first Prime Minister who is not also an electorate MP.

Although the party vote determines a party’s representation in Parliament under MMP, there is still some moral weight in being able to win an electorate and Labour is unlikely to want to take any risks.

Mr Little lives in the Rongotai electorate in Wellington – a safe Labour seat in which Ms King has been the local MP since 1993.

Asked if Mr Little had asked her to allow him to stand in the seat, Ms King said “that is hypothetical”.

“We talk to each other all the time, but I’ll make my announcement on what I’m going to do in the future.”

She said she would announce her decision “when I’m ready.”

King is smart enough to see this year out first.  Apart from the far-fetched scenario that Andrew Little will be PM by 2017, and it would look silly if he didn’t have an electorate (Would it? He looks silly now.), the plans hatched over smoky summer barbecues are still to be implemented, and Annette’s got enough scars to know to wait and see how all those turn out. Read more »

Some of my Labour sources disagree about my post on Annette King

A couple of my Labour sources have emailed and suggested I missed a few signals that Annette King’s continued candidacy sends.

Loved your post on Rongotai, but I wonder if you missed the steaming turd atop the turd-pile. This is being seen internally as a massive repudiation of Little. Handing him Rongotai — where he fucking lives! — would have been a vote of confidence in Little and the surest sign to date that the Grantistas have made peace with him as leader. By doing the opposite, it is clear they still regard him as a stopgap figure at best. This should be read as a sign that Little  is far more vulnerable than he appears.

Any word on coming polls? The Nats should top 50, surely.

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No wonder Labour can’t refresh its caucus

David Farrar has a post on MP remuneration:


The Remuneration Authority has published its latest determination for . They no longer have discretion as to any increases – a law change saw it tagged to the average increase in the overall public sector. This has seen a 2.6% increase.   Read more »

I present: A government in waiting


Move over Annette, Little wants your seat

How unsubtle. I feel sorry for my good friend Annette King. I might send her some more flowers.

Andrew Little has basically told her to shove off, or at the very least let the cat out of the bag of her retirement.

Labour leader Andrew Little won’t run in Mt Roskill if MP Phil Goff is successful in his bid for Auckland Mayor, but Rongotai is in his sights.

Little has ruled out running in the long-held Auckland Labour seat saying, “there is a depth of talent out there already”.

Goff announced on Sunday that he would run for the super-city mayoralty next year and would stay on as Mt Roskill MP through to the election.

He would, however, relinquish his Auckland issues portfolio to avoid confusion as to whether he was attending events as an MP or with his mayoral candidate hat on.

When asked if Auckland Central’s Jacinda Ardern was an obvious replacement for the Auckland portfolio, Little said there were a number of Auckland MPs who are “potential candidates for that”.

Little will make his reshuffle announcements in the next week after holding off doing so until Goff had made a decision about the mayoralty race.    Read more »

The duplicity of Labour and Annette King

Annette King has made a big song and dance, along with her Media party pals, about pain threshold for patients needing surgery.

She has claimed it has increased, but the DHBs have busted her by revealing her researchers asked separate questions which they then conflated to allegedly mislead the house.

Shots have been fired over surgical figures, with the Health Minister accusing Labour’s Annette King of misleading Parliament by claiming Auckland DHB had raised its pain threshold for patients needing surgery.

Auckland DHB has hit back saying it has not, and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has accused King of deliberately “fudging the facts’.

Misleading the house is a serious offence, which in some situations is dealt with by the privileges committee and the House has the ability to punish someone for contempt if that person is found to have deliberately misled it.

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Uhmmm, John there is a slight problem with that approach

John Key has said that “we stand with France.”

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has joined the global chorus of leaders condemning the terrorist attacks in Paris that have killed more than 100 people.

Deaths occurred in a mass hostage taking at a concert hall, while 40 people are feared dead after bombings and shootings across the French capital, which is still recovering from jihadist attacks in January.

Key is en route to Vietnam for a trade mission.

“Our hearts go out to those involved and our thoughts are with them and their families,” he said today.

“New Zealand stands with France in the global fight against terror and while it is too soon to attribute blame, the attacks have targeted innocent civilians and are therefore an act of terrorism.”    Read more »

Did he ever have it?

Labour reckons they have lost respect for the Prime Minister…but did he ever have their respect?

Prime Minister John Key “acted like a clown” when he accused the opposition of “backing the rapists”, Labour deputy leader Annette King says.

Key caused uproar at Parliament when he said on Tuesday that the Labour Party was supporting rapists, murderers and child molesters among Kiwi detainees at Australia’s Christmas Island detention centre.

A number of female MPs from the opposition staged a protest and walkout against Key and Speaker David Carter on Wednesday, after Carter said he had not heard the original comment and was therefore powerless to make Key apologise.

King told TV3’s Paul Henry she supported her colleagues who had walked out and denied that opposition MPs had over-reacted to Key’s remarks.

“You had to be there in the heat of the chamber, where passions were high.”

However, National MP Judith Collins said Parliament had a “robust debating chamber”, and MPs who walked out would not be looked on favourably by some of the public.

“If you want to go walk out, understand that the public are going to view it in one of two ways: one, they’ll agree with you, or the second one, they’ll say, ‘We’re paying your wages, let’s get back to work’.”

Collins said the second, premeditated walkout on Wednesday may also have undermined respect for Parliament.

“it’s a tough place, and when it’s [the walkout] staged like that, and it was clearly staged, it loses some of its power.”

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Just what Labour needs, a deputy who doesn’t know what she wants to do

Labour’s conference has turned into a travesty, with Andrew Little unwilling to say whether or not Labour supports free trade, Phil Twyford going all Stalinist on housing, and the nanny state policies making a return with Labour’s wish to tax Watties’ tomato sauce.

Now Annette King, Andrew Little’s chosen deputy isn’t quite sure what she wants to do after 2017.

Labour MP Annette King says she hasn’t decided what she’ll do for the next general election.

Ms King is the MP for Rongotai, deputy leader of Labour and their spokeswoman for health.

There’s been speculation the 68-year-old may not stand at the 2017 general election or will run on the party list, creating an opportunity for a new electorate MP.

“That’s a decision I’ve yet to make,” Ms King told TVNZ’s Q&A program today.    Read more »