Sam Lotu Iiga

Meh, close enough

From the dead tree version of the Herald today

unnamed-1

Read more »

So now the truth comes out

Yesterday a scurrilous attack from within National’s ranks, most likely from the highest office was made on Sam Lotu Iiga.

Andrea Vance was apoointed the hatchet carrier and they maligned the Minister by sugesting he was in “meltdown” and “nowhere to be seen”.

In this morning’s Herald however we find out that Sam was actually doing his job.

Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga is defending his handling of the escape of a high-risk prisoner as his department was forced to put all prisoner releases on hold.

The escape of killer Phillip John Smith was Mr Lotu-Iiga’s first test in the $2.6 billion portfolio, which he inherited from Anne Tolley last month.

Mr Lotu-Iiga fronted to media for the first time last night, two days after Smith failed to return from his 72-hour release into the community.

“I’ve handled it the best that I can,” he said. “Obviously mistakes were made within the department. We’ve acknowledged that. The department has acknowledged that.  Read more »

Cui bono? Why throw Sam under the bus?

Fairfax’s intrepid reporters Andrea Vance and Deidre Mussen have been briefed by the wet faction, led by John Key, inside National against new corrections minister Sam Lotu-Iiga.

Meanwhile, Beehive sources report the office of Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga is in “meltdown”, with Police Minister Michael Woodhouse ordered to front any media interviews.

Woodhouse is on his way to Wellington for meetings with officials this afternoon.

“Sam is nowhere to be seen,” the source said.

When you see statements like this the one thing you have to ask is cui bono? Who benefits?

Sources inside parliament are suggesting that the very wet Nikki Kaye and her office are briefing against Lotu-Iiga, as well as Maggie Barry as they are both Auckland based and a threat to Nikki Kaye’s chances of moving up the cabinet ranks.   Read more »

Sam Lotu-Iiga on hoarding vandalism

1959488_10203859076988928_5029972592589608048_n

We had another really rewarding day campaigning in Maungakiekie today. We spent most of our time in Mt Wellington where we met a wide range of people. These included labourers, teachers, nurses, students, job seekers and small business owners. What was fascinating were the stories of struggle, tragedy, success, redemption, love and hope. 

Awww, isn’t that nice.   But wait… there’s a twist:

Read more »

Public Transport Helps to Facilitate Crime in Auckland?

It seems that public transport is helping to facilitate crime in Auckland.

Despite the ongoing bad publicity surrounding Auckland’s public transport system (and rail in particular) it appears some people are finding it to be an effective and efficient way of traveling around and are making the most of it.

I refer to the attached article excerpt from the July issue of the Onehunga Community News.

The Police certainly seem to think public transport is enabling crims….from South Auckland no less.  Read more »

Mallard and Dyson shafted by their own team in boundary redraw

It is looking increasingly like Labour’s own advisor to the Electoral Commission has worked very hard at shafting Ruth Dyson and Trevor Mallard. So much so he has missed some strange looking boundary adjustments in other areas.

Jadis has performed some very good analysis of the changes over at the lifestyle, travel and arts blog of David Farrar. From the looks of it there are no winners on the left side of politics.

And most of the losers are Labour.

Losers:

Ruth Dyson, Port Hills – Dyson is the biggest loser in this boundary review.  Her majority has been reversed with the Nats stronghold of Halswell moving into the seat, and Anderton’s old stomping ground of Sydenham moving into Christchurch Central.  Dyson will have a real battle to hold this, even with the Nats putting in a new candidate.  How winnable the seat is very much depends on the strength of the Nat candidate, but a good candidate could take the seat with a 2000 majority.  I’d be gutted if I was Dyson as Pete Hodgson (who did the boundaries for Labour) is a good mate of hers.  Perhaps this is Labour’s new (poor) strategy of retiring MPs.

Trevor Mallard, Hutt South – This is the surprise of the final boundaries.  Mallard has gained all of the  Western Hills (good Nat territory) and lost super red areas of Naenae and Rimutaka. Labour should have been able to stop this occurring but appear to have put up no fight.  Mallard should be furious with his party for failing to keep Hutt South a real red seat.  Why didn’t Hodgson fight hard for Mallard?  Was it a directive from on high?  Realistically, Mallard should hold the seat but he’ll be working hard for it and never should have been put in this position. I expect Mallard’s majority to be pegged down a few.  Read more »

Pasifika community tiring of Labour’s nonsense too

The Pasifika community is breaking ranks with Labour after years of paternalistic attitudes and the “we know best” attitude of the Labour party.

People are now prepared to stand up and state that they can see a better, more aspirational way forward.

Michael Field takes a break from interviewing his keyboard on matters about Fiji to detail the ‘outrage’ over some Pasifika leaders daring to think for themselves instead of what Labour tells them what to think.

A small group of influential Pacific Island clergy have sparked fierce debate in South Auckland after they declared they would switch their support from the traditional Labour Party to the National Party.

The action, taken at the Manurewa flea market on Sunday, is under fire on Pacific Island social media.

The ministers involved have been criticised for not consulting their parishes.

The move has also sparked another meeting next Sunday when, under the auspices of a Samoan Catholic Church, 23 churches will meet to discuss political parties and Christian values.

The South Auckland electorates are traditionally Labour thanks in large part to church-going Pacific Islanders.   Read more »

Small changes to Key ministry for election year [UPDATED]

John Key has announced some small changes to his ministry for election year.

Prime Minister John Key today announced changes to the National-led Government’s Ministerial line-up, to take effect from Tuesday, 28 January.

Internal Affairs and Local Government Minister Chris Tremain, who has announced his intention to retire from Parliament at the upcoming general election, will be resigning from the Ministry.

Peter Dunne will be appointed Minister of Internal Affairs, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Conservation. Mr Dunne will be a Minister outside Cabinet as he was prior to his resignation in June last year.

Michael Woodhouse will be promoted to the vacancy in Cabinet, and will retain all of his current responsibilities.

Paula Bennett picks up the role of Minister of Local Government, in addition to her current portfolio responsibilities.

The new Minister outside Cabinet will be Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, who will be appointed Minister of Pacific Island Affairs and Associate Minister of Local Government. Mr Lotu-liga is the MP for Maungakiekie and was first elected to Parliament 2008.  Read more »

National Selection Round Up

This blog will be covering all the National Party selections over the next six months. As usual it will not take sides in any selection process unless some stupid fundy tries to break all the rules and rig selection, or if some factional war lords wearing drag try to impose a candidate on an electorate.

Unlike Labour, National’s selection process is decided by the electorates, not HQ, and the Board or Caucus have bugger all to do with it.

Whangarei: – The very urbane and cosmopolitan Paul Foster-Bell, a Whangarei boy, wants to return home. Paul needs to spend a few early mornings out catching his limit of snapper, accept the abuse of that ratbag Nathan Guy for cutting our snapper limit, and remember the golden rule about MPs not having gay utes like Fossy’s and he is in with a chance. Mike Sabin has talked of switching seats but probably wont. National board member Grant McCullum is unlikely to run because of his difficult missus.

New Westie Seat: – Linda Cooper may be the one to take one for the team in the new westie seat, but she may show a degree of wisdom no one had previously noticed, and decide to stay on council.

Te Atatu: – Self confessed Westie Mark Bridges seems like a good pick for this seat even if he wants to parachute into Hunua, which he has absolutely no connection to, but fair play to him, if he can smooze all the old dears in Hunua enough to beat a formidable local he deserves it.   Read more »

Labour’s Strategic Stupidity

Since Helen Clark lost Mike Munro from her office the Labour party has been strategically stupid.

Stupider than National in the short term, and trying to be stupider than National in the long term.

The latest tactic Labour have undertaken is attacking individual National MPs on issues saying they are the swing voter. They are doing this with Sam Lotu-Iiga over the casino which will win them no votes or no seats.

As a National party supporter Labour being strategically stupid is to be encouraged except that fighting the handicapped is not fair and no fun. Labour need to be strong to be a fair opponent and they need to sort out their strategy.

In opposition strategy is very, very simple. You need to make the government look bad by delivering heads of ministers. You never attack the leader directly unless they lie or get a major issue wrong. You undermine the leader by taking ministers heads. Unfortunately even Shane Jones has missed that point, he thinks the key to Labour victory is attacking John Key.

Jones’ speech mostly focused on regional development – which he has made a theme of his campaign.

But he veered into an attack on Key – who he called a “mercenary of capitalism” and a “snake-oil salesman”.

Jones launched his bid to be leader last week calling Key a “$50m gorilla”, referring to the former currency trader’s personal wealth.  Read more »