Shane Taurima asks Maori Party a devastating question

You remember Shane.  He was the one running the Labour Party campaign from his TVNZ office.  Well, the Maori Party asked him to speak at their conference.  Where he said this

Mr Taurima spoke as part of a panel at the Maori Party AGM today, telling them they had to face up to their worst election result ever. “It is the worst result you have seen.”

He said he was not advocating doing deals “but it something you must consider.”

“I know as soon as we start talking deals things get a bit tetchy – but you need to have it on the table because things could turned out quite differently.”

He said the Maori Party also had to ask why it was that Maori voters went back to Labour – while other voters had deserted Labour in droves.

For all intent and purposes, the Maori party was annihilated except for the personal mana of one man.  And in fact, the Maori Party has always existed on the personal mana of its MPs rather than coherent policy framework and positioning.   Read more »

The MMP election bribe rort: a reader explains

I love some of the good writing that’s coming in via the Tipline of late.  I’d like to share this one with you

Hi Cam

I just listened to Norman on the radio talking about post-election deal making, and my blood began to boil. Labour and the Greens are using MMP as a shield behind which to hide their true intentions, and they ought to be called on it by interviewers.

In this campaign we all know that you cannot have Labour without the Greens, or the Greens without Labour. Why not tell us what they will collectively do so that we actually know the choice we are being asked to make: Nation v Labour/Green?

Labour can promise to do A, B, and C, and pretend to cost it as funded. The Greens can promise D, E, and F, and pretend to cost it as funded. They then get to attract to the left voters who like any of A through F. But they both know they are never going to do it all. It is not much different to misleading advertising.

They say they cannot put their heads together and decide what they would collectively do until they know how many votes they each get. Rubbish. What difference does it make if Labour are 2:1 v the Greens or if they are 4:3 or 5:3 – who cares. They need each other and that is all that matters – as Al Bundy would have it, you can’t have one without the other. Read more »

National’s list released

National has released their list this morning.

Nikki Kaye has gone up to reflect her undeserved cabinet position, Maurice Williamson slides down because he is no longer a minister but he will win his seat in any case.

Of note are numbers 48 (Parmjeet Parma) and 53 (Misa Fia Turner) both ethnic and women in winnable list spots. Simeon Brown at 64 could possibly get there on current polling.

New Wellington based candidates like Chris Bishop have also done reasonably well – recognising that National were under-represented in Wellington. Bishop should make it in on the list but may yet unseat Trevor Mallard in Hutt South.

Overall this is a renewal list, with a potential of 17 new MPs, placing National well ahead in Labour int eh renewal stakes, and positioning the party well for the future. Labour are yet to go through this renewal process and are at least two cycles late.

National mixes experience and new talent in 2014 list

The National Party list for the 2014 election brings together a strong mix of both experienced political leaders and fresh new talent, says National Party President Peter Goodfellow.

“Our 2014 list shows the benefit of our ongoing rejuvenation programme. If National was able to match its election result from 2011, we would bring in as many as 13 new MPs, alongside 46 returning MPs.

“With the depth of talent we have to choose from, settling on a list that balances new blood alongside valuable experience was not an easy task. However, we believe we’ve struck the right mix that will allow for renewal and continued stability in a third term.”

A list ranking committee made up of about 30 delegates from around New Zealand gathered in Wellington yesterday to settle on the List rankings for the September 20 election.

Mr Goodfellow believes the list underlines National’s credentials as a strong economic manager which is working hard for all New Zealanders to deliver more jobs, better public services, and higher wages.

“Our list draws on people from all walks of life, from the social sector, to medicine, business, and agriculture. We have a good blend of candidates from a variety of diverse backgrounds.”

Mr Goodfellow says that sitting MPs and Ministers have been broadly ranked in their current order, but also notes there are a number of electorates with new candidates who are likely to join #TeamKey in September.

“The Party is in great heart, and I want to thank all those MPs who are retiring at this election for their contribution to their country. I also want to thank their families for the sacrifices so many of them have made to support a busy MP.

“Despite positive polling the National Party has a huge task ahead to ensure our supporters get out and vote at this election. An unstable far left coalition remains a very real risk to New Zealand’s positive outlook.

We’ll be working very hard until polling day to sell our positive cohesive plan for New Zealand that builds strongly in what the country has achieved over the last six years.”  Read more »


Comment of the Day – Coat-tailing

Grendel_from_the_dead comments about coat-tailing and gives a little history lesson on the way through.

Sorry but “coat tailing” only became a bad thing when the left stopped getting the advantage from it. It was very clear when MMP came in that it was a valid way for a party to get into parliament.

I remember watching the first MMP election (also my first election at all), and the experts reminding us that getting a seat got you all your party vote % of seats. It was not good or bad, it just was. The theory I vaguely recall them saying was that if a party was able to generate enough support in one area to win a seat, it could get all of its support from across the country. But if you were just spread across the country, you needed to get more. This enabled small single issue parties located primarily in one area to get more benefit focused to one area, rather than trying to fight all over the country. This was back when everyone thought we would get heaps of parties.

To me it’s the same as the overhang from getting too many electorates. The rules state that you are supposed to get as many seats as your party vote, but if you win more electorates than you were allowed seats, you still get the number of electorates. Other than actually winning electorates, I don’t see the difference.

But lets look at the facts:

1996 – No one gets an electorate and less than 1% and gets more than 1 seat (Dunne wins his seat but not enough party vote for a 2nd seat).

1999 – NZ first gets 4.26% and gets 4 extra seats due to winston winning tauranga. The greens were looking like needing to do the same with Coromandel, but specials put them over the line (the media had no issue with the ‘coattailing’ when the greens might have needed it). With NZ First, Labour is able to keep the Greens out of govt. If NZ First did not get the extra 4 seats, its possible the Greens would have been in govt to give Labour the majority.   Read more »

Will David Cunliffe commit to shunning the Internet Mana Party?

Labour and David Cunliffe find themselves in a pickle and one that all media commentators and the hard left have missed.

They don’t like coat-tailing, and even better have a bill promoted by Iain Lees-Galloway that would remove coat-tailing.

A Labour Party bill, promoted by Iain Lees-Galloway, which seeks to have the rule dumped is set to be debated early next year.

But the Government, ACT and United Future have said they will oppose it meaning it will not have the numbers to become law.

The rule has led to National backing ACT leader John Banks and United Future’s Peter Dunne to win electorate seats in the hope they bring more MPs into parliament with them to boost coalition numbers.

Their paid lap-bloggers at The Standard have even called for Labour and National to join forces and vote for the bill passing it before the election.

Labour already has a bill to remove the coat-tailing legislation. They’ve written it, put it in the ballot and it’s been drawn. All John Key has to do is say he’ll support it and it can be law any time he chooses.

Read more »

Why Kelvin Davis needs to ignore any talk of dodgy deals

Kelvin Davis is campaigning hard in Te Tai Tokerau.

He should continue to do that and ignore any entreaties from within Labour to cut a deal and go soft so Hone Harawira can retain a seat he no longer deserves.

If we are to use the logic of the left-wing, who for years have railed against dodgy deals in Epsom and Ohariu then Hone Harawira has sold out to big money, has lost his soul and is unfit to hold the seat in what is an electoral rort.

It is of course within the rules, but these guys have submitted to select committees and to Royal Commissions and to the electoral commission that coat-tailing should be abolished and abandoned.

Now, because it suits the cause of rinsing John Key, coat-tialing is just fine by them.

In one respect this suits me, especially long term, as even more people will now become disillusioned with MMP as the plaything of politicians. MMP handed them the power when it was supposed to hand power to the people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Under first past the post the people could toss useless, and tainted MPs onto the unemployment heap, not so under MMP where they have lists or cosy deals to protect the status quo.

Phil Goff says this all goes to show why we need state funding of political parties. He would say that of course because yet again the left-wing will use any contrivance to force others to pay for their wonky view of the world. That includes having taxpayers who do not support their ideology having to pay for the privilege of supporting them.

Politics is a contest of ideas and one where your ideas are subject to the harshest of market forces. If they are rubbish you don’t get donations or votes, if they are popular and reflect society then you get votes and donations. The left are broke, and sliding in the polls, their answer isn’t to offer a better selection of policies, rather it is to moan that they need other people to fund them so they don’t have to trifle with understanding the voting public.   Read more »

Don’t like your electoral system? Why not contract out of it?


MMP has been a bit of a mess right from the start, with baubles, cups of tea and other machinations that place the power in the hands of the politicians instead of the voters.

With the creation of the Internet Mana “Party”, New Zealand politics has turned yet another corner.

Unlike the agreement reached by the component organisations that formed the Alliance Party, the Internet Party and the Mana Party have absolutely no intention to either campaign as a single entity, nor stay together as a single entity. Read more »

Colin Craig can’t win, so why is anyone bothering?

Matthew Theunissen reports

Labour deputy leader David Parker said: “…the only way Colin Craig will get elected is if the National Party manipulates MMP and throws him the seat.”

And National will only make a deal with the bad, not the mad.   That hasn’t stopped Craig’s dad from trying his hardest to keep himself  and his neighbours in, what he hopes will be, his son’s electorate.

Colin’s father Ross mounted a successful challenge to the draft boundaries, shifting about 50 neighbouring lifestyle blocks from Rodney electorate into East Coast Bays.

In his objection to the Representation Commission’s original proposed boundaries, Ross Craig said Haigh Access Rd and the adjacent stretch of East Coast Rd had links with the Bays. “This area is within the East Coast Bays area for local body elections,” he said.

Ross Craig sent out flyers and got 72 other signatures on his petition – and this week, the commission agreed to the boundary change, almost certainly giving his son more votes if he confirms his intent to run in East Coast Bays.

The really amusing thing is that his son still doesn’t know what electorate he will stand in, so all that effort may have been for nothing anyway. Read more »

Rodney Hide on the travesty of MMP

Come September we could be watching the most popular political leader in the Western world, and the most popular party sitting on the sidelines as a coalition of the losers forms a government because of MMP.

Rodney Hide examines this with his column at NBR.

John Key is the most popular prime minister since polling began. It’s an extraordinary achievement. More remarkably, he’s the Western world’s most popular elected leader.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama must look on Mr Key’s numbers with envious eyes and considerable wonder.

His popularity drives support for his party. National consistently polls a third higher than Labour. And so Mr Key’s a shoe-in this election, right? No. It’s looking like a very close thing. That’s because we persist with a mongrel electoral system.

It’s not the party with the most votes that wins with MMP but the one that cobbles the support needed to govern. Mr Key and National could easily find themselves out in the cold.

I owe my entire parliamentary career to MMP, so I suppose I should be thankful. But I was never a fan of the system. My first serious political involvement was in opposing it. It was the first of my many political losses. Read more »

The Key to defeat

Luke Malpass at The Spectator has an interesting article on how it is that John Key will be defeated…and ironically John Key’s decision to only provide a lacklustre opposition to MMP may bite him.

John Key is the most popular leader in the western world. Not by a little, but a lot. His net approval rating (approvals minus disapprovals) has consistently been around 50+ per cent. That compares with Tony Abbott at 10+ per cent and Bill Shorten at 8+ per cent. Julia Gillard was somewhere down in the -20 territory. Barack Obama and David Cameron are both around -10 per cent. So why on earth will Mr Key and his government struggle to get re-elected on 20 September? The answer is simple: Mixed Member Proportional.

This electoral system, reconfirmed at the 2011 general election, is a blight on New Zealand politics. In the same way the Hare-Clark system in Tasmania delivered the recent Mickey-mouse, tail-wagging-dog government, so MMP does in New Zealand. It entrenches minority government at the expense of stability and introduces obfuscation where accountability should reside.

The left wing is an assortment of average to failing parties of little support, but group them together and the most popular government and PM in modern history may well lose…beaten by a coalition of losers.

In theory, according to its advocates, MMP is great. As it is extremely difficult to get a majority of the primary vote (1950 was the last time it happened) there can be no ‘elective dictatorships’. Because you vote for an electorate and a party, you can split your vote and elect a local candidate you like, without necessarily voting for their party. Party lists allow highly competent people with little political appeal to be elected. Parties have to constructively get along, and no government can get too far ahead of the people.   Read more »