Te Tai Tonga

Cunliffe has lost control of his caucus, O’Connor and Tirikatene to cross the floor [UPDATED]

David Cunliffe’s parlous poll ratings for the party have seen the first MPs to buck the whip and cross the floor to vote in favour of the?West Coast Windblown Timber Bill.

When your party polls so low the sitting MPs retrench back to their electorates and that is what you are seeing here as Damien O’Connor knows Labour’s opposition to this is death for his own electoral chances.

Labour?s MP for West Coast Tasman Damien O?Connor and Labour?s MP for Te Tai Tonga Rino Tirikatene will vote for the West Coast Windblown Timber Bill in their capacities as local MPs.

Damien O?Connor says: “While I am disappointed Conservation Minister Nick Smith will not amend the legislation to guarantee West Coasters get much needed jobs and revenue, I still believe this timber should be utilised.

“The West Coast lost almost 1000 well-paid jobs after the National Government ran Solid Energy into the ground by forcing it to increase debt and pay out dividends at a time when coal prices were unsustainably high. This almost crippled the company and the West Coast community along with it.? Read more »

Maori party picks unwanted ex-councillor for Te Tai Tonga

The Maori Party have given up on the Te Tai Tonga seat by picking the third most unpopular person in Christchurch, Bob Parker’s deputy.

The Maori Party has picked former Christchurch deputy mayor Ngaire Button as its Te Tai Tonga candidate.

Button, of Tuhoe and Ngati Porou descent, brought an astute business mind and an impressive background in local body politics to the Maori Party agenda, co-leader Tariana Turia said.

She was deputy mayor “during times when the people were shattered by the traumatic impact of the 2011 earthquakes”. Read more »

Maori Party has shored up its base

The Maori party appears to shored up its base, now looking like retaining 4 seats:

The Maori Party looks set to retain its four seats in Parliament, giving National a potentially powerful buffer if Saturday should turn out to be a tight race.

The latest Te Karere DigiPoll has it retaining Te Tai Tonga, which was previously seen as vulnerable.

That is on top of earlier polls showing it is also likely to retain Waiariki and Tamaki Makaurau, two other seats previously seen as likely to swing to Labour.

The word is the powerful iwi have decided that being in government is preferable to being in opposition. Last night John Key said in the TV3 debate that the Maori party have been great to work with.