New Plymouth

New Plymouth mayor’s Maori Ward drive as popular as a poo in the pool

A petition against Maori wards with more than 4000 signatures will be delivered to mayor Andrew Judd in two weeks and set in motion a referendum on the issue.

In September the New Plymouth District Council voted in favour of developing a ward to ensure Maori had a voice on the council.

The decision was condemned by many and prompted Hugh Johnson to start a petition against the move.

Current legislation allows for a binding referendum on Maori wards if a petition with at least 5 per cent of the electorate is collected.

However, that is not the case with decisions on other wards where the local government commissioner has the final say.

Five per cent of the New Plymouth electorate equates to 2749 signatures, and Johnson said¬†he would be handing in “4000 plus” signatures to Judd on February 12.

A rare chance for the rate payers to force their will on a council determined to go against the will of the people. ¬† Read more »

Taranaki woman converts to Islam

Interesting piece in the Taranaki Daily News by Helen Harvey.  I Kiwi woman converts to Islam and shares the prejudice that she faces.

A Taranaki woman who has recently converted to Islam says she has been spat on, told to go back where she came from and, during a job interview, told to take off her hijab.

Cherie French did her shahada to convert to Islam last year and now wears a headcovering. A person becomes a Muslim by reciting the Shahada Islamic creed in Arabic.

She had previously worked in retail and last week she went for a job interview at Trick or Treat on Devon St, she said.

“I didn’t say anything about me being Muslim because it was pretty obvious. [The owner] said, can you take that off? It’s not allowed in the shop. I said it was because of my religion. She said, we have a policy there is no hats or sunglasses in the store.”

If you take on a religion that brings with it set of practices that are by and large foreign to the country you were born in, how do you expect people to react? ¬† Read more »

Who is Andrew Little? Ctd – Is he Electable?

Andrew Little has run in New Plymouth twice now, and lost badly twice. Incumbent National MP Jonathan Young gave him a sound beating in 2011 and absolutely destroyed him in 2014.

At the 5.45 mark of his first press conference as leader he was asked about this. “Andrew Little you got whipped in New Plymouth, how can you beat John Key nationwide.

Lets take a look at the results in New Plymouth.

Little Young Margin Little Diff Young Diff Margin Diff
2011 13,374 17,644 4,270 -1,586 3,922 5,508
2014 11,788 21,566 9,778
Labour National Margin
2011 8,761 18,073 9,312 -814 2,896 3,710
2014 7,947 20,969 13,022

Read more »

Little Angry Andy PR crusade continues


The Taranaki Daily Times has joined in on the Little Angry Andy PR crusade.

Or have they?

The image used in the article above makes look cartoonish, with the body of a half sucked throatie and a face of a loon.

But the article goes on to try and turn around he image he has crafted for himself of being an angry, hard, union boss.

Labour leader Andrew Little serves up some tasty ham at the New Plymouth Community Christmas Charitable Trust’s lunch yesterday.

Andrew Little may be the leader of the Opposition in Parliament but it didn’t stop him rolling up his sleeves and helping out at New Plymouth’s community Christmas lunch yesterday. ¬† Read more »

Muppet Mayor Mandates Maori quota

These muppets never give in, it is bad enough in Auckland having unelected Maori board members lording it over us all, but now the Mayor of New Plymouth is proposing that all councils have 50% of council seats allocated to Maori.

It is breathtaking racism and wonky thinking.

I doubt he will be mayor for long.

New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd has taken his fight for Maori representation a step further, calling for a law change so up to half of all councillors in New Zealand are Maori.

Judd, already fighting critics over his council’s plans to create a Maori ward, believes there should be more Maori representation across the country to better reflect the Treaty of Waitangi.

“The reasonable interpretation of the Treaty is that you would have fifty-fifty representation around the table,” Judd said.

“We should be incorporating the Maori perspective around council tables, and ultimately that would mean up to half the representation each.”¬† Read more »

Andrew Little’s New Plymouth problem

Given the lack of talent for Labour’s leadership spill, Andrew Little looks like a good safe bet.

But there is a problem, and that is his less than stellar performances in New Plymouth.

Phil Quin explains;

There’s a lot of smart money going on Andrew Little’s bid to lead the Labour Party, but the numbers in New Plymouth don’t lie. So what are they saying?

There’s a lot of talk about “listening” in Labour circles these days. Announcing his bid for the party leadership, list MP Andrew Little named as his top priority “getting the process underway to listen to the voters who have abandoned us”. Grant Robertson agrees, telling reporters last week “as we emerge from our heavy election defeat, we must now take the opportunity to listen”.

I suspect Little and Robertson have in mind some version of a ‚ÄúLabour Listens‚ÄĚ tour (as Neil Kinnock did in Britain in 1997 and Gordon Brown did in 2010), a series of carefully staged outreach events involving a great deal of ostentatious nodding and taking of things on board. This is all well and good, and may even help in the long run, but there‚Äôs no reason to wait for a bus trip to start the process.

New Zealanders have said a great deal already, and in the most unequivocal terms imaginable: they have voted.

As it turns out, electors in New Plymouth haven’t left much to the imagination when it comes to Little. Labour‚Äôs performance in the seat since he became the party‚Äôs local standard bearer has been disastrous. It seems worth analysing Little‚Äôs record in light of David Cunliffe’s endorsement, not to mention his own acknowledgement that the next party leader will need to arrest the party‚Äôs decline by rebuilding the party and reconnecting with voters. “We don’t have a choice,‚ÄĚ Little told Lisa Owen on The Nation last weekend, ‚ÄúWe’ve lost three elections in a row. Our vote has been going down. We’re down to 32 MPs. We are scraping the bottom of the barrel‚ÄĚ.

He should know. In the two elections since Little became Labour‚Äôs candidate in New Plymouth, National’s party vote margin in the electorate has more than doubled from 6,600 to 13,000 votes. After a 5.8 percent two-party swing from Labour to National in 2011, there was a further 6.3 percent swing in New Plymouth this year ‚Äď roughly three times worse than the nationwide average. As the electorate candidate, Little also attracted 6,500 fewer electorate votes than in 2008 when the previous Labour member, Harry Duynhoven, lost the seat. After three years of resources and profile as a list MP based partly in New Plymouth, Little managed a 7.8 percent swing against him on the electorate vote this year, to compound the 6.7 percent he suffered in 2011.¬† Read more »

Nashy bows out

I think Stuart Nash has made a wise decision not to participate in Labour’s leadership spill.

It promised to get messy and it is my belief that no good will come of this battle as the caucus seeks to rid themselves of David Cunliffe.

Napier MP Stuart Nash has ruled himself out of the Labour leadership contest so he can turn his electorate into a “Labour fortress”.

Mr Nash had previously indicated his decision would be influenced by whether list MP Andrew Little was in a position to stand.

Mr Little’s place in Parliament was confirmed on Saturday following the counting of special votes.

Last night, Mr Nash confirmed his withdrawal from the contest and said he had decided against standing after a meeting with his team yesterday. Mr Little’s situation had had only a small bearing on his decision.

“We had a good look at everything and decided there’s a whole lot of work to do in Napier … to turn Napier into a Labour fortress.”


Meanwhile Andrew Little, a man so unlikeable he has been rejected comprehensively by the voters of New Plymouth twice and can’t win an electorate seat is probably going to have a tilt at the leadership. ¬† Read more »

Is this really Labour’s Next Prime Minister?


Andrew Little snuck back into parliament by a tiny amount, and now he is thinking about being the leader of Labour.

There is a slight problem for Little. He is dead set boring. And a bigger problem. He has managed to turn a marginal Labour seat into a safe National seat over two elections, proving that he is unelectable.

The results for New Plymouth were:

2011 Young  17,644 Little  13,374 Majority 4270

2014 Young¬† 21,566 Little¬† 11,788 Majority 9778 ¬† Read more »

The wheels on the bus go round and round…

A reader emails:

Hi Whale Oil.¬† Couldn’t resist sending you this item from¬†today’s Taranaki Daily News.

Labour’s Big Red Bus arrived in New Plymouth yesterday with 6¬†supporters (yes, six of them) on board.¬† Amusingly, two of them are¬†“veteran campaigners” from Australia!

Are they really that desperate?

It certainly appears so…


Read more »

Voting positive and hoardings: working for National


We’ve reported systematic damage to National hoardings very much out of proportion to other parties’ hoardings for well over a month while the media kept quiet or mentioned “cute” defacings done my MPs themselves such as Jacinda Ardern.

Of course, now that the media have realised all their efforts have gone to waste, they’ve suddenly decided to show the other side of the story Read more »