Graham Kelly

Labour in Disarray – Laban quits

Labour’s caucus is in disarray as more and more MPs face up to the reality of life forever as an opposition MP. Winnie Laban has shown she doesn’t have the mettle for opposition chucking in her MP credentials for which she was elected, letting both Labour and her constituents down in the process.

A by-election is looming after Labour MP Luamanuvao Winnie Laban announced today she is leaving Parliament for a new career.

The Mana MP told caucus colleagues this morning she would be stepping down to take up the role of Assistant Vice Chancellor Pasifika at Victoria University.

Labour leader Phil Goff confirmed that Ms Laban’s departure would mean a by-election in her safe Labour seat. Ms Laban won in 2008 with a 6155-strong majority.

Ms Laban said it had been “an enormous privilege” to serve as Labour MP for Mana over the last three elections but “I have worked out that it’s time for me to step away from Parliament now”.

I’d put money on Darren Hughes stepping in so he can stop being a scum list MP, the problem with that though or any other scum list MP stepping forward is the Tizard effect. The other worry for Labour is that they are broke and face the prospect of fighting three by-elections back to back just a year out from the general election.

Labour faces the real prospect of going into next years General Election dead flat broke, if not still paying off the last election. Expect the union levies to bite hard next year. If they thought they could win last week, the task just got worse this week and with George Hawkins imminent demise come October and the Chris Cart affair yet to be settled they are certainly dreaming thinking they can win the government benches next year.

Key admits bungle over Maori visit to Fiji

Key admits bungle over Maori visit to FijiPrime Minister John Key was forced yesterday to admit he bungled his handling of Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples’ plans to travel to Fiji, saying he could have been “more precise”. Mr Key has forbidden Dr Sharples from taking… [NZ Herald Politics]

Well now, this is refreshing news.

We have Prime Minister who admits he is fallible. The previous holder of that office never has and never will admit she made mistakes. Well done John for showing some humanity and refreshing honesty.

Government gives clean solution for Auckland

‘Super city’ to be in place next year, Maori seats axedDr Pita Sharples has slammed the Government’s decision to abolish three Maori seats on the soon to be formed Auckland Council. The Government scrapped the Maori seats, recommended by the Royal Commission, in today’s announcement… [NZ Herald Politics]

The dog’s breakfast that is the current city structure in Auckland looks to have been cleaned up by the government who have also taken the broom to the messy Royal Commission reccommendations, leaving a relatively clean solution for Auckland.

The structure is to be:

  • One unitary Auckland Council for the region
  • One Mayor, elected at large, with governance powers
  • 20 Councillors, 8 at large and 12 from wards
  • 20 to 30 local boards as the second tier of governance
  • Local Government Commission to determine ward boundaries and number and shape of local boards
  • No Maori seats (unless voted for by the public)
  • Continue with a three year term
  • No Minister or Cabinet Committee for Auckland but an Auckland Transition Committee to be chaired by Rodney Hide.

Good to see that pandering to Maori with unelected seats has been dispensed with and also to see some “at large” seats remain. This system seems to favour “tickets” rather than independents which would eliminate a fool like Andrew Williams ever getting through the pack.

I would personally favour ward boundaries to roughly match electorate boundaries. This is for a number of reasons. Almost everyone knows which electorate they reside in currently and almost no-one knows which ward they reside in. Keeping boundaries the same would simplfy ongoing boundary adjustments as changes made apply to General Seats as well as Local body ward boundaries. This system would also allow for Maori representation as well.

I think that the solution can best be summed up as a clean solution after the mess we have now and the mess the Royal Commission reccomended.

This solution also makes The Clown of Campbells Bay’s ranting in the media look foolish and the Open leter Len Brown of Manukau had in the papers look presumptive and churlish.

Maori going for 7

Maori going for 7Stressing integrity and the need for an independent voice, the Maori Party launched its election campaign in Hamilton yesterday. In front of several hundred supporters at the Frankton Market, co-leader Dr Pita Sharples said the… [NZ Herald Politics]

The Maori Party are perhaps the most focussed of all aprties, their strategy is clear, get all Maori Seats.

David and I are taking the Blogmobile to Gisborne to see a head to head with Derek Fox and Parekura Horomia so we will be watching with interest developments in the Maori seats.

We are also hoping to get to talk to Hone Harawira and with Tariana Turia when we go throught heir electorates.

Maori Party don't trust Clark

When Helen Clark made this election all about trust it made every commentator on the right rejoice and praise the Lord. Every day since she declared that she would fight on trust we have been provided pretty good evidence why we can’t trust Helen Clark.

Today the Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples added his wise voice to those who don’t trust Helen Clark.

Party co-leader Pita Sharples said he was no longer sure if he trusted Prime Minister Helen Clark, and said she was nearing the end of her time.

“She has been a great leader; she has done great things for the country,” Dr Sharples said in an interview recorded yesterday for TVNZ 7. “But maybe she is nearing the end of her time.”

Recent events in Parliament showed Miss Clark was clinging to power, he said.

“She is appearing quite desperate … she is behaving like someone who is really, really desperate to get back into Parliament at any cost.”

That, Pita, is because she is desperate, her narcissistic personality disorder is what is controlling her now. Desperate, dateless and believing her own spin.

Winston Peters fallout continues

Winston Peters fallout continuesThe fall-out from the privileges committee report and Winston Peters’ censure motion in Parliament continues. Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples held a press conference this afternoon to expand on his statement accusing a Labour… [NZ Herald Politics]

The rancid stench of corruption continues to permeate the Labour First axis after todays revelations that Labour and Winston First tried to subvert the course of justice over the Privileges Committee.

Winston must have some serious dirt on Labour in general or on some ministers in particular.

Information has come to light from WOBH’s deep throat Beehive and Bowen House sources, that WOBH is clarifying, that indicates the dirt is indeed serious, involves a minister, police coverup and Police NHQ running interference.

If the information I have received today is correct then it involves a cover up of an investigation by the police into a serious allegation against a cabinet minister. And that Winston threatened to leak this information out unless Labour ensured that he did not get censured by the PC.

This explains why Labour tried to heavy the Maori Party. Now that Labour has failed all bets are off.

It also possibly explains the current unhappiness in the Labour camp that is leading to a vertible waterfall of other leaks arriving daily in WOBH’s inbox.

I’ll keep you posted on developments as they arise.