Labour in disguise

Phil Goff is being sneaky with his blue signs in Auckland. Justin Lester is being sneaky with his yellow signs in Wellington.

It seems Labour candidates have realised how toxic their brand is, so try to hide it.

It seems the more a candidate calls themselves independent the less they are in fact independent.


Haydn Marriner is running for Rotorua District Council (now called Rotorua Lakes Council). He calls himself Independent but in fact is chairman of the Rotorua Labour Electorate Committee. It has been under his watch that a serious of unfortunate stories have broken; including a journalist being called a ‘nobody’ by their candidate’s partner and revelations of appalling financial management. To make matters worse for his sense of independence, Haydn Marriner has all his billboards authorized by Tim Smith (Tamati’s Coffey’s partner) and his campaign headquarters is Tamati’s house. The links don’t end there either.


The dog in all of Haydn’s billboards isn’t even his dog. It is Tamati’s dog and goes by the name Anzac. The photo shoot is about as contrived as a politician can get without somehow also fitting in a baby and a little old lady. It is almost as fake as his grin.

But wait! His independence isn’t to do with the Labour Party, he’ll say, it is to do with local politics. He’ll need to tell Steve Chadwick that. As a former Labour Cabinet Minister, Steve Chadwick is clearly backing Haydn and she expects him to back her. So Haydn’s independence is about is valid as the independence of a dog on a lead (something he apparently stands for as well as bringing them into the CBD).


And this could just be the beginning. Little birds talk and with Tamati Coffey leaving the Rotorua electorate in disarray and jumping over to Waiariki, Haydn looks likely to use this campaign to propel him into the candidacy for the Rotorua seat.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.