Ian McKelvie

Twitter as a political tool

Matthew Beveridge appeared on The Nation to discuss Twitter as a political tool.

He makes the follow extra observations:

1) If you are going to be on social media: Do it, do it properly or go home. There is no point starting a Twitter account and not doing anything with it. There are a number of MPs who are guilty of this, Ian McKelvie, David Parker, Mark Mitchell (though he is now making an effort), Eugenie Sage. ?They all have accounts with very low numbers of Tweets. Some with as little as 1. To me, going to the effort of starting an account, adding a profile photo and the like, then not using it is the same as walking away from a conversation. It looks like you aren?t interested in hearing what people have to say. So if you are a political candidate or MP and you are thinking about starting a social media account, make sure you are willing to put in the effort to do it properly, or don?t come out to play.

Mostly they should not come out to play. Most are useless at it and I still don’t believe that any meaningful engagement occurs. ? Read more »

Keep the bastards there

Scott Simpson wisely took the photo, personally though I think they can all stay there…except Paul Foster-Bell, he gave me a cigar and a bottle of port once. The rest of them are wither union flunkies or dodgy ratbags.

As Chair of the Justice & Electoral select committee I had committee members just where I wanted them during our visit to the Wellington District Court today. In the cell are from left Kate Wilkinson, Andrew Little, David Clendon, Ian McKelvie, Denis O’Rourke and Paul Foster-Bell. ? Read more »

If not Cunliffe then who? Please explain Tim

The other day I blogged about the early release of the details of a select committee report to Tim Pankhurst at Seafood NZ.

Well Tim Pankhurst took exception to my post and commented as well as emailed and accused me of interviewing my keyboard.

Unfortunately as a former editor, even a “decent journalist, trained and skilled”, he should have thought just for one second before he angrily emailed and commented on the blog.

You see, I never suppose anything, never ask a question or posit a position without already knowing the answer. Perhaps Tim could explain this email.

From: LYNDS, Samantha [[email protected]seafood.org.nz] On Behalf Of?PANKHURST, Tim
Sent: Friday, 19 July 2013 9:06 a.m.
To: Seafood New Zealand Directors
Subject: FCV legislation update – Confidential

Dear Directors,

SNZ has been informed by an impeccable parliamentary source that the FCV bill will be reported back from the Primary Production Select Committee to the House after the recess with the support of all parties. ? Read more »

Which National Caucus Members will Still be in Parliament in 2022

Following on from my post earlier today about the future of National the type of MP I think will be around in 10 years time is based on historical precedent. MPs with safe blue seats will still be there, but they will also be under 60 and obviously it depends on whether National is in power or not.

This means:

Mike Sabin
Phil Heatley
Mark Mitchell
Simon O?Connor
Jami-Lee Ross
Simon Bridges
Louise Upston
Amy Adams

Most of the other safe blue seats are held by MPs who have been around for ages and will retire, or who are too old to expect to be cabinet ministers in 2022. Some may hang around, and it will also depend on who is leader. There are younger MPs who took seats from Labour in recent elections, and they will probably not last another three elections. The exception to this is Louise Upston who has benefited from boundary changes and now has a safe blue seat.

List MPs, no matter how powerful now, will not make it back for three elections. David Farrar has pointed out that there are no List MPs from 1996 still in parliament as List MPs, and there have been no List MPs who have made it to Prime Minister.

From along term perspective, and whatever you think of their merits, the 2011 intake did not have many people like Bill English, Tony Ryall or Nick Smith who will do two terms of government at least. Age discriminates against Maggie Barry, Scott Simpson and Ian McKelvie who will in extremely advanced years in political terms in 2022.

There is going to be a major generational change in the National Party when long serving MPs like McCully, Williamson, Ryall, Smith and English move on, and older MPs in safe blue seats like Hutchinson, Tisch, Ardern, King, Wilkinson, Brownlee and Dean will also be replaced by new MPs by 2022. The big question is will they be replaced by people who can make it into cabinet like McCully, Ryall, Smith and English?

Mark Mitchell – Maiden Speech

There were many maiden speeches yesterday, I watched most of them. They were all good. Here are the links to them: Maggie Barry, Ian McKelvie, Simon O’Connor, Scott Simpson, and?Jian Yang.

I am posting this one by Mark Mitchell because his comments in the middle about mental health,?depression?and suicide moved me…I really felt for Mark as he made this speech.

His last line too shows a?commitment?that many other MPs never show.

National’s new MPs

National have a fresh crop of new MPs coming into parliament. The media have largely ignored them so here is some background from my perspective.

Mike Sabin: Northland

Mike won Northland bloody well, increasing John Carter’s majority by over a thousand votes. He was the only new candidate to increase his majority. An ex cop he has built a reputation fighting against P, a fight that needs to be had and few are willing to engage in. Regarded as being a solid rather than outstanding performer the election result means Mike deserves a closer look from the political pundits.

Mark Mitchell: Rodney

A real star on the international stage, Mark built a business in the Middle East that meant he was involved in major disaster recovery efforts around the globe, hostage negotiation and was decorated for bravery. Before that Mark was a police dog handler and has restricted use of his right arm after being attacked by a samurai sword. The only member of the new intake who has had media companies wanting to buy his life story. Won a bruising selection process, and soundly beat the Conservative leader Colin Craig in Rodney. Mark is a warm friendly guy who has the reputation for listening first, not talking non stop.

Maggie Barry: North Shore

Already a Whaleoil favourite for speaking her mind on Andrew Williams and telling Len that his railway won’t go ahead, Maggie comes to parliament with a positive reputation in the minds of the New Zealand public. Hopefully her career will be more successful than fellow media personality Pam Corkery, but this will depend on Maggie understanding the importance of listening before speaking, and that politics is a brutal game. If she doesn?t learn to listen with luck she will continue sledging Andrew Williams and stop the inner city loop.

Scott Simpson: Coromandel

Long time Whaleoil friend and National Party stalwart Scott has plenty of history in the party, though not all that history is necessarily working in his favour. Regarded as a little indiscrete, as a result there is a significant minority of caucus that simply doesn’t trust him, unfortunately for Scott that minority is called The Cabinet. Scott will need to do the hard yards on the backbenches to earn back the trust of caucus and cabinet.

Ian McKelvie: Rangitikei

Another Whaleoil favourite, Ian replaced Simon Power, so deserves thanks from all Whaleoil readers. He also has trenchant views on global warming and the ETS, views that may not be entirely consistent with political reality, even if they are entirely consistent with actual reality. Unfortunately for Ian he has probably left his run a bit late in life and faces the challenge that all Mayors face, going from being the boss to being a back bencher.

Paul Goldsmith: List

Bought into parliament on the list to save ACT. A former Auckland City Councilor who failed to beat Cathy Casey to get onto the supercity. Not regarded as having much talent as a vote winner, but a man with a formidable intellect who has made very good money as a contract historian writing biographies. Will be interesting to see if his time as a councilor has taught him that compromise is crucial in politics, as he was known to drive his peers to distraction with his adherence to politically pure views.

Alfred Ngaro: List

A good speaker, as is probably expected of a former pastor. Part of National?s ethnic outreach program, but with a track record in the pasifika community, and involvement in social services that mean he is not just a token. Will have three years to prove he deserves his list position, but expected to deliver as he has a history of achievement.

Jian Yang: List

Not particularly well known in National circles but has already been responsible for ensuring that donations start flowing after the gap left by Pansy Wong and her trust fund. Speaks better English than Pansy too. Jian Yang is part of National’s Asian outreach programme.

Things candidates will do for an endorsement from The Whale

Just got this photo through the tipline with a request for an endorsement for Josie Pagani….I never tell who my tipline correspondents are but I do wonder who was taking the photo.

I met Josie Pagani last election on the blog mobile tour. I found her pleasant and intelligent. I haven’t changed my mind.

The Labour party needs people like Josie Pagani in parliament in order to clean up their caucus from the legacy of the Clark years and the stench of union dominated vote rigging.

I’d like to see Josie elected but unfortunately on current polling she is unlikely to get in on the list. Therefore the only way for her to get in would be for National voters to elect her as their MP and give their party vote to National. Ian McKelvie is likely to be a one termer anyway so they would be on a win win. Get a competent local MP and a National government. Labour would be on a winner too because they are set to lose every other provincial seat including Palmerston North, plus they would have Josie in caucus to straighten them out.

Since she got a loyal supporter to beg for the endorsement and the photo includes the word “Whale” it would be rude of me not to endorse her as an all round good candidate.


There is no excuse for this sort if inane law breaking.

The rules of this council are perfectly?clear:

“Signs shall only be permitted in the two-month period prior to the election.”

Which is why?my wife doesn’t have any signs up in this neighbourhood. Yet.*

Maybe the National candidate does not know the rules.

Perhaps he should ask?the mayor.

What implicit pressure is placed on the council when the scofflaw is the mayor, his worship, himself?

I hope John Pagani writes a letter rather than just writes on his little read and obscure blog. That said it is nowhere near as?outrageous?as Labours repeated law breaking and probably the Electoral Commission would?view?it as an inconsequential breach caused by an enthusiastic volunteer.

Rangitikei Selection – Congratulations Ian McKelvie

Clear favourite and Manawatu Mayor is the National Candidate for Rangitikei. He beat Fleur Greig, Roger Hynd and Reon Hince to the selection. People in the room have told the tipline was a very solid performance from an experienced and competent politician.

Ian will face a competent campaigner in Josie Pagani, who will be backed by a lot of union muscle and the acknowledged campaign mastery of her husband.

Unfortunately for Josie she has lost her composure and got way off message, criticising National?s selection process.

Mr McKelvie’s main competition in the electorate will come from Labour candidate Josie Pagani, who welcomed him into the contest but raised concerns about the fairness of the selection process. “Serious questions need to be answered about whether National followed its own processes and sought out the best candidate, or closed ranks to keep energetic younger candidates out.”

Why Josie didn?t have intelligence to talk about what Labour would do for Rangitikei is beyond comprehension, but the left love throwing mud and maybe Trevor Mallard was running her messages. She should have been making a case for Labour representing a seat that returned a Social Credit candidate in the 70?s and 80?s so has a track record of doing odd things.

Josie stop listening to Trevor and start talking up your own message. And as readers know this blog outs skullduggery and bad behaviour, and believes the 60 delegate selection process run by National means the electorates get who they want, rather than having candidates forced on them by the National Party. Even New Zealand?s favourite grandmother, Maggie Barry, was beaten by Jami-Lee Ross in Botany when she was the party hierarchy?s preferred option.

Labour can hardly point the finger about selection processes with their union dominated and headquarters rigged process.

Obviously Josie hasn?t met either Fleur or Roger who are both a little dated, and can’t be described as young even by the most charitable individual.

As a footnote, due to Nikki Guy?s tragic family circumstances Nikki withdrew from the Rangitikei selection. Nikki is a Palmerston North City Councillor and exceptionally highly regarded by seasoned political veterans.

Nikki is still young enough to have a career in parliament and I wish her luck changes in the future as she will make a very good MP and a big contributor to New Zealand.

National now just needs to complete the Epsom selection, which i’m told is shaping up to be very interesting.

National Party Selections round-up


Front runner, all round bloody good guy and National Party stalwart Grant McCullum has dropped out of selection making it a relatively open race. The five that remain are Sarah Davies, Matt King, Ken Rintoul, Mike Sabin and Mark Tan and they will have huge shoes to fill in replacing John Carter. John?s one of the most liked guys in caucus and a man who has friends all over the country due to his easy going nature and willingness to help out with campaigns. Cactus Kate has already dealt with the?inappropriate-ness of Sarah Davies.


This blog has said what it thinks about Rodney, so wont be saying any more other than if you are a fundamentalist christian go and be a missionary, don?t try to impose your religious views on the National Party and the country.

North Shore

It looks like we will see Maggie Barry emerging as the successful candidate there. Despite Maggie being beaten in Botany by Jami-Lee Ross, she has intimidated out some potentially good candidates so is left with opposition that is very weak. Former Councillor Paul Goldsmith is not likely to woo many delegates as he is too austere to be likable.

Maggies impending selection is probably good for New Zealand, as our politics has shown a disregard for older candidates, yet in other countries politicians do not reach the peak of their careers until much later in life. Maggie will appeal to a group of voters outside North Shore that probably would not vote National.


The meet the candidates events have finished and it appears to be a two horse race between long time Whaeloil friend and long time party servant Scott Simpson and Megan Campbell. This is a tight race and this blog wishes both candidates all the best for the final night. One note however is that silly games and rumour-mongering seem to have started in the lead up to the selection on the 19th. Those games should stop otherwise I might have to expose them. One thing I know for certain is that claiming endorsement from the?hierarchy?or leadership almost certainly leads one to destruction. Playing negative is not rewarded in National party selections because at the end of the process you all have to work together and a campaign for selection run?with?rumour, innuendo and spite is detrimental to that. National party delegates like to save that for the enemy.


Sadly the tragedy afflicting the Guy family has meant Nikki Guy has decided not to proceed with the nomination. This blog has only heard exceptionally good things about Nikki and fortunately she is young enough to be an MP for National at some stage in the future.

This leaves Manawatu Mayor Ian McKelvie as the front runner, and like Nikki only good things have come through the tip line. Ian would bring a sensible rural voice to a caucus that is becoming increasingly dislocated from the rural economy.

Wellington Central

Paul Foster-Bell is the presumptive candidate after the first meet the candidates meeting, but is unlikely to be a threat to the incumbent Labour MP, Grant Robertson.


Few candidates are putting their name forward for a really tough red seat.

Dunedin South

Another tough red seat where the likely and highly regarded candidate has left for Australia.