Winston is not a details man

Winston Peters has launched his Northland by-election campaign by telling voters he’s offering them “a chance in a lifetime”.

The NZ First leader’s message at a street corner meeting was that if they back him he’ll be a strong advocate for a region that’s been neglected by successive governments.

“Northland ranks very high on social deprivation that that’s an absolute indictment of National’s woeful treatment of this region,” he told a street corner crowd in Wellsford today.

Mr Peters says that between now and March 28 he’ll cover the electorate from top to bottom in his “Force for the North” campaign bus.

The seat is vacant because National’s Mike Sabin resigned last month, citing personal reasons.

It’s been a safe National seat for decades but Mr Peters says he can win it by focusing on the way the region has been neglected.

And he’s targeting National voters by pointing out the government won’t change if he takes the seat, while the region will benefit from the strong message he’ll take to Wellington.
Mr Peters is up against candidates from National, Labour and ACT, as well as a handful of independents and four representing parties that aren’t in parliament.

He’s already up there with his big bus. ¬†Just a small problem. ¬† Read more »

Even Rudman understands why Labour shouldn’t run in Northland

It seems everyone except Andrew Little understands why Labour shouldn’t have run in Northland.

Brian Rudman lays off bludging for a new theatre to point this out.

On National Radio yesterday, Labour leader Andrew Little was talking up his candidate’s chances, and questioning Mr Peters’ electoral appeal. In his position, it was the only thing he could do. He said Ms Prime “has a profile and understanding you might not see sitting in Wellington or Auckland”.

Rather desperately he added that “Labour has always struggled to get good numbers there” but “circumstances may well have changed and [she] may well be in with a chance”.That seems highly unlikely. Since the seat was created in 1996 it has been solidly National. At last September’s general election, National’s Mike Sabin, whose sudden resignation for undisclosed personal reasons triggered the present contest, scored 18,269 votes to Ms Prime’s 8969. The party vote gap was even wider, National on 17,412, Labour, 5913. New Zealand First, with no candidate, was close to Labour on 4546.

Then there is the strategic implications of placating Winston and changing the dynamics of parliament.

He says Mr Peters endorsed Kelvin Davis, Labour’s winning candidate, in the Maori seat of Te Tai Tokerau last election and now Labour should return the favour. He reckons the New Zealand First leader, who has family connections in the North, is the only person who, “on a good day”, could win the safe seat off National and create all sorts of turmoil for the Government. ¬† Read more »

Should Labour pull up lame in the Northland by-election?

Barry Soper thinks so

The next month will see Luigi Peters doing what he likes to do best, spending quite a lot of time at his bach in the Hokianga. It’ll become the headquarters of his campaign to win the blue ribbon seat of Northland.

He was born there almost 70 years ago and when it’s put to him that he’s surely a bit long in the tooth to be out running in the by election, the pearly whites are flashed and he tells you he’s got a full set of them and they’re all his own.

In fact Luigi cut his political teeth in Northland when, 40 years ago, he unsuccessfully stood for National in the Northern Maori seat. That’s when he believed in the Maori seats, it’s also when he believed in the National Party.

But 40 years is a long time in politics and now he believes in his own party which essentially means he believes in himself and he’s backing himself to severe the Tory’s 45 year stranglehold on the electorate which has come up for grabs since Mike Sabin suddenly quit the seat after it was revealed he was being investigated by the cops. Read more »

Key doesn’t rate Winston Peters’ chances in Northland

NEXT! Winston Peters

Prime Minister John Key is confident National can retain its seat in Northland despite NZ First leader Winston Peters throwing his hat in the ring.

“This is all about Winston and Winston not feeling that relevant post the election.”

Mr Peters living there or going fishing there didn’t mean he had a plan for Northland and National, as the Government, could do more for Northland, Mr Key said.

“If Winston Peters was to win Northland you deliver a stronger Peter Dunne and less RMA reform,” he said.

“It’s not about the candidate, it’s about what you can do and what you are doing for Northland.”

Read more »

National selects candidate for Northland by-election

Northland's new National candidate Mark Osborne from Taipa moments after his selection, flanked by his wife Jodi (left) and electorate secretary Rose May of Lake Ohia. PHOTO / PETER DE GRAAF

Northland’s new National candidate Mark Osborne from Taipa moments after his selection, flanked by his wife Jodi (left) and electorate secretary Rose May of Lake Ohia. PHOTO / PETER DE GRAAF

The National Party has chosen Mark Osborne as its candidate for the Northland by-election.

The seat was vacant after Mike Sabin stood down for “personal reasons” last month.

The National Party said Mr Osborne was chosen at a meeting of party members in Kerikeri today.

The party said Mr Osborne, an asset manager for Far North District Council, was based in Taipa, 60km northwest of Kerikeri. Read more »

What happens if Winston wins Northland?

Winston Peter is the only NZ First candidate capable of winning the Northland by election. If he wins National do not get a top up List MP, so the balance of parliament is altered.

If Winston does win the only major problem for National is RMA reform. National will not have enough votes to push RMA reform through Parliament, just as it didn’t last term. So the smart play from Labour & the Greens is not to run a candidate and let Winston have a chance of winning.

It will be interesting to see if Labour are smart enough to realise this, and the Greens smart enough to realise this is a perfect opportunity to show Winston they can work with him and can be trusted.

Winston Peters to stand for Northland



Apparently a press conference to tell us something we already knew.  Ho hum.

Charter School defenders proven wrong

As you may recall, ¬†Te Pumanawa o te Wairua School, in Whangaruru, Northland is a charter school that has been given four weeks to get its act together or face closure. ¬† I’ve criticised Hekia Parata of this mess on two fronts. ¬†One, she should never have allowed this school to come about in the first place – the warning signs were there. ¬†Two, she should have closely managed its success, as the Charter School flagship schools could not be allowed to fail.

The school faced a clear list of shortcomings, but many people, including my own readers, oddly enough, defended Parata and the school blaming the ‘difficult’ kids who had been out of the school system too long. ¬†I found this gob smacking. ¬†That was a known going in. ¬†That was the very issue that needed fixing.

A report was released yesterday that also totally debunks it being the kids’ fault.

Documents released today, including an annotated report written by the ministry’s deputy secretary or sector enablement and support Katrina Casey , identified school management as the cause of the issues – which include truancy, a falling roll and underachievement.

“The on-going issues present at the school are directly attributable to the quality of the leadership and management running the school,” it said.

Next to that comment, Ms Parata had written: “YES”.

The report went on to say the Ng? Parirau M?tauranga Trust, which had the contract to run the school, needed to replace the leadership team with suitable appropriate and experienced personnel. Only in that case could it make a swift recovery.

It said a trust member had taken a part time operational role in the school this year, but it was “not clear they have the required skills to effectively manage the Education Director or the operations of the school”.

Read more »

Northland Selection Update

At Sunday’s Northland meet the candidates meeting caucus¬†favourite and National board member Grant McCallum looked to¬†be struggling against some strong competition.

Mark Osborne and Karen Rolleston had very good selection speeches, and came across as more competent than the other three.

The other three were passable but not as polished as Mark and Karen.

Sources in caucus are saying that there is some heavy¬†lifting being done behind the scenes to improve Grant¬†McCallum’s performance. Caucus are desperate to have¬†McCallum in as their designated drinker for coalition¬†negotiations with Winston post 2017, as David ‘Cancer’ Bennett is¬†not thought to be up to it.¬† Read more »

Is Andrew Little Changing Labour’s Policy on Roads?

Andrew Little was in Northland for the campaign launch of Labour’s by election candidate Willow-Jean Prime.

In a confusing move he said the following:

Although a safe blue seat, Little said the party will focus on roads and jobs. “Northland shouldn’t be taken for granted. By voting for Willow Jean, who is a very dynamic candidate and sending her to Parliament, you can send a message. Unemployment is very high, people notice it and want something done about it.”A spokesman for Key said he was “doing media” today.

Read more »