Jonathan Young

Labour gives up on New Plymouth and Rotorua

It looks like Labour has given up on winning back New Plymouth and Rotorua, bypassing them on their taxpayer funded leader’s roadshow.

The Labour Party is bypassing Taranaki in a series of meetings to be held before electing its new leader.

Details of the 12 meetings, spread across New Zealand, were announced yesterday as the Labour leadership race entered its next phase.

New Plymouth had been a traditional stronghold for the party with Harry Duynhoven holding the seat from 1993 until 2008, when National MP Jonathan Young wrested it from him with the country’s smallest majority of just 105 votes.

Mr Young then went on to defeat Andrew Little in 2011.

Labour Party general secretary Tim Barnett said the tight timeframe and having to hold meetings in the six biggest population centres had dictated where meetings were held.  Read more »

Shearer is gone, but who next?

I said yesterday that I couldn’t believe a caucus stitch up hadn’t already been prepared to avoid letting the muppets of the membership hamstring the party with their choice.

I say a deal hasn’t been done because surely if it had they’d have presented that already to the media instead of putting Hipkins to act all petulant and pathetic.

You can’t call the knifing of David Shearer a coup because all they have really done is feed him to the fishes without having worked who the next fish food was going to be.

The word is that the final straw was his secret meeting with John Key so it wasn’t Labour who finished him off, more so John Key who joins Helen Clark as a Prime Minister who has seen off three opposition leaders.

Enough of that, who is next?   Read more »

Techtard of the Day


Clare Curran is the gift that just keeps on giving. Just when you think she can’t get any dumber she comes out and proves us wrong.

The tip line has produced an absolute gem which shows why the ICT sector should be crapping themselves if Curran ever gets the portfolio.

During Radio New Zealand’s financial review appearance Clare Curran showed what a techtard she is.

This transcript exert below is brilliant. RNZ chief executive Peter Cavanagh did well not to start pissing himself laughing.

Jonathan Young: I listen to your programmes every day of the week through my iPad. I don’t use my radio anymore except as an alarm.

Clare Curran: Actually, I just wanted to wave it at you because it is such a great innovation, the app, and I have listened – I used it when I was in the States last year, and it was amazing to be there and to hear the quality of the voice coming through. It’s fantastic. The only criticism I would have of it, and I’m interested to know if this is happening to other people, is that it cuts off. It cuts out after a certain amount of time, and then you’ve got to stick it back on again. So there’s some sort of glitch, but I don’t think it’s just my iPhone.   Read more »

National’s Caucus Issues, Ctd

Steven Joyce’s strategic stupidity with MMP means National has no coalition options and needs to cling to power now at all costs. Backbenchers know this, and know that they have him by the balls because he can’t rely on the maoris without getting it in the arse from the voters.

There are two ways National MPs can cause problems. All of them have the option of crossing the floor, and a few in marginal seats have the option of threatening to resign and bring down the government. The first is a pretty drastic step and would take a seriously pissed off backbencher. The second is a much bigger problem because if there is a by election and National loses the balance of power shifts.

The MPs with marginal seats are:

Paula Bennett – 9
Nicky Wagner  – 47
Kate Wilkinson – 642
Nikki Kaye – 717
Sam Lotu-Iiga – 3021
Chris Tremain – 3701
Jonathan Young  – 4270
Tim Macindoe – 4,418
Anne Tolley – 4774

The ministers, Bennett, Wilkinson, Tremain and Tolley look pretty safe in their ministerial portfolios. If Key gives them the arse they can tell him to stick it and force a by-election. It looks like Comrade Kate might have got a get out of jail free card.

Of the backbenchers if I were Steven Joyce or John Key I would expect my buttocks to clench every time I got a call from any of Wagner, Kaye, Lotu-Iiga, Young and MacIndoe. And I would be prepared with a bribe to keep them from forcing a by-election, because without them there is every chance Labour would win the seat. The power of incumbency is massive, and these MPs will know it.

Cunliffe Has Eyes On Prize

Shuffling and rocking around, David Cunliffe’s speech in the House yesterday was one of the most passionate he has given in a long time.

It is a shame really that his colleagues were not there to support him and he was left with heavyweights Raymond Huo and Rino Tirikatene cheering him on with a few scattered others.

When Cunliffe rolled out talk of National doing polling and calling out “there’s a mood change on”, he was really telling us that he’s back and ready for there to be the mood change in Labour for a new Leader.

Cunliffe then calls out Jonathan Young out but describes entirely what he wants to do to the former Labour front bench.  Before dropping the shoulder completely on them with the most unusual phrase “lining up the Ducks for a better future”.

A fabulous speech reasserting his position in Labour and a promise of what it to come for the ABC (Anyone But Cunliffe) crowd.


Questions for Delegates at CNI Conference

This weekend is the National Party CNI Regional Conference in Taupo. In terms of numbers CNI is 100% blue, with no red seats in the region. Other numbers worth bearing in mind are the outstanding electoral success of three members of the 2008 intake.

Jonathan Young increased his majority in New Plymouth, giving Andrew Little’s hopes of becoming Labour leader a big dent. Provincial MPs often get overlooked, but the word from New Plymouth is Jonathan is a bloody good campaigner and a well liked and well respected local MP.

In Taupo Louise Upston increased her majority from 6445 to a whopping 14115, cementing her reputation as a vote winner, and turning a formerly red seat blue.

Over in Rotorua Todd McClay was one of only three National MPs competing against a Labour List MP to increase his majority, with Tim McIndoe in Hamilton West doing slightly better than Todd in increasing his majority against a Labour List MP. Unlike Boris, Bluey had the huge good fortune of benefiting from the Moroney Effect.

So with no electorates in play the questions for the CNI delegates are more about how members get their voice heard in the party hierarchy. Are there enough remits and is the policy process working well enough that a good party member can have their ideas adopted as government policy? What plans do the party have to get more people between 30-40 involved, not just as members but actually contributing to the party? Should party members directly elect the president to get them more involved in the party rather than having the board appoint the president?

And finally, in what should not be seen as a slight on my long time friend in caucus, Scott Simpson, what is the party doing to ensure that good local people with good local connections win selection in seats in the CNI.

Little’s chance went begging

You have to laugh at Andrew Little. He stood as a carpet bagger in New Plymouth and managed to perform so poorly he turned the country’s most margin seat in 2008 into a safe National seat by 2011.

On Saturday night Mr Little failed in his bid to wrest the New Plymouth seat from National’s Jonathan Young and Labour suffered its worst defeat since the 1920s.

“It was certainly a sense of great privilege to be coming in on the list but it wasn’t the sense of elation that I might have thought of years ago when I thought ‘Yes, I want to commit to becoming an MP’.”

You’ve got to love the entitlement mentality that thinks scraping in on the list is a “great privilege”.

Any designs Andrew Little had on the leadership of Labour pretty much ended with his woeful showing in New Plymouth.

Little’s Mum still not convinced

Poor Andrew Little, pretending to be a local and now his Mum sounds like she won’t be voting for him:

When Mr Little announced he would contest New Plymouth’s seat as the Labour Party candidate, Mrs Little said she wrote a letter to Mr Young saying her political beliefs would fall on neutral ground this election.

But with only four days until New Zealanders head to the polling booths, Mrs Little said she still hasn’t decided whether she will vote.

“What am I to do? Obviously my loyalties lie with my son but my husband and I were always National Party supporters,” she said.

It was Mr Young who brought up Mrs Little’s dilemma at a National Party meet-the-candidates meeting in Okato yesterday.

“I was speaking with Mrs Little recently – she’s a National Party member you know – and I said to her that I understand her loyalties lie with her son but I’ll be rather peeved if I lose by one vote,” Mr Young said.

Pretty bad when you are living with her and you still can;t convince your dear old mum and your own leader won’t even visit the electorate.

Two-Hats to become Three-Hats

Pedro Gower (I do the nicknames, no-one else) has posted that Andrew “Two-Hats” Little is about to stand for selection in New Plymouth as a carpet-bagger candidate.

Andrew "Three Hats" LittleLabour high-flyer and union boss Andrew Little will launch his Parliamentary career by standing in the New Plymouth electorate.

Nominations open today, and 3 News has learned Little will put his name forward – confirmed by top-level sources in the Labour hierarchy.

Of course there is a selection process to follow, but Little is the Labour Party President. Make no mistake: he will win the candidacy.

I’m not sure sure that Three Hats can win the selection. Labour MPs I have spoken to don’t seem too enamoured with Three Hats. Certainly Annette King and Trevor Mallard aren’t big fans as they have refused to relinquish their seats to enable Three Hats to get into parliament. The talk around Labour too, is that Three Hats hasn’t delivered in the fund-raising stakes either, something both main parties seem to have a problem with.

It seems that companies that were previously scared into giving cash to Labour through Mike Williams bully-boy tactics aren’t that scared of Three hats though confusion does reign juast as to what he is seeing them about. Is it about his union pals as leader of the nations biggest union or fundraising for Labour.

It does beg the question, and something likely to be tested in a court next election, are the EPMU really a third party of the industrial wing of the Labour Party? If the EPMU boss is also the boss of Labour and a Labour candidate there does seem to be a real credibility issue on the separation of third parties, particularly those affiliated to and voting for candidates inside Labour

Even if Andrew Little does manage to get selected he will still need a high list placing to get into parliament because he has no chance of winning New Plymouth. That electorate was only Labour through Harry Duynhoven, who was a hard working and popular MP, though when the tide went out and with boundary changes that still couldn’t save him. Jonathan Young has been working diligently to cement his place as local MP and a carpet-bagger from Wellington will struggle even if he is the Labour Party president.