“All steam and no hangi”

Kelvin Davis understand politics.  No sympathy.

New Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis has dubbed Internet-Mana “all steam and no hangi” after it failed to deliver on the hype on election day.

Leader Hone Harawira was ousted and Internet-Mana polled just 1.26 per cent, in spite of internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom’s hefty financial backing, last week’s Moment of Truth and a highly publicised national road show to try and drum up support.

“There was a lot of promises, a lot of hope and excitement but it was all steam and no hangi,” Davis said of Internet-Mana.

It was a case of fourth time lucky for Davis who reversed Harawira’s 2011 majority of more than 1100 votes.

Watching the votes come in had been an emotional experience, he said.

“I was ready to go home at about 7.30, he was 300 [votes] ahead of me and I thought ‘Oh shit here we go again’… and then someone said you’re down to 290 and you go ‘Oh okay, it must’ve been the local town I live in’s booth coming in’ and then the next one was down to 260 or something and then it just started dropping and everyone got bloody excited.

‘‘ Then they said ‘Kelvin, you’re ahead’ and then the gap kept going for me.

“It was good to watch I have to say. It was exciting.”

At WO HQ we were watching the TTT result real time and graphing it as we went.  All the early votes went to Hone.  Al the votes from the 20th went to Kelvin.   

Harawira, who was visibly upset yesterday but who has declined media interviews today, had called Davis last night to say he was not going to concede, with special votes still to be counted.

“He started off [saying] I’ve never conceded anything to anyone and I’m not going to concede tonight… he has to deal with things however he sees fit,” he said.

“I said, ‘oh well… thanks for the call and all the best for whatever you do.’”

Davis put his victory down to a focus on exploiting Harawira’s perceived weaknesses – including Mana’s relationship with Dotcom, though he was also undoubtedly helped by a last-minute endorsement from NZ First leader Winston Peters and suggestions the Maori Party had also encouraged its supporters to back Davis to oust Harawira.

His focus on issues such as jobs and sexual violence had also hamstrung Harawira’s ability to attack him, while Harawira was limited in the candidate debates by his ambition to be more statesman-like and less aggressive, he said.

Harawira was flat in the local candidate’s debates as a result, he said.

Hone sold his soul to a German millionaire and his own electorate has punished him for it.  A Maori rebel cult leader he may be, but outside of Northland, he failed to understand that people could actually see the dirty deal he struck with Dotcom.

Kelvin will put the hard work in for the next three years and will easily keep the seat next time around.  The Harawira brand in damaged beyond repair.  His own people have seen he’s for sale.  And that’s unforgivable.


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