Joyce’s plan for Ohariu

Matthew Hooton’s column this week in the NBR is right on the mark.

Aside from making some of the Nat’s throw up in the mouth a little over the prospect of Winston Peters and Colin Craig both having positions in the next National-lead government, Hooton identifies a rather interesting move from those close to Joyce.

It appears that Ohariu will be the Nat’s next fighting ground. On one side we have Hekia’s supporters attempting to line her up for the seat, and on the other side we have Joyce’s supporters attempting to line up someone very close to him, and indeed Simon Power.  Everyone with a quarter of a brain knows that Katrina Shanks is dead in the water.  The poor wee thing can’t even decide which way she is voting on Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill – despite Ohariu being a largely liberal seat filled with gays, public servants and liberal upper-middle class housewives.

Hooton identifies that Joyce may have pushed close friend (and former Key deputy Chief of Staff) out into the real world so that he can seem like a man of the people… and can challenge Shanks (and perhaps Hekia) for the Ohariu seat.  The murmurings around Wellington are that Joyce thinks that de Joux has the intellectual grunt (he doesn’t) and strategic mind (he doesn’t) to get, not just the Ohariu seat, but also a direct route to the Cabinet table.  Well, you can just imagine how the back bench and the up and coming feel about this.  They do the real work, the hours in their electorates, and maintain relationships.  Meanwhile de Joux spends more time burning bridges and telling MPs what they aren’t allowed to do.  It’ll be interesting how de Joux goes in the real without the cover of Eagleson’s expert management skills.

Joyce needs to have a rethink.  Does he want one vote or several when Key finally moves on.




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  • Thomas

    The de Jouxs are nothing more than a nasty political insiders. Phil is just National’s version of Grant Robertson whereas Joe seems to get off on being a spiteful to ensure that she gets along with the least number of candidates and volunteers as possible.

  • ben

    Winston really is the kiss of death for any third term government, Nats 96, Labour 05, if Key could make that work then he would be a miracle works

    • 2ndAmendment

      Nats 43, Conservatives 4.2%, threshold 4% that’ll do it

      no need for NZF on current polling,

      • le sphincter

        43 +4 +47% = opposition
        problem with Winnie , ‘in the past’ and after the election it will be time to ‘move on’

  • Grizz30

    When John Key movs on, the new National Leader will need to be someone relatively new and fresh with a bit of grunt and Mana in the real world. When that time coes, cannot say joyce will have most of those qualities. On a positive note, he might interview better than Shearer does.

  • alex

    As a former Ohariu voter, it was always a mystery to me how Shanks got selected in the first place. Is National so bereft of talent? Shanks reminds me of that dim prefect at my school, who only became a prefect because Daddy made a huge donation. I didn’t suppress my laughter when Winston Peters called her Miss Carolina.

  • Personally I’m wondering what Hooton is on on this one. Parata is firing for Mana only – she is a bad fit for Ohariu and everyone knows it. Shanks has been promised the position of heir apparent (in time) for Ohariu. She has a good presence around the Ohariu traps (and galas).
    Typical guy thing to say she’s tits when her only problem is her mouth doesn’t work as fast as her brain. She’ll overcome that – just like other M.P’s even john Key, If she develops balls she’ll be well good.
    De Joux as a young family and may just be taking time out if he isn’t enjoying his job as much as Jo.

    • alex

      How long do we need to wait for Shanks to develop “balls”? Give us a time frame? She has been consistently negligible in her impact. Her CV doesn’t suggest she has achieved much at all in her previous life cf Key and Joyce. Ohariu is ripe for the taking by a stronger National candidate, given Shanks’ weakness and (as Hooten observes) it’ll be game on for Dunne if the one-seat rule is abolished.

      That said, I think Hooten is in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks that having Peters and Craig in government is a good idea; and that Key would be stupid enough to have Peters knighted (thereby destroying any credibility the titular honours have) and having Craig in cabinet (given Craigs’ predilections to say dumb things about women and homosexuals).

      If Peters and Craig had any sense, assuming they’re in a position of holding the balance of power, they need to stay out of government, and to simply give the government confidence. Both Peters and Craig’s vote base is from the perennial disaffected, so involvement in government would destroy their vote base.

      • Shanks needs a holiday with Val Adams who knows how to express her opinions. Followed by a foot massage with Brian Edwards.
        She is largely muzzled by the board because they are quite happy with the status quo. Two M.P.s for the price of one. If they lose to Labour they’ve lost 2 M.P’s straight away. If National takes Ohariu, they’ve lost two m.P’s next time Labour takes the seat which would likely be the following term. You’re just not going to get a right wing male entrenched in Ohariu. I still say best bet would be Shanks when Peter Dunne retires. Which won’t be for a while. Hughes is a good fit, he’s probably the most likely to threaten Peter if the strategic games backfire or the population grows younger. Labour thinks a strident female voice is the best fit for Ohariu which is why Chauvel is standing term after term but they’ve got it wrong. He’d be best off replacing Mallard.

  • Strowan

    Or maybe de Joux was head hunted and he saw a better opportunity than 9 years in the wilderness after 2014. Politics is power, war is death.

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  • Meredith

    To be fair to Hooton I don’t think he ever said it was Joyce’s grand plan, the Whale has added that added dimension. Shanks is certainly a muppet of the highest order and the voters in Ohariu do deserve someone decent. No wonder Dunne has had a cushy deal for so long

  • Augie

    de Joux not close to Power