New Plymouth

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 “Labour Listens” 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’s 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’s performance in the seat since he became the party’s local standard bearer has been disastrous. It seems worth analysing Little’s 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’s decline by rebuilding the party and reconnecting with voters. “We don’t have a choice,” Little told Lisa Owen on The Nation last weekend, “We’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”.

He should know. In the two elections since Little became Labour’s 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 – 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?

Little-coup

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…

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Read more »

Voting positive and hoardings: working for National

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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 »

They breed ‘em tough in Taranaki

Stories like this are just great, as Kirsty McMurray reports from stuff.co.nz:

 

A boy who nearly had his toes bitten off by an eel got the last laugh yesterday when he ate the creature for lunch.

Theo Chadfield, 8, was meant to be helping his granddad Allan Davies fence the riparian planting on their Mangorei Rd, New Plymouth, farm on Saturday.

Instead, when he got hot, he stripped down to his undies and went for a swim in the Te Henui Stream.

“I asked Granddad if there were eels in the stream and he said no.”

Davies said he had gone to check on Theo, who was only shin deep in the water, when he saw him try and fail to take a step backward.

“He couldn’t move.” When Davies pulled Theo from the water they discovered a large eel dangling from his foot.

Theo said the eel had clamped on tight but let go when he was lifted out.

“It was still clinging on but then it plopped onto the ground and Granddad kicked it back into the water.” Read more »

The ferals of New Plymouth get their beans

Andrew Little says in the NZ Herald today that he is going to try some new campaign things in New Plymouth.

I’m going to campaign very hard and try new techniques in New Plymouth, and I want to lead the debate about labour market change. And otherwise continue the very enjoyable and happy time I am having in this great institution.

I wonder if this will be one of them, to appeal to the ferals of New Plymouth.

Read more »

A really long street in New Plymouth?

Courtenay St in New Plymouth is actually only 1.76km long

Courtenay St in New Plymouth is actually only 1.76km long

This street, if Fairfax is correct, still wouldn’t be a challenge for the longest street in the world, which used to be held by Yonge Street in Ontario Canada at 1896km long.

Still according to Stuff.co.nz there is a street in New Plymouth which is at least 80 km long.

A woman claiming to be Kate Middleton sped the wrong way down a one-way street this morning before rolling her car on State Highway 45 in Taranaki.

Police Senior Constable Grant Kennard said the 44-year-old woman was mentally unwell and had refused to let emergency services help her after she crashed about 7am.  Read more »

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 »